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HMS Audacious in rough weather

HMS Audacious in rough weather


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HMS Audacious in rough weather

A picture showing the super-dreadnought HMS Audacious in rough weather. This is the result of sailing across the weather (a beam sea), with the waves hitting the side of the ship, and shows large parts of the deck submerged. This picture was published in the 9 December 1914 edition of the Illustrated War News, more than a month after the ship was actually sunk.


Little Bits of History

1914: HMS Audacious sinks. She was the fourth and final King George V class dreadnaught, so named after the original battleship built to the newer specifications in 1906. The major improvements associated with the class of ships was an “all-big-gun” armament scheme and the steam turbine propulsion system. In July, the world was on edge as the outcome of the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand came to a head. World War I officially began on July 29. Audacious had taken part in a mobilization test even before the War began from July 17 to 20. When war broke out, the Home Fleet put the Grand Fleet, of which this ship was a part, under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.

Audacious was refitted during August and September and returned to duty in October. Now on the west coast of Scotland, the 2 nd Battle Squadron left Tory Island, Ireland on this day for gunnery practice. As they sailed away, at 8.45 AM Audacious was rocked by an explosion. The captain believed it to be a German U-boat torpedo and ordered all other dreadnoughts to depart, as protocol demanded. The smaller ships remained to render assistance. However, Audacious had struck an underwater mine laid a few days earlier by the SS Berlin. The Audacious was struck from beneath about ten feet forward of the transverse bulkhead.

The ship began to list but with corrective measures this was partly corrected. The SOS message was received by RMS Olympic, sister to the Titanic, and she arrived on the scene. Audacious could make a speed of about 10 mph and the Captain hoped to be able to beach the ship on higher land 25 miles away. He had covered 15 miles before the engine rooms flooded and power ceased. By 2 PM, he ordered all non-essential crew to be taken off. The Olympic attempted to tow the ship, but lines fouled. Other smaller ships also tried to tow, but couldn’t. When it was finally realized the explosion was a mine, the other dreadnoughts returned and also tried to help to tow Audacious to safety.

By 5 PM, only the Captain and 50 men remained aboard, but towing was slow due to rough waters. As dark approached at 6.15 PM, all abandoned ship. At 8.45 PM, Audacious heeled sharply, paused briefly, and then capsized. She floated upside down for fifteen minutes before the first explosion. It is believed that high explosive shells fell from racks, ignited cordite in the magazine, and blew. A piece of armor plating flew 800 yards away from the wreckage and struck a petty officer aboard one of the recue ships. He was the only casualty of the day, besides the ship itself. Jellicoe demanded the sinking be covered up. But there were many Americans aboard the Olympic who had photographs of the sinking. The Royal Navy finally announced the loss of the ship on November 14, 1918 after the War ended.


Service history [ edit | edit source ]

Ordered under the 1910 naval estimates, Audacious was built by Cammell Laird Limited of Birkenhead, Merseyside, England. She was laid down on 23 March 1911 and launched on 14 September 1912. She commissioned into the 1st Division of the 2nd Battle Squadron on 21 October 1913.

At the beginning of the First World War, Audacious was part of the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. On 27 October 1914, the 2nd Battle Squadron – consisting of the 'super-dreadnoughts' King George V, Ajax, Centurion, Audacious, Monarch, Thunderer and Orion – left Lough Swilly to conduct gunnery exercises at Loch na Keal in Ireland.

The crew of Audacious take to lifeboats to be taken aboard Olympic

In the middle of a turn, at 08:45, Audacious ran upon a mine laid by the German auxiliary minelayer Berlin off Tory Island. The explosion occurred 16 feet (4.9 m) under the bottom of the ship, approximately 10 feet (3.0 m) forward of the transverse bulkhead at the rear of the port engine room. Ώ] The port engine room, machine room, X turret shell room and compartments below them flooded immediately, with water spreading more slowly to the central engine room and adjoining spaces.

Captain Cecil F. Dampier, thinking that the ship had been attacked by a submarine, hoisted the submarine warning, and the rest of the squadron steamed away from possible danger. The ship rapidly took on a list of 10-15 degrees to port, which was reduced by counter flooding compartments on the starboard side, so that by 09:45, the list ranged from 1-10 degrees as she rolled in rough seas. At this point, the starboard engine was still operational. The ship could make 9 kn (10 mph 17 km/h) and Dampier believed that he had a chance of making the 25 mi (40 km) to land and beaching the ship. However, water was still entering the central engine room, probably because of damage to the bottom of the longitudinal bulkhead. At 10:00, the decision was taken to abandon the central engine room, but water was also rising in the starboard engine room, so that engine too was stopped. By 11:00, the central turbine was submerged and the port side deck was dipping under water as the ship rolled to that side. ΐ]

The light cruiser Liverpool stood by, while Audacious broadcast distress signals by wireless. The Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet, Sir John Jellicoe, ordered every available destroyer and tug out to assist, but did not dare send out battleships to tow Audacious because of the apparent submarine threat. Meanwhile, the White Star liner Olympic, elder sister of the infamous Titanic, arrived on the scene. Α]

Dampier brought the bow of the ship round to sea and ordered all non-essential crew off, boats from Liverpool and Olympic assisting, so that only 250 men remained by 14:00. At 13:30, the captain of Olympic, Captain Haddock, suggested that his ship attempt to take Audacious in tow. Dampier agreed, and with the assistance of the destroyer Fury, a tow line was passed within 30 minutes. The ships began moving toward Lough Swilly, but Audacious was so unmanageable that the tow line parted. Liverpool and the collier Thornhill attempted to take the battleship in tow, but to no avail. Β] By 16:00, the forward deck was 4 feet (1.2 m) above water, while the stern had no more than 1 foot (0.30 m) clearance. ΐ]

In the meantime, at 13:08, a message had arrived from the coastguard station at Mulroy that the steamer Manchester Commerce had been mined in the same area the day before. At 16:60, Malin Head reported that the sailing vessel Cardiff had also been mined the previous night. Upon learning this, at 17:00, Jellicoe ordered the pre-dreadnought battleship Exmouth out to attempt to tow Audacious in. In case the ship was saved, he also requested an officer from the Construction Department at the Admiralty, in anticipation of major repairs. Γ] Δ] Ε]

Liverpool (left) and Fury (centre), together with RMS Olympic, try to take Audacious (right) in tow. Viewed from passenger areas of RMS Olympic

Vice-Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, commander of the 1st Battle Squadron, arrived on the scene in the boarding vessel Cambria and took over the rescue operation. Ε] With dark approaching, Bayly, Dampier and the remaining men on Audacious were taken off at 19:15. As the quarterdeck flooded, the ship's whaler broke loose and, slithering across the deck, caused further damage to hatches and ventilators, leading to rapid flooding of the stern. At 20:45, with the decks underwater, the ship heeled sharply, paused, and then capsized. The ship floated upside down with the bow raised until 21:00, when an explosion occurred throwing wreckage 300 feet (91 m) into the air, followed by two more. The explosion appeared to come from the area of B magazine and was possibly caused by high-explosive shells falling from their racks and exploding, then igniting the cordite magazine. ΐ] A piece of armour plate fell on and killed a petty officer on Liverpool, which was 800 yd (730 m) away. This was the only casualty in connection with the sinking. Ζ] Η]


‘What’s that you say Lassie? You’re really from Lyme Regis!’

