Copyright © 2007 Peter Manchester B.Sc (Hons). All rights reserved.

Personal site of Peter Manchester

November 2nd to 8th

Nov 2nd Monday

Run 221 Mls

Nothing very exciting happened today, excepting that from midday yesterday to midday today we have travelled 221 miles, if we go much slower we shall stop!

Nov 3rd Tuesday

Run 219 Mls

We have had something to break the monotony today, jus picked up the H.M.A.S. Sydney with two transports, the “Ascunius” a blue funnel boat and the “Medic” White Star. Both took up their positions on left hand line, the “Sydney” taking her position about 5 miles off port side.

Nov 4th Wed.

Run 218

Nothing happened today out of the way.

Thurs Nov 5th

Run 242 Mls.

After an uneventful morning we got a little bit of excitement in the evening by the Osterley steaming through the lines, well she tried to but was warned off by the Melbourne who was guarding the rear. The naval commander very indignant and is wiring to Colombo to detain her to have all her letters censored and all photos of convoy destroyed and to have no communication with shore. Expect Captain Jenks will be severely censured as he was warned by wireless to keep out of sight of the convoy. And not only that, she went steaming away absolutely one blaze of lights, a lovely target for any marauding German. We have just sufficient light to see our way about, its impossible to read as the lights are reduced to about 1 candle power.

Nov 6th Friday

Run 253 Mls.

Same old round of things nothing out of the way, except we had a fire station.

Nov 7th Sat.

Run 253 mls

Nothing unusual happens, only soldiers have half-day off. But about 8 p.m. just as we are finishing coffee out goes every light and boat stations sound. This is exciting, as you cannot see a thing. Make our way to boats and all soldiers muster on 1st class deck also 2nd class deck. They call the roll for every boat, and after half an hour lights come on and we dismiss. We are seeing life sure.

Nov 8th Sunday.

Run 234 mls

Weather is very warm, all officers in white, not so us. The first thing of any importance happens about 6.30 a.m. The “Minotaur”, our leading cruiser, comes down between the lines, signals to the Melbourne to take her place, as she is required for other service. And wishes us “Good Bye and Good Luck”. I tell you that did not cheer us up a bit, losing the most powerful protector. At half past ten, just as we were holding service, the “Euripedes” drops out of line and stops. It is a burial, one of the soldiers died of pneumonia. This is the first death.

Copyright © Steve McArragher

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