Letters from James Joseph Makin to his family, 1915-1916, Part 7 of 12

Conflict:
First World War, 1914–18
Part of Quest:
Subject:
  • Letters
Status:
Awaiting approval
Accession number:
RCDIG0001425
Difficulty:
3

Page 1 / 10

France 1515/16 Dearest Mother G. Father, There has been nothing startling since I wrote last week. There have not been any letters from Hushalea during the past week, and I am feeling the want of them a bit. I saw Mr. Heathcote Yesterday and he showed me a letter from Peice dayed 7/3/16 giving him all the news from school. Perce mentions, meralia, that he had just written to me, but this also is on the way. fman Tell Perce he is well and was very pleased to get his letter. Immy Haddow got a Commission on Egypt and is now with the 88th Battalion. One of the other chaps, who used to be in the tent at Albert Park. (he ro now a Warrant Officer) was asking of he had seen Perce. Noran Heathcote said, "Don't you remember the little boy who used to bring over the not scones and appletart. Myword I do, said Bromlow, "and I wish we had a few of them now. That was in the good old days. Then followed a culogy of the apple harp and, of mother's good cooking. 101
There so really not much to write about until I get a few letters from you. I have not had my letter from Les. since I last wrote, but I have another from Dr Gibson He says that he wrote to you telling you how hes was getting on. I suppose you were comforted a bit by it. He so a very jolly chap indeeds and his letters cheer me up considerably. The weather has not been so fine lately and it ro said that the month of May ao usually showery in Northern France. We do not know when we will move our of this camp, but it should not be long now We hear all sorts of rumours about the fighting, but it seems to me that the closer one io, the less chance you have of hearing mything reliable I have sent a good few postcards the last couple of mails and hope they "landed cafely Hoping to hear of you shortly, Your affectionate son, Fo
20 B. There has not beeny as mait out France for several weeks, nence the dllay! 27/5/16 Deanest ollother & Father Your letter of 29/3/16 to Land. Little did you think when you were writing that letter that I was just waking myself at home in Sunny France. I quite magine you thinking of me browning under the fierce Egyphan sun. I has been very Lor in Carro lately, so. I see by London papers. two long months Well, dear parenk and I am still have passed away no forrader as regards taking part in my of the boxon which still continues however, with renewed intensity. It present The gallant French poilus are still beating off the relentless attacks of the Thms, who continue to press on as if the capture of Verdun was so in all. Of course, we know them all what a prize it is, but is it such that the Germand can & afford to have regiment after regiment of their picked soldiers chattered, and all m vam. 10X 001
The point in this - The Germans realize what a mighty offensive will chortly be launched against their hard pressed line and they are making a prenzied desperate effort to achieve a smashing rictory, so as so divert some of its strength But, even should Verdun fall, which is no more likely than it was two months ago - it would be a farrew victory, masmuchas the slaughter best regiment has been of their colossal, and such that the Hun morale must be fermanently shaltered. Let no not forged therefore what a debt we ome so these devoted Frenchmen who are being subjected to such frightful hardship and are bearing The grunt of all the Hun frightfulness. before the fordress of Verdi? Their seadfast consage and tenacity should never be forgotten, and sono here their success or defeat means everything I shall not say anytting of the Hushanan for you probably know more about them than I do 10X
daresay you get a letter from hes every mail fellong you of his move. menb. He is now at Weymouth, and again fit for service. There is a possibility of him getting a position as instructor here in France, for haming camps are Numerous, and there will be plenty of majerial to instruct. He must now be an efficient instructor. I hope I shall meet him some time, but the chance at present are not promising, but of course, one never knows, does one I was thinking of Muriel and the old violi the other day and what did I do but write to her - You know penty of one does &c, just to make her laugh a bit. I hope I succeeded I am sending some P/6s to Gert. and ice this mail as well I must now close with best love and wishe Your affectionate son I -Il MOR
France 28/5/16 Dear Perco have not had a letter from you yet but I know they are delayed smewhere. I met W Heathcote, and he had a letter from you dated 6/ 3p6. He was very glad you remembered him. I suppose you know Mr Langford by this How did you get on on that surmming championship? I hope you had good luck. I am playing posball here today, and am to captain my company against the Broillery. I am noy sure that will we will not get the cane but we will at least keep them busy I suppose you are a much improved player this year, but mind don't forget to score well at the exams as well as in marches! Love from Rowsher In 0014
France, of 16116 Bearest Mother & Father, There ss no mail out this week but I am writing now so that it will not seem a long time between the dates You can always rest of my letters. assured that I write every mail, and that of they do not arrive regularly, they are delayed somewhere. Sice my last letter several of Your letters have come to Land and also two parcels. She Third one containing sock which you mention as having sent has not yet some, but will come in time I hope. I am glad to hear that you are getting letters regularly from Les. This should relieve you of some of your inociety. I trust you are not warrying over me, for I am A1 at Leoyd as Mr. Trum used to say. There is not much prospect of me being in any scrap for a good while yet I am afraid; and when I do get there, you must not think I shall forget to duck.
2 I was rather surprised to hear that Jack Good had enlisted, but supposed he was married before thro. I do not remember ever prtting mny name on my locker at Broadmeadows, but it is just possible that it got there. E was rather strange that he should have den it, on my case. You did not dy whether the Ballanat Seople Enjoyed themselves, but I daresay they appreciated the change. Blenb $ pichnass at the Di, I suppose I can magone you were awaiting my letter from syst iociously. There was no mail desparched between Perth and Oner, which accounts for the long time. I was glad you got my cable otherwise you may have been worried It has been said in some letters that there was a rumour abroad That the Warilda was sunk, but I tiust you never heard w. It is rather foring to think
you writing to me on April 4th Thinking I was melting under a burning Sgyphan sim, and foiling on desert sands. When at that time I was here with the temperahre Doing and being almost at friening almost prerced with cold winds. Too bad, altogether! Bnt since then the weather has become almost perfect We have now had a succession of many weeks of beautiful Spring weather and at tises the sim has been jote hos. I am anscious to know when my letters from Sgypt arrived, and if my deary materialized. You must not judge ot too harshly for I make no attempt to attain my liberary effect, but strie only to record my doings from day to day as smply as possible and as brieftey an is convenient.. Please overlook my Cistakes, and aknbuse them more to Carelesoness tho to inorance
7 a present my diary makes mmuch more entertaining reading, but to send it I I afraid, would be guise out of the I have not received any question. papers from home, but they are sent to the batalion, where i would be too much trouble to refurn them back to here. I daresay they are appreciated up there nevertheless. I would be better, if you wished one to sle aything of interest in a paper to but it out and enclose it in your letters. I think I have all Ruby's letters but none from Perce so far. Tell him to write now and then, for I am very Deve infrested on his school work he still forget his lunch now and then? I am writing to Ruby this Mail also and I can tell her about the parcels better. Trusting you will keep in good spirits and keep up a brave fron, and witl I write again Yours affectionale son Am 10R

