letters from Mrs Morgan to Annie Smythe
[page missing] November 1915?
to Scotland where it was so cold he contracted Bronchial Pneumonia, we certainly have had it colder in England, this November than it has been for years past so it ‘as proved unfortunate for the Australians. I shall visit him again on Wednesday for I am a widow living alone & nothing to do and so I am glad & proud to be of use to someone. Personally I like Bert very much and also I feel it a duty and a pleasure to do all we can for the dear boys doing so much for us. My youngest 21 last April is now in the trenches, he brought Bert to me last Summer and again at Weymouth. I took rooms to be near him and so entertained the both of them. Please think of me as a friend and be assured as long as Bert is in England I shall not forsake him and trusts he’ll be able to stay with me again. I am an old woman 60 today & so my house is very dull but he made himself so agreeable & did not mind the quiet that I miss him very much. This week, I often tease him coming to England because when I saw him off at Weymouth he said “now if my Brother gets wounded & sent to England I shall send him to you”. Strange he should have come himself.
One other of yr sons know my Percy. I heard today from him & all was well so I at once sent them off as he has been so longing for letters.
Now I must conclude with my kind regards and wishes that your Boys & mine may be restored to us Mothers again.
Yrs very sincerely Lizzie Morgan
I am just visiting Bert & so glad to find he is going on well.
54 Standard Road
My dear Mrs. Smythe
As I promised you in my last to write and tell you I’ve lost Bert he was sent to Weymouth last Friday and now I am anxiously wondering when he’ll leave there as I understand they are not kept there long. I had 4 letters for him from Kogarah this morning one I know was yours and I at once went out and posted them on, the dear Boy is always so anxious for his mails. Well he came and spent last weekend with me and we had a lovely time. My Son came on the Sunday afternoon & took us for a lovely motor ride but I felt when saying Good Bye it was the last time. I now shall miss him very much for I have cared for him since the end of Oct & never once regretted anything I may have done for him truly wish I could have done more & I find with Bert, the more you know him the more you like him. I love the way he speaks of you & all home ties he’s a good son & he’ll make a good Husband may he have a good Wife for he deserves it. He sent his Brothers some Parcels when at Millbank Hospl but we have never heard if they got them. I fear they went down in the “Persia” it was about the date, my parcel to Percy just escaped it. And now I have a nice Mackintosh Coat & Hat to send him to Weymouth its his present for his brother Percy but I am keeping it till the very last, as in Camp they loose their things so. Your box with the oil came last week in splendid condition and I wrote & told him I would keep it till he came again poor boy I wonder if he will. I promised him if any chance & my Percy returns to Australia for his 6 months after the war I would come out & return with Percy. I feel as I am at present I could well do it but of course we cannot plan at present. May God spare all our Boys and bring them safe to us is the daily prayer of yr sincere friend
I heard from my Percy this morning & they were moving, he told me in last weeks he had been talking to your Percy they are in the same Compy. Bert also heard last week so he is well now & back safe. I wish he had come to England while Bert was here.
54 Standard Road
My dear Mrs Smythe
I promised Bert when he left me this morning I would write to you today, so I must not fail him the “Good Boy” he has been to see me again, came Saturday afternoon & left his morning. I am always so pleased to see him he is so cheerie & bright and I am glad to tell you he is very well now, of course thin but I don’t think he’ll ever be a fat kind. I was so glad to be able to give him his parcels I had the two bottles of oil saved for him and then last Wednesday another came which contained socks & twas such a pleasure to see him open it. from you it had gone to Egypt, from there to France & yr Percy had sent it to me minus a few sweets but had put in a note which greatly pleased Bert as he had not heard form him since March. You see my address for Bert is the most safe. I either send his letter on for my Percy to read & tell him to let yr Percy know or if nothing interesting I just put the address, its strange how Bert was sent back to England again & now he is pretty sure of being at Weymouth 6 weeks but he always lets me know when he is moving. My Percy had some letters for him which he sent to the address I had given him & printed on them (you lucky dog) poor boy he has so badly wanted a holiday and had hoped he would have been here by now but all leave was stopped & now the fighting is on so badly I am watching each day to see if he or yours get wounded & come. I’ll soon be to either of them when I know Bert would like to be with them but I tell him to be content here & keep one whole body for you in case the others get wounded oh it is a terrible business but the news is good today especially the Anzacs have distinguished themselves but alas it does not say at what cost of life.