Published in June &rsquo16

A commemorative picture postcard of the original Lassie

Lassie. The name conjures up a host of images. A Scottish girl, perhaps, for those from north of the border, but for most British people the image is that of a courageous dog and possibly the dog food named after her. Lassie is one of the most famous dogs of all time: she has starred in eleven films and a long-running television series, has been the heroine of many books, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is on Variety’s list of 100 Icons of the Century, the only animal on the list.
Slightly less well known is the fact that the original Lassie was a Dorset dog – from Lyme Regis, whose inhabitants proudly claim her as one of their own. Rather surprisingly, the story goes back to the early days of World War 1, well before the first Lassie novel (1940) and the subsequent film based on it (1943). This Lassie belonged to Tommy Atkins, not the pseudonymous British soldier, but the landlord of the Pilot Boat Hotel, which stands to this day in Bridge Street.
The legend has it that Lassie was particularly attached to the landlord’s wife, who suffered from epilepsy, and would raise the alarm by barking when she had one of her frequent fits and would lick her face to rouse her back to consciousness.

The saga begins, however, with a naval tragedy – the torpedoing of the battleship HMS Formidable by a German submarine on 1 January 1915. This was one of the earliest British losses in World War 1: Britain had declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 and the only British battleship lost in enemy action so far had been HMS Audacious, which struck a mine in October of that year. Formidable was a pre-dreadnought battleship, which meant that she was not as heavily armoured as battleships built after HMS Dreadnought in 1906 and also that she was slower in the water, being powered by conventional steam engines rather than by Dreadnought’s revolutionary steam turbines. Her full crew complement was 780, although on her fatal voyage there were 747 men aboard – which was still a huge number by today’s standards nowadays a ship of Formidable’s size would probably have 300 people on it.
HMS Formidable was one of the ships of the 5th Battle Squadron, which consisted of eight pre-dreadnought battleships based at Portland. The squadron spent the whole of 31 December on exercise, steaming towards Start Point, on the westernmost side of Lyme Bay, then turning on to a reciprocal course towards St Aldhelm’s Head. However, a German submarine, U-24, had penetrated the defences of the Straits of Dover three days earlier and was now patrolling the English Channel. Her captain sighted three large warships and shadowed them. Just after midnight on 1 January 1915 he was able, thanks to a full moon, to identify them as battleships. At 2.20 am he fired a torpedo at HMS Formidable, which was steaming at 10 knots at the rear of the squadron, and struck her amidships on the starboard side under the forward funnel, hitting the second boiler.

The pinnace of HMS Formidable, having beached at Cobb Gate. The Pilot Boat Hotel is just through the gap.

The ship began to list, water flooded the engine room, steam pressure dropped to zero and all electrical power was lost. The captain, Arthur Noel Loxley, in the Royal Navy since the age of 14, did not panic but ordered the ship’s boats to be launched. There were twelve of these, but Formidable was now listing severely to starboard, and only boats on that side could be launched. The loss of electrical power meant that the heavier boats could not be moved. Moreover, the weather had begun to deteriorate and the sea was getting rougher. Two boats were successfully launched, however, but just after 3.00 in the morning, U-24 fired another torpedo, which struck Formidable on the port side. There was now no prospect of saving the ship. The escorting cruisers HMS Topaze and Diamond rushed to the scene to pick up survivors, but the larger ships headed away, in accordance with Admiralty instructions on encountering submarines.
HMS Formidable sank at about 4.30 am, approximately 30 miles south of Lyme Regis. Topaze and Diamond had only managed to rescue 80 men. Of the two ship’s boats which had escaped before Formidable went down, a sailing launch had rescued 71 and a sailing pinnace had rescued another 71. The launch was spotted five hours later by Provident, a Brixham trawler, and all the men clambered aboard it just before the launch broke up in the increasingly heavy seas. It took them another eight hours to reach Brixham.

The Pilot Boat Hotel, which was used as a mortuary, somewhat prematurely for Able Seaman John Cowan, thanks to the efforts of Lassie

The other boat, the pinnace, had been holed and its rudder lost from its rough launch. The men had to bail constantly to avoid being swamped, and navigation was hopeless in the pitch dark and with no rudder. When dawn finally broke, there was no land in sight. The sailors saw several boats and tried to make for them, but in the high seas they themselves were invisible to any potential rescuers. The short winter daylight soon failed but the gales continued relentlessly. During the terrible journey, fourteen men died and were lowered over the side to lighten the boat and increase chances of survival. At about 5.00 in the evening, though, Petty Officer Bing saw two lights and they rowed towards them as hard as they could in their by now exhausted state.
It was not until an hour before midnight that Gwen Harding, walking home along Marine Parade with her parents after dining with friends elsewhere in Lyme Regis, spotted the pinnace and raised the alarm. Two policemen, Sergeant Stockley and PC Rideout, went to the sea front and saw the boat heading towards the shore. Stockley sent Rideout to get more help while he himself went to the seashore. There he was able to catch a line thrown from the boat and make it fast.
More Lyme residents arrived and assisted in bringing the boat to shore. Forty-eight men were landed alive, but there were nine corpses. Tommy Atkins opened the doors of the Pilot Boat Hotel for the exhausted crew, some of whom were too weak to move. Local residents brought food, blankets, cigarettes, hot water bottles and brandy but many of the survivors were so cold that they could not even swallow. The hotel’s cellar was pressed into use as a temporary mortuary.

John Cowan in civvies with Lassie

It was there that Mrs Atkins’s rough-coated collie, Lassie, found Able Seaman John Cowan, who had not responded to resuscitation. Apparently dead, he was laid out with the other corpses. But the ever-inquisitive Lassie began to lick his face and hands. No-one noticed her until about half an hour after she had started – but then a faint murmur was heard to come from the able seaman, followed by an exultant bark from the dog. Those nearby realised that Cowan was still breathing and summoned medical aid, after which he was quickly taken to the Cottage Hospital in Pound Road. There he made a full recovery, and Lassie stayed with him during his convalescence.

The 1940 book that inspired the film, but which must itself have been inspired by the Lyme Regis Lassie

The story made its way into the newspapers, and the Daily Chronicle of 5 January reported: ‘Willing hands completed the work the dog had begun and in a short time Cowan sat up. Since then the dog and Cowan have been inseparable and as Cowan is not yet allowed out, he and the dog spend most of the time before the kitchen fire, cultivating the acquaintance so curiously begun.’
Lassie became a celebrity. The town presented her with a silver medal and she appeared later that year at Crufts Dog Show in the Canine Heroes section. Her story spread all over the world – it even appeared in a newspaper in New Zealand. It almost certainly came to the attention of a dog-loving boy called Eric Knight. In 1915 he was in Canada, but he had been born and bred in Yorkshire: the transatlantic move was brought about by the death of his father, which had left the family in dire poverty. After his military service, Knight developed a talent for writing and in 1938 the American weekly magazine Saturday Evening Post published his short story, ‘Lassie Come-Home’. It was so well received that he expanded it into a novel with the same title, which was published in 1940. Hollywood got hold of it and in 1943 the film Lassie Come Home was released, with Roddy MacDowall as the human star. There followed six sequels, and the rest is canine history.
Although Knight was involved with the production, he never saw the film, as he was killed in a plane crash in January 1943. He never admitted to being inspired by the story of Lassie and John Cowan, but for the residents of Lyme Regis the connection will always remain.

