THE DIARY OF PETTY OFFICER ERNEST ARTHUR COBB

 The commission and loss of HMS RALEIGH (vi)
(Transcription of the hand-written original)


"AMORE ET VIRTUTE"
(BY LOVE AND LABOUR)


H.M.S. Raleigh was a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser, she commissioned July 23rd 1921 at Devonport as Flagship of Sir William Christopher Pakenham, Admiral of the Royal Navy's North Americas & West Indies Station. She was wrecked on August 8th 1922..  


 

"Diary of Events during the Commission of HMS Raleigh on North America and West Indies Station"

 This transcript is verbatim - all entries are replicated as EAC wrote them. Uncertainties in reading his hand writing are shown thus [X].

 

PART ONE - 1921

 

JULY 1921

23rd. Ships Company arrived on board from R.N. Barracks Devonport ([Xxxxx?] Ratings) & HMS Inflexible, myself included in the latter. Day passed in shaking down to messes etc. First impression, not reconciled to accommodation appears to be insufficient room for men.

24th. Preparing to ammunition ship, armament of 7, 7.5 Guns & 4 3" so anticipate long task.

25th. Ammunitioning ships, proceeding more favourably than expected considering it is the first time.

26th. Ship proceeding to Sound to swing compasses & carry out high speed Torpedo trials remained there till Thursday. Still getting ammunitioning stowed satisfactory.

27th. Nothing eventful, still in Sound.

28th. Returned to Harbour, docked & carried out D. Yd. tilt test.
Remained in Dock for weekend, went on shore & wrote to Alice.

Sunday 31st. Inspection by Admiral Sir Montague  Browning. Cautioned ships company on the necessity of upholding the flag abroad. Altogether pleased that did not have Alice round as only staying a week & not much leave at that.
 

AUGUST

Monday August 1st. Left England for Bermuda. Not very Cheerful but rather busy so worked it off. From Aug 1st to the 12th at sea. Did not expect the journey to take so long. Am writing a little to Alice each day. Weather not too good. Some of the youngsters losing their appetites.

Aug 12th. Arrived Bermuda. No mail arrived yet. Rather warm now. Dress of the day €œwhites€, not much more happening here. Went on shore during the stay, was struck with the profusion of flowers (wisteria) growing everywhere. Admiral & Staff joined ship from shore 24th.

Aug 27th. Officers €œAt Home€, ship crowded with visitors of both sexes. Went for pull in racing gig.

28th. Sunday, a quiet day. During stay at Bermuda received 9 letters & Papers from Alice & sent 5. Also a proof of Photos. Very nice was disappointed at not receiving original.

29th. Left for Murray Bay. Carrying out Fleet Exercises.

30th. At sea.

31st. At sea, Lub calibre firing. Writing letter to wife.

 

SEPTEMBER

1st. Ship [?] at sea. Passed very close to Nova Scotia.

Sept 2nd. Rather cold. Still at sea. Forenoon fired 17 Rds [Rounds] 7.5 splash marking for ‘Calcutta’. G [Gun ?] Programme finished and a good job too. Entered Gulf of St Laurence. Have finished Letter to Alice wonder if will be able to post it when at Murray Bay. Parson rigging whist drive wish him luck but too cold to sit up there. Expect to anchor at 9 AM (Sardines again).

Sept 3rd. Saturday. Anchored at Murray Bay Rives St Laurence about 10 AM in company with Constance & Cambrian very hilly place. Leave piped to Chief & [Xxxx] but did not go. Sent mail ashore & letters to Alice. Lovely weather one or two pleasure steamers came round the Squadron. Inhabitants are French Canadians.

Sunday Sept 4th. At Murray Bay. Splendid weather. Leave to Chief and POs [Petty Officers] from 1.30 – 7 PM. Did not go accounts from people who landed yesterday not being sufficiently good. Ten women to every man & more kids than both together. Very little English spoken leaving here at 9.30 AM tomorrow Writing to night to Wally Saunders. Captain says he wants everybody's medals polished. Shall have to get a tin of Bluebell.

Mon Sept 5th. Weighed & proceeded at 9.30 AM. Very interesting passage up Rr [River ?] St Laurence. Passed Quebec about 4 p.m., looked much the same as when I visited it in ’08. Passed under suspension bridge 150 ft high. Cleared it without striking Top Gallant Mast. Anchored about 2 mile above it. Rained for a time during the evening. Proceed to Montreal to-morrow. Hope there is a mail from Alice there.

