We are real soldiers at last we have had route marches with full equipment on, along with our G.S. Waggons, Tool Carts, etc. and I can tell you we looked fine. This month has been practically like the last, but very day brings us nearer to getting away from Sydney and to the war which what we joined up for. We have had some firing out of our Rifles at Botany Bay so as to get used to our Rifles, and I can tell you, I had a very sore shoulder for a while for they are not toys.
I have been on guard two or three times, which is another change from the ordinary drill. We get plenty of visitors to the camp, and we have a piano in the drill hall where we have dances, and sing songs a treat. Plenty of girls to take home if we feel that way inclined, and most of us do. Also we get plenty of lectures by the C.O. Lieut-Col. Elliott, but they are very dry at times. Our company is full strength ready for going any time. There is a Major MC call. Capt. Collette, Lieut. Mather of No.1 Section, Lieut. Dyer of No. 2, Lieut. Huntley of No. 3 and Lieut. Biden of No. 4. Each section has two tool carts, along with a G.S Waggon, which is for general baggage, etc., one water cart, and when we get away from here, wherever we go, we are to get Pontoons for bridging purposes, so you see we have plenty to look after. I will now pass on to Oct the 15th for it is a red-letter day.
October 15th 1914
We had a full parade today to be informed that we are to be ready to leave any time. This is the second time we have been told this. Once before we had an ordinance party down to the troopship, but the order was cancelled by the military people. Anyhow to proceed with my diary. All leave would be stopped after Friday the 16th, so it looked like being true this time.
Oct 16th 1914
We are to have general leave after two o’clock, this being a final leave in Sydney, and I can tell you we made the best of it. We received our pay then away we went to enjoy ourselves in Sydney, for we did not know when we would be there again after we left it. I arrived back in camp about 11.30pm, after saying Good Bye to all my friends in Sydney.
Oct 17th 1914
No leave today, and what a miserable day it is, raining all the time. We are ready to go, our kit bags, horses and waggons have gone and now we are only waiting for our orders to leave. We have decided to have a farewell feed in our tent, so we got these rabbits with two loaves of bread, and we made a very good meal, by this time it would be 2.30pm and the friends of the boys were coming to the drill hall to say good bye. The rain is still coming down as bad as ever, so you can form some idea how things were in camp, mud everywhere. I remember seeing my pal Syd Cook with his girl, saying good bye to her, and we time how long it took him to say it, only three hours, poor fellow how he must have felt the parting. We had no girls to say good bye to, so we just went into the drill hall to dance, and hear the singing which by the way was not up to much, for most of the boys were feeling a little bit down in the dumps now that the time for going away was near.
Anyhow the day finished up with plenty of fun, for some how or other there was plenty of beer in the tents. At last the lights are out, so we can rest content until tomorrow.