THE DIARY OF PETTY OFFICER ERNEST ARTHUR COBB

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


 

PART TWO - 1922 | Part one

 

HMS Raleigh at Pier D, Vancouver . Image: City of Vancouver Archives reference  Bo N100.1

 

 

JANUARY

Sunday Jan 1st. 1922. At Vancouver. Wrote to Alice. Estimated 12,000 visitors walked round the ship. Went for walk in the evening.

Mon Jan 2nd. Drizzly day. Went to pictures after tea.

Tues Jan 3rd. Paraded Vancouver city plenty of excitement. Ship still swarming with visitors.

Wed Jan 4th. Letter & paper arrived from Alice Dated Dec 19th. Had forenoon at Field Gun drill caused sport for the nation.

Thurs Jan 5th. Wrote to Alice. not much of note happened.

Friday Jan 6th. Forenoon General Quarters. Still alongside & remaining here till Monday. Shant be sorry now when we leave. Getting fed up with the Vancouverites. Shooting War veterans at minature to-morrow night.

Sat Jan 7th. Shooting match with 1st Batt Canadian Irish. Beat them by 11 points. Made possible myself & tied with RSM Perry late Kings Prize winner.

Sun Jan 8th. Part of ships company landed for Church parade. Naturally I wasn’t there Leave expired at midnight.

Mon Jan 9th. Left Vancouver and Arrived Seattle 4 pm. Went on shore and saw Cousin Daisy.

Tues Jan 10th. Went to Daisies place to supper & had a nice evening. Her Husband seems a very decent chap. Showed them round the ship to-day. fired two salutes while they were on board one of 15 and 1 of 7.

Wednesday Jan 11th. Went to Alecs relations (Daisies Husband) to dinner but had to leave early as leave expired 8 pm. Left Seattle for ‘Frisco 10.30 pm. no mail since 19th arrived yet.

Thursday Jan 12th. At sea. not much doing every body settling down after so much leave Wrote to Alice to-night & posted it.

Friday Jan 13th. Forenoon at action stations. Read in W/T press that Carpentier won in 4 rounds lovely weather & getting warmer. Believe we get in San Francisco to-morrow at 9.30 owing to case of appendicitis on board instead of 4 pm. Writing to Bill to-night. Hoping to receive mail

Sat Jan 14th. Arrived at ‘Frisco at 11 am & made fast alongside jetty. very interesting place the Authorities have given us to tie up to where the sewerage of the city runs down. Two letters from Alice arrived 20th and 22nd Dec answering to-night.

Sunday Jan 15th. Usual Sunday routine. Went for car ride round the district during the afternoon, very interesting indeed. had PC photo taken of the party. Went through Chinatown after dark with guide, but nothing like China.

Monday Jan 16th. mail arrived two from Alice 26th & 29th Dec & 1 paper. Answering to-night & sending PC photo & postcards of ship etc. Had my own photo taken yesterday sending proof on to-night Banquet & dance on shore for Officers & men but did not go. Dont go much on America although this is a nice town.

Tuesday Jan 17th. About 30 hands down with flu but not I. Went to Pontages after tea. Nothing else of note.

Wednesday Jan 18th. Sending photos to Alice. More gone sick. Went for a long walk. Must be because the place is dry that everyone feels queer.

Thursday Jan 19th. Went for long walk in the evening still more cases of flu. Nothing more worth recording happened.

Friday Jan 20th. Mail arrived, two from Alice 30th Dec & 2nd Jan also paper of first. Leaving this show in the morning.

Sat Jan 21st. Left ‘Frisco 8 am. fired four salutes immediately on leaving the wall Passed Yankee Battle fleet & returned their salute to our admiral. another 21 guns at Monterey where we arrived 4 pm. altogether fired 86 Rds to-day. Anchored in an open roadstead quite a change from the stinking old wall at Frisco. Writing to Sook to-night, sent one more photo to her.

Sun Jan 22nd. First 6 months finished to-day thank goodness. Plenty of visitors on board this afternoon Writing to Kate to-night and sending Photo

Mon Jan 23rd. Nice weather, still at Monterey & more ship visitors. Nothing else worth noting. Letter to Alice to-night. Today is 23rd Jan so obviously my guess was wrong, but cant conceive going to march all the same. Flue still pretty strong

Tues Jan 24th. Not much during to-day. FX to SA Drill some visitors in afternoon. Everybody got jazzitis. shooting Yanks to-morrow. “Flu” still “Fluing”.