Tues Sept 6th. Arrived Montreal 5 PM. Made fast alongside wharf. Went for a walk. Montreal city very nice, night signs etc being particularly brilliant. Price of articles about the same as England. Rate of Exchange $9.90 to the . Very Frenchified. Do not think I should like to live here.

Wed Sept 7th. Ship opens to visitors. Plenty on board especially of the feminine variety. Mail arrived two letters from Alice one 16 Aug & one 23rd Aug My letter from Bermuda not yet arrived home.

Thurs Sept 8th. Ship thronged with visitors, mostly French posted letters to Alice. Visited Royal Canadian Regiment Sergts [Sergeants’] Mess. Not a bad lot of fellows Band played sunset with massed drums.

Friday Sept 9th. More visitors. Am went to GQs 226 Po & men landed for free entertainment Did not want to go. Ship took in oil, 600 tons no other mail yet arrived from home.

Sat Sept 10th. Ship swarming with visitors afraid some of the younger fellows losing their hearts in Montreal. Astonishing amount of children aboard & of course playing about with everything they did not ought to. Still no mail. going for walk tonight.

Sunday Sept 11th. Divisions on the jetty. had to check the flow of visitors in the afternoon ship being overcrowded.

Monday Sept 12th. Good day mail arrived with two letters from Alice. One 29th and other 30th Aug answered at once. Good to feel she is feeling well.

Tues Sept 13th. Invited to dinner Royal Canadian Highlanders Sergts mess. Had a very good time.

Thursday Sept 15th. Last day at Montreal. Ships company invited to ball given by 2000 ladies of the city last night. Did not go. Posted postcards to Alice. Forenoon at Field gun Drill on jetty. Took them myself.

Friday Sept 16th. Left Montreal 7 AM Proceeded down River Speed 13 Kts [knots]. Not sorry to leave the wall. But altogether had a pretty good time there. Would not [want ?] to live in that part of Canada though. Arrived Quebec at 10 PM & moored ship. Remaining here 10 days. No mail here yet. Quite a change to-day to be free from a crowd of visitors.

Saturday Sept 17th. Ordinary Saturdays Routine. Rather dreary day. Rained heavy PM. No visitors to-day but a few I expect will come over to-morrow. Leave given but did not land may one night to get some postcards. Posted Letter to Alice. mail expected to-morrow.

Sunday Sept 18th. Very showery day, usual Sunday routine. very few visitors on board. Altogether a quiet day. No mail yet. Two months since I spent the last evening with Alice. Wrote letters to Kate and Father.

Monday Sept 19th. Mail arrived one letter from Alice dated Sept 5th & one from Bill. No photo yet dissappointed . Rigged minature Range on Jock [?]. Football team beat “Calcutta” 2 – 1. wrote answer to Alice. Left Sheerness two months to-day.

Tuesday Sept 20th. Bright day. Forenoon at minature R.P. Fired salute 11 guns for G.O.C. Just heard am to land with Fleet Battalion on Thursday “some day” that. Believe mail arrives to-day Hope photo comes. Astonishing amount of letters some of the men are receiving from Montreal looks as if a good many “got off”. Just turning in when photo of Alice came. Lovely that’s all. Must write and catch some mail as other letters I have just posted to her.

Wednesday Sept 21st. Forenoon at minature R.P. Make and mend clothes P.M. Preparing for squadron landing party. Afternoon at home and dance on Q.D. [Quarter Deck ?]. Wrote to Alice Empress of France arrives with mail flag but don’t expect any for us. Just heard we are likely to spend Xmas at Honolulu. Could not take us much farther from England at that season. Rained in the evening. Must remember to get some PCs.

Thursday Sept 22nd. Paraded through Quebec in the forenoon. Afternoon had a nap. nothing else of note that day.

Friday Sept 23rd. Two months in commission today roll on the other 22. Received letter from Alice dated 9th Sept she seems very cheerful now. Also recd. Ashford paper from Bill. Smoking concert at Engineers mess but did not go. Bought post cards for Alice.

