07 September 1915

ANZAC - Sapper Victor Willey, 2nd Field Company Engineers, AIF - On 7 September Victor Willey of the 2nd Field Company wrote to his parents with a sketch of their daily routine at Anzac.

"It is very hard to give you any idea of what trench warfare is like, as the same thing occurs - day after day, night after night, and week after week. There is seldom a day goes by but we are under fire; with shells continuously bursting around us, flying machines dropping bombs and darts, and rifle fire, and men getting killed and wounded. Any amount of excitement, but of the wrong sort! It is enough to shatter the nerves of the strongest, and to make a man wish he was well out of this rotten place. We are fed up with this life, and the strain upon our constitution is terrible. In fact, some of us who have been in the trenches since 25th April are now as weak as cats, and no wonder! I will give you our "bill of fare" and you can see for yourselves that our luxuries are few and far between. In the morning we get a piece of bacon…a pint of tea and hard biscuits. On rare occasions we also get a loaf of bread. For dinner, we have three courses - water, tea and sugar (lovely). For tea, we have bully-beef stew (done to perfection). This happens every day, barring the bread - but at times the bread is forgotten altogether. …Another trouble is the vermin, of which we also get a good supply - from the tiny red louse to the larger dog-fleas; as well as centipedes, flies and snakes. …I am beginning to feel like an old man! …Have just received word that we are to be relieved from the trenches and sent to Lemnos for a spell; and we are now like a lot of school boys going on a holiday."


V. Willey letter quoted in Breed, C., From Gallipoli With Love 1915- Letters from the Anzacs of the Wimmera, the History and Natural History Group of the M.L.A., Society, Donald, 1993, pp. 207-208 (http://www.learningonline.com.au/topics/10/books/190/chapters/3247)