GenoGold

 

Owen Charles Budd

The surviving diary of Owen Charles Budd, RMLI, born 23/8/1888, died 21/4/1969. The original papers were written mostly in pencil, in a red notebook (up to 1912), or on army message forms and flimsy paper (Gallipoli campaign of World War I). Spelling and grammar have been moderated in places but follow the original where this adds interest. Notes in red type are my own.

The first three sections each cover a 3-6 month voyage. The first section deals with a voyage to South Africa in 1908/9 in a squadron of probably 4 ships, the Good Hope, Devonshire, Carnarvon and Antrim (his ship, from his service record). The voyage was 6 years after the Boer War (1899-1902), and may have represented a flag-waving re-affirmation of the Empire.

The second section logs a trip to South Africa in 1910 in HMS Balmoral Castle, evidently travelling with the ships Hermes, Forte, Defence and Duke of Edinburgh, carrying the Duke and Duchess of Connaught to the opening of the First Union Parliament of South Africa.

The third section covers 1911/1912, when Owen was aboard HMS Cochrane, which with Argyll, Defence and Natal was escorting HMS Medina to India carrying the new King George V and Queen for the Coronation Durbar. King George V had succeeded to the throne in 1910.

The final section, on loose sheets, is a brief summary of his service at Gallipoli. It seems to be roughly contemporaneous, probably written in several large retrospective sections a month or so apart.