Sat Sept 24th. Still at Quebec. Took team ashore to shoot R.G.A. Canada, 2, 5 & 600 yards. Beat them by 11 points. Very satisfactory performance but still room for improvement in our team.

Sunday Sept 25th. Quiet day. posted letter to Alice. Started breaking the news gently that we shall be miles further away in February.

Monday Sept 26th. Left Quebec 7 AM. cannot say am sorry to leave that place. Weather not too good to-night breezy and cold. Ord sea training class started today.

Tues Sept 27th. Passing through Belleisle Straits. Weather getting colder. 8 PM fired 16 rounds star shell at “Calcutta” rather cold job.

Wed. Sept 28th. Passed iceberg this morning on port beam. Arrived at Forteau 11.30 am. Very desolate place, inhabitants more like Eskimaux. Still cold & have a snuffy nose. leaving for St Johns 6 AM.

Thursday Sept 29th. Left Forteau 6 AM. at sea in a dense fog but clear by noon. Weather still very cold Arriving at St Johns 9.30 am. Turned in early. Snuffy nose still prevalent.

Friday Sept 30th. Arrived St Johns 9.30 AM. A very narrow entrance with high hills & a splendidly enclosed harbour. Weather warmer & cold nearly gone. Strong smell of fish though through cod industry. No mail here, did not expect it, but am sending one.

 

OCTOBER

Saturday Oct 1st. At St Johns. Went on shore in the afternoon to see football match. Did not like the place. very dirty. mail arrived but no letter from Alice. Very disappointed as it was a mail 7 days later than the previous one. Bought her some postcards.

Sunday Oct 2nd. Usual quiet day for Sunday. Visitors on board in the afternoon. A very nondescript crowd too. Sent PCs to Alice & asked why I had not received a letter.

Mon. Oct 3rd. Left St Johns 11.30 AM en route to Halifax, To-night rather rough. Still feel down about not hearing from Alice. Ordered some PCs of ships entering St Johns.

Tues Oct 4th. At sea, nasty weather & ship making dirty passage. Held meeting to-night re formation of rifle club.

Wed Oct 5th. Arrived Halifax 9.30 and berthed alongside wall. Raining heavily all day. Received two letters from Alice posted at Ramsgate. No hopes yet she says at Ashford. Must answer to-night. Answered letter to Alice finished 11.15 PM.

Thurs Oct 6th. Married 6 months today, many happy returns to myself & Alice. Sent her Reg letter with 7 to keep for me. I do not think she wants any more yet anyhow, so asked her to keep it separate for our holiday on paying off.

Fri Oct 7th. Still at Halifax. Went on shore to see football match, afterwards strolled into “Ackers” music hall. Not very good, a plentiful display of arms and legs in the so-called beauty Chorus, but sadly lacking in humour. Incidentally the youngest beauty ? was about 45.

Sat Oct 8th. Hear that Constance won football cup had shooting match with Aurora. Did not shoot in team myself as wanted to try a couple of others. rained heavily so discontinued match at 300 Aurora leading by 11 points owing to the very indifferent shooting of our Lieut Marines. made 61 out of 70 myself not to count in match. No signs of mail from home yet More than ever decided that I don’t like Canada too much bunkum.

Sunday Oct 9th. Usual quiet Sunday. A few visitors on board in the afternoon. After tea went for a long walk around Halifax. Place seems more dreary than ever on Sunday. Apparently all those who don’t go to church stop in bed. faint rumours that there is a mail in post Office for us. I hope so. Just heard today that we may be in Victoria for Xmas instead of Honolulu. I sincerely hope so then may be able to get a cable from Alice.

Monday Oct 10th. Mail arrived, one letter from Alice dear old girl. Seems a bit nervy, answered it at once & told her not to worry. Wish she hadn’t gone to Ramsgate without her mother then she wouldn’t have been allowed to look at a drowning man. Don’t think it will upset her though. Posted letter to her to-night.

Tuesday Oct 11th. Forenoon at field gun drill. Gave them a good shake up too. Afternoon make & mend. After tea went to Ackers music Hall as there was nowhere better to go. Leaving at 9.30 in the morning for Bermuda.

Wed Oct 12th. Still at Halifax, very heavy fog all day. Impossible to navigate in it, don’t know now exactly when we’ll leave. Gunnery programme made out till 10th November, some programme too Believe it’s a fact that we are at Victoria for Xmas Have told Alice that I believe it’s the 23rd Jan just see how far I am out. Will write to post on arrival at Bermuda.

