Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 199
[Private, later Lance Corporal, Clement (Clem) Ranford, No 954, clerk, of Semaphore, South Australia, joined the Army on 28 November 1914 aged 18, and embarked from Adelaide on HMAT A17 Port Lincoln on 1 April 1915 with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 4th Reinforcement. He served at Gallipoli, and in Egypt and Palestine, where he was killed in action on 31 October 1917.
Consists of typed letters and explanatory notes describing the fighting in Egypt and Palestine in 1917. Clem Ranford mentions his two brothers: Sergeant Herbert Gordon Maxwell (Gordon) Ranford, No 3183, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, who returned to Australia on 17 July 1919; and Sergeant Joseph Marmion Ranford, No 193, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, who was killed in action in Egypt on 4 August 1916.]
Letter received 23rd November 1917 from Lance Corporal Clem Ranford, Third Australian Light Horse, killed in action in Palestine 31st October 1917, aged 19, after over 2 years service.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ranford, Paxton Street, Semaphore, whose son Marmion was killed at Romani, Egypt 5th August, 1916, and whose son Gordon is now sick in Cairo Hospital.
The Beach Mediterranean, Palestine,
1st September, 1917,
My dear old Mother and Dad, –
Your ever loving and welcome letters and parcels to hand which latter were in perfect order and we had a lovely party I can assure you, and the papers and books were very acceptable.
I wish you would post the "Nash Pall Mall" Magazine to me every month for it has a few short yarns in it to read, in the tiny bits of spare time we have now and again.
Well my dears we are still on the beach of Palestine enjoying our bathes, I have not had my boots on for about ten days now, but have been walking about with just a pair of short knickers on and sometimes a shirt, and sometimes not anything, especially washing days for we wash fairly often back here to get some of the grime off before we go back to the dust and mud where they are lucky if they do get a wash once all the time we are there on account of old time.
But I was going to say the going without boots reminds me of the dear old Semaphore and Christmas Holidays.
We still have plenty to do though we do not get any night work, for there is the saddlery to clean and do up while we are back here and we have plenty of drill and rifle "jirks" which get on the chaps nerves for the same old thing has been chewed over and over for the last three years and gets very sickening to us though we do not care much so long as they leave us here till we pick up a bit after last six weeks of heavy work riding day and night.
It knocks "fog" out of a chap going without sleep, water, and food for times we do, and the picnics we have are not too enjoyable, or not as enjoyable as the papers say at