Below is a letter written by Alex Thomas brother of Ernest’s future wife Jane [Jean]. I have
maintained the original spelling but added some punctuation in brackets to make the reading
clearer. The four line poem at the end is written in the same hand under a line drawn across the
page. 'Boykie' was Ernest's nickname.


McArthur Street,
Guildford
16th December 1918

Dear Boykie,

Just a few lines to let you know I am still in the land of the living. Well Boykie there was great
doings out here when the fritz signed the armstice [sic] the people near went mad [.] I don’t
suppose the Aussies were sorry [,] it’s about time it ended. I suppose you thought I was never
going to write again. Put it down to night work [,] it does make you feel a bit dopy [sic] There
are plenty of Anzacs returning to Aussy now there is another big batch expected soon. You
must be nearly due to come home by this. I hope your wound is right again Boykie. Have you
heard from Alfie lately? I haven’t had a letter for a long time now. I suppose [he] is all right.
Alf watches he does not get in the line of any stray bullets. Well Boykie I hope I see your name
[in] the paper soon to say that you are returning home we will have a bit of a muck up when
you land home. It is getting very hot out here now [.] old nick is stoking up well this last few
weeks. I turned 17 years old on Sunday 15th December. All your people are well. Last letter
you wrote Boykie you asked me to tell you about Eddies [sic] death. Naturally they took it
hard. But last time I saw them they were pulling them selves [sic] together and looking forward
to you [unreadable few words] Alf come home. Well Boykie this is about all the news a [sic]
presant [sic] so cheer up you’ll soon be home to the good old joint once more. Cheero [sic]
[cheerio?] Cobber don’t be down heated [sic] [hearted?]

                                    I remain your old Pall [sic]

                                                   Alex



                                          up to your neck in German blood
                                          up to your neck in slaughter
                                          didn’t we give the Fritz’s hell
                                          in the battle of the boiling water