Wed Jan 25th. Yanks beat our team easy, but was leading them all myself until had accident with sight then finished about third

Thurs Jan 26th. Left Monterey 1 pm. Two letters arrived from Alice 5th & 7th Jan also paper of 8th. One from Bill dated 9th Jan. Writing to Alice to-night. Arriving Santa Barbara about 7 am. Flu has flew. Everyone better now.

Fri Jan 27th. Arrived Santa Barbara (Cal) 7 am & anchored in open bay. Afternoon make & mend clothes having a quiet nap when messman capsized bowl of sugar over one. Messroom not yet recovered. Wrote to Bill to-night.

Sat Jan 28th. At Santa Barbara. Quiet day no more sugar episodes. Writing to Alice to-night.

Sunday Jan 29th. Not the usual quiet Sunday. very heavy wind & rain storms. had considerable difficulty in hoisting all boats. Liberty men left on shore. Abated somewhat in afternoon but blew up again to-wards night. Keeping anchor watch.

Monday Jan 30th. No communication with shore too rough was going to write to-night but busy with GL until too late.

Tuesday Jan 31st. Left Santa Barbara 6 am & arrived Santa Monica 10.30. very open anchorage but leave given at 4 pm. Evidently plenty of arrangements for amusement but shall not go. Writing to Alice to-night. Some visitors came off.

 

FEBRUARY

Wed  Feb 1st. Started working up sections for annual course when we get to Bermuda. Beautiful weather. A great number of visitors to-day. Mail arrived 1 from Alice 10th Jan & two Ashford papers from Bill. Writing to Victoria & Seattle to-night.

Thursday February 2nd. A fine day. Uncle Dave came on board & had a look round. Going on shore to see him to-morrow Writing to Alice to-night. GO men to preliminary RP to-day.

Friday February 3rd. Went on shore after dinner. Went to Los Angeles & met Uncle Dave & spent the night with him returning on board in the morning.

Sat Feb 4th. went to Los Angeles saw ships team win Football cup. Went to Cousin Berts friends house to dinner then to reception at Overseas club. Had a good time. Saw several film studios.

Sun Feb 5th. Bert & his friend (forget his name) came on board & drank my rum. (Must make a note of that for |I don’t often give it away) Went to Los Angeles & said Au Revoir to Uncle Dave & his friends. Charlie Chaplin & several more film Artistes came on board this afternoon. Very posh too.

Mon Feb 6th. Left at 5.15 Am. Arrived at San Pedro 7 AM & oiled ship. American fleet here so plenty of salutes. no more mail so will not get any till arrival at Panama about 16th. Leaving here at midnight to-night. Married 10 months to-day. Calcutta here with ratings & stores for us.

Tues Feb 7th. At sea En Voyage to Panama. Very calm, doing 15 knots. Shall not get mail till arrival on Wednesday 15th. Starting letter to Alice to-night. News that 1500 stokers from Chatham to leave navy. First results of disarmament. Wonder if it will affect us.

Wednesday Feb 8th. At sea. Splendid weather. believe we get into whites to-morrow. Opened minature range for second spoon shoot. few more lines to Alice

Thursday Feb 9th. At sea. Nothing to record. very fine day. Finished letter to Alice.

Friday Feb 10th. At sea. GQs in forenoon. Pm carried over Sub Calibre night firing.

Saturday Feb 11th. At sea. Usual Sat Routine dodging water all day. Still splendid weather Starting another letter to Alice to-night. Much warmer now we are in the tropics

Sunday Feb 12th. At sea. Very warm. Opened minature range forenoon & evening. Sea very calm, shoals of dolphin & an occasional turtle passed the ship Hear that our next cruise after the refit is down the Indies.

Monday Feb 13th. At sea. Still very nice weather carried out night firing full calibre. 10 Rds per gun.

Tuesday Feb 14th. At sea. believe we arrive Balboa 6.30 am. put on possible minature target to-night Hear that mail arrives to-morrow. Posted two letters to Alice & one to Grace. Took mids to musketry to-day

Wednesday Feb 15th. Arrived Panama 6.30 Fired salute of 21 guns & another 15 after dinner. Mail arrived 7 letters & two papers from Alice. Quite a budget. Dates, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 26th of January. seems to be getting a bit worried to-wards the end of the time. Think she must be very near now. Posted letter to Alice in answer to above pile.

Thurs Feb 16th. At Panama. Very hot. Fired several salutes altogether 79 Guns. Among them being the president of Republic of Panama Governor of Canal Zone. Writing to Alice again to-night.

Friday Feb 17th. Went ashore to-night, was surprised at the City of Panama. It is thoroughly Oriental Bad news to-day hear that all foreign commission are for at least 2 years & 6 months. Must not tell Alice that yet.