Richard Miller, February 2000

  • Rough Items of Interest to me on the Cruise of the “Special Service Squadron”
  • under “Sir Percy Scott”
  • 3.45 p.m. Tuesday 8th of September (1908) left Portsmouth for South Africa
  • 18th Arrived at St Vincent had a beautiful trip. Coaled ship 800 tons.
  • 20th Left for Lahandla Bay.
  • 24th Crossed the Equator, great sport on all four ships, the tank on our ship gave way just before we finished so happened to miss the dipping, 16 officers & 97 men went through.
  • 7th Oct Arrived at Lahandla Bay, very hot weather, coaled ship, 1637 tons.
  • 10th Left for Durban
  • 12th Arrived at Durban, Dressed ships, & fired salutes.
  • 14th Went ashore on leave, visited the Theatre (Charleys Aunt). (Harry Freemans).
  • 15th Searchlight display by Squadron effect beautiful, beach crowded with people.
  • 16 & 17 Illuminated the ships, splendid sight. All ships opened for visitors, many came aboard the ships, turned very wet on evening of 17th.
  • 18th 400 men left for a week’s excursion up country to Pretoria.
  • 19th  Had breakfast at Newcastle each man presented with a silver-mounted pipe by a “Mr. Vivian”. Entrained and left for Standerton where we had lunch great reception by the inhabitants, each man presented with tobacco, cigars & cigarettes. Entrained & left for Heidelburg, great send off at Standerton, arrived at Heidelburg & had Tea, reception again alright, more smokers, left for “Roberts Heights” to stay the night great reception by the soldiers who had to take us to our sleeping quarters with lanterns to show the way, had Dinner after we found our quarters & then held a smoker, broke up about 2.30 am. & then we turned in. Had breakfast about 4 hours after & then left for “Pretoria”. Great reception when we arrived. Had an address by the Mayor & then had Luncheon, Sports in the afternoon & etc. Had Dinner & then visited the Opera (Manitana) afterwards left for “Roberts Heights” where we slept the night. After Breakfast we left for the best place of all, “Johannesburg”. Thousands of people met us. After the 1st hundred struggled out of station the band had to march off with them; remaining 300 had to do the best they could to get to the electric cars, (which were decorated) for the people broke loose & went arm in arm with the men cheering the whole way. When we settled down in cars they took us to our camp & we got all bedding ready for the night. When ready we left for the town again & had an address by the Mayor & then had Luncheon. After that we visited the “Zoo”   park also had a ride round the town in trolleys. After Dinner we visited the Empire then went to camp to rest. Next day, up & had breakfast & then visited the “Village Deep” Gold Mine 5000 ft below the surface, saw how every thing was done to get the gold from the quartz, had pieces of quartz given to each man. After Lunch we had some Sports & etc after Dinner we had a Smoking Concert which wound up our stay at Johannesburg. Everything passing off lovely, left about 11 p.m. for “Bloefontein”, station & streets were packed when we left Joberg, great send off. Arrived “Bloefontein” about 9 a.m. had breakfast & then had Swimming & Sports & etc. After Luncheon carried on with Sports & had a walk around the town, met two School chums (Chubby Hille & Albert Gregory) in the Hants Regiment. After Dinner we left for Harrismith arrived about 11 a.m. next day had Breakfast & speeches & then left for Ladysmith on arrival had Lunch & had a walk around the town viewing the monuments & graves of the soldiers killed in the war. The tower of the Town hall has still been left with the hole in it made by a shell from the Boers Heavy Guns, Left again for Durban seeing the battle-fields en route also Colenso & the ruins of a bridge which was blown up by the Boer over the Modder River. Also saw many graves all along for about 3 miles. Arrived at Durban about 7 a.m. on Sunday morning & so finishes our week’s excursion up country.
  • 26th Left for East-London. Thousands of people on beach to see the Squadron leave, many cheers by the ships companies which had to man ship. “Good Hope” went aground while coming out of the harbour.
  • 27th Arrived at East-London. Illuminated ship in the evening. Firework display ashore. Could not land any men for the Luncheon & sports next day on account of its being too rough. People ashore very disappointed so papers say. Searchlight display.
  • 28th Left for Port Elizabeth & arrived same day. 50 men landed from each ship for Luncheon & sports. Illuminated ship in the evening. Effect spoilt by rain. Ships opened to visitors next day had a good many aboard. 250 men landed from each ship  for sports. Searchlight display by squadron.
  • 31st Left for Capetown.
  • 2nd November Arrived at Simonstown to coal ship took in 1150 tons. Went ashore to sports. Illuminated ship & searchlight display.
  • 5th Left for Capetown & arrived same day. Illuminated ship.
  • 6th Went alongside the Jetties. Ships opened to visitors.
  • All sorts sports carried on on shore also short trips to picnics & smoking concert in City Hall. Ships opened to visitors every day. 2 days set aside special for school children 2000 on board each ship.
  • 12th Left for St Helena. School Children lined the jetty & sung farewell songs. People on shore flashed looking glasses forming the word “Farewell”.
  • 19th Arrived at St Helena.
  • 20 & 21  Ashore on leave visited Napoleon’s House & Tomb. Also went up “Jacob’s Ladder”. 699 steps.
  • 22nd Left for Rio Janierio.
  • 1st Dec Arrived at Rio Janeiro.
  • 1st – 6th Different programmes each day, very hot weather each day. 3rd “Sir Percy Scott” promoted to “Vice Admiral.
  • 6th President of Brazil went around the fleet, fired salutes & manned & dressed ship for him.
  • 8th Coaled ship. 360 tons & then left for “Monte Video”.
  • 11th Arrived at “Monte Video”.
  • 13th Sunday. Prepared for coaling.
  • 14th Commenced coaling at 3.15 a.m. & finished 2 a.m. on 15th = 1659 tons.
  • 15th Blew up very rough in evening. Colliers alongside of Carnarvon & Devonshire broke away.
  • 16th Much better weather.
  • 17th A native picnic was given to any man of the squadron  wishing to go, it proved a grand turn out.
  • 18th Government gave a picnic to 150 men from each ship at the Cavalry C?? this also was a grand turnout, soldiers waited on us & were very pleased to see us. A private Zoo opened to any man wishing to see it.
  • 20th A bull fight, tickets sent aboard each ship for distributing among the men going ashore so as to go free.
  • 21st Heavy storm  broke over the town.
  • 22nd President of Ugarary (Uruguay?) went round the Fleet & aboard “Good Hope”. Dressed ship & fired salutes. Supposed to have left today  at 4 p.m. but “Sir Percy Scott” cablegrammed to England for permission  to remain untill 26th.