France,

15/5/16.

Dearest Mother & Father, 

There has been "nothing startling" since 

I wrote last week. There have not been any 

letters from Australia during the past 

week, and I am feeling the want of them

a bit.

I saw Mr. Heathcote yesterday and

he showed me a letter from Perce dated 

7/3/16 giving him all the news from school.

Perce mentions, inter alia, that he had just 

written to me, but this also is "on the way".

Tell Perce he Norman is well and was very pleased 

to get his letter. Jimmy Haddow got a 

commission in Egypt and is now with the

58th Battalion. One of the other chaps who used 

to be in the tent at Albert Park (he is now

a Warrant Officer) was asking if he had seen 

Perce.  Norman Heathcote said, "Don't you

remember the little boy who used to bring

over the hot scones and apple tarts." "My word

I do", said Bromilow, "and I wish we had a 

few of them now. That was in the good old 

days". Then followed a eulogy of the apple

tarts and of mother's good cooking.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

2.

 There is really not much to write about

until I get a few letters from you. I have

not had any letter from Les. since I last

wrote, but I have another from Dr. Gibson.

he says that he wrote to you telling you

how Les. was getting on. I suppose you

were comforted a bit by it. He is a very

jolly chap indeed, and his letters cheer

me up considerably.

The weather has not been so fine lately

and it is said that the month of May

is usually showery in northern France.

We do not know when we will move out

of this Camp, but it should not be long now.

We hear all sorts of rumours about the fighting,

but it seems to me that the closer one is, the

less chance you have of hearing anything reliable.

I have sent a good few postcards the

last couple of mails and hope they "landed"

safely.

Hoping to hear of you shortly,

Your affectionate son,

Jim.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

 P.S. There has not been a mail out

for several weeks, hence the delay!

France,

27/5/16.

Dearest Mother & Father,

Your letter of 29/3/16 to hand. Little

did you think when you were writing

that letter that I was just making myself 

at home in "Sunny France". I quite

imagine you thinking of me browning

under the fierce Egyptian sun. It has

been very hot in Cairo lately, so I see

by London papers.

Well, dear parents, two long months

have passed away, and I am still

"no forrader" as regards taking part in

any of the "box on", which still continues,

however, with renewed intensity. At present

the gallant French "poilus" are still

beating off the relentless attacks of

the Huns, who continue to press on

as if the capture of Verdun was to 

them all in all. Of course, we know

what a prize it is; but is it such

that the Germans can h afford to have

regiment after regiment of their picked

soldiers shattered, and all in vain?

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

2

The point is this :- The Germans realize

what a mighty offensive will shortly be

launched against their hard-pressed lines,

and they are making a frenzied,

desperate effort to achieve a smashing

victory, so as to divert some of its strength.