Eileen aged 5
It was well I did not finish your letter yesterday for I’ve just got 6 letters for Bert yr Percy readdressed them so he was safe July 24 and I see two are from you dated May 29th. I’ll send them on directly he sends his new address so you write to him at my address he’ll get them quicker at any rate as long as he’s in England, and I don’t think they’ll be sending him off as he is Sergeant now & they’ll make him an Instructor. I think for he has passed so high at Bulford & now is gone in for his certificate at Weymouth. I tell him I shall see him an Officer next time. Now I must tell you a bit about myself. I’ll send a photo when I get them done for that was only a snap shot & only Percy belongs to me in it, my girls are both married & have 2 children each. They were teachers before they married & my eldest son has 4 children so you see I am a real Granny.
How very sorry I was to hear of yr grandchilds death was it at birth? or how & I am doubly sorry for the mother for I am sure she is very nice as Bert gave me one of her letters to read when he was at Harefield such a nice kind letter for a sister in law to write to him. I hope I shall see you all some day for if it pleases God to bring my dear Boy safe through & he has to come back for a time I promised Bert I’ll come. And have you seen Sergt Chapman. I was very taken with him and sorry not to have seen him again before he came back. Of course you’ll know all your boys are in France and it will be so long before you get this, but be assured they shall want for nothing as long as I can get at them & Bert will sure to be here again when the course is finished at Weymouth. there are only a few gone, and I believe they have changed the Australians place to Salisbury Plain. I had the pleasure of sewing on his one strap of Gold Braid on his sleeve, as many times as they get wounded so many straps of Gold braid they get on their arm, we always have a job of putting on buttons, cleaning off grease, and pressing up coat ## when he comes.
Now I must see about closing for I’ve to write to Elsie also an old lady at Melbourne that is very kind to Percy sends him parcels & writes so often to him so she does to me so I hope to see her some day. she tells me she is 71 but writes so beautifully. I had a very nice letter from Elsie when I sent her a photo of Bert and I sent it on to Bert for it told me later news than he knew, so I shall advise her also to send letters here. Now with my love & best wishes to yrself & all yr family & praying that God will restore our loved ones to us Believe me yrs very sincerely Lizzie Morgan.
54 Standard Road
My Dr Mrs Smythe
What will you say when I tell you I’ve had all four of your boys here now, proud I am to know them too, Fancy Vernie getting wounded but it was so slight that I wrote & told his wife it was a blessing in disguise & will now give him a little rest. He was brought to Hospital while Vivian & Percy was staying with me so they both went together to see him & of course I went a couple of days later. Well he left me last Monday & is gone to Ireland for a months leave, had he been very bad his wife would have stayed here with me, we had partly arranged matters when he got better so quickly they cleared him out to make room for others. I am getting anxious about Vivian as its over two weeks since he left me & I have not heard & my poor Bert its longer but I trust they are safe for I do not see the Aus are in action now. Percy is still in England I heard from him yesterday. Of course you have heard Vivian has gained the M.C. so I am hoping he’ll be over to receive it, he told me he should Cable the news, I very much want to know more of him, well so I do all of them, they all hoped they would get to me again, so you see we are good pals. Vernie wrote to you last Sunday so I expect he told you all the news. Today is my loved ones birthday so I am feeling sad thinking about him & I fear I should have grown melancholy had I not yr boys to think about, they have taken up my time & thought, what terrible doings just now are going on a friend this week came home wounded in the head, they are bringing them over in hundreds & now the brutes are attacking the Hospital Ships. Food here is getting very scarce & everything so dear I expect you out there are feeling it.
My kind regards to Mr Smythe & yr daughters, & with love
Believe me yrs very sincerely E M Morgan
P.S. I have had a good lot of letters from you for Bert & quite late ones they go off at once & one from you to Percy last week.