Village Life - Letters from Home
Letters written from home chats about the day to day events and various happenings amongst neighbours and residents in Eumungerie during the war years. Parts of these letters are transcribed here. They add interesting detail to life in a small town from the point of view of a mother writing to her son. Rights to privacy have been acknowledged and sections carefully omitted. However, if you find information amongst these letters to be a personal infringement please do not hesitate to make contact with this website as it is our intention to share history not the details of your family.
11 January 1942 Eumungerie
Well I have received another letter card from you son dated 22-12-41, pleased to hear from you and that you were well, as we are all very well here at present and the weather is just a little bit better, not quite so hot, but we haven’t had any rain up to date and we need it badly as water tanks are getting low, also water for the stock and feed is very scarce to. Yes my son Xmas is here once again. We had much the same on the menu as usual, only not as much, as very little does now.
I have told you all this before son in another letter, but I am afraid it has been lost in trans-post. I want you to let me know son if you receive a letter with two little hankies enclosed and did you receive the cable I sent you with Xmas parcels or cakes. Dad is out at Sid Mack’s at present and likes the place very much, they are hand feeding the sheep and they have to be bought in for water too, so he is kept busy. He is going down to Merrinong one day through the week to bring back two mares that have been away to the stud.
Sam Bowra has bought Cocky Barwick’s block, he will be some big land holder soon. I put this block on for Joe last year and there wasn’t a bad crop on it and he was too darned lazy to harvest it or to get someone to do it for him. Hall’s sheep have been living in it all the year and I don’t know if Sam gets what is left of the crop or not. Old Joe has sold all his last years hens to Bob Strahorn, for why I don’t know, but he still has the young pullets, about 100 I should imagine.
I don’t know what will become of Howe’s place but I should imagine he would leave a Will. Old Mr Pounsbury collected your address on Saturday, he said he wanted to write to you and also send you a parcel. So you can expect something from him. Lindsay Keir its still in hospital, he is having a rough spin, poor kid. He was allowed to come home once and the excitement of coming home was too much for him and affected his heart and he had to go back. Old Mr Wood has not been very well lately and is at present in Sydney under the doctor. Mrs Wood has quite a lot to do on her own but seems to manage OK.
There was a fire in Gilgandra Saturday week and destroyed Townsend’s Garage, New South Wales Bank and a new engine at the Picture Theater valued at £500. Gil did good work with a bucket brigade and only for it being a still night all that side would have gone.
And now my darling is there anything you would like me to send you, let me know if there is and above all keep yourself warm. Have you enough woollies to do this. And now my dear Au Revoir and may God guide and protect you for always is the earnest prayer of your ever loving Mother.
Read about the Gilgandra Fire
19 January 1942 Eumungerie
Well a few more lines my son, hoping they will find you in the best of health and spirits and enjoying yourself as far as you are able but I know you will do this son as you always did get as much out of life as possible.
We are all very well here at present and we have had the long looked for rain at last and not before it was wanted either. It started with a thunder storm last Thursday morning and finished up with a general fall. We had 150 pts and, my, it was very acceptable too. I was practically out in it and cleaning out drains and spouting and I am pleased to say all tanks, tubs, buckets, underground tank and dam are all full once again. We have been watering the horses from Macks, but now there is water in the creek again. So there is that much less to do. One can hear the tractor at M.V going late and early since the rain they are not losing much time considering J.T. said they were not going to put any crop in this year, but I suppose the rain has given them fresh heart.
Norman is still here, but he is doing lessons so he will be advanced when he has to go. Jack has been called up and Les McKenzie has taken his place on the 3rd system and with the store they should do alright. They have been doing very well with cool drinks, ice blocks and ice cream, whilst the hot days were on but since the rain the weather has cooled off considerably.
Dad is still at Sid Macks, they are extra busy since the rain as they are feeding heavier now and will be until there is a pick.
Ronnie Mason has secured a position with Western Stores and Edgleys Dubbo and started work yesterday.
Did you know Joe Sutton, from Balladoran? He was cutting wood with the sawing bench and a piece of wood got caught in the saw, flew back and hit him in the stomach. He was hurt internally and died in the Gilgandra hospital yesterday and was buried today; the largest funeral ever seen in Gil. He leaves a wife and two kiddies.
Joe Bowra has gone to Sydney for a holiday and whilst he is away he is looking for something easy to do.