The bodies of the dead: a sombre reminder that many of those who left the Formidable were not as fortunate as John Cowan


Getting damaged, waterlogged BB's home

Did any RN battleship ever survive a torpedo or mine strike? Over a thirty year period they lost 15 battleships (incl. 1 battlecruiser) thusly.

HMS Audacious (1912) - struck mine and sunk 1914
HMS Ocean (1898) - struck mine and sunk 1915
HMS Majestic (1895) - torpedoed and sunk 1915
HMS Formidable (1898) - torpedoed and sunk 1915
HMS Irresistible (1898) - torpedoed and sunk 1915
HMS Goliath (1898) - torpedoed and sunk 1915
HMS Triumph (1903) - torpedoed and sunk 1915
HMS King Edward VII - struck mine and sunk 1916
HMS Russell (1901) - struck mine and sunk 1916
HMS Cornwallis (1901) - torpedoed and sunk 1917
HMS Britannia (1904) - torpedoed and sunk 1918
HMS Royal Oak (08) - torpedoed and sunk 1939
HMS Barham (04) - torpedoed and sunk 1941
HMS Repulse (1916) - torpedoed and sunk 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (53) - torpedoed and sunk 1941

EDIT - in Sept 1941, HMS Nelson was hit by a single Italian torpedo. Per Wikipedia.

"It blew a 30-by-15-foot (9.1 by 4.6 m) hole in the bow, wrecked the torpedo compartment and caused extensive flooding there were no casualties amongst the crew. Although she was down at the bow by eight feet (2.4 m) and ultimately limited to a speed of 12 knots (22 km/h 14 mph) to reduce the pressure on her bulkheads, Nelson remained with the fleet to so that the Italians would not know that she had been damaged. After emergency repairs were made in Gibraltar, the ship proceeded to Rosyth where she was under repair until May 1942."


Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) provides 5min observations over the Conterminous U.S. (CONUS imaging sector) and 10min observations over the entire western hemisphere (full-disk imaging sector) with two satellites positioned at 75.2 o W (GOES- 16 – launched on November/2016) and 137.2 o W (GOES-17 – launched on March/2018).

VIIRS Active Fire Detection Data

The NOAA/NASA Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) was launched onboard the S-NPP polar satellite on October/2011, followed by NOAA-20 - the first of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) series - on November/2017. Each instrument provides global wall-to- wall coverage every 12h or less around 1:30am/pm local time.

MODIS Active Fire Detection Data

NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) can be found onboard the Terra and Aqua satellites launched on December/1999 and May/2002, respectively. Together, they provide sub-daily global observations around 10:30am/pm and 1:30am/pm local time.

AVHRR Active Fire Detection Data

NOAA’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) has, for nearly four decades, been an integral part of the NOAA suite of polar environmental monitoring satellites.

Hazard Mapping System

NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch’s Hazard Mapping System (HMS) was first implemented in 2002 in response to high demand for active fire and smoke information over North America.

Regional Fire Detection Statistics

Fire detection statistics are calculated daily for all 50 U.S. states using science-quality data from a combination of Aqua/MODIS and S-NPP/VIIRS active fire data sets available from NASA.

Fire detection point data describe the center latitude/longitude coordinates of the corresponding satellite pixel in which a potential fire event was detected. The exact location of a fire may differ depending on the spatial resolution of the data set from which the fire detection pixel originates, with spatial offsets typically ranging from 10s-100s m (e.g., VIIRS data) up to +1 km (e.g., GOES data). Fire pixels detected over mountain ranges and/or steep terrain can also show larger locational errors that can be introduced by terrain correction procedures normally applied to satellite geolocation data.

HMS fire and smoke data products are marked with the time stamp representing the corresponding satellite image acquisition (observation) time in Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), and date using the Julian day calendar ( ) (0-365 day of year for regular years, 0-366 for leap years). In order to obtain U.S. Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific times, users must subtract 5, 6, 7, 8 hours from UTC time, respectively (4, 5, 6, 7 hours respectively, when daylight saving time is in effect).

There isn’t an absolute size above which one can expect a fire detection from satellites. Fire detection is largely a function of spatial resolution, with coarser data sets typically requiring larger and/or more intense fires for a successful detection compared to higher spatial resolution ones that can resolve smaller and/or less intense fires. With that being said, traditional satellite fire detection algorithms currently used with the MODIS, VIIRS and GOES fire products begin to respond to active fires occupying a relatively small fraction (≥ 0.01 %) of the pixel footprint (assuming an average fire temperature of ≥ 800 K). For example, a fire must have an active area ≥ 100m 2 to enable detection by a satellite pixel with an effective resolution of 1km. Increasing satellite view angles (or distance between the fire and the satellite sub-point or image center line) will lead to pixel area enlargement, effectively degrading the spatial resolution of the data and requiring larger fire areas for detection. Other factors can also affect detection performance and contribute to omission errors, including obscuration by terrain and/or forest canopies, clouds, and proximity to water bodies where the land/water separation by the algorithm may be imperfect. Meanwhile, smoke is usually transparent in the mid-infrared spectrum used in fire detection although thick and/or vertically developed smoke plumes (e.g., pirocumulus) can be confused with clouds during daytime observations causing potential omission errors.

Fire pixels do not translate into absolute fire area and their use should serve as a coarse indicator only. Due to the same reasoning described in FAQ-2 above, a fire detection can be produced for fires occupying small fractional areas of the pixel. In fact, only in relatively rare occasions will a fire occupy the entire footprint of a pixel (those cases are typically reserved to large wildfires). As a result, use of the pixel area to estimate fire size could produce gross overestimation of the actual perimeter.

Commission errors may be observed in the satellite fire products due to ambiguity between actively burning fires and other image features predominantly found during the sunlit part of the day. Those occurrences are typically associated with fresh burn scars and sandy soils that can cause an elevated signal in the mid-wave infrared (MIR) channel data. Other false alarm instances may be associated with Sun glint occurrence over optically bright and/or specular surfaces (e.g., large solar panel clusters or metallic rooftops, clouds, and water bodies). Users must also note that thermal anomalies linked to industrial activities (e.g., steel mills, gas flaring) and structural fires in urban environment may be present in these data. Such occurrences are normally removed from the quality-controlled Hazard Mapping System product.

  1. Nighttime detection: this is the period during which the VIIRS product is particularly responsive to heat sources thereby favoring plume detection
  2. Very large wildfires undergoing explosive growth accompanied by rapid/vertically elongated plume development. Enough hot material must entrain the plume creating a distinguishable thermal signal (i.e., one that significantly exceeds the fire-free surface background)
  3. High view angle: this is what will ultimately produce the detections extending beyond the actual fire perimeter. The parallax effect causes the tall/super-heated plume detection pixel(s) to be displaced laterally when projected onto the ground. Displaced pixels will be located on the fire perimeter’s side further away from the image center and closer to the swath’s edge.

HMS image analysts will try and identify these cases and take the appropriate action to correct the output fire data. Users working independently with VIIRS fire detection product are encouraged to look for alternative observations from previous/next satellite overpasses acquired closer to nadir whenever confronted with suspicious fire pixels matching the description above.

