Letter from a Tumba kid to Mum and Dad. (For those of you not in the know, Tumba is short for Tumbarumba, a small town not far from Wagga Wagga, NSW.)
Dear Mum & Dad,
I am well. Hope you are. Tell big brothers Doug and Phil that the Army is better than working on the farm - tell them to get into the Army quick before the jobs are all gone.
I was a bit slow in settling down at first, because you don't get outta bed until 6am. I like sleeping in now, but all you do before brekky is make ya bed and shine ya boots and clean ya uniform. No cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack --- nothing. Men must shave, but its not so bad, coz there's hot water and a light to see what ya doing.
Breakfast has cereal, fruit and eggs but there's no kangaroo steaks or possum stew. You don't get fed again until noon, and by that time all the city boys are buggered because we've been on a 'route march' - just like walking to the windmill in the back paddock.
This will kill Doug and Phil with laughter. I keep getting medals for shooting - dunno why. The bullseye is as big as a bloody possum's head and it doesn't move and its not firing back at ya like the Johnsons did when our bull got their cow pregnant before the Ekka. All yas gotta do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target - piece of ......... You don't even load your own cartridges - they come in boxes and ya don't have to steady against the rollbar of the roo shooting truck when you reload.
Then ya gotta wrestle with the city boys and I gotta be real careful coz they break easy - it's not like fighting with Doug and Phil and Jack and Boori and Steve all at once like we do. Turns out I'm not a bad boxer either and it looks like I'm the best the platoon's got, and I've only been beaten by this guy from 5RAR - he's 6 foot 8 and 13 stone and I'm 5 foot six and seven stone, but I fought to the end.
I can't complain about the Army - tell the boys to get in quick before word gets around how good it is.
Your loving daughter,