CHARLIE STEWART FROM BYADUK, VICTORIA, & WESTERN AUSTRALIA - KILLED IN ACTION FRANCE 1918
(The letters that follow are transcribed word-for-word and retain the original spelling, and punctuation.)
COMING OF AGE
Just a line to let you know I have got this far. Uncle D.met met at Freemantle & took me to a Hotel. The Riverina arrived there Thursday at 6 o'clock. I had til Sunday to look around Perth. There are quite a number of chaps that I have bee introduced to all going North on the same boat. We left Freemantle about 11 o'clock on Sunday morning & arrived here at 11 p.m. Uncle & I had dinner in the town & I did have a glorious feed, can't eat much on boat at all, although everything is nice. Uncle had been writing & just gone to post. The boat is due to sail at 4p.m. so I will have to go & post this. I am very anxious to know how you are getting on & how Dave is treating you. I have got a good way to go yet but don't mind how far,as I think I have got obver my sickness. We had a beautiful trip from Albany to Freemantle did not get sick. I will give you a fuller account of my trip in my next letter from Hedland. This is rather a nice little place so will go & have a further look round & post this. Hoping you are well as it leaves me with
Your affectionate son
Sept 10th, 1910
Now that I have settled down at my destination, I will write you a few line to let you know how I am getting on. I left Port Hedland about 2 o'clock in the morning by train & arrived at Shaw River (where coach starts) at daylight. Jack had arranged for me to come out in mail truck as there is only one old truck with a tin roof that they call a carriage & it is generally full. However I had the mail man for company right to Warralong & had no trouble at all. I was surprised when we got out of the train to find we were on Warralong Station. We lit a fire had breakfast & made a start in the old Coach. It was a very hot dusty & slow journey & I was not sorry when we landed here about 3.30 without having any dinner. I just got out of shearing nicely finished day after I got here. J.& G.had been up to their eyes & were not sorry to be finised. J.is very pleased with clip had 300 bales a record for the station so Jack may well have something to be proud of. I am sorry I did not start this letter sooner as the coach will soon be here & is going straight through today. I thought it would be staying tonight so I am writing this in a hurry. Tell Liz I got her letter last Thursday which I was looking forward to,& was glad to find you were allrignt, I think Gordon will be leaving for Victoria in a month's time & I will take his place here. So you will not have very long to wait before you see him. I think he badly needs a change.
Well I will have to close this hurried note
Hoping you are all well
as it leaves us with love
from your affectionate son
P.S. J.is looking forward to Hedland races has got his horses in good order. He sent one to Broome but have not heard how she got on C.H.S.
Just a few lines in answer to yours of 24th inst.to let you know why I have not answered it sooner. I had the misfortune to get an absess right under my right arm which made it quite useless it was nearly as big a lump as I had on my neck.I had a black gin to bathe it 2& 3 times a day with hot water .When it was ready to lance the Hedland races were on,so I went down in the train to the Dr & had it lanced & saw the races as well,it was just breaking when I went to the Dr and he pressed all the matter out which was a bit painfull he gave me ointment to put on & it iis quite alright now. I lot 5 lbs in weight while I had it but must have an enormous appepite now as every body seems to be throwing off at the lot I eat & am putting on ondition. Jack had no luck at the races only getting 2 or 3 seconds.
I thought when I saw Hedland first anything would do to wear there but I was taken by surprize when I saw all the flash dresses & suit that were worn at the races & especially the fancy dressed bal quite equal to anything in Vic.The railway is a great affair up here can go into Headland now in half a day and before it took 4 days to drive. But at present it leaves at an unearthly hour in the morning 2,3 or 4 o'clock any time.No time table & you have to make a bunk in the truck which is rather rough.
Now a bit of station life. De Marchie & Mills & I have just come in from cleaning out wells & doing up Wndmills.Have been out camping on the ground for a fortnight. I have been promoted to Donkey driver.We had 3 in a small cart..loaded with things and ourselves as well, & my word they can pull. The roads are very sandy & heavy. I had no trouble in driving them.More trouble to find them in the morning in a 6 mile square paddock & had to remember where I went to keep from getting lost. The wells were 6 & 12 miles out. Distance is nothing here 15,20 & 30 miles being nothing to them
here. This is the place to see all sorts of funny things. Donkeys,mules,kangaroos,goats,wild turkeys & pigs & camels in hundreds. I have had 2 or 3 rides on camels & would sooner have them than a horse to go round the paddock because instead of letting them go for dinner just tie them up to a bush.
Sunday 10t,h Have just, finished unloading 2 waggon loads of stores. I had great work yesterday cutting wheel tires & managed not to spoil the wheels. This is the place to learn things everything having to be done on the station.Gordon is getting his things together to be on the move next week suppose this letter will go by the same boat. He is going through by Adelaide so will not be long before you see him. The bell has just gone for dinner so will close in time for the mail this time.
Hoping you are all well as it leaves us
from your affectionate son Charlie
P.S.TellDave to excuse me for being so long writing to
him. received his welcome letter last mail.
Jack is driving 2 young horses to the Bungloo this afternoon. Gordon & I were over there last week & stayed for the evening & had pillow fights with 2 lively girls staying there.
One night we had Gordon with 20 niggers & gins going out to muster a paddock. Everything seems to be worked out on such a large scale that it takes a new chum nearly & sometimes more than 12 months to find everything out. We shot a kangaroo & had his tail for dinner. I was some time before I could be convinced to try it & it is very good. There are hundreds.