Saturday Feb 18th. Left Panama 6.30 passed through canal arriving Colon about 1 pm. Weather a bit boisterous this side. not going to Havana now but arrive Bermuda on Friday 24th. wonder how Sook feels to-day.

Sunday Feb 19. At sea. Quiet day. Fresh breeze blowing. Portugese “Man-o-war” in plenty floating by.

Monday Feb 20th. At sea. Nasty weather this morning but running into calm weather again now. Not much happened to-day of note. Passing island of Hayti. Finishing letter to Alice to-night.

Tuesday Feb 21st. At sea. Rather nasty day. Got 3” crews ready for Low Angle firing. arriving Bermuda Friday.

Wednesday Feb 22nd. At sea. Afternoon pipe down, had a nap. run paravanes all day got them in 4.30 pm. getting much cooler, believe its blue clothing to morrow Seven months of the commission finishes to-day.

Thurs Feb 23rd. At sea. In blues again. GQs this morning otherwise uneventful day.

Fri Feb 24th. Arrived Bermuda 7 AM. Tug came out with target. Carried out Sub Calibre runs pm Anchored in Grassy Bay & fired GCIIs 1” from 3” HA guns. no mail here having gone to Havana. Rotten luck, anxious to hear from Al. Letter from Victoria BC arrived though. Writing to Alice to-night. Mail for UK closes 7 AM.

Sat Feb 25th. Weighed at 8.30 & proceeded out of harbour. Carried out sub calibre runs 7.5 Directos GLIIs at 3” 9 rounds per man independent at towed target. Eleven fired CPL Bell Bromley I, CPL Bell II & AB Smith III. quicker time 9 Rds 19 secs 9 Pfcts [?]. No news from home yet. Mailbox left for home to-day.

Sun Feb 26th. Sunday Routine. Quiet day nothing to note.

Monday Feb 27th. Mail arrived with news of birth of son. A Red letter day. Two letters from Alice after she began to mend 8th & 13th Feb. Evidently the dear girl had a rough time. Two from Mum dated previous, announcing the birth. One from Will Cotterill & one from Kate. Posted one reply to Alice & writing another to-night. Overjoyed at the good news & glad exceedingly that she has pulled through. By all accounts a very pretty baby I bet Alice is happy now. Born on 1st February started the month well anyhow (was at Santa Monica)

Tuesday 28th Feb. Princess Mary’s Wedding Day. Hope he doesn’t get recalled like I did. piped down 10.30 am Dressed ship at night illuminated. Messmates say its not for her but for my baby. Rather a good joke that. Shall be glad to hear how Alice is getting on with our son & heir (? the heir). writing to Kate to-night.

 

MARCH

Wed 1st March. Carried out full Cal Reduced charge firing at BP target, had to cease fire owing to visibility, nearly hit tug. Went on shore to wet baby’s hair slight headache next morning.

Thurs 2nd March. Alongside D Yd wall Slight headache is there alright. Writing to Alice to-night. Enclosed 2.0.0

Friday 3rd March. Finished returning empties. Afternoon make & mend. Went over & had a few rounds in the evening. Mail arrived, nothing from Alice but two papers. Gathered from note therein that she is alright also Baby. Answered it briefly. was disappointed, expect everybody knows all about her & Baby now bat Hubby. Letter from Bill

Sat 4th March. Usual Sat Routine, nothing to note.

Sunday 5th March. Quiet day, went for walk after tea

Monday 6th March. Been married 11 months to-day Mailboat arrived but no mails for us. Commenced disembarking Ammunition. Played football match v Constance CPOs.

Tuesday 7th March. Finished getting out Ammunition nothing else to note. shall be glad to get some news from home.

Wednesday 8th March. Prepared for taking Middies through RP course to-morrow. Heavy rain to-night. No mail till Friday.

Thurs 9th March. Commenced annual RP with Mids. Nice weather for shooting.

Fri 10th March. At range all day. mail arrived two from Alice 17th & 19th Feb. seems to be going on alright & Baby also. but has had a nasty time by all accounts. Sent one letter off to-night.

Sat 11th March. Went to Range for private practice in the evenin afternoon. Writing to Alice again to-night. Plenty of wind to-day.

Sun 12 March. Quiet day. Went for long walk past Somerset after tea.

Mon 13th March. At range all day. Mail arrived with two from Alice 22nd & 27th M Feb.

Tues 14th March. At range. Posted letter to Alice last night & caught to-days steamer. Went for a walk after tea.

Wednesday 15th March. At range. Completed pistol. Made 160 out of 210. Not a bad performance. Writing to Alice to-night.

Bermuda

Thursday March 16th. At Range. Completed Officers Pistol course Very wild evening blowing & raining.

