Dear Mom & Dad,
Just a line or two before I go abroad, and to let you know that I am quite O.K. At the moment I am on the S.S. “Aquitania” and am at Southampton docks. The ship is one of the big troop carriers and there are hundreds of troops on board, Royal Australian Air Force, Navy, Army, R.A.F., Yanks, Australians wifes (1st class passengers) and dozens of others. There are about four different Naval drafts, “Freetown” in South Africa, Singapore, Australia, Gibraltar. We set sail at four in the morning and I think the journey takes about five weeks or so to get there.
We have just been told that owing to the danger of floating mines which have broke loose owing to the gale, we have got to get up at two in the morning and have lifeboat drill so that in case we do hit a mine then we shan’t be caught unprepared.
The other side of the dock to where we are is the “Queen Mary” which has just come in after being anchored off the Isle of Wight for two days, unable to get in owing to the gale.
By the way do you know whether Bill H. is still in Australia, if so could you get his address for me and perhaps I may bump into him.
The address on this letter will reach me quite O.K. as a matter of fact any letters you send in the next fortnight will get there before me I expect. Don’t forget to send the “Birminghm Mail” and village “Chronicles” on to me as I shall look forward to them even more so now.
There are a lot of boys from Devonport on board that I did my Stoker’s training with and some from Malvern. There are also two who joined up with me so I shan’t do too badly for pals.
Did you get the 120 cigs O.K. also my driving licence I am afraid I didn’t have time to get any more as I was only at Belmont three days and I went into Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth on Thursday and I was rushing around until this morning so I was pretty busy.
Well I will sign off for now, I expect it will be about ten days or so before you get another letter from me again, Freetown in Africa is the next mail post which is about six days sailing so I shall have to wait until then before I can send you another letter.
So for the time being all my love, hoping to hear from you when I get to Sydney.
Your loving son
P.S. Remember me to all the girls in the shop and Jean.
P.P.S. Excuse writing as I am writing it on my bunk across my knees.