FRP describes a fire pixel attribute available with most operational satellite fire detection products these days that is directly related to the rate of biomass consumption during the active (flaming/smoldering) phase of a fire. It is a form of sub-pixel fire characterization that can be used as input for direct/indirect fire emissions calculations as well as in support of fire management applications. The highest FRP values in a fire perimeter will potentially indicate the most active/intense segments of the fire, where relatively high rates of energy release are found. With that being said, fuel, weather and overall observation conditions will influence absolute FRP values therefore caution should be exercised when using that parameter. For example, a pixel’s FRP value of 50 MW in a small grassland burn could be associated with the most intense segment of that fire whereas it may describe the lowest intensity part of a large wildfire.

Satellite fire detection products are defined as Level 2 data, therefore relying on the upstream Level 1 radiance files for processing. Level 1 data latency varies greatly between geostationary and polar orbiting system. GOES full disk Level 1 data become available within

20-30 min from the actual observation, whereas the smaller imaging sector covering the Conterminous United States (CONUS) is usually available within 10-15 min from observation. GOES fire data processing adds another 5-15 min to the processing time. Comparatively, polar orbiting (MODIS, VIIRS) Level 1 data become available within 1:30-2:30 h from the time of observation with fire data processing adding another 5-10min. In the case of the HMS outputs, latency can further increase by another 1-3 h on average as image analysts perform detailed data quality assessment analysis.

It really depends on the type of analysis involved in the study. HMS is a forward processing near real-time fire and smoke monitoring system using the best available satellite data at any given time. As a result, any data gap due to planned or unplanned system downtimes or other data flow interruptions will not be back-filled. Moreover, the addition and removal or satellite data sets over time can introduce large variation in system performance. For example, the implementation of S-NPP & NOAA-20 VIIRS 375 m and GOES/ABI 2 km resulted in a significant spike in the number of daily fire pixels output by the system. Similarly, smoke mapping can be greatly affected by the observation conditions (most often as a result of cloud interference) which can lead to incomplete representation of smoke coverage.


Group Two boats [ edit | edit source ]

These seven vessels were all ordered under the 1939 War Emergency Programme. The first, Thrasher, was launched on 5 November 1940. The external bow torpedo tubes were moved seven feet aft to help with sea keeping. The two external forward-angled tubes just forward of conning tower were repositioned aft of it and angled backwards to fire astern, and a stern external torpedo tube was also fitted. This gave a total of eight forward-facing tubes and three rear-facing ones. All Group Two boats were sent to the Mediterranean, only Thrasher and Trusty returned.

  • Tempest (sunk by the Italian Spica class torpedo boatCirce on 13 February 1942)
  • Thorn (sunk by the Italian Orsa class torpedo boatPegaso on 6 August 1942)
  • Thrasher
  • Traveller (lost, probably to Italian mines, on 12 December 1942)
  • Trooper (lost, probably to German mines, on 14 October 1943)
  • Trusty
  • Turbulent (sunk by Italian torpedo boats on 12 March 1943)

Ships [ edit | edit source ]

Royal Canadian Navy [ edit | edit source ]

The following vessels were all originally built for the Royal Navy, but were transferred to the RCN on completion (for details of builders and construction dates see under Royal Navy below). All their pennant numbers (except Hedingham Castle, which was never completed), as well as their names, were changed when transferred.

  • HMCS Arnprior (K494) (ex-HMS Rising Castle)
  • HMCS Bowmanville (K493) (ex-HMS Nunney Castle)
  • HMCS Copper Cliff (K495) (ex-HMS Hever Castle)
  • HMCS Hespeler (K489) (ex-HMS Guildford Castle) (later SS Chilcotin)
  • HMCS Humberstone (K497) (ex-HMS Norham Castle)
  • HMCS Huntsville (K499) (ex-HMS Wolvesey Castle)
  • HMCS Kincardine (K490) (ex-HMS Tamworth Castle)
  • HMCS Leaside (K492) (ex-HMS Walmer Castle, later SS Coquitlam II)
  • HMCS Orangeville (K491) (ex-HMS Hedingham Castle)
  • HMCS Petrolia (K498) (ex-HMS Sherborne Castle)
  • HMCS St. Thomas (K488) (ex-HMS Sandgate Castle, later SS Camosun III)
  • HMCS Tillsonburg (K496) (ex-HMS Pembroke Castle)

Royal Navy [ edit | edit source ]

The initial Castle was the Allington Castle, re-ordered on 9 December 1942 (from the previous order placed for a Modified Flower-class corvette named Amaryllis) another 13 vessels were ordered on 19 December, also under the 1942 War Programme.

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Paid Off Fate
K689 Allington Castle Fleming & Ferguson 9 December 1942 22 July 1943 29 February 1944 19 June 1944 1947 Scrapped 1958
K412 Bamborough Castle John Lewis & Co. Ltd 9 December 1942 1 July 1943 11 January 1944 30 May 1944 1950 Scrapped 22 May 1959
K690 Caistor Castle John Lewis & Co. Ltd 9 December 1942 26 August 1943 22 May 1944 29 September 1944 1947 Scrapped March 1956
K696 Denbigh Castle John Lewis & Co. Ltd 9 December 1942 30 September 1943 5 Augusut 1944 30 December 1944 Declared Constructive Total Loss, 13 February 1945
K413 Farnham Castle John Crown & Sons Ltd 9 December 1942 25 June 1943 25 April 1944 31 January 1945 1947 Scrapped, 31 October 1960
K529 Hedingham Castle John Crown & Sons Ltd 9 December 1942 2 November 1943 30 October 1944 12 May 1945 August 1945 Scrapped, April 1958
K355 Hadleigh Castle Smiths Dock Company 9 December 1942 4 April 1943 21 June 1943 18 September 1943 August 1946 Scrapped, January 1959
K420 Kenilworth Castle Smiths Dock Company 9 December 1942 7 May 1943 17 August 1943 22 November 1943 1948 Scrapped, 20 June 1959
K691 Lancaster Castle Fleming & Ferguson 9 December 1942 10 September 1943 14 April 1944 15 September 1944 1947 Scrapped, 20 June 1959
K443 Maiden Castle Fleming & Ferguson 9 December 1942 1943 8 June 1944 November 1944 Became rescue ship Empire Lifeguard before completion. Scrapped, 22 July 1955
K447 Norham Castle (originally Totnes Castle) A. & J. Inglis 9 December 1942 30 September 1943 12 April 1944 6 September 1944 Transferred to Canada as HMCS Humberstone 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1947
K530 Oakham Castle A. & J. Inglis 9 December 1942 30 September 1943 20 July 1944 10 December 1944 1950 Became the weather ship Weather Reporter 1957.
K450 Pembroke Castle Ferguson Shipbuilders 9 December 1942 3 June 1943 12 February 1944 29 June 1944 Transferred to Canada as HMCS Tillsonburg in 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1947. Sold to Republic of China as Kao Tan 1952
K695 Rayleigh Castle Ferguson Shipbuilders 9 December 1942 1943 12 June 1944 October 1944 Became rescue ship Empire Rest before completion.

The remaining eighty-one ships were all ordered for the RN under the 1943 War Programme, of which thirty were completed. Fifty-one of these ships (15 from UK shipyards and 36 from Canadian shipyards) which were cancelled late in 1943 are shown separately below.

