Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Iles war diary, 1914-1919
George Henry Iles was born in England in 1883. He joined the Royal Navy in 1912 as a ship’s cook. He was on loan from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy, from 1912 to 1921. He served as Ship’s Cook on HMAS Melbourne throughout the war. He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer Cook in the RN in 1921, probably about the time that this account was written. His RAN Service Record shows that he was married, his wife living in Cornwall
This is a detailed account of the operational history of HMAS Melbourne from 3 August 1914 to 26 May 1919. The Melbourne was a Town Class Light Cruiser, commissioned in 1913.
As the writer rarely used full stops, a dash has been inserted where appropriate, to make for easier reading.
Summary Of The Operational History Of The Melbourne
Aug. 19, 1914 – Sails for Noumea, Souva and Samoa
Sept. 9 - Destruction of the German wireless station on Nauru
Oct. 19 – Commenced convoying duties in Indian Ocean
Nov. 1 – Melbourne leaves Albany with first Australian/New Zealand expeditionary force.
Dec. 10 – Joined search for the Karlsruhe in South Atlantic
Patrolling the east coast of the United States from New York south to the West Indian islands and coast of South America to Brazil and the Amazon. No sighting of enemy warships.
May 9, 1916 – Present at Santo Domingo at start of US occupation
Aug. 28 – Melbourne leaves West Indies for England
Oct. 6 – Joined the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow then Rosyth for patrol duties and convoy escort to Bergen.
Feb. 1, 1917 Returned to Birkenhead for refit
June 27 – Returned to Scapa Flow/Rosyth and convoy escort duties to Bergen
July 9 - Sinking of the "Vanguard" in Scapa Flow
Nov 11, 1918 – Present at surrender of German High Seas Fleet at Firth of Forth and Scapa Flow
March 6 - Sailed from Plymouth for Australia, having not taken part in any action at sea during the war]
G. H. Iles, C.P.O.
C/o Miss A.G. Gordon,
Lower Wycombe Rd.
My Reminicensies of Four and a Quarter Years of War
Sydney Aug 3rd 1914
War; War is Hell as the poet said, it was Aug 3rd 1914 and the day was in keeping with the events of the times, the day was unsettled, overcast, and everybody was looking at each other, as we were all very busily engaged preparing for war, what the next 24 hours would reveal to the world we knew not, - the Battle Cruiser "Australia" flying the flag of Rear Admiral Sir George Patey lead the way out of the harbour with the Light Cruiser "Melbourne" following in her wake; it was 9 P.M. and as we groped our way forward in the darkness, the canopy of heaven above and the deep waters beneath, the sillouettes of the ocean greyhounds were symbolical of Britains might, and Australian prowess.
Never before in history had our vast Empire had reason to feel
so proud of Englands sure shield as it was on this memorable day, when by the hand of fate, and the Will of William the Emperor of Germany the power of "Might" had challenged that of "Right", and the mighty steel walls of Britain’s Navy had been called upon to protect not only the free thinking nations of the world, but the whole of ‘Humanity’.
Fully conscious of the duty that laid before us, we steamed onward thru the darkness of the night in a southerly direction closing in on the heels of the German merchantman ‘Seydlitz’ which had been ordered to leave Sydney some hours before us, the Australia had been ordered north towards the Great Barrier Reef.
On August 4th a wireless message was transmitted to us, to the effect that War had been declared between England and Germany caused by the violation of Belgium neutrality by Germany
Great excitement ensued as the result of this message, all hands were ordered by the captain to muster on deck, after which a lecture was delivered by the Captain:- Mortimer Le- Silver, to all officers & men on the seriousness of the situation, and the possibilities of our meeting with the German Pacific Fleet.
War always developes the two sides of nature one is Greed, lust for money, and territorial aggrandisement; the other was the more Humane elliments, to the former, was our suspicions directed toward our enemies, as they had known to have been preparing for offence, rather than defence for the past 40 years, therefore we were all fully conscious of the fact, that we were up against the most scientific and warlike nation, that had ever been known before in the history of the world.
The German Pacific Squadron consisted of the ‘Sharnhorst", Gneisnau", "Dresden", "Emden", and "Nurnberg" with the "Konigsberg" as an additional unit, the two former were known to be very modern, and
[Capt. Mortimer L’Estrange Silver]
formidable, heavily armed cruisers, whilst the latter ships were known as light cruisers, designed primarily for attacking merchantmen, but none of the vessels could be expected to outclass any of the units which then composed the Australian Fleet included in which were modern destroyers and submarines.
On Aug 5th  at noon a wireless message was received from our Admiral ordering us to return to Sydney preparatory to rejoining him up north, we were then off King Island heading for the Australian Bight, and closing in on the "Seydlitz", and so we turned about and proceeded towards Sydney, where we arrived 9 PM on Aug 7th - after travelling approximately 1140 miles, we anchored in Rose Bay, coaled ships etc, and on Aug 8th, under cover of darkness we proceeded to sea shaping course northward the weather was fine and the ship was cleaned and again prepared for battle.
Nothing exciting intervened, until in the morning watch on Aug 12th, when at 3 AM a large
vessel was reported by look-out, on starboard bow showing no steaming lights, our calling up signals being ignored, we closed in on the vessels course, which was the same as our own, and she was ordered to stop immediately, searchlights were thrown on her and an examining party sent on board, - she was reported as the "S.S. Alconder" coal laden, from Newcastle N.S.W. to Batavia Dutch East Indies, her papers not being to our satisfaction, our boarding party was ordered to follow our course to Rossel Island Lagoon and we proceeded on our journey north, - the weather was beautifully fine and at 3 PM on the 12th we dropped anchor inside Rossel Lagoon, the Lagoon was really a wonderful sight and work of nature, evidently there could not be much current here otherwise the wonderful minute coral polyps could not have built up such a wonderful work of nature for such it must be admitted, at low water the coral cluster that surrounded us could be easily seen for miles around, and it looked
[Rossel Island off the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea]
to the eye just like a long endless bank of earth with but one egress for entering and leaving vessels, at high water this wonderful coral reef could only be seen at intervals, caused by the foam of the washing sea, and after we had been laying there for about 4 hours the collier Alconder arrived and she was ordered to come alongside preparatory to coaling us according to the Admirals order, - we were then able to scrutinize her crew very carefully and it was plainly discernable that she carried a rather cosmopolitan crew and her Captain altho English was unobstrusive and nothing could be gleaned from the crew as to the vessels movements.
We completed with coal Aug 13th and the collier moved away to anchor off, and we washed down and again prepared for sea & await orders.
Aug 14th at 11 AM the cruiser Encounter and destroyers Yarra Parramatta and Warrego arrived, and took from us all
the stores and provisions, that we took on board at Sydney for them, and at 3 PM the cruiser "Sydney" arrived and anchored inside the lagoon and she immediately commenced to coal from "Alconder", all ships dispatched mails at 4 P.M.
Aug 15th 5.30 A.M. "Encounter" took her departure for Port Moresby New Guinea with mails and there to take in coal, - the destroyer "Warrego" was ordered to carry out patrol duties outside the Lagoon at 5.30 AM and left in company with Encounter, - "Sydney" completed coaling on this day, and collier then moved away to anchorage, having taken in over 1,000 tons of coal, the destroyer "Yarra" came alongside of us at 6.30 A.M. to enable us to transfer to her the torpedoes and stores we brought for her from Sydney; - at 6 P.M. the "Warrego" left us (having laid alongside us all night taking in stores etc) and went to anchor at mouth of Lagoon, - great excitement prevailed as nobody knew our next move, and all was agog to do something exciting, at night, ships darkened.
Aug 16th  The "Yarra" (destroyer) at 6 AM was sent out on patrol duties, as the mouth of the river was patrolled all day from dawn to dusk, as during dark hours all ships were darkened; nothing unusual happened during the day, and Yarra returned to anchorage at 6 P.M.
A large oil tank was observed way out on the horizon, and she was known to be on her way to our rendezvous, her name being "Physa", as she was showing the necessary lights she was plainly visible, and she was ordered to drop anchor outside the Lagoon, and done so at 9.30 P.M.
Aug 17th Yarra again left at 6 AM on patrol duties and at the same time she was ordered to lead the oiltank thru channel into Lagoon after which Yarra departed, whilst Physa came alongside of us at 8 A.M. and Warrigo tied up the other side of ‘Physa’ and we commenced to take in oil.
At 9-15 AM our Captain exercised battle stations
and inspected the efficiency of the ship generally, various evolutions and exercises were executed during the day, and the men were in a very high state of tension, as we had been laying here at anchor for a few days, and one and all were extremely anxious to get moving to see what our next move would be; - persistent rumours were circulated, from whence they came no one knew, but later on in the day wireless orders from the Admiral instructed our Captain to release the collier ‘Alconder’ with orders to her to proceed direct to Newcastle N.S,W. and there to report herself – eventually at 4 PM the collier began to move, and at 4.45 PM we weighed anchor and followed in the wake of collier.
The men posessed a very ecstatic feeling because we heard that we were on an expedition, and very soon after leaving the Lagoon, we passed the collier, and all hands were ordered to General Quarters, to prepare the ship for any eventuality, our speed being 18 knots per hour
a most unique episode occurred at 8.45 PM whilst we were en route, the weather was so ideal, that a good many availed themselves of the opportunity to take the air on deck before retiring, when suddenly above our head a great ball of light resembling a huge star, was observed speeding downwards upon us, - the sight was magnificent, and everybody stood aghast, thinking it was going to strike the ship, - not many moments elapsed before this huge meteor crashed into the sea with a thud, just away on our port beam, - then we all took in a deep sigh of relief, and contentment, but it was a most impressive spectacle, and such an enormous and brilliant meteor.
Aug 18th opened with squally weather and we were steaming on S.E. course & it was conveyed to us by our Captain that we were bound for Noumea, New Caledonia (French Settlement) for the purpose of convoying New Zealand Expeditionary Force to German
Samoa, - this naturally caused great excitement among our boys as they were just getting very eager to do their bit and the "Sydney" was to convoy Australian Forces to New Britain preparatory to annexing German New Guinea & Mecklenburg.
We had several days journey to reach Noumea, and the period was taken advantage of in exercising the ships company in the many and varied evolutions and exercise that were essential to the efficiency of a man-o-war, and none of us was aware as to how soon we may be called upon to test our strength against our enemy ships,- and at sunset ship was darkened and watch to man and arm ship, the weather becoming more pleasant as the day closed.
On Aug 19th  during the morning a wireless message was received by us from our flagship "Australia" to the effect that she was following on our course for Noumea and that she would join us the following
day at a rendezvous off New Caledonia.
We were accompanied with the most beautiful weather, and consequently we were conveniently able to carry out various exercises en route, so as to improve the efficiency of the men, and at 3.30 PM night defence stations were sounded; at 11.30 PM captain ordered the hands to exercise action stations which concluded after a quarter of an hour at same.
On Aug 20th and in beautiful weather, the ship was stopped at 8.30 AM to await the arrival of "Australia". In the terrific tropical sun the men found it preferable to avail themselves of the opportunity by basking in the sun, but after a short interval very many of them found it was more wise to go below between decks where at least they found it convenient to lie still, and so rest themselves preparatory to coaling ship on arrival at Noumea.
At noon far away on the horizon the "Australia" could be perceived steaming towards us, and at about an hour afterwards
she took up position ahead of us, and together we made for Noumea, preparing ship to coal en route.
On Aug 21st at 8 Am we both arrived off Noumea and there dropped anchor just outside the harbour, a collier at once went alongside the Australia to coal ship, and we were ordered to proceed inside harbour at 9 o/c to coal, - this we did, and saw the French Armoured cruiser "Montcalm", the HMS Physche "Philomel" and "Pyramus" all laying at anchor upon the perfectly still water, - the transports "Monowai" and "Moeraki" were berthed alongside the sea wall, and it was evident that all on board were hastily getting everything in readiness to proceed.
The "Australia" fired a salute and "Montcalm" which also carried a Rear Admiral returned the salute
We commenced coaling at 1.30 PM and in such intense heat it proved very laborious in the extreme, and so at dark coaling operations were suspended until
the following day.
Aug 22nd  at dawn we commenced to complete with coal and provisions for it was proposed to make our departure at 8 AM – consequently troopships which were conveying New Zealand troops for the purpose of becoming the army of Occupation at Samoa began to move away from the piers at about 8 AM but unfortunately the "Monowai" struck a submerged reef and was held fast – this caused considerable annoyance and inconvenience and completely jeopardised our plans, - the "Moeraki" had perforce to drop anchor at the mouth of the harbour, and it was then decided to await the Spring tide, hoping then to be able to tow "Monowai" off the reef, - perfect tranquillity prevailed on board the troopship, it being perfectly calm and still weather, so that no fear was entertained as to her safety and ultimate refloating.
During this interval the "Montcalm" availed herself of the opportunity to carry out a much needed steam trial, and so she proceeded
to sea at 11 A.M. whilst the S.S. Saint Antonio came alongside of us and replenished our fresh water tanks.
at 3 PM the "Montcalm" returned to her anchorage - she had every appearance of being a fine fighting ship, she was bristling with guns, and she was one of the "bonde" class of armoured cruisers and altho she had every appearance of a fine formidable weapon of war, she was outmatched by and incomparable to the Australia.
Tugs were standing by transport on the reef she was firmly held, but being a soft bed, it was hoped to refloat "Monowai" at high tide, but ultimately this did not prove successful, and so preparations were hastily made to float her off during the night at all costs, as further delay in our plans, may have caused less favourable results to the expedition, and everyone of us taking part in in such were fidgeting to get on with the god work, so during the evening, mails were despatched, and our band played lively airs on deck to our amusement
Aug 23rd During the night "Monowai" was successfully refloated, which caused great ecstacy and consequently at 8 A.M. each ship according to its station headed towards the sea, - this was a great and Historic day in the Annuls of Australia when this powerful Expeditionary Force was wending its way forward with its tail well up, for the purpose of annexing the first of the German colonies, and it is a well known fact that Samoa was considered to be the "pearl" of the Pacific.
The "Australia" led the line seaward closely followed by the "Montcalm", transports "Melbourne" and New Zealand Squadron, which consisted of the aforementioned "Philomel", Physche", and "Pyramus", at intervals of about a quarter of an hour.
The day was in keeping with such a memorable event, the tropical sun was shining in all its glory, and upon the ripless grey ocean, this formidable array of the Allies might, steamed forward through
the sunlit mist, out through the narrow passage with great high towering cliffs of New Caledonia on the port side, and low lying land on the starboard away into the open sea, and where we all took up our prearranged stations for the voyage to Suva Fiji, the "Physche" acting as leader and scout, and thus we journeyed onward
At 9 PM our captain gave us a lecture concerning the position of our armies in France, illustrated on a large blackboard after which night defence stations were sounded and ships darkened.
Aug 24  at 6 AM smoke was reported away off on our starboard bow, and we were ordered to proceed thither and report,- so we shaped our course and gathered speed quickly, and ere long we came up to the steamer which proved to be the Norwegian S.S. Tricolor", carrying 6000 tons of coal and bound for U.S.A. – she was ordered to heave to, and which she did, our boarding party was ordered to go on board her to examine
her papers, this our boarding office quickly done, and reported on same, afterwards steamer was allowed to proceed on her course, and at 11.30 AM we took up our position with the squadron. At night at dusk all ships closed in, and usual defence routine.
Aug 25th nothing untowards happened
Aug 26th Fleet arrived off Suva during the morning and in single line we entered the harbour and dropped anchor, - collier came alongside ships requiring coal, and finished at 11 P.M.
Mail was despatched. H.M.S. Sealark was laying alongside pier.
Aug 27 at 8.30 AM fleet began to leave for Apia Samoa, the weather was rather inclement, and we eventually formed into two lines, reforming into one single line by night, and thus we proceeded on conquest bent.
Aug 28th Should have been no day, but this change in time did not effect us because we were returning again on the morrow probably.
Aug 29th Jubilation was caused because we were informed by wireless that H.M.S. "Highflyer" had met and sank the Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse off W coast of Africa
The weather became heavy and everything was got in readiness for battle in the morning, as we all seriously expected much opposition, and a possible meeting of the German Squadron.
Aug 30th At 5.30 AM we stealthily arrived off the Southernmost point of Samoa and steaming rather close in land we headed for Apia, and off which place we arrived at 10 A.M. - very quickly we discovered that no enemy warships were in the vicinity, altho nothing was left to chance, all guns being manned and every man at his battle station.
Apia had every appearance of being a very nice
place, the country looking beautifully green and covered with tall drooping trees, the houses being built on its sloping surface with natives and huts abounding on the foreshore, and a long breakwater to protect its fine harbour.
"Physche" was ordered to steam inside the harbour flying the white flag, [ensign] carrying orders that the Governor or Deputy Governor surrender the island to our forces, - the latter in the absence of the Governor replied to the effect that he could not possibly formally surrender, but nevertheless no opposition would be offered to any landing of armed forces.
As a result of this it was decided to send in the troopships into the harbour under cover of all guns of warships laying outside and accordingly in due course all the Expeditionary Forces numbering approximately 1700 men were safely landed without incident, - during this period we were ordered to patrol about 8 miles out to sea.
Colonel Logan was in command of the forces
[The Official History states 1400 men]
which formed the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and after due ceremony the good old Union jack, the symbol of liberty was hoisted at 2 P.M. with due military salute customary – The Australia fired the naval salute and after the colours had been hoisted, and Samoa had once again been proclaimed a British colony, Colonel Logan had read the following proclamation to the natives by Brigade-Major Francis Heritage as follows:-
All boys belongina all place, you savvy. Big feller master, he come now, He new feller master He strong feller. All ships stop place. He small feller ships belongina him; plenty more big feller. He stop place belongina him now He come here. He take him all place. The look out good you feller. He like you feller. Look out good alonga him. Supposing other feller master, he been speak you – "you no work alonga new master. He gammon. Supposing you work good with this new feller master, he look out good alonga with you. He look out you get
plenty of good feller KaiKai food. He no fighting black feller boy along nothing. You look him new feller flag. You savvy him, he belong British English. He move better than other feller. Supposing you been making paper before this new feller master come, you finish time belongina him first. You like make him new feller paper. Long man belongina new feller master, he look out good along with you. He give you more money, and more good feller KaiKai. You no fight other feller black man. You no steal [indecipherable] belongina other feller man.
Me finish talk along with you now By and by ship belongina new feller master he come and look out place along with you. Now you give three feller cheers belong new feller master.
And needless to say these cheers were given by these black fellows wholeheartledly
At 5 P.M. "Australia", "Montcalm" & ourselves, steamed out to sea, and patrolled all approaches to the harbour of Apia, - throughout the night the weather was everything to be desired and nothing untowards happened, -eventually on Aug 31st at 7 AM we all returned to Apia; - the Administrative reported quietness, on the island, everything progressing satisfactory consequently the cruisers "Philomel", "Physche" and "Pyramus" were all ordered to proceed inside the harbour to anchorage, and protect the military forces of occupation, that were at that time very busily engaged disembarking.
At 1 P.M. the Flagship "Australia" "Montcalm" & "Melbourne" got under weigh again and headed for Suva, Fiji steaming at 12 knots weather then being still fine and bright. thus concluding Australia’s first chapter in the great war, by the annexation of the first of Germany’s colonies
Sep 2nd At noon our Squadron of three ships as previously mentioned arrived and anchored in Suva harbour Fiji, on our return journey so as to enable the Australia" and "Melbourne" to replenish our bunkers, ready for the next move in the great game, - the "Montcalm" did not require to take in coal, as the French ships are so built, to give them great coal capacity, owing I believe to the great distance between French coaling stations,- the British possessing innumerable coaling stations the whole world over, it allows us in constructing warships to pay greater attention to speed and armament, which are the predominating and deciding factor in naval warfare.
At 5 P.M. the "Montcalm" weighed anchor, and amidst great cheering from the remaining warships, departed alone for her base "Noumea" New Caledonia,-her first duty having been nobly done we "Fared thee well" - the "Australia" commenced coaling as soon as she arrived, but we did not commence until the following day, when on
Sep 3rd at 6 AM we commenced shovelling in the celebrated black diamonds from the S.S. "Katoa" approximately 700 tons, and during the forenoon to our pleasant surprise the troopship "Moeraki" escorted by the cruiser "Pyramus" arrived in harbour from Apia conveying the "Governor" and about 200 prisoners of war from that place,- naturally coaling our ship progressed rather slowly, as "Moeraki" with her prisoners of war was the centre of attraction,- well we eventually completed with coal by 7 P.M., - the collier then moved away and we washed down the ship and prepared everything for action again and ere long we were again in readiness to proceed, awaiting orders; -meanwhile our boys were availing themselves of the opportunity to take in a good supply of fruit, that the natives were selling as fast as they could bring it alongside, or inboard, until we had every appearance of being a banana ship than a ship of war, nevertheless fruit is thoroughly appreciated by all in tropical climes
Sep 4th  The "Australia" and "Melbourne" took their departure from Suva at 9 A.M. There was a heavy sea and high wind blowing at the time, and the inclement weather was of such a nature as to cause us to prepare for an uncomfortable voyage, - and very soon after we left the harbour, we were diverted from the flagships course as the "Australia was to proceed to her rendezvous at Palm Island, whilst we were ordered to proceed to "Nauru" or otherwise Pleasant Island approximately distant north 1280 miles and situated almost on the Equator; - our duty on arrival there was to destroy the powerful German wireless station one of a wireless chain which was invaluable help to the enemy ships that were operating in the Pacific, and wireless messages were constantly being sent out from this station and causing very considerable annoyance, as it had power to transmit somewhere about a 3000 mile radius, and H.M.S. Hampshire had been known to have earlier destroyed the
northernmost station of the chain which was on the Island of "Yap"
We were all very much jubilated over this coming event of ours because as our Captain termed it, "we were going to do a little job on our own" and apart from that, owing to the long distance we had to travel, - we thought it quite possible, altho improbable, that we may by chance run up against one, it not more, of our enemy ships, and as our Captain informed us en route, everything had been carefully prepared for any eventuality and the most amusing part of this information from our Captain was, that should we by chance run up against the two large German cruisers the "Sharnhorst" and "Gneisnau" he (our Captain) would put our ship at full speed and steam directly between the two ships Hun ships and fire one of our 21 inch torpedo on either beam so as to torpedo the two Hun ships at the same moment.
Theoretically of course this was quite easily accomplished, but practically it was
hardly feasible. Phsycologically it caused a good deal of amusement among the men, and was the all absorbing topic for some time afterwards because was it possible that the Germans would allow a small light cruiser to approach within effective range, when the Huns had much larger guns and could effectively place us Hors de Combat before we had a chance to put one of our shells into either of them, and so unless it happened to be a night action, the firing of our torpedoes would be quite out of the question.
Well we steamed swiftly forward full of hope of doing something, and –
Sep 6th  The weather had considerably moderated, the wind and sea had subsided, the sun was shining beautifully from a cloudless sky which caused us to be surrounded with a sunlit mist, thru which we were groping our way northward, and during this day there was nothing of particular interest to record, we just carried out our usual sea
routine under the stress of war, various evolutions and exercises were carried out en route and the ships were cleared for battle.
Sep 8th At dawn could be seen the low lying island of Nauru, - General Quarters was sounded by the bugler a little time previously, all the men were at their respective stations, guns were manned and trained, and we approached at full speed, - everyone was agog with excitement, and very quickly we steamed to within easy range of the island, the great tall telescopic mast of the wireless station was plainly visible just abreast of us as we steamed parallel with the island, tall palm trees seemed to be very conspicuous, in fact the island gave a nice beautiful green appearance; - ere long we were abreast of the village or so called town, the Governors House was plainly discernable by the German flag that was flying at the masthead immediately in front of his house; - our guns were all trained from the starboard side, on the
village and our anchor was dropped about a thousand yards from the pier; - the natives had happened to be about at the time, could be seen rushing down to the front near to where we now lay, looking towards us with apparent amazement, - no time was lost by us in getting our cutters out and lowering them into the water, - a landing party under the command of Lieu Blomfield, with a deal of difficulty owing to a heavy swell, very speedily got into the boats and pulled ashore, were landed on the pier, and marched off, - one party was ordered to deal with the Governor who had not yet finished slumber- it must be admitted that it was rather a rude awakening to find ones self surrounded by an English armed guard - and all the time the natives seemed to be full of excitement at the events which were quickly taking place, here, there, and everywhere, and as soon as the Governor was ready he was escorted down to the pier, sent across in one of the cutters and was aboard the
‘Melbourne’ by 7 A.M. - the armed party then returned to his house on guard, and hauled down the Hun flag, - during this period the remainder of the armed party proceeded direct to the wireless station accompanied by Lieu Blomfield, and the wireless operators not being aware of what was happening were still slumbering peacefully, - they were awakened and placed under guard.
The destroying of the wireless installation commenced in earnest, for everything that could be of use to the station was broken up except the great high telescopic mast, which rested on an immense glass ball, so as to give it a far greater radius of action.
At 9 AM the Governor having formally surrendered, the German flag was hauled down and the British flag hoisted in its place, with the usual salute and formality necessary for such an historic occasion.
The Governor was released and sent
on shore again provisionally and at 1 PM the two German wireless operators were escorted off to the ship as prisoners of war, together with all their personal property and placed under guard, - and so our little job on our own being completed we weighed anchor at 1.30 PM and shaped our course for Rabaul, New Guinea, a distance of about 1020 miles there to assist in the conquest of German New Guinea (Mecklensburg)
Sep 9th and 10th  nothing unusual happened the weather was still beautifully fine and breezy, a heavy swell running and we were steaming East.
Sep 12th at 9 AM we arrive off Rabaul German New Guinea, - the "Australia" was laying off Herbertshoe and the whole fleet consisting of the "Australia" "Melbourne" "Encounter" "Protection" 3 Colliers an oiltank, provision & storeship, two submarines A.E.1. and A.E.2. all steamed into Rabaul at 11 A.M. – we the "Melbourne"
[AE1 and AE2 were the first submarines in the Australian navy]
being afterwards informed that the fleet had captured Rabaul the day previously before our arrival from Noumea - A captured German steamer could be seen laying at anchor also in the harbour.
Herbertshoe also was taken the previous day, but strong opposition was here encountered when a landing was attempted, - eventually the force landed and very shortly afterwards, the natives, under German military command commenced sniping, - as a result our late Lieu Commander Elwell, R.N., 2 other Officers, and several men were killed, - this was the signal for a much larger force to be landed to enable our men to overcome the resistance - meanwhile, several natives and German non-commissioned officers were taken prisoners -and the ships were getting field guns ready for landing, as the Hun wireless station had to be destroyed, and as it laid a good distance inland, it was expected that many difficulties would be met with especially in regard to armed native forces, as the
German non coms had well trained the natives in the art of military defence previously to the outbreak of war, and in many places the roads had been mined,- but our leaders were well up to all this trickery of the Huns altho when the landing first took place, one such explosion did occur. Good progress was made during the day and in the afternoon the wireless station was destroyed.
I cannot write any details connected with the forces on shore because I remained on board the ship, but whilst the work was proceeding on shore, the guns of the warships were covering them, so that had much opposition been encountered, the place would have been bombarded.
The town of Rabaul was very low lying, and a large number of houses were there situated, the Japanese living in the far away corner; - many flags were flying in different parts of the town denoting the different nationalities, also a large Red Cross
denoting the hospital, - the very high hills that formed a beautiful background to the town, looked a picturesque landscape, with its green foliage and scattered houses. The native huts adorned the coastline as is usual, and there dug outs (boats made from tree trunks hollow out in the centre) were [indecipherable] here there and everywhere.
The collier S.S. "Whangate" came alongside us at 4 P.M. and we quickly commenced to coal, - at this time also the Australian troopship S.S. "Berrima" came in and proceeded to go alongside the pier, and as soon as she was safely moored alongside she very speedily began landing all her troops and stores, -we proceeded coaling thru the night and a patrol was constantly kept going outside the entrance to the harbour in case of the approach of the enemy warships.
Sep 13th  at 2.30 A.M. we finished coaling, and at 10 A.M. the destroyer "Yarra" came into harbour escorting a small German steamer that she captured outside conveying about 160 native armed reinforcements to Rabaul, as they
were unaware of our occupation of the place
At 2 P.M. punctual and with all due ceremony the British flag was hoisted in the main thoroughfare of the town amidst the booming of a salute fired by the flagship "Australia", and thus once more the German flag sunk into oblivion.
At 4 P.M. the "Melbourne" & "Yarra" & "Warrego" in response for help from Simpsonshafen [Simsonhafen] was ordered to proceed to that place and stand by to give any assistance necessary to our military forces.
We very soon arrived here as it was but a short distance away from Rabaul and was afterwards informed that we were not needed, so from there the "Melbourne" & Warrego" was ordered to proceed to a small island to the North of the Archipelego named "Kowie" as the result of a report received on investigation on the captured small German steamer, that the small German cruiser "Geir" was laying at anchor there with a captured Russian storeship
Sep 14th  at dawn we arrived off the entrance to the harbour and the destroyer "Warrego" was ordered by us to make a search of the harbour whilst we remained outside
"Warrego" reported that enemy warship together with captured vessel had departed two days previously, but that an enemy schooner & yacht was laying at anchor in the harbour, consequently the "Warrego" was ordered by our Captain to escort the two enemy vessels mentioned down to ‘Rabaul’ whilst we received a wireless message to the effect that we were to proceed forthwith to Sydney, N.S.W. – so at 2 P.M. we turned South
Sep 15th At Sea, Sad report received by wireless to the effect that Submarine A.E.1. was feared lost with all hands off "Cape Gazelle" at the entrance to ‘Rabaul’ – last seen about to return to harbour at 3-30 PM the day previous, and which was very shortly after we passed her as we left for "Kowie" on the 14th then "All Well"
Submarines were patrolling the
entrance to "Rabaul" by day whilst destroyers carried out this duty by night –
Several theories were spoken of as to how she may have been lost, but the most likely theory was that she had struck a submerged coral reef whilst about to return to harbour, and consequently was unable to extricate herself as probably she holed herself and sank before assistance could be signalled for.
Sep 16th A.M. whilst approaching Queensland coast a wireless message was intercepted from Colonel Logan at Apia Samoa, to Admiral Patey to the effect that German cruisers "Sharnhorst" and "Gneisnau" arrived off Apia on 14th and after reconnoitring, steamed off again in a northerly direction; - we continued on our course South, keeping strict vigilance in case the enemy ships came within view.
Sep 17th Owing to the continued illness of our pet goat that was presented to the ship whilst at Bundaberg, an island off Queensland, during our visit before the war, it was very very
reluctantly decide to drown it, and so end its continued misery, our lads were deeply moved over this ceremony because the goat was dearly loved by one and all, and could do many tricks, and play with anyone who wished, and we had carefully watched it grow from its babyhood, it was the Angora breed and a very good one at that.
On the following day Sep 18th at 5 P.M. by a strange coincidence and most unfortunately, we lost our beautiful large black cat, by name "Tom"; - it was a real beautiful evening and we were still steaming onward toward Sydney, and our ‘Tom’ was playing about on deck as he always was, and made a jump from the deck to the cutter which was hanging from the davits outboard on the starboard side foreward, by some reason or other probably by a slight motion of the ship which could cause the cutter to swing slightly outward, our pet misjudged his distance, consequently he dropped down into the deep waters beneath, and altho our lads
in close proximity saw what had occurred it was not reported to our Captain immediately consequently poor "Thomas" passed out of existence, - our Captain when afterwards he was informed about the sad occurrence, was awfully annoyed, because as he then said that anyone reported the event to him at the moment, he would certainly have stopped the ship, and endeavoured to have recovered him.
