Letter written to Mrs Galbraith from Clarrie (Clarence McArthur) Fraser, serving with the AIF in France, dated 21/12/16. It is a reply to a letter sent by Mrs A Galbraith thanking the soldier, Clarrie, for writing to her. In the letter Clarrie writes that he still has some of Alfred's personal effects including letters and a bible which he will return when he goes on leave. A small photograph is included with the letter and envelope.

Clarrie is Driver Clarence McArthur Fraser, a friend of Alf's from Essendon. Clarrie enlisted on the same date as Alfred Galbraith (15 July 1915) and embarked for active service on the same day (23 November 1915).

Physical Description

Letter written in ink on two pieces of paper, lined on one side, and torn across the upper edge.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Returned and Services League (RSL) Collection, Military Memorabilia Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Public Life & Institutions

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Mrs M. Jamieson, 05/1985

  • Author

    Mr Clarence McArthur Fraser, Flanders, France, 21 Dec 1916

  • Addressed To

    Mrs A Galbraith, Elsternwick, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 21 Dec 1916

  • Person Named

    Alfred G. Galbraith, Flanders, France, 21 Dec 1916

  • Inscriptions

    Handwritten on first page in top right corner: 'France / 21/12/16' Handwritten on first page, body of text: 'Dear Mrs Galbraith / Your welcome letter of Oct 22nd / reached me a few days ago, and I am pleased to / know that my letter to Mr Galbraith reached its / destination. / I am sure that all I did for Alf was only what was / due to him from a pal, & anyone else would have / done the same, but I am glad that I was in / a position to did [sic] what little I could and / to let you know a few particulars beyond / the bare fact that he was killed in action. / I still have his Bible and a bundle of letters / addressed to Alf, but I will keep them until / I get leave to England & will then forward / same to you. I will be getting leave inside of / six weeks. I was to go next week, but put it off / until I could cable home. / This is certainly a cruel war & I am afraid / that it is not nearly finished yet. / We are in the line now & have been in for a / month, but are going out for a spell tomorrow / morning. / Fortune was indeed very unkind to poor Alf; he was / killed in a quiet place & since then we have / been in parts of the line twenty times more dangerous' Handwritten on second page, body of text: 'and have had only one man wounded in the whole / company. Such is Fate in the will of God. / We have had our turns in the hardest part of / the line (you can guess where) and have come / out practically scot free. / There is a lot of sickness amongst our boys at / present; the extreme cold is playing up with them. / I quite understand how the terrible news would / affect Mr Galbraith, and am sorry that all I can / do is to express my sympathy. / I must thank you for sending the parcel; it has / not arrived yet, but I believe the postal authorities / are holding all parcels till we go out of the line. / Please excuse me if I have been [crossed out] blunt or / abrupt in any way, as we have seen so many / awful sights, are in danger, & yet escape so often / and altogether lead a life so different from the / old one, that we [crossed out] now look on things in a / different light, & are apt to be a little abrupt. / Will close now, as darkness will be coming on / us shortly, though it is only about three o'clock. / Once again thanking you for the parcel / Yours sincerely / Clarrie Fraser / Lawson, from V.RI orchestra wishes to be remembered to Dr Galbraith.'

  • Classification

    Military history, Service, Correspondence

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • 2D Dimensions - Document

    211 mm (Width), 265 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Death & Mourning, Wars & Conflicts, World War I, 1914-1918, Battle of the Somme (Somme Offensive), 1916