  • 23rd Permission granted from Admiralty to remain. Another heavy storm in the evening.
  • 24th To rough to land liberty men.
  • 25th “Christmas Day”. A bull fight ashore tickets given to liberty men for to go, I had afternoon watch, but was very merry all the same, held a concert in the evening went off very well.
  • 26th Left for “St Vincent”. Came on very rough about 11 p.m.. Thunder & lightning very strong.
  • 26 – 29 Very rough weather all the time. “Galling Mast” broke down under the strain.
  • 30th Fine weather, & also on 31st last day of 1908.
  • 1909
  • 1st Beautiful weather, gave make & mend all day to the ships companies. V.A. wished everyone a “Happy New Year”.
  • 2nd “Seaman Davis” died of rapid consumption at 10 p.m.
  • 3rd Buried him at 4 p.m.
  • 6th Passed the Equator at 4.30 p.m.
  • 11th Arrived at St Vincent.
  • 13th Coaled ship. 1055 tons.
  • 14th Left for Teneriffe.
  • 17th Arrived at Teneriffe.
  • 18th Leave to the Watch, weather unsettled slight mist all day, commenced to clean & paint ship.
  • 20th Death on H.M.S. Devonshire.
  • 21st Buried the above & left for Gibraltar.
  • 23rd Arrived at Gibraltar at 9.0 a.m., took our ship 21/2 hours to make fast to Nos 5 & 6 buoys.
  • 25th General leave to Port Watch for 24 hours.
  • 26th “ “ Starboard  “
  • 27th & 28th Provisioned ship.
  • 29th Coaled ship 1185 tons. Broke our record (for the hour which was 143) now 186 tons an hour commenced at 6 a.m. finished at 3.45 p.m.. 2 Russian warships arrived.
  • 30th 2 more Russians & 2 French  & 1 Danish & Chilean ships arrived, moved our ship  to Detached Mole.
  • 31st  Six of the American fleet arrived.
  • 1st Feb 10 more American ships arrived & 1 Russian also. Shifted ship to New Mole.
  • 3rd Warrant Officers gave dinner to ten of the American W. Officers.
  • 4th Officers gave dinner to 38 American & Russian  Officers. Landed a patrol of 52 men to cope with men on leave. Had middle watch, was 21/2 hours struggling with a seaman in irons. 6 of us to hold him.
  • 4th Boxing tournament on U.S.S. Virginia & Minnesota. I went to the latter, had a fine evening finished about 11.15 p.m.
  • 7th American & Russian Fleet left for their home ports.
  • 8th Our squadron left Gib for Tetuan Bay to practice for Battle Practice.
  • 9 – 12 Practice for B.P.
  • 13th Carried out Battle Practice & returned to Gibraltar.
  •    Rounds fired Hits
  • Good Hope   23
  • Devonshire   32
  • Antrim    12
  • Carnarvon   22
  • 15 – 17 Practise for Night Firing.
  • 18th H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg came aboard and passage to Tangier & landed until Saturday. Ship left  and we carried out Night Firing Practise & then anchored at Gib.
  • 20th Went to Tangiers to fetch H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg and took her to Algercerias & then anchored at Gib.
  • 22nd Fleet carried out Torpedo Exercise (lost one our ship & a part of another).
  • 2nd Mar Were to have left for England today but had to await further orders on account of Night Firing, all ships went out to Tetuan to carry this out but weather was too rough.
  • 3rd Carried out Night Firing
  • 4th Coaled ship. 1050 tons.
  • 5th Left at 2 p.m. for England at 15 knots.
  • 6th  Weather very rough. At 11.15 a.m. our galling mast carried away made a good mess of it.
  • 6th Weather  a little better, entered Bay of Biscay at 6.30 a.m.
  • 7th Left Bay of Biscay at 6.0 a.m. very rough weather.
  • 8th Arrived at Spithead at 10.30 & anchored.
  • 9th Came up harbour & tied up to No 5 buoy and this ends our cruise of exactly 6 months (to the day).
  • O.C. Budd
  • R.M.L.I.
  • 1910
  • Trip to South Africa on board “H.M.S. Balmoral Castle” Conveying their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Connaught & Princess Patricia for the purpose of opening the First Union Parliament of South Africa.
  • ________________________
  • Oct 11th Royal Party came on board at Portsmouth about 1.30 p.m. Ship left for S. Africa at 4.15 p.m. came on to rain during the evening & turned out a rough night. A good many of the crew were sea sick also the Royal Servants.
  • 12th Entered the Bay of Biscay about 1 p.m., weather fine till evening when it poured with rain.
  • 13th Weather finer. Left the bay about 11 a.m., Passed Cape Finnistere at midnight.
  • 14th Began to wear whites, passed Cape St Vincent about 10 p.m.
  • 15th Passed Canary Islands, rigged Canvas tank for swimming.
  • 16th held Divine Service at 10.30 a.m. Crew spoke highly of it as very good. Chaplain gave a Lantern Lecture in the evening, Subject “Pilgrims Progress”.
  • 17th Piped down for the afternoon, Held a concert in the evening, Royal Party attended.
  • 18th Passed Cape Verde about 4 a.m. Mails closed on board at 4 p.m. Steamer “Landarn” took our mails over  for conveyance to England.
  • 19th H.M.S. Defence took on duty as escort ship relieving the “Duke of Edinburgh”, which returned to Sierra Leonne. A very heavy shower came on suddenly about 3 p.m. & lasted about 20 minutes, weather much cooler afterwards. At 5 p.m. Transferred 3 seamen to the defence for disobedience of orders. Another heavy shower about 9 p.m.
  • 20th Passed Equator at 9.30 p.m. Father Neptune & his royal escort came on board & were introduced to the Royal Party, Function postponed till next day.
  • 21st Trafalgar Day. About 10.30 a.m. Lower Deck was cleared & the custom of “Crossing the Line” was commenced. Neptune & escort marched around the ship & then handed out the Orders of the Sea, i.e.
  • To the Duke of Connaught
  • “The Order of the Flying Fish”
  • Duchess of Connaught
  • “The Order of the Tin Opener”
  • Princess Patricia
  • “The Order of the Key”
  • Miss Pelly
  • “The Order of the Bell Pash”
  • & the last of all to the Commodore
  • “The order of the Main Brace”
  • Each order was hung on coloured ribbon & were placed over the heads of the people to receive them by “King Neptune” Then the ducking commenced & lasted until about 12.15 p.m. when the Main Brace was Spliced by the Duke. Cheers were then given & the ceremony finished everyone enjoying it very much. At Evening Quarters the Commodore spoke a few words about Trafalgar Day. In the evening the Chaplain gave a Lantern Lecture with views of S. Africa.
  • 22nd Band supplied music for dancing in the evening for ships company till 8 p.m. & then the officers had a swing round.
  • 23rd Divine Service as usual & Lantern Lecture in the evening.
