August 18th 1914
Arrived in Sydney all excited. We had to report to Victoria Barracks to Colonel Antill. We got to the barracks about 9.30 a.m. and saw him. He put me into the Engineers, and Simpkins into the infantry. It was my trade that made him put me in the Engineers.
I then went to Moore Park where the Engineers were to be camped. I reported there, and was given my attestation papers, also the same day I was sworn in by Lieut. Biden. I was a full-fledged soldier of the King, without a uniform. But that did not matter. I was given my straw mattress along with some blankets to sleep on that night, and I had also to buy myself a plate, pannikin, knife & fork, so that I could have a little food. The same day H. Geddes came into the camp, he had also been put into the Engineers. By the way we had to sleep in a place they called the sand shed, where all the ropes and various tackle was kept belonging to the Australian Engineers, who by the way were a permanent company who had to break us in to the mysteries of drill and various other details that we would have to go through before we would become proper soldiers.
19th August 1914
By this time we had nearly a full company, and we had to be put out in squads for drill under an N.C.O. We had nothing but form fours, left turn etc. all the blooming day, and by four in the afternoon we were ready to knock off for the day. That was my fist day’s work under the Australian Military and I often wondered how it would all finish up, only to find out very much later. That night we spent in Sydney, and managed to get back to our new home before lights out, which went at 10 o’clock.
20th August 1914
Another days drill in front of us again. The C.O. is going to pick some men out to be Non Commissioned Officers for our company. We were formed into Sections today, and I was put into No. 2 Section under Lieut. Dyer, and also give our regimental No. Mine is 53. H. Geddes 96, and a new chum I have made since being in camp 81. We are to have our uniforms next week so we will be some kid when we wear it for the first time. I just feel ready for my bed so will just pop off.
21st August 1914
The same again, roused up at six by the bugler playing some hideous noise on his bugle, which I learn is Reveille. Fall in at six .30 am for exercise before breakfast, then after that fall in again at 9 o’clock for more squad drill. 10.30 we had a smoko for a quarter of an hour, while having this rest, our tents arrive, so we have to learn how to put up tents, in quick time and take them down again. At last we are dismissed for the day, so we hurried up, got washed, and slipped into town again.