Thurs Oct 13th. Left Halifax last night about 10.30. Rough weather, Heavy sea & wind. Too heavy to carry out any sub calibre or other exercises. Believe we arrive in Bermuda on Saturday.

Friday Oct 14th. At sea weather abated somewhat forenoon GQs Afternoon carried out the sub calibre through off at Constance. Too rough though to run torpedoes. After tea had general meeting of Rifle club, was elected committee. suggested that team be selected by doing 6 shoots is possible with about 16 men & selecting the best 8, suggestion carried. Arrive Bermuda to-morrow about 10 AM. Am writing to Alice to-night.

Saturday Oct 15th. Arrived Bermuda about 10 AM put the clocks back 40 mins, I say we’ll never pay off if they go on at that rate. Cannot see any signs of the damage supposed to be done by hurricane but hear that it blew the roof off an house or two. leave given but did not want to go. No mail from home worse luck. Have seen to-day the proposed programme of cruise, must send a copy to Alice as soon as I can get one. Posted letter to her last night. Admiral left to-day to live on shore while we are here. Wish I was an Admiral.

Sunday Oct 16th. Prepared to muster open list but heavy rain prevented it. Lucky for once. Quiet day otherwise posted letter to Alice with programme of cruise Mail arrives to-morrow.

Monday 17th. Under weigh at 11 AM, carried out sub calibre at Towed Target & run two torpedoes everything being satisfactory & no panics. Anchored at Murrays anchorage for the night. No mail on board yet.

Tuesday Oct 18th. Under weigh 09.30, fired 6 charges at towed BP target. As far as I can see practice was satisfactory. Run one torpedoe. Anchored at Murrays Anchorage for the night Mail arrived, one letter & 3 papers from Sook & 1 paper from Bill. Alice writes very cheerful wants to know the babies name. Think I’ll say Nicodemius [?]. Wonder what She’d say if I allowed for two. Writing to her tonight.

Wed Oct 19th. Loader Competition in Forenoon. After Crew won time for 5 rds 32 4/5 secs No 4 Crew Second 33 3/5 secs. Very creditable performance by both crews. Pm. landed for range practice Good shooting all round. Have hopes of lifting the cups. Finishing letter to Alice tonight.

 

 

Thurs Oct 20th. Forenoon under weigh fired 6 charges at BP target. satisfactory shoot. Nasty day plenty of rain. Pm carried out some 1” night firing & very lights for star shell practice. Think I’ll sing end of perfect day before turning in. Posted letter to Alice. About time another mail arrived.

Friday Oct 21st. Very wet day. Landed at St Georges range in forenoon for practice. Very satisfactory results considering state of weather. came on board 11.30 slightly damp. Not very good thing for white suits. Went alongside dockyard wall 1.30 pm. Mail arrived two letters from Alice 1st & 4th oct. one paper from her & one from Bill. She seems to think I’m the worried one now just what I want then she wont worry so much about the business.

Sat Oct 22nd. Usual Saturday, plenty of water and sand floating about. Afternoon make & mend of course had a nap. Did not go out for a walk not much to see here. Writing to Alice to-night.

Sunday Oct 23rd. 3 months in commission today. Roll on the other 21. usual quiet Sunday not much of note happened. Posted letter to Alice.

Monday Oct 24th. During the forenoon disembarked 100 Rds 3” HE. Afternoon went to Rifle Range first of eliminating shoots to find 8 to shoot for cup. Finished top but shooting on the whole not too good. Will have to do better to win it. Mailboat arrived but no mail

Tuesday Oct 25th. Embarked stores & Ammunition Afternoon landed for rifle practice. Top score again. Team improving but not too good yet After tea went to CPOs Club for quiet game of billiards.

Wed Oct 26th. Very squally day, plenty of wind & rain. Forenoon Afternoon landed for team practice much better in general. Again top score should like to see myself further down the list. Writing to Alice to-night.

Thurs Oct 27th. Another bad day. Had more practice at Range.

Friday Oct 28. Blowing hard. Hurricane expected. sailing regatta postponed. No shooting to-day.

