January 10, 1915

The morning was cold and grey, the deck of the ship was cold and grey, the sea was cold and grey.

The pier at Portsmouth was cold and grey. Sunlight tried to penetrate the fog and smoke but it gave up somewhere between the sky and the ground and lurked sullenly out of reach.

Drummond watched as his new friends from the AIF formed ranks and marched off into the gathering fog, bound for some holding depot inland where they would be taught the finer points of trench warfare, the merging sport of nations. He felt around in his pocket for the letter that Peter had given him and his temporary papers that had been issued to him by the port authorities. They were still there inside the sealed, waxed envelope of his coat which wasn't quite for an English winter.

The distant sound of voices singing in unison penetrated the fog.

"Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
You'll never catch me alive, said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
you'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me.
"

Drummond had never felt more alone. To take his mind off of it he went over the instructions he had been given. Get the train to London from the stations three streets over, take a cab from the station in London to Fleet street and present himself, along with the letter of introduction that Peter had given him to the offices of 'The Right Hon Major Neville Drummond" and present himself for candidacy for enlistment. There was nothing to be down in the dumps about, just put one foot in front of the other and keep on walking.


Let's pretend I got the BWOC badge to embed here.

Wenn ihr sieg im deine Kampf selbst gegen, wirst schwer wie stahl sein.