  • 24th Arrived at St Helena at 9.25 & anchored, Salute given by Defence and Pandora. At 10.30 a.m. Royal Party went ashore & were heartily cheered by the inhabitants on landing, at 11.45 a.m. Royal Party returned on board for the purpose of the ceremony of Knighting the Governor of St Helena. 12.20 p.m. Ships company mustered aft to witness it. 12.45 p.m. His Excellency the Governor Knighted with the K.C.M.G. (Knight Commander St Michael St George). The Governor then had Lunch with the Royal Party. Leave given for watch from 3.30 p.m. till 6.15 p.m.
  • 25th Royal Party dined with the Governor. Leave from 1 p.m. till 4 p.m. Had a Wireless message to say Crippen had been sentenced to Death. Also that Lieut. Luton had been rearrested. I went ashore & visited Napoleons Tomb. About 5.50 p.m. Royal Party came on board, great send off by the people who cheered heartily as the party left the shore. Weighted anchor at 6 p.m. also Defence & proceeded on our way to Cape-Town. Defence fired some Lyddite shell into the rocks as we left the harbour.
  • 27th Exercised turning out boats for abandon ship. Weather cooler.
  • 29th Usual weekly dance evening.
  • 30th Divine Service at 10 a.m. Lantern Lecture in the evening. Weather warmer & sea as smooth as possible. About 11.30 p.m. a very heavy fog came on & at 4 a.m. next morning we had to drop anchor for we had lost our bearings. At sunrise & also the fog lifting slightly we found that our bows were only about 200 yds off about a dozen rocks just showing above water. About 8.30 a.m. the Pilot Boat found her way out to us & we then proceeded into the harbour of Cape-Town. Fog still thick. A good many people were assembled on the jetty when we got alongside. About 11 a.m. the Royal Party landed & were received by the Governor & other officials. After the intro. the Party drove off to Government House where they are staying until they leave for up country. In the Evening the Defence, Hermes & Forte were illuminated & at 9 p.m. discharged fireworks which were splendid. The town was beautifully decorated & at night time the whole place was like a fire as the streets were lit by thousands & thousands of electric lights. A pageant was also being held the same week & the streets were packed with people, as there were thousands from up country who came to witness the opening of Parliament.
  • Nov 1st Royal review held on Green Point Common, Naval Brigade landed to take part in it, altogether about 4,400 troops were assembled to take part in it.
  • 2nd Mails left for England.
  • 4th 1st Union Parliament opened by “His Royal Highness” at noon, Royal Salute given by ships in harbour & also at the castle of Cape-Town. The procession from Government House was splendid & was witnessed by thousands of people who were packed like sardines in the streets. The Royal party were received with hearty cheers all along the route. Our detachment formed the Guard of Honour at Government House & after being inspected by the Duke on his return from Parliament “His Royal Highness” sent the following message aboard.
  • “To the N.C.Os. & men who formed the Guard of Honour at Government House on the occasion of the opening of the 1st Union Parliament of South Africa. I was much impressed with the appearance, drill & steadiness in the ranks. “
  • In the afternoon the Royal Party visited the Pageant. At Government House in the evening an “At Home” was given & about 2,000 people attended. (I happened to have an invite to it but it was to work not play). I arrived back to the ship at 1.15 a.m. A special commemoration stamp (value 21/2) was issued on this day for sale only the one day.
  • 5th Guy Fawkes Day. A Splendid display of fireworks was given on shore & also from the Defence. A Chief Petty Officer sent from ship to Defence for insolence to the Duke’s Clerk.
  • 6th Went ashore & visited the Museum & afterwards went to the top of Lions Head (about 2700 ft above sea level). It took us 21/2 hours to get to the top. A most splendid view was obtained of the whole town & suburbs.
  • 7th Farewell tea given by Their Royal Highnesses to all the officers of the ship & the Defence & guests from ashore. At 10 p.m. the Royal Party left for up country.
  • 8th Mails arrived from England.
  • 9th     “         left     for       “
  • 10th Left the ship at 6.15 a.m. for to climb to the top of Table Mountain (3500 ft) arrived at the top at 9.45 a.m.. Had just arrived on top when it came on to rain & within 10 minutes we were wet through like a drowned rat. Arrived on board at 12.30 & were met with cheers by the messmates. This was the roughest day we had had up to the present. Started to coal at 7 a.m. (Native Labour).
  • 11th Weather finer but a bit colder, finished coaling at 10 p.m. (2000 tons).
  • 12th Cleaned ship. Went to Wynberg in the evening  and saw Albert Gregory (an old school chum of mine) in the Hants Regiment.
  • 13th (Sunday). Saturday’s Routine to get the ship clean. Had a good many visitors on board in the afternoon. All leave up at 11 p.m.
  • 14th Left at 6 a.m. for Simonstown. Adjusting compasses all the forenoon, arrived at Simonstown at 2.30 p.m.
  • 15th Painted ship. Mails arrived from England.
  • 16th Mails left for England. Very rough wind today. Still painting ship.
  • 17th Weather still rough.
  • 18th Weather calmer, went ashore & happened to see a chap from East-Meon by name of Alderslade in the Blue marines, on board Defence.
  • 19th Left for Durban at 4 p.m. Very rough wind all night.
  • 20th Passed Port Elizabeth about 8 p.m. Beautiful moonlight night but wind still rough.
  • 21st Passed East London at 6 a.m., Weather calmer & warmer.
  • 22nd Arrived at Durban at 9.30 a.m., very hot again, started painting again in the afternoon.
  • 23rd Too hot to paint in the afternoon, so leave given from 1 p.m. Band went on the Beach to play in the evening & also for the remainder of the time at Durban.
  • 24th Mails left for England.
  • 25th Mails arrived from England.
  • 27th Went ashore to Umgeni & saw the sugar cane growing.
  • 28th Went ashore to the sugar factory & seen how sugar was made, (not going to eat any more now I have seen it made). Also visited a bananna plantation. Came across two people from Winchester by name of Simpkins & Malkin. One had been there 10 yrs & the other 4 years. An accident on board seaman fell from promenade deck on to the jetty, broken ankle & arm & cut forehead. Took him to hospital. H.M.S. Hermes & Forte arrived about 4 p.m.
  • Dec 2nd Royal Party arrived at Durban at 12.30 p.m. & after the usual greetings arrived on board for Lunch at 1.30 p.m. Ships dressed overall. Royal party landed again at 3 p.m. Arrived on board at 6.15 p.m. Had guests for Dinner & held a reception at 10 p.m. Ships illuminated & firework displays at 9.30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
  • 3rd Royal Party landed at 10 a.m. & returned on board at 3.30 p.m. after attending the Lunch given by the Mayor. Ships left at 4.30 a.m. Thousands of people on the jetty to see us off.