Beulah (McMillan) went to Dubbo yesterday to spend the weekend with Bill as he was lucky enough to be sent to Dubbo. They are having a rough time in the city with the water restrictions, should teach them a lesson as we in the country are always restricted more or less year in and year out.
I read today that Mr & Mrs West are coming back to live at Greta. This is the second time they have had to take it back.
I had a letter from L on Saturday, and he told me you were lucky enough to win a turkey in a raffle and that you re-donated it back, so your luck still holds, son, and I hope it continues.
I had another letter card from you today dated 28.12.41 and seemly you had not received the cable I sent you with good wishes for Xmas and New Year and your birthday. I sent this on the 10th Dec thinking I was sending it in plenty of time. I am very disappointed to think you did not receive the Xmas parcel on the 30th Sept 1941. I have already told you in a previous letter how we spent Xmas and if you don’t receive this post and letter let me know and I will write it again.
And now my dearest Au Revoir and may God always be with you and protect you. The earnest prayer of your loving Mum and Dad xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Read about the Joe Sutton's sawmill accident
18 October 1942 Eumungerie
Just a few lines Old Boy. Trusting that they will find you in the best of health and as fit as a fiddle.
I am pleased to say that Mother and myself are well at present. We are having some very trying weather, hot one day and cold the other, a few thunder storms but no rain much, heavy hail in places this evening but we didn’t get any here, close, but you could see it raining the L way but we had plenty of wind and dust and then about 5 points of rain. There are some good crops about but a good deal of rust this year and farm labourers are hard to procure. Some farmers are offering £1/ a day and cannot get men at that so I don’t know how they will get on.
Well I am going to Dubbo tomorrow, I want to get three horses shod and I may pick up a mob of sheep. I came home in August and haven’t done a big job since but I went away in June and I was in all the flood harris. The Bogan River was a mile half wide in places and when I left the Bogan I struck the Lachlan River and she was in flood and the Macquarie was over the banks, I never saw so much water before, I was well and truly fed up with the job but I earnt good money.
Well son I will conclude now, with the best of luck, and when you come home again we will have a royal time. I remain your affectionate Father xxx
4 March 1948 Eumungerie
Just a few lines my dear, in answer to your ever welcome letter received on Monday 1st March and dated 15.2.48. Pleased to hear you were well, as we are here at the moment.The weather has been very changeable this last fortnight. We have had summer and winter in one day and then a few more hot days and nights and then another cold snap. We had 156 points of rain Saturday night and Sunday, nice steady rain just what we wanted s it all went into the ground. The ground was getting very hard but now the farmers are able to go ahead working up the ground for this year’s crop. There is still an occasional load of wheat coming in for the stack. Wheat is 6/3 per bushel and I heard over the air tonight where bread has gone up another half-penny. In fact everything has gone up in price. Someone was telling me last Thursday when I spent the day with them, she is paying 3/7 a dozen for eggs.
Sorry you have lost the chance of winning the football competition son, but as you say, I would not be very sport-man like to withdraw at this stage. But better luck next season dear. Have you received the slippers yet and also let me know have you received any newspapers? If you are not going to receive them I will not bother sending any more. I have had the paintings framed dear, I hung them today and they are really beautiful.
George Carrett sailed on the Kanimbla last Thursday. They are calling at Singapore on their way over.
Pop has had another dam put down in the paddock behind the pig sty, why I don’t know, as I certainly would have had the other one cleaned out and made bigger but I suppose he knows what he is doing. Cashell started it yesterday at eleven o’clock and finished it today at dinner time. It is only small, not much bigger or deeper that the one here.
Both Mr & Mrs Sharp are home from hospital. Mrs is very well but Mr is very thin and Doctor told him he must take things easy as his heart is on a very bad state. Doris Vandermaal and Bill Sharp are to be married at the end of the month so I believe. Mrs Pounsberry is not doing as well as she should and is still in hospital. We have a motor mechanic and oxy welder here now, he also charges batteries, they are living in Wheaton’s old place. Bob Kennedy is going to Sydney by plane on Tuesday on holidays. He needs a break poor old chap as he is very thin.
I have 5 young turkeys nearly half grown and I am all the time chasing them, they will not come home but we mostly find them up at old Joe’s.
Now my darling I close so Ta-Tar, fondest love and God bless you. Fondest love from Mum and Dad xxxxxx
Anglican Church Pamphlet 1960s.
"Pray for the aged: especially for Florence Hobbs, Thomas Lesslie, Victoria Anderson, Mrs Skinner snr, Mary Stratton and Percy Walton."