At the end of WWI Willie Gibson wrote home to his mother while still in London.
Although WWI ended in 1918, the Peace Treaty was not signed until 1919. The soldiers had to remain with their units in case hostilities resumed. The logistics of moving so many men back to their countries or origin was such that many did not obtain a berth on a ship until 1919. Those that enlisted first, got home first.
William returned to Australia 13.4.1919
London – 20.2.19
To let you know how I am getting along. I am on leave in England before embarking for Aussie. This is about the third day in London and funds are pretty low so I will have to spend the rest of my leave in camps. I don’t know how long it will be before I sail it won’t be before 20.3.19 at any rate because we have to be a certain time in camp after we come back off leave before they will let us sail. By the time you receive this letter and I ort to be well on my way. I am expecting to meet BOB on leave any day now he told me in his last letter that he was expecting leave any day. I enquired at Head Quarters London for him he was still with his unit on the 30.1.19. I will leave my address in London for him and then he might be able to come down to camp and see me. I think this will be about the last letter you will get from me over this side. I am sick of letter writing and everything concerned with this side of the world. I suppose everything is just the same on the Manning. It will be over three years away for me and it seems like six, one doesn’t know what to do to pass away the time even in London it is hard to make the time pass. Well I think this is about all the news this time.
With best wishes and love to all.
From your loving son.