Fourteen ordered 19 January 1943, of which 3 were cancelled:

    , built by George Brown, at Greenock begun 12 June 1943, launched 23 May 1944 and completed 11 November 1944. Paid off 1957 and broken up December 1958. , built by George Brown, at Greenock begun 1943, launched 3 October 1944 and completed 1945 as convoy rescue ship Empire Shelter. , built by Henry Robb, at Leith begun 20 April 1943, launched 1 September 1943 and completed 31 December 1943. Paid off March 1956 and broken up 10 July 1958. , built by Henry Robb, at Leith begun 25 May 1943, launched 13 November 1943 and completed 11 March 1944 to Canada as HMCS Hespeler, 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1946 (later SS Chilcotin) , built by Henry Robb, at Leith begun 23 July 1943, launched 26 January 1944 and completed 10 May 1944 to Canada as HMCS Orangeville, 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1947 to Republic of China Navy 1951 as Te An. , built by Blyth Dry Dock begun 22 April 1943, launched 1 September 1943 and completed 5 April 1944. Paid off 1947 and broken up 16 March 1956. , built by Blyth Dry Dock begun 27 May 1943, launched 27 November 1943 and completed 20 June 1944. Paid off 1947 and broken up 3 August 1959. , built by Smiths Dock, at Middlesbrough begun 23 June 1943, launched 28 December 1943 and completed 18 May 1944 to Canada as HMCS St. Thomas, 1944. Paid off 22 November 1945 and sold for mercantile service 1946 (later SS Camosun III). built by Smiths Dock, at Middlesbrough begun 25 August 1943, launched 26 January 1944 and completed 3 July 1944 to Canada as HMCS Kincardine. Paid off 17 February 1946 and sold for mercantile service 1946. , built by Smiths Dock, at Middlesbrough begun 23 September 1943, launched 10 March 1944 and completed 5 September 1944 to Canada as HMCS Leaside. Paid off 16 November 1945 and sold for mercantile service 1946 (later SS Coquitlam II). , built by Ferguson Brothers, at Port Glasgow begun 1944, launched 20 September 1944 and completed February 1945 as convoy rescue ship SS Empire Comfort.

Sixteen ordered 23 January 1943, of which five were cancelled:

    , built by Blyth Dry Dock begun 29 June 1943, launched 24 February 1944 and completed 15 August 1944 to Canada as HMCS Copper Cliff, 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1947, then became Chinese (People's Liberation Army) 1949. , built by William Pickergill, at Sunderland begun 22 April 1943, launched 12 October 1943 and completed 15 February 1944. Paid off November 1956 and broken up 5 June 1958. , built by William Pickergill, at Sunderland begun 23 June 1943, launched 26 November 1943 and completed 13 July 1944. Paid off 1946 and broken up 9 August 1960. , built by William Pickergill, at Sunderland begun 12 August 1943, launched 26 January 1944 and completed 8 October 1944 to Canada as HMCS Bowmanville, 1944. Sold for mercantile service 1946, then became Chinese (People's Liberation Army) Kuang Chou 1949. , built by Harland and Wolff, at Belfast begun 21 June 1943, launched 11 December 1943 and completed 10 March 1944. Paid off 1946 and broken up 6 September 1960. , built by Harland and Wolff, at Belfast begun 21 June 1943, launched 11 January 1944 and completed 10 June 1944. Paid off February 1946 and became weather ship Weather Monitor in 1959. , built by Harland and Wolff, at Belfast begun 21 June 1943, launched 8 February 1944 and completed 26 June 1944 to Canada as HMCS Arnprior, 1944. Paid off 14 March 1946 and transferred to Uruguay as Montevideo. , built by Fleming & Ferguson, at Paisley begun 1944, launched 8 September 1944 and completed January 1945 as convoy rescue ship Empire Peacemaker) , built by Harland and Wolff, at Belfast begun 21 June 1943, launched 24 February 1944 and completed 14 July 1944 to Canada as HMCS Petrolia, 1944. Paid off 8 March 1946 and sold for mercantile service 1946. , built by Ailsa, at Troon begun 29 April 1943, launched 13 December 1943 and completed 7 April 1944. Paid off August 1956 and broken up June 1958. , built by Ailsa, at Troon begun 1 June 1943, launched 24 February 1944 and completed 15 June 1944 to Canada as HMCS Huntsville, 1944. Paid off 15 February 1946 and sold for mercantile service 1947.

Five ordered 2 February 1943:

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Paid Off Fate
K386 Amberley Castle S P Austin & Son Ltd 2 February 1943 31 May 1943 25 November 1943 24 November 1944 1947 Became the weather ship Weather Adviser in 1960
K387 Berkeley Castle Barclay Curle 2 February 1943 23 April 1943 19 August 1943 18 November 1944 1946 Scrapped 24 February 1956
K379 Carisbrooke Castle Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company 2 February 1943 12 March 1943 31 July 1943 17 November 1943 1947 Scrapped 14 June 1958
K388 Dumbarton Castle Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company 2 February 1943 6 May 1943 28 September 1943 25 February 1944 1947 Scrapped March 1961
K416 Hurst Castle Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company 2 February 1943 6 August 1943 23 February 1944 9 June 1944 Sunk by U-482 on 1 September 1944

Three ordered 6 February 1943:

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Paid Off Fate
K362 Portchester Castle Swan Hunter 6 February 1943 17 March 1943 21 June 1943 8 November 1943 1947 Scrapped 14 May 1958
K372 Rushen Castle Swan Hunter 6 February 1943 8 April 1943 16 July 1943 24 February 1944 1946 Became the weather ship Weather Surveyor in 1960
K374 Shrewsbury Castle Swan Hunter 6 February 1943 5 May 1943 16 August 1943 24 April 1944 Transferred to Norway on completion and renamed HNoMS Tunsberg Castle. Sunk by mine 12 December 1944

Two ordered 3 March 1943, three ordered 4 May 1943 and two ordered 10 July 1943 were all cancelled, as were all thirty-six ordered from Canadian shipyards on 15 March 1943.

Royal Norwegian Navy [ edit | edit source ]


5502-G-HMS AUDACIOUS - Pt 2

Arrived at Kobe this afternoon at 1.30 pm and tomorrow I start off for Kyoto the ancient capital, with a couple of other fellows, and return Wednesday night.

On Tuesday morning after a substantial breakfast on board, Stewart Bourke and I started in a Sampan for the shore, taking our luncheon with us. At 9.40 am we left Kobe in the train, travelling 2nd Class. Browning accompanied us. Of course Webb came to the Station two minutes before the train started and had forgotten to go to the Consulate to get his passport, so he could not get his ticket.

Skirting round Osaka Bay, we arrived at Osaka after an hour’s journey and finding we had to wait an hour and a half for the Kyoto train, we determined to take a drive into Osaka in a Jinriksha. But we did not get away until we had given up our tickets, which we were very loath to do, as the Jappers could not speak English and our Japanese was very limited.

We galloped into Osaka, careered through the streets, stopping at some curio shops. We found everything very dear excepting bronzes. I tried to secure an ivory jinrik with a man in the shafts and a lady in the seat for $10 but could not get the man under $13.

Back to the station, managed to get our tickets back again and had lunch in the waiting room. The Kyoto train soon rolled in containing the Admiral, Captain and Webb and seating ourselves in it, off we started for Kyoto, some 35 miles off Osaka.

