• Herbert Foot

Army / Flying Corps
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  • Enlistment - WW1

    Cairns, QLD, Australia

  • Birth

    Henstridge, England, UK

Stories and comments
    • The Men of "A" Company, 26th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Tuesday, 14 January 2020

    Cairns Post (Qld. : 1909 - 1954) Fri 24 Sep 1915 Page 2 THÉ SOLDIERS' POSTBAG.. NYMBOOL MAN'S LETTER. ABASSIA CAMP, July 21. Private H. Foot writes to two Nymbool friends: - Dear Walter,-Just a few lines, hoping they will find you and your brothers and sisters, father and mother all in good health as this leaves me at present. We had a very good trip over from Brisbane to the Suez Canal in ----. She is one of the Blue Funnel liners made into a troop ship, 13,000 tons. We had a very pleasant time in Sydney for a week, waiting for her to coal, then we came on to Fremantle in W.A., then on to Aden, then to Cairo. It's very hot here in the day time, cold at night. This is fine place. Egypt, plenty of donkeys, horses and all kind of things. There is about----men here now and - English Tommies, going to land here on Monday, 26th. So we shall have plenty of men here then. We are drilling every day, we may be sent to the Dardanelles any day now, by the time you pet this, I shall be in the trenches I hope. There is plenty of Wounded Soldiers here, the hospitals are full of them. The Turks give them no mercy, and if I met one of them they get none from me. I will, send you some photos of the Pyramids later on if we stay here, to see them, we may stay a month or so, but cannot tell you. I hope you are still going to school in the bush. If I do not get shot in the war, I am going home to England to see my sister and all my friends there before coming back to Australia. So I will drop you a line from there if I ever get there. I like Egypt very much, plenty of fun. I am doing very well here with the bartering. I made £10 coming over on the boat, and am making 4 to 5 bob per day in camp, every day cutting hair. So I am not doing bad, better than a bod on the line. So I must conclude by remaining your friend. Remember me to all. HERBERT FOOT. Dear Friend,-Just a line hoping to find you and all the family in the best of health as this leaves me at present. I am sending you a small present from Egypt. I hope you will get it safe, a small silk handkerchief in remembrance of the old times we used to have at Carrington Falls. The only thing is that I am not drinking any beer or whisky here like I used to. I have been on the Q.T. nearly 18 months now. I am practising for the trenches. There's no beer there, so by the time I get to the Dardanelles I shall go pretty right. We are having rifle practice every day. I am the third best shot in the 26th battalion, so I think I I shall be able to knock over a Turk or two, if I don't get knocked over first. There are plenty of them to shoot at. There were 500 wounded came into Cairo on July 31 from the Dardanelles, some very badly, and some not too bad. About 1500 men left Cairo on Monday for the front and we are the next lot to go, it may be a month, and it may be only a week before we go ; the sooner the better. I am anxious to get to the firing line again. This Egypt is no good; it's the dirtiest place under the sun, the heat and sand is rotten, every day the same, never get any rain to cool us down. The water we get in very good from the Nile River all the time, red hot, so you can guess it's pretty bad here. The Egyptians never wash from one year's end to the other ; one can smell them a mile away. We keep them well away from our camp. Kindly remember me to mother, father, and old Bill. Tell Walter I got his letter the other day with many thanks. If you hear anything of my brother, kindly give him my address and you will oblige me very much, so will conclude this by remaining your friend H. FOOT. The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) Wed 5 Apr 1916 Page 8 Returned Soldiers, Welcome Last Night. Mr. Theodore's Speech. The brilliance of the Australians' achievements at Gallipoli is as fresh in the public mind as it was nearly a year ago. This was manifested last night by the large crowds who attended the Central station to give welcome to a further contingent of 59 returned soldiers. Cheer after cheer went up, and there were similar demonstrations when the men were driven through the streets to the hospital at Kangaroo Point. They had a pleasant sea voyage, and they stated that kindness had been showered on them ever since they touched Australian soil. Captain Irvine, and a number of members of the Voluntary Aid Department of the Red Cross Society, journeyed over with the men from Sydney, whilst members of the Ipswich branch of the Red Cross Society joined the train at Ipswich with refreshments, &c. Sisters lsambert and Nott came from Egypt, and their services were spoken of in warm terms of appreciation by the soldiers. Practically all the men have returned on account of sickness. Those present at the station included the Acting Premier (Hon. E. G. Theodore), Mr. M. J. Kirwan, M.L.A., the Mayor of Brisbane (Aid. J. W. Hetherington), the Mayor of South Brisbane (Aid. J. E. Hilton), Brigadier-General Lee, Colonel McIntosh, P.M.O., Major Pendlebury, .Lieutenant-colonel Marks, M.L.C. (in charge of the 6th Australian General Hospital), Major Darey, Captain Jackson, Captain Tiddy, Captain Benjamin, Captain Buttner, Lieutenant Collin, and Lieutenant Marcus. The band was drawn from the 41st Battalion, C and D companies, of which provided the guard in charge of Captain Christoe and Mr T. J, Rothwell represented the Queensland patriotic fund committee. The Acting premier welcomed the soldiers in the following words: "I am here on behalf of the Queensland Government, to offer you a hearty welcome back to Queensland. Your fellow Queenslanders feel proud, of the way you acquitted yourselves over on the other side. The deeds you performed there have inscribed for Australia an immortal place on the roll of fame. Your compatriots feel proud of the deeds you have done. In the few months during which Australia has taken part in this great struggle that is going on now, it has accomplished more to establish itself in the history of the world, to provide for itself a place among the nations of the world, than all its previous history accomplished. You have contributed largely to that end. We heartily welcome you hack to Queensland. I hope you will soon recover from your illness and wounds, and will be long spared to bask in the repose which you have earned for yourselves." The