I received your welcome letter a few days ago and was pleased to hear you were allright and that you had made up your mind to buy the house. How is View bank now I heard some time ago that you were getting papers signed to sell the lot but I understand by your letter that it is still being leased. Liz was asking me who had her money. Well Jack has it at present but if Lizzie has no objections I may take it from him in the course of a few months. Jack is going to the De Grey allright but don't know yet if he is coming down for Aimee first or not, Aimee has been here for a fortnight & we have great fun-with her -she is a trick – so jolly is in great glee about going to the De Grey it is a nice home. We have finished shearing here & only have one more load of wool to cart. I don't know yet when I am returning to the farm as the principal work is fencing & that can't be done in the summer time. We had our first bush fire yesterday was only a small one but we had a job to stop it. I got papers of Byaduk show & notice Lizzie got a few prizes. Is Miss Roberts still not married yet thought she was to be married to Alf Anderson, Also Arch.R. how was it he did not get married. WaIter & Edgar have just gone duck shooting down the creek. Mrs Louden, Mrs Kerr, Aimee & all have gone visiting to Davis' leaving only Uncle D. and I at home. The crops are very poor this year so short. I am going to cut some tomorrow. Well you will excuse this short note as I have several letters to write so will close hoping that you are both well & that your house investment will be a good one.
With love from
Your affectionate son
I received your welcome letter some days ago & was pleased to hear you were alright. WaIter & I went down to Albany for two days(Boxing day)we were going to stay a week but too stale so came back again. We have had Mr & Mrs Allnutt staying here also Bob Louden who is down from the North for good. There has been a great crowd of relations & northwesters in Perth for races & by all accounts they are having a good time. Uncle D. Jack & Gordon & Mrs Maunsell & 5 children. I suppose they will all be down here later on so will have a chance of renewing old acquaintances. I haven't heard from Gordon lately He is seeing the Dr about his hearing. Different ones that have seen him say he is not a bit worse than he was, so can't be to bad. He is not going back to Warralong but hasn't decided whether going on farm but think he will. Uncle will be down tomorrow think he will be leaving soon after for the east but am not sure. Aimee & Mrs Kerr have taken a real nice house in Perth suppose it will be the old lady's headquarters. They have given very pressing invitations to go & stay with them. WaIter is still the same. Teasing the girls till they get wild. He was in to Broomhill the other day with the team getting some timber to make a bathroom. Well as I received a nice long letter from Lizzie will close and write her a few lines. Hoping you are quite well & have spent a Merry Christmas
With love from Charlie
I was pleased to receive your nice long letter the other day. It was quite a bagful of information & news. Glad to know you are doing allright in your new sphere.Dave finding it out was the,only thing I saw against Hamilton but of course when the house is your own & in town he can't do much. I was glad of the information about View bank as did not know whether it was to be sold or not.I think Jack was rather in favour of it being sold but I am inclined to favour Maggie's opinion of leaving it unsold,until we get a firm footing with the capital we have. I do not think the 'investment can be bettered in Victoria & even if could be invested here is a gamble to be proved whether better or worse. Now that you have lent us your money we should during the next three years (with good seasons)pay for our land. Then it will be time enough to consider if we ever wanted View bank again. There is another reason if anything happened to either of us you would have a security for your money in,our one third share which remains.
You neednt worry about the interest. I will forward that in advance as soon as I see Gordon about taking the balance of the money. We have at present #400.The interest is not a very big item as wages are high here,7 if we were short is only a matter of working six months. Well, I think this is enough of so-called business for the present. You were saying that you didn't think we got all the letters you sent,but think it is neglect on our part at answering them. The 2 photos I thank you very much for now,this I imagined I did before. This is one of the many instances I am ashamed to own up to.I can't put it onto Nell Bluntish as she is married. They all had a few words winding up by her & her husband going to Perth.
It was a weak spot of Gordon's too I think. WaIter is here just retiring for the night. We are having funny weather hail storms & now cold & windy. You might notice a difference in my letters owing to having so many business letters to write & some of them very much to the point but apart from that I am as per usual & take everything as a matter of course.If its right its right if wrong well its all in a lifetime. Well I will shut this up hoping you are both well & wishing yoy both a Happy New year.
