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[Page 80]

scramble that followed. Off went equipment & rifle, and then the people would have seen their Aussie of leave-times.

No time was lost in getting to the tables, though the organisation was lost, and between mouthfuls we saw a little chap, bubbling like a volcanoe, mount a small platform, and of course we stopped eating to cheer, and to give our 'Billy' a hearing. Quite a few must have waited to finish mouthfuls, for the cheering – though loud – was long & spasmodic and I heard very little of what he said. But it must have been right, so as he seemed to be finished, we banged tables etc and cheered again.

Then we split up and went off to fill in the rest of the day. It passed uneventfully as far as I was concerned, and tired out, went back to the billet fairly early. We landed back at Upwey after midday on the 26th and resumed camp life there till the long-looked for furlough period came along.
For the first time in my military career I found it hard work to dodge fatigues and guard, but somehow I missed them all. Wonderful indeed are the works of a wheelbarrow, but it is by means – even so simple – that such evasions are best carried out.

Then on the Monday off we went again with great rejoicings – and many empty pockets – to spend our last leave in England. For my part England only then became interesting. It was certainly the most enjoyable leave I spent there.

Saying good-bye to the large circle of acquaintances I had made around my 'home' place was not the least welcome diversion. They were of the class that I believe will always keep England back, and I was honestly glad to see the last of them and their silly ideas & prejudices. There are people in Australia who would judge the Irish Question – one of my pet themes – in the way of one I met there, but not mad enough to look at everything else in

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