Friday Mch 17th. Range all day. Witnessed football match in the evening. Mail arrived none from Alice but papers. writing to-night to catch steamer to-morrow. Everybody agog waiting for news of reduction etc.

Saturday Mch 18th. Went to range forenoon & got gear ready for Monday. Pm make & mend so had a nap. Still nasty weather so sp stopped on board in the evening. Wrote to cousin Bert & Lil to-night.

Sunday March 19th. Started fresh range party. Sunday routine Church parade in forenoon but not for me.

Mon Mch 20th. Started fresh range party. pm witnessed trial match for Navy team (soccer).

Tues Mch 21st. At range all day. No mail arrives till Friday & about time too. Weather fairly decent

Wed Mch 22nd. Weather very bad. Did not go to range after dinner.

Thurs Mch 23rd. Weather still bad. Played football against QD men in part of ships cup. Draw 1 – 1.
Fri Mch 24th. finished range party am. Admiral’s “At Home” make & mend, mail arrived two from Alice 4th & 8th march & papers. also paper from Bill Alice none too strong yet. Don’t like it a bit. Bill has moved furniture in so I suppose we live in the Mansion now. Writing to Alice to-night.

Bermuda

Sat March 25th. Not much doing to-day. Army & Navy Football match at Hamilton. Army won 3 – 2. Did not go over. Writing to Alice to-night again.

Sun March 26th. Usual quiet Sundays routine

Mon March 27th. Weather much warmer at Range all day. Letter from Alice 11th March.

Tues Mch 28th. Range all day. Writing to Alice to-night & sending in Plumleaf who leaves for England to-morrow.

Wed Mch 29th. Range all day. Weather very warm Wrote to Bill to-night. Plumleaf left for England this afternoon & took some of our ratings.

Thurs Mch 30th. Range all day. Evening went to pictures. Officers jazz on QD

Fri Mch 31st. Mail arrived, one from Alice. just got my letters in answer to the news of Baby’s birth. Still very reticent about herself though. Played football to-night lost 2 – 0. Got a peice shipped off my lug for my trouble. Some Game. Wrote to Al to-night.

 

APRIL

Sat M April 1st. Went to Somerset to see cricket match. 12 months today went on draft leave.

Sun April 2nd. Nothing much doing.

Mon April 3rd. Mail arrived none from Alice one from Grace. letters in the ship up to the 24th. very disappointing as my last was dated 14th.

Bermuda

Tuesday April 4th. Weather too bad for shooting. Attended committee meeting at Ch & Pos club re entertaining equivalent ratings of Canadian navy saw football match Navy team v rest. Rest won 5 – 2. Wrote to Alice.

Wed April 5th. Weather still bad. nothing much doing to-day.

Thurs April 6th. First Anniversary of wedding day. Went to smoker given by us to CH & Pos of Canadian Navy. Slightly foggy.

Fri April 7th. Shooting match with Aurora. Did not have usual team tried several Middies consequence Lost. Mailboat arrived, no mail just about fed up. Wrote to Alice.

Sat April 8th. Had a days rest owing to bad foot the result of football.

Sun April 9th. Another quiet day.

Monday April 10th. Range all day. Evening at club. mail arrived none for me. Latest I have received dated 14th March. Ship in floating Dock.

Tues April 11th. Range. Pm at club.

Weds April 12th. Range. Remained on board pm. Did not write yesterday, will on Friday is I get a mail.

Thurs April 13th. Range all day. Did not get on shore p.m. Expecting mail to-morrow & hope not disappointed this time.

Bermuda

Friday April 14th. At last, 3 letters from Alice 24th 27th & 29th March. Answered at once.

Sat April 15th. Went to Warwick Camp & shot Marines. lost by 11 points. Top score again.

Sun April 16th. Not much doing. Quiet day.

Mon April 17th. Good day two letters 1st & 4th April arrived from Alice & papers. Writing to-night & sending two photos of myself & “Biff”

Tues April 18th. Range all day. Very hot though writing to Alice again to-night.

Wed April 19th. Range all day. Went to Moresbys Plain for cricket practice pm.

Thurs April 20th. More cricket after tea.

 

 

Friday April 21st. Raining hard. Eased up in afternoon but started again afterwards. Mail boat arrived no letters again. Writing to Bill to-night.

Sat April 23rd. Finished off Range party forenoon Afternoon make & mend.

Sun April 23rd. 9 months of the commission gone. Usual quiet Sunday. Wrote to Mum.

Mon April 24th. Mail arrived one from Alice 7th April & paper Some snaps of her & baby rather nice. Answered to-night.

