Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 78
of the night to go out and bring them in. Many a time I often wished it was me instead of the patient I was carrying. If you were not on duty you were on guard at the base, which was at the end of our lines. To give you an idea, while carrying one of our boys got three holes through his overcoat another while carrying the patient received another one, to which he promptly remarked the "B[dash] have got me again. It was just alongside the Gurkhas our camp was, they are great little fighters, every night as they would pass.
Whilst here we done absolutely the best joke by one of our boys to a General as you would wish to hear, the subject of the joke is G. Williamson one of our old Bass Players, commonly called by the rest as "Doppie" after carrying in a wounded man returning happened to halt for a spell, his two cobbers were waiting on him sitting down opposite the General's Dug-out forgetting all about his whereabouts, as he came up to his pals, first his mate remarked, where the hell you've been to Dopie. Where do you think I have been too; in the meantime the General wondering who was outside walked out just as Doppie appeared not knowing who he was, just as his mates asked the question, Doppie not knowing who he was pats him on the shoulders, and replied "What do you reckon old squire" if you had [dash] on four [dash] would you leave your [dash] Ah Whats" the General replied, do you know who you are speaking to, "Doppie" replied "No", the General replied" "Do you know you are speaking to a General". "How long have you been in the Army" Doppie replied twining to a Cobber, how long is it Mick?" Mick replied "Dammed if I Know", the General, "Be about your business quick or I will put you in the Guard Tent lively" the Squad quickly marched. What do you think of that one, it proved as one of the best yet; the Officers have got a hold of it, also the General now is in command of our Second Division – General Cox. – "Dopie", the culprit went away sick from the Peninsular, I believe he is now on "picket" in England. Leave it to Dopie, he has seen enough of the lead flying about, good luck to him.
To go on with our story as I will call it, although in many tight corners we always had our little jokes, it was always better than looking on the serious side of things. Well we had a week with the Gurkhas, who on passing our Ranch always with smiling faces on their way to the firing line, will always say "Turkey finish to-night", pull out their "Kuk ri" or knife, pull it across their throat, as if to mean it for the enemy. They were cheerful little fellows, great fighters, one of their common sayings, having great faith in the Australians was "One shell, English Tommie gets in his Dug-out, two shells Frenchmen lie flat on ground, three shell Australian look round say you B[dash] B[dash"
[Private George Tibbett Williamson, No 49, 19th Infantry Battalion.
General Cox: probably Major General H V Cox, British Army.]