"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
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.
Preparing to ammunition ship, armament of 7, 7.5 Guns & 4 3" so
anticipate long task.
Ammunitioning ships, proceeding more favourably than expected
considering it is the first time.
Ship proceeding to Sound to swing compasses & carry out high speed
Torpedo trials remained there till Thursday. Still getting
ammunitioning stowed satisfactory.
Nothing eventful, still in Sound.
Returned to Harbour, docked & carried out D. Yd. tilt test.
Remained in Dock for weekend, went on shore & wrote to Alice.
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.
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
Arrived Bermuda. No mail arrived yet. Rather warm now. Dress of the
day â€œwhitesâ€, 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.
Officers â€œAt Homeâ€, ship crowded with visitors of both sexes.
Went for pull in racing gig.
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.
Left for Murray Bay. Carrying out Fleet Exercises.
At sea, Lub calibre firing. Writing letter to wife.
Ship [?] at sea. Passed very close to Nova Scotia.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
12th. Good day mail arrived with two letters from Alice. One
29th and other 30th Aug answered at once. Good to feel she is
13th. Invited to dinner Royal Canadian Highlanders Sergts
mess. Had a very good time.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
25th. Quiet day. posted letter to Alice. Started breaking
the news gently that we shall be miles further away in February.
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.
27th. Passing through Belleisle Straits. Weather getting
colder. 8 PM fired 16 rounds star shell at “Calcutta” rather cold
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
18th. Under weigh 09.30, fired 6 ¾ 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.
Oct 20th. Forenoon under weigh fired 6 ¾ 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
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.
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
23rd. 3 months in commission today. Roll on the other 21.
usual quiet Sunday not much of note happened. Posted letter
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.
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.
Oct 27th. Another bad day. Had more practice at
28. Blowing hard. Hurricane expected. sailing regatta
postponed. No shooting to-day.
Oct 29th. Shooting during forenoon. Mr Lamb (sub)
won Squadron Sailing cup with 1st whales. No mail arrived
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.
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.
Nov 2nd. Took Lewis guns to range & fired them.
Afternoon make & mend Raining hard to-night. Posted letter
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.
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.
Nov 5th. Posted letters to Alice. Usual Saturday,
plenty of water & sand & spit & polish.
6th. Quiet day. Went for walk in the evening. But not to
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.
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.
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 .
Nov 10th. Preparing for sea. Went to DYO in forenoon
& returned vent stalk & fittings drew new one.
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.
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.
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.
Nov 18th. Posted letter last night. Had a quiet day.
Did not go on shore.
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.
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.
Nov 22nd. At sea en voyage to Colon. Still very warm
arriving there 6 am. Posted letters to Alice tonight.
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
Nov 24th. Posted quick letter to Alice in answer to
hers. Left Balboa 10 am. Fired salute 21 guns. Opened
minature range PM.
Nov 25th. At sea. Forenoon General quarters rather
cooler, At Evening tested Coston Gun Writing to Alice
Nov 26th. At sea. Sat Routine. Weather getting much
cooler. Writing to W Cotterill to-night.
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.
Nov 28th. Forenoon general drill (tow ship etc) Not
feeling up to the mark.
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
30th. More General Drill, a cool breeze blowing towards
evening. Still at sea. Writing to Alice to post on arrival.
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 &
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.
Dec 10th. Left San Pedro 7 am. Nothing of
consequence happened make & mend clothes pm.
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
day of 1921. May the next year bring us better luck.
TWO - 1922