Sat Oct 29th. Shooting during forenoon. Mr Lamb (sub) won Squadron Sailing cup with 1st whales. No mail arrived yet.

Sunday Oct 30th. Midshipmans race won by Gabbert 2nd cup in two days.

Monday Oct 31st. Rifle cup won by Malabar Our own team not coming up to expectations. Mail arrived 3 letters + two papers these from Alice letters dated 7, 10 & 17 Oct 1 letter from Kate & one from father. Two papers from Bill.

 

NOVEMBER

Tuesday Nov 1st. Monthly payment to-day writing to Alice. Steamer collided with us when leaving the basin. Smashed up cutter & port gangway. Managed to get whales and gig in board in time. No other damage as far as I know.

Wed Nov 2nd. Took Lewis guns to range & fired them. Afternoon make & mend Raining hard to-night. Posted letter to Alice.

Thurs Nov 3rd. Left wall 7.30. Proceeded to sea & fired 8 full C ranges. Returned alongside about 4.30. Spent evening in collecting Rifle Club money.

Fri Nov. 4 Mail arrived two letters from Alice. Both dated 19th Oct. She has received St Johns P.C.s writing to her tonight. had a look at our Cinema on deck. Not a bad little thing but films evidently chosen by the parson.

Sat Nov 5th. Posted letters to Alice. Usual Saturday, plenty of water & sand & spit & polish.

Sun Nov 6th. Quiet day. Went for walk in the evening. But not to Church.

Mon Nov 7th. Left wall 2.30 pm & anchored in Grassy Bay. Not sorry to leave it either more breeze out in the stream Posted letter to Alice with revised programme of cruise. Also one to Bill.

Tues Nov 8th. Under weigh 9 am. fired 12 full charge per gun at BP target. range 20,000 yards speed 20 knots. Firing satisfactory I believe. Writing to Kate tonight.

Wed Nov 9th. Anchored in Grassy Bay. Returned empty ammunition cases in forenoon. Afternoon make & mend so had a nap. Admiral presented prizes for sailing today. Mail closes to-morrow 10 PM so wrote to Alice to-night .

Thurs Nov 10th. Preparing for sea. Went to DYO in forenoon & returned vent stalk & fittings drew new one.

Fri Nov 11th. Proceeded en voyage to Jamaica 7 AM Carried out throw off firings at Cambrian breezy but not rough. Observed two minutes silence in recognition of armistice day. Two years ago to-day arrived home from Gulf. Lots have elapsed since then. A very sad occurrence to-day AB Brennan fell overboard whilst ship was steaming at high speed. His body was not recovered. Funeral service held and volleys fired. hard luck for somebody at home.

Saturday Nov 12th. At sea. Getting warmer. Not much of note happened. Usual Sat routine.

Sunday Nov 13th. At sea. Usual quiet Sunday Entered Tropical zone about noon. Getting very warm. Starting letter to Alice tonight. Parson giving lecture on these places in Columbus time. Don't want to know anything about the old gent so did not attend. Recd press news to-day with American proposals for reduction of armaments.

Monday 14th. At sea. Passed the Islands of Hayti and Cuba. fine but very hot. Carried out Squadron torpedo firing. Discharged two torpedoes.. finished letter to Alice. Arrive at Jamaica about 9.45 tomorrow.

Tuesday 15th. Arrived Jamaica 9.30 am & anchored Fired two salutes. Very low place plenty of cocoanut palms etc. Very tropical looking place. Usual collection of native washerwomen & “leave [?] I dive” boys. puts one somewhat in mind of Colombo. Mail here, two letters & papers from Alice dated 25th Oct & Ashford papers from Bill. Posted one to Alice & writing another to-night.

Wed Nov 16th. At Jamaica. Posted letter to Alice last night. Very hot weather. Ship swarming with fruitsellers etc. Went on shore in the evening just to look at the place. Rather a pretty show. Amused to see the black girls poshed up in European clothes.

Thurs. Nov 17th. Discharged 146 cases of 9” ammunition to Apostles Island. Hear that mail for England closes to-morrow so must write to Alice to-night.

Fri Nov 18th. Posted letter last night. Had a quiet day. Did not go on shore.

Sat Nov 19th. Went for car ride to Newcastle at top of hills. A fine experience, car nearly overhanging with a drop of a couple of thousand feet. $%&#!