With love from Charlie
Jan 26th 1915
WaIter may like to know he & B.S.?got 100 bags wheat altogether. Bob & Gordon got about 1200 bags wheat. Just a few lines to thank you & mother for Christmas Box you so thoughtfully sent us. I feel ashamed that I have not sent something in return but there seems so much to think about these times one doesn't always think of the things he Should. You struck right home with the shaving brush as the Magpie bird carried mine off & I have been without a shave til yours came along & relieved the situation.As far as I know I will not be over to see you this year. The girls & WaIter will give you our full History & I think if I don't go to war a bit of news from us next year will be more acceptable, that to get all the talent at one time. Things are very quiet at Pallinup now Uncle Dave is back from Perth & busy working amongst his sheep. I have finished the farming here got 512 bags of wheat I expected more like 800 but considering the time it was put in wasn't too bad. I am living in hopes that this year will end my farming career & get more into the sheep line in the future.Mrs Banger & Edgar are still keeping well.Edgar doesnt get about much has been for 3 Or 4 drives since he came home but he looks well & fat & eats like a ~orse.I have been busy shoeing horses today to finish sinnking a dam I started some time ago.We are on the lookout for a drop of rain to fill our tanks they are getting a bit low & have had to cart some water.Wel I really don't know what to write about. So little of any note has happened since the girls left & you will have all I know off pat from them. It is about bedtime so will suggest that I close up. Hoping you & mother are both well & getting along allright from
Your affectionate brother
Victoria Coffee Palace
Just a few lines to let you know what I am doing.I have had no luck in getting into the Flying Corps or Artillery.In fact they are full in every branch but the infantry & I have been sworn in today & go into camp on Monday so till I get my number & battalion just address my letters to Coffee Palace & will get them.Rohrs?is to go up for his. test tomorrow he is to be tried for a motor mechnic.I think he will pass alright as he has a lot of experience but they are only taking the best men with a good mechanical knowledge in the Aviation Corp & have a mon?supply of recruits in Artillery & Light Horse full up.Mrs Bailieu took me to the Commandant & he told me he thought my only chance was infantry at present. Guess I will find it a bit off not knowing anyone in it. In fact I only decided today to join infantry here. I was thinking seriously of returning & making one more for W.A.but would like to see a little more of you before going.I went out to the Bailieus the other night for dinner. Beryl came in for me. They are very nice people.I suppose you haven't heard if Uncle D.is coming or not by 'Zealander' let me know when he will be in Melbourne. I put off writing till I found out .what I would do so I will.be a foot bloke now and hope to carry my swag with the best of them.. Don't send me anything in the way of clothes etc. till I let you know.
With love from
Your affect son
I received your welcome letter .1 went out last Sunday to see poor old Dave,I forgot the place & thought it was Hawthorn, I went out there & enquired & found there was not such a place there,& it suddenly struck me that it was Heidleberg so I came back & got out there about 4 o'clock, have to go about 2 & 1/2 miles in cab from station. There are several such places. there & as luck had it I struck the right one. They told me he was down at the farm about 1/2 a mile down & to go down & find him.So I walked down & met he & another chap carrying a milk can up to the Hospital. I was passing him & said hulloo & he only half looked up & said '0 its you" well at least I think so & looked away. Fancy him knowing me in uniform.I had a good talk with him but could not make him any better than what I could remember of him. Of course I think he was a bit nervous but hardly looked at me the whole time.I took him some fruit & he was ravenous.I had a job to persuade him not to eat skin & all, but he said they were well fed but didn't get any fruit,he looks fatter in the face but thinner otherwise. The Superintendent said he thought he was better & that he had begun to work a lot better. The place is a most beautiful spot & good land altogether12,000 acres.I had a talk with the chap who has charge of them while in the field & spoke of Dave as his best man, but often he would lay down the law & refuse to work any further which just seemed to me the same old thing over again.I may go out & see him again before I go. I went out to see the Rosses last night.Kate was in bed when we got there she goes to bed early she looks a bit pale on it, but otherwise much the same old Kate.The others are all well & reckon I have grown. Coll Callendar came out too. I was having breakfast at the Coffee Palace last Sunday & his newly married sister & husband sat down alongside me & started talking about Hamilton & told me her name was? Callendar & I asked where ColI was & she said in the city so I rang him up & asked if he knew the road out to Rosses & he didn't know they were in Melbourne so he came out,& they had heard he had gone to war so they were surprised to see both of uS.Well we made our allotments today if you know what that is.We are only allowed to keep 2/- a day of our pay & the rest has to be left to someone else,so I have allotted (or left)3/- per day to you which commences from day of sailing. I want you to keep account of this money & let Gordon know how much you are short of your interest of otherwise it should amont to 50 pounds per annum, this amount Gordon can pay into our acc.in W.A. ,which I am supposed to make up. You might send him this letter or a copy of it,so he can see what I have told you & will know how to act with regards your interest & our Bank interest in the West. These things take a lot of explaining & I may be gone before I get his reply.I have just got Maggies letter tell her I will write another night. She mentions Byaduk people giving me a money belt but I have a fine one on me now & really don't need one,However I don't think I will get out to Byaduk as only have 2 days up there & if I get Final before I see Aria I will make a bold bid to get there too.Hoping this finds you all well,
With love from your affect. brother
P.S.I suppose you have had a good yarn to Uncle Dave by this time. I missed him the last time.
This is my last Will and Testament.
I DO hereby this first day of June Nineteen hundred and seventeen leave to my brother Gordon Alexander Stewart of Port Hedland in the State aof Western Australia all my real and personal interests in our property known as Peenebup in Gnowangerup district state of Western Australia. I also leave to the said Gordon Alexander Stewart all my share in our late father's estate situate in the State of Victoria which is now held in trust for our mother's benefit during her lifetime only.
Sgd Charles Herbert Stewart
SIGNED in the presence of us present witnesses
Just a short note to let you know I am O.K.and like camp life tip top. We drill all day & when we are not doing that we are sitting down. Its quite a holdicay to me. I haven’t done anything so easy since I went to the West. I suppose they will get a bit of condition on us first then work us a bit harder. I am on duty this week end hope to see Uncle D.if he is in city. We can bbuy any mortal thing we want here in the way of luxuries,etc so you needn't worry about sending anything till I wear out the things issued to us. If one has too much stand a chance of loosing it. Tell Lizzie to send me a note of those things you could do with as we only get off in time to catch the shopss shut on weeknights & will have time to get them when on the week end. I don't think I will be able to get more than one leave may get 6 davs instead of 4 but will be here for some time yet. Will get our uniforms end next week. We have tip top concerts on here nearly every night & first class artists they are too. So time doesn't hang very much. I may go out & see dave one of these weekends. I don't suppose he will know me. It seems like going back to schooldays marking time eyes right etc but the exercises are great have races etc. I manage to hold my own amongst our lot most of them are little rats. Well I hope this finds you & Lizzie well as it leaves me, I still have a bit of that cold but it is getting better.
Goodnight with love from
Your affectionate son
Dear Mother & Lizzie,
I received Liz's letter from Auburn dated Aug.9th which needless to say I was pleased to get.I seem to have so many to write to that I forget just what I have told you & just where I left off.So don't mind if I should happen to tell you the same thing again.We arrived here from glasgow hospital a fortnight ago,& have been waiting & hanging about for orders to finally join opur units , we are in a hut alongside them. They are out of isolation for mumps now & we expect to join them today. The huts are all wooden & lined inside with a stove in the middle to keep them warm. The first few nights I felt the cold but were exceptionally cold nights as the water taps were frozen up.We have straw mattresses and 4 blankets ,waterproof sheet-& overcoat & sleep on the floor.Our tucker is fair but not quite enough of it. Last night Mitchell,I & another chap haq a blowout at Weselyne hut. Three cups cocoa cake and biscuits for supper so while a man can buy it he won't starve. Everything is very dear to buy & food is very cheaply dished up and not too much of it.
We are camped now on one end of Salisbury Plain called Sutton Veng Camp on account of being round an ancient little old village of the same name. It is very pretty with green hills all around & pretty old oak trees all along the roads. The lads are at present playing football in hut with one' of their blown up air pillows.We have one or tow wealthy sons in one lot.One chap named Lindsay I think they have a station between Warnambool & Port Fairy somewhere.He is a wild little scamp. Another chap named Irvine,I forgot where he belongs to. Well I can't write any more just now will give you more as soon as we join up or after we get 6 days leave.We expect to get 6 days embarkation any day now,so I will have something to tell you when I return. I may go back to Scotland & up as far as Aberdeen & see if I can find the old haunts of our forefathers. I am O.K.only have had one of those heavy colds and am just getting rid of it. Well I hope this finds you keeping well.
With love to all
From your affectionate son
I cabled to you today to cable me a few pounds to Commonwealth Bank London.I also mentioned in one of my letters written from Glasgow to send a few pounds, I thought by writing you may have time to get the letter before we were given our leave,but as we expect to get our leave next week you will not have received it hence the cable today. I hope you won't think there is anything wrong with me as I didn't mention it was alright in the cable.I will go to London first to see if money there & then up to Scotland. I
might mention that I will keep the Commonwealth bank'posted with any change of address I may get so if Jack or any other kind friends wish to send money you can let them know where to send it too. I am only mentioning this for safety as I will leave my signature there for them to identify me by.Hope you got my cable saying we arrived safely in Glasgow.They charged 3/-per word.My last one for money - a weekend cable-only 9d per word,which of course is subject to delay.We were inoculated yesterday for second time but have not felt any effect from it.Apart from a bit of a cold I am O.K.I weighed the other day and made 12st.8.Have only done a few days training so which is rather interesting as they don't keep us too long on the one subject. There are plenty of aeroplanes flying round here have seen 6 & 7 up together. One chap gave us a bit of an exhibition yesterday in looping the loop,but guess I'wouldn't care to have taken his place.AII of our chaps have got fat since we landed the results of a long sea trip.Mitchell is 13st.and Kenucky is fat as a butcher. The last letter I got from you was dated Aug.9th I think there must be a lot of letters somewhere that we are not getting. I hope you are getting all mine as it is not to easy writing with the noise etc. that goes on in the huts.Don't bother sendignmany parcels as I don't thinmanv will reach me. You mentioned having sent one but so far have not received it. Hoping this finds you and Mother &
all well as it leaves me.
With love from your affectionate brother
P.S.Have been making use of your helmet-it is just the thing. The nights are very cold but no snow. I also wear the mitts on parade for bayonet fighting.
Hope conscription passes this time.
NO.7572 Pte C.H.S.
Well only two more days to Christmas .It doesn't seem a scrap like Christmas here being Winter time. I guess I would sooner eat the plum duff in the summer in Australia.This last week we have felt a little of what a winter in England is like,the ground all white with snow & the pools & gutters all frozen over. I had the priviledge of being amongst the guard who were the first to mount duty in the snow. There wasn't much fun attached to it as we were out in the open guarding a dump of live bombs & grenades & only a cold dirty little hut that we couldn't swing a cat round in & made of canvas.We had a fire outside made of some of the farmers posts & rails we pinched. I hope the cocky has the same pleasure out 0 renewing them as we had of the fire. I thought I would try W.A.style when night came & lie alongside the fire but I just about got off to sleep with a waterproof over me and I could hear the snow come down in flakes on the sheet. I stuck it for a while but the thought of being covered with snow didn't altogether appeal to me, so I got up and sat on the fire for a while & then squeezed in alongside the others in the hut. In the morning everything was white & the snow frozen hard & the roads well it was next to impossible to walk on them with nails in the boots. We have straw wrappped around our water pipes to keep them warm. Its funny when we are on route marches first one then the other slip over,of course it doesnt matter if his neck is broken we all have a good laugh.We have all been down on the Rifle Range shooting our musketry.Some days we had to come home again on account of the fog couldnt see a man 50 yds
off. These Scotch mists here make a whelter allright.Today we got a surprize when men in our hut were shifted out into other huts to make room for 8th Reinf.who are to arrive tonightThey have been isolated in Glasgow for a week past,so may see something of Sandy Mac.suppose he will be amongst them-: Well you will have to excuse me if my letters are short as you can feel yourself gradually freezing some nights &
one has to move about frequently to avoid becoming permanently fixed on the seat. This flashed through my head while standing in the sentry box I could feel my boots sticking onto the board floor. But they feed us on any amount of fat bacon lard & so on to fight the cold & its wonderful how it seems to help us to stand it. They all tell me I'm getting fat. I eat like a horse every chance I get. We all got our photo taken today a group lot out of one hut,so will send one along when they come to light. I had a letter from WaIter and he said he thought there was a chance of him being sent over here but hardly think it can be correct. Well I thin I will close for the time being. A Merry Xmas & Happy New Year to all (including Black Hill)
From your affectionate son
P.S.Haven't fared badly for parcels as I got Lizzies from Melbourne,Arias & Berns & 2 pairs of socks from the West. Hope you got my cable alright, don't bother replying to any unless called for. Expect a Christmas mail any day now.Can't make out where the W.A.letters are as have not received any update but bound to be some in next mail. Its just about 9 o/clock p.m.and they are calling out men for a fatigue party to carry blankets for the new Reinforcements.They have funny ways in this Army & most ridiculous some of them are. It isn't much wonder we are a long time on this job. Must ring off now & get on the billiard table for a few hits.
Sutton Veney Camp
Just a few lines to let you know I am still O.K. & learning to dodge parade(or work)with the next one.Our job today is four men to go to the Rifle range to put up four danger flags come back & go down again tonight to take them down again quite a good stunt. The country reminds me of our Banks pad very steep hills & smoothed in grass but the wind 'by Cly' she's some cold.We have had snow & the ground & roads quite frozen & ice inches thick on the pools.Guess you would enjoy skating more on them than the old woolshed at Warralong.Have not seen anything of J.G.Barrart since but had a letter from him.He is still alright but not likely to go to France so you may get him back in time. I don't know ho long we will be here yet but have just absout finished our training have a course of machine gun & barb entanglements to go through yet and then we are finished. I am heavier now than I have been in my life -12st l0Ibs.I think the sea trip and physical training has a wonderful effect and the cold makes us eat like horses. All the same, I wou1dn't mind going out to the Shaw mustering with a mob of Niggers for a change. I am quite satisfied now one gets quite hardened to this game & you can take things as a matter of course & if a man gets a knock well its his misfortune.However I am not worrying a scrap about it & am quite prepared to take what s dealt out to me. I am applying for a few days leave & hope to have another fly round before we are put on draft.We had fine time in Scotland the……. There are great & are mad on the Ausy's & can't do enough for us. It is about a month since our last Ausy letters came think the tinfish may have got a few, so far have not received any letters from W.A.can't make it out as I have had some record time ones from Vic.Well I guess we are now due to go and pull down these flags so will close this scrawl & bplay the game 'as we call it.
With love to Aimee and self from your affectionate brother
P.S.Have still 16 pounds in 'the bank to fall back on.
Just a few hurried lines to let you know I am O.K. and have spent New Years Day in the same place in the snow. It started to snow early this morning & by daylight everything was white. It is truly a pretty sight to see all the hills snowcapped & everything white and cleanlooking.The snow is allright until it freezes & then makes itself felt the roads get so slippery one can hardly walk on them. We have been down on Rifle Range & I and another chap were sent to put up danger red flags on the hill behind the butts. We came upon pools frozen over & after I walked cautiously over it a few times to test it we put in a half hours skating on it a few falls add to the pleasure. We played football all this morning being the first whole holiday we have had.Had a fair dinner with some tinned plum duff and went into Warminster township this afternoon & all had our photos taken. Will get them next Saturday & send them along. Your money comes in very handy for odds & ends. I still have 16 pounds in Bank to go on the next leave with expect to get a few more days leave before long. I am enclosing a sergeants stripes I got at Colon in the Panama canal. I threw him down a badge & he passed this up on a string to the boat. Its filling up my wallet so will chance it carrying in a letter. Well its starting to freeze over again & my feet are like ice so you will excuse this short note.Hoping you are all well as it leaves me. Don't worry over my whereabouts as I am not worrying a scrap myself.One soon learns to take what comes next as a matter of course and if anything should happen to me well its all in a lifetime & one can die worse than being a soldier.
love from-your affectionate brother
I am enclosing a couple of p.c.snaps.They were too cheap & haven't turned out too good but doubtless you can pick me. I was pleased to receive your letter dated 21/10/1917 yesterday. You can guess I was pleased to get it also one at the same time from Aunt Grace and Aunt Eliza.Up to the time of receiving these we had been without any letters for over 5 weeks, so if you can have written every week there are a few astray or sunk. So far I have acknowledged all I have received with either a P.C or letter & mentioned having received them so you will get an idea if all mine how many I have got of yours. I was glad to hear you are getting the 2pounds2/- alright. The money you sent has been great to get a few odds & ends which I need. I have 15 pounds left yet to have another trip on.when we get to france our letters will be censored so if you remember this I will be able to tell you of anything in this way.Read the last word in every sentence. I may just say anything to start with till the message is worked in. (for instance )word.If there is no sense in it well I have nothing special to tell you.To make it easy toknow if there is any sentence in it I will write Date 2/1/18 if not no date just Jan.2nd 1918.We may not be going to France for some time yet but just mentioning this so as to have a way outfor Censor.I have a bit of a cold & went to the Quack this mor instead of going to Church & he gave me 2 days light duty which means work of any sort(fatigue) & I am in the Officers Mess all day washing dishes & smelling the different courses they have but we get a very good feed which makes up for it.There is a rumour floating around that we may all be moved to Eqypt or Palestine but can’t tell how much truth there is in it.I wouldn’t mind as I dodn’t care too much for this climate its some cold at times but we get well fed under the circumstances which keeps us up to it.Well must close this short note.Hoping you are all quite well.
P.S.Tell J.B.K.I haven’t seen anything of Sandy Mac.
I was so glad to receive your letter yesterday and to know you had received two of my letter cards from Panama Canal also that my Yank friend had carried out his promise to write. I thought by getting him to write he could tell you a bit more about us without the risk of being censored & perhaps torn up.He was a nice quiet decent chap.Imust drop him a line & let him know you got his letter.Itold him to send you h is address so you could write and thank him.They were all sports and treated us well while coming through the canal.You also got the snapshots of us on the boat the little one taken of me on the winch was taken by Owen Gaze abd the other one by one of the stewards on the boat. Yes I really did get to Scotland and have been back there to Glasgow since on leave but the time was too short.I hope I have longer next time you should have received my account of this leave by now. I jusat thought the other day you never mentioned having rreceived the big group photograph of our company with us in it.It was taken in Boradmeadows before we left and the chap inly came round taking orders for them the morning we left.We were having our last feed at the tiem breakfast about 4 in the morning. I gave him your address and paid him for it. So if you haven’t received it write to Darge , Collins St., Melbourne about it and tell them it was paid for 2/6d.I had a real nice letter yesterday from Ada the first W.A.letter I have received shs had received my photo and letter,she writes a very nice letter.She mentioned Edgar having more bad turns & has died since she wrote.I should have got some of Mrs Goughs relations addresses to go & visit but there are so ;many sights to see it is not hard to fill in time there..This is a very historic ancient old place here but once seen it is abouot sufficient.London I don’t care a scrap for its too overrun with soldiers and people are sick of soldiers & war & darkness air raids etc.So to get the most enjoyment out of your leave we get away up to the northern parts where people are not sick of soldiers. This is what the scotch lassies think about the Ausstralians when they go up there & I thought it wasn’t bad.I was talking to 2 very nice girls & they said they often stood at the Railway & saw the soldiers returning from
the front & all their friends & people there to meet them & the Ausys would get Qut & not a soul to greet them. They said they often felt like going upo and filling the gap & I might say a lot of the less bashfull do & give them a real good time. Take them home and show them around the sights. They are a fine lot of girls & know how to talk Scotch.Well I must close for this time
With love from your affectionate son
I was glad to receive your letter dated 14/12/17 today and to near that you are all well. You got my letters from Belvidere alright. The cable was sent by the secretary .His name was Hutchison he used to come round with cigs and post our letters for us, etc. The nurse promised to write perhaps it went astray. We were there a month altogether & came down here ,you will have my letters by now teling of our trip down. I have been faring not too bad for letters lately.I have got one from nearly all including one from Jack & one from Gordon.Ada's was the first W.A.letter I received.Yes I hear from J.W.Evans he has charge aof our stock (George)and lives close to our farm. I joined up with my 2 mates alright and have been with them since Nov.6th the day started my first training in England and my first birthday in the Army. We are getting a bit split up now put into different huts on account of measles breaking out, Bob & Ken are in one hut & I on the opposite side in another. They have started calling out drafts for France out of our company so dont be surprised if my next letter is from france.Yes I got the money alright from Commonwealth B.I still have 10 pounds of it as a standby.Yes poor old Edgar did go off sudden & Mrs J.Christie. I hope Jack gets round to see you all again he deserves a good spell, away from his worry. I think Rohrs must be on his way over here by now. I had one letter from him he was saying he thought he was going to lose his wife she took ill but was better when he wrote.Garye I haven't heard from since we left the boat. Aria will have a large family if she keeps going. I still have Miss Whites lucky coin will carry it to France with me for luck. I hear from Wattie now & and again he was alrgiht last I heard from him. Also had a letter from Lyne WaIter tell him to expect one shortly how like his father he writes. I thought it was from him til I ssaw WaIter at the end of it.It was just as well we were not anchored in Halifax when that explosion took place,it must have been a terrible affair,it is such a pretty spot too with the hills alI covered with plnes.I h6pe you get the Robbie - Burns P.C. I sent (Tamoshanter Brig 0 Ayre etc they were very nice & more interesting still when you know .1 saws them all walked over the Old Brig and sailed on Loch Lomond.I hope you get letters with account of our leave to Scotland we had a fine time. I would like to have it all over again,will go up to Scotland next leave I get that will have to be furlough if I am lucky. However I am not worryingwhat sort of place France is we all have to face our allotted time & that will come whether in France or elsewhere. Hoping this finds you well as it leaves me With love from Charlie
P.S.Remernber me to Mr Houston whenyou see him & tell him I haven't forgotten his kindness in asking his brother to dig me up
Feb. 13th, 1918
Arrived safely had a good trip over & a fine route march after we landed about 7 or 8 miles with full packs. Le Havre is a fine big town although haven't seen much of it. We are in tents now eight men to one tent. We get well fed over here much better than on the other side. I don't know the censor arrangements so hope you get this alright couldn't get a chance to post it the other side before we left. We are all lying down resting at present ready to move on again tomorrow. I believe you are managing to get labour. Its not much wonder labour is short seeing the crowds of Australians there are over here. I hope by this time next year this business wil be over & a lot of us back in Ausy.Haven't quite got the hang of the French language yet rather funny to start with. Mention this letter to home if you get it as its the first from here. Love to all from your affectionate nephew
In The Field,
Just a few lines to let yuou know I am quite well & rather like being over here so far. The food is good and not so much drill as in a Training Camp.Of course we see a few aeroplane fights & the guns going off but get quite used to it & in fact think there is something wrong if all is quiet. The days are beautiful & warm sunshine but the nights are a bit cold.Hoping this finds you in good health & all well
With love to all
Have just received our first issue envelope in which we can say a little more without it being censored.We only get one each and we chase them like sovereigns. I have already written to say we arrived here safely. We have now joined our Battalion some distance behind the firing line may be some time yet before we get a turn in the line.Of course can plainly hear the guns roaring & see the flashes etc. I listened and watched it the first few nights but like the rest of life one soon gets used to it,& doesn't loose too much sleep over it. In fact it seems funny when the guns cease and all is quiet.Aeroplanes in dozens are overhead nearly every day occasionally a German one comes over and gets well peppered & goes back again.We were curious enough to walk up as far as safety would allow us to see what things were like of course didn't get in range of fire but could see nothing. The Germans were driven out & the enormous scopes of endless trenches & trees all shot off. I had my first guard last night & by gee the wind did blow cold.We have' huts to sleep in .Half round iron ones & sleep on a board floor so are fairly comfortable. The food is very good get 3 hot meals perday.I left my two mates behind but expect Mitchell along any time and may join him again.However hope so as he is a very fine chap & one of the best chaps that came over with our company popular with all. The other chap Kenucky I persuaded him very much against his grain to join the Signallers & they get at least 6 months in England .He is an electrician & will pick it up easy. There is too much to learn or I would have gone myself but couldn't settle down to learn a heap. of knowledge of that sort. I have just been printing off some of the French coins but paper money is used mostly now.When I got here there was a letter waiting for me rom WaIter he is still going strong. Two other letters had been sent back to England so will get them back again soon. They do travel round before we get them. I haven't worn many of my woollen things so far but am making use of them now they are great(May have to try those silk pajamas too.)Well there is not too much more I can say so will close for this time
Your affectionate son
Dear Mother & Lizzie,
Just a few lines to let you know I am quite well.We had a good trip over here but were fairly well packed in the boat and was pleased to step out onto land.We marched a few miles with packs up till we came to a rest camp where we stayed for 2 nights & were sorry to leave this place as the tucker was splendid.After Marching a few more miles to another town we got in the train & travelled for 4 hours.Camped in barn for 2 nights & marched out to another place where our main camp is.Just now we are billetted in old farm barns with the owners living next door.We were away out on a hill the other day and came to an old farm house and it was so bitterly cold that I and another chap went in and sat by the fire all the morning. They gave us coffee and tried as best they could to talk to us but were a bit hard to understand.However we enjoyed their fire and were sorry when the time came to leave it. There were 3 children,a young woman & 2 old grannies. The men folk are all at the front.We expect to be going into the line before long but won't know until we actually do. .We only guesss where we are going next. Well I will close for this time
Your affectionate son
Mar 17th 1918
I received your parcel safely today. I did enjoy the sweets and th gloves will be just the thing.We don't use the abdominal belts much as a rule on account of lice but have given one to a chap who wears one and the other I will keep for emergency. It is getting warm now & leave off my cardigan in day time,but it is quite cold enough at night for half a dozen. The parcel was fast 5 months coming so we do get them eventually. I like the climate over here is a lot better than England feel a lot better than I did over there.We get some fairly tough jobs at times but we get well fed and can buy a few luxuries & a rest and we are right again.! had a letter from WaIter he is O.K.& still in the same job.! Have met both Josk boys one is in the same Battn & Paul in transport quite close neither of them knew me but I recognised them straight away they have not altered a scrap & look well on it. I had a letter from Annie while in England & she told me they w~re in the same Battn.There is a chap named Murphy from Casterton & one or two other Hamilton Chaps. Well it is tea time so will close.
This is a later issue.I am lying down on the ground in a tent some dlstance behind the line, but can hear the constant apparently never ending roar of guns. This I think (or hope Anyway)ls the beglnnlng of the end of this war. It will be a great trial for us all for the enxt few months. I have been very fortunate up to date. I have gone short of nothing & have had or been able to buy all I wanted in little titbits. We scoured this little village from one end to the other tonight buying eggs & an old lady cooked them for us.It is hard. for. the poor old people here. The people in Aus cannot reallze lt all & I m quite satisfied to throw in my lot with them and fight to a finish for them. .
Your affectionate son
Just a few lines tolet you know I am quite well. We have been up in the line and are back in a different ploace now having a rest. Don't worry if you don't hear regular from me as we don't get very much opportunity of psoting letters owing to difficulty of having them censored. This is the first opportunity we have of getting anything away in a fortnight. We are billeted in Barns in a village back from the line. The civil population are still in the village, but a lot of them are packing up ready to move off and leave their homes at the mercy of war should it be found necessary. I can't tell you where we are but you can guess from reading the newspapers.We are all lying doen now writing letters at a great rate. The first time I went into the line(for two days)there were a few shells flying but one gets somewhat used to them until they get a bit close & you look round for somethiong to get behind. We went back for 4 days a little way behind the line where we experienced a little of his Gas sent over in shells(but our masks were too good for it to take much effect on us. We then went back into the line for another two days & found things fairly quiet but terribly muddy wet and slippery & I was glad when we came right out from those underground holes & living like rabbits. Its funny when a few shells come over to see them all goint into their dugouts like a lot of rabbits into their burrows.Bob Mitchell joined us up & was in the line for the second time with me. I hope you can read this as I am resting it on my pay book for a table. I got a Bonza parcel from Aimee & one from little Noreen Maunsell.Strange to say I got both together the day we went into the line & I ate the contents which I relished properly in the dugout. Mention this to Aimee as I only had time to drop her a card saying I got it.Noreen's was woollen helmet gloves and cigarettes.I also got yours a few days before these for which I've written and thanked you. I had to dispose of the abdominal belts too hot and a harbour for lice.I have not received Lizzies parcel of cakes yet but got the one from Mutual Store,which was (good o).You will know if I receive all parcels as I have always written to say I have got them. Love from your affectionate son
IN THE FIELD
IN THE FIELD
Dear Mother & Lizzie.
Just a few lines to let you know I am Quite well. I got a nice budget of letters(12 just before we went into line last and have only just started to answer them now that we have time.I sent you some Field-C.since I receieved them.I am sending Jack a cable for a few pounds in a day or two.I told you Commonwealth Bank but I am cabling him Union B.as so many have not had satisfaction from the Commonwealth Bank but I got yours alright. Well the most interesting thing to tell you is that I had a 2 hours fly with Norman Davis from the West.He is now a Captain and does our air work and flys over our part of the line nearly every day .It was something grand.He went up 7000 feet right up above the clouds out of sight of earth then flew right down over our camp mand waved to our chaps down below they saw us and waved back.It was great I would go up every day if I had a chance.Nell & Grace know him.He lives close the 'Pallinup'we had a great old yarn & a feed together. It was good of him to take me up.He is not far away from where we are camped at present.He expects to go to Australia in about 6 months time so Nell & Grace will see him & be able to tell you what he says about our fly. Well we all write a lot of letters so I guess our censor gets horribly sick of reading letters.Will give you a bit more in my next a bit later on.Will most likely send you a cable also as I guess you get a bit anxious at times. Tell Aunt Lizzie I have just received her letter dated May 10 & will answer soon. Hoping you are all quite well.
With love from
Your affectionate son
P.S.Received a bonza big cake from Nell and G.,it was a beauty.Also a parcel from Aimee & Jack they are good to me.
HE WILL NOT GROW OLDER
NO.1572 PRIVATE CHARLES H.STEWART-6TH BATT
KILLED IN ACTION 9TH AUGUST 1918
WAS BORN AT BYADUK VICTORIA 1889
WAS THE YOUNGEST SON OF JULIA AND THE LATE
WILLIAM STEWART OF VIEW BANK BYADUK
HE ENLISTED IN 1917 AND SAILED OVERSEAS ON 4TH AUG 1917
DEARLY LOVED SON OF JULIA AND THE LATE WILLIAM STEWART OF BYADUK VIC.
LOVED & RESPECTED BY ALL WHO KNEW HIM
GODS WILL BE DONE
Dear Mrs Stewart,
I expect you have only had a bare statement from the military authorities that Charlie was killed in Action & I hope I will be able to supply the news that I know you will be anxiously looking for.
As you will know the 9th August was the second day of the advance & we had been moving forward from 8a.m.til late in the afternoon.Charlie Company got in touch with the enemy & then dug themselves in. There was no shelter & Fritz was keeping things very warm.One of the officers was hit in two places and Charlie got out his field dressing and was binding him up and it was while he was bending over and binding the officer,in full view of the enemy & with no thought of his own danger that a sniper picked poor Charlie off with a rifle bullet,and he fell without a moan. I think it was a glorious death and a feeling of pride runs through one all the time I am thinking of Charlie's disregard of danger and the way he died. I have seen Charlie under all conditions & I must say that he never knew what fear was & every man in his company can say the same.
He fell near the small village of 'Roisiers' and lies in a soldier's grave about half a mile east of that village &
near the railway line.
I have been with Chas nearly all the time for over a year and I owe a lot to him .He was so honest and straight in all he died that it was a pleasure to know him & everyone was his friends. When I last saw him he passed close to me & called out "What Ho Knuck"and was smiling just as usual . I have his diary,belt,watch & wallet & will_send them to you as soon as I can for it was his wish.
His diary cannot be sent throgh the post from here so I will endeavour to sne it some manner.Money was sent to him to the Union Bank in England.I have written to the manager and given your address .I also wrote to Capt N.Davis who took Chas up for a fly. The money sent to Chas was from Western Australia but I cannot find any address .Bob Mitchell,Charlie and I had our photo taken before we went into this advance & if they are successful I will send them along as soon as possible.
Bob Mithcell will I hope write to you & tell you more than is in my crude effort .We miss Chas very much & there always seems to be something missing and I can assure you we are with you in the pride & sorrow of his remembrance.
I don't think I need say any more except to express on behalf of Bob & myself our deep sympathy with you all in your great sorrow and to join you in the pride of his glorious and noble death.
Beleive me to be for all time
Yours in sorrow