Red Cliffs, Sunday
I am sitting out in front of the hut writing in the moonlight. I went over to the Nursery camp & got your two letters of the 7th & 10th. Your letters mean so much to me darl, not the writing itself but all the goodness of heart that prompts you to write. I would have liked to be as regular with my letters to you but at present it is impossible. I don’t think there is a day passes that I don’t think of you & oh I am just longing to have my arms around you & forget all the cares & worries of this life. I have been very optimistic about everything up till now but I am gradually being converted into not a pessimist but rather a fatalist.
The fill keeps breaking & the water just seems to keep out of our grasp. The chap I had with me has gone back to Swan Hill so I am on my own. You will be wondering if I had a quarrel. No. he went of his own accord & I am very pleased as I have given up batching & am now boarding with Mrs Jones. I am up to my eyes in work & I felt too tired to bother cooking anyway it is impossible here in the Summer. It has been frightfully hot for over a week now & the mosquitoes are bad at night. I have hundreds of bites while I have been writing. I have about two days before I finish pegging out. The head ditch I made is all filled again. The wind blows clouds of sand from off the block & consequently all holes & ditches get filled in. It was too blessed hot to work today. I generally cut pegs at night. I have used about 5000 & I still need about 2000.
Did I forget to mention about your cakes darl. What an ungrateful fool you will think I am; they were very nice darl. I won’t tell a lie & say they come up to Lil’s but with a few lessons (from me) you will be an A1 cook in fact I would like you to commence your job of cook on this ranch as soon as you like. I want to write a lot more. Tonight I seem to feel that you are near me & that you are thinking of me but the blessed mosquitoes are eating me alive so goodnight my beloved. Give my love to your mother & kindest regards to your dad & a heart full of love from Yours ever, Oz.
(This is an undated letter from Oz to Myrtle that we found in the suitcase - most likely written toward the end of 1921)
Letters shared here were written by Private Ozbert Edwards of the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion to Miss Myrtle McCoughtry his future wife. They were written before, during and then after WWI while establishing his settler block at Red Cliffs VIC. Myrtle remained in Melbourne until their house was built. Letters shared here are part of a larger private collection generously shared with permission by Pam Shugg (granddaughter of Oz and Myrtle) and her family.