But, even should Verdun fall, - which

is no more likely than it was two

months ago, - it would be a barren

victory, inasmuch as the slaughter

of their best regiments has been

colossal, and such that the Hun

"morale" must be permanently shattered.

Let us not forget therefore what a

debt we owe to these devoted Frenchmen,

who are being subjected to such

frightful hardship and are bearing

the brunt of all the Hun "frightfulness",

before the fortress of Verdun! Their

steadfast courage and tenacity should

never be forgotten, and to us here

their success or defeat means everything.

 I shall not say anything of the Australians

for you probably know more about them than I do.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

3

I daresay you get a letter from

Les every mail telling you of his move-

ments. He is now at Weymouth, and

again "fit for service". There is a possibility

of him getting a position as instructor

here in France, for training camps are

numerous, and there will be plenty of

material to instruct. He must now be

an efficient instructor. I hope I shall

meet him sometime, but the chances

at present are not promising; but of

course, one never knows, does one?

I was thinking of Muriel and the

old violin the other day, and what did

I do but write to her - You know, plenty

of one does &c, just to make her

laugh a bit. I hope I succeeded.

I am sending some P/C's to Gert.

and Perce this mail as well.

I must now close with best

love and wishes.

Your affectionate son,

Jim.

1 DR9

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

France,

28/5/16.

Dear Perce,

I have not had a letter from

you yet but I know they are delayed

somewhere. I met Mr Heathcote, and

he had a letter from you dated 6/3/16.

He was very glad you remembered him.

I suppose you know Mr Langford by this.

How did you get on in that

swimming championship? I hope you

had good luck. I am playing football

here today, and am to captain my

company against the Artillery. I am not

sure that will we will not "get the cane"

but we will at least "keep them busy".

I suppose you are a much improved

player this year, but mind don't forget

to score well at the exams. as well as 

in matches! Love from

Brother Jim.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

France

4/6/16

Dearest Mother & Father,

There is no mail out this week but

I am writing now so that it will not

seem a long time between the dates

of my letters. You can always rest

assured that I write every mail, and

that if they do not arrive regularly, they

are delayed somewhere.

Since my last letter several of your

letters have come to hand, and also two

parcels. The third one containing socks,

which you mention as having sent, has

not yet come, but will come in time

I hope.

I am glad to hear that you are 

getting letters regularly from Les. This

should relieve you of some of your

anxiety. I trust you are not worrying

over me, for I am "A1 at Lloyd's"- 

as Mr. Irwin used to say. There is

not much prospect of me being in

any scraps for a good while yet I 

am afraid, and when I do get

there, you must not think I shall

"forget to duck".

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

2

I was rather surprised to hear that

Jack Frood had enlisted, but supposed

he was married before this. I do not

remember ever putting my name on

any locker at Broadmeadows, but it

is just possible that it got there. It

was rather strange that he should have

seen it, in any case. You did not

say whether the Ballarat people

enjoyed themselves, but I daresay they

appreciated the change. Plenty of

pictures at the Danc, suppose?

I can imagine you were awaiting

my letter from Egypt anxiously. There

was no mail despatched between Perth

and Suez, which accounts for the long

time. I was glad you got my cable,

otherwise you may have been worried.

It has been said in some

letters that there was a rumour abroad

that the Warilda was sunk, but I

trust you never heard it.

 It is rather funny to think of

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

3.

you writing to me on April, 4th

thinking I was melting under a

burning Egyptian sun, and toiling

on desert sands, when at that

time I was here with the temperature

almost at freezing point and being

almost pierced with cold winds. Too

bad, altogether! But since then the 

weather has become almost perfect.

We have now had a succession

of many weeks of beautiful Spring

weather, and at times the sun has

been quite hot. I am anxious

to know when my letters from Egypt

arrived, and if my diary "materialized".

You must not judge it too harshly,

for I make no attempt to obtain

any literary effect, but strive only

to record my doings from day to day

as simply as possible, and as briefly as 

is convenient. Please overlook any

mistakes, and attribute them more to 

carelessness than to ignorance.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

4

At present my diary makes much more

entertaining reading, but to send it, I

am afraid, would be quite out of the. 

question. I have not received any

papers from home, but they are sent 

to the battalion, where it would be

too much trouble to return them

back to here. I daresay they are

appreciated up there, nevertheless. It

would be better, if you wished one to

see anything of interest in a paper, to

cut it out and enclose it in your letters.

I think I have all Ruby's letters

but none from Perce so far. Tell him to

write now and then, for I am very

interested in his school work. Does

he still forget his lunch now and then?

I am writing to Ruby this mail

also and I can tell her about the

parcels better.

Trusting you will keep in good

spirits and keep up a brave front, and

until I write again,

Your affectionate son,

Jim.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL  RCDIG0001425

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                          

 

 

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