Tues April 25th. Anzac Day. Seven years ago & a good job too. Court Martial on board to-day. Rather cold & plenty of wind. Cambrian arrived from Halifax. Writing to Alice to-night.

 

Bermuda

Wed April 26th. Quiet day on board. Weather still unsettled. No news of anything yet. Writing to Father to-night. Started painting ships bottom to-day.

Thurs April 27th. Working in office all day getting watch bill up to date. Turned in early.

Friday April 28th. Steamer arrived with no mails so will have to wait till 5th may. Writing to Alice to-night. Attended meeting POs Club elected new secretary.

Sat April 29th. Sat routine, went for walk PM.

Sun April 30th. Quiet Sunday, nothing to record.

 

MAY

Mon May 1st. Undocking to-morrow, umpired cricket match this afternoon. could not play hand too bad..

Tues May 2nd. Received official news of C in Cs promotion. Constance saluted with 17 Guns. Cambrian replied with 7. Coaled ship 900 tons first time this commission. Had hand lanced today, very sore. Hear that we have to be ready for cruise by 26th May but not sure where to.

Wed May 3rd. cleaning ship after coaling.

Thurs May 4th. Went to Hamilton to see soccer match in afternoon.

Fri May 5th. Commenced ammunitioning finished 1, 2 & 3 mags Mail arrived 3 from Alice 13th, 16th & 20th April, paper of 16th & photos of Her & Baby, not very good of her though.

Bermuda

Sat May 6th. All hands provisioning

Sun May 7th. Writing to Alice to-day as boat leaves to-morrow wearing whites.

Mon May 8th. Ammunitioning ship & oiling.

Tues May 9th. Finished Ammunt very easy going time this time. Writing to Alice to-night.

Wed May 10th. Leaving D Yd 8 am for Grassy Bay Had neck lanced to-day pretty sore. Writing to Victoria BC to-night.

Thurs May 11th. In Grassy Bay. carried out aiming tube with Mids, Act GLIs & Ord. T.C. Sick list now with neck. Writing to Fred to-night.

Fri. May 12th. Arrived in Hospital to-day and got bunged in bed.

Sat May 13th. Still in bed, some joke this over a boil, getting fat on milk diet.

Sun May 14th. same as yesterday. Several visitors from the ship, still getting hungry.

Mon May 15th. Wont let me get up to-day but have hopes to-morrow. Mail in but letters not delivered yet.

Tues May 16th. 3 letters from Lal yesterday. 24th & 28th April & first May. One from Bill. Wrote to Alice to-day haven’t told her anything about Hospital. Still in bed. Had another slit in neck to-day. gives one some idea how it feels to be carved up. On Low diet not so bad Ship in Murrays Anchorage I hear.
Wed May 17th. Still condemned to bed. just about getting fed up with it too. Two papers from Al & 2 from Bill arrived this morning. See Prize money id 3-15-0 per share hope this is right. Neck much better to-day.

Thurs May 18th. Neck much better. no signs of getting up yet.

Fri May 19th. Allowed up after tea last night, had a good go at the old pipe too. Wrote to Alice last night. Think I shall catch the ship alright she leaves next Thursday. Ship doing full charge shoot at BP target to-day too. Hope they enjoy it. Weather pretty cool for time of year. Hooray ! Just heard it; up after dinner & full diet.

Sat May 20th. All day up to-day. Neck much better & should be out alright by Wednesday. George, Mr Bailey & Mr Asquith came up to see one & brought programme.

Sun May 21st. still improving hopes of catching ship alright. Writing to Alice & sending programme of cruise. Rumours of going home in June 1923.

Mon May 22nd. Hopes of going back to ship on Wednesday.

Tues May 23rd. Got round the fleet surgeon alright. Going back to-morrow. Mail arrives to-morrow.

Wed May 24th. Discharged from Hospital thank goodness. Two letters from Alice 4th & 9th May & paper of 7th.

Thurs May 25th. Preparing for sea. Left Bermuda 4.30 pm on cruise. Weather fine, ship very steady. Writing letter no I to-night to Alice.

Fri May 26th. At sea. A little bit breezy. Lowered both cutters to-night to give racing crews a run. Sat Routine cleaning ship ready for Washington.

Sat May 27th. At sea. A nasty blow to-night on Star. beam

Sun May 28th. Weather better, arrived in River Potomac very wooded country both sides. Started saluting, fired one 21 one 17 one 11. Anchored about 5 pm. party landed for cinema. Writing LETTER No II to Alice to-night. Rig of day blues. proceeding to Washington 0730.

