Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 392
[Several coloured sketches by Vasco, with descriptive comment about each one. See image for details.]
[Sketch of soldier with note book, standing on a snowy track and observing an aeroplane, two black birds by his feet. With comment:]
Points of interest [arrow pointing to wings of aeroplane]
First thing next morning. How the aviator doesn't do a perish with the cold isn't explained.
[Sketch of an Australian soldier with his ears and hands covered by socks to keep warm, coming out of a "Troop Wash Places", located by an ice-topped sea wall with robins sitting on it and a lighthouse in the distance. With comment:]
All the way from Liscard and Brixton
Jan 30th 1917.
After eleven weeks and three days on board the "Suevic" zigzagging to dodge tin fish via St. Helena and Sierra Leone with no shore leave since Durban and Cape Town I was on picquet and had the pleasure of seeing Eddystone Lighthouse once more.
[Sketch of a long line of soldiers marching through snow to barracks. With comment:]
A day's train journey from Plymouth to Tidsworth. Hedges like the tracery in a church window. Rows and rows of chimney pots and backyards. Cold and gloomy
ruins ivy covered ruins. Bleak and dismal. (Tell Jack never to budge an inch.) Presented with a bun (free) and a cup of tea by the Mayoress at Exeter. Reached our camp huts on Perham downs after a two mile march across country as dismal as the canadian Prairie. Salisbury Plains at midnight.
[Sketch of the inside of a hut with comment:]
What time's reveille 6.30 !!!?
our Boudoir and Breakfast Room.
Hut 19 accomodates thirty. Fourteen on one side to make room for a feeble stove. For all the world our studio might be
the an undertakers workshop. Coffin sides are stacked alongside the wall and put together [plus] paliasses and blankets keep some of the cold out. The would be corpses rise from a certain death from freezing and reassert their circulatery equilibrium by vigorously pacing up and down the sixty foot enclosure.
[Sketch of a plane and page signed:] Vasco Jan. 1917.