Nothing out of the ordinary occurred afterwards as we continued on our course, only that the weather was becoming inclement, until in very heavy weather we made Sydney Heads at midnight on Sep 20th - and at 1 AM
Sep 21st we passed thru the Heads rolling very heavily and a strong sea running, steaming between the rays of two very powerful searchlights stationed one each side of the Heads, eventually after much discomfort we anchored in the Bay
at 1-30 A.M. and after a few brief hours rest we weighed anchor again at 6.30 the same
morning and proceeded to Cockatoo Island and as soon as we reached there we were immediately placed in dock for an examination of our underwater fittings etc
This concluded our first six weeks of activity from the time we left Sydney till our return, and was carried out most satisfactory; for we had chased through the Pacific for a distance of approximately 11,000 miles, and assisted in the conquest of Samoa Aug 30th, Nauru Sep 8th and New Britain, or Mecklensburg by Sep 24th as the British flag was hoisted, Simpsonhafen Sep 11th and "Willelmshafen" Sep 24th
S.S. Armadale was laying alongside wharf at Cockatoo being refitted as a troopship, horseboxes being fitted on the upper deck.
Sep 22nd at 1 PM we began to refloat, and SS Armadale left for Melbourne at 1-30 PM.
Sep 23rd at 6 AM we proceeded to the British Australasian oil fuel station, to take in oil fuel, afterwards at 6 pm we again headed
down harbour to No 2 Buoy off Farm Cove to prepare for coaling, and the coaling lighter came alongside at 8P.M. and we commenced coaling at 9 P.M. finishing this most painful operation at 12-30 PM on Sep 24th after which all hands very speedily cleaned ship and prepared for sea, awaiting any further orders, - and during this period a night’s leave was given to each watch in turn until Sep 26th when great activity prevailed as we were ordered to sea on this day under sealed orders, and very surrepticiously we crept out of harbour at 10 PM; - the surf was raging high on the foreshore, and out through the darkness of the night we emerged into the great and mighty ocean, and what our next move was to be was a matter of conjecture; - the ship was very uncomfortably rolling owing to the very heavy sea that was running at the time, - ere long we shaped our course South and rumours were current that we were going to convoy troopships, and eventually the rumours became officially confirmed
that we were to intercept a Tasmanian troopship due East of Wilsons Promontory in the early hours of Sep 28th - we arrived of the point during the night, - weather became much more pleasant, and up till 9 A.M. on the 28th no sign of the Tasmanian troopship was visible, - in consequence our captain dropped anchor at that hour, and got into communication with the Promontory.
At noon smoke away out to Eastward was observed, and she was afterwards made out to be the overdue trooper, and so we weighed anchor proceeded to meet her, and together we headed for Port Phillip Bay, at which place we passed thru the Heads at 11 P.M. - the troopship anchored outside the Heads, whilst we proceeded towards "Rye" and anchored off that place (Dromana Bay)
This was the most disappointing event yet experienced, because we had been absent from Melbourne, our home port for so very long, that every officer and man was eagerly
anticipating an opportunity of paying a farewell visit to their relatives and friends because rumours were current to the effect that we were going on convoy duties as far as ‘Aden’ and if possible to intercept the German commerce raider "Emden" which was persistently sinking all merchantmen she could by chance happen to meet - The exigencies of the services not permitting us to proceed further we prepared to coal ship and so, on
Oct 1st  at 6.30 AM the collier Waipori came alongside and we commenced to coal as soon as she was secured, and we finished this operation at noon, - Our Captain gave us another lecture at 9 PM on the European crisis
Oct 2nd 12.30 PM Steamer "Lady Lock" arrived and came alongside of "Melbourne", - she had been requisitioned by Naval Board to convey wives and relatives down to us, they were not allowed inboard "Melbourne" but all husbands, or friends and relatives were
allowed to board "Lady Lock" and all were then conveyed to shore at Rye where they were allowed to land and promenade until 6 P.M. when the return trip was made to our ship; - as many as possible availed themselves of this opportunity as it was expected that another such opportunity of seeing our friends would not present itself prior to our departure,- our band which was then at its zenith played lively airs on board "Lady Lock", - arrangements were made that enabled picnic party to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Our men returned on board, and at 6.15 PM amidst much cheering "Lady Lock" departed for Port Melbourne
Oct 5th we were ordered to proceed to Port Hartingdon and exercise night sub-calibre firing, - torpedo boat Childers was detailed to tow target for us, and firing exercise was carried out by us, from 7.30 till 9 PM after which we anchored in the bay – weather was clear and fine, and we remained at Port Hartingdon until
Oct 7th  when according to orders we weighed anchor at 6.30 A.M. and much to our delight we proceeded to Port Melbourne, and where we arrived at 9 PM, and tied up alongside the town pier. The M.S. "Pyramus". SS "Wiltshire" and "Shropshire" both troopships were also alongside this pier embarking stores and troops for active service. The railway pier also was congested with troopships preparing for overseas. Leave was given to our men which made them very jubilant
Oct 9th AM coal hulk came alongside of us and we commenced coaling finishing at 5 PM when leave was again given and which continued until,
Oct 11th at 4 PM we again proceeded to sea – weather was fine but squally and after passing thru Port Phillip Heads we headed for "Sydney"
Oct 12th 11 AM a steamer was sighted ahead of us and she was called up by us, she heeded not our signal and so she was ordered to stop, failing this, a shot was fired across her bow, she proved to be S.S."Ismaila", and
apologised for not answering our signals, and gave her reasons, after which she was allowed to proceed on her course, - apparently she was unable to make out our nationality because our smoke obliterated our ensign from view through a head wind, and so fearing we were an enemy vessel the Captain thought it best to keep his course. Nothing further happened en route, the weather became fair and on
Oct 14th 6 AM we passed thru Sydney Heads once again,- we tied to a buoy in Double Bay and ere long a coal hulk was place alongside of us and we again completed with coal after which we again proceeded to anchor off Farm Cove where we leisurely remained until
Oct 17th when we were very hurriedly ordered to prepare for sea and consequently at 2 PM we surrepticiously departed steaming South – we steamed very slowly about 5 knots and "Argyleshire" troopship which left Sydney after us passed us on –
Oct 19th at 6 AM before we were able to make "Gabo Light", - we were then informed
that our convoying duties had commenced and that we were to safely see all troopships pass Gabo Point, in the meantime we patrolled the vicinity until
Oct 20th  at 2 PM when the last troopships had passed us steaming South, we then proceed to Melbourne at slow speed
Oct 21st at 5 P.M. we entered Port Phillip Heads again and anchored off Rye, the S.S. "Orvieto" flagship of transports and flying flag at masthead signifying that Major General Bridges was on board, also many nurses and doctors, passed us by at 6 P.M. on her way to sea, - 6.30 PM coal hulk came alongside us, and once again and for the last time we carried out this painful operation of coaling ship, finishing at 11 P.M. – it was on this visit to ‘Rye’ that our Torpedo Gunner Mr Knight and who was a very cool headed and zealous young officer, was unfortunately invalided
Oct 22nd at 2 A.M. and under cover of darkness we very stealthily proceeded to sea, the
weather was exceptionally fine and clear and we turned South at 15 knots intending to overhaul the troopships en route to Albany W. Australia
Oct 25th at 6 PM we arrived at Albany, and during the voyage from Port Phillip we were at intervals continually overhauling and passing the transports, and each one in response to our signals replied ‘All Well’ – it was without doubt a pleasurable trip especially across the Great Australian Bight, where more or less boisterous weather is encountered, - but on this occasion the sun was shining very brilliantly through the sunlit mist, the sea appeared to be motionless, and only the ship cutting her way forward thru the mighty deep sea caused a ripple on the surface
It was a splendid sight to watch the passing of each trooper, for it seemed the side near to us was crowded with Anzacs waving handkerchiefs to us as we sped past them – Several had already arrived
and were laying safely at anchor in Albany harbour when we entered; - we proceeded direct to the anchorage allotted us as guardship which was near the approach on the western side and the lee of the very high land; - at that time no other warship was present
One by one the transports continued to arrive all thru the night forming lines of fine large ships as they anchored in position; -
at 7 AM Oct 26th  we proceed inside the harbour nearby the pier, and went alongside S.S. Kaituna and immediately filled our bunkers up with coal, also the waist of the ship was temporarily constructed so as to allow an extra storage of coal in reserve, and on completing this operation once again, we returned to our anchorage as guardship passing between the lines of transports en route dropping our anchor at 4 P.M.
Oct 27th at 8 A.M. we sighted hull down the M.S. "Minotaur" steaming towards Albany followed closely by H.M.S. "Philomel" and
and "Pyramus" the Japanese armoured cruiser "Ibuki" was also accompanying these warships to Albany having joined them en route. It was afterwards observed that these warships were engaged convoying the ten New Zealand troopships across to Albany and it was a very picturesque sight to watch – As they approached the entrance they formed up into single line and slowly they began to enter at 10-30 A.M. headed by the "Minoraur".
The warships proceeded to replenish their bunkers, whilst the troopships took up their anchorage in their allotted line.
Japanese cruiser "Iluki" left again at 2 P.M. en route for Freemantle so as to join troopships conveying West Australian troops overseas, and afterwards convoy them out and join our fleet at a rendezvous – We proceeded up harbour again at 2.15 PM to enable us to take in stores and provisions after which we took up our former duties
Oct 29th  3-30 AM – S.S. Essex was observed by us entering the harbour, and owing to our many troopships laying at anchor and showing no lights the "Essex" was ordered by us to drop anchor inside the harbour under the lee of land, abreast of us, until day light and so avoid any accident,- but she appeared to ignore our signal to stop which was one round fired from one of our 3 pounder guns – in consequence of this breach, our Gunnery Lieutenant E. Gloag was ordered to fire one round from our Fox’cle 6 inch gun, this shell dropping very closely to the Essex quickly brought her to bay and she then immediately dropped anchor
We remained where we were till Oct 30th at 8.30 when we again proceeded up harbour to replenish bunkers from S.S. "Kaituna" preparatory to leaving,- for having such a long voyage before us (to Colombo) and with the probability of encountering the "Emden", and in such case we ourselves expecting to be privileged by engaging her
as we were then second senior ship it was essential that as much coal as possible should be take on board - after completing with coal we again returned to the Heads on guard
Oct 31st 5A.M. "Sydney" entered the harbour and proceeded to place of coaling, and at 9 A.M. we again proceeded to the pier to provision ship - we were all awaiting orders to sail, consequently laying at anchor with full steam always ready in case of emergency it was of vital necessity that whenever an opportunity presented itself the warships should keep supplies of coal and provisions at their maximum
We again took up our duties at the Heads as guardship, and a rather exciting incident occurred at 4 P.M. when a steamer was observed by us leaving harbour and heading for the open sea, also she was flying the Dutch flag, - she had not obtained permission to sail, so our Captain ordered to return to her anchorage, she steamed a complete circle after which she came close up
under our stern and her Captain using a megaphone, begged us to let her proceed with his ship on voyage to Holland Via Durban, our Captain in reply ordered him to proceed inside harbour, and there await until permission was ceded him to leave harbour - She carried an upper deck cargo of coal and our captain suspected her and in consequence, an armoured guard under the charge of a RNR Officer (Australian) was placed on board her until after we had all made our departure
Nov 1st  and one of the most memorable days in Australian History this great assembly of ships began to move, - the day was in keeping with events, a cloudless sky which allowed the sun to shine in all its brilliancy, just a light breeze was blowing, and the sea was ripless and this great and representative assembly of men and ships were on the eve of taking farewell of their country, the land of their birth, setting out on a task they knew not where, or how long it would take to accomplish
List and numbers of troopships of the 1st Expeditionary Force escorted by us en route for Europe
No - Name
18 - Wiltshire
7 - Medic
11 – Ascanius
15 – Star of England
2 – Geelong
17 – Port Lincoln
10 – Karoo
21 – Marere
26 – Clan Macauquadale [McCorquodale 6]
No – Name
3 – Orvieto
27 – Southern
4 – Pera
26 – Armadale
12 – Saldanha
13 – Katuna
1 – Hymethys
23 – Suffolk
25 – Anglo Egyptian
No – Name
14 – Eurypides
8 – Argyleshire
9 – Afric 
19 – Benalla 
24 – Rangatira 
22 – Star of Victoria 
16 – Hororata 
17 – Omrah 
5 – Shropshire 
28 - Mitiades
The above were Australian troops
The below were N.Z. troops
3 – Manganui
6 – Oriva [Orari]
8 – Star of India
7 – Limerick
4 – Tahiti
10 – Orawa [Arawa]
11 – Athinic
9 – Hawkes Bay
5 – Ruapshu
12 – Waimana [Waimati]
[Corrections to ship’s numbers and names are shown in square brackets]
and a great many of them unfortunately were taking their last glimpse of these beautiful shores; - a small steamer was observed winding about the harbour as the leading ships began to show signs of movement, and in the bow of this small steamer, could be seen a cinematograph machine and its operator standing close by ready to operate, apparently to film the departure of the convoy and so enable the public of Australasia to witness on the screen, the part that great Continent had decided to take in this great Drama called war.
It was precisely at 6 A.M. when HMS "Minotaur" the senior ship of the convoy began to move and took up the leading ship of the line we were still at anchor at the entrance on guardship duties, and so we were privileged with witnessing the full splendour of this spectacular event now taking place. The "Minotaur" was immediately followed by the H.M.A.S. "Sydney" one of Australia’s own naval units and incidentally sister ship to our own, and following the Sydney at regular
intervals were twenty six Australian Troopships – The two warships quickly gathered speed as they entered open sea, and majestically they cut their way thru the ripless water, throwing up a bow wave on either side, and churning the water at their stern. One could not abstain from possessing that feeling of security as these vessels passed out of harbour
The leading ship was the most powerful, by far, she carried much larger guns 9.2 inch and also thicker armour plating adorned her sides; her speed being about equal to our own, which averaged approximately 24 Knots, - her radius of action was also much greater than that of ours – she was cleared ready for action, and her upper deck gave her a good freeboard; - she was a much larger vessel altogether, and posessed four funnels the same as our class of ship but did not rake as much as ours did (that is on the slope)
Our class of Light Cruiser were designed mostly for scouting purposes and for duties on trade routes and were in consequence excellent sea boats.
posessing an armour belt of about 2 inches and carrying 6" guns of Q.F. class and 21 inch torpedoes which were at that time the very latest
The ships departed in single line at regular intervals, and following the twenty-six Australian troopships were the ten New Zealand making a grand total of thirty six transports, with four warships in addition, the H.M.A.S. Pioneer, being the fourth warship and her duties were to act as scout to the convoy.
We weighed anchor at 9 A.M. as soon as the last ship was abreast of us, then took up our position of rear ship of the line, and what a line for as far as the eye could see, was one long line of ships of all sizes and class, which not long since were peaceful merchantmen and liners, carrying on their legitimate trade of the worlds commerce and now, were so converted to enable them to carry part of that great army, that was destined to battle with the world’s arch enemy, Germany and afterwards her allies also.
As soon as we were all well clear of the land the signal was given by Minotaur to form
the Australian transports into three lines,
of ten ships each followed by the New Zealand ships astern in two lines of five ships in each line Minotaur was to be ahead of convoy leading, with "Sydney" away on port beam and ourselves, the "Melbourne" on the starboard beam whilst "Pioneer" was at the rear.
The shores of Australia were by this time becoming very feint, and one could not help wondering how many of these thousands of brave young men would be allowed to ever see those beautiful shores again, and that was now almost lost sight of. It filled one with pride to be one of such a great number that were now going to do their bit
As far as we were concerned great activity prevailed, all preparations were hastily taking place preparing for possible action, because "Emden" had been so very active of late, in the waters which we were now passing through that it was fully expected that one or the other
of our warships would encounter the Hun raider – At dusk all ships were ordered to darken all lights and the usual night routine carried out (night defence etc) - Wind was rising and weather now becoming more inclement
Nov 2nd  ‘All Well’ nothing eventful happened, but weather becoming more disturbed.
Nov 3rd Weather overcast and strong sea running and steaming slowly as we then were, it made things most uncomfortable. At 5 PM the Japanese armoured Cruiser "Ibuki" a beautifully heavily armed vessel and looking formidable and invincible joined our convoy together with the two West Australian transports that she had escorted from Freemantle; - the weather being now so rough the "Pioneer" was compelled to return to port, in consequence of which "Ibuki" took up our position on the starboard beam, whilst we replaced "Pioneer" at the stern, and in such positions the day closed "All Well" the sea becoming calmer as midnight approached
The formation of the convoy at this time was three divisions of Australian ships, and together with their recognition numbers was in the following order respectively
18 - Wiltshire
7 - Medic
11 – Ascanius
15 – Star of England
2 – Geelong
17 – Port Lincoln
10 – Karoo
21 – Marere
26 – Clan Macauquadale [McCorquodale 6]
3 – Orvieto
27 – Southern
4 – Pera
26 – Armadale
12 – Saldanha
13 – Katuna
1 – Hymethys
23 – Suffolk
25 – Anglo Egyptian
14 – Eurypides
8 – Argyleshire
9 – Afric 
19 – Benalla 
24 – Rangatira 
22 – Star of Victoria 
16 – Hororata 
17 – Omrah 
5 – Shropshire 
25 – Mitiades 
New Zealand Ships (astern)
3 – Manganui
6 – Oriva [Orari]
8 – Star of India
7 – Limerick
4 – Tahiti
10 – Arawa
11 – Athinic
9 – Hawkes Bay
5 – Ruapshu
12 – Waimana [Waimati]
Warships - Ahead "Minotaur"
[Port] Beam "Sydney"
[Starboard] Beam "Ibuki"
[Corrections to ship’s numbers and names are shown in square brackets]
Nov 5th  commenced "All Well" During the forenoon about 10-30 the Orient liner S.S.Osterley approached , steaming same course as convoy – it was a splendid day, and she looked such a fine massive vessel as she approached at a good speed and overhauled us passing very closely and which caused a signal to be sent to her from "Minotaur", and altho she was doing her usual run, she was at the same time on special duty for Australian Government carrying despatches and bullion etc etc - She soon showed us a clean pair of heels and was lost sight of again
Nov 6th Weather fine but swell running and during the day a wireless massage was intercepted stating that "Sharnhorst" "Gneisnau" and "Nermburg" had arrived at Valpariso [Chile] South America to coal and provision
Nov 7th Another wireless message was intercepted but unfortunately it proved to be a very unexpected and unwelcomed message, it was to the effect that the German Pacific Squadron had met, engaged, and sank the British
warship HMS "Good Hope" flagship of Rear-Admiral Craddock also HMS "Monmouth" on Nov 3rd off Coronel [Chile] South Pacific, the HMS "Glasgow" and the Auxillary Cruiser "Otranto" were also engaged but escaped a similar fate and only to be expected the Germans had not saved a single soul from the sunk British warships – Such a calamity was far from our thoughts and to think the enemy squadron could reach such a distance was inconceivable – it was a very bitter pill for us to swallow, and all hoped the Huns would soon meet a similar fate naturally, because they posessed overwhelming superiority over the British cruiser squadron – For the remainder of that day a gloom hung about the ship
Nov 8th at 7 A.M in consequence of above events H.M.S. "Minotaur" was detached from convoy, and ordered to proceed on S.W. course to an appointed rendezvous. "Melbourne" to be placed in charge of convoy. Our ship drew up abreast of "Minotaur", our Captain
[The "Good Hope" was sunk by the "Scharnhorst" and the "Monmouth"" by the "Nurnberg" off the coast of Chile]
proceeded to interview Captain of "Minotaur" after which we assumed charge of convoy taking up our position at its head. It was a most beautiful day and "Minotaur" turned South, and amidst the exchanging of cheers, "Minotaur" departed and was very quickly lost sight of. It was presumed that "Minotaur" was intended to reinforce H.M.A.S. "Australia" in the South Pacific, with a view of intercepting the German Squadron under Admiral Von Spee, and force them into action
"Sydney" and "Iluke" remained at their former station, consequently by our withdrawal from the rear of the convoy, the most vulnerable point was left unguarded, and so a very sharp lookout had to be kept by rear ships
Nov 9th at 6.30 AM proved to be yet another beginning of a chapter in Australian History for it was at this moment that a wireless message was received from Cocos Island by us to the effect that an hostile ship was making towards the island presumably to destroy the wireless and cable station, and in
response to this message, our Captain ordered the H.M.A.S. to proceed to Cocos Island and intercept hostile warship, - only a few minutes elapsed between the receipt of this urgent message and the despatch of "Sydney" and ere long the "Sydney" was obliterated from view by her own smoke screen.
Captain Mortimer Le Silver became very frenzied because he could not himself proceed himself to intercept hostile warship, but he was prevented from so doing on account of his immense responsibility of being in charge of convoy and its safety, and he had to perforce remain with convoy, against his wish, but quite in accordance to his duty
It was a most ideal day for a naval action & naturally one and all came to the conclusion that the supposed hostile warship if such it was, could be no other than the much searched for "Emden" that had given such considerable annoyance and anxiety and which was under command of Captain Von Muller.
Each and every one was very excited over impending events and keen disappointment prevailed because we could not go.
Hoses were rigged and run all around our upper deck, the sea water was forced thru at full strength and the water was played everywhere so that there would be but little possibility of a fire on board should we by chance eventually be forced into action with enemy warship, - and at this time as far as we knew, both the German cruisers "Emden" and "Konigsberg" were yet to be accounted for, and so it was quite probable that both ships were working in conjunction, and should one be engaged the other may by chance have an opportunity of getting in touch with our convoy and do as much damage as possible, - altho at the same time she would have but little chance of herself escaping, and so one and all had to be well on the alert for any eventuality and incidently our convoy had only passed Cocos Islands during the past night.
It was about 7.30 AM when another
message was received from Cocos in the form of S.O.S.; incidentally, it must be mentioned that Captain Silver had ordered that none of our ships should use their wireless as otherwise the enemy vessel would be aware of hostile ships being in the vicinity, so that the operators feeling on Cocos may be well imagined not to be able to receive any replies to their signals
On receipt of this message of distress the Japanese cruiser "Iluki" became very much alarmed and left her station at full speed and steamed around convoy and headed for Cocos Island without apparently having been given orders so to do, consequently our Captain caused a signal to be sent to her to return to her station forthwith only on the active side of convoy (that nearest to Cocos Island)
At 9 AM "Sydney " sent a wireless message to the effect "Enemy in Sight" and at 10.30 A.M. another message conveying the glad news that "Sydney " was engaging enemy hotly" – this caused immense excitement, and further news was very eagerly awaited, we were all well rewarded for only
[The SOS was sent from the wireless station at Cocos before it was disabled by a detachment from the "Emden"]
25 minutes later the glad tidings was flashed to us from the "Sydney" stating that "Enemy cruiser, believed "Emden", has had to beach herself, on fire, to prevent sinking, with funnels and masts blown away, and that "Sydney" was pursuing hostile cruiser’s collier"
What great and glorious news this was to us all, it was a great sight to witness the excitement that it caused among our men, and of course among our officers also, from Captain downwards, so much so that our Captain permitted us to "Splice the Main Brace" an old time honor, and the first tot of rum that we had the pleasure of drinking since our ship was commissioned, and wholeheartedly we all drank to the Health of the Captain, Officers, and men of the "Sydney" also that of the "Royal Australian Navy"
The most peculiar and jocular thing that happened this day was that the "Sydney" done the work, and the Melbourne drank the tot, and which afterwards, caused much amusement on the two ships concerned.
The wireless and cable operators of Cocos Island were mentioned in despatches
for their very prompt action in reporting news of hostile warship and which brought to an end the noted career of the great commerce raid[er] "Emden" & her collier "SS Buresk" one of the "Emden’s" captured British prizes.
On the "Emden" were approximately 150 killed and 100 wounded, majority severely.
The "Sydney" was congratulated by us for her smart action, and was ordered to remain behind to take off wounded and prisoners, and afterwards bring them on to Colombo, to where we were al proceeding
One cable was saved by the operators [on Cocos Island] burying the instruments before enemy were able to make a landing. The "Emden" sent a landing party on shore to wreck the station armed to the teeth including maxim guns, - this party had no time to return to their ship as "Sydney" loomed up on the horizon and "Emden" made off, whilst the landing party commandeered a motor barque the property of the island, and so made good their escape, whilst the action
was being fought
"Sydney" reported 3 killed and 14 wounded at the time, whilst "Boy Williams" was mentioned for bravery, for throwing a burning charge over the side severely burning himself - "Sydney" was hit by about 14 shells, but only two exploded, and Captain Glossop carried the action thru from the upper bridge of "Sydney"
At noon we ordered convoy to reform, and we again resumed our passage towards Colombo
Nov 11th  "Sydney" reported by wireless that she had buried the dead, and was proceeding to Colombo with the wounded and prisoners – Captain Von Muller and German Crown Prince of Hohenzollern was amongst the prisoners, and they were allowed to retain their swords as honours of war.
Nov 12th In accordance with wireless orders from London the charge of the convoy was transferred to the Japanese cruiser "Iluki" whilst we proceeded ahead direct to Colombo at 16 Knots, and only
A few hours after we had left the convoy, smoke was observed ahead on the horizon, and ere long a large ship was observed hull down, - not knowing what ship this may be, and quite possibly we thought it may be the German cruiser "Konigsberg" our Captain ordered us to ‘Action Stations’, - everybody became very excited because we really thought our turn had arrived to do a bit, - shells were very hurriedly sent on deck hoses rigged and decks awash, guns fully manned and trained, everything ready for the order to open fire, but we suddenly received a shock when the Bugler sounded "Cease Fire" and return stores.
We went on deck to discover who may have caused all this alarm and found it to be the Auxillary Cruiser Empress of Asia now very near to us, and she reported as being on her way to Cocos Islands to salvage part of "Emden’s" movable gear if possible and at 5 PM we passed another of her class of ships this time the "Empress of Russia" en route to escort convoy to Colombo
At 8 PM we met and passed H.M.S. "Hampshire"
Bound East – she signalled to us press news and very soon she was lost sight of in the darkness Weather was still very beautiful and onward we speedily went to Colombo.
Nov 14th  at noon we arrived at Colombo, and found numerous ships there, one of which was the Russian five funnelled cruiser "Askold" which together with the "Emden" had previously reported sunk in a battle to the finish of both in the Eastern Seas, but here she lay peacefully at anchor and very much alive. Numerous ships, now prizes of war and once German were also laying at anchor
As soon as we were secured we at once commenced to coal from lighters by natives and at 2 PM we took in oil At 6 P.M. a tremendous heavy thunder storm broke over the harbour, the likes of which I have never before witnessed - the rain was that thick and heavy that you could only see but a few yards ahead, and some of the peels of thunder was about 30 seconds duration at least
Nov 15th at 7.30 A.M. we finished coaling and at
8.30 A.M. the New Zealand transports to arrive and came into harbour.
Sydney sent a wireless message early in the morning to the effect that no cheering or anything noisy should take place when the "Sydney" arrived owing to the many wounded cases on board.
Eventually at 10 AM "Sydney" entered harbour unceremoniously and steaming slowly the German prisoners were easily decernable on deck looking mournfully around as they entered – awnings along the side and over head were spread within which lay the many wounded. Her damaged parts could be easily seen, on the bridge, abreast of her third funnel and the hole in her side aft, through which a shell passed through the Commander’s cabin unexploded, - she eventually came to anchor and very soon Captain Silver and many officers from our ship boarded the "Sydney" presumably to inspect her and offer congratulations - At 11.30 AM we departed for Aden
Nov 20th 9.30 till 10.15 AM we exercised Battle Stations, the Captain inspecting various
parts of the ship and in the evening at 5 P.M. our Gunnery Lieutenant E. Gloag gave us a most interesting lecture on the "Sydney – "Emden" action illustrating particular points on the blackboard – this greatly interested one and all because it was really first hand information
Nov 21st  at 6 A.M. after a most beautiful voyage across the Arabian Sea, we arrived at Aden and where we found HMS "Gloucester" laying at anchor, - of course we all had to eagerly gaze at the "Gloucester" because this ship was famous for having chased the large German Battle Cruiser "Goeben" into Dardanelles for safety – it seemed most amusing to think such a small vessel as she was, could perform such a great deed and how it reflects on German prowess & patriotism - We commenced to coal as soon as we anchored at at 6 PM Gloucester departed en route for Gibraltar
Nov 22nd at 1.30 AM we finished coaling and at 6 AM we weighed anchor and left at 14 Knots for Port Said, - weather was still fine and sea smooth. At 4.30 P.M. we passed
several Transports en route for Aden, with Territorials on board
Nov 25th  At noon we sighted H.M.S. "Minerva" ahead of us patrolling the Red Sea, and overhauled and passed her at 4.30, signals were exchanged and at 8.30 PM we picked up pilot to take us through the Suez Canal, and while en route saw many torpedo and river craft vessels doing patrol duties, also a large number of Indian troops were guarding the canal banks
Nov 26th 10.30 A.M. we arrived at Port Said and dropped pilot, anchored and prepared to coal by native labour, - French cruiser was also coaling - coaling and provisioning having been completed we weighed anchor and left for Malta at 5 P.M. and on entering the Meditterranean we encountered very heavy weather
Nov 27th We ran into much calmer weather and becoming more favourable as we progressed
Nov 29th At 2 P.M> we passed thru Malta breakwater and secured at No 6 Buoy. Many large French warships were at anchor in the harbour and which included the "Jean Bart" of the Dreadnought
class, also the "Justice", "Voltaire", torpedo boats, destroyers, and submarines were numerous.
H.M.S. "Indomitable " was in dock – We commenced to coal as soon as we secured also provisions, oil and water. Leave was given
Dec 2nd  "Sydney" arrived and was received with a very warm welcome
from all ships in harbour, men cheering and bands playing and she secured to a buoy at our stern. At 9 AM we departed for Gibraltar – weather now very fine, but we were soon aware that we were now actually in war zone and very strict vigil had to be maintained for enemy submarines, and mines. Island of Pantellaria passed at 6 P.M.
Dec 6th at 7 AM we arrived at Gibraltar after a fine, uneventful voyage, -torpedo boats were patrolling outside harbour, HMS "Caesar" was laying at anchor outside breakwater, whilst HMS "Vengeance" and "Yarmouth" and many other craft were inside. We tied up to No 1 Coaling wharf, and very soon replenished our bunkers whilst leave was given to the men.
Dec 7th  At 10 A.M. "Sydney" arrived and entered harbour, and at 1 P.M. HMS Carmania (Auxillary Cruiser) also arrived, - this latter vessel became world famous owing to her action with German Auxillary Cruiser "Cap Trafalgar" off Trinidad and which was considered the finest naval action of the war as it was fought on equal terms. She looked a fine powerful ship and very massive and apparently was well knocked about in the action. Captain Grant was her Captain – We remained here and gave leave each day till
Dec 10th at 4 P.M. we were ordered to join the Flag of Rear Admiral De Roebuck H.M.S. "Amphitute" in South Atlantic, and to act under his orders, and so we departed – Admiralty wireless message received on this day stated that Vice Admiral Sturdee with his cruiser squadron had met and engaged the German Pacific Squadron, consisting of the now famous flagship of Admiral Von Spee the "Gneisnau" "Sharnhorst" "Nurnberg" and "Dresden" off the Falkland Islands at
[Admiral John de Robeck, HMS "Amphitrite"]
7.30 A.M. on Dec 8th, and as a result of which the three former were sank, and only five men were picked up, Admiral Spee having one down with his ship. The latter two ships escaped, being chased by our cruiser squadron and according to wireless message received later the "Nurnberg" was sunk, [plus the Leipzig, only the Dresden escaped] The only British casualties being four killed and seven wounded
This news naturally caused consternation in Germany, and the "Karlsrhue" [Karlsruhe] was only other German cruiser now remaining on the High Seas unaccounted for, and also three auxillary cruisers,
The sinking of this formidable enemy squadron was most welcome news, and so revenged the sinking of Admiral Cradocks squadron off Coronel with not a single survivor.
Dec 12th at 6 PM we arrived off Madeira Islands and steamed close up to HMS Amphitrite", and our Captain then proceeded to report himself to Admiral De Roebuck at 6.10. He remained to dinner, returning on board at 8.15 P.M. after
[The Karlsruhe was destroyed by an internal explosion on Nov.4,1914]
which we immediately proceeded to sea again shaping course for the "Azores" – H.M.S. "Andromeda" proceeded South. - weather fine.
Dec 13th  Wireless message received stating that German cruiser "Karlsrhue" was reported in the West Indies, and that we were to proceed at once to Bermuda, this was at 3 P.M. and very heavy weather was approaching, and wind was rising to a gale.
Dec 13th 14th 15th The gale raged with unabated fury and we had to alter course and head the storm, our wireless aerial had to be taken down for safety.
Dec 16th We entered calmer weather and things became much more comfortable, and we were able to shape course for Bermuda again.
Dec 20th at 7 AM we arrived at Bermuda and 8.30 the oil steamer "Hermione" came alongside of us and we took in oil, at 5 PM the collier SS. Fenay Lodge came alongside and secured for the night
Dec 21st We commenced coaling at 6.30 AM and finished at 10.30 P.M.
Our stay here was very brief and
Dec 22nd at 9 AM we were ordered to proceed to St Lucia West Indies, - the weather now had become very fair and bright and we looked for a very pleasant passage.
Dec 25th Xmas Day we were off St Lucia but we had to remain at sea until the morrow and so we made the best of the day, especially it being the first Xmas under war conditions – consequently to cheer things up a little our Captain for the second time allowed us to indulge in another tot of rum (our second tot) and so the day passed cheerfully
Dec 26th at 6 A.M. we entered St Lucia and tied up to the coaling wharf, natives prepared and coaled our vessel at 8.15 A.M. and at 1.30 PM we finished coaling and cleaned ship – HMS. Berwick appeared outside the harbour mouth at 2 o/c and we moved to a buoy in the stream so as to allow the Berwick to come alongside to coal – Leave was given to our men until dark so that we were able to have a
good run around the town and see things – The natives appeared to be very intellectual, and the town not too bad, but the island was very hilly, upon which was built on one side a soldiers barracks, and which was at this time occupied by "Canadians"
Dec 27th at 1.30 P.M. we were ordered to proceed to Trinidad (Port of Spain)
Dec 28th at 8 A.M. we arrived and anchored in Port of Spain off the town,- we then coaled oiled, and watered, after which we took up a special pilot and departed at 6 P.M. to an unknown destination, - weather very fine & warm – Our Captain afterwards informed us that we were proceeding to Caribbean Sea to search islands therein for "Karlsrhue" – This sounded like a pleasant little enterprise, and we were all hoping that there would be something doing and the weather was very fine and warm
Dec 30th at 1 P.M. we entered Gulf of "Venezuela" – This was the first neutral port we had entered since the outbreak of war – It was
modern being guarded by forts, and other means of defence, - finding nothing that concerned us, in the harbour or Gulf, we came out again, and lowered and manned our steam cutter, for the purpose of inspecting the islands & riverlets that lay at the mouth of the Gulf of Venezuela – This vigilant searching party under the command of Lieu Commander Blomfield having sighted nothing, we again proceeded on our cruise and so on
Jan 1st 1915 at 9 AM we arrived and anchored just outside Port Capello Venezuela,- this as far as we could judge, appeared a very pretty place, and to add to its beauty, all the ships and places in and around the harbour were very gaily decorated – Various officials and Consuls paid a visit to our ship and which was returned by our Captain in due course, and also a salute was fired by us, and returned by the forts – Weather was exceptionally fine and after theses official ceremonies we again proceeded on our cruise in a N.W. direction
Jan 2nd Entered & left the Gulf of Venezuela again
Jan 4th We entered the Gulf of Darien in the morning and at noon we went to battle stations; - at 3 P.M. we dropped anchor at the mouth of the Gulf, - we lowered our whaler and sent in a party under two officers to ascertain any news concerning "Karlsrhue" from the settlers near by, and at 5 PM we again got under weigh after a thorough search had been made
Jan 5th at 2 P.M. we arrived at Colon Bay and made a thorough search of this place, - it was awfully swampy and a likely hiding place for any hostile ship, -nothing was discovered so at 4.30 P.M. we dropped anchor and the men were allowed on shore to bathe
Jan 6th at 4 P.M. we left Colon Bay
Jan 7th at 10 AM we arrived at Cartagena and left again at noon for Jamaica
Jan 9th at 7 AM we passed Port Royal en route to coaling wharf (Antonio) Jamaica – This place, Port Royal, exhibited plain evidence of a past earthquake, - part of the old town then being submerged, whilst other parts, and
more especially the older buildings were leaning distinctly seaward, - this place lies at the head of a long narrow strip of land jetting out from the hills –
We proceeded to coaling wharf and secured ship – natives in their own made boats out of boxes with pieces of wood added to form the bow or stern, came out to meet us, diving deep for pennies as we threw them over the side, - this caused great amusement because at times as many as a dozen or more would all leave their canoes and dive overboard at the same moment after one penny, - and it was exciting to watch them going downwards; their feet being white on the bottom you could see them very easily, and when they again rose to the surface, each had invariably to swim some distance before reaching their boat
The native women lost no time in introducing themselves to us for the first time, selling good appetising fruit, such as pineapples, oranges limes lemons, cocoanuts, alligator pears, etc all at exceedingly cheap rate, and they also took
any dirty clothes, we cared to give them in the morning, and would return them to us the same day spotlessly clean, also at a very cheap rate – The native men and women commenced to coal us, carrying the coal, about a hundred pound in a basket, on their head, and each receiving a ¼d per basket as they stepped on board, - on Sundays they were paid ½ d double rate, and they usually coaled very quickly
Leave was given and we availed ourselves of the opportunity to visit the many places of interest, and along the sea front especially Harbour Street, - many buildings had been demolished by the last earthquake including the Post Office – We found Jamaica a delightful place, hotels and restaurants were very numerous and very moderate, it was in fact pretty, ideal, and picturesque. Ice cream shops and picture houses were predominant, and we played several cricket matches whilst there, and
it posessed quite a large number of white people – Up Park was a large military centre for both English and the West Indian Regiment, noted for their picturesque dress. There was also a good service of Electric trams, upon which one could travel to the outlying districts and environs of Jamaica - the fares were very moderate, and the scenery en route was really very pretty – Hope Gardens also was well worth a visit, everything tropical in the shrub line could be seen therein, orange trees in galore
The picture houses posessed no roof in the majority of cases, and palm trees adorned each side, making it look very cool and pleasant – Spanish Town, once the capital, was well worth visiting, for it posessed very many historical places, many of which recorded the visits and doings of Nelson – We remained alongside Antonio wharf during the whole of our stay.
Jan 12th at 11 A.M. the H.M.A.S. "Sydney" paid
her visit to Jamaica, and secured herself to the opposite side of our pier, - she had come from Bermuda via Haiti, and she soon commenced to replenish bunkers.
Jan13th We departed at 10 AM to take up the first of our patrol duties, and which was to relieve H.M.S. Berwick off Havana Cuba, an acceptable change.
Jan 16th 10 AM we arrived off Havana and after exchanging signals, our Captain paid a visit to "Berwick" and at 10.45 we took over our duties, Berwick departing to Jamaica, having left her collier the S.S. "Ridley" in our charge, as apparently these patrols lasted about 10 days, so that it was necessary to replenish bunkers during this period. There were four German steamers and one Austrian in Cuba harbour (Havana)
Jan 22nd A schooner whilst entering Cuba harbour, Havana, in wild weather ran ashore, and we steamed up just on the weather side and offered assistance to try and tow her off as she was lifting badly and bumping the rocks, but she
declined our offer owing to the fact that assistance from the harbour had been signalled for, and so we returned to the 3 mile limit and resumed our duties on patrol
Jan 25th at 9 A.M. the weather permitted us to replenish our bunkers from collier "Ridley" and we completed same by 6 P.M. after which our collier returned to Jamaica.
Jan 26th at 9 AM H.M.S. Berwick arrived from Jamaica to relieve us, after completing our first sentinel duties of 10 days duration, and after signals had been exchanged and Captains met we departed for Jamaica at 10 A.M.
Nothing worth noting happened here but we all thought it to be a very nice quiet job, and at times the ship stopped on the fishing ground, - we availed ourselves of this opportunity and used our lines, - we found an abundance of fish in the vicinity, also at times sharks and which caused endless amusement, for shark catching is real good sport, and when we were able to land one inboard, we would cut out his jaw to obtain the teeth
Jan 27th at 7.30 PM. and when we were abreast of the Southernmost point of Cuba, a ship was observed coming down hard upon us – we hove to and used our searchlights and discovered her to be U.S.A, Light cruiser Amman on passage to Santo De Cuba,- signals were exchanged and both vessels proceeded on their respective course
Jan 28th 9 AM. we again arrived at Jamaica and prepared to coal
Jan 29th Natives coaled ship, and leave given during our stay until
Feb 2th at 9 A.M. we departed for Havana & at 2 A.M. we came in touch with French armoured cruiser "Conde" (sister ship to "Montcalm" which accompanied us to annex the German Pacific posessions) signals were exchanged as we passed, - weather fine
Feb 4th 8 A.M. we arrived off Coy Sel near Cuba and at 9 AM S.S. Welbury, collier, came alongside and we replenished bunkers leaving for Havana at 5.30 P.M.
Feb 5th at 6 A.M. we arrived off Havana and relieved H.M.S. Berwick on patrol duties the latter leaving for Jamaica at 7 A.M.
Feb 7th 6 medical cases were reported on board supposed to be climatic bubo, tropical diseases
Feb 9th French cruiser Conde arrived at 11 AM. to relieve us, rather unexpectedly after only a few days away from Jamaica, but we were to proceed this time to Gulf of Honduras in search of Karlsruhe’s attendents and so we took our departure in fine weather at 12.30 P.M. for Bay Island British Honduras.
Feb 11th at 6 A.M we arrived at Bay Island and at once commenced a vigilant search f all islands in the vicinity, which were all more or less comparatively small, but no trace of anything was observed, and so at 4 PM we shaped course for Kingston
Feb 12th at 9 A.M. commenced to work up for full power trial, - weather was most favourable at this time, but when we were fully prepared the weather had become very inclement so much so that the trial was finally abandoned
Feb 13th  at 8 A.M. we arrived at Kingston once again and secured to wharf, S.S. Ridley a collier came alongside at 9 A.M.
Feb 14th at 8 AM natives commenced to coal us and coaling completed by 6 P.M. We remained at Kingston for a few days giving leave and cleaning ship, and on
Feb 22nd at 9 AM we left Kingston for Havana
Feb 23rd at 7.30 A.M. we arrived and dropped anchor on the lee side of Coy Sel Island, which was a small flat uninhabited island and at 9 AM S.S. Eastwood, collier came alongside of us, and we commenced to coal finishing at 6 P.M. after which both of us left for Havana.
Feb 24th at 9 A.M. we arrived abreast of Havana to relieve "Conde" on patrol duties, -our Captain paid a visit to "Conde", after which at 11 AM the latter left for Kingston & Martinique - at 12.30 PM French S.S. Sumarra left Havana and when abreast of us she stopped, - our whaler was sent across to her and our boarding officer
[Contd. Page 98]
List of enemy ships interned in Havana Cuba during our patrol
1767 Adelhed – German
2466 Bavaria – German
1542 Kydonia – German
2456 Olivant – German
2314 Virginia – Austrian
received from her, paper and articles for the French cruiser "Conde", after which "Sumarra" sailed away
Mar 3rd S.S. Welbury, collier, arrived from Jamaica and brought our mails, which were very welcome, as this ten day patrol stunt became very monotonous, without any news of the outside world.
Mar 5th at 7 A.M. the weather then being dead calm, our collier was able to come alongside of us, and we commenced to coal finishing at 6 P.M. - and whilst cleaning ship at 6.50 PM, A.B. Flattery fell overboard, and as this area was shark infested, great excitement ensued, but happily the man was safely hauled inboard again none the worst for this adventure. Havana by day was nothing much to look at from the sea, but by night it was rather well illuminated, so much so that any ship could be seen leaving the harbour by the obscuring of the lights all along the promenade
March 13th  at 10.30 A.M. the "Conde" arrived to again relieve us, and brought us our mails & many papers, and her Captain boarded us to interview our Captain, after which at 11.15 A.M. we took our departure for Kingston carrying out a trial en route and reaching 26 Knot speed limit, - weather beautiful
March 15th at 9 A.M. we berthed alongside jetty at Kingston and found the Australian Storeship S.S. "Aorangi" also alongside – at 10 A.M. S.S. "Lucerna" oiltank, came alongside us and we took on oil fuel, - she left at 2.30 – At 3 P.M. the collier S.S. "Eastwood" came alongside and we prepare to commence coaling for following morning
March 16th at 6 A.M. natives commenced to replenish our bunkers from collier and we finished at 6 P.M. pro tem – This was the one pleasant feature about these native places, our men never had to coal the ship, but look on whilst the natives done this uncanny job, consequently our boys were always allowed to proceed on
shore and enjoy their liberty, - and Jamaica was always considered the happiest and most pleasant island of the West Indies group being plenty of amusement, food , and scenery of the best.
March 17th  7 A.M. resumed coaling and completed by 11.30 A.M. and collier departed at 4 P.M.
March 18th was spent in relieving our storeship of some of her stores, and we were all very pleased to once again to be able to partake of Aussie foodstuff especially the jam & butter and fruit (in tins)
March 18th S.S. "Aorangi" departed under sealed orders presumably for England at 2.30 P.M.
March 21st at 11.45 P.M. the small peculiar looking French Cruiser "Descartes" arrived and berthed alongside jetty and she commence coaling, and we were ordered to prepare to leave at daybreak in the morning
March 22nd at 6.30 A.M.in glorious weather we steamed out en route for San Juan, Porto Rico at 18 Knot speed, as it was believed that a German steamer was to attempt to
sail in the morning and so on
March 23rd at 7 A.M. we arrived off San Juan and patrolled in the vicinity all day, we were not able to see much as we were a good way off, only a very hilly island it appeared to be similar to the others.
March 24th at 2.30 A.M. USS. Evelyn came out from San Juan, and we intercepted her and we then learned that German steamer was still in port, but that she attempted to leave a couple of day previously minus her clearance papers, and was in consequence prevented from doing so by port authorities
March 26th at 2.30 A.M. we departed, as we then were informed that the Authorities were taking necessary action against the German captain of the S.S. Odenwold (the vessel in question) for attempting to break out of harbour, whilst a American gunboat took over patrolling duties from us, and so we shaped our course for southern islands for a change
At 3 P.M. after cruising around Dutch island
we entered St Thomas harbour
we stopped just outside the mouth of St Thomas’s harbour, - a British ship was leaving, and we signalled her to heave to, which she did, she turned out to be S.S, Barbara, of W. Hartlepool, - our boarding officer went on board of her, and after a lapse of half an hour she was told to proceed on her course whilst we remained for a time off the entrance as we could observe two German steamers at anchor inside harbour, flag plainly visible
March 27  at 2 A.M. we left St Thomas for Virgin Island and we dropped anchor at 8 AM. The islands of the West Indies are volcanic, and you do not lose sight of land when cruising around them because they are rather close together, and being so mountainous, they can be observed a god distance away - We anchored in a sheltered bay and ere long, many natives in their boats and canoes, came alongside to sell fish, eggs etc, - one very peculiar feature concerning these natives were that many of them posessed 5 fingers and a thumb on each hand the fifth finger protruding from the small finger - of course we were all interested in this peculiarity of nature more especially our Doctor; Staff Surgeon Brennand
we remained at Virgin Island until 5 P.M. and then we weighed anchor and proceeded to Antigua
March 28th  at 9 A.M. we arrived and dropped anchor at Antigua Island, - the harbour of this island posessing a natural bar across it, ships of any size worth mention are obliged to anchor some distance from the town, but the island appeared similar to the remainder
March 29th at 7 A.M. we commenced to coal from S.S. Roddam and finished at 6 P.M. – unfortunately our own men had to coal the ship as this was an exigency quite unprovided for at Antigua – At 8 PM we proceeded to sea with orders to attack the island and communications if possible by daylight and so exercise the defence forces and we continued to steam around until
April 1st at 8 A.M. we arrived at our former place of anchor flying the German flag upside down at our masthead, to represent invading force – We anchored, lowered all boats, and they were quickly manned by our crew, who were in marching order,- they proceeded towards shore in many directions, and one party succeeded in reaching the
cable communications, - all the landing parties were covered by our guns, which to make it as realistic as possible were firing blank. Evidently the defence forces were taken by surprise, because we could discern them being rushed along the coastal road in motor cars towards where our men had landed and advanced inland. Evidently some of our men noticing the advancing motor cars, laid concealed awaiting them, and as soon as they were within range our men fired blank, but unfortunately, one big native feller, a policeman, must have been close to the muzzle of the rifle, fired by Stoker Walker, with the result his left cheek was wounded and he was then conveyed on board and medically attended, after which all our men returned on board at 11 A.M.
We remained here several days, during which the men were allowed to land for bathing – there was a most ideal sandy beach near by, and very many availed themselves of the opportunity as it was awfully hot here
April 6th  at 7 A.M. the collier S.S. Midland came alongside, but owing to the very heavy swell then running she was obliged to shore off again, and barges had to convey coal from collier to us, a most unthankful operation – this lasted all
April 7th throughout the day we were filling bunkers and bags as we intended carrying an upper deck cargo of coal
April 8th 3.30 P.M. coaling operation thankful at an end, and we then prepared for sea, At 10 P.M. we departed for the purpose of intercepting if possible the German Auxillary cruiser Kronzprinz Wilhelm reported steaming N.W. – this hostile vessel had eluded all our ships for some considerable time in the South Atlantic and she always remained at sea, depending upon her ships of prey for food and fuel, and she sunk very many of our merchantmen, - she was always differently painted to avoid discovery – We patrolled the Leeward Islands thinking she may come that way for quickness to an American port, where apparently she intended running to.
April 12th at 2 A.M. a wireless message was intercepted to the effect that the Kronzprinz had arrived at an American port, Newport, Virginia on the 10th inst, in a very bad condition, also that we were to proceed direct to Bermuda to coal and oil fuel preparatory to patrolling the entrance to Newport, and eventually on
April 15th at 6 AM we arrived at Bermuda & anchored outside breakwater, - at 8.30 AM we proceeded inside harbour and secured alongside coaling wharf, - at 9 AM we commenced to coal - Bermuda is an interesting place, being as it is composed of over 360 small islands and of coral formation – The naval base possesses a modern floating dock capable of docking a battleship, and within this dock lay HMS Berwick having her refit, - we finished coaling at 11 P.M and the oilship S.S. "Unio" came alongside and we took in oil; - leave was given.
April 16th at 5.30 A.M. we departed from Bermuda, and shaped course for Chesapeake
Bay, Virginia, weather fine & bright
April 1st  at dawn the U.S.A. Battle fleet was sighted off our port bow, consisting of 14 Battleships, and oil and store ships – at 8 a.m. we drew up abreast of H.M.S. Leviathan flying the flag of our Admiral Sir Geo Patey, and who signalled to us to the effect that "He was very pleased to see Melbourne again, and congratulated us upon our successful convoy work – Our captain visited the Admiral and we parted company at 9 A.M. – At 9.50 we steamed up to American Fleet lying in Hampton Roads and fired a salute of 17 guns, and U.S.S. Delaware returned our salute we then continued on our course towards HMS Suffolk arriving alongside her at 10.20 a.m. and relieved her of her duty, which was patrolling the approaches to Chesapeake Bay wherein lay the commerce raider and Auxillary cruiser "Kronprinz Wilhelm" also the Auxillary Prince Eitel Frederick – There were two entrances to this harbour and so whilst we patrolled the main one, H.M.S. [contd. page 109]
[German warships could use American harbours to avoid engagement with the Allies, because of US neutrality at the time]
List of U.S.A. Fleet saluted us off Hampton Roads 18.4.15
1 – New York
2 – Philadelphia
3 – Texas
4 – Neptune
6 – Arkansas
7 - Delaware
8 – Louisiana
9 – Virginia
10 – Wyoming
11 - Vermont
12 – Kansas
15 – Minnesota
16 – Washington
20 – Baltimore
22 – Nebraska
25 – New Hampshire
5 – Utah
13 – Rhode Island
14 – South Carolina
21 – North Dakota
24 – Michigan
17 – Patapaco
18 – Nankaton
19 – Solace
"Leviathan" patrolled the other, - where we were the channel was very narrow and so it was impossible for the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" to escape us – At 11.30 a.m. HRH Princess Mary’s Xmas present was distributed to officers and men, - there being 40 short of the number required, our captain made a kind of a lottery, drawing up tickets numbering from 1 to 40, and commencing from 2, he decided that every 11th one be considered a blank, - of course this caused a deal of excitement, and all stood a sporting chance, and the present was most acceptable and very good, being in the form of a nice embossed brass case containing a royal card of greeting, cigarettes and tobacco.
April 25th at 5.30 PM after a lapse of a week the Suffolk again arrived, this time not to relieve us but to bring up our mails, and after delivering same she departed at 6.15 PM.
April 26th at 5 P.M. Suffolk again arrived, informing us by signal that "Kronprinz Wilhelm" was taking in 3.500 tons of coal, and that it was rumoured that she may try to leave port at any time and so strict watch was kept.
April 27th  a report was intercepted by wireless from Washington to the effect that "Kronprinz Wilhelm" owing to 60 of her crew being on sick list, and so causing shortage in her crew, it was not considered by her captain as advisable to attempt to break thru British cordon of warships awaiting outside, he therefore decided to intern.
April 28th Official notification of the foregoing was received by us per wireless, in consequence of which we were ordered to proceed to Bermuda to coal and so we departed from Hampton Road at 6 A.M. We were all keenly disappointed over this incident but it was only to be expected
April 30th at 6 A.M. we arrived at Bermuda and dropped anchor outside, - our flagship "Leviathan" was also laying at anchor, whilst the "Suffolk" was then out of dock, completing her refit – The S.S. "Ampleforth" collier, came up alongside of us, also the oiltank steamer "Unio" and provision boats, consequently we were all kept very busy this day. At 12.30 PM S.S. "Unio" left us, and at 6 PM our collier departed, we then washed down the ship
May 1st at 6 AM we weighed anchor and proceeded to New York on patrol duties, to relieve HMS "Glory" a Battleship, who was ordered to Mediterranean
May 3rd at 12.15 PM after a pleasant voyage we arrived off Sandy Hook; and drew up alongside of "Glory" – our captain thereupon paid a visit to Captain of "Glory" immediately after which "Glory" took her departure, and we commenced to patrol.
At 5.15 PM HMCS ‘Niobe’ arrive abreast of us conveying confidential letters for our captain, our whaler was despatched to bring across letters and then "Niobe" departed at 5.45 PM.
May 4th at 9.30 AM "Niobe" again arrived alongside and after exchanging signals she again departed.
May 6th being a suitable day, sub calibre firing exercises were carried out by us.
May 7th at 8 AM HMCS ‘Niobe’ and Auxillary cruiser "Calgarian" arrived abreast of us, the latter took our target in tow, and we then carried out 6 inch firing practice, it being a favourable day, - very good results were obtained ,- "Niobe" steamed about keeping our
firing ground clear, - firing finished – H.M.S. "Calgarian" left at noon and she took away our mails, whilst "Niobe" and ourselves resumed patrol duties – At 8 PM a wireless message that staggered the world was intercepted, to the effect that the "SS. "Lucitania" had been sent to the bottom by the Hun Pirates, - this caused a very painful sensation naturally.
May 16th  at 6.30 PM. HMS. Berwick arrived abreast of us to take over our duties, and at midnight we departed from New York Harbour.
May 17th was anything but pleasant, we were continually running into thick fog banks and which are caused by the northern ice flows.
May 19th at 8.30 A.M. we arrived alongside jetty at Bermuda, - H.M.S. "Levithan" Cumberland and Suffolk were also there, and we were extremely pleased to be informed that only 28 bags of mail were awaiting us.
May 20th at 9 PM Suffolk left coaling wharf and went to sea, "Cumberland" taking her billet alongside the wharf, - at 10 A.M. we
were taken in charge by dockyard authorities for the purpose of being overhauled & refitted and thereupon placed in a floating dock for the first time, - it was very interesting to witness ourselves being lifted bodily up out of the water, and without a doubt this floating dock was a most magnificent piece of engineering, and we fully occupied the whole length of the dock. After docking, 36 hours leave was given to the ships company, in two watches
There was a most regrettable incident occurred whilst in dock as will be seen under -
May 26 Lieu Cooper was Officer of Day
May 27 Lieu Cooper taken to Hospital, Septic Pneumonia
May 28 Lieu Cooper Died
May 29 Lieu Cooper Buried
This was only a young officer, a thorough Gentleman, and liked by one and all, it was a great loss and keenly felt, - He only married just a day or so prior to our departure from Melbourne. The funeral was magnificent, and wreaths, crosses, and flower were innumerable,
whilst every officer and man, followed our late shipmate to his last resting place headed by our Ship’s Band, - Even the day was dull as if lamenting the departure of our late officer, and he was buried very close to the beach, whilst Admiral Patey & Staff and our Captain and officers surrounded the grave and saw the last resting place of his body, - then the 3 volleys, and last post closed the ceremony.
June 8th  we were lowered and refloated, then taken alongside the wharf again, and where we remained until
June 14th when we replenished bunkers, 837 tons
June 22nd at noon H.M.S. "Caesar" arrived and dropped anchor outside harbour.
June 23rd at 9.30 am. we departed for Martinique a French West Indies island, - weather fine, and it was a most pleasant voyage south
June 26th at 2.30 PM we arrived at Martinique and proceeded alongside wharf,- the approaches to this place was most interesting and historic, for on our port side we passed Mount
Pelie [Pelee] a great high barren peak bearing signs of past activity, - from top to bottom were many deep passages which had been made undoubtedly by burning lava, - in places were a few trees and grass growing, but great boulders were strewn everywhere, - at the base of this centre of activity could be plainly seen, signs of past habitation, - the town that posessed many thousands of people and the whole of which were burnt out by the last eruption during which 30,000 lives were lost, - the tops of houses and the steeple of the church that once existed can still be seen.
We were given leave for a few hours each evening during which period we had the opportunity of visiting the adjoining districts, - I journeyed upwards over the high hills at the back of the town, and in the direction of the scene of destruction, and I was soon above the sea level, and the whole way up, and strewn all around, could be seen these same great boulders that had been cast hence by the terrific force of the eruption - I cannot say I admired the town of Martinique
[The 1902 eruption destroyed the town of St Pierre]
it looked too poverty stricken, the inhabitants were especially showing signs of insufficient means for respectable living.
June 28th  at 4.30 PM the Sydney arrived and dropped anchor in the harbour.
June 29th at 6 am. we departed for Barbados, and at 5 PM we arrived at Barbados. This island a British possession, was far different to Martinique and I believe the only island of the West Indies outside the volcanic region, being very flat and sandy and rather picturesque, - a different class of people existed here, of course English speaking, very sociable, and entertaining and during our stay at all times we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There were numerous pretty motor drives thru the sugar plantations and very good living on the island
June 30th at 6.30 PM we proceeded to Demerara British Guiana, a small possession adjoining the French and Dutch portions in the north of South America Eastern side – the weather was now very choppy but nice and cool.
July 1st night exercises were carried out by the
July 2nd at 8 am we dropped anchor some distance from Demerara, the river being far too shallow to allow ships of any draft to proceed further, - the town could be seen some distance off and leave was given, a tug being attached to our ship for the purpose of conveying liberty men to and fro. The town was rather interesting and posessed a very strong sea wall as the land in parts lay lower than the sea level
We had some enjoyable trips here and were entertained by the inhabitants to concerts, and race meetings, but this was our first visit to this place and we did not stay long, the above enjoyment taking place on a subsequent visit – Our captain landed with despatches and returned in revenue cutter "Arispainia" and we left at 11 AM.
July 3rd at 11 am we arrived and anchored off Trinidad in Port of Spain, this was a very nice looking place, with great high ranges of hills all around and covered with pasture
we stayed here for a day or two which allowed us to land for leave - Visits to many parts were taken by motor car more especially to the Pitch Lakes at the top of the hills, which proved very interesting, - work was proceeding, and it needed many hours to look all around, - and take as much pitch from the lakes as you may you will find it all refilled and levelled off by the morning, - the cane that grows in and around the lakes are black cane & walking sticks are cut from these – Many Cingalese and Indians etc abound on the island having their own quarters in parts of the town allotted them
July 5th at 6 AM we departed for Jamaica – weather very fine
July 8th 5 am arrived off Port Royal and we entered harbour of Jamaica at 7 A.M. – we tied up alongside Kingston jetty (as usual) – at 7.45 am S.S. Lucerna came alongside and we oiled ship – French armoured cruiser Conde was also
July 9th  we coaled ship, and remained a few days
July 12th 6 PM we proceeded to Port Royal and dropped anchor at 6.45
July 13th French small cruiser "Descates" entered harbour at 12.30 P.M. and we departed at 1 PM for Portland Bay to carry out firing exercises – the Government tug "Somers" accompanied us for the purpose of towing target
July 16th Firing have been satisfactorily carried out we returned to Kingston arriving at our usual place at 10 a.m. - and 36 hours leave was given to each watch, and which was very welcome to all, as Jamaica was a place that allowed one every opportunity for enjoyment, more especially away up on the hills to such a place as Newcastle
July 23rd at 2,30 PM we again proceeded to Portland Bay to carry out torpedo practice
July 24th was spent doing above exercises, - there was a heavy swell running; At 5.45 PM we proceeded from here to Cartagena
July 25th at 6.30 am we arrived off Cartagena
a port in Colombia South America, - we thoroughly examined the harbour as "Karlsruhe" and her supply vessels were still a mystery, and we knew a German steamer was harbouring inside – We left here at 8 am. for "Savanilla" also in Colombia, arriving there at noon and anchored; British Consul came on board, and at 6 o/c PM we left for St Lucia
[The Karlsruhe was destroyed by an internal explosion on Nov.4,1914]
July 26th  en route at 7.30 am we passed and examined the island of Curacoa [Curacao] and Santa Marta
July 30th at noon we arrived at St Lucia and tied up alongside coaling wharf at 1.30 PM and remained a few days
Aug 4th at 6 P.M. we left for Barbados, and during the night, exercises was carried out.
Aug 5th at 8 a.m. we anchored off Barbados, and remained a few days, having a most enjoyable change, in beautiful weather
Aug 9th Early a.m. the Conde arrived & anchored
Aug 10th A gale sprang up suddenly, as a result the "Conde" took her departure also the R.M.S.P. "Chaleur" and a Norwegian steamer, we remained
Dutch schooner "Lilian" broke away from her anchorage, and gave us an exciting time. We weighed anchor, and proceeded to her assistance, and found best part of her crew were ashore, - after standing by her for some considerable time she was told to slip her anchor, - not having sufficient men to do this our Captain despatched a sea boat under charge of one of our officers, and so slipped her anchor, and we then took her in tow and went to sea.
A very heavy sea was then running and we kept a searchlight on her all night and just after midnight the wind changing, at 1.15 am the schooner swung right around our bow, coming up alongside, and sliding along our side, bumping awfully as she progressed, until she reached us about midships then her mainmast caught our whaler which was suspended from davits, and in lifting she caught on and carried away the whaler & part of the davit which laid across the schooner bow inboard,- she then journeyed further aft, reaching
the port no 3 gun sponson and that buckled that up - eventually she drifted astern again with our whaler in halves still aboard her, and ere long the weather moderated, - we returned to port with the schooner in tow and on
Aug 11th  at 8 am.we dropped anchor at Barbados but our whaler had been lost during the night otherwise schooner was safe. At 1.30 PM we departed for Trinidad
Aug 12th 10 am. we anchored off Trinidad – we remained here several days, during which we coaled and oiled ship, and carried out various exercises, torpedo, calibre firing etc, and leave was given
Aug 19th at 9 am we again departed for Barbados.
Aug 20th 7 am arrived Barbados, and there remained a few days, having good time,
Aug 24th 9 PM we left Barbados, weather fine
Aug 25th 10 am till 11 am was occupied in firing full charge projectiles at a rock, at long range, experimental, off Martinique, after which we proceeded to Port of France
Martinique, dropping anchor there at 2 P.M.
Aug 26th 7 am. we commenced coaling, finishing at noon, we departed at 5 P.M.
Aug 27th at 10 am we anchored off Antigua, and left again at 11 AM. at 2 PM we anchored off Barbuda, our Captain went ashore to survey a late German steamer, now ashore on rocks, he remained on shore all night, and returned on board
Aug 28th at 7 P.M.
Aug 29th at 9 am. we again departed for Antigua and arrived there at 10.15 a.m. and again left at 9 PM. We then discovered that the name of the late German steamer now on rocks at Barbuda was the H.M. Storeship Pol-Rosa.
Aug 30th at 1.15 P.M. in a very heavy tropical rain storm, we arrived at Port of France Martinique – French cruiser "Descartes" was laying at anchor – After many weeks we received a large mail numbering 33 bags, putting new life into the lads, as the absence of mails is always keenly felt. We did not anchor here
but proceeded direct to St Lucia, arriving there at 5 PM. securing to coal wharf.
Aug 31st  whilst coaling, the dead body of a native was seen floating on the surface near by, it was a ghastly sight, - the native police took charge of the body, towed it out to sea, weighed it and let it sink – At 4.30 PM we again departed.
Sept 1st at 7 am we again anchored at Barbados and remained a few days, giving leave
Sep 3rd Entertained by inhabitants, picnic etc
Sep 5th at 9 PM we proceeded to sea.
Sep 9th at 7 am. we found ourselves at Jamaica and tied up to our usual wharf. HMS. "Isis" laying the opposite side.
Sep 10th SS. King John, collier came alongside and natives coaled ship, finishing 3 P.M.
Sep 11th at 6.30 am. an Earthquake tremor was easily felt, a repetition occurring at 11 am. At 9 am we proceeded to Port Royal to attempt to refloat an oiltank steamer that had gone ashore there off the Beacon but we failed in the attempt and so returned
to anchor off the wharf Kingston at noon and at once commenced to oil from S.S. "Lucerne" occupying the afternoon
Sep 12th 7 am HMS Isis proceeded to stand by and attempt to refloat oil steamer ashore at Port Royal. shortly afterwards at 7.15 we proceeded to sea. weather fine.
Sep 13th at 10.30 am we dropped anchor off Ala Vela Island, small island of San Domingo. Our Gunnery Lieu R. Gloag and Lieu Rowlands then landed to examine the island, - it was not a very large one, but posessed a lighthouse at the top of the hill, and which had not been seen alight by night for some time, and so reported by passing steamer to this effect, - the island was uninhabited, and after a thorough search our officers returned on board, at noon. At 6 PM we weighed anchor and proceeded on our course.
Sep 14th 7.30 a.m. we arrived and anchored close in to San Domingo, - at 8 am our Consul arrived on board, and left again at 11 a.m. together with our Captain, after a salute of 21
guns had been fired. Our Captain returned at 1.30 P.M. and wecontinued on our voyage to St Thomas’s, Dutch West Indies.
Sep 16th  at 7 a.m. we entered the harbour of St Thomas and anchored between two German steamers, that were laying at anchor, and still flying their national flag but not many persons were seen on board. We saluted the Dutch authorities at 8 a.m. and at 8.30 our Consul came on board, but did not remain for long, and as we departed he was saluted by 9 guns – At 1.30 PM we weighed anchor and proceeded to Bermuda
St Thomas’s was a most pretty island, very hilly, and the town which was built on its slopes gave off a pretty effect – Bay rum is a great industry of the island, and is sold very cheaply – Apparently our arrival, and anchoring in so fitting a place, between the two German steamers did not very well please the persons on board them, as they stood by the rails shaking their
fists at us, of course this caused high amusement on board of us, and retaliation was given.
Sep 19th After a choppy passage we arrived at Bermuda at 4 PM and anchored in the bay. Caesar was alongside wharf; collier came alongside of us at 5.15 PM.
HMS "Caesar" was acting as gunlayers training ship, she was previously at Gibraltar,
but as the German submarines became too active around that quarter, she was transferred to Bermuda, - the gunnery ratings being usually sent out to her from England by mailboat, and returned similarly
Sep 20th at 5 am. we commenced coaling and finished at 3.30 P.M. and we remained several days.
Sep 27th at 6 am we again coaled ship finishing at 8 a.m. preparatory to leaving for New York and at 11.30 a.m. we proceeded to sea.
Sep 29th at 5 P.M. we arrived at our rendezvous, and there met H.M.S. "Berwick", who turned over her duties to us and she departed for Bermuda. As reports of rumours of German submarines we coming through, we steamed continually at 12 Knots on a zig zag course, all
precautions necessary for the safety of the ship was carried out, especially mast head look outs. The Auxillary cruiser "Calgarian" was also patrolling further north in the channel.
Sep 30th in the forenoon, lifebelts & identification discs were issued to all hands.
Oct 3rd HMS. "Carnarvon" was seen steaming in the direction of Chesapeake Bay.
Oct 7th At 3 am. the "Cumberland" arrived to relieve us of patrol duties, whereupon we shaped course for Halifax N. Scotia
Oct 9th After a foggy trip we arrived at Halifax taken in charge by pilot and proceeded up harbour, dropping anchor at 7.30 a.m. – HMS. "Leviathan", "Carnarvon" and the Auxillary cruiser "Caronia" were also there at anchor, the French cruiser "Conde" being then in dock. Collier came alongside at 11 am and we commenced to replenish bunkers after dinner. "Leviathan" and "Caronia" got under weigh at 5.30 P.M. and we suspended coaling until 9 P.M. finishing pro tem at midnight
Oct 9th  at 6 am we resumed coaling, finishing at 2P.M. collier then departed.
Oct 10th 5 PM HMS "Donegal" arrived and anchored abreast of us. She had arrived from England conveying £6,000,000 in gold and presumably for U.S.A. via Canada. 24 hours leave was given to our ships company in two watches.
Oct 16th at 5 P.M. we departed for New York – We were rather disappointed over Halifax, it was not the picturesque place we thought it to be, and did not compare with any place in Australia, as far as the town was concerned. The harbour was nice and wide with every facility for shipping; - it was very cold there, but we were able to do plenty of fishing, - we caught an abundance of cod, haddock, and plaice, and which was very welcome, as fresh fish was a complete change for us, and our large catches compelled us to salt in a good deal for a reserve supply – Very foggy weather prevailed at the
Oct 18th at 5 P.M. we arrived off New York, and relieving HMS. "Cumberland" we resumed patrol duties
Oct 22nd At noon we changed patrol duties with the ship patrolling further towards land (name I did not know) and during the day we practiced battle stations etc etc.
Oct 24th at 10 A.M. HMS. Suffolk abreast of us and both ships stopped, the Suffolk discharged several men to us after which she proceeded to Chesapeake Bay
Oct 27th We received orders by wireless to very carefully watch shipping leaving New York and should any of ten specified steamers be seen leaving, they were to be detained, and so we were kept busy during the night hailing passing ships, and eventually on
Oct 28th at 4 a.m. our vigilance was rewarded - we saw one of the ten vessels leaving, we signalled her to stop, she heeded not, and so we had to fire a shot across her bow to make her heave to. Searching officer and armed party were sent on board her, and she
was reported as being the "Hamborn" of Hamburg suspected of carrying contraband, therefore Lieu Creer and an armed party was sent to take charge of her, and follow us to Halifax. Lieu Rowlands, and Gunner Brown also assisted to take charge of suspicious vessel - "Conde" relieved us on patrol duties, - at 7 a.m. we, together with "Hamborn" left for Halifax N.S. Our captured steamer was then signalled as being "Hamborn" of Rotterdam not ‘Hamburg’ heavily loaded with general cargo, mostly motor engines and spare parts of same. The Auxillary cruiser "Calgarian" also captured one of the ten specified steamers also leaving New York by another channel at the same time as Hamborn, and was proceeding with same to Halifax
Oct 28. at 7 am. we arrived at Halifax, - "Carnarvon" and "Caronia" were still laying at anchor. We anchored in stream at 7.30 am. and "Suffolk" arrived PM.
Oct 30th  P.M. our prize arrived in harbour – We remained in harbour and leave was liberally given
Nov 8th at 5.30 PM. we weighed anchor and proceeded to sea, - weather fine.
Nov 14th at 5 P.M> we arrived at Jamaica and tied up to our usual wharf – "Sydney" was secured to the opposite side of wharf,
Nov 15th at 9 am. "Sydney" left harbour, and we replenished bunkers from collier the S.S. "Brocklet" from 7 a.m. until 3 P.M.
Nov 16th 10.30 am French cruiser "Conde" arrived and anchored off the pier, the S.S. "Lucerna" oiled us from 9 a.m. until 3 P.M.
Nov 21st at 7 am. "Conde" got under weigh
Nov 22nd at 7 am. we proceeded to Portland Bay for sub-calibre firing, we dropped target and commenced firing at 8 a.m. – "Isis" passed, heading for Kingston at 9.30, having been cruising Mexican coast – we finished firing and proceeded inside harbour at 10 am anchoring in bay
off Kingston, abreast of "Conde" at 12.30 PM
Nov 23rd At 5 PM, we got under weigh with two targets in tow, and proceeded to Port Royal and there anchored at 5.40, - at 5.50 our steam cutter towed targets across to collier the S.S. "Brocklet" which was anchored abreast of us and who was to tow targets for us on the morrow
Nov 24th at 6.15 am. we weighed anchor and in company with the collier, we proceeded outside and when at 8,000 yards range from targets, we opened fire and carried out battle practice firing, - weather was very ideal for us, and we finished very soon with good results, after which we proceeded into harbour and secured to our usual wharf at 9 a.m.
Nov 26th at 10 am. "Isis" left for Bermuda and we again replenished bunkers.
Nov 28th at 7 a.m. our flagship the "Leviathan" arrived and anchored in stream abreast of "Conde"
Nov 29th at 4.30 PM. "Conde" left harbour and "Leviathan" coaled ship.
Nov 30th  at 1.30 P.M. we left harbour to proceed on a cruise around Mexican coast and Carribbean Sea, shaping course for Galveston Bay , Texas.
Dec 5th at 8 a.m. we arrive at Galveston Bay, and cruised around, communicating with shore signal station, we left again at 11 a.m. to continue cruise.
Dec 6th we arrived off Misisippi River mouth in the afternoon and we cruised around for a short while the[n] proceeded onward
Dec 9th 3 P.M. we arrived off Havana, Cuba, and here hove to for about 2 hours, and at 5 P.M we left to continue on our course, - at 9.30 PM a wireless message was intercepted stating that the French cruiser "Descartes" had sighted and intercepted the S.S. "San Juan" the vessel we had been searching for, as she carried 4 Germans on board, these the "Descartes" took from her, and "San Juan" proceeded on her course.
Dec 12th at 7 am we arrived back at Kingston and secured our usual place whilst the
"Leviathan" and Sydney were anchored in stream
Dec 13th at 6.50 a.m. we commenced coaling, and at 3 P.M. Sydney left for a cruise in Mexican Gulf, and Bahamas, we finished coaling at 3.30 P.M.
Dec 14th "Leviathan" proceeded to sea at 1.30 P.M.
Dec 15th "Conde" arrived at 7 a.m.
Dec 20th 11.30 am we proceeded to Portland Bay for torpedo running, arriving there at 2 PM, - target and boats were lowered and we steamed out to range and fired one torpedo from each beam,- target and ship was stationary and each appeared to run satisfactory, - we dropped anchor at 4 o/c and remained there for the night
Dec 21st 6 am we got under weigh, and carried out further torpedo running, firing one on each beam under weigh, after which our boats returned, and were hoisted,- firing being satisfactory we then returned to harbour and arrived at wharf Kingston at 11 a.m. – "Conde" had already proceeded outside to carry out her gun firing, and weather was ideal
Dec 22nd We coaled ship, and remained a few days, during which ship was cleaned and 24 hours leave given to each watch
Dec 26th at 3.30 PM the "Conde" returned to Kingston, having been on a cruise in Gulf of Mexico, on completing her firing – Unfortunately in the evening our captain Mortimer Le Silver was taken bad with slight malaria attack, but this was only mild, and on the morrow
Dec 27th at 9.30 am we proceeded to Port Royal and there awaited arrival of mail steamer, - all ratings awaiting discharge for England were got together, and sent on board her, - on arrival, we brought back our mails, and proceeded to sea at 11.15 a.m. en route for Bermuda – This enabled us to carry out our Xmas festivities, as owing to so many men being on leave Xmas day, whilst at Kingston our Xmas feast was postponed until the men had all returned, and so at 11.30 the dinner was served out,- during the forenoon
the interior of the ship and all the messes had been gaily decorated, photographs of all the best girls, which had been carefully preserved were on this day given prominent places on the table and bulkheads etc etc, each and all carefully scrutinizing all the fair and pretty faces, that were now exhibited form the first time maybe,
Dinner consisted of chickens, turkeys sausages, hams, green peas, potatoes, plum pudding and sauce, mince pies, dates, figs, mixed nuts, biscuits, chocolates, lime juice, cigars, and cigarettes, plenty of each item being freely served out, - our band which was composed of all volunteers, played all the afternoon between decks, and a thorough enjoyable time was spent by one and all, whilst the ship steamed onwards towards Bermuda – Captain unfortunately was still very ill, with high temperature
Dec 31st at 9.30 am we arrived at Bermuda and dropped anchor in Grassy Bay, and were the "Cumberland" and "Caesar" were also
laying at anchor, whilst "Suffolk" and "Isis" were alongside dockyard wall – At 9.40 our Captain proceed to the Naval Hospital on an ambulance as he was still very bad,- the Senior Lieut - Lieu Com Blomfield assumed command and Lieu Com Gloag assumed 1st Lieu pro tem – We had a very pleasant voyage and found it very much cooler and more comfortable – "Suffolk" departed at 2 P.M. and signalled greetings for the New Year.
Thus closed the year 1915, and bets and wagers made as to the events that were likely to happen during 1916, - of course the war would be finished before Xmas 1917 was the most favoured wager, and our one wish was to get home to England in the ship, and so take a more active part in the war, as altho our present duties, of protecting trade routes were very nice, it was becoming very monotonous, and we all desired a change
January 1st  at 9.30 am. we proceeded inside basin and secured to dockyard wall,
Jan 3rd at 9 am we once again entered the floating dock, to undergo short refit
Jan 4th at 10 am "Carnarvon" anchored in Bay
Jan 6th at 9 am "Cumberland" departed to sea
Jan 8th at 10 am "Isis" departed to sea
Jan 10th 8 am "Suffolk" anchored in Bay,
Jan 12th 7.30 am "Carnarvon" departed to sea
Jan 13th 9 am "Isis" arrived and anchored in Grassy Bay, whilst "Caesar" came alongside dockyard wall.
Jan 15th 9 am "Isis" again went to sea
Jan 18th 2 PM "Suffolk" departed to sea
Jan 22nd 7 am "Isis" again returned and anchored in Grassy Bay – 1 PM "Carnarvon" did likewise.
Jan 30th at 7 am. "Carnarvon" departed to sea and at 9.30, our dock commenced to flood preparatory to our undocking
Jan 31st 3 am we left dock and secured to dockyard wall and at 7 am we went and anchored in Grassy Bay; at 8 am
"Sydney" arrived, and she proceeded inside basin – R.M.S.P. "Chambrere" then arrived conveying miscellaneous ratings and mails for "Sydney" and ourselves: - 27 bags of mails 5 Seamen ratings, and 20 stoker ratings for us. The collier came alongside and we commenced coaling at 8.30 – "Isis" departed to sea at 10am and "Sydney" entered floating dock at 10.30 for refit. We then had a keen disappointment; the Naval Board sent out a wireless message to the effect that Australian gifts to R.A.N. ships being conveyed in S.S. "Geelong" had been lost at sea. "Geelong" being sunk in collision
Feb 1st  at 5.30 am we finished coaling.
Fen 2nd During forenoon the Canadian destroyer H.M.C.S. "Grilse", came alongside of us to take in a supply of oil, and remained for the day
Feb 3rd "Grilse" departed to carry out firing exercise at 7 am. and "Cumberland" arrived at 8 a.m. and anchored in Grassy bay, and at 1 P.M. we were ordered to proceed north, - weather fine
Feb 4th at 11.15 am a wireless message was receive by us, when nearing Chesapeake Bay, ordering us to proceed to Kingston
Feb 6th Whilst en route we carried out a full power trial from 10 am till 2 P.M. reaching speed of 28.7 everything being highly satisfactory.
Feb 7th at 10.10 am we arrived alongside wharf at Kingston and we immediately commenced to coal and oil, at the same time we remained at ½ an hours notice, in case of emergency and at 11 PM. we were ordered to proceed to St Lucia – weather fine
Feb 11th at 7 am. we arrived and secured to coaling wharf St Lucia, at 8 am we commenced to coal finishing at 1 PM after which we departed to "Martinique" at 3 P.M. arriving at Martinique at 6 P.M. and anchored – French naval officers speedily came on board to interview captain, and at 7 PM we departed again, proceeding to Barbados.
Feb 12th at 7 am we arrived and anchored at Barbados.
Feb 13th at 10 a.m. we were ordered to proceed to Trinidad, taking wide course to sea en route
Feb 14th at 7 am we anchored of Trinidad, and remained here for a few days.
Feb 16th Coaled ship from barges.
Feb 19th Coaled ship from barges.
Feb 20th Our collier "Rie" formally the "Ariel" duly arrived and anchored in the Bay, and at 7 PM we left to patrol the entrances to the harbour during the night
Feb 21st at 10 am we returned to harbour and went alongside "Rie" to coal, finishing at 3.15 P.M; after which the collier proceeded under our orders to her place of rendezvous at 4.30 PM; and we departed at 7 P.M. to proceed on a cruise down the Brazilian coast, - weather fine.
Feb 25th at 7 PM we arrived off the mouth of [Conani?] River, Brazil, and under cover of darkness we anchored, and ship darkened. – It appeared that the Germans had an armed merchantman at large in the South Atlantic somewhere, - she was armed with 5.9 inch guns, and carried torpedo dropping arrangement? and by name Pongo? again a querie as she continually changed her name
and apparently we were going on a long cruise South, searching en route, and being able to replenish our bunkers when convenient, and it was also probable that the enemy raider had a supply ship somewhere. – We remained at anchor all night
Feb 26th  at 7 am we weighed anchor and proceeded towards the river, sounding very carefully as we made progress, as the water was extremely muddy, and shallow, at times sounding bottom at 5¾ fathoms (about 34 feet) whilst we had a draught of 20 feet approximately, - eventually at 1.30 PM we anchored in river and captain proceeded on shore to interview inhabitants of native hut, the only signs of habitation, and after a brief interview he returned on board.
Feb 27th at 6.30 am. our steamboat went away with navigating party, our navigator Lieu Com "Bott" in charge, to further navigate the Conani River with a view if possible of finding out whether it was possible for a steamer to proceed up river to a place of hiding
Steamboat eventually returned at 1.15 P.M. and reported very shallow water up the river, more especially to near where we lay, and at places only 1½ fathoms deep, so that it was impossible for any steamboat to lay in hiding and so steamboat was hoisted, - we weighed anchor and proceeded South towards the Alalara Point.
Feb 28th before dawn we picked up our collier and ordered her to precede us to a certain rendezvous, at 8 Knots whilst we continued on our course according to plans.
Feb 29th at 6.30 P.M. we anchored together with our collier at the mouth of the Amazon River. The waters that were fast running down this river, was terribly thick and muddy and continued so for hundreds of miles out to sea, - it is known as one of the world’s most longest rivers, and so of course it is only natural that it would posess a very strong current.
March 1st at 5.30 am. ourselves and collier weighed anchor and proceeded up river. At 10.30 AM we picked up pilot, and at 3.16 PM
we anchored in midstream to await arrival of our collier, as the tide was very swift and strong and when collier was near she was ordered to come alongside of us, This proved to be a very hard task and appeared very risky but after a series of vain attempts and many bumps against our side, she was eventually secured, but the swell and current proved far too strong to allow her to remain and so she was ordered to lay off in more shallow water until the morrow, to prevent accidents
Mar 2nd at 5.30 am. we weighed anchor and proceeded to where the collier lay at anchor, and again owing to the same difficulties, and more especially to the continuous rolling of the collier, we had to abandon it again, and so at 9.30 am. our Captain decided to proceed to the Para River, higher up the Amazon and so carry our coaling operations there. and we duly arrived of the town of Para at 12.30 PM; at 1.30 Brazillian officials came on board, and at 2 PM we fired a salute for Brazil, at 2.30 PM the British Consul
arrived, and at 4.15 the Consul in company with our Captain proceeded on shore, and upon their leaving our ship the Consul was saluted by 7 guns. It was terribly hot here, but a cool breeze was blowing, - the town of Para was well within view, and apparently was a very pretty place,- several English persons paid a visit to our ship, as it was seldom that a British man-o-war visited ‘Para’.
March 3rd at 5.30 am collier came alongside, and at 8 o/c in terrific heat, we commenced to take in coal, and after a hard struggle we completed this task by 9.30 PM. after which we proceeded into midstream again to await our departure at daybreak. It must be mentioned that the English people at ‘Para’ proved themselves most congenial for we arrived there unexpectedly, and only remained a very brief time, during which it did not allow them very much opportunity of viewing the ship but they had the good spirit to raise a fund subscribe to it, and with the proceeds, they sent
off a large consignment of cigars, cigarettes and tobacco, sufficient for all our, which numbered over 400, - we all thought a great deal of this kind gift because, it was the last thing any of us expected from a place, the people of which not even as much as seen us, so to speak, but a very kind message of thanks was sent to all the donors from our Captain on our behalf.
March 4th  at 7 a.m. we weighed anchor and proceeded down the Amazon,- our pilot was dropped at 1.15 PM. and to sea in a southern direction we proceeded
Mar 5th at 3 PM we anchored off an island south of the Amazon River, a gun was mounted on our steamboat, which was lowered and manned by a party under command of our Gunnery Lieu and they went away until the morrow
Mar 6th at 10.45 a.m. our steamboat whilst returning from the river, went aground, the water was fast receding, consequently the boat was high and dry before she could be floated again; - it was 4.30 PM when she was able to get under weigh again, then
she returned to the ship, having discovered nothing but were informed by the people that a German ship had previously been laying at anchor in the river for 42 days, - this seems incredible, and may quite possibly been prearranged, - this was supposed to have been about 3 months ago, so all we could do was to weigh anchor and proceed but we remained until
March 7th at 4 am. we got under weigh and proceeded to Mangos Island and where we arrived at 11 am. and cruised around, - finding nothing there we proceeded at 2 P.M. to a rendezvous and to where we duly arrived at 8.30 PM. to await the arrival of our collier.
March 8th at 5 am. H.M.S. Glasgow (made famous by the battle off Coronel and Falklands) appeared on the horizon, in company with our collier – at 6.30 Glasgow anchored abreast of us followed shortly afterwards by collier doing likewise – we were then informed that the ‘Glasgow’ had just been recommissioned with a new crew at St Vincent and that she was returning to her previous station
the South Atlantic based on Falklands Islands, also that she coaled from our collier yesterday – Anything that could be gathered together from all our messes, in the way of food in tins, or otherwise, and plenty of reading matter all of which was conveyed across to Glasgow, who greatly appreciated it, sending us a message of thanks etc from her ships company. Capt Luce who was in command of Glasgow during each action was still in command of her at this time
We were close to Pernambuco by now, and "Glasgow", who took charge of our collier, proceeded with her into Southern waters, whilst we proceeded back to our starting place Trinidad – Accordingly captains exchanged visits, and it was then learned that the German raider was believed to have been successful in returning to Germany – At 10.15 am we parted company each proceeding on their course. Weather ideal
March 12th  10 am. we entered harbour at Trinidad anchoring in Port of Spain, Trinidad at 10.30 – we at once commenced to coal
March 13th 9 am we left for St Lucia, and en route, when off the island of Granada we had the misfortune to lose our beautiful large green Macaw parrot, the property of Dr Brennand our Staff Surgeon, - he had it when quite young and meanwhile it became the ships pet, possessing the name of "Robert", and doing numerous tricks, in addition to talking, and it was so very docile; - having the run of the ship, it climbed here and there and everywhere
It was 6 P.M. dusk and we were steaming rather close inshore at about 14 Knots, – "Robert" was strolling about on top of our waist awning, with many of our men gazing down at him when quite suddenly "Robert" made a dash towards shore in flight; - everybody was awfully surprised at this, because his wings had been cut when young, and owing to this he could not keep the air for long, so when about 400 yards from the ship he fell into the
water, - our Captain seeing this at once ordered the whaler to be manned, and to proceed to the spot where he was seen to fall, meanwhile swinging the ship around, to come up to him as closely as possible; - it being nearly dark our searchlights were brought into play, which revealed "Robert" struggling hard in the water – Eventually our whaler reached poor "Robert" hauled him aboard and returned to the ship, and then to our dismay, we learned that poor "Robert " was dead whereupon our Staff Surgeon took him to the Sick Bay, and for some considerable time tried artificial respiration but with no avail, and with deep sympathy the life of poor "Robert" came to an abrupt ending.
March 14th at 6.30 am. we arrived at St Lucia, and commenced to coal at 8 a.m. and finished at 3 P.M.
March 15th at 8 am. French Cruiser "Conde" arrived and anchored outside mouth of harbour, having just re-commissioned with new crew.
March 16th at 10 am. "Conde" departed – 2 PM. we departed for Barbados
March 17th 7 am we arrived and anchored off Barbados and remained a few days.
March 20th We coaled ship from barges,
March 21st Our concert party gave a concert on shore in aid of Red Cross, accompanied by our volunteer band; a great success.
March 23rd at 6 PM.we departed for Granada.
March 24th at dawn we arrived and anchored off Granada, during the forenoon we got under weigh and carried our sub-calibre firing for [indecipherable] S.G. anchoring off the town at 11.15 am.
March 25th We were all very disappointed at our visit to Granada, because it was our first visit here and we all naturally expected leave, but this did not materialise, so we did not even have a glimpse of the town – but the island which appeared hilly was very fertile and picturesque – At 6 PM we weighed anchor and proceeded towards Venezuela and neighbouring islands
March 26th  We passed several islands, and in doing so they were very closely examined
March 27th We arrived off the island of "Curacoa" [Curacao] at dawn, - this was a rather large, flat island, and we steamed past, rather close in shore, and at noon we were passing "Oruba" [Aruba] Island", which was a much smaller island.
March 28th At dawn we were off "La Guayra" – great high ranges of hills could be plainly seen, but it seemed to take a considerable time to reach the harbour and shortly afterwards Venezuelan officials paid a visit to our Captain on board, and salutes were fired at 10 AM (21 guns) – Shortly afterwards the British Ambassador came on board and left again at 1.30 PM with a salute of 17 guns, after which officers were allowed to land, and at 6 PM. we left for St Lucia examining all islands en route.
March 29th at 2.45 P.M. after closely examining a bay on Venezuelan Coast, we anchored off Marguerita Island, a fine large island partly cultivated and good anchorage.
March 30th at 10 am. we departed to another island anchoring there at 4 P.M.
March 31st at 11.45 a.m. we departed for St Lucia
April 1st at 7 am. after a very nice cruise, we anchored in stream, - shortly afterwards we proceeded to go alongside coaling wharf where we replenished our bunkers. finishing at 1.30 PM. then we went into stream and tied up to a buoy. At 7.30 PM. a fire call came from shore, and a large blaze could be discerned which appeared to be one of the many huge stacks of coal on the wharf.
All our men available together with all our fire fighting appliances were very hurriedly sent ashore, but upon their arrival the place was gutted, - the scene turned out to be the fire station of only a few minutes ago now a heap of smouldering mass, - the buildings were of wood, and the hot blazing sun, gives
fire fighters a very remote possibility of checking a fire, the only thing may be to prevent spreading – after an interval and the surety of no further outbreak our men returned.
April 2nd  The Canadian regiment which were quartered in the forts near by were invite on board during the evening to listen to a band performance from 8 till 10 PM
April 3rd at 6.30 am. we proceeded to a point about 10 miles South of the "Pitons" [St Lucia] at the entrance to endeavour to refloat the RMSP. Inter mail steamer "Taff" that had gone aground during the night and was reported high and dry – We arrived at the point at about 7.15 and found her as stated. we at once anchored got to work, lowered boats and played out hawsers to attach to her in preparation of the rise of tide and so endeavour to refloat her, - we expected a hard tussle as she was firmly held by the sand – evidently in approaching the small village near by, she must have taken the wrong bearings, and so grounded – About noon it was high tide and it
was observed that there was only 3 ft of water at her stern, anyhow a steady strain was put on the hawsers from our capstans in the hope that she may lift, as everything possible had been taken from her to lighten the draught. There was not a sign of movement and our captain decided to wait for flood tide the following day,
April 4th we resumed operations, but found no signs of giving way, so we returned to St Lucia to get a 6 inch wire hawser so that we may put a stronger strain to it – Having obtained one we returned at 2 P.M. – hawser was attached to "Taff" and strain put on at the rise of tide and as tide flooded the strain was increased, and happily during the middle watch the "Taff" refloated, and that forenoon she was able to steam back to St Lucia undamaged, - we followed her into port and thus we were enabled to attend a smoking concert given to the Canadian Regiment – For our labour spent on salving the S.S "Taff" we were presented with a very
large ships bell suitably inscribed, by the Directors of the R.M.S.P. Company and which is greatly admired by all visitors, - this bell may at any time be seen standing on the quarter deck of the "Melbourne".
April 8th We coaled ship after which we went out to the stream, and anchored, staying a few days
April 11th at 6 am we departed for Martinique arriving there at 9.30 am.- we anchored in the stream, and at noon we received various ratings we had previously left behind in hospital, and went to sea.
April 12th at 9.30 am. we arrived and anchored at Port of Spain, Trinidad, and carried out sub-calibre firing during day and night
April 13th During day, under weigh, we carried out torpedo firing, after which we anchored and coaled ship from lighters
April 15th During the evening our concert party gave a concert at Prince’s Building in aid of Red Cross Society of Trinidad (excellent)
April 20th at 9 am we proceeded into bay to carry out sub-calibre and torpedo firing by day
and night - weather nice and fine.
April 21st  6.30 am completed torpedo running at returned to anchorage, dropping anchor at 8.30 am.
April 22nd at 9 am. we departed for Scarborough Bay, Tobago Island, adjoining Trinidad arriving and anchoring at 3.30 P.M. – it was a picturesque looking place, and only officers landed
April 24th at 1.30 PM. we departed for Demerara British Guiana
April 26th at 6.30 a.m. we arrived and anchored 14 miles off Demerara as the water was by far too shallow to approach nearer – Tug was sent down to us and leave was given until the morning to C.P.Os and P.Os who had not broken leave previously
April 27th Remainder of Chief and Petty Officers under similar conditions were allowed on shore. During this leave we had a most enjoyable time, and were given a most hearty welcome by the citizens but upon thus subject I have spoken on in
[Although he appears to have gone ashore, Iles’s service record does not show him as being a Petty Officer Cook at this time]
the earlier pages
April 28th at 11.30 am. we weighed anchor and proceeded to St Lucia.
April 30th At dawn we arrived and anchored at St Lucia, shortly afterwards proceeding to coaling wharf, where we coaled, finishing at 7.30 PM.
May 1st at 6.30 a.m. we left the wharf and tied up to buoy in the stream, and in the evening a farewell dinner was given in the Wardroom to Lieu Commander M. Blomfield who was recalled to England, - our band played appropriate selections during dinner
May 2nd at 11 am Lieu Com Blomfield left ship amidst the cheers of the men, to remain on shore until the RMSP "Caraquet" arrived on which he was proceeding to England – Lieu Com Blomfield had been in the ship since the steam trials and was rather popular with us all, we did not like losing him at all – Lieu Commander R. Gloag took over duties as 1st Lieutenant, and we
departed at 11.30 am for "Antigua".
May 3rd at 6.30 am. we arrived and anchored at Antigua, and at 5 PM. R.M.S.P. "Chaleur" arrived with stores from Halifax for us also 2 Sub Lieutenants, and a Navigating Lieutenant (McKenzie) also an Assistant Paymaster, and our mails
May 6th at 4 PM. the R.M.S.P "Caraquet" arrived and Lieu Com Blomfield shortly afterwards came on board and at 9 PM. he returned to "Caraquet" accompanied by Assistant Paymaster Hogan, Lieu Commander Bott (navigator) Lieu Grey-Smith, all of whom had been recalled to England, and at 9.20 PM we departed for St Kitts.
Our late navigator informed us before he left that since he had been navigator of H.M.A.S Melbourne the ship had travelled over 102,000 miles – So that according to my diary, previous to the war we had journeyed 24,643 miles, and since hostilities commenced we have journeyed 77,856 making an approximate
total of 102,499 miles not far out of our late navigator’s record evidently.
May 7th  at 7 am. we arrived at St Kitts,- leave was given during the evening to petty officers and chiefs, and it proved a very historic and interesting place, - it posessed many old relics, historical of Nelson’s period in the West Indies, and in the waters of which he fought many battles, and decisive ones. The fort with its old muzzle loading guns and its quaint magazines were of especial interest – At 9 P.M. we departed for San Domingo.
May 9th at 10.15 AM. we anchored off the town - the French cruiser "Marseillaise" and the U.S.S. "Prairie" a gunboat and collier were also laying at anchor, we of course took 2nd place to none and so we anchored were in the front of all ships, we then learned that owing to riots among people on shore, Europeans being endangered, the U.S.S. Prairie had landed 300 armed men – It appeared that the Minister of War
[Shortly after, the United States imposed a military government on the island]
had declared upon the President, - the latter was holding the town, each had their own followers, and so the country being in a state of revolution, it became very dangerous for any white people to move about, - this island of Haiti, or San[to] Domingo, the island being divided into two separate and distinct States) are I believe the only place governed entirely by black people, consequently there are always existing revolutionary elements that desire to place their most favoured man as President and it was said to me once that San Domingo or Haiti claims to have posessed a higher number of Presidents than any other republic in the world
The captains of the other warships in harbour paid official visits to our captain and afterwards our Captain paid official visit to our Consul, and at 7 PM we left again for Jamaica.
May 11th at 7 am. we arrived at Kingston after a very wet passage as it was heavy rain nearly the whole time, and we were
held up more than once; on arrival coal ship
May 12th Completed coaling and oiled ship, after which 36 hours leave was given to the men in watches, and we remained here for several days.
May 20th at 9 AM we proceeded down to Port Royal anchoring at 9.30
May 22nd at 7 am we proceeded outside harbour to carry out sub calibre firing at targets towed by tug "Somers", returning to Port Royal at 11.30 am.
May 23rd at 7 am. we again went outside harbour to fire 2/3 charges, returning to Port Royal at noon, and at 1.30 PM we proceeded to anchorage off Kingston
May 24th During forenoon various evolutions were carried out such as, collision stations, fire quarters, abandon ship etc etc.
May 25th Was a repetition during forenoon of the day previously
May 29th at 6 am we proceeded to go alongside pier to coal, completing same by noon.
May 30th at 6.30 am. we took our departure for British Honduras, - weather beautiful & breezy.
and during the night of the 31st we received by wireless the news of the great naval action off Jutland, also that H.M.S. "Invincible" "Indefatigable" "Queen Mary" "Warrior" "Black Prince" "Defence" and several destroyers had been sunk – Enemy losses not then reported
May 31st  at 9 a.m. we anchored off Cayman Islands
June 1st 9 PM we left the Grand Cayman Islands.
June 3rd 9 am. we arrived and anchored off Belize British Honduras. Leave was given. The place was to us of foreign appearance mainly owing to language, but nevertheless we all spent a most enjoyable time ashore
June 5th at 10 am. we left Honduras for Vera Cruz Mexico. and during the night a wireless message informed us of the regrettable loss of H.M.S. "Hampshire" together with Lord Kitchener and his staff.
June 8th at 8.30 am. we anchored in Bay of "Vera Cruz" abreast of U.S. Battleship "Nebraska" and we salute Mexican flag the forts returning the salute. Captain of "Nebraska" paid a visit to our
Captain and at 1 PM British Consul came on board to pay official visit, and was saluted with 7 guns as he departed at 3 P.M. At 6.30 PM our Captain proceeded to board "Nebraska" to dine with her captain – At 9 PM we departed for Kingston
June 12th We called at Cayman Island to convey mails to Jamaica.
June 13th at 7 am. we arrived at ‘Kingston’ after a very nice cruise in Mexican Gulf. "Sydney" was alongside wharf.
June 14th Bunkers replenished.
June 15th Bunkers replenished
June 20th at 11 am. "Sydney proceeded to Port Royal, and at 4.30 PM we done likewise
June 21st at 5.30 am. Both ships proceeded outside so as to allow "Sydney" to carry out her battle practice. "Melbourne" towed target. On completing firing we returned to harbour at 11 am. "Sydney" anchoring at Port Royal, whilst we proceeded to Kingston.
June 24th at 9.20 am. the French cruiser "Gloire" arrived, flying the flag of a Rear Admiral
she anchored abreast of us. The usual courtesies were exchanged between our Captain, and the French cruiser, and at 6 PM we again took our departure for St Lucia en route for Bermuda
June 28th at 6.45 am. we arrived at St Lucia, and secured to coaling wharf, coaled ship & finished at 2 PM.
June 29th at 6.30 am. we took our departure for Bermuda
June 30 En route action evolutions were practiced.
July 1st Schooner "Normandy" from New York was sighted – She was ordered to heave to, and was then examined, after which she was allowed to proceed on her course
July 3rd At daybreak, Bermuda was sighted, all precautions were taken against any possible enemy submarines being in the vicinity, a zig zag course being adopted at full speed, and all water tight doors securely closed. HMS Cumberland passed us in the bay and we anchored in Grassy
Bay at 7o/c am. "Mardeillaise" and "Isis" were also laying at anchor, whilst "Caesar" and "Charydis" [Charybdis] were alongside dockyard wall – At 9 am we proceeded to go alongside dockyard wall for refit – "Charydis" had her bows severely battered in as the result of a collision with one of the West Indies fruit boats
July 4th  "Marseillaise" departed am.
July 5th "Caesar" went out for firing courses
July 7th at 6 am. "Carnarvon" anchored in Grassy Bay
July 9th at 2 PM. "Isis" went to sea.
July 13th at 9 am we entered floating dock.
July 14th one of our lads, A.B. McKenzie met with a nasty accident in dry dock by one of the piles falling upon him, striking him in the back, he was in consequence conveyed to the Naval Hospital
July 25th At 6.30 am. "Cumberland" went out to Grassy Bay and there anchored. Suffolk alongside dockyard wall to coal etc
July 28th at 5 PM "Magdalene" transport conveying West Indian contingent departed for Egypt? calling at Gibraltar, and the "Suffolk" also departed at 5.10 P. to escort "Magdalene" as far as Gibraltar – Suffolk afterwards to proceed to England to pay off.
July 30th at noon Cumberland departed.
August 6th a.m. "Isis" arrived alongside dockyard wall
August 10th "Cumberland" arrived and anchored in Grassy Bay at 6 PM.
August 14th at 4.30 PM. "Cumberland went to sea
August 17th at 5 PM "Marseillaise" arrived and anchored in Grassy Bay.
August 21st "Berwick" arrived and anchored in Grassy Bay at 5 PM. "Isis" went out firing
August 22nd at 8.30 am. Berwick departed and returned to Grassy Bay at 4 P.M. we went out to anchorage in Grassy bay – the Collier "Zellah" No 1043 came alongside preparatory for coaling
August 23rd at 4.30 am. we commenced coaling finishing at 2.15 PM. our collier then proceeded to go alongside "Berwick"
Aug 24th at 9 am. H.M.S. Highflyer arrived and anchored off St Georges, some distance away from Grassy Bay anchorage. She carried a large amount Bullion, transhipped from the "Kent" Via West Coast of Africa which was today transferred to "Isis" for transhipment to Halifax N.S. after which "Highflyer" then proceeded up channel and went alongside dockyard wall at 3 PM to coal etc – This ship was a great attraction a she became famous by her splendid action when she engaged and sank the German Auxillary "Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, and the "Highflyers" men were extremely pleased to have an opportunity of visiting Bermuda and so make a welcome change after so long a stay in West African waters, and where the heat is intolerable.
August 28th At 7 am. we prepared to go alongside of "Caesar" to take in supply of oil, we tied up alongside her at 8 am. During process of oiling, invalid ratings both Naval & Military came on board to take passage to England – We finished oiling and proceeded to anchorage in Grassy Bay to await mails per S.S. "Bermudian" from New York; She arrived at 2.30 PM. – mails received, and everything in readiness, we weighed anchor at 3.15 and began to go ahead at 3.30
French cruiser "Marseillaise" manned ship to cheer us as we took our departure, our men manned ship similarly, and our band played appropriate selections. Hearty cheers were exchanged as the French National Anthem was rendered by our band – Farewell messages were exchanged between ships and establishments to us, and amidst general excitement we proceeded up channel en route to England, and the day was in keeping with events, everything glorious
and so the second chapter in our history of the war was brought to a close.
We had been employed in West Indie Waters a little more than 20 months during which period, we had availed ourselves of the opportunity and combined pleasure with duty – Our patrol duties were anywhere between Halifax N.S. and Pernambucco in the South Atlantic and usually when H.M.A.S. "Sydney" was working south, we were working north, and vice versa, - and the change around was always most welcome because the southern climate was most severe for the heat, whilst the north was quite moderate, and it always seemed to us a very strange coincidence, that we were at all times favoured with such beautiful weather, the sea being usually very calm, whilst the "Sydney" on very many occasions suffered very bad weather and more especially when she eventually made her journey to England a little while after us
During our sojourn in the West Indies, we had the opportunity of visiting the large
majority of the islands situated therein, also several of the South American States and all of which proved exceedingly interesting – The scenery was most varied, and the industries varied so much, that whenever the opportunity afforded itself, our time was fully occupied going about sightseeing – The people of the many places we visited were always most sociable, and at all times received us with open arms as it were
Concerts and outings were arranged by the citizens wherever we went, and usually we returned the compliment by giving a concert by our ships concert party at some suitable building, - at Jamaica especially the beautiful Ward Theatre was usually engaged by us on each of our long stays at Kingston. and at Trinidad Prince’s Building was a most spacious place for a nice concert
One and all of us were most eager to go to England to enable us to take a more active part in the great war, - the West Indies was all very well, we were there able to indulge
in all the joys of life, - plenty of beautiful fruit of all descriptions we always were able to consume in fact this was our chief article of diet, and consequently we all enjoyed the very best health, altho on one occasion, and which lasted for a certain period, a peculiar tropical disease was contracted by several of our men, and which attacked them in the groins, it was known to us as tropical Bubo, - some had it in one groin only, whilst others less fortunate contracted it in both, and it compelled the victim to lay up for quite a long period, causing them to become very weak indeed, as well as very thin looking and it always took a considerable time for any one of them to recuperate, and so become as good a man as they were previous to the attack. In some of the earlier cases an operation was considered necessary, but this method treatment was replaced by long rest and special diet
The natives of the islands became quite attached to us during our visits, and many of them attached themselves to individuals and so
[Tropical bubo is a sexually transmitted disease]
ran all their errands, and done little odd jobs whilst in return the natives had plenty of food any old clothes, and money given them, whilst others would hang around the ship at all hours and dive very deep after a coin that had been so thrown for the purpose, regardless of the shark infested waters, - these puny lads jump out of their self made boats, or canoes, and all of a bunch they may be seen going downward after one coin more especially if it happened to be a silver coin, and the most amusing part of it was, that when the again reached the surface their canoes would have been carried by the tide, a good distance away, whilst their so-called oars would also be detached, -
at other times and more especially St Lucia, the lads in their canoes would be gathered together by the ships side and at a given signal they would all start off to pull around a distant object, such as a buoy and back again to the ships side, - helter-skelter they would go, for all they were worth, perhaps more than one lad, being thrown into the water en route by collision especially
whilst rounding the buoy very sharply, and the first, second, and third would always receive a money prize, the remainder being compelled to dive deep for a few odd coppers.
The washer women, soon introduced themselves to us upon our first arrival at each island visited, and each chose their own men for any dirty clothes they may have, and the same women always collected the washing from the same individuals whilst in port –
These coloured "ladies" practically lived on board all day, - they would collect your washing at breakfast time, take it home, and by evening it would be returned to the rightful owner beautifully clean and only charge 2/- a dozen pieces (blankets excepted at that charge) - Hardly a man washed a piece of his own clothes whilst in these waters, except on a long patrol, and whites were always worn unless north of Bermuda
Very often the most favoured persons would receive from these coloured "ladies" a nice bunch of flowers or a nice basket of mixed fruit
and of course this invariably meant a little extra food being taken home for the "piccaninies", but still they treated us very well indeed especially at Kingston and Barbados in particular and of course it was up to us to treat them likewise
Practically all the islands of the West Indies are volcanic, except Barbados and Bermuda, what I mean to say is, in the volcanic region, more especially Martinique (French) and which is, at times, active, whilst Jamaica is very often visited by earthquakes – Barbados and Bermuda are in the coral zone and are in consequence practically flat, and posess beautiful coral reefs, more so Bermuda, where a steamer runs excursions for pleasure seekers, over the coral gardens.
After leaving Bermuda and when well clear of land the Captain informed all hands that owing to the loss of the two light cruisers "Falmouth" and "Nottingham" both of the same class as ourselves, "Melbourne" was recalled to England to replace "Falmouth" ("Sydney" would probably follow to replace "Nottingham") and
that we were proceeding to Devonport direct, there to give an amount of leave, eventually to join hands with Grand Fleet. Italy and Roumania declared war on Germany, Roumania also declaring war on Germany’s Allies.
August 29th Sighted a Spanish schooner from Cuba 16 days out, - we ordered her to heave to, examined her, found nothing doing, so she was allowed to proceed.
Aug 30th Received a farewell message by wireless from Admiral Sir Geo Patey on relinquishing his command of the Australian Sea going ships,- at the same time he well complemented all ships, for work done during the war - this was apparently because "Melbourne" & "Sydney" was leaving his command, and that he would still remain in his flagship the "Drake" as Vice Admiral commanding the North American and West Indies station
September 5th  During the night of 4th to 5th we met the patrol boat on our entering the war zone, and we at once responded to the challenge.
Sept 6th at 5 am just before dawn we increased our aped from 12 to 15 Knots and commenced a zig-zag owing to submarine activity and at noon we increased speed again to 22 Knots.
Sept 7th At 8 am. we were met some distance off Plymouth by the destroyer "Rifleman" who then escorted us into harbour, both steaming at a good speed and zig zagging the whole time – looked very interesting - and then we began to realize fully that a war was actually in progress, and during the zig sagging the destroyer was constantly crossing and recrossing our bow, - the weather now as it had been since leaving Bermuda was absolutely beautiful, the sea being dead calm, and thereby we became no easy prey for a lerching [lurking?] submarine. We were nearing the Eddistone
Lighthouse at 11 am. when an enemy submarine was actually sighted a short distance to port – our helm was put about and the ship steamed a complete circle around the spot where a periscope was sighted, and another small craft apparently a motor scout also steamed fast on to the spot where the submarine was last seen, - a depth charge was dropped by scout and "Rifleman" and "Melbourne" shaped our course again for Plymouth, - we afterwards learned by reports that the depth charge sealed the fate of the enemy submarine, this episode was really our first glimpse of activity during the war, - in due course, at noon, we entered Plymouth Sound and still steaming at 22 Knots we entered the sheltered bay inside breakwater, and anchored
A large number of merchant vessels were here laying at anchor, sheltering from a known submarine outside, and only the night previous a large steamer was sunk off Start Point by submarine, probably the same one that we sighted this morning
We remained at anchor for about 10 minutes then a pilot came on board, a post captain, to pilot us up harbour, and where we proceeded, and tied up to dockyard wall at North Yard at 1.30 P.M.,
as we made progress from our anchorage up harbour we were heartily cheered, on passing vessels and warships, especially the old training ship "Impregnable", which was manned by boys and youths, - the old "Powerful" that was so very familiar to many of our men, and which had previously passed so many of her years in Australian waters, was now firmly secured astern of the "Impregnable" now forming part and parcel of the training establishment now, more than ever playing a very important part in the war, training the boys to become useful units for ships that compose the mighty Grand Fleet of today, more popularly known in England as "Britain’s sure shield.
At 3.30 PM. after our Captain had returned from Commander in Chiefs residence, he cleared lower deck; that is
every individual mustered aft to hear what news he had to convey, - some had rumours that we were all having 7 day leave, some said 10 others 14 and so on; - we had not waited very long before our Captain announced to us that he was very pleased to say that 3 weeks leave had been granted to all officers and men as from Sep 8th – this piece of news naturally caused the men to give vent to their long pent up feelings, and hearty cheers broke away from one and all as our captain made his way down to his cabin again.
So as quickly as possible our parcels and handbags were packed, money paid, liberty tickets and railway passes issued and away we went to friends & relatives, our first visit home for very many for a the best part of 3 years and 8 months, - the weather was really very nice and every prospect for an enjoyable leave
Sep 30th After a beautiful and rainless 21 days in Cornwall I returned off leave at 7 a.m. and during this period the ship had been
taken from South Yard to Keyham extension and there docked, - mine sweeping and protective apparatus fitted to our bows, and submarine destroyers )(depth charges) placed at our stern, - our captain, Senior Engineer Little, and Artificer Engineer Gould had all been relieved, together with a few other deck lower ratings – New Captain, Fullerton D.S.O.
Oct 2nd  We coaled ship from 6 am till 6 PM. from coal lighters & provisioned ship
Oct 3rd Underwent basin trials during forenoon.
Oct 4th at 8 am. we left the basin and proceeded to No 2 Buoy in the stream, or I should say in the sound, adjusted compasses took in a supply of practice shell and at 1.30 PM. we departed steaming west
Oct 5th Passing up Irish Sea weather as usual beautifully fine, - sharp look outs were kept going, as one and all fully realized now that we were actually at war, and that neglect may mean the loss of our ship by submarine or floating mine
Oct 6th at 11 am. we arrived off Scapa Flow, for this our first introduction to the Greatest Fleet of warships in the world, second to none either in ships, or men, filled us with pride, - all precautions necessary were taken every man wearing his life saving apparatus some with inflated collars, or waist belts others with Kapoc jackets, everyone fully prepared for eventualities –
Some of the latest destroyers of the Grand Fleet met us outside, to escort us up the channel, and all were very eagerly watching events, - cautiously, we approached the entrance, and all we could discern ahead were numberless fishing trawlers, scattered all across the entrance, - and as we drew nearer it was plainly seen that between each of these trawlers were numbers of floating objects which stretched across the entrance from shore to shore, the trawlers making the connecting link so a to prevent the objects from sinking beneath the surface, - it appeared that we were to pass between the two vessels
[Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, north Scotland]
that shewed a special signal in the form of black balls hanging from their yard arm, - this we learned afterwards was termed the outer gates, and as we passed through these outer gates, still at a good speed we could better understand the meaning and duties of these numberless trawlers, -
they were the pillars upon which were supported the long heavy wire nets, that reached from the surface to the ocean bed, and each worked quite independent to the other, - one extra trawler worked behind the gate so that when it was necessary to open a certain gate, to let a ship or squadron pass thru, this special trawler would haul on a wire hawser by the aid of her capstan, and so the gate, one end being released, she was able thus to slowly haul it open, like an ordinary gateway and as soon as the ship or squadron had passed thru the trawler that released the one end would in turn haul the gate across again and so close the entrance behind the passing or last ship.
at Scapa Flow there were three such long gates to pass through before gaining access to the Fleet anchorage, and between each gate there were always patrol boats and motor launches, all armed with depth charges as their particular weapons for hostile submarines,- but it was a very remote chance that any hostile submarine could to ever hope to get inside, and since inauguration of these so called gates or harbour boom defence arrangements I do not think any hostile submarine ever entered Scapa Flow
We thought it all wonderful, quite naturally, more so as months passed by. Eventually the last gate closed behind us, and we then became a unit of the Grand Fleet, having entered their meeting place, - away on our port beam could be seen a large assembly of warships, the likes of which we had never seen before at least many of the more modern of them. Flags fluttered from our mast head denoting who we were, flags fluttered from
the mastheads of many others of the Grand Fleet, some denoting the line they were in, others to send us a message as to where our position was to be. We took up our position astern of line of Light cruisers, and at once prepared to coal, and coaling in the Grand Fleet is always carried out in quick time, making it an evolution, - we coaled from 1.30 till 9 PM. after which we washed down and darkened ship
Oct 7th  PM we proceeded to firing ground, which is a large portion of the harbour set aside for firing exercises, and so escape the dangers of submarines and mines, - and it was always the rule that when a ship joined the Fleet either for the first time or after a period of refitting she always underwent firing and torpedo exercise, to make her an efficient unit of the great fleet.
Oct 9th We carried out similar exercises to above also our topgallantmasts and yards were struck, to bring us into conformity with the other light cruisers
on this occasion we proceeded to what is known as the North Shore, which is further away from the ships at anchor
Oct 10th Owing to rough weather firing could not be exercises and so we returned to our anchorage with fleet, - at 9 PM an order from the Commander in Chief was received to the effect that we were to rig up a supplementary wireless aerial and report same completed by 11 P.M.
Oct 11th Weather having moderated, we carried out torpedo and sub calibre firing
Oct 12th Sub calibre firing
Oct 13th Carried out sub battle practice firing also night firing & which lasted several days.
Oct 17th Dominion and Commonwealth journalists visited ship at 11.45 am.
Oct 19th Carried out firing during afternoon and at 6.15 PM we weighed anchor and proceeded to sea, in company with a destroyer to patrol the Norwegian coast – we were steaming due East, when a wireless
message ordered us to divert our course S.W. for Firth of Forth another naval base
Oct 21st  at 7 am. we entered the Firth of Forth, passed through three similar gates to those of Scapa Flow, passed up under the great Forth Bridge, passed "Beatty’s" flagship the "Lion" until we came to the end of the Light cruiser line at 8 am. and PM we coaled and oiled ship
Oct 22nd am. Rear Admiral Goodenough of the "Southampton" came on board and all the men fell in aft whilst the Admiral welcomed us as a unit of the Grand Fleet also as a unit of his squadron – the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, and after a long speech and promising us the front place in any future action, he departed.
Oct 23rd at 10 am. Rear Admiral Sir G Pakenham of "Australia" paid us a visit also welcoming us to English waters & on joining Grand Fleet – Most of the warships in this base were the squadrons who under Admiral Beatty gave the enemy such a severe defeat at the
Dogger Bank action when the "Bluecher" was sunk together with many others of the enemy ships, - these same ships also took the leading part in the great decisive Jutland Battle, and which eventually forced the Hun navy to such a degrading ending - All these various squadrons which fought so brilliantly under the leadership of Admiral Beatty altho at the time very severely battered about themselves, now bore no sign whatever, at least outwardly, of having borne the brunt of a great modern naval action as they had done
It was a most inspiring sight to be able to view these great modern engines of war, and which were built by England for defence, and not offence, - and yet each battleship squadron was homogeneous, and yet each battleship squadron was different to the other, - as the early part of the war made such a revolution in naval shipbuilding that great strides had to be made to keep ahead of our enemies, so that both in speed, and gun power particularly we far outclassed our adversaries, as time
eventually proved when the Germans landed over the bulk of their navy to our fleet – These massive ships of war gave to one that feeling of serenity as they lay peacefully at anchor, with always steam ready to proceed to sea at a few minutes notice, and as they had to do on very many occasions for various stunts.
Oct 26th  At 1.30 PM. we departed (that is the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron) to sea with five attendant destroyers to patrol the North Sea as far as Flamborough Head [On the Yorkshire coast]
Oct 27th At 7.30 am. we returned to our usual anchorage, after which we coaled ship.
Oct 31st We again coaled ship, (as no ship of war was allowed to be short of coal in harbour more than 10% in case of emergency) after which at 4.30 PM we again proceeded to sea, but this time in company with the Grand Fleet
Nov 1st At daybreak we were able to witness for the first time the Great Fleet at sea at least as much as we could see of it
because the whole of the fleet that were now at sea covered such a vast area, that it was quite impossible to view them all, but as it was there were numberless ships of all classes and description, spread upon the ocean in every direction as far as the eye could see, - and when all our ships left the Firth of Forth, all the remainder of the Grand Fleet must also have left their various bases to meet together at a rendezvous, because there were airships and aeroplanes, and sea planes, hovering in and about the clouds far above us and in all directions, travelling at speed, whilst observation balloons were attached to very many of the ships, whilst for surface vessels there were all classes from the largest battleship to the smallest destroyer,-also many fleet auxillaries, such as kite balloon ship, seaplane carriers, mine sweepers & layers and aeroplane ships, and darting about here and there and everywhere were those great submarines and chasers of the very latest and to be able to witness such a mighty array
of warships manoeuvring about the ocean, it made one think it impossible for any fleet of enemy vessels to stand up against them, leave alone fighting
Nov 3rd at 2 am. the fleet arrived at their various bases to anchor, all cruisers practically returning to Rosyth Firth of Forth, after which coaling evolutions commenced, - nothing apparently went wrong whilst doing the various tactics at sea only that far away in the clouds a Zeppelin was observed apparently reporting on our doings at sea, - but as soon as our aircraft spotted her they gave chase and very speedily she returned to a place of safety whilst our machines returned in due course.
Nov 5th at 9 am. the Flag of Rear Admiral Goodenough was hoisted commanding 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, owing to his ship the
Southampton having gone to refit
Nov 9th at 8 am. we proceeded down to the river mouth in company with Dublin to carry out
range finding exercise, two destroyers also accompanied us; - the exercise having finished we returned to harbour at noon.
Nov 10th  at 8 am. we filled up with coal.
Nov 14th Draft arrived from Devonport consisting of various ratings
Nov 16th at 8 am, we proceeded down harbour to carry out sub-calibre firing, passing the "Sydney" off Inchkeith. Exercise finished we returned at noon.
Nov 17th at 8 am. we again filled up with coal
Nov 19th At 9 am. the Flag of Rear Admiral was again transferred to Southampton on her return from refitting
Nov 20th New Paymaster arrived Mr Brown
Nov 21st at 4 PM Melbourne & Dublin in company with two destroyers proceeded to sea to carry out dark night patrol
Nov 23rd at 7 am. we the above vessels all met and together we returned to harbour and anchored at 12.30 P.M. after which we coaled ship and another draft arrived from Devonport of mixed ratings, these ratings was
always sent from Devonport, but invariably they consisted of Australian ratings, and when such arrived from Australia they were always quartered at Devonport Naval Barracks given a period of leave and at an opportune time were despatched to their ships. It was usually the case that when a draft arrived at the base, the squadron was somewhere at sea, so that the draft if the base should be Rosyth, Firth of Forth, they were accommodated in HMS "Crescent", which was utilised as a receiving and despatching ship for all ratings of the Grand Fleet, - for the northern base Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands the H.M.S. "Imperieuse" was used as the receiving and despatching vessel.
Nov 28th Admiral Jellicoe relinquished command of the Grand Fleet to take up position of 1st Sea Lord at the Admiralty. Vice Admiral Beatty assumed the rank of full Admiral and took over command of the Grand Fleet, the H.M.S. Iron Duke having arrived at Rosyth for the occasion
was retained as the Flagship pro tem.
Nov 29th at 8 am. on hoisting the colours, Admiral Beatty officially hoisted his flag on the "Iron Duke" – Consequent upon this change of command, Vice Admiral Packenham who had as his flagship the "Australia" acting as the Admiral of 2nd Battle Squadron also as Admiral Commanding the ships of Royal Australian Navy serving with the Grand Fleet, transferred his flag to the "New Zealand" thus commanding the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron, at 9 am.
The changes in flag commands was generally considered favourable, - Beatty without a doubt was well recognised as a bitter pill for the German Fleet, he seemed to posess that dash and vigour and devil may care kind of action that was so characteristic of a British Admiral generally – Admiral Packenham, we of the Royal Australian ships very much regretted to part with as he was undeniably a typical
English gentleman, every inch of him, and much respected by all under his command.
November 30th  at 1.30 PM. we proceeded to sea to carry out dark night patrol, one destroyer accompanied us, - during dog watch we received a wireless message ordering us to return to harbour at full speed and where we were due at 11.30 PM. also ordering us to coal and oil on arrival
Dec 1st Continued thru day coaling & oil ship – We remained at anchorage several days and
Dec 8th at 8 a.m. we again replenished bunkers and at 3.30 PM. we proceeded to sea again with a destroyer to carry out dark night patrol
Dec 9th The whole of this day was spent at actions stations just a usual stunt.
Dec 11th In company with the remainder of the 2nd L.C. Squadron we proceeded to sea at 3.30 P.M.
Dec 12th At 9.30 am the squadron arrived at Scapa Flow – we all coaled ship, and at and at 3.30 PM the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron again proceeded to sea on patrol duties off the Shetland Islands
Dec 14th during the afternoon the whole of the squadron was recalled by wireless
Dec 15th Another wireless message was received from base ordering 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron to try and intercept a German armed raider reported off the Norwegian Coast, - accordingly we all shaped course towards the Norwegian Coast steaming due East, and after steaming about a good deal we were ordered to return to our base to coal, consequently we arrived at Scapa Flow at 7.30 PM. and all ships at once commenced to coal and oil
Dec 18th Firing ground in the Flow was allocated to us and 1" electric aiming firing was carried our during the day. [1 inch aiming rifle?]
Dec 19th During a.m. Torpedo practice was carried out and after dinner we received a signal to pick up our station on the departure of the fleet and sharp at 2 P.M. the leading ship began to move, - we had to pick up station with our squadron in the rear, and it was 3.30 PM. when we passed out thru the gates, - the sea was at the time running very heavy, and as
we were all going out for fleet exercises, we had prospects of a rather uncomfortable time to come
Dec 20th  The whole day was spent in carrying out Fleet exercises, but the weather was very inclement and no possible sign of abatement
Dec 21st Large ships of the fleet, in fact all ships except the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron and their attendant destroyers were ordered to abandon manoeuvres, and return to their respective bases, as the weather had become too bad to carry out further operations, - this was about 9 a.m. Owing to the weather our Squadron in turn very soon became separated, but our destroyer somehow managed to keep in touch with us
During the day a very strong N.W. gale sprang up, we were compelled to reduce our speed to a minimum, and things became very uncomfortable indeed, - we were being tossed about like a cork upon the angry sea and it became very dangerous indeed for any individual to move about between decks – Owing to the weather, some gear which
included shells and shell racks became loose and rolling to and fro upon the upper deck, and a very serious menace, - it was whilst in the act of securing this loose gear on the quarter deck that one of our old lads, Signalman Campanola and Able Seaman Watson was also drowned
it so happened that the Able Seaman was washed clean overboard by a huge sea that swept over our vessel, and as soon as the cry of "Man Overboard" was raised, Signalman Campanola ascended up the rigging of the foremast, and before he had time to look around to try and spot the Able Seaman, a huge sea came over the fore part of the vessel and carried him clean off the rigging and clear of the ship – neither was ever seen again, and no lifeboat could ever live in such a sea, and we were not allowed to stop our engines whilst at sea under no consideration, for fear of an enemy submarine being in the vicinity.
It was a most unfortunate incident, attended as it was with unavoidable loss of life – It was also this same day that H.M.S "Negro"’ and
[Ernesto Campagnolo, aged 19, William J. Watson, aged 23. Their Service Records show the date 21.12.16, but do not mention their deaths]
H.M.S. "Hoste" two destroyers collided owing to the heavy weather and both vessels went to the bottom only 30 men being saved,- what really happened was the two ships collided, the overtaking ship [Negro] struck the ship ahead [Hoste] near by the depth charge causing the charge to explode with such terrific force that the bow of one was blown off whilst the stern of the other met a similar fate following upon which both vessels foundered, only the few being saved as mentioned out of a probable total of 160 to 170 souls.
[Hoste was disabled with steering failure and being escorted back to Scapa Flow. 50 perished on Negro and 4 on Hoste]
Dec 22nd After passing thru a very rough night, we, (the "Melbourne" and her destroyer) found at dawn that we were heading for Aberdeen a good distance north of our true bearing and our wireless aerial missing, - we steamed about until eventually we picked up "Sydney" and "Southampton" and their two destroyers – there was a large oiltank steamer near by steaming South and just as we had all joined company it was observed that a hostile submarine was in the vicinity and so the whole of our squadron of 8 ships steamed in circles around the oil steamer as she
she steamed South, until all danged was passed, then we shaped course for Rosyth and where we eventually arrived at our anchorage at noon, - we commenced to replenish bunkers and oil ship as quickly as possible -meanwhile our Captain (Fullerton D.S.O.) was relieved by Captain Rushton R.N. our late Captain proceeding to H.M.S. Orion as presumably Flag Captain to our Rear Admiral of Squadron, Goodenough D.S.O.
Christmas Day Dec 25th  Our ship being in harbour our Captain, had everybody mustered aft and gave them an appropriate lecture after which the Commodore (Lambert) who relieved R. Admiral Goodenough) came on board and also had a talk with the ships company. All hands went to church at 10 am. Greetings were received from Commander-in-Chief of Grand Fleet, the King (and of whom I should have mentioned first; apologies) Rear Admiral Battle Cruiser Squadron, Australian Naval Board, High Commissioner, etc etc etc. all of which were reciprocated.
Gifts were served out to all men from the people of Australia, and for dinner we had a sumptuous repast, consisting of poultry, of various kinds, and everything it was possible to have, nuts sweets biscuits, Xmas pudding etc etc, all except anything alchoholic
[Iles was a ship’s cook, but never mentions his part in this]
was given to the men to make the day as enjoyable as possible, and so under war conditions everything passed off most satisfactory.
Dec 27th at 1.30 PM we were ordered to proceed to sea on patrol, and at 11.30 PM we were ordered by wireless to return to our base, and upon doing so we were at once commenced to coal
Dec 29th At 3.30 PM. together with the "Sydney" also our two attendant destroyers each we proceeded to sea on patrol duties. – the weather was so beautifully fine and a clear moonlight night
Dec 31st At 10 a.m. we arrived back at our base (Rosyth) anchoring at 10.30 after which we commenced to coal and oil.
Jan 1st An impromptu concert was given by our Concert party, in the waist from 8 till 10.30 P.M. and it was undoubtedly an excellent programme, for we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Measles was prevailing in the ship at this time
Jan 4th At 8.30 am. 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, consisting of "Southampton" Melbourne, Sydney and "Dublin", proceeded down the river to the firing
ground to carry out range finding practice, and plotting exercises. At 11 a.m. Dublin and Southampton proceeded out to sea on patrol duties, together with their destroyers whilst Sydney and Melbourne proceeded up river; and taking up fresh provisions, we anchored below the Forth Bridge about noon, being there ready for sea.
Jan 8th Total eclipse of the moon, an excellent view
Jan 10th Some spasm, liberty men were all recalled at 1.30 PM. steam was raised throughout the fleet for full speed emergency, and every preparation was made to proceed to sea, boats hoisted etc etc & stand by
Jan 11th So far nothing doing, but after dinner we coaled ship again, and during the lowering of our steam cutter the foremost fall carried away. unfortunately Harris, Able Seaman got jammed in the stern sheets by the block - he was quickly released and being badly injured he was at once despatched to hospital for treatment
Jan 13th Fleet again ordered to prepare for sea and no dummy run this time for at 6 P.M. the ships began to move and ere long we were all sailing merrily down the river out into the cold and bleak North Sea the gateway of our Empire and
and needless to say the whole world
Jan 14th  The day was fine but some cold and during which Fleet exercise were carried out, just the usual events, squadron manoeuvreing, airships, aeroplanes, and submarines all taking part.
Jan 15th At 4 am. we found ourselves steaming up the river again and in due course the Fleet was brought to anchor. Coaling and oiling ship was then carried out by all ships throughout the rest of the day.
Jan 18th At 9 am. in company with the "Sydney" we proceeded to the firing ground, firing sub-calibre; - firing completed we returned to anchorage at 1.30 P.M.
Jan 19th at 8 am. we coaled ship finishing at 8.30 A.M. – During the forenoon an examination of our boilers revealed numerous defects, as a consequence Fleet Engineers came on board to report to Commander-in chief upon same and as a result of this report we were placed out of routine
26th The day was spent in carrying out various evolutions whilst at anchor, such as away all boats, prepare to take in tow etc etc.
Jan 27th at 6 PM we took our departure for Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead to be taken in hand for an extensive refit, - the weather was favourable and all were agog with excitement, for the prospects of an extensive refit meant an unlimited amount of leave for the boys.
Jan 30th Opened with a thick fog and we were heading steadily up the Mersey and cautiously owing to the Hun Pirates having been so very busy of late operating off the mouth of the Mersey and the South of Ireland, - anyhow at 9 a.m. we arrived safely off Birkenhead and there dropped anchor, - dockyard officials came on board to take over the ship and tugs were standing by; - at 3.30 PM we went inside the basin to discharge our oil
Jan 31st At 4 am. we went out into the stream again and anchored off Cammell Lairds
Feb 1st At 5 P.M.one of Cammell Laird’s tugs took us into the dock basin, and we were tied up alongside the H.M.S. "Attentive", one of the Dover patrol ships having a refit. H.M.S. "Bacchante" was also refitting here.
[Cammel Laird were the builders of the Melbourne]
Feb 2nd  Our Captain proceeded to the Admiralty so as to make arrangements about leave etc.
Feb 7th One half of the men proceeded on 21 days leave at 2 P.M. It was evidently plain that we were going to be modernised as rigging of the foremast was soon being dismantled with a view of placing a tripod mast in the ship, and very many other alterations were being made both internally and externally, - full advantage of this refit was being taken both by the men and the ship
March 2nd at 8 am. the 1st watch returned from their long leave, and the remainder of the men then proceeded on their 21 days leave – fairly good weather was prevailing and an enjoyable time was looked for – During the absence of the last named men it was found necessary to prolong our time allowed for refitting indefinitely, consequently each man then on leave received a telegram to extend his leave for an additional 7 days making a total of 28 days
March 31st The above men returned to the ship
Whilst the men that had already had 21 days leave proceeded again for 16 days on leave of absence and so things proceeded until eventually after every man had received 6 weeks leave the ship was completed with her refit and so on
June 27th at 4 am we left the basin and was taken out to the stream to anchor and adjust compasses, - we then appeared to be a different ship entirely, - new searchlights together with their platform had been installed, new fire control platform, bridge and very many other things had been installed and renewed – At 6 P.M. we departed from Birkenhead for Scapa Flow to rejoin the Grand Fleet, - weather was beautifully fine but very fresh, and onward we proceeded without incident and on
June 19th at 1.30 am. we arrived at Scapa Flow and once again took up our previous anchorage, - at 8 am we commenced to fill up our bunkers, The harbourage was as usual simply full up with ships of the Grand Fleet
June 30th  at 6.30 P.M. Admiral Beatty in the H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth" departed for Rosyth leaving Vice Admiral Madden to command the base at Scapa Flow.
July 3rd at 7 am. we proceeded to go alongside the old Battleship "Victorious" for the purpose of having our two 36" searchlights fitted to the after platform.
July 4th At 11 AM.we proceede to the firing ground over by the orth Shore
July 6th During am. we got under weigh for range finding exercise, proceeding outside during the afternoon for Direction exercise, and at 4 PM we again came inside of the harbour, and after carrying out sub-calibre firing on the firing ground the ship was brought to anchor at 6.30 P.M. after a good day of exercises
July 9th at 6.30 PM we again got under weigh to carry out night firing, firstly two runs at sub-calibre, and from 10.30 till 11.30 night firing at a target in tow whilst we lay at anchor – At 11.45 PM a most curious explosion was felt, not a loud report, but that
peculiar heavy thud which accompanies a great explosion, - the night was a very black one, but was nevertheless very peaceful, - rumours quickly began to circulate around our ship, such as the HMS. Emperor of India, (a giant dreadnought) had struck a mine outside the entrance, - another was to the effect that HMS Royal Oak another great Dreadnought, had been sunk by submarine that had by some means gained access to our anchorage, -
bad news travel fast and in a few minutes a report was received that the Dreadnought Battleship HMS "Vanguard" had sunk whilst laying at anchor caused by presumably, internal explosion, - we gazed across in the direction of the fleet for altho we were in the same harbour we were about 4 to 5 miles away, and no lights were visible from ships after dark, - but far away in that direction could be seen on the surface of the water, a long narrow irregular red glow, - by using a pair of glasses one could observe the slow irregular burning flare, which was afterwards discovered to be the burning oil on then water
a hue and cry soon went around that a Hun submarine was in the harbour, consequently steamboats were manned and armed with a quick firing gun and all the fleet was ready to proceed to sea. Fortunately for a few of the "Vanguards" people a concert was being held on board of the "Royal Oak" and a certain number of officers and men from "Vanguard" were invited, and 16 officers and the Commander accepted to go, so with the exception of these officers and a few men who were then on advance leave, met their fate by this explosion, - in the morning we steamed across to our fleet anchorage, and was then able to observe the vacant place in the line where the "Vanguard" had lay at anchor only the night previous, - we also discovered that the force of the explosion was so terrific that the top of one of the turrets, which was thick armour plate, was carried from the ship as far as the beach, fully a mile distant, whilst debris including a small quick firing gun a 6 pounder was carried as far as 10 miles distant as was proven at the
time, by material picked up far inland on this day, - we also learned that two men only out of the approximate 900 souls were able to survive the explosion, these being picked up shortly afterwards and in a very dazed and wretched condition, and according to reports one of these men eventually died as a result
This great loss (altho not the first of its kind by any means) was very keenly felt; - such accidents cannot be misconstrued phsycologically speaking it was of course an accident, but as the old proverb teaches us; "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof" and the man behind the gun had his opinion. The meaning, and also the sad reminder that this vacant space in the line of Battleships imparted to us one and all was inexpressible, and we could only gaze in that direction and think of all that lay beneath, brave and gallant men, many of whom had faced the clash of battle with the enemy, nobly, and valiantly, alas their duty nobly done "Nunquam Non Paratus" and there
is not a man in the service who fears death but such a death as this is heartrending – Very speedily divers were brought to the scene and descended to the depth of horror with a view of marking the bow and stern position of the vessel with floating buoys, - and from hearsay the sight that met the eyes of the divers was beyond belief, - men were still lying in their hammocks as if sleeping, just as they were doing at the time of the explosion, - and it so effected one of the divers that he eventually became mad, and this incident naturally put the fear into the minds of many other divers - that of course is as we heard it, but at the same time it is a well known fact that whenever a diver may come in the precincts of a dead body it is drawn towards him, this of course appears a paradox, but there it is, as the diver moves one way or another so the body follows after – well we were very soon able to see the position of the ill fated "Vanguard" on the bottom by the mark buoys. It must be narrated that the crew of the picket
boat had a miraculous escape, they had, but a very few moments before, left the "Vanguard" to proceed to the "Royal Oak" to convey the officers back to their ship, so fortunately all these persons narrowly escaped. there were other parties absent from the ship at the time of the explosion, such as those undergoing gunnery, torpedo, and oil fuel course, thereby reducing the number of casualties, to what it may have been.
July 10th  At 8.30 P.M. after a hard day, painting ship, our Captain had everybody very interested in a lecture he was about to give, dwelling upon his war experiences, and which was; - At the outbreak of war, or in fact previous to the war he was serving in H.M.S. "Southampton" which formed one of a squadron of ships that visited the Kiel Canal (in the June of the year of the outbreak) - our Captain who was at that time Commander Astley-Rushton sat at the luncheon, just opposite the Kaiser, and he told us of the Kaisers actions, and impressions that he gave to others, anyhow they had very gay time whilst at Kiel, and the German Naval officers were intensely anxious to see all that
they possibly could of the British men-o-war, and as usual "Der Tag" was drank many times. "The Day the Eagles flies seaward" – Captain Goodenough was the captain of the "Southampton" at that time and who together with our Captain was promoted for war services at the Jutland Battle
well he told us how at the outbreak of war, the navy transformed itself from peace routine to that of war, - on Aug 4th that very memorable day the squadron was at sea patrolling the Dogger Bank, all the furniture was brought on deck and thrown over the side into the locker below, and where Davy Jones keeps all curios, - well everything likely to burn or splinter was brought on deck and disposed of similarly, - nothing was seen of the enemy ships and so they proceeded to Scapa Flow, - very hurriedly they coaled ship and was off to sea again, so that all ships were continually going to sea, returning to coal and off again, - the harbours were then undefended at the bases, enemy submarines could enter them at their bidding, and very often when the fleet at
Scapa were at anchor an enemy submarine would manage to get inside and then a stampede of war ships, everyone had to weigh anchor and to proceed to sea independently, - and so everything seemed to be upside down, mails, stores, provisions, and harbour defences were all badly neglected, and for months the life of the navy was but existence whilst our troops were being hurriedly transferred to France across Dover Straits, our Navy were holding the North Sea day and night against the enemy.
He told us of many daring and thrilling exploits and encounters with enemy submarines mines and Zeppelins, - of how Admiral Jelicoe gradually and efficiently put things into shape – of how the three large cruisers "Hogue" "Cressy" and "Aboukir" met their fate – of their doings in the Jutland Battle, drawing sketches on the blackboard of the action, - of the wireless message that was received recalling them to harbour when the battle was at its height (of course it was not taken notice of) and how this squadron the 2nd Light Cruisers" were in the thick of the fighting the ship being swept with shell fire, especially
H.M.S. Chester, when the boy Jack Cornwall received the "Victoria Cross" - The Captain was talking for 1½ hours and it was intensely interesting.
July 11th at 3 PM a funeral service throughout the fleet took place for the victims of the HMS. "Vanguard" – several bodies had been picked up in the harbour since the explosion and were interred in the naval cemetery close by, and for several days, wreckage and oil was floating about the harbour in very considerable quantities, pieces of furniture caps shirts, and in fact, all manner of articles could be seen in masses.
July 16th the morning the fleet [negative?] "Barham", and the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron which included the "Birmingham" "Southampton" "Melbourne" "Sydney" and "Dublin" went to sea for 48 hours exercises – During P.M. we carried out firing exercises on firing ground
July 17th during a.m. Squadron exercises were carried out, and PM> firing exercises
July 18th Was also spent in firing exercises
July 19th am. as on the day previous, and during PM we coaled ship.
July 20th at 1 PM. we proceeded outside harbour to Pentland Firth to carry out full calibre long range fairing, on completion of which we returned to harbour.
July 23rd during am. we replenished bunkers and at 1 P.M. - we again proceeded to firing ground to carry out 2/3 charge calibre firing also Director and control exercises and after dark whilst at anchor, night firing carried out.
July 24th Squadron exercises during forenoon, such as taking ship in tow etc etc, -night firing again after dark. During the day we had another fright for it was rumoured that H.M.S. Conqueror had blown up whilst at anchor at "Rosyth" by internal explosion, - happily this proved to be false, but it was a common occurrence for a rumour to gain currency of some awful calamity, especially of internal explosions.
July 25th During forenoon torpedo firing exercise was carried out, also 1"electric aiming
July 26th the same exercises at yesterday
July 27th During forenoon, we again proceeded outside to Pentland Firth to carry out 2/3 calibre firing long range after which we returned to harbour, and the afternoon was spent coaling ship
July 30th This was regatta day for our squadron (each squadron had its own day for regattas) – the usual races were gone thru and sorry to say "Melbourne" was just no good at all Birmingham gaining 1st place, but still it was a very exciting day and the weather very nice indeed.
July 31st Day and night firing and torpedo running was carried out.
Aug 1st Same as yesterday
Aug 2nd During the morning we proceeded out to Pentland Firth to carry out
torpedo firing at full speed, after which we returned to our anchorage
Aug 3rd We coaled ship
Aug 4th The anniversary of hostilities, - the fleet was laying at anchor under full steam quite ready to meet any eventuality, as rumours gained currency that the Germans were going to make a dash for the Atlantic on this day, but there was nothing doing, altho the weather was very foggy
Aug 5th A day of general drill for the Squadron
Aug 7th During forenoon drill, and afternoon we again coaled ship.
Aug 8th More squadron drills.
Aug 9th Some spasms this day, until 9 PM came and then a signal was sent from Beatty raise steam for full speed immediately and prepare for night action, - by jove some sport, and some possibility of getting at the Huns or was it just another spasm
Aug 10th At 12.30 am. the Fleet began to move hurriedly it being reported that a German raider was operating in the North Sea. The 2nd and 6th Light Cruiser Squadrons together with their attendant destroyers preceded the fleet, and when well
away at sea, - all cruisers spread out at a distance of 9 miles apart, and then steaming in a Southerly direction we began to sweep the North Sea stretching in a long line distant about 100 miles, - visibility was good, so that nothing could escape, - after searching in vain all day and seeing nothing doing we returned on
Aug 13th at noon after which we all filled up again with coal and oil, having left the 6th L.C.S. scouting outside, - our squadron had to keep steam for full speed until such time as the 6th L.C.S. arrived in harbour.
Aug 14th In the early hours 6th L.C.S. arrived.
Aug 16th During a.m. we carried out torpedo firing and P.M. night firing 2/3 charges.
Aug 18th We again coaled ship, and according to reports received the German raider above referred to was intercepted off the South Coast of Ireland by one of our Auxillaries and sunk (supposed "Grieff")
Aug 20th At 8 am. in company with "Dublin" and "Birmingham", we proceeded outside to Pentland Firth to carry out full charge
firing by Director control, on completion of which we all returned to harbour.
Aug 24th At 8 a.m. we coaled ship again.
Aug 26th At 11.45 am. the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron departed with our attendant destroyers as another Hun raider was reported operating in the North Sea, and we scoured in all directions day and night, - finding nothing doing we returned
Aug 28th At 7 PM. just as a storm was about to commence, we were entering Scapa Flow fortunately, as otherwise we should have had a very unpleasant time, and at 10 PM we commenced to coal, finishing on
Aug 29th at about 3 a.m. and at 6 PM we proceeded to anchorage off North Shore. As far as we could ascertain, the reason for our moving to North Shore was because the divers were preparing to blow up the wreck of the "Vanguard", tho we did not see it.
Aug 31st We carried out torpedo firing during the forenoon
Sep 2nd Our Captain engaged the attention of the ships company during the evening by giving a very interesting lecture on astronomy fro 8 till 10 PM.
Sep, 3rd 6 am. Another coal ship, and at 9 AM we got under weigh for the purpose of having a trial run with an improved paravane on behalf of the Captain of the "Superb"
A mine area was laid and we had to steam through this area, to test the paravane, and which was very interesting for as we steamed forward at a high speed a dummy mine was continually being brought to the surface on either side of us, - but the mine did not reach the surface until we had passed clear of the spot, and then like huge great balls these mines shot upwards from the dark depths of the sea, illustrating very vividly what a great boon to the sea-faring man this wonderful paravane invention was,- it performed its work with swift deliberation, and to all appearances it proved satisfactory
Sep 6th at 2 AM. slumber was disturbed by an order to raise steam immediately for sea; - we were now quite used to these disturbances of the peace and steam was speedily raised, after which we all patiently awaited the order to proceed, - our continued life of inactivity was proving monotonous, - day after day, and month after month, the same routine was being gone through, patrolling various sections of the North Sea, convoying merchantmen across to Bergen in Norway, dummy stunts around Jutland and Heligoland, were by now all becoming just the ordinary stunts.
We were still awaiting orders when at 11 AM, a floating object was observed floating dead in line for the bow of our ship, - it did not take very long to discover that it was a floating mine drifting about aimlessly – a rifle and ammunition was procured, and a shot fires by Perry Officer Crawford pierced the mine and caused it to sink just about 100 yards from our ship, - it did not have the appearance of one of our own mines but was very similar to the mines laid by the Hun submarines, and reported as such – Expectations of going to sea subsided during the afternoon
and consequently things once again be coming normal we were able at 8 P.M. to receive our draft of 50 men from Aussie via Devonport, and which caused much speculation as to who were to be the lucky individuals to return to Aussie as there were so very many of us of very long standing
Sep 7th at 4.30 P.M. the 50 fortunate ratings that were chosen to return to Aussie, left the ship and were given a hearty send off as they were some of the old boys that had been with us since the ship was commissioned [18 Jan 1913]
Sep 8th at 2.30 P.M. the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron were ordered to return to Rosyth. These changes were essentially necessary at periods approximately of two months because at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, the light cruisers and destroyers were always kept actively employed; - convoys of merchant ships were being mustered together at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, and which necessitated constant vigilance and protection, - in addition to convoying them backwards and forwards to Bergen in Norway, and then again the
approaches to the northern entrance to the North Sea always had to be very rigidly guarded [from] the enemy submarines, minelayers, and raiders. Leave at Scapa Flow was out of the question the men having to content themselves with a couple of hours on the recreation ground, the result being that a very small percentage availed themselves of the privilege, preferring to remain on board until our turn came around to proceed to Rosyth, where opportunities would allow them to proceed to Dumfermline, which was a very busy town in Fifeshire, and about 6 mile distant from Rosyth, and accessible by tram train or road; - other items of interest were always open to the fleet at Rosyth, the naval canteen being first and foremost; - and so in very favourable weather we all made our way to Rosyth as stated
Sep 9th  at 4.30 a.m. groping thru the darkness we passed up river to Rosyth, anchoring at our usual anchorage off Charlestown, after which we all prepared for coaling, which operation we carried out at 7.30 a.m., having completed
same during forenoon, - leave was given to the watch (off duty) from 1 till 5 P.M. and we all remained at anchor for a few days, going thru various exercises and cleaning ship in the meanwhile, and which was the usual routine when laying in waiting
Sep 14th We again coaled ship at 6 a.m. finishing before breakfast, and again we remained at anchorage awaiting orders
Sep 15th at 7.30 PM. our ships concert party claimed our attention until 10 PM, and which was at all times gladly welcomed as it suspended pro tem the monotonous routine of war
Sep 16th During the early hours the signal was flashed out to prepare for sea, and in due course at 12.30 PM the battleships began to slip away from their resting place, proceeding once again out upon the grey treacherous waters of the North Sea and of which we held command; The battleships were followed closely by the battle cruisers "Australia" etc
and other units eventually at 2.30 PM. our own squadron followed in the rear. The weather at the time was all that could be desired, and onward thru the darkness of the night we steamed and during the whole of the following day the whole of the Grand Fleet carried out many and varied exercises and evolutions in beautiful weather, every kind of vessel taking its part, including, seaplanes, airplanes airships and kite balloons, all of which made a panorama which is indescribable.
At sunset, the exercise and manoeuvres having concluded the Fleet took up stations for the journey homeward each unit taking up its appointed place according to the base to where they were attached and on
Sep 18th at 5 am our squadron arrived at its anchorage off Charlestown – We soon afterwards got to work taking inn coal, oil, and provisions in readiness again for sea
Sep 19th In the evening the concert party of H.M.S." "Southampton" came on board to pay us a visit and after we had welcomed the members to supper as our guests they entertained us until 10.30 P.M. and we all had a ripping time, they were so very entertaining – It may here be mentioned that shortly after we joined the squadron the "Southampton" formed an attachment to us, after which we two were always recognised as chummy ships, - our bands often met, and en masse passed away many musical evenings, taking turns to visit each others ships, and in football rugby, and other kinds of sport, as well as squadron regattas and exercises we at all times worked hand in hand – The "Southampton" will always go down in history, as being one of the Light cruisers which took an important part in the Battle of Jutland during which she was in the thick of the fighting and
was severely mauled about, - she was at the time Flagship of the 2nd L.C.S. and which included H.M.S. Chester made famous by the great and daring action of the Boy, Jack Cornwall V.C. one of the very few V.C. possessors of the Royal Navy and who subsequently died an immortal heroes death – Commodore Goodenough at that time was the Flag Officer of the squadron, his flag being flown at the fore of H.M.S. "Southampton" thus explains his reason for promising our ship a foremost position should an action eventually ensue
Commander Astley Rushton, as he was during the action, was Commander of the "Southampton" and eventually when Commodore Goodenough was promoted an Admiral (Rear) created thru the action at Jutland, Commander Rushton was promoted to Captain’s rank, and in turn appointed to command H.M.A.S. "Melbourne" of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, - and so it can be fully understood why the two ships became
so very much attached to each other – Captain Astley Rushton also brought with him from the "Southampton" a beautiful small blue Persian kitten, one of a number which was born on that ship during the Jutland battle, and presented to him by Commodore Goodenough at the time. For several days we remained at our anchorage, until
Sep 27th  at 6.30 AM. the squadron weighed anchor and proceeded to the firing ground off May Island, which was situated at the mouth or entrance to the Firth of Forth – The squadron carried out direction exercises after which at 2 P.M. we all returned to our anchorage.
Sep 30th Having recently taken over command of 2nd L.C.Squadron, Rear Admiral Lambert paid a visit to the ship for the purpose of inspecting the ships company, - such is the usual procedure on taking over command of a squadron so as to give all officers and men under such command an opportunity of
becoming acquainted with the Admiral, - also on such occasions it is usual to exercise the ships company at various exercises, such as fire station drill, collision stations, abandon ship, action stations, away all boats, and such drill as the Admiral so disposes, that he may be the better able to judge the efficiency of the ships under his command.
Oct 1st Was spent doing squadron exercises at anchor, which is competitive for smartness and efficiency.
Oct 2nd We spent coaling ship.
Oct 3rd a.m. the squadron (negative Sydney which was refitting) proceeded to May Island firing ground to carry out sub-calibre firing after which we remained at anchorage off Charlestown awaiting orders.
Oct 6th Again coaled ship, and at 8 P.M. our concert party claimed our attention until 10 P.M.
12th At 9 am the squadron proceeded again to firing ground off May Island to carry out torpedo firing, during which we lost one of our torpedoes, and not being able to find
it the squadron returned to anchorage off Charlestown at 5.30 P.M. – it was not an unusual occurrence to fail to locate a torpedo after firing practice because it is possible for one to divert its course, but such incidents always caused a vigilant search to be made afterwards by patrol vessels, as it is not practicable for the warships to remain and make a search for the missile owing to possible submarine menace.
Oct 13th  Once again coaled ship.
Oct 15th Signal received at 9 P.M. for all Light cruisers under command and including the huge cruiser "Furious" to raise steam and to prepare for sea; eventually on
Oct 16th at 3 a.m. we all slipped our moorings and amidst the surrounding darkness we all made our way seaward, the weather being beautifully fine – Information apparently had come to hand to the effect that a German mine layer and covering fast light cruiser or cruisers and destroyers were operating in
the North Sea somewhere between Norway and the Shetland Islands, and we were all despatched to cut off their retreat and engage them – The "Furious" and "Courageous" the former flying the flag of Vice Admiral Napier together with a very large number of light cruisers and destroyers was entrusted with this duty, and on
Oct 17th Forming one long single line abreast we all steamed in a northerly direction making a clean sweep with the Skagerack on one side and the Scottish Coast on the other – it really seemed impossible for an enemy vessel to escape our vigil. At about 1.30 P.M. we all cleared for battle and at sunset we all took up positions for the night hoping to intercept the enemy vessels before the morning, - weather all in our favour.
Oct 18th At 5 a.m. Battle stations was sounded and great excitement ensued, one and all seriously thought and hoped that a meeting with the enemy would ultimately take place, everything pointed that way, as according to reports there were
the two large ships mentioned, together with twenty-four cruisers, and fifty torpedo boat destroyers composing our strength and we were on the extreme wing nearest the Skagerack to which place we expected the enemy to make course for, so that we should have the best chance of the duel. At 10.45 a.m. to our intense dismay the cease fire sounded, signifying dismiss from Battle stations, according to signal received, and of course we did not know at the time, whether enemy ships had been brought to action or forced to return to their base, - anyhow we had to return to our base, and en route we struck rather heavy weather
Oct 19th At 3.30 am our squadron dropped anchor off Charlestown once again after another unsuccessful attempt to get at grips with the enemy. At 8.30 a.m. we coaled ship. With deep regret, and much surprise we read an official communique circulated
from the Admiralty stating particulars of a "Naval Battle" in the North Sea, and which was gibven out as follows:- "Two very fast, and heavily armed German raiders attacked a convoy in the North Sea ,about midway between the Shetland Islands and the Norwegian Coast on Oct 17th. Two British destroyers H.M.S. Mary Rose (Lieu Com. Chas. L. Fox) and "Strongbow" (Lieu Com Edward Brooke) which formed the anti-submarine escort, at once engaged the enemy vessels, and fought until sunk after a short and unequal engagement. Their gallant action held the German raiders sufficiently long to enable three of the merchant vessels to effect their escape
It is regretted however, that five Norwegian, one Danish, and three Swedish vessels all unarmed, were thereafter sunk by gunfire without examination or warning of any kind and regardless of the lives of their crews and passengers" Lengthy comment upon the action of the Germans is unnecessary, but it adds another example to the long list of criminally inhuman deeds of the German Navy. what
terrible hard luck we were unable to trap these Hun raiders in our meshes, and how they managed to escape was a miracle. That the action was fought in great hurry is without doubt, as the enemy was anxious to make good their escape before our forces could intercept them - consequently no effort was made by the Hun to recue any of the crew of the sunken destroyers, - they even left the merchantmen whilst still sinking, and which allowed the British patrol craft, which arrived shortly afterwards, to rescue some thirty or so Norwegians, and others.
Thus the Germans had once again disregarded the historic chivalry of the seas – Unfortunately the loss of life to the British Navy was 135 officers and men – The enemy raiders are said to have evaded our watching squadrons, during the long dark nights, both during the outward and homeward dash.
Oct 20th at 6 P.M. "Southampton" and "Birmingham" proceeded to sea.
Oct 22nd  During the forenoon ourselves and "Dublin" joined the "Southampton" and "Birmingham" at sea – There was another convoy ready to be escorted from Norway to Lerwick similar to the one sunk a few days ago, but it seemed to be only a feint as we all returned to our anchorage at Charlestown at 7.30 PM. after which we prepared for coaling, after which we remained at our anchorage for a few days again awaiting orders.
Oct 26th at 3 PM we filled up with coal.
Nov 1st at 2 PM again coaled ship
Nov 3rd at 8.30 PM all 2nd L.C. Squadron together with the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron which included "Australia" (flagship) "New Zealand" "Indomitable" and "Inflexible" proceeded to sea
Nov 5th At 6 PM. we returned to anchorage at Charlestown and at 8 PM we commenced to coal ship, after which we remained in harbour for a day or two
Nov 8th At 2.30 P.M. The 2nd L.C.Squadron together with the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron attended by 18 torpedo boat destroyers proceeded to sea on a stunt, the Battle Cruisers consisted of the
"Lion" Flagship "Tiger" "Repulse" "Princess Royal" and "Furious" the first four were conspicuous during the Jutland and Dogger Bank actions and which eventually proved to be the decisive action, causing demoralization in the German Navy. The H.M.S. "Furious" was of no comparison to the remainder, being of a much faster speed and carrying 15 inch guns as compared to the 13.5 inch of the remainder, - and there was of her class three vessels, "Courageous" "Glorious" and "Furious" - the latter eventually was converted into one of the world renowned "Hush" ships, was camouflaged, had a large and long hanger built upon her, and which enabled airplanes to ascend and descend upon her deck either when at sea or in harbour, and herself carried a goodly number of these airplanes
At 6.15 P.M. two of our escorting destroyers had the misfortune to have a collision which compelled them to return to our base escorted by a third destroyer all of which happily
arrived safely. Weather fair and bright
Nov 9th  In good weather, and with our nose pointing towards Heligoland we all steadfastly steamed onward - at 6 a.m. Stations for Battle were sounded, immediately it was responded to, we then all knew that we approaching the Bight, - as we all knew that we were steaming down the Dutch coast from early morning, time wore on and as had happened so very many times before, no sign of German vessels of any kind could be seen
At 2 P.M. another misfortune befell one of our destroyers the "Monster" – we were all making a turning movement and it was while executing same that that the "Monster" ran dead on to the starboard quarter of the "Furious", it could not have been avoided and fortunately the destroyer was able to proceed back to port under he own steam, although her bows were stove in. At dusk our search bearing no fruit the "Furious" "Repulse" and "Melbourne" shaped course for our base, whilst the remainder
of the squadrons shaped course North so as to cover from attack a convoy en route from Bergan in Norway – After the regrettable occurrence connected with the "Mary Rose" & "Strongbow" we made it impossible for the enemy to make another attempt upon the convoys.
Nov 10th At 6 a.m. we arrived back at our anchorage and proceeded to coal ship, and at 9 PM. the remainder of squadrons returned to port and carried out coaling etc.
Nov 12th At 10 P.M. all ships in port negative 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron proceeded to sea
Nov 17th At 1.30 P.M. our squadron 2nd L.C. Squadron received orders to proceed to sea at full speed to join Commander-in-Chief.
Nov 18th At 6 am. action stations was sounded on joining up with the Fleet, and as far as we could gather some of our faster light cruisers had a stunt on – At 4 P.M. signal received to proceed to Scapa Flow, with other Light Cruiser forces, and Battle Forces (Battleships)
Nov 19th  At 4 P.M. we all entered Scapa Flow and an awful gale was then blowing quite usual for Scapa, and it prevented us all from coaling for the time
Nov 20th At 8.30 am. we were able to coal ship and then we laId at anchor for a few days awaiting sailing orders.
Nov 26th At 8 am. we again coaled ship and a few of the men proceeded on advance leave
Nov 27th AT 8 am. we proceeded to firing ground to carry out sub-calibre firing exercise
Nov 29th at 9 P.M. Night firing sub-calibre was carried out.
Nov 30th At 8 P.M. we proceeded outside harbour to carry out 2/3 charge firing practice at long range, practicing night action – weather was rather thick and a heavy swell running as the result of recent heavy weather – At 11 PM. we returned to harbour
Dec 1st At 8 am. Collier came alongside and we filled up with coal
Dec 7th At noon the U.S.A. Battle Squadron arrived and which consisted of the "New York" (Flagship) "Delaware" Wyoming "Florida" and accompanied by one destroyer, and which in due course became the 7th Battle Squadron – With their lettuce [lattice] worked mast they looked very conspicuous, and in no way comparable to our own battleships – They afterwards prepared for coaling, and the usual exchange of visits took place between the Flag officers and Captains
At 1 PM we got under weigh and proceeded to the firing ground to carry out full charge firing of 8 rounds per gun – At 5 P.M. we again anchored and commenced to coal ship, but as the weather so very boisterous, we had to suspend coaling when we had only taken in about 30 tons, and the collier moved away to anchor until the morning.
Dec 8th At 8 PM we changed our position
and to proceed to fleet anchorage, and there received orders to prepare for sea, and consequently at 8,30 PM. "Birmingham" "Melbourne" and attendant destroyers proceeded to sea, weather fine
Dec 9th At 7.30 am Action Stations was sounded as was usual when convoying, - always every day at sunrise, or more often at dawn just according to visibility action stations was sounded and all communications and guns were tried and exercised in readiness for emergency, - and afterwards if visibility was good, the gun’s crews would remain at their station whilst the remainder dispersed, - but should visibility be low men would remain at action stations until such time as weather permitted otherwise
Dec 11th After having carried out our convoy duty to Bergen and back again we returned to Scapa at 9.45 am and shortly afterwards we commenced coaling. After remaining in harbour for a few days on
Dec 14th We again coaled ship.
Dec 19th At 2 a.m. the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron proceeded to sea, with attendant destroyers to
carry out further convoy duties and at noon we picked up our convoy of 38 merchant ships off Lerwick and shortly afterwards course was shaped for Norway, the weather being beautifully fine and clear
Dec 20th At noon after a god passage, free from incidents the above convoy entered Bergen and shortly after the returning convoy of 54 ships proceeded out of harbour, and as soon as they took up their formation we all shaped our course for Lerwick
Dec 21st At noon the leading ship of the convoy entered Lerwick and whilst the remaining ships were entering we, the ships of the squadron continued manoeuvring about covering them from submarine menace and when all were safely harboured we shaped our course for Scapa Flow, - and en route at 11 PM we receive a wireless communication to the effect that an airship was in the vicinity and in distress, - we kept a good look out to try and trace her but without avail, and finally we
proceeded on our course to Scapa Flow and where we duly arrived at 1.30 am. on
Dec 22nd  at 8.30 am we commenced coaling ship after what had purported to be the largest convoy escorted across to Scandinavia – We finished coaling at 2.15 P.M. and then for a few days we remained in harbour awaiting orders
Dec 25th Xmas Day was spent in harbour and made as happy as was possible under war conditions
Dec 27th we again coaled ship during forenoon, and in the afternoon we changed our position proceeding to the Fleet anchorage preparatory for sea.
Dec 28th At 2 am. we were again ordered to go to sea on convoying duties, - the weather was beautifully fine, and at 11 am. we sighted Lerwick and the convoy assembling in the vicinity, - as soon as we saw they were ready to proceed we set course for Bergen, once again, and the weather was beautifully fine en route
Dec 29th At 11.30 am. we arrive doff the Norwegian Coast, and at noon the merchantmen began to enter Bergen, the squadron continued to steam about covering the convoy, and at 2 P.M. the returning convoy began to leave harbour and as soon as we had them in formation we all shape our course homeward to Lerwick
Dec 30th At 11 am we were approaching Lerwick when a submarine was reported, -cruisers and destroyers at once altered course and made for the Hun, and so we all continued to steam about in this vicinity for some time.
The weather was beautifully fine at the time, and at noon we were all busily engaged at dinner, and which was naturally engaging all our attention, when suddenly without warning or expectation, a terrific explosion occurred, - it shook the ship from bow to stern, everybody jumped up from their table – what’s happened one would say; we’ve caught a tin fish says another, nobody knew hardly what had occurred, - there was pandemonium and yet we thought it could not possibly
be a torpedo because the ship continued to steam well ahead and there was no list to the ship and no orders had been given for the ships safety. We proceeded on deck and quickly we noticed by looking towards the other ships the remnent of the spray of water caused by an explosion, - it was from a depth charge, - it appeared that the hostile submarine had been seen again about noon and so the signal was given that depth charges would be dropped from each cruiser, thus the cause of the sudden surprise we received whilst having dinner
Needless to say that Hun submarine was not seen again by any of us, and so when safety was secured and the last of the convoy was safely in harbour we shaped our course for Scapa, where we duly arrived at 10 P.M. – and at 11 P.M. our lads who had been on leave and who had perforce had to remain in the "Imperieuse" owing to our absence from harbour, were brought back to the ship tired and hungry – When a ship was at Scapa Flow and men were leaving or arriving for that ship, such
men, or drafts were always received or despatched from H.M.S."Imperieuse" the depot receiving ship for all mails, stores, invalids etc for the Grand Fleets northern base, - from this vessel (an old battleship) a small steamed used to run across the Pentland Firth every morning leaving the "Imperieuse" at 8 A.M. returning from Thurso at at 4 P.M. and thus all liberty men and drafts would travel.
Dec 31st At 7 am. another batch of men proceeded on leave, and we commenced coaling, to once again prepare for sea.
Jan 6th At 2.30 AM.the signal was received for the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron to proceed to sea on convoy duties, and at noon we made out the convoy assembling ahead, and course was shaped for Bergen – weather was fine, and the convoy was a very small one comprising 12 merchant ships only.
Jan 7th At 1 a.m. the convoy began to enter Bergen, and at noon the return convoy
of about 28 ships began to make their departure from Bergen for the return journey – after going but a small way we began to run against squally weather, and in due course such increased to a violent N.W. Gale, and which remained with us for the remainder of the voyage – Things became very uncomfortable the ship rolling and pitching to such an extent that man ropes had to be rigged around the ship for safety, - the course had to be changed pro tem to make it possible to secure everything possible that was exposed to the sea’s and likely to become dislodged.
Jan 8th at 12.30 a.m. we anchored in Scapa and Sydney arrived somewhat later about 1.30 AM. – a very strong blizzard was blowing at the time and after dinner our collier came alongside and we commenced coaling, a most unpleasant operation in the snow, but one which by now we had become well acquainted with.
Jan 9th During the forenoon we were ordered to change our anchorage to North Shore preparatory for firing exercises
Jan 11th During the whole of this day we carried out torpedo firing, weather prevented us carrying out this exercise yesterday, but today the elements being much more in our favour we were able to obtain most satisfactory results
Jan 13th During the forenoon great activity prevailed among the fleet, and it was quite evident that the fleet was preparing again to go to sea, and in due course steaming orders were issued and at 2 P.M. the fleet began to weigh anchor, but our squadron was cancelled from going, - and eventually the last of the fleet was seen passing through the gates and soon lost sight of, and so our squadron of four cruisers was left to control the harbour
Jan 14th late in the evening we received orders to hold ourselves in readiness to proceed to sea and acted accordingly, - all boats were secured and everything prepared to leave harbour at ‘short’ notice, and orders were,
Jan 15th At 2 a.m. the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron with attendant destroyers were to proceed
to Lerwick, on Scandinavian Convoy duties, - the weather at this time was very heavy, and the sky very overcast – At about noon the convoy was seen forming up, and as speedily as possible we all got under weigh for Bergen, - the weather very fortunately began to moderate so that there were expectations of a moderate passage.
Jan 16th  At noon after a moderate passage the leading ships of the convoy began to enter Bergen, and the returning convoy also proceeded to sea and about 2 PM we were once again shaping course for Lerwick – weather still moderate.
Jan 17th At a little after noon the convoy were safely entering Lerwick harbour and as usual we covered them from any possible attack by continuously steaming around them, and as soon as all were safely harboured we shaped course for our base
Jan 18th At 1.30 am we arrived and anchored at our base and at 7 am we commenced
to Lerwick, on Scandinavian Convoy duties, - the weather at this time was very heavy, and the sky very overcast – At about noon the convoy was seen forming up, and as speedily as possible we all got under weigh for Bergen, - the weather very fortunately began to moderate so that there were expectations of a moderate passage.
Jan 16th  At noon after a moderate passage the leading ships of the convoy began to enter Bergen, and the returning convoy also proceeded to sea and about 2 PM we were once again shaping course for Lerwick – weather still moderate.
Jan 17th At a little after noon the convoy were safely entering Lerwick harbour and as usual we covered them from any possible attack by continuously steaming around them, and as soon as all were safely harboured we shaped course for our base
Jan 18th At 1.30 am we arrived and anchored at our base and at 7 am we commenced
to coal ship etc after which we remained at anchorage for a few days
Jan 23rd During morning we again replenished bunkers
Jan 25th At noon we received orders to prepare to proceed at 6 PM to Rosyth – The expected had at last happened - very eagerly we had been anticipating going to Rosyrth for the last week or two to refit and so at 6 PM our hopes being realized we set out for the Firth of Forth
Jan 26th at 9 am we passed under the Forth Bridge and anchored off the dockyard
Jan 27th At 10 a.m. we were taken into the dockyard and at 1 PM the main body of men proceeded on leave, after which the dockyardmen hurried on the work of refitting
Feb 8th At noon the main body returned from leave, - the ship at that time being out of dock and in the basin, undergoing a transformation, for we were being canouflaged similar to many that had been so done previously, and at 5 PM. we coaled
ship, - this operation proved a very bad shock to the men who had only this day returned from leave, but nevertheless we had to fill up all bunkers with coal preparatory to proceeding out into the stream.
Feb 11th  At 1 P.M. Retarding party proceeded on leave, this consisted of a number of men who were retained on board on duty during the time the ship was refitting and who could not at the time be spared
Feb 12th At 6 PM the ship left the basin and proceeded down the river to once again take up its former position in the squadron
Feb 13th During the forenoon we proceeded down the river to Inchkeith to adjust compasses but owing to the very thick fog that was at that time prevailing we had to drop anchor off the island and await a more favourable opportunity and which during the afternoon presented itself.
Feb 14th At 8 am we proceeded up river to our to our anchorage off Charlestown and as soon as we arrived we were ordered to
prepare to go to sea, and so at 4.30 P.M. all the Squadron consisting of the "Birmingham" (flag) "Sydney" "Dublin" and "Melbourne" together with our attendant destroyers proceeded to sea, - weather vary fair.
Feb 15th We were bound for convoy duties and the weather was unfortunately rapidly on the change for the bad, and when off Scapa the glass rapidly falling, and the weather becoming so very heavy we were ordered to put into Scapa for a time and consequently we remained there at anchor for twenty four hours as we expected, this was on the 16th when we arrived and the weather remained so bad that it was not until
Feb 18th at 1.45 PM that the squadron was again able to proceed to sea, and even then we found when we got outside that the weather was still very heavy and that we were having a good tossing about, - nevertheless we continued on our journey, picked up our convoy off Lerwick at about 4.30 PM and proceeded across to Bergen
Feb 19th At noon the convoy began to enter Bergen and the return convoy proceeded to sea and at 1 PM we shaped course for Lerwick – weather was still very heavy and which made things most uncomfortable, - we in time ran into an very heavy gale, and at times our ship seemed to roll to a very dangerous degree but as we approached ‘Lerwick’ the weather moderated, -and as the convoy was entering "Lerwick" the squadron exercised action stations and each ship fired three rounds, after which the convoy be[ing] safe in harbour, - we proceeded to our base at Rosyth, - the weather meanwhile becoming much calmer.
Feb 21st At 9 am. we arrived at our usual anchorage off Charlestown and as soon as they had all anchored all commenced coaling, after which at 6 P.M. we left the squadron and proceeded to dockyard basin for examination, and the retarding party returned from leave.
During the time we were laying alongside dockyard wall we had to remain under short notice for sea in case of emergency and
March 4th  During the forenoon we left the dockyard and proceeded down to our usual anchorage and then coaled ship
March 6th At 6 am. the squadron weighed anchor and proceeded down the Firth of Forth to the firing ground to carry out gun practice and at 4 P.M. we returned to Charlestown
March 7th During the morning we coaled ship and cleaned down
March 8th Captain Dumaresq of the "Sydney" became the Senior officer of the squadron during which at 5 P.M. the squadron put to sea
March 9th During the forenoon we picked up the convoy, and shaped our course for Bergen and shortly afterwards we saw the 7th Battle Squadron (the American ships) and which was covering us from attack – The weather was very fair, and a good voyage was anticipated
Mar 10th About noon bad weather began to hover about us and the glass was falling, and ere long to became so very bad that the ships of the convoy got separated, and had to reduce speed, and which resulted in our delay for a considerable time, getting the convoy together again.
Mar 11th At 8 am the convoy began to enter Bergen and the return convoy proceed to sea at 9 a.m. – we then all shaped our course for Lerwick the weather becoming much calmer
Mar 12th The convoy entered harbour during the forenoon, the U.S.A. battleships and destroyers returned to Rosyth, and as soon as we were able we also proceeded to Rosyth, and
Mar 13th arrived there at midnight anchoring off Charlestown.
Mar 14th During the forenoon we replenished coal bunkers, and owing to several cases of mumps the ship was placed in quarantine
Mar 18th We again coaled ship at 6 30 a.m.
Mar 20th At 6.30 am the squadron proceeded to the firing ground to carry out sub-calibre
firing during the forenoon, and torpedo during the afternoon, and 6 P.M. we carried out night firing, at intervals lasting until 11.30 P.M. after which we all proceeded up river, and on
March 21st  at 12.30 am. we anchored in our usual billets off Charlestown, and at 8.30 am. we commenced to coal ship, after which we remained a few days.
March 23rd at 11.30 am. our old Commander E. Gloag took his departure from the ship having been relieved by Commander McDonald from Australia", - we were all deeply sorry to lose Commander Gloag, - he was one of the first officers to join the ship in the yard where she was built (Birkenhead) - he was then a Lieutenant (Gunnery) - he very soon found his way around the ship and became most efficient at his work, - he in time became Lieu Commander, was like by all the men, became the 1st or Senior Lieutenant of the ship, relieving Lieu Com Blomfield whilst in the west Indies, and
eventually he was appointed Commander R.A.N. of the "Melbourne", he reverted to the R.N. as a Lieutenant Commander; - he had a good send off the men cheering him Farewell alongside the ship, and also as he passed it by, the band also played suitable airs
March 26th At 6.30 am. the squadron again proceeded down the river to the firing ground, - weather being very foggy we dropped anchor off Inchkeith to await finer weather - eventually during the afternoon we were able to fulfil our programme, and after completing firing we anchored until morning
March 27th At 6 am. we weighed anchor and proceeded up harbour, anchoring again off Charlestown at 8.30, we then as soon as possible coaled ship preparatory for sea.
March 28th At 7.30 PM. the squadron negative the "Southampton" was ordered to sea.
March 29th At dawn we picked up our convoy off Peterhead, unfortunately one of the merchantmen was lost either by torpedo or mine presumably the latter as no subs
were seen in the vicinity at the time, although a thorough search was made.
March 30th  About 8 a.m. another of our convoy was lost, blown up similarly, and yet no Hun subs were seen in the vicinity, and so for the first time we had the misfortune to break our good record, as we had never before lost any of the ships of our convoy. about 1 P.M. the convoy entered Bergen and the returning convoy left harbour and we all shaped our course for Lerwick – weather becoming nice and fine.
April 1st  At 8 am we arrived at our base in the Firth of Forth after seeing our convoy safe in harbour, and at 9 o/c we got ready and soon started coaling, after which we remained in harbour for a few days
April 4th at 6.30 am. the Squadron proceeded to the firing ground again, firing sub-calibre returning at 3.30 P.M. to anchorage
April 8th At 8.30 am. we coaled ship and
April 9th At 6.30 am. the squadron again proceeded to the firing ground to carry out sub-calibre and torpedo firing, after which we returned
April 11th At 7.30 P.M. a signal was received from the flagship to raise steam at all possible speed ready for sea, another spasm, and great activity prevailed, - and at 9.30 PM the whole fleet put out to sea, and we all had the idea that a battle was imminent, and so onward through the dark waters, and passing the boom defences of the harbour we were very soon in the open sea, going ahead for all we were worth.
April 12th During the whole day various exercises were carried out and evolutions performed and at 6 PM the Fleet scattered according to their various bases, and we all made for home, - evidently there was nothing doing after all, just another false alarm altho on our arrival in harbour we all remained on short notice, so that something was happening somewhere, that the ordinary man knew nothing of, because it was
always usual when something was doing, such as, mine layer or sweepers being out or some light cruisers perhaps would be active in the Skagerack or the Belgian Coast, always we would be awaiting the German Fleet to pop out if they felt so disposed.
April 13th A draft releif ratings arrived on board from Australia during the forenoon and the relieved men departed at 4 PM. – they had a warm send off from the ship and they were some of our very old boys, that it was like breaking up a home to part with such long standing shipmates
April 19th We coaled ship during the forenoon constantly having to keep steam up ready for emergency necessitated continually refilling bunkers. We remained in harbour for a few days awaiting orders and on
April 24th At 8.30 a.m. we again coaled ship, and after this operation had been completed we, the whole of the Fleet, was ordered
to prepare for sea, another stunt, and at noon the Flagship began to move followed shortly afterwards by the remaining ships in harbour, - the weather was beautiful and we were now looking upon these stunts or cruises as the ordinary routine of peace time, and if anything happened whilst we were at sea, we would always be found ready,- but it was hardly to be expected that the Huns would bring out their fleet because they would find it a bit to hard to return again, as they would be completely cut off by the war vessels that had been constructed for that purpose since the Jutland battle.
April 25th  During the morning watch about, 7 am. Chief Stoker Callaghan was suddenly missed by his messmates, and failing to trace him, such was reported, a search party was sent to every part of the vessel, but no trace of him could be found, - he was relieved at midnight from stokehold duties, he having kept the first watch in the boiler room, and
he was seen last by his mates in the bath room it was therefore presumed that he came up on deck for some purpose, and was close to the ship’s side, when the ship suddenly altering course, gave a sharp list and swerved him clean off into the water, - on returning to harbour a thorough investigation was made and an enquiry into the circumstances held the result was Accidental Death by drowning – He was a very nice man recently arrived from Australia by last draft of men and since which he has married, so that he left a very young widow, and for ever afterwards his death remained a mystery.
April 26th in the morning watch the fleet had entered the Firth of Forth and as the day slowly dawned so we made our way towards our anchorage – we passed under the Forth Bridge at 7.45 am. and at 8 am we arrived off Charlestown and all quickly anchored. Preparations were made for coaling and such was eventually carried out.
April 27th Was spent holding an enquiry into the loss of our late shipmate, Callaghan.
April 29th We received orders to prepare for sea, and in due course we were ordered to weigh anchor and proceed on convoy duties at 6 P.M. – the weather at the time being fair and bright.
April 30th During the forenoon we picked up our Scandinavian convoy and proceeded on our course for Bergen.
May 1st At 4 P.M. our convoy entered Bergen having fortunately having lost no ships this time and as speedily as possible the returning convoy came out to sea, and our course was shaped for Lerwick, - weather was still nice and fine.
May 2nd During the last dog watch (6 to 8 PM) the leading ships entered Lerwick and as soon as we saw that all were perfectly safe we shaped our course for our base, putting on a good speed en route
May 3rd At 7 am. we once again arrived off Charlestown and dropped anchor, and
at 8.30 am. the collier came alongside and we commenced coaling, finishing at 2 P.M.
May 9th After an absence of two months, Rear Admiral Fergusson joined and hoisted his flag in H.M.S. Birmingham, during the two months that we had been without an Admiral to our squadron he, - Captain Dumaresq of H.M.A.S. Sydney assumed command of the squadron he, being then the senior Captain of our squadron
May 10th At 12.30 PM the squadron proceeded to the Firth of Forth firing ground off Inchkeith to carry out full calibre day firing, also night sub-calibre firing, and so we continued until the early hours of the morning of
May 11th when at 3.15 am the squadron proceeded up harbour to our anchorage off Charlestown and at 8.30 am we commenced to coal ship once again, and for a few days afterwards we were able to enjoy a few days in harbour.
May 18th At 2.30 PM the ships of the squadron again proceeded to the firing ground
to carry out day and night firing and on
May 19th  At 4.30 am we wended our way up harbour to our anchorage
May 21st At 6.30 am we coaled ship
May 25th at 10 am we the "Melbourne" and two attendant destroyers proceeded to sea on special duty, we anchored in Largo Bay pro tem awaiting to relieve the ships on patrol
May 26th At 5 PM. we weighed anchor and in company with our destroyers we proceeded on patrol outside the Firth
May 27th At 9 PM. we were relieved by the "Sydney" and her destroyers, and we then shaped our course homeward after dodging and sinking a few floating mines, and a very nice trip
May 28th At 3.30 am we passed through the outer gates of our base and proceeded to our anchorage off Charlestown and where we arrived at 5 am. – At 8.30 we secured collier alongside and quickly commenced to coal ship
May 29th Ships sports were held on shore during the afternoon, during which there were some very exciting contests, - these sports among the men were most beneficial it relaxed one mind from continual worries of war and promoted a very healthy feeling among the men themselves, and who were always very ken sportsman
May 31st During the forenoon we were ordered again to prepare for sea, and at 2 P.M. the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, "Glorious" and "Courageous" proceeded down the river, - we were all to proceed towards the Dogger Bank and operate in conjunction with the forces proceeding towards the famous Heligoland Bight, as according to rumours enemy forces were approaching the Dogger Bank on raiding bent
June 1st in the early hours of the morning "action stations" were sounded and every man speedily proceeded to his station, we all really expected some excitement during the day but not a sign of any Hun vessels
were sighted, but at noon enemy airmen ventured to show themselves, and were speedily accounted for by the airmen who ascended from the warships, as every warship now carried airplanes, and which proved a great boon to the ships, - they could always be used to repel enemy airmen or Zeppellins, or for spotting submarined and mines etc.
June 2nd After a most pleasant trip we returned to our anchorage off Charlestown at 5,a.m. after which prepared for coaling and completed same by noon – For a few day we were able to remain in harbour cleaning ship etc.
June 8th At 6.30 a.m. the squadron proceeded to the firing ground to again carry out torpedo running and day and night firing. – weather was very nice for firing and good results were obtained.
June 9th During the forenoon signal received for the fleet of cruisers to prepare for sea, to proceed to Scapa.
June 10th  At noon the Fleet anchored in Scapa and for the next few weeks, we would have to content ourselves with coldness, solitude and plenty of hard work; - PM we coaled ship
June 12th At 5 P.M. we proceeded to North Shore for firing exercises.
June 15th At 8 am. the squadron proceeded out into the Flow to carry out full calibre firing, - weather was fairly good and many patrol boats airships and airplanes were patrolling for submarines and mines, - we completed our firing and returned to our anchorage 1 P.M. and we coaled ship at 3 P.M.
June 18th At 3 am. the squadron left harbour to proceed on convoy duties from Lerwick – the weather was moderate and the convoy was picked up at 8 a.m, after which we all shaped course for Bergen. 32 merchantmen
June 19th About 2 PM after an uneventful voyage the convoy entered Bergen, and as soon as was possible the returning convoy of 45 merchantmen proceeded to sea and we all shaped course for Lerwick - weather
at the time was most beautiful.
June 21st At 6.30 PM we anchored off Charlestown and at 8.30 PM we commenced to coal ship
June 22nd at 2.15 am coaling operation was completed and the men proceeded to have a well earned rest, and for a few days following we remained at anchor and were able to enjoy a few hours on shore.
June 30th Admiral Fergusson inspected the ship during the forenoon, and the usual exercises and drills were gone through to prove our efficiency and smartness.
July 2nd "Birmingham" "Sydney" & "Melbourne" proceeded to the Firth firing ground to carry out torpedo and sub calibre firing – At this time the Flu was very severe and very many ships of the Grand Fleet were effected with Influenza, - in some cases the ship was placed out of routine owing to the high percentage of Influenza cases, - at this time we had about 50 cases on board but only of a mild character
July 7th  At 6.30 am. the Fleet proceeded to sea – Admiral Fergusson transferred his flag to the "Melbourne" as we were the only ship of our squadron able to go to sea as the "Dublin" was in dock, and "Birmingham" and "Sydney were both in quarantine owing to Influenza Epidemic
July 9th After doing some exercises at sea the Fleet proceed to the Firth of Forth as the King and Queen of the Belgians were this day paying a visit to the fleet and so at 7.30 am our ship took up position below the bridge anchoring in line with the remainder of the squadron
July 10th Today the King and Queen of Belgium paid a visit to the fleet, - all the ships were manned about 11 o/c and the Royal Party steamed around the Fleet lines on the destroyer "Oak" the Admirals despatch boat. and as they passed each vessel cheer upon cheer resounded – A personal visit was paid to one or two of the ships, including the "Furious" the famous "Hush" ship for airplanes
and the American flagship. During the visit and in the Royal presence, airoplanes ascended from the "Furious" and carried out many very exciting stunts over the ship, turning sideways, flying upside down and many other thrilling feats, finally descending on the shore nearby.
July 12th at 6.15 am, "Melbourne "Sydney" and Birmingham proceeded to the Firth firing ground to carry our sub calibre firing, returning to our former anchorage at 11.30 am. 1st Advance party proceeded on leave during the forenoon until the 24th inst,
July 16th At 6.30 am we coaled ship.
July 20th At 1 PM 2nd L. C. squadron proceeded to the Firth firing ground for more gunnery exercise returning to anchorage at 7 P.M.
July 22nd During the forenoon H.M. the King paid a flying visit to the fleet, and steamed around the lines in the destroyer "Oak" – all ships being manned rousing cheers were give as the King passed by whilst the King stood on the bridge returning the salute as he passed by
at 2 PM we coaled ship and at 8 P.M. all the ships of the squadron proceeded on convoy duties
July 23rd At 7 a.m. we picked up the convoy and shaped our course for Bergen, - weather was nice and calm but very low visibility
July 25th PM the convoy entered Lerwick and as soon as all were safely in port we shaped our course for our base.
July 26th At 1 P.M. we entered Scapa and prepared to coal ship and at 8 PM the 1st Advance party returned from leave.
August 28th At 4 PM the 2nd Advance Leave party proceeded on leave.
August 8th After having spent several very quiet days in harbour and which were spent mainly in cleaning and painting ship, we were ordered to sea at about 4.30 PM to escort American mine-layers - weather fair
August 9th In most beautiful weather the long
unbroken line of mine laying vessels were doing their deadly work, we, our squadron were steaming on the starboard quarter of the minelayers and from early dawn we were kept continually shook from stem to stearn, - the minelayers were blowing up a mine field, or counter mining, - what their action upon the mines were we knew not, but it seemed as though every minelayer at prearranged signals were dropping a mine that was timed fused - the result being that when they exploded they blew up all mines within a certain radius.
the explosions were terrific - we could see vast columns of water being thrown hundreds of feet in the air, of varied colors, black, yellow, white etc, and the effect of the explosion upon our vessel was similar to the muffled rumbling of a vast earthquake shock, - it was a beautiful and wonderful sight and, some thought the mines whether British, or German, were being destroyed by the action of electricity, - the reason that they thought such was because a good way astern of the minelayers was another vessel (minelayer) steaming alone and
in the same direction, and the theory was that by the action of electric power between this vessel and the main minelaying squadron the minefield was being cleared, in any case it was a beautiful sight and very interesting – Our work completed we returned to our base at Scapa Flow at 5 PM.
Aug 11th  the 2nd Advance party returned from leave
Aug 12th The whole of this day was spent carrying out a regatta. Each squadron of ships held Annual Regattas at a time to suit themselves, at any of the bases, and it was always eagerly looked forward to and well contested – For this occasion the boats crews of the "Birmingham" had been practicing a special stroke so as to carry off all prizes – This stroke was known as the Italian stroke, and which was performed by standing up as the oar was being into the water, putting the whole of one’s weight upon the oar and falling backwards until the thwarts or seat was reached, then drawing the oar sharply
out of the water, continue to repeat the actions.
Well such method of boat pulling had not been practiced by any other ships crews, only the "Birmingham’s", - only to be expected because being flagship of the squadron, she intended to obtain all prizes possible, usual dodge for flagships, any how the day was beautiful, we were placed in position opposite to "Birmingham" to mark the finishing point, - the regatta commenced, and so did the Italian stroke, to our immense surprise, and not many minutes elapsed after staring before it was evident this this particular stroke would win for the flagship most of the prizes, excitement was intense, and we proved ourselves immense, for we keenly contested the "Birmingham" every time, and when the races were finally adjudged it was decided that the Flagship and occasionally ourselves tied for premier position so that it was decided by the committee that we should make a race between our boys and the boys of the "Sydney" whilst the flagship should contest a race with another of the squadrons boats crew the winning boat to decide the premier position and needless to say the flagship won, the position at
the finish placing us 2 points behind the "Birmingham" – Some strained relation afterwards existed between the two ships over such procedure but tho it was expected, it eventually fizzled out
Aug 13th At 10 AM the squadron proceeded outside for firing exercises, but before proceeding the 3rd Advance party was sent on leave. We returned to harbour at 2.30 PM.
Aug 14th We again carried out torpedo firing and various evolutions in the Flow during the day - the whole squadron taking part.
Aug 16th During the forenoon we coaled ship and during the afternoon Captain Dumaresq of the "Sydney" decided to carry into effect a Glee Party contested by the ships of the squadron, held on shore at the Y.M.C.A. Hut and adjudged by a person from shore,- naturally "Birmingham" again won 1st beating us by 3 points - nevertheless the show was a complete success, and a credit to the Captain who was himself present and keenly interested – At 10 PM the squadron proceeded to carry out night firing.
Aug 17th The "Birmingham" left to proceed to Rosyth for the purpose of refitting, - the Admiral in consequence struck his flag from "Birmingham" and transferred same to "Dublin"
Aug 18th At 8 PM we "Dublin" "Sydney" & "Melbourne" with attendant destroyers proceeded to sea for the purpose of escorting the minelayers again,
Aug 19th The same effect was given to the minefield as previously stated very many mines being exploded, and at 4 PM we arrived back at Scapa.
Aug 20th We coaled ship at 6 am afterwards ship was cleaned.
Aug 21st The three ships of the squadron carried our day and night calibre firing in the Flow.
Aug 23rd At 6 am we coaled ship and then as soon as completed we prepared for sea, - at 10 PM the three ships departed for convoy duties
Aug 24th In the early hours of the morning we sighted and picked up a large convoy off the Murray Firth, and as soon as they formed up into order we shaped our course in a northerly direction preparatory for the voyage across to Bergen, - the weather at the time was
most beautiful, and we passed by Faroe Island (which lies between the Orkney & Shetland Islands) at 6 PM after which we shaped course for Norway.
Aug 25th We arrived off Bergen about 7.30 PM and at 8 PM according to orders, we the "Melbourne" and one destroyer passed through into the harbour of Bergen, with the intention of hurrying the departure of the returning convoy, - the harbour presented a most beautiful picture, the great high sloping hills all around us, and small but very rugged islands at their foot, with a house standing out prominently here and there gave the harbour a most picturesque appearance,
- the ships of the convoy were already on the move heading for the open sea, - we steamed past these, with a small Norwegian torpedo boat chasing us for all it was worth, dropping further astern as the minutes passed, - soon we slowed down and then the torpedo boat swiftly passed between us and our destroyer, and came up abreast of our bridge, her captain, presumably as Warrant officer, raised his megaphone to his mouth and thus was able to ask our Captain particulars concerning the incoming convoy, and then warned us as to how far we could
steam up the harbour, then bade us Au Revoir, after which we steamed down harbour again, passing the torpedo boat, with a crew of probably a dozen all told and of no significance, we passed through into the open sea, to where our return convoy had already reached we shaped our course to Lerwick and proceeded.
Aug 27th At daybreak we parted from our convoy, as they were now perfectly safe, and proceeded to join the minelaying squadron, which was out on similar duties as before mentioned, - we soon joined them and remained with them until darkness surrounded us then we took our departure and headed for our base.
Aug 28th  At 1 a.m. we arrived at our anchorage at Scapa Flow and at 7 am we coaled and oiled ship, averaging the grand amount of 175 tons an hour, for coaling with such an average our Rear Admiral complimented us. 3rd Advance Leave party returned at about 8.30 PM.
Aug 29th 4th Advance leave party left ship at 6 am.
Aug 30th 6 P.M. we were placed on short notice presumably another stunt somewhere by someone
Aug 31st During the whole day we were still on short notice, prepared for immediate sailing orders, - the
flagship "Australia" "New Zealand". "Indomitable" and the "Invincible" arrived and anchored in the Flow late in the evening.
Sep 2nd After so much at short notice we had to coal ship during the forenoon, short notice orders being suspended.
Sep 3rd All day exercise was carried out also night firing, (during the afternoon Sydney departed for Rosyth for refitting.
Sep 4th As the day before, firing exercises.
Sep 5th During the morning calibrating carried out and during P.M. exercises with squadron, "Birmingham" having rejoined squadron.
Sep 6th During the morning we replenished bunkers.
Sep 9th at 4 P.M. "Melbourne" and "Yarmouth" together with 2 destroyers proceeded on convoy duties to Bergen.
Sep 10th The convoy entered Bergen during the afternoon, and speedily the returning convoy joined us and then at 4 P.M. we all shaped course for Lerwick.
Sep 11th Late P.M. having seen all the convoy safely off Lerwick we shaped our course for our own base
Sep 12th At 8 a.m. the squadron dropped anchor in Kirkwall Bay, and at noon we received orders to
rejoin our convoy again, and so we immediately weighed anchor again and rejoined the convoy which by now had arrived just off the harbour, - we then proceeded South, and late in the day we received a wireless message ordering us to return to our base. eventually we arrived and anchored in Scapa Flow at 9.45 P.M. 4th Advance leave party then returned. At midnight we commenced to coal ship.
Sep 13th At 8 am we finished coaling.
Sep 14th 5th Advance leave party proceeded on leave.
Sep 16th at 8.30 P.M. we proceeded outside harbour to carry out heavy night firing in the Firth returning to anchorage at 11.45 P.M.
Sep 17th During the morning we carried our sub-calibre firing in the Flow
Sep 18th At 7 am. we coaled ship and during the morning the 5th Battle Fleet arrived.
Sep 19th At 8 am. The "Melbourne" "Yarmouth" and two destroyers again proceeded on Convoy duties - all the remainder of squadron together with the Fleet had been on short notice for several days, We joined our convoy off Kirkwall at noon and proceeded towards Bergen.
Sep 30th At noon all ships at Rosyth immediately ordered to sea and after getting as far as the river mouth we were all recalled, we consequently anchored just inside the defences at 3 P.M. and at 9.30 PM we were ordered up to our anchorage (Charlestown)
Oct 1st at 2 am hands coaled ship, and then in the forenoon the glorious news came to hand that Bulgaria had signed an armistice with the Entente thus it was at least the beginning of the end and the tottering of the Central Empires.
Oct 2nd 6th Advance party proceeded on leave.
Oct 4th During the morning we coaled ship, after which we remained in harbour several days
Oct 11th We again coaled ship.
Oct 12th At 1 P.M. the 2nd Light Cruiser squadron negative "Birmingham" proceeded to carry out sub calibre firing, and at 9.30 PM a destroyer night attack action for exercise was carried out on our squadron.
Oct 13th At 1 a.m. we anchored off Crombie, and at noon the 6th Advance leave party returned – At 10 P.M. al ships ordered to prepare for
Sea – weather fine and bright – Ships did not go to sea after all
Oct 15th 7th Advance leave party proceeded on leave.
Oct `16th At 10 a.m. with one destroyer we proceeded to Largo Bay to await our turn for Dogger Bank patrol,- in the evening we invited the men of our escorting destroyers (now two in number) to come on board to supper and cinema show.
Oct 17th At 12.30 P.M. we proceeded to relieve the Dogger Bank patrol effecting same at 6 P.M. – the weather was heavy on starting but eventually calmer.
Oct 18th "Yarmouth" destroyers relieved us at 5.15 PM and we returned and anchored at midnight
Oct 19th At 4 AM we commenced to coal finishing at 9.30 am.
Oct 24th At 8 am proceeded to go alongside dockyard wall for boiler tube examination
Oct 25th 7 am we coaled ship.
Oct 26th The cruiser "Calypso" came alongside of us preparatory for temporary repairs, having been compelled to come in from sea owing to such very heavy weather,- our 7th Advance leave
party returned but owing to Influenza Epidemic they were all sent on another fourteen days leave vide Admirals orders, applying to all men then on leave also drafts joining or leaving ship to prevent contamination of ships companies.
Oct 29th  At 10.30 we proceeded to join squadron to carry out torpedo practice in the Firth and at 6 PM we returned and anchored off Charlestown
Oct 30th The glorious news of Turkey giving in was received with cheers, as the end must now be drawing near; - Austria now tottering on the brink of ruin and her people clambering for "Peace", - The news also came to hand of a revolution in Hungary.
Nov 3rd Today Austria signed the Armistice" terms with the Entente Allies to take effect from 3 PM Monday (tomorrow)
Nov 4th Japanese Prince arrived at the base as the guest of Admiral Beatty and reviewed the Fleet at 11 am – 3 PM Austria ceases to be a belligerent
Nov 5th the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron arrived
Nov 7th At 6.30 am we coaled ship, and news received that Germany had asked the Entente for terms for an armistice
Nov 8th After having had 25 days leave owing to the Flu Epidemic, the 7th Advance leave party arrived aboard – Germany receives the terms for an Armistice from Foch (Generalissimo) – It was not advisable to attach a too optimistic view of the Hun request for terms of Armistice because they had proved themselves so dishonourable during this war that they may be trying to hoodwink our fighting forces in the hope of trying to force a victory either on land or sea, and if such eventuated it would only prolong the war, - consequently firmer pressure was brought against our remaining enemies - the navy being prepared day and night continually, to rush out to sea should the Hun try
Nov 9th News came to hand of the Kaiser abdicating and although startling it had been expected for some considerable time, startling though it was more unexpected happenings, were expected in the near future.
Nov 11th  The unexpected had happened, the Armistice had been signed, - the news came through to the Fleet like a bolt from the blue, - hostilities were to
cease on all fronts, land sea and air from 11 A.M.
The celebrations as far as the ships of the Grand Fleet were concerned was magnificent, - the Admiral of the Fleet ordered the main brace to be spliced, a great event in the navy and which is the issuing of an extra tot of rum to all men- leave was given from 1 P.M. and thousands of officers and men landed, and at 5 P.M. when the leave expired, it was a wonderful sight to see the thousands of men embarking in their ships boats
Some were carrying flags, and waving them at arms length in the air, whilst a melee of songs were being sung by the various groups awaiting to embark; - the cloud of war had passed at least for a time, so that the men were able to give vent to their pent up feelings of over four years, - there was no possibility of the fleet having to put to sea hurriedly during the dark hours of the night. After the men had arrived on board their respective ships, the extra ration of rum was issued, - it was now dark, and at a given signal from the flagship, searchlights were turned
on, and the display was admirable, - there were very many merchantmen in harbour, colliers, storeships, oiltank steamers & hospital ships all of which could not burn searchlights, consequently they fired rockets of green, red and white, all of which helped to illustrate what it meant to the world to pass from war to peace even if only for a time at least, - syrens, and whistles were blown continually, which made such an awful din, and better imagined than described – it was likened unto a herd of wild animals let loose from captivity and all bleating their different calls of contentment, - and on board the ship, the piano was brought upon the upper deck and officers and men joined in harmony until midnight arrived – and so a happy day in the lives of men had been drawn to a close.
According to the terms of the Armistice the bulk of the Hun navy was to pass into our hands for internment and consequently on Nov 15th at 5 P.M. the German cruiser Konigsburg arrived off May Island according to instructions and conveying the German Delegates and a German
[Isle of May, off Firth of Forth]
Admiral, - and the official account gave out was that Rear Admiral Meurer and Admiral Beatty had a conference on board the "Queen Elizabeth" on Saturday [Nov 16th] evening at 10 P.M. or rather terminating at 10 PM – Ten minutes later the German Admiral and the three officers who accompanied him emerged from below and passed out over the gangway and as they done so they acknowledged the salutes of the officers who escorted them to the side, - with their backs to the dense fog that hid from view the wide waters of the silent Firth of Forth, and facing the great aft turret with its 15 inch guns, and as the quartermasters pipe shrilled them, they passed in order down to the waiting barge and so on to the chill and darkness beyond, - and thus in the midst of those last days the German dream of sea power and sea domination had come to a humiliating end –
The last act of this sea drama was when Rear Admiral Sinclair flying his flag in H.M.S. Cardiff on Friday [15th] morning moved with his Light Cruiser Squadron from its moorings in the river, out to its rendezvous at sea followed closely by its attendant destroyers, - there to meet the German
Light Cruiser Konigsberg bringing Rear Admiral Hugo Meurer and his staff, - the fog stood out very densely upon the water, and the squadron wended its way forward between unseen shores and between long lines of warships that loomed very dimly on either side, - the boom defences, closed one after another as the squadron passed through, and then the fog widened out into the grey North Sea.
In the limitless fog of the sea the cruisers and destroyers picked out the Konigsberg at 2.20 precisely and then for the first time for over four years the first German warship was able to enjoy immunity upon the seas, - the advance guard on many more German warships that were to follow on in a few days time according to the terms of the Armistice, and the plans made by Admiral Sir David Beatty
The "Cardiff" used her searchlight and flashed a message across to the "Konigsberg" and the latter in turn used her searchlights to acknowledge the same, and in answer swung around and followed closely in the wake of HMS "Cardiff"
such action gave to the onlookers a sense of surrender and the humiliation of failure and defeat – The guns of the Konigsberg was five 5.9 inch calibre all of which were hidden by the canvas that hung from the shield. – At 6 PM the Konigsberg was led to her berth off InchKeith, and there she anchored, - the British squadron anchored around her, and according to her special orders she had to show thru whole of the night riding, and stern lights also one light on each beam showing outboard, whilst a motor launch was detailed to cruise around her continually until daylight came, so as to prevent any communication from her to the outside world.
Sir David Beatty’s flag Commander from the Queen Elizabeth escorted Admiral Meurer and his staff on board the despatch vessel H.M.S. Oak, which conveyed them up the Firth river, to be received on board the great flagship "Queen Elizabeth" by the British Admiral. It was dark at this time and the "Oak" made her way up river between mighty great hulks of warships part of the great fleet that
for so long had commanded the North Sea, the greatest factor for the worlds peace, and the only obstacle to Germany’s world domination so ling boasted of by her "Der Tag"
The officers accompanying the German Admiral were Korvetten Kapitan Hintzmann; Kapitan Leutnent Saalwachter; Kapitan Leutnent Von Frendenreuch; and Leutnent Brauneck, the latter as the Admirals A.D.C. They were received on board the "Queen Elizabeth" between the lines of Marines that were standing to attention with bayonets fixed on the quarter deck of the flagship between the gangway and the companion hatch and down which the German Delegates had to pass.
They were received on deck by Commodore Brand, the Captain of the Fleet, and the Captain of the Queen Elizabeth, and led forthwith below. The crew of the great flagship swarmed on deck to glance upon the strange visitors if possible and strange to say not a cry or word was muttered so much for the discipline of the British Navy – The preliminary conference was held on
Friday and which lasted well into the night after which the German officers were conveyed to their ship – Saturday [16th ] (the great day) opened very foggy, as if nature had decided to prevent the German officers from viewing the Mighty Sure Shield of the British Empire. The Germans on this day arrived on board the great flagship about noon and Admiral Sir David Beatty was assisted by Admiral Maddon who was then second in Command of the Grand Fleet, also by Vice Admiral Brock Chief of Staff – Vice Admiral Browning and Rear Admiral Tyrrwhit also took part on occasions – Commodore Brand Captain of the Fleet had charge of the arrangements assisted by several naval officers who acted as interpreters – The members of the Soldiers Council remained on board the "Konigsberg" as the Admiral of our Fleet refused to negotiate with other than naval officers – During the conference the German Representatives dined alone in the Quarters of the Captain of the Fleet, after which satisfactory arrangements had been agreed to by Admiral Beatty regarding the surrender
of the German High Seas Fleet and submarines in the course of the next few days – Thus ended the bloodless battle of the mighty German Fleet in defeat and disintegration, and a great and glorious victory for the proud and Silent Service of Britain
Nov 17th At 5 AM the "Konigsberg" departed from her moorings to return to Germany and so convey the stern and humiliating arrangements of the surrender of the Hun Navy
Nov 18th We coaled ship
Nov 19th At 9 am together with the destroyers "Patriot" and "Sparrowhawk" we proceeded to Largo Bay to await time to relieve patrolling ships then on the Dogger Bank patrol, for altho arrangements had been made with Germany concerning cessation of hostilities it was vitally necessary that every precaution should be taken to prevent a breach – During the evening 30 officers and men from each destroyer was entertained on board during the evening to supper and cinema show
Nov 20th At 9 PM. signal was received ordering ourselves and destroyers to proceed up harbour
to anchorage of Bridge – 10 P.M. American interpreter in German came aboard preparatory to proceeding to sea to receive surrender of Hun Fleet on the morrow
Nov 21st Marked an epoch making day in the history of the British Empire, that of the surrender of bulk of the once proud German Sea Power – At 1 a.m. the gun watch was aroused to prepare ship for sea, - at 10.30 am the duty watch was called -everybody needless to say was then on the move because on such an historical day as this, no man wished to miss anything -
At 2 am the signal was received ordering fleet to move in order,- thus in the darkness of the still clear night the leading ship passed seaward, - what feeling overcame us all as we stood and watch the moving silhoette of ship after ship steaming past; - the enormous power of Britains might, silently passing between the lines of waiting warships throwing up a wave on either side, and churning it up in its wake, - and as the endless line continued it eventually became our turn to move, and so thru
the wall of darkness we groped our way passing out thru the gates that had four years and more to their credit for having defended the harbour faithfully – Thus having gained the open sea, of which we had for so long held command, the Fleet spread out in line formation and continued to steam until the dawn of day revealed a thin hazy veil over the surface of the sea, - the sun soon made its appearance in all its grandeur surrounded by a cloudless sky,- the sea was dead calm and so through the wall of grey mist we proceeded
Action stations were taken up by the ships of the Fleet and all was in readiness for any German treachery that may be committed, being that more than once during hostilities proved themselves devoid of all honour.
At 8.30 am. the small light cruiser "Cardiff" made her appearance through the mist with one of the Fleet Kite balloons hovering above and attached to her by a rope, - we then knew that the Hun Fleet would soon be seen following in her wake, and about six cables length astern of this very small cruiser
followed the mighty dreadnoughts of Germany. What a contrast there was, - the "Cardiff " was flying the flag of Rear Admiral Sinclair at its fore masthead, the emblem of England, the white Ensign, was lazily floating in the breeze from the main masthead and another from its flagstaff astern, - and likewise every British man-o-war flew flags similarly, whilst from some of the Hun warships could be observed their flag of a depressed and defeated nation
Everything appeared in order and in consequence, the men of our ships were allowed their freedom to come on deck and witness as much as possible the fleet which they had so long waited to come out and fight, - and our squadron was ordered to proceed to take up station astern of the enemy lines and so headed by the "Birmingham" we passed down seaward between the German lines and our own so that we really was able to have a most excellent view, -and we first passed the battleships "Bayern" "Kaiserin" etc etc then battlecruisers of "Seydlitz" class followed closely by many Light Cruisers and destroyers
until we reversed our course and followed in the wake of the German Fleet dividing them from their harbours of refuge and which would probably never again witness their arrival – The battleship of the French Navy Admiral Aube and also the destroyers "Henry" and "Mayon" took part in the surrender of the enemy fleet.
The enemy ships were brought to anchor north east of Inchkeith in respective lines about noon surrounded on all sides by various powerful squadrons of our own ships - and each German warship had to be very thoroughly searched by a corresponding ships search party of men selected from one of our destroyers and which had been known to have fought that individual ship or its namesake previously, - thus the "Melbourne" had to search the German Light Cruiser "Nurmberg" as we had searched so many thousands of miles for her in the Pacific Ocean whilst the "Sydney" had to supply a search
party for German Light Cruiser "Emden" (new ship) and so on throughout the fleet, - this searching took place during the day of Nov 22nd when also we coaled ship. The most humiliating signal was sent by Admiral Beatty to the German Admiral in command ordering him at sunset on Nov 21st to haul down the German flag from all ships and not to hoist it again unless permission to do so is granted them – Thus the German dream of sea power had by this signal brought decisively to an end and world domination a dream of the Kaiser’s bygone days
The two fleets lay here at anchor for several days awaiting final preparations and escort to Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands which was to be their place of internment – During these several days every opportunity was taken to allow the men of the Grand Fleet, Auxillaries, soldiers from the harbour defences, and many public bodies to steam around the German Fleet now at anchor in
Firth of Forth, and in doing so it afforded one and all a sight to be ever remembered – Their ships altho they looked modern and very powerful, appeared as though they had not had a coat of paint on then since hostilities began, their crews seemed devoid of all discipline, and were dressed in a way that gave them the appearance of beggarly tramps very dirty and ill-kempt -Some of the ships bore paintings of an iron cross upon their bow and which signified that such ship had been in action, or in such a case as the new "Emden", its possession of that same name
Nov 23rd At 3.30 PM the first batch of German warships were escorted to Scapa Flow, in the form of torpedo boat destroyers escorted by an equal number of our own destroyers followed at intervals by similar batches of destroyers – 9 PM we oiled ship preparatory to our own departure for Scapa Flow
Nov 24th At noon the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron departed with the German Battle Cruiser Squadron and escorted them also to Scapa and so a few
ships at a time took their departure until on Nov 25th at 1 PM our own squadron weighed anchor, the German Light Cruiser Squadron doing likewise, and at a speed of 10 knots we made our way to the northern base. Our ship the Melbourne acted as the leading ship whilst the remainder of our squadron consisting of "Birmingham" flagship, the "Sydney" and "Dublin" took up station on the beam to seaward and so through the darkness of the night we lead the German ships through our minefield and they steamed in line ahead with great precision keeping station faultlessly until on
Nov 26th at 11 AM we steamed through the defence gates at Scapa Flow and brought our ships to anchor the enemy ships brought to head on wind to drop anchor near by. – other squadrons of German ships arriving during the remainder of the day – We laid at anchor awaiting orders to proceed to Portsmouth to refit etc preparatory to leaving for Australia
and there were once again the bulk of the German Fleet now laying at anchor in our Northern base
Nov 27th During the day the Hun ships were navigated to an anchorage behind the hills there to remain in internment - At 6 P.M. we were ordered to proceed to Portsmouth and great rejoicing took place on board because most probably we were now going to say "Goodbye" to Scapa Flow – During our two years and two months in home waters that is to say North Sea, convoying Scandinavian merchant ships patrolling the Skaggerack, Jutland Coast and at times running very close to Heligoland
We experienced exceptionally heavy weather at times which caused our ship to roll mercilessly, then as soon as we arrived back at our base we would coal and oil ship at once so that we should prepare for eventualities immediately and often we would proceed to sea again the same day as we returned, - it was just
one constant strain of watching and waiting and going to sea – When in harbour the squadron would take their turn of laying under ½ hour’s notice to proceed to sea in case of emergency, or maybe one hour or two but under such short notices no man was allowed to leave the ship, - otherwise when at Rosyth we were able to land from 1 PM until 5 PM. but at Scapa it was far too desolate a spot, so that usually the squadrons would be so worked as to give two months at each base alternately
Our conditions under which we lived were very good, our food was ample and excellent for recreation was given, - as much as possible sports were held on shore very often, and cinema entertainments were provided on board ship usually paid for out of ships canteen funds and excellent films were procurable from the fleet cinema company in addition to a company in Edinburgh – Squadron regattas used to be held annually and also Fleet regattas and boxing championships held by Flagship of
Admiral Beatty competed for by the Fleet – An abundance of vegetables and fruit were constantly forwarded to the many naval bases, and distributed among the ships in turn also fresh fish, and which added to our daily ration, so that we were all looked after in every way
Nov 30th at 10.25 am we arrived at Portsmouth, - we were the first ship of the Grand Fleet to arrive at Portsmouth since the Armistice was signed and accordingly we were give a very noisy welcome - all whistles and syrens were exercised ships crews cheered us as we passed them by and even dockyardsmen had to cease work pro tem to give us a rousing cheer, and so our duty with the Grand Fleet continued
The war had been brought to an end and the German Fleet had not "Come Out" to fight a decisive battle – Very many people seemed to regard such an incident with very deep regret, and possessed a grievance
against the German High Command – It was very difficult to find an understanding for such a view for the soul object of the British Navy during hostilities was to guard and control the sea communications and together with the Naval power of our Allies, to force the enemy into submission as quickly as we possibly could
It took a considerable time to effect this, but as far as the British Navy was concerned, such work had been done with utmost efficiency, and probably far more efficient than any other war in which our country or our Empire was engaged, - and as Percival Hislam quoted "that the annihilation of a hostile navy was no more a traditional feature than the annihilation of an hostile army" – Our object never was, and never will be, to smash and to kill, but to force upon the enemy the terms of our choosing – It cost us close on 6000 in killed alone to win the Jutland Battle and where the German battleships done their best to avoid a fight
and where we lost or destroyed less than one-eight of the German forces. Sir Eric Geddes told us officially that the German High Seas Fleet was ordered to come out and fight, but the men refused to bring their ships out, - he said the H.S. Fleet had gone mad, because it dare not fight – Was there any madness in the in the course taken ? I wonder. The German sailor was tired and heartless of the war, we had a superiority of three to one almost, they hated their dynasty their submarine methods had proved an utter failure, and their land forces were hopelessly beaten so they cannot be blamed for taking the hostile action they did in refusing to take their ships out to sea.
We remained at Portsmouth for some considerable time during which period every opportunity was given to have as much leave as possible before leaving England, and during which time H.M.A.S. "Australia" and "Brisbane" arrived also to refit etc
Many dances were given by us to the citizens and which in each case they were reciprocated so that a most enjoyable time was spent
Feb 25th  The ship provisioned and took aboard ammunition
Feb 26th We coaled ship after which a farewell dance was given by the three Australian ships at Portsmouth Town Hall and which was acclaimed by the press as a huge success.
Feb 28th We departed fro Portsmouth at 3 PM. en route for Plymouth, where we were to be joined by H.M.A.S. "Swan" Torrens" Huon" "Warrego" Parramatta "Yarra" all destroyers
March 1st 7 a.m. we arrived at Plymouth and was informed that "Yarra" was not yet ready and so we had to await orders, and that "Torrens" and "Swan" were refitting at Malta and would join us there.
March 6th At 8 PM we all left Plymouth for Australia, via Gibraltar, Malta (where "Torrens and swan joined us) Port Said, Suez, Aden, Colombo, Malacca, Singapore, Port Darwin, Thursday Island
"Townsville", Brisbane, and Sydney and to which place we eventually arrived on 21st May – During the passage we had a most exceptionally fine trip, the weather being just beautiful, and at each port of call we were heartily received, sports and receptions being held in our honour and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Unfortunately on April 21st our Gunnery Lieutenant Laidlow [Laidlaw ?] was taken seriously ill and the following morning at 8.50 on April 22nd he died and being then in tropical climes just South of Java we buried him at sea at 11.15 a.m. our Chaplain Hardie conducting the burial service – On arrival at Brisbane on
May 16th a hearty welcome was awaiting us and everything possible done by council and citizens to mark our day of returning a most memorable one, and so this lasted until May 19th when we took our departure for Sydney at 6.30 am.
May 21st  9.50 am. On our arrival at Sydney Heads for the first time since Oct 17th 1914, we were welcomed by the Governor General Sir Munro Ferguson whose flag was flown from masthead of the special service vessel "Franklin" and which led us up the Sydney Harbour. The ferries, motor launches and steam boats lined our course, and rousing cheer upon cheer and Coo-ee’s were sent up continually upon our return and so under such an enthusiastic welcome we made our way to Garden Island whilst the six destroyers secured to buoys previously allotted to them
As soon as possible the Governor General came on board "Melbourne" and personally welcomed our return to Sydney and Australia after having done our duty as he said
May 22nd A Banquet was given at the Town Hall in our Honour and invitations extended to all officers and men, many speeches were given and the event was a huge success.
May 24th At 6 PM Melbourne "Yarra" and "Huon" left for Port Melbourne
May 26th At 10 am we three arrived at Port Phillip and a similar welcome as at Sydney awaited us and a most enjoyable time was spent by all and at the conclusion of which the ships companies proceeded on extended leave and so ended a glorious and historical career in the Pioneer Australian man-o-war and though bloodless she had done her duty nobly and well, - for whether you be at grips with the enemy or patrolling the sea communications it is all a duty in war
During hostilities the ship had travelled approximately 145,000 nautical miles not too bad a record and previously to war approximately 25,000 nautical miles
[Transcribed by Peter Mayo for the State Library of New South Wales]