The following is a letter written by Catherine Love nee Tune, aunt of Ernest. It is written in
pencil with little in the way of punctuation and contains one long paragraph. For ease of
reading I have added full stops and divided the letter into paragraphs where Catherine has
changed subjects. Where possible I have identified the names mentioned and an explanation
of these is listed at the end of the letter.
[no year given but I suspect 1916 – see note below]
Your letter to hand this week also one from Willie [.] he is in France. I was surprised to
see by your letter you were still in Egypt. Willie says in his letter you are somewhere in
France. I suppose he is looking out for you it is to be hoped you meet again. We are
having lovely weather here it is not like winter at all.
Pete came up last week to see us so I gave him your new address [.] he is going to write
straight away. I think Alma has a sneaking regard for Willie [.] she writes pretty regular to
him. I must not send any more letters to Gallipoli peninsula Turkey. You had that on the
top of your letter so I thought you meant for me to write their [sic]. I see a notice in the
papers to address all letters to Egypt and they will forward them on to where ever the
battalion is. That fight – did not come off with Arthur and Tommy Reily [sic]. They got
that burglar that got into Deddene [I think this is the word-possibly a nearby property] he
was an old offender he had a lot of charges against him.
What do you think of George Hickson enlisting? I don’t think he will go. He looks well in
his uniform. Well Boykie you have been very lucky so far and hope your luck continues.
Probably you and Willie may be home for next Christmas. I hope so anyway. I am glad
you did not elope with one of them Egyptian Ladies.
Percy Thompson, he went to France in the same boat as Willie, was killed. Willie, Oss
McLardy and Percy Thompson were on the boat together [see note below]. They are from
up here and of course when the news came about Thompson it was rumoured that the
three of them were killed and I was half way to Pymble going to Sydney when I heard it I
ran straight back to the post office at St Ives. I thought their [sic] was something wrong
because Willie wrote and told me they went together although I feel that you both are
coming back [.] how long have you been away altogether [?] I get a letter every mail from
Willie. I get him [who?] to wait at the post office till the mail comes in when I know
their [sic] is one coming we are anxious here when we know the mail is coming in.
Pete told Janey he is going to enlist if she does not move so she has consented to move
at last. Everything over here is terrible dear. Arthur has got his bike done up it cost him
3 pound 10 to do it up so yesterday was a holiday for him he went out shooting he got
three Gill birds, we lost a beautiful black dog last Sunday he got a tick in him [the rest of
this line is missing where the letter was folded]
We sold the cow that we bought from Mrs Green but we still have the calf. We are always
buying and selling. I shook Granny Papworth up the other day for not writing to you and
Willie it is all you have to look forward to is the letters now you have lost the turks on
Gallipoli. You had plenty to look forward to their [sic]. I don’t think I have any more
news this time but hope to hear from you very shortly again. All wish to be remembered
and good luck to you,
Your loving Aunt Kitsy.
Down the side is written ‘Did you get Ernie’s letter’
Date: Ernest was in Egypt until 19th June 1916. Percy Thompson died in May of 1916 and
as this sound like a recent event I suspect the year 1916 for the letter.
Kitsy: This is Catherine’s nickname.
Willie: William Alfred SPROULE. His enlistment papers give M Love as his next of kin and
show Catherine's St Ives address as his address. Oral history says that Willie was adopted by
Lina as a baby.
Alma: May be the step daughter of Catherine's brother Henry Tune.
Pete: This is probably Catherine’s brother John Peter who married Jane Judd. Later
Catherine refers to ‘Pete and Janey’
Arthur: This probably refers to Catherine's son, Arthur Ernest. As Catherine's husband
Arthur was usually known by his middle name of Ernest [Ernie] I think these references
refer to the son. The note in the margin probably refers to a letter from husband Arthur
George Hickson: George claimed parentage of Ernest in 1919 under the Legitimation act,
however it is interesting to note that in this letter Catherine does not refer to him a ‘your
father’ or ‘your Dad’. George married Ernest’s mother [Catherine’s sister] Sarah Jane Tune
in 1897, four years after Ernest’s birth. Ernest was using the surname Hickson when he
enlisted in 1914.
Oss McLardy: This is most likely Oswald McLardy. As the name is quite unusual he was easy
to trace. Oswald sailed on the ‘Berrima’ on 25th June 1915 part of the 20th Battalion. The
20th served at Gallipoli prior to going to France. According to Oswald’s Army records at
National Archives website, he was on the HMT Ingoma from Alexandria [Egypt] on 18th
March 1916 [Egypt] arriving Marseilles [France] on 25th March 1916
Percy Thompson: Probably refers to Percy Fisher Thompson who was killed in action on 5th
May 1916. Percy did not sail on the Berrima, however Catherine is probably not referring to
the boat from Australia, but rather the boat from England.
Granny Papworth: This is Lina Mary Watkinson 1) Tune 2) Papworth, Catherine’s mother
and Ernest’s Grandmother.
Below: June 2014 - Alan Love and myself with the letter that his grandmother
Catherine wrote to her nephew Ernest, my grandfather, in 1916.