Sunday Nov 20th. Shooting match with West Indian Regiment. A big affair. Owing to mistake in arrangements they thought they were shooting pick of the squadron for which they had been training. However we made a good show losing by 30 points.

Mon Nov 21st. Left Jamaica 7 AM. Cambrian remaining till 24th. Constance left with us but parted company outside. Altogether sent Alice three letters from there.

Tues Nov 22nd. At sea en voyage to Colon. Still very warm arriving there 6 am. Posted letters to Alice tonight.

Wed Nov 23rd. Arrived Colon 6 am. Received letters & papers from Alice dated 31st oct. oiled ship and proceeding through panama canal Most marvellous piece of work I have ever seen. Arrived Balboa (port for Panama City) about 8.30 pm.

Thurs Nov 24th. Posted quick letter to Alice in answer to hers. Left Balboa 10 am. Fired salute 21 guns. Opened minature range PM.

Fri Nov 25th. At sea. Forenoon General quarters rather cooler, At Evening tested Coston Gun Writing to Alice to-night.

Sat Nov 26th. At sea. Sat Routine. Weather getting much cooler. Writing to W Cotterill to-night.

Sun Nov 27th. Quiet day. opened minature Range in forenoon & evening. Heavy squall of wind & rain struck ship about 4 am. A nice job furling all awnings in it.

Mon Nov 28th. Forenoon general drill (tow ship etc) Not feeling up to the mark.

Tues Nov 29th. Very fine weather passed some sperm whales & astonishingly large schools of dolphins. Keeping the coast on our starboard hand. Feeling in the pink to-day. Fancy dress ball for ships company on Quarterdeck last night. Some fancy dress too. Good job the “Ladies” were only imaginary I think.

Wed Nov 30th. More General Drill, a cool breeze blowing towards evening. Still at sea. Writing to Alice to post on arrival.

 

DECEMBER

Thurs Nov Dec 1st. Fired HA guns at target smoke shell 12 Rds per gun. Evening concert party performed. Good job there are no bricks at sea. Weather steadily getting cooler. Payed monthly money to-night.

Friday Dec 2nd. Observe the red ink, brought the wrong bottle away from the mess in mistake. General Quarters this morning otherwise usual Friday work. Top men and QD men Loader and Tug o war Competition to-day. top men winning. Collection for late AB Brennan 79-8-10 plus 80 for his kit.

Saturday Dec 3rd. At sea. Usual Saturday, tons of water floating about. Heavy ground swell but no wind. Posted two letters to Alice one to Cotterill, one to Saunders. Arriving at San Diego at about 6.30 Am to-morrow.

Sunday Dec 4th. Arrived San Diego 6.30 a. No Sunday Routine, hands working all the forenoon. Mails here, 4 from Alice. 7, 8, 9, 11th November and two papers (7th). Plenty of Yankee destroyers here, evidently a naval base. Some visitors on board in the afternoon.

Monday Dec 5th. At San Diego. Party of Chiefs and Pos landed early for motor trip. Did not go. Fired four salutes altogether 76 Rounds a good forenoon wasted. Posted two letters to Alice to-night. Visitors on board again this evening. Painted ships everywhere.

Tuesday Dec 6th. Quiet day. No salutes. Admiral & best part of officers landed for motor ride round the district. Did not go on shore Writing to Fred to-night & Alice.

Wed Dec 7th. At San Diego, leave from 1.30 so landed & went for walk through Balboa Park Visited museum & heard open air organ recital returned on board at 5.30 pm. Very interesting day but “dry”.

Thursday Dec 8th. Left San Diego at 7 am & arrived at san Pedro 2.30 pm. several American battleships here & of course plenty of salutes. Only remaining here two days. Wrote to Alice to-night.

Friday Dec 9th. At San Pedro. Several people obtained leave to go to Los Angeles but did not trouble. Invited to concert on American Ships Arizona & Oklahoma, by all accounts they had a good time. Did not go myself but smoked some of the cigars they brought back. Oiled ship.

Sat Dec 10th. Left San Pedro 7 am. Nothing of consequence happened make & mend clothes pm.

Sun Dec 11th. At sea. very large swell running but no wind. Passed a seal today & a large whale. Weather getting colder. Opened minature range in the forenoon. Expecting rough weather.