Mon May 29th. Arrived Washtn 10 am. Fired a 21 & 13 but no more shooting alongside navy yard. Plenty of nobs coming on board including Sir Aukland Geddes (Ambassador) Had a walk pm all round the Capitol. A very nicely laid out place. Rate of exchange $4.43

Tues May 30th. Easy routine. Ships company & Officers photo taken on jetty & on board. President US came on board Payed money in forenoon. Ship open to visitors p.m. No mail arrived yet. Dance to-night but not for me.

Wed May 31st. Ship again open to visitors. mail arrived two from Alice 14th & 18th May & one from Bill Father. News of reduction scheme. No shore to-day. Writing letter No 3 to Alice. Weather very warm.

 

HMS RALEIGH at Washington. Phot: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hec2013002275/

 

JUNE

Thurs June 1st. Another gala day. General Pershing came on board during forenoon. Ships team won tug o war cup from Yankees. Raleigh won field events

Fri June 2nd. Raining hard. Dance to-night at British Embassy. Mail from Alice 22nd May. Writing to-night Letter no 4 Sent home views of Washington yesterday.

Sat June 3rd. At Washington. Boat race in fore-noon, both our crews lost. Insufficient training Rainy weather. Paper of 21st May arrived.

 Church Parade on jetty. Ships Company inspected by Sir A. Geddes the ambassador. Went for invitation motor drive in evening. Saw all the Embassies also place where Disarmament confce was held. Knickerbocker Theatre where roof fell in. Saw Masonic Temple, an exact replica of Solomons Temple, & visited a club called Order of mystic shrine or something like that.

Mon June 5th. At home on QD. Plenty of notabilites on board including President USA, Gen Pershing & Mrs Roosevelt & several millionaires. Wrote No 5 to Alice to-day & sending birthday card to-night Leaving at & AM to-morrow for Quantico.

Tues June 6th. Left Washtn 7 am, arrived Quantico 10.0 am & tied up anl alongside jetty. Admiral went on shore & inspected American Marines this being their base on East coast. Left Quantico 4 pm & proceeded down river. Dropped pilot & anchored about 9.30 pm for the night. Much cooler away from Navy Yard Wash.

Wed June 7th. Arrived Norfolk (Virginia) 1 pm fired 21 & 17 Guns. Went alongside wharf in Navy Yard. had a look round Norfolk city in evening, not much off a place, reminds me of Chatham. As usual, “Jazzes” for ships company.

Thursday 8th June. Terrific thunderstorm. very hot here. Admiral presented with American D.S.M. for services in world war, to-gether with an address by Theodore Roosevelt. No mail here. Navy Reductions do not effect me. wish now I had not wrote to Alice about it.

Fri 9th June. Left Norfolk 8.30 am. Fired 17 & 13 guns. Saw Admiral presented with Much cooler at sea to-day. Writing to Alice to-night (no 6). Arriving Bar Harbour Sundy.

Sat 10th June. At sea. Quiet day, Sat Routine & make & mend control parties am. Very foggy to-night. Plenty siren music. Finished & posted letter no 6 to Alice.

Sun 11 June. Foggy all night. Anchored about 4 pm off Bar Harbour. Weighed & proceeded to proper anchorage when fog lifted. Mail here letter of 26th May from Alice but no paper. Rather a pretty looking place.

Mon 12th June. At Bar Harbour, not very exciting day another mail arrived from Alice 31st May. Writing no 7 to her to-night. Weather cool & showery.

Tues 13th June. At Bar Harbour, weather very nice. Ships company & officers football match. Result 2 – 2. Range on 7x to-night, put on possible again. Writing No 8 to-night.

Wed 14th June. At Bar Hbr, A very nice day. Sailing race for ships boats pm. 2nd Cutter won. Range on 7x after tea Leaving to-morrow evening. QD men landed for march without arms. Hear that Capetown meets us before going to Montreal.

Thurs 16th June. Another nice day. Left Bar Hbr 8 pm. Ran into another fog during the night.

Fri 16 June. At sea. Forenoon sun P.V.s & Gen Quarters fog lifted in evening but came on again about 7 pm. Arriving Sydney (Cape Briton) about 3 pm tomorrow narrowly escaped collision with steamer in fog.

Sat 17th June. Arrived Sydney 3 pm & moored. a well enclosed harbour. Large iron factories etc. One letter from Alice 4th June. She has neuralgia pretty bad. Paper of 28th May arrived but 4th June paper adrift again. Wrote letter no 9 to-night.

Sun 18th June. At Sydney. Usual quiet Sunday. Visitors on Board in afternoon. Wrote to Bill to-night.

Mon 19th June. At Sydney. Wretched day raining hard writing No 10 to Alice. believe Cape Town arrives Wednesday.

