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[Page 147]

Thurs. Boxing Day
Christmas Day turned out cold & wet and the gloom was increased by a festive (?) midday meal consisting of meat, potatoes & dried beans. In the meantime we had weighed anchor and were on our way up the Bay. At 3.30 p.m. in the pouring rain we came up to the wharf at Port Melbourne & everyone disembarked. And then came the surprise & an opportunity! N.S.W. & Queensland chaps were notified that if they did not wish to transfer on to the transport "Durham" lying alongside they could go overland from Melbourne, pay their own fares and no guarantee would be given as to when they would be able to get seats. A large majority immediately voted for the overland journey & were dismissed to go where they liked; the "Durham" leaving for Sydney an hour later.
Notwithstanding the inclement weather two of us made the most of the remainder of Xmas Day & the best part of Boxing Day in & around the city. Four years of war have not affected Melbourne. On account of the holidays large crowds were everywhere & the streets brilliantly lighted at night.
With the help of two very capable officers of the Victoria Barracks staff we left in a 1st class special from Spencer St. at 5 p.m. and are now (10.30 p.m.) well on our way to Sydney. We halted for dinner at Seymour (8 p.m.) and had a short stop at Benalla.

Friday, 27th Dec.
Arriving at Albury at 11 p.m. we changed trains and reached Sydney at 10 a.m. Everywhere there were cheering people and waving flags. Breakfast was provided at Moss Vale and the station was full of V.A.Ds. distributing cigarettes, chocolates, flowers, etc.

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