  • 4th Passed East London at noon.
  • 5th Passed Port Elizabeth at 10 a.m.
  • 6th Arrived opposite Cape-Town at noon & then Hermes & Forte left us & proceeded to Cape-Town, Defence taking on escort ship to us.
  • 8 & 9th A Petty Officer took ill at 10 p.m. & died at 1 a.m. Post Mortem Result. An old wound on the head over heated.
  • 9th Funeral of above at 10 a.m.
  • 11th Sunday, Divine Service as usual, 3 marriage banns published for the 1st time. Lantern Lecture in the evening.
  • 12th Held a concert in the evening, Royal Party attended.
  • 13th Crossed the Equator at 6 a.m.
  • 15th Arrived at Sierra Leonne & anchored. Governor of the town came on board at 8 a.m. & Royal Party landed at 9 a.m. Received by hearty cheers from the inhabitants. Royal party came on board about noon & landed again at 2.30 p.m. for a trip around the town. Came on board at 6 p.m. & ship weighed anchor & left for Teneriffe.
  • 17th Held sports in the afternoon from 3 to 5, The Duchess giving away the prizes afterwards.
  • 18th Divine Service in the Royal Saloon too rough to have it on deck.
  • 19th Weather still rough & forecastle under water a good many times. Arrived at Teneriffe at 5 p.m. (St Cruz).
  • 20th Duke went ashore in the afternoon, too rough for the ladies to land.
  • 20th & 21st  Left at midnight for Las Palmas & arrived at 8 a.m. Duke of Edinburgh commenced coaling. Governor of Las Palmas Came on board at 11.30 a.m. Duke went on ashore in the afternoon.
  • 22nd Ships company mustered aft for their Photo to be taken , with their Royal Highnesses. About 10.30 a.m. Weighed Anchor & left for England.
  • 23rd Saturday’s routine. Wind very rough & heavy showers.
  • 24th Kept this day as Xmas Day, Royal Party went round the ship to look at the messes, Duke gave each man a cigar & wished everyone a Merry time. Weather a bit better.
  • 25th Xmas Day. Usual Divine Service in the forenoon & in the evening a carol singing service was given which was very good. Weather beautiful, Entered the Bay of Biscay about 8 a.m.
  • 26th Reduced speed to 7 Knots to waste time. Very showery all day.
  • 27th Arrived off St Helens (Isle of Wight) at 8 a.m. & anchored.
  • 28th Came up harbour & tied up alongside South Railway Jetty at 8 a.m. Royal Party left at 10 a.m. same day. After Royal Party left, began to get the ship ready for paying off.
  • 2nd January 1911 H.M.S. Balmoral Castle paid off.
  • 1911
  • H.M.S. Cochrane
  • One of four ships detailed for Escort Duty on the “H.M.S. Medina” conveying The “King & Queen” to India for the Coronation Durbar at Delhi.
  • ____________________
  • 11th November 1911 H.M.S. Medina sailed at 3.0 p.m. from Portsmouth harbour, & met the escort ships at Spithead, also  the 1st & 2nd Division of Battle Squadron which escorted the Royal Ship down Channel for 2 hours. Weather was very unsettled & towards evening it came on very rough.
  • 12th (Sunday) Weather still very rough & big seas shipped, mess decks afloat forrard, life lines put on the upper deck. Stand up Divine Service. Entered Bay of Biscay about 6 a.m. About 3 p.m.  the order was given that no-one was allowed on the upper deck, very rough night, nearly lost one of the boats during the afternoon. Left Bay about 5 a.m. the 13th.
  • 13th Weather became calmer about 8 a.m., allowed on the upper deck at last, turned out a nice evening, began to get warmer.
  • 14th Fine day, prepared for coaling, arrived at Gibraltar at 7 p.m. & started to coal about 9 p.m. (930 tons). Medina arrived about 8, the escort left her at noon & put on speed so as to arrive & get on with the coaling.
  • 15th Royal Salute fired at 8 a.m. by all the Atlantic Fleet & other ships at the Rock. Escort ships left at 9.30 a.m. & waited off Europa Point for the medina which came out at 10.30 a.m., We finished coaling at 5.30 a.m. Very warm day & a lovely evening, water smooth.
  • 16th Very hot day, lightning in the evening.
  • 17th Held a concert on Deck during the evening. Passed Malta about midnight.
  • 18th Held another concert during the evening, Captain gave a song.
  • 20th Arrived at Port Said at 5.30 p.m. Medina & Argyll anchored, all ships disembarked ratings for ships on Straits. Ships in harbour fired royal salute. At 6.30 p.m. Cochrane, Defence & Natal proceeded on to Suez. At 7 p.m. we entered the Suez Canal, the town of Port Said was beautifully decorated & illuminated. Left the Canal at 12.30 p.m. the next day & arrived at Suez at 1 p.m. Natives started coaling all three ships about 2.30, we had 300 tons to come in, were to have taken in 1700 tons but the collier was on the rocks off Port Said. Finished coaling at 7 p.m. had too put on some of the ships hands to help finish it. Whilst coming through the Canal during Monday evening the Captain of Marines gave an address & lecture on it which was very interesting & between 2 & 3 hundred attended.
  • 22nd Were to have waited at Suez for the Medina & Argyll but on account of our coal being short we had orders to proceed on to Aden which we did at 4.30 p.m. Had another concert in the evening & again Thursday & Friday & Saturday all were very good & helped to pass away the time.
  • 26th Arrived at Aden at 11.30 a.m. but before arriving decks were cleaned up as for Sunday round & then church was rigged at 9 a.m. & Church service complete was gone through, finished at 10.45 & then all hands prepared for coaling & get ready for entering harbour (No bad language used after coming out of church). Finished everything at 1 p.m. & then went to dinner. Natives started coaling at 1.30 p.m. (1050 tons) & finished at midnight. Clearing ship in the morning at 3.30 a.m., went out of harbour to outer anchorage at 8 a.m., at 11 a.m. dressed ships overall, 11.30 a.m. H.M.S. Medina & Argyll arrived, Royal Salute fired (101 guns) by all ships, both went in to inner harbour. Argyll started coaling as soon as anchored. Royal Party landed & received an address from citizens at 3.30 p.m. Returned aboard 5.30 & all ships got under weigh again to proceed to Bombay. Before leaving a good number of fireworks were let off from ashore & the remaining ships were illuminated. Nice trip to Bombay arrived at 10 a.m. on the 2nd Dec.
  • 2nd Royal Salute fired as usual & all ships dressed overall immediately on anchoring. At 3.45 p.m. Royal Party landed for the welcome ashore, returned aboard at 5.30 p.m. All ships were illuminated in the evenings & also dressed overall every day till the King & Queen left Bombay for Delhi on the 5th at 10.45 p.m. Splendid illuminations ashore & fireworks as well. Royal Party landed for different functions each day. Went ashore on  Thursday (8th) & saw Jack & had a good walk round with him. Mail arrived on the 9th & the other left the 10th (Xmas Mail). Jack & me went to the Xhibition on Thursday (Old Bombay Xhibition) very good, very much the same as the White City in London. Jack & me went to Bombay Cathedral on Sunday very good service.
  • 11th Landed two companies for the rehearsal of the Durbar Day in Bombay, where a review of troops is to be held & a commemoration service as well.
  • 12th Durbar Day, King & Queen crowned as Emperor & Empress of India at Delhi. A Review of troops after the proclamation  held at the Oval (Bombay). Splendid sight, I went to see it (one Death from the heat occurred just close to me). All ships Dressed overall & royal salute fired at noon. All ships illuminated in the evening. 10.45 p.m. Out lights & prepared to get collier alongside for coaling. Started coaling at Midnight, Natives filling bags (1200 tons).
  • 13th Finished coaling at 3.30 p.m. Natives refused work twice during the day, but they eventually finished coaling us. Started to wash down at 5 p.m. & afterwards “Hands to clean”.
  • 14th Saturday’s Routine & we wanted it. (Patrol tonight).
  • 15th Excursion Party from the ship visited the Mint & then the Towers of Silena, this lot was a very pleasant afternoon spent & very interesting as well. Another party went the following day.
  • 16th Stoker aboard the Argyll died.
  • 17th Buried the above (Sunday), went ashore with jack & had a good walk along the sea front.
  • 18th (Patrol tonight).
  • 21st Excursion for one Watch into the Mountains to Kalavandia 4 hrs train ride arrived there about 12.30 & had dinner, then took our own way to where we like to go, till 5 p.m. then tea & left about 6.30 for Bombay, arrived 11.15, had a very good day indeed.
  • 22nd Same as above for the other watch.
  • 24th Navy League members came aboard for to have a look round (Xmas eve).
  • 25th Xmas Day. Very gloomy day & quiet not a bit like Xmas time. Went ashore in the evening, to the Cathedral.
  • 26th Boxing Day (A bit livelier).
  • 1st Jan 1912 Proclamation on the Oval Ground & a review of troops at 8 a.m. Dressed ship & fired salute. All Heats for the Sports held in the evening.
  • 2nd Naval Sports held in the Stadium at the Exhibition, Cochrane took  2nd Prize for Heavy & Light Weight Tug of War & 2nd for Bayonet Competition.
  • 4th Coaled ship (1060 tons) started at 4 p.m. & finished at 12.30 a.m. the 5th, finished stowing it at 4 a.m., sleep till 6 a.m. & then started washing down.
  • (30th Dec) Regatta given by the Royal Bombay Yacht Club), Cochrane boats 2nd in Stokers & 3rd in Seaman’s & Marines & 4th in Daymen.
  • 9th Jan Coaled ship again so as to be filled up before leaving Bombay (100 tons taken in).
  • 10th Royal Party arrived at Bombay at 12 noon & arrived at Medina at 1.0 p.m. , dressed ship & fired usual royal salute. At 3 p.m. all men that took part in the Guard of Honour at Delhi had to go aboard the Medina for to receive their Medals. 6 p.m. up anchor & got under weigh for England. Usual farewell salute fired from shore batteries.
  • 11th A bit cooler as a nice breeze was blowing all day.
  • 15th Arrived at Aden at 5.30 a.m., Medina & Defence went on to Port Sudar, we coaled ship here (500 tons) got under weigh again at noon for Suez. A Steward was brought aboard at Aden, down with illness, only chance of recovery was a change of climate, but the poor fellow died at 4 p.m. same day.
  • 16th Buried the above at sea.
  • 17th Concert in the evening, had a tropical shower during the afternoon lasted about an hour, quite a change to see some rain.
  • 19th Arrived at Suez & entered the Canal about 11.30 a.m., did not pick up the Medina here after all.
  • 20th Arrived at Port Said  at 3 a.m. & started to coal about 7.30 a.m. Medina arrived about 5.30 a.m. all ships coaling, finished coaling at 11 a.m. & started to clean ship. King & Queen landed to dine with the Governor, City illuminated in the Evening.
  • 21st Left for Malta at 10 a.m., a bit rough outside but a lot calmer later in the day.
  • 24th Arrived at Malta at 10 a.m., a grand welcome given, bells ringing & plenty of cheering  from the people ashore. French Fleet in the harbour to welcome the King. Royal party landed at 11.30 & about 4 more times during the day. Dinner held in the Opera House in the evening. Jess came on board & we both went ashore together & met Jack, all three went to the pictures. Next day 1/2 days leave each & went to the Camp with Jess, had a nice time up there, arrived back about 8 p.m. & went to some more pictures.
  • 27th Left Malta for Gibraltar at 10 a.m., “Natal” had to sink 2 lighters that were floating adrift soon after we got out.
  • 28th Rather a rough day & a good bit of rain.
  • 29th Still very rough, Natal took a ship in tow that was disabled & brought it to Gibraltar.
  • 30th Arrived at Gibraltar & prepared for coaling, the King was to have come onboard the escort ships to inspect them, but as the weather was so rough, he cancelled it altogether.
  • 31st Coaled ship (950 tons).
  • 1st Feb Left for England, very rough night sighted the Delhi wreck about noon.
  • 2nd Still very rough, mess deck afloat, entered the Bay about 8.30 p.m.
  • 3rd A little finer, left the bay about 6.30 p.m.
  • 4th Arrived at Spithead at 10 a.m., (No leave given worse luck). Blinding snow-storm when we arrived, very rough at Spithead.
  • 5th Medina went up harbour about 7.30 a.m. & Royal Party left Portsmouth for London about 10.15 a.m. & so ends the Indian Coronation trip.
  • O.C.B.
  • Gallipoli
  • February 27th (Sat.) Left the mud village or camp of Blandford for an unknown destination about 8 p.m., arriving at the railway station we entrained & found ourselves at last after a long tedious journey at Avonmouth Docks. Here we found the Transport “Alnwick Castle” waiting for us & after getting all our stores etc aboard, besides a few other things we left about 6 p.m. Sunday steaming well out in the Bristol Channel, it was a very breezy night & nearly all hands were seasick & all next day as well. We were in danger of being torpedoed as the blockade had started, not many realised it on board the first night & day. Weather cleared next day & eventually we settled down as comfortable as we could make ourselves. Nothing eventful happened in our journey till Friday & we suddenly sighted land which turned out to be Gibraltar, we went in there, disembarked a crew for S.S. Carmania & then proceeded again on our unknown destination. After steaming East for a few days we arrived at Malta  & stayed here a couple of days taking in coal & water & other provisions. After this lot was finished off we sailed again steaming in a northerly direction so took it as the Dardanelles was our destination.

 

Well after 3 days at sea we arrived at Lemnos & dropped anchor. Here a sight met our eyes as the bay was full of warships & transports of all three countries, British, French & Russians. Here we began landing for exercises & a stretch & we needed it, as we hadn’t had much room on board. Well landing was carried out each day till the Saturday when it was too rough to land. Sunday was finer & after dinner leave was given to the troops. A good number went ashore but they were sorry they went  as just as it was time to see about returning to the ship the weather changed & no boats could be sent in for the men, this kept up all night & best part of next day, died down about 3 p.m. & they were able to get off, what a sight they looked, wet through & thoroughly done for. A good number of boats were lost from the different ships over this, the weather changed so suddenly.

 

Well on 23rd March we left Lemnos  & arrived at Port Said on the 26th. Here we tied up to the quayside & then left the ship for a camp about 1/2 mile away, this was very nice except for the sand, which was terrible as we were on the dessert. Here we carried out all sorts of manouvers & were also inspected by Sir Ian Hamilton our C in C of the forces on April the 3rd. Easter Sunday & Bank Holiday arrived same old routine, weather glorious.

 

April 10th we had the order to pack up & stow bags & off we came again on the old Transport on the 12th, eventually arriving at Lemnos again 5 days later, slow progress on the journey as we were towing a lighter full of water for the troops at Lemnos. After leaving the lighter there we were off again and found ourselves steaming into Skirass Bay during the evening, well, landing again took place for the next 3 days & well we knew it for the hills we climbed were terrible talk about sweat, we used to go for the whole day, having dinner on return to ship. Had 3 or 4 boat races here won two, lost two. After the third day we were off again & found ourselves at Xeros bay where we were to do a feint attack & landing whilst our other forces were landing at the other end of the Peninsula. This was Sunday the 25th when our brave troops made such an heroic landing & drove the enemy out of his trenches for a good distance, the loss of life being very heavy, but we gained our footing in the end & we shall not be driven off now. Monday we received orders to steam south & we arrived at Cape Hellas & thought we were going to land there with the other regiments, we had a pretty good view from our ship of the fighting going on on land, our troops plainly showing up & advancing without a flinch. However we did not land & we were sent to Gaba Tepe to reinforce the Australians who had lost heavily whilst landing, however they landed at all beats us for it’s a terrible place.

 

Landed at 7 p.m. on April 29th from Transport “Alnwick Castle” at Gaba Tepe to reinforce the Australians who had lost very heavily during their landing a few days previous. Arrived in the trenches about 1.30 a.m. next day & so relieved a part of the Australian firing line who were badly in need of a spell. Portsmouth & Nelson Battalions were on our left. We had a very lively time while we were in the trenches & were relieved on the 3rd May by Australians. We had several attacks made on us by the Turks but they were driven back each time with great loss. We lost 19 killed & 26 wounded (3 Officers were killed) Portsmouth lost very heavily about 630 all told. After a couple of days rest on the beach we went digging & making roads untill it came our turn for the trenches again, we went on the left of the line this time which was a very dangerous part owing to the nature of the ground. However we done a few more days there and did not lose many men, we done plenty of digging & sapping & so advanced a few yards more. New Zealand Light Horse relieved us & we went aboard the Alnwick Castle again about 7 p.m. on the 13th & left for Cape Helles (end of Gallipoli).

 

Here we disembarked again about 11 a.m. next day & proceeded about 1 mile inland & started on our bivouacs (digging as usual). The country around looked most splendid where it hadnt been turned up by the troops, green grass showing up well. We had a good view of Achi Baba from our bivouac & wondered why our troops hadn’t taken it yet (it looked so simple) every man that lands and looks at it from a distance thinks the same, but we know now why it hasnt fallen yet. Well we got a dose of shrapnel before we had been digging long & we had too lay low for a time but we managed at last to get dug in & made ourselves as comfortable as we could. After a few days rest & fitting up again we left for the trenches about 2 miles away this was on the 23rd of May. The French were on our right & Chatham Batt. on our left here. During the time we were in the Firing line we made an advance of 210 yds during 2 nights & lost only a very few men, we seemed a very lucky battalion as others seemed to lose rather heavily.

 

Relieved from the trenches on the 27th & went back to our Dug outs for a rest which we had in the way of plenty of digging & we have been digging ever since in fact we have nicknamed ourselves the navvy Battalion. (Badge, Cross shovel & pickaxe). I may say here that we had had a couple of wet days & you should have just seen us, we were pictures, the trenches were half full of mud & water as also were our dug outs, we were all like drowned rats, no opportunity of drying anything, it was grand. This mud & water hung about for nearly a fortnight after & everyone was a cement statue pretty well with the mud. After a few more days digging we had the order to stand by as a big attack was coming off (4th June). Well the net result of the attack was 3 trenches pretty well all along the line & a few prisoners. After standing by for 48 hours we left for the trenches & arrived there during the forenoon of the 7th & remaining in them till the 14th, during the time we were there we had several heavy artillery duels & a good many shells fell quite close to our trenches, only a few casualuties again. The big gun from the Asiatic side dropped several of her heavy shells near us, none doing any damage. After a good nights rest in our dugouts we went digging again, this carried on till our next spell in the trenches. Whilst in our dugouts we had a couple of days heavy firing of shrapnel & shells at us & we lost a good number killed & wounded in the Brigade. An attack on a portion of our lines  by the turks was driven back by our Allies & an artillery duel between guns was won by ours. We got plenty of shells whilst out digging on the beach, but luckily no casualities.

 

Sunday the 20th the guns began roaring again & kept on till pretty late next forenoon, we were all standing by again to go up but didn’t go up till the 22nd (Tuesday). On the 24th we captured a trench about 75 yds away from our firing line & well we knew for the next day we got enfilade fire from guns somewhere round Krithia, my word it was awful we had 11 casualities  by two shells alone, however we were left alive is a marvel for shells were dropping in our trenches something awful. We got under cover as much as possible as we expected an attack to be made after the bombardment, but it didn’t come off & we settled down again, it unnevered a good many & we were relieved in the evening by another portion of a Battalion who had been in the general reserves. However we went up again the next day  & eventually got relieved  to go back to our dug outs on Tuesday 29th. On the 28th another bombardment took place on our left flank where the Indians were, an attack followed & our side again secured 3 trenches & prisoners. This attack was worth seeing as we happened to be in a good position  to watch it, for a while nothing could be seen for smoke & dust, but as soon as it was clearing our troops went forward & gained the trenches. On the 30th the whole line were to advance so we had to stand by again, attack was successful, we only went up for general reserve came back next day, next few days were quiet untill Monday when the French made an advance & captured a trench, plenty of shrapnel flying round again all day. We are still working parties  different places each day. Had a few shells over each day.

 

12th July about 5 a.m. another attack started  & it was one continual roar of guns & rifle fire for the next two days, several lines of trenches were captured pretty well all along the line, Plymouth, Pompey & Chatham were engaged in this lot, we were still working party, but standing by all the same. We went up on Friday 16th & took over a redoubt for 24 hrs & then went on to the trenches & there an awful sight met our eyes for dead were lying everywhere ours as well as Turks, a good many were buried in the trenches  & parapets the smell was something awful as the heat soon turned the bodies, we had to bury as many as possible during the nights, it was an awful job some were in an awful state as they had been lying there for 5 & 6 days, we buried a good many & so made things a bit more comfortable, but the smell was dreadful in places, found a good many rifles, bayonets & ammunition belonging to the Turks. This is where my coat was blown to pieces (good job I wasn’t inside of it). Tuesday 20th was fairly quiet till about 6 p.m. when an artillery duel commenced, died down about 8 p.m. & then we had a turn at rifle fire which lasted about hour, fairly quiet during remainder of night. Relieved next day & went back to dugouts to rest, our rest lasted about 17 hours for we started working parties on the beach again in reliefs, for the next 4 days  we carried on the same old game & then we finished & everyone got the order to stand by to go to any part of the line as a general attack was going to take place at any time. We are all fitted out with the necessary gear & are ready to move. August arrives & still waiting, Bank Holiday next day (didn’t go on Portsdown Hill to the fair, thought of going to Achi Baba or Krithia but it hasn’t come off) 3rd, 4th, & 5th still resting, occasional shells comes over.

 

6th August great bombardment commenced about 2.30 p.m. & attack by infantry about 4.30, standing by to move up which came off about 9 p.m., moved up another mile & laid down for the night about 12.30. Off again about 5.30 & moved up to Eshi Lines about 6 lines behind firing line fierce fighting going on, heavy losses both sides. Good news comes through about  11 a.m. on Sunday 8th, The Australians & another division of our troops has made another successful landing between Achi Baba & Kaba Tepe & had got over the second ridge of Kalid Bahr Hill & was still advancing, little opposition had been shown as pretty well all the enemy had been drawn down to defend Achi Baba & Krithia. General of 9th Army Corps sent to thank us all of the 8th Corps in the manner all ranks had done their best & drawn the enemy to us whilst the 9th were landing and advancing without much opposition. Turkish battleship sunk also gunboat & transport. Another great bombardment was to have taken place today but it was postponed on account of the turn of operations, namely, the great success of the other division in landing. About 6.45 p.m. we moved back again as everything was quiet & our troops had made the line secure, arrived at bivouc about 8.30.

 

Monday 9th  still quiet (second dose of innoculation for cholera) good news from the other division still advancing. 10th Aug Turks gave us a few “good morning” shells, no harm done, forenoon quiet, also afternoon, about 8.30 p.m. Turks made another heavy attack  on our centre lines  & a very heavy artillery duel  took place lasted for about 2 hrs & then died off. Concert held in the vineyard  during the evening by our Batallion. 11th & 12th Quiet on both fronts, occassional shells come over, started drill, all regiments having to do a bit of drill morning & evening. About 8 p.m. Turks made another attack on our centre, where the French were & heavy artillery fire took place for about 2 hrs, rifle fire very heavy & lasted till about 2.0 a.m. next morning 13th, afterwards occassional bursts of rifle fire took place well into the morning. No results known yet of what has happened at 8 a.m. Remainder day quiet, few shells during the day, small attack again during night.

 

Saturday 14th still very quiet, still a few shrapnel about but about 9.30 they got to work & put about 80 shells over, seemed to come from a different place so we think they must have been shifting guns during the day. After our batteries got to work a bit the enemy soon cried off. About 1 a.m. next morning they tried another attack on our lines but got repelled alright. All day Sunday 15th  things were very quiet. Early next Monday guns & rifle started again & our fellows took a place known as the vineyard. During the forenoon we got sudden orders to proceed to firing lines. Left our dugouts about 11.30 & arrived in the trenches about 2.30 talk about hot & sweat we were like swabs, completely done, we relieved the Worcester regiment. Nothing much happened during the first night, have got to keep a good look out as the ground is rotten in places. Next day very quiet, dummy attack during the night for the turks benefit. Wed & Thursday still quiet, gets a few shells over occassionally. Friday 20th (received parcels) (homemade cake grand). Next two days fairly quiet, placed out wire entanglements, 23rd (Birthday) grand feast from the parcels for dinner, relieved about 5 p.m. & went down to some new dugouts, had another good feed in the evening, artillery duel took place about 8 p.m. for about an hour. Next day quiet.

 

Wednesday 25th working party at the bakery, had a few shells over during the evening. 26th, occassional shells over during the day, had a nice shower of rain  during the night, first lot of rain for about 3 months. 27th & 28th Still very quiet, Gallantry medals awarded to 3 men by the G.O.C. on the 28th. 29th A few shrapnels over otherwise quiet, working parties on the beach. 30th Into the trenches again, made an advance of 80 yds same night, very quiet all round. 31st  Still very quiet, improving position generally. 1st & 2nd nothing doing, went sick. 3rd Hospital at Mudros. 15th Went on board the hospital ship “Aquitania” left Mudras 18th. Arrived Naples 19th & coaled, left Naples 21st arrived Gibraltar 23rd & left again (end of diary)

 

The remaining troops left in October.