Monday Dec 12th. Ship making heavy weather of it. Leaden sky & sea, reminds one very much of Channel weather. Rained to-wards evening. if fine enough do full power trial to-morrow More wet paint knocking about.

Tuesday Dec 13th. General Quarters am. At noon commenced full power trial. Heavy swell running and ship washed down fore & aft. Not certain yet what speed we attained but think it was very satisfactory. Passing through straits. Vancouver Island on port side. Arrive in Eskuimalt at 11 pm to-night mail awaiting us. Going to moor ship, not go alongside.

Wed Dec 14th. Arrived Esquimalt at 10.15 last night & moored ship. Mail arrived on board about midnight. Two from Alice 18th & 21st Nov & papers of 20th.

Thursday Dec 15th. Fine but cold, went on shore after dinner & met Cousin David & several other members of family. Surprised to hear that Uncle Jess was dead. Ship working One o’clock Routine while here. Wrote to Alice to-day. Paper arrived from her dated 27th Nov but no letters yet.

Friday Dec 16th. Remaining on board to-night nearly all ships company landed for dance given by Inhabitants. Going on week-end leave to-morrow. Writing to Alice again to-night.

Sat Dec 17th. Cousin Dave & wife came on board & had a look round. Landed at 5 pm in a snowstorm. Went up to Aunt Alice & stayed the weekend. Very cold.

Sunday Dec 18th. Freezing hard, turned out about 9 am. Went out in car to chop down Xmas tree. Remained indoors the rest of the day.

Monday Dec 19th. Came down to catch 8 OC boat but had to wait till 09.30. Ice everywhere temperature 11o below zero. Oilskin froze on me. Did not go on shore to-night too cold. Wind abated though. Writing to Alice to-night. Have had no mail since 21st (posted thus).

Tuesday Dec 20th. Landed for route march with one watch of stokers, fairly warm while marching. Have reason to believe that one of my homeward bound letters was destroyed in the burning of a mail train. Went on shore to dinner at Daves house. returned on board at 10.30 pm in a blizzard.

Wednesday Dec 21st. Landed with another watch of stokers. Weather not quite so cold to-day but still freezing. No letters yet, writing to Alice to-night. Did not go on shore. Programme of cruise slightly altered. Not going to Mexican ports. Sent alteration of cruise to Alice.

Thursday Dec 22nd. Usual routine during the day. Went on shore after dinner.

Friday Dec 23rd. Mail arrived two from Alice 5th & 7th December 28th November. Posted answers before landing on weekend leave. (1 Letter from Bill)

Sat & Sun Dec 24th & 25th. Spent Xmas at Aunts Had a very good time but not like it would have been at home. Returned on board at 10 am Monday.

Monday Dec 26th. Went on shore to say good bye ship leaving in the morning same opinion as ever, shouldn’t like to live in Canada. Two letters arrived 5th & 7th Dec from Alice.

Tuesday Dec 27th. Left Esquimalt 9 am & arrived Vancouver about 4 pm. Berthed alongside CPR wharfe. Writing to Alice to-night. Went to GQs this forenoon.

Wednesday Dec 28th. Drizzly day but got finer to-wards dinner time. Thousands of the “Great unwashed” came on board. In the forenoon Admiral & Officers received a civic welcome from the Mayor of Vancouver. The mayor made speech to ships company mainly telling them not to leave too many broken hearts in Vancouver. Rather a humourous old bean I thought. Two letters from Alice arrived 9th & 11th December no news from hospital yet. Writing to her to-night. Have not been on shore yet.

Thurs Dec 29th. Raining to-day but that did not stop visitors. Thronged with them. Some of the heart breaking business started so far as I can see. Writing to-night to Alice. No shore for me yet weather not comfortable enough.

Fri Dec 30th. Still at Vancouver. went to Orpheum Theatre (complimentary ticket). not a bad show A fine day, thousands of visitors on board. sat Dec 31st. Good news to-day a letter dated 19th of December from Alice with result of second exam. very reassuring. Answering it to-night raining again.

Last day of 1921. May the next year bring us better luck.

 

PART TWO - 1922


HMS Raleigh at Pier D, Vancouver . Image: City of Vancouver Archives reference  Bo N100.2


 

PART TWO - 1922

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