Tues 20th June. At Sydney. Mail arrived. No 1 dated 6/6/22 from Alice & paper of 4th. Neuralgia much better. Also letter from Bill.

Wed 21st June. At Sydney. Rain negatived landing Party. “Cape Town” joined squadron from England 10 am. Saluted flag, replied with 7. took in 26 cases 7.5 Reduced. Writing No 11 to-night. Leaving for Charlottetown in morning.

Thurs 22nd June. Left Sydney 7 am. Coronation day dressed with masthead flags. Very heavy fog again steaming slow

Friday 23rd June. Arrived Charlottetown 6 am & anchored. Rather a pretty looking place. sports v military to-morrow. Saluted Lieut Governor 17 Guns & American Consul 7. No mail yet.

Sat 24th June. At Charlottetown. Letter no 2 from Alice & a batch of Ashford papers from Bill. Writing no 12 to her to-night. Hear that her Uncle Alec is dead.

Sun 25th June. At Charlottetown. Usual Sunday routine.

Mon 26th June. At Charlottetown. Topmen landed for Platoon & MG drill. Had shooting match with Army team lost by 40 points. Top score again, don’t seem to find any talent.

Tues 27th June. Admiral “At Home” on QD so make & mend. No 3 arrived from Alice. all well at home thank goodness. Writing no 13 to-night. Weather very nice. sent cutting of short “Charlottetown

Wed 28th June. Another quiet day. Wrote No 14 to Alice as will not be able to send any more till arrived at Montreal. Good sport watching Stilt football match on Deck.

Thurs 29th June. Am landed with 1 & 3 platoons & machine guns for drill. Pm prepared for sea. Weighed & proceeded at 8 pm.

Fri 30th June. Constance joined flag yesterday evening. To-day carried out sub cal throw off at her 4 Rds per Gun.

 

JULY

Sat 1st July. Am. Reduced charge full cal throw off at Constance. Ship v ship firing 24 Rds from 2 & 3 star 7.5. Rather interesting too Constance just dropped 3 or 4 Rds about 75 yds short of our ship side. Needless to say. Cease Fire at once & do the run again. Writing no 15 to-night. Anchoring in St Lawrence River at 10 pm till the morning.

Sun 2nd July. Quiet day. Under weigh about 5.30 am & proceeding up River. Anchoring again to-night & going into Montreal to-morrow. Hope there is mail there

Mon 3rd July. Arrived Montreal no mail yet. Berthed in same billet as last time.

Tues 4th July. Mail arrived letters 4 & 5 from Alice Busy day. Stokers to drill on jetty.

Wed 5 July. Went to St Johns to visit R.C.Ds & played them football also baseball.

Thurs 6 July. Returned to ship. Letter no 6 arrived from Alice. Writing to-night (no 16).

Fri 7th July. Still here. Ship swarming with children at a party given by ships company.

Sat 8th July. Usual sort of Montreal day.

Sun 9th July. Quiet day. Rig no 6s.

Mon 10th July. Last day at Montreal no other mail arrived yet.

Tues 11th July. Left Montreal 6 am & arrived Quebec 6 pm. Berthed alongside wharfe.

Wed 12th July. At Quebec. nothing much doing. very warm though.

Thurs 13th July. Landed in forenoon for Company Drill on plains of Abram.

Fri 14th July. Mail arrived, letters 8 & 9 from Alice & one from Kate. Got new rooms thank goodness. Writing no 18 to-night.

Sat 15 July. Sat Routine plenty of sand & water. Went to Drill Hall smoker.

Sun 16 July. Very hot day, plenty of visitors as usual.

Mon 17th July. Went to plains of Abram am for drill Pm went to Athletic sports. Mail arrived letter no 10 from Alice with small snap of her & Baby. Writing No 19 to-night.

Tues 18th July. Empress of Britain left with some ratings Commander Fraser leaving the ship on retirement.

Wed 19th July. Left Quebec 8 am. Exactly 12 months this morning I bid farewell to Alice. Arrived at Murray Bay 3 pm & anchored. Leave given till 7 am.

Thurs 20th July. At Murray bay. Quiet forenoon & make & mend pm. Glad to be quiet after the hullabaloo at Montreal & Quebec. Writing no 20 to-night & sending PCs of ship at Montreal. Fri 21st July. Gen Quarters weather still very nice.

Sat 22nd July. Mail arrived 11 & 12 from Alice. Good news seems very healthy now. Held minature rifle meeting on 7X. Did not shoot myself only to sight Rifles for them.

Sun 23rd July. Anniversary of commissioning. Ex President Taft came on board & inspected ships company. Writing no 21 to Alice to-night.