Kyoto lies at the head of a long vale, high ranges of hills either side and forming a cul-de-sac, the hills each side being in fact nearly a continuation of the coast line of the Bay of Osaka and meeting just beyond Kyoto.

The whole of this large plain is almost entirely grown with rice (being grown in the usual small paddy fields) and the irrigation is very well carried out. Where the paddy fields are removed from any river or stream, they have a reservoir for water in one corner close to the p--tub, and each is baled out by means of the contrivance rigged up in nearly every paddy field, a pole with a cross pole slung in the middle, and a stone on one end, a lever of the first kind.

Passed a great number of storks and paddy birds, the latter are something like storks but have not the long neck and wings are grey.

At 2.30 we arrived at Kyoto and were soon in jinrikshas with two men, tandem fashion, one in the shafts, the other with a strap over his shoulder and cord fast to the shafts. We all happened to be going to the same Hotel Hakamariya, the best in Kyoto, close to the Gion Temple, and it was most comical to see our procession set off, the Admiral loading and then Captain and followed by 6 more jinriks. I had a most comical leader, he pranced and capered about most ridiculously. Arrived at the Hotel. We disburdened ourselves of our gear.

The Hotel is Japanese, rooms being formed of sliding panels and screens etc. in room. Beds are put up for Europeans and you dine European fashion. Stewart and I went out for a cruise round the curio ships and we bought 40 odd fans for 10 cents a-piece. It was most fortunate for us, our hitting off this particular time for our visit, for we found Kyoto en fête on account of a feast to the God A---, one of their old Generals deified.

The Authorities had taken it in hand. The streets were lined with lanterns, nearly every street in the town had them. About every 15 feet apart, each side of the street, a pole with a cross piece was stuck up and a large Japanese paper lantern suspended, and over these in the principal streets, Japanese umbrellas were spread.

Even before they were lit up, the effect was very pretty so it can be imagined how very pretty and picturesque it looked at night-time, especially as each lantern had some coloured device on it. The city was crowded and one was struck at seeing how orderly every one was, no shoving or rowdies about, no drinking etc. They were like a lot of angels compared to an English crowd.

Through Kyoto flows a broad river, some 5 to 600 yards in breadth, and at this time of the year it is shallow, averaging some 12 inches in depth and numerous dry spots in the middle and about it. Well, just about the centre of the town, the whole river was covered with small tables, covered with matting and placed on trestles, so as to raise them a few inches above the running water. At each table was a large paper lantern and parties of two, three or more would take a table, squat on it and with a small charcoal stove have their chow and smoke. Boards on trestles enabled you to walk along and between these tables. At the dry spots race-courses had been improvised one of them at least 300 yards round and flaming beacons stuck up round them.

The people began their chow at 5 o’c about and it was kept up until nearly midnight and the effect of these thousands of lanterns and their light reflected on the running water, appearing every now and then, was most unique.

The multitudes of people moving about in the streets and on the river, the Joss Houses lit up, streets illuminated and the pretty little Musimes in their picturesque dress got up to kill, made it a sight not to be missed and but rarely to be seen. The perfect good humour and thorough enjoyment of those present shown, was quite and only Japanese.

Some streets contained attractions in the shape of the Theatres, Performing Dogs, and Monkeys, conjuring performances and sleights of hand, of which some were very good and some poor.

At 11.30 the lights began to go out and at 12 o’c nearly everyone had gone home, and after a thorough inspection under my mosquito curtain, I went off to sleep too, having a very good bed and nice little room, although one of my partitions would not slide quite close to, but it does not matter very much for everything is paper, excepting the four walls of the house, which are bamboos interlaced, filled in with mud and plastered over.

Next morning I got up at 6 o’c and went up to see the Gion Temple, a very large Shinto Temple. The bell is always contained in a separate house and hit by a suspended beam. This one is very large and has a very fine sound. It stands some 14 feet high and the outer circumference of lip is about 28 feet, the depth of lip being about 8 inches.

Breakfasted, failed to get Bourke up, lying half naked exposed to the public view, and at 8.30 the Captain, Stewart and I started off in jinriks drawn by two men for Sanda, some 12 miles out, over the range of hills.

We dashed through the town and in the suburbs were going at a spanking pace, when suddenly I found myself shot out of jinrik and lying on the ground. The axle had broken off.

After waiting a quarter of an hour, we got another jinrik and off we went again, running partly along the foot of the hills and partly ascending, but soon we began to breast the hills and we had to get out and walk for about an hour and very hot it was.

Arrived at the top, into our jinriks, and a short way down we stopped for the men to eat their chow, consisting of an enormous amount of rice and some marrow (vegetable). We went in for some tea and rice. A most lively young Musime attended us, ready for anything.

Another hour and a half’s drive through a plain brought us to the banks of the river which we were to descend. We saw a great quantity of rice and tobacco grown, every foot of ground was cultivated. We crossed the river about 60 yards broad and flowing very swiftly and up at a Japper’s House bargained for one of their cargo boats to take us down the river for $3, jinriks and all.

We lunched and then embarked in a boat, some 40 feet long, flat bottomed, drawing about 3 inches of water, sides slightly shelving out and rising about 3 to 4 feet. One man in stern steering by a long oar. Another on port bow with short oar and a fellow on starboard side with pole.

Having embarked our jinriks etc. off we started, gliding along 4 to 5 miles an hour, the river running here through the plain. Soon we entered a gorge through which the river ran for some 12 miles or more, winding about through the range of hills we had crossed and most of it rapids. Sometimes we rushed past at 12 knots an hour, the water curdling up and seething round us. You saw yourself dashing straight at a rock, being steered for it and just before you touched it, the water running off it, whisked your bow off it. The men steered the boat very well, grazing the rocks and as you dashed by and going over sunken rocks, just clear of our bottom. It was very fine going along and enjoying the finest scenery in Japan at the same time. Our bottom at first, made us wonder if it was going to tumble out. It went up and down like a spring board and is purposely meant to be very flexible, in case of touching and also in going thro’ the rapids, it gives to the force of water underneath.

The scenery was changing every minute. Generally the hills were formed 4 to 800 feet high and thickly clothed with underwood. Stream, averaging about 40 to 60 yards broad, sometimes narrowing to a few feet, where the finest rapids were average depth about 5 feet. It was very pretty scenery and at times very fine, entering some of the gorges and sometimes two gorges with rivers flowing thro’ them meeting, and picturesque tea-houses perched up on the sides of the hills.

We passed several boats being tracked back and a great number of Jappers fishing with a rod, with a 4 oz fish at the end of one hook to act as decoy, an empty hook being reserved for the guest. Unwillingly, we saw ourselves getting through the hills and entering the plain, running down from Kyoto to the Sea. Landed and jinriked back to Kyoto and our Hotel, rubbed, dined and then we were called to the front of the hotel by a Japper waiter and we saw the return of the procession to the Temple close to our Hotel.

It had been perambulating the streets all day. First came men in armour, then musicians playing a musical, but mournful, dirge boys carrying lanterns each side of them. Then a lady of our friends, the jinriksha men, dancing and jumping about, fanning each other and shouting together in unison.

