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[Page 90]

[Private, later Sergeant, Robert Otto, No 7638, a baker, born in Auckland, New Zealand, enlisted in Cootamundra, NSW, on 25 July 1915 aged 21 years, 11 months, and embarked on 4 October 1915 with the 13th AASC, 11th Reinforcements. (Note: he does not appear in the Embarkation Roll.) He transferred to the 2nd Infantry Battalion and served as a baker at Gallipoli, on Imbros Island, in Egypt, and on the Western Front. He returned to Australia on 28 August 1919.

Consists of 19 letters written by Robert Otto to Miss Georgina King over the period February 1916 to August 1919 (when he was looking forward to returning home). Letters are written from Egypt, France, Flanders and England and mention the capture of a large German Naval Gun nicknamed "Big Bertha" (page 153), French women taking patterns of slouch hats (page 173), and a proposed visit to the grave of Nurse Edith Cavell. Also includes a number of souvenir photographs and postcards, including a souvenir booklet showing photographs of the Anzac Buffet in London.

Georgina King was a sister of Sir Kelso King and a respected amateur geologist and anthropologist. She worked with the Australian Red Cross and the War Chest during WW1. See Australian Dictionary of Biography and G. King Papers in the NSW State Library.]

February 9th 1916

7638 Private R. Otto
13th A.A.S.C.
Field Bakery section
1st Division, Egypt

Dear Miss King

Just a few lines to let you see I have not forgotten you. I wrote to you from Colombo so I hope you received it all right: I have been over here now five months and am getting very fat and am having a good time only I wish this business was over. There is not much use wishing is there Miss King, so the only thing for it is to stick it until we are victorious, and I think they are all anxious to see it through.
It has been very cold over here. I can assure you your mittens and balaclava kept me very warm and am keeping them in good order for next winter. I felt it cold most at Imbros but now that we are back in Egypt from the Dardanelles it is not so bad.
There don't seem to be any prospects of the war being over this year Miss King but let us hope that it wont be much longer. I am sending you a photograph of myself and a little monkey that was given me at Tel-el-Kebir.
I see where the Red Cross is doing great work in Australia and am sure the soldiers welcome their gifts I had a Red Cross shirt and a few other little things given me here and they were very acceptable. As news is scarce will close with kind regards from
Would like to hear from you soon
Private R. Otto.

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