Mon 24th July. Prepared for “At home” but cancelled owing to bad weather. left Murray Bay 6 pm. Writing 22 to-night.

Tues 25th July. At sea. Exercised collision stations & abandon ship. Finishing no 22 to-night. Notice up about remitting Prize money so will send all mine home.

Wed 26th July. Arrived Dalhousie (New Brunswick) 8 AM. Capetown here also. Handed in remittance chit to-day for 29 (Prize money). Pm make & mend clothes. Visiting to Wally Saunders to-night.

Thurs 27th July. Pulp mills ashore closed down to-day to allow the employees to visit ship. Of course plenty of them. Paper of 9th arrived which ought to have arrived last mail. No letter although letters up to 14th here. Wrote 23 to-night (short letter)

Fri 28th July. At Dalhousie still. Gen Quarters this morning exercised fire in Lobbies etc. Plenty of visitors again.

Sat 29th July. Sat Routine. Letter no 13 arrived with one from Uncle George to Alice enclosed. Posted on 16th July. also letter from Bill. Paper of 16th for a wonder & Ashford paper (Bill) Writing 23 to-night.

Sun 30th July. Sunday at Dalhousie. Gun C inspected Cape Town. Quiet day on board. Weather rather cool.

Mon 31st July. Mustered night cruising stations Left Dalhousie 9 pm & exercised above at stations Fired Star Shell

 

AUGUST

Tues 1st August. At sea. Carried out sub calibre throw off at Calcutta. Pm cruising stations. Fired star shell at Capetown target. Also sub calibre night firing.

Wed 2nd Aug. Full charge throw off firing 22 rds. arrived at Bay of Islands (Newfoundland) 4 pm & moored. A very nice enclosed harbour but very little habitation.

Thurs 3rd Aug. Forenoon evolutions “our sheet anchor” first time this commission, but not so bad. Admiral transferred flag to Calcutta for 9 days. Saluted him with 17 guns Calcutta replying with 7. Calcutta left at 3 pm.

Fri 4th Aug. Left Bay of Islands & arrived Hawke Bay 5.30 pm. not a sign of a house anywhere Signed remittance chit for Prize money to-day. Weather rather nice. Started letter to Uncle George to-night.

Sat Aug 5th. Sat Routine. Still at Hawke Bay. Pm Interpart cutters race marines v topsmen. Marines winning by 9 strokes over 1 mile course. Letter 24 to Alice sent to motor launch “Hawke” the people on board agreeing to stamp all letters.

Sun Aug 6th. At Hawke Bay. Mustered by open list. Pm Interpart Heats cutters &X beat marines by 15 strokes. Stokers beat QD by 37 strokes. Final to-morrow night. Commenced 25 to-night.

Mon Aug 7th. At Hawke Bay. General drill. Cut Stream & both hedge anchors. 7X won cutters race beating stokers by 3 seconds. A splendid race almost a dead heat.

Tues Aug 8th. Left Hawke Bay 10 am. At 3.40 Pm in avoiding an iceberg, done our best to knock spots of Canada (on Labrador). What one would term an exciting finale. Nearly squashed by pinnace so thought it best to stroll over the other side of the deck. Spotted land so decided that was the best side. Cutter manned by seamen & stokers capsized saw several drown but impossible to assist them. Got line ashore from Coston Gun. Some Idiot dropped the end so sent another one. Eventually found myself being dragged through the surf on Carley Hoar. No sleep that night & no Eats.

Wed Aug 9th. Salving gear very nice too. Anyhow got most of mine. Had a delicacy Bread & CB for once. Ship evidently a total loss. Calcutta (with Admiral) & Capetown arrived. No of missing eleven.

Thurs Aug 10th. Beautiful march over the rocks to Forteau carrying about a ton of gear. Billeted now in a fisherman's cottage & waiting for ship to take us home. Said ship expected on Sunday So as I’m like the barbers cat, “off” & finished with the Raleigh apparently this log ends. The first I’ve ever kept and it will be the last.

Finis

 


 

On  August 8th 1922, RALEIGH sped t through thick fog and ran  aground at L'Anse Amour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Eleven sailors were drowned in the shipwreck.

 

The ship was a total write-off but remained hard-aground and upright for four years. During this period, she was stripped of all salvageable items and was then destroyed with explosives in September 1926

 


 

This transcript was kindly submitted for publication by the RN Research Archive by  Petty Officer Cobb's daughter, Mrs May Cleland (Nee Cobb), she was born 12 years after the sinking and inherited the diary on her father's death . Images supplied by the Archive.


HMS Raleigh aground with some crew ashore


 

PART ONE

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Copyright  2016 www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk  


 

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