Feb 26th '16
My dearest Ma
Oh what a joke. This is where we are landed at present. After bidding Pa goodbye at Liphook we all went to sleep in the train until we reached Southampton. The train took us right up the docks to the boat sheds where we alighted and the transport went aboard some vessel, but we waited, as armies usually do (Ask Pa). Then we formed into marching column and with a boy scout on a bike to guide we marched through the docks and back into the town. We, of course didn't bargain for any kind of route march but nevertheless we got one. We continued, passed the Bargate (Heretofore mentioned in my travels to the Isle of Wight when on GWR) up right through the town and beyond to a big Park with lakes on it. We turned in to this and found a little mud here and there and among the mud we could see a camp. It is what they call a Rest Camp but it is really a place to put us and others while awaiting transport to take us anywhere they like. By Gum weren't we done when we got into our tent after our 4 mile uphill walk but it wasn't the walk it was our pack (again ask Pa). Well after getting our blankets we were told we were free till 11 tonight so I found my way down here to this home positively is the best I have been in. It is run entirely on voluntary contributions and is splendidly equipped. Teas are free and I had a good one, writing materials "ad-lib". Boxes are on all tables for any contribution we like to make, which is a good idea who can thus appreciate what's done for them and so help those who cannot give.
Why, it is a transformed church, organ and all. I see now there is also a church adjoining and the service is now going to start so I think I'll go in.
These are my adventures to date - we anticipate moving off tomorrow so I'll now say bye-bye.
Very glad Pa was able to see me off. We enjoyed ourselves didn't we Pa! What did you think of my Pals?
There are a tremendous number of troops waiting here like us but English regiments. Some who have come from Fiji too. I was talking to one just now.
Now I must stop as two friends I'm with want to go.
With very best love and lots of kisses to all.
Your very loving boy
Are we downhearted? NO! Fancy my destinies bringing me to this town again.