Mayor also voiced a hearty welcome. Hearty cheers then were given for the men, who were allowed a brief period with their relatives and friends. They subsequently were driven to the hospital, and, as stated above, they made a triumphant progress through the streets. The following is the corrected list of the returned : 60 Pte. H. Foot, 26th Battalion. The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Sat 8 Apr 1916 Page 38 WELCOME TO RETURNED MEN. "We are proud of you, because you have helped to win for Australia an immortal place on the scroll of fame." The remark was addressed by the Acting Premier (Hon. B. G. Theodore) to a number of soldiers who arrived in Brisbane on Tuesday, having been invalided from Egypt. The special train conveying the returned troops—2 officers and 49 men - arrived at the Central Station shortly before 8 o'clock, and as the soldiers stepped from the carriages they were greeted with ringing cheers, which were taken up, and shouted again and again by the assembled hundreds of citizens who had gathered in the vicinity of the railway station. The returned soldiers were drawn up in line on the platform, and briefly addressed by Brigadier-General Lee, Hon. E. G. Theodore, and the Mayor of Brisbane. Subsequently an interval was allowed in which the soldiers were able to converse with relatives and friends, after which they were taken in motor cars to the military hospital at Kangaroo Point, passing through lines of cheering citizens on the way. The soldiers who returned were :— 60, Pte. H. Foot, 26th. Battalion. The Northern Herald (Cairns, Qld. : 1913 - 1939) Fri 18 Aug 1916 Page 46 CAIRNS SOLDlER RETURNS. A Veteran of Sixty-two Years. How He Fought at Gallipoli. A Fine Example to the Younger Men. There recently returned to Cairns Private Herbert Foot, a soldier who was invalided home some time ago, and who has received his discharge after taking part in the Gallipoli campaign with the Australians. Private Foot has seen 12 years' service with the Imperial army, having fought in the Afghan war, and been in India. He enlisted in Cairns at the end of March last year, and is now 62 years of age. Private Foot came to Australia from India in 1888, and was a ship-mate with Acting Sergeant Murphy, the well-known keeper of the Cairns gaol. When chatting with Private Foot on Tuesday morning, a "Post" representative naturally asked him how he managed to get into the Australian army, being well over the age limit. "I told them I was 45," replied the old soldier, "and I think it was a justifiable falsehood, because I had had previous service, and I wanted to take a hand in this fight. I joined the Australian army because I hated the Germans. Is it not atural to thing that Englishmen, as I am, should hate the Huns? I was the only recruit to leave Cairns on Saturday, March 29th last year, and I had a right royal send-off by the band and the choir at the Cairns wharf. I went to Enoggera and joined the ---- battalion. From there we went to Egypt, and after some training went to Anzac. We had a good time there under the hills for three or four days. It was also a lively time, as Beachy Bill would shake us up now and again. We had to get in our dug-outs quick and lively, I was with a party digging saps for nearly six months. We went to Lone Pine and Walker's Ridge. It was nothing but fighting all the time." Private Foot was on the peninsular right up to the evacuation, and after that went to Egypt, where he became ill with dysentery, and was subsequently invalided home. He speaks in glowing terms of the fighting qualities of the Australians. "You simply cannot hold them back," he remarked with pride. If you say anything to them they will shout out, 'Come-on, let's get at them.' They knew no fear and charge like lightning. The Turk is a fair fighter. We did not mind him. He was led by German officers, but these gentlemen watched things carefully so that they could save their skins or evade capture." The cheerfulness of the Australians, when wounded, was also remarked on by Private Foot. "I saw a bomb strike one man," he said, "and put over 30 bullets in his side. A stretcher bearer came along, but the wounded man wanted to walk to the doctor, and he did too, He afterwards walked to the base hospital, where he was operated on. I would also like to say that the hospital arrangements over there were simply perfect. The sisters of the Red Cross are angels, and cannot do enough for you." Private Foot is anxious to get back to the firing line again, but his age prevents that. "We are going to win," he added, and knock the Germans right out. What a splendid fight our Australians are putting up in France? As I said before, you cannot hold them back." The returned soldier made some scathing remarks about young eligible men who would not volunteer to help their comrades in the firing line. If there had been sufficient men at Gallipoli, Constantinople would have fallen long ago. When he was recently in Brisbane he daily saw a number of lounging louts who were holding up verandah posts. These men should be at the front. There were also shirkers, whose sole occupation in life seemed to be "two-up." They should be taught their duty to their country, and to those who were away yonder in France risking their lives for the cause of liberty. Continuing, Private Foot said that when the soldiers on active service read of strikes in Australia, it had a maddening effect on them. They could not understand why the comrades they had left behind should indulge in industria disputes while they were fighting with rifle and bayonet to prevent any invasion of Australia by the hated Hun. In the opinion of the returned soldier, conscription was the remedy to obtain adequate reinforcements for the men who had gone. When our solders left here they were told they would have all possible support, yet all over Australia to-day were to be seen young men who never gave the welfare of the soldiers a thought, and apparently did not care so long as they themselves were far from the sound of hostile guns. Private Foot has secured employment at Babinda, for which place he left on Tuesday afternoon. He is an example to many who have not yet considered the all important question of whether they should go to the front. When an old soldier, who has more than 60 years behind him, shoulders a gun and endures what he did for the sake of the Empire he loves, surely it shames those who are younger, and so far have shirked their responsibilities. It is hoped at the next recruiting meeting in Cairns that Private Foot will be among the speakers.