These postcards come from the great-great uncle of local man Geoff Nilsen. The author is Private Karl Klenner, who lived in Marton before the war. These postcards were sent to his sister Dorothy, the great-great-grandmother of the donor, in early 1918 about his trip to and first impressions of Sling Camp. Like so many others, his impressions were not favourable. For more information about Sling Camp, see the entry for another postcard on Window into WW1 depicting the Bulford Kiwi. Dorothy died in 1918 and it is possible she never saw her brother again. The account below is interesting in its detail of just one day in the life of a Kiwi soldier in the last year of World War One.
I received your most welcome letter three days after I landed in England. We landed on the eighth of January and I received your letter on the eleventh[,] a day after my birthday. I had a splendid trip all the way over, wasn't sick once. We landed at Liverpool and traveled by train four hundred miles to sling camp. There was a convoy of eight ships[,] all troops N.Z. Australian, Canadian and American, and an escort of on[e] battler cruiser and ten torpedo destroyers.
[Postcard 2] We got on the train at Liverpool at half past four and traveled all night in the train, getting out once at Birmingham for a cup of coffee and a slice of bread which was provided for us. By joves Dora it was cold, snow lay on the ground thick and sitting cramped up in a train isn't of the nicest. We arrived at sling camp at half past three in the morning and marched about two miles to the camp. Arriving there we were bundled into [Postcard 3] different huts and then had a feed of stew.
We had a rough time of it that night, there wasn't enough blankets to go round and a lot of the boys did not even get a rest. My mate and I huddled in a corner, but we couldn't sleep it was too cold. When we got up about seven o'clock out feet were like lead - the feeling had absolutely left them. This is a hard camp we thought. Trentham was bad enough but Sling is fifty times harder than that. [End]