Then, came the pavilion containing . [?] very like a miniature Temple, all covered with hanging metal ornaments and it was carried by about 60 men, who held it up in their hands and kept jumping at the same time and shouting. It was a curious sight to see this affair being jumped. Then followed articles of furniture carried by men and then came the local official swells and here one’s sense of the ridiculous was keenly touched.

Old and New Japan, (I must say all carried Japanese lanterns, besides being escorted each side by boys and men carrying lanterns suspended from poles). Old Japan in their classical robes. New Japan, some in swallow tails, tall hats, white vests and gloves. Some minus the second, some the third and some wearing the national girdle over the pair of badly fitting breeks, all looking like badly dressed monkeys.

Arrived at the Temple, a lot of jumping, cheering etc. the . [?] was landed and the same process went on twice again, with two more of these.

Bourke created no small stir amongst the populace, he being tall and big. A lot of Jappers policemen followed him about behind and Capt. D--- and I saw them measuring themselves up against him, they came up to his arm-pits and waist.

From the Temple we migrated down to the River and knocked about there some time. Stewart, Bourke, and I had some riding on the race-course, in the middle of river, much to the amusement of the Jappers.

Next day we started for Osaka. Arrived there we made a tour of the City, the Japanese Venice, it being interlaced with canals and rivers. We did the Fort, a very massive affair, and very strong and ancient and back to the ship.

DEPART KOBE

ARRIVE YOKOHAMA

Arrived at Yokohama, found here a large number of vessels, English and Foreign.

Went ashore, bought some . [?] cabinet.

Went up to Yedo and called at the Legation. Lunched with Sir Harry Parkes and then hired a jinrik for 50 cents to drag me about from 2 o’clock to 7 o’clock. First, I went to the Mikado’s Park, it being really the old Fort of the Tycoon. It is very prettily laid out with fine trees and picturesque lakes. Then after some time, we got out of the region of Forts and Barracks and the Official Quarter and paid a visit to another very pretty Park, Ueno’s, and had a very good view of the city which is immense. Like a huge village, trees growing up everywhere, as nearly every Japanese House has its little garden and tree behind.

To Asakusa. Saw the Fair going on and fed the Pigeons and then to the best Japanese Theatre, capable of seating some 1500 people (Japper fashion). The play was an historical one.

Back to Legation and had a very interesting tête-à-tête dinner with Sir Harry Parkes. Lady P. being in the country. He gave me a lot of information about the country etc. Came down by the late train.

Mail came in Sunday. Was distressed to hear of dear Meta’s very nearly fatal illness, but glad to hear of her being better.

Russian ships left this morning. Vsadnik homeward bound. Cheered her, then returned.

Went up yesterday with Stewart to Yedo and cruised about the town all day by the aid of a map. Went to Asakusa and saw some very good figures. As far as I could make out, made from some kind of plaster. Infinitely better than Madame Tussauds, being very lifelike, so much so, that you could not tell the difference between a living Japper and a model. There were some 20 groups, all in different attitudes etc. Dined at the Club.

My 28th birthday, and thank God enjoying the best of health.

This afternoon, Sir Harry Parkes, accompanied by the Chinese Ambassadors, came on board, one a blue-buttoned mandarin with tail and the other a red-buttoned fellow with tail and some smaller fry. We exercised at General Quarters for their behalf. They seemed much struck at the way the guns were worked. They had intelligent faces and seemed sharp sort of fellows.

Dined with the Admiral, a large dinner, Sir Harry being there. Two Yankees, General Van Burn and Coles of Monocacy tried to outdo each other in wonderful yarns.

Land and Hurlstone of Magpie and I started off at 10 o’clock in jinriks for the large image of Daibutsu. Dupuis of Frolic was to have joined us but he did not turn up. We hired jinriks for $1½ for two men to take us there and back, with 25 cents more if they pulled us well, the roads being very heavy owing to the last night’s rains. We went the shortest route, via Kamakura, and took 4 hours going out.

Near Kamakura, stood the ancient capital of the Shoguns and at Kamakura stands a good sized Temple (Shinto) containing relics of different Shoguns, some very large swords and of great age. A curious stone, stands under a tree and is visited by men and women who are desirous of getting families. It is curiously carved and used.

The large image of Daibutsu is about a mile further on, in a small village close to the sea. It represents Bhudda in the usual sitting attitude and from base to crown is 66 feet. I measured the nail of his thumb and it is 7 inches long. Inside these is a very large space, the figure being quite hollow. In fact, it is a bronze casting, the several pieces being soldered together and the core taken out. It was very warm inside, the sun beating on the metal, which at some parts is very thick. It evidently once stood in a Temple as the foundation stones stand all round. Close by in a Temple in a dark room stands a large wooden figure, about 30 – 40 feet high, gold lacquered and when lights are hoisted up to show you the Figure, the effect is very marked.

We drove back in our jinriks in 3½ hours, having lunched at Daibutsu in a large Tea-house. Musime very considerately, on my pointing out a hole in stocking, knuckled down and soon stopped it up. Our jinrik men were most lively, joking and skylarking the whole way there and back. As soon as they got into country, they stripped to a gantline. Some of them were very well marked with tattooing. We got back at 8 o’clock and gave the men $2 for the pair of men for which they were most grateful. They ran us nearly the whole of the 36 miles. James, who accompanied us back from Daibutsu, riding, came on board with me.

Started off by the 7 o’c train, with Robinson, portmanteau in hand for Yedo. Got up at 8 o’c and jinriked at once over to the Gun Factory. Was met by a Captain of Artillery and an Aide-de-Camp of the War Minister, who showed us over the grounds and workshops. The grounds originally belonged to Prince Mito and some parts of them are still laid out in gardens and walks.

Some 3,000 workmen are employed. The conversion of Enfield Rifles to Breechloaders, on Sinders and Arinmus principle being the chief work. They convert some 70 a day, at an average cost of $3 30 cts. Plenty of plant and very good machinery, nearly all of it either English or French. I did not see any rifle bands being made, but I don’t doubt that could be done readily enough if required. I saw some shell being prepared (or the moulds I should say) for casting, but the very large shells and guns are made at Osaka. They made some very nice 32 Pdr rifled Bronze Guns at Kagoshima.

After looking round the work-shops we went to a very pleasant little pleasure house and had some refreshments and then looked over the gardens, which are very nicely laid out.

Lunching at the Legation, we then paid a visit to the naval School, a very large place. Met Mr Kitchener there and had a good look round. It has the makings of a very fine place. The cadets are very smart. Work the heavy guns as well as any Gunner, and the wire roping better than any Ldg Seaman in our service. A magnificent full sized model of a line of battle ships, completely equipped.

A look at the Taxi Oki Odima [?] about 70 feet high. Went inside, saw the Babe in the Wood, put my feet through the nostrils and head through the eye.

Dined at Seiyoken, and back by last train to ship.

Japanese Ministers visited the ship. Went to General Quarters and fired some torpedoes off etc. for their edification.

Went with Captain in steam Pinnace to Yokosuka, Took 2 hours going the 11 miles, against wind and sea. Roused up Mr Sutton with his charming little daughter, had tea and a visit over the dockyard. Very nice little dockyard. Excepting the making of armour plates, I don’t see why they should not turn out everything for a modern man of war. Introduced Admiral Eto, blown up in the Civil War. 1600 men employed.

Went ashore and had a yarn with Lady Parkes. Met Mr Johnston who knew my father in China.

Dear Francie’s 18th birthday.

We were to have gone to Hakodate yesterday, but an émeute broke out amongst the troops of the Imperial Guard, who broke out of barracks and fired indiscriminately about the place. More pay being the battle cry. Promises as usual were made. Now all is quiet again and we leave tomorrow morning.

DEPART YOKOHAMA

Left this morning. Magpie in company, for Hakodate.

Fired at target this morning and anchored off Hakodate about 4 pm. The Town is situated at the foot of a clump of hills, that resemble Portland Bill and Rock of Gibraltar rolled into one –being connected by a broad strip of sandy ground to the mainland. Exports largely seaweed and salt fish.

ARRIVE HAKODATE

Richards, Robinson and myself went ashore. Had a look at the curio ships and took our luncheon out to a very pretty tea House with gardens and water nicely laid out around. Strolled about and back to the Town. I invested in a What-Not, gave $5½ for it, and then took a look over the Pentagonal Fort. Guns mounted en barbette, traverses between [?], 10 guns, 4 of 9 inch, 6 of 6 inch smooth bore, bronze guns of Japanese manufacture. One Magazine close under sea front. Bomb proof entrances protected by traverses. 5 guns on the two seaward faces, respectively.

Yesterday morning, the Captain and I started off on ponies for the Lakes, some 18 miles out and got out there at 3 o’clock, going out at an amble nearly all the way. We took a man and pack horse with us. The road is undergoing a thorough renovation and in time will be a very fine road. Trees being planted about 5 yards apart all the way out and the road will be macadamized in the centre. At present, most of the way, great square heaps of earth and stone lie in the middle of the road and you are obliged to go along at the side by a footpath. Our horses were very much troubled with large flies that drew blood and were most determined in their attacks. About 12 miles along the road we entered the Pass, and reaching the top, 900 feet, had a very fine view of the plain, running down to the sea and the Rock of Hakodate, which very much resembled Gibraltar.

We soon got to the Inn and unloaded our horses, and went out on the Lake to try our hands at fishing, getting a canoe dug out of the trunk of a tree, but got the most rude kind of oar, no paddles being procurable. The consequence was, that on getting into the middle of the lake and a slight breeze coming on, the canoe, notwithstanding our utmost efforts, went spinning round and round like a top, and we had to let her drift to the lee-side of the lake and get out, our fishing coming to a premature close. Not much lost, as the fish to be caught are of the smallest kind imaginable

Went for a walk, but found the mosquitoes too much for us, so returned to the Lake, had a bathe and returned to the Tea-House, made ourselves a very good dinner and smoking, turned in, sprinkling the room all over with camphor and rubbing insect powder into our hands, face etc.

Had a very disturbed night, what with cocks crowing, children crying, hens cackling, Jappers snoring and smoking and the women talking.

Bathed in the lake before breakfast, and at 10 o’c took to horse and with our baggage went across the hills to the big lake, skirted round the edge, through the woods, much bothered with mosquitoes and horse flies, which much took away from the pleasure, and eventually got back to Hakodate at 4 pm.

Went out in boats and beat to Ammunition.

Robinson, James and I took our guns and went out shooting for the day, going over both marshes. We did not see very much, as both had been done that day and the day before, by Willoughby, Pike and Pearce, who got over 30 couple of snipe, some duck and quail pigeon.

Mail expected. Took the Communion, after returning with the Roman Catholics.

DEPART HAKODATE

Blowing half a gale against us. Ship very steady, pitches somewhat. Volunteered to keep 4 to 6 watch at sea. Granted.

ARRIVE VLADIVOSTOCK

Entered Vladivostock Harbour in company with Magpie this afternoon. Willoughby and I stationed in the Pilot Tower, by Admiral. Took notes of Guns, Fortifications etc. but I made more “Ticker” by stationing Hunter up at Topmast Head, instead of Mast Head Man and he brought me down very full information. Counted 16 guns in all. Castle’s plan not over correct.

The Harbour is a very fine one, capacious enough to hold several large fleets and very well sheltered. The easiest way to get at any shipping or bombard stores, would be to remain outside, go round Point by South Channel and throw shells over, getting the Aim from Mast Head.

Out with Willoughby and Pike to the 1st River, some three short miles out. We took our guns and worked all the way down, putting up snipe and a duck or two, securing a few snipe. Lunched at a small Russian Brewery and afterwards went out and did the marshes, putting up a large number of snipe and in the Cover adjoining, a fair amount of pheasant.

Brought a fair bag back with us, Willoughby contributing the lion’s share. A dog is invaluable, more especially in getting the pheasants up, they lie so close.

Remained on board. Most delightful weather.

This morning at 5 o’c a large party of us ten Mids, Goodrich, Pearce and I, started off, after an early breakfast at 4,30. A very merry party in the cutter for the Island at the entrance of the Harbour, all taking guns, which included an assortment of every kind, Central Fire, Pin Fire, 12 Bore, 16 Bore, muzzle Loading Single Barrel, Double Barrel etc. A slashing breeze took us along and we arrived at the place we intended, some 7 miles off ship, a little after 7 o’clock.

Landed our grub and very soon the 13 of us marshalled ourselves in line, after firing an odd shot or so at the few snipe we had disturbed by our early arrival. A very few minutes after entering the wood a deer was started and ran thro’ the line. An indiscriminate, inept firing took place all round. I believe I was nearly shot at, my white solar hat saving me from being mistaken for the deer. At any rate he got off.

We had hardly got another 100 yards up the hill when a fine Buck got up and ran half the length of the line, through the very thick brushwood. Bang, bang, bang, etc. etc. etc. 7 double barrelled guns were fired at the frightened animal. He actually stopped and looked at Bourke for 5 seconds, but the melting look in his eyes took Bourke’s courage away and he could not let drive, until the animal was off showing his stern. I think the deer must have had a sore or two, but at any rate he got off, not very much the worse for the Fusillade. There was much laughter as we listened to one gun after another going off.

After working thro’ the wood for about 1½ hours we got to a small swamp and there the fun began. Our line had got somewhat broken by this time. 7 Mids. were in the marsh. Goodrich and I on top of Hill. Suddenly a snipe was put up, four guns were discharged, some double-barrelled. Snipe gave a wild swoop and got clear, all down in swamp. Back came snipe and settled about 100 yards off. Came along the Mids, stalking him up, got snipe. Off went four guns and three more guns on the outskirts and snipey gave a dart and off he got clear this time.

Bourke, Pearce and someone else hearing the fusillade, suddenly appeared over the brow of hill, running as hard as possible, imagining some hot corner for pheasants had been discovered. The whole scene was so comical I sat down and split my sides with laughter, everyone else at last doing the same.

The rest of the forenoon we stalked, all over the country. Could not get the birds to rise at all tho’ there were a lot pheasants about. We sadly wanted a dog or two.

At 4 o’clock we all collected and had a good square meal, soup, game pies etc. Vegetables being found by a Manchurian there and splendid ones they were. After dinner and a smoke the non lazy ones got up and started off again. The lazy ones reclining in the arms of Morpheus a few minutes longer.

Webb, Tip Stewart and I went off together and soon started a deer, but not near enough for a good shot. A Russian pug dog cruising about, put up a fine hen pheasant which I shot, not 15 yards off, flