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. A SOLDIER'S DIARY ' ~ V r
DOGS, FINES, RAFFLES,
Np matter whërë true Britons are when they hear their nation's call they answer it. CnBual inquiries to- day revealed that besides men claim- ing each of the six States of Australia as their homes, our unit has members from New Zealand, South Africa, New Guinea'' Thursday 'Island,, Ire- land; Canada,, and Scotland,.', with «a generous sprinkling from England.
A military camp, for some-reason I can't explain, seems to be a refuge for all.the stray dogs in the,land. Up to now it has been a safe refuge.'"In fact, some of. the boys in merrier moments or when the spirit of.kind^ liness was especially strong, ' were wont to pick up strays in town and bring them home. But. those days have gone. , 1 .
The camp now has its own "dog- catcher" service.-An enclosed waggon is driven round, and by cajoling, pet- ting, or, force, stray dogs are gathered in. Many and strange are the, howls that come from the cage as each new catch is thrown in. ' ' "?'"*.'
WEDNESDAY .'< We,have.some unfettered spirits in our army. I struck "one today 'while writing a letter at the Y.M.C.A. hut. He told me, in a burst' bf confidence, that in the six months since he,en- listed he had been A.W.L. for 89 days. He still owed £19 in fines, i He did not tell me this as if he was proud of it. He seemed properly ashamed
of his bad records. . . . . .-....'-..
His O.C., it seems, is trying new. methods to reform him'since fining him has failed.
His O.C. got hold of him this morn- ing and offered him leave for the rest of the day, putting him on his honor to be home on time. .
..The O.C.'is a much better bloke than 1 thought. I'll let him see 'that,I can come home on time in future^'} the wayward soldier, told me. .
A new-way of raising -money for week end leave was used in our unit? this morning. Two privates had 10/-': between them. They decided to ru trie ; it. In less" than an hour they had
sold Í13 tickets at sixpence each. ~Á:\
nice profit 1
. Our regiment is; composed -of men from many S*tates: After the invasion of Norway some wit, a: Queenslander, coined the name "Tasweg^ans" for the ..men from the apple State. It'has stuck. . . .' . - : ?
." I am lopping forward to week end leave.- The kindliness and hospitality
of people who have" offered, their
homes to troops on leave has made leave, enjoyable and heartening even
for men who ' are hundreds of miles from .their, homes. . The actions of such people, individually and through the agency of the welfare organisa- tions working among the-troops, have been appreciated more than -.any halt- ing words of thanks from those of us who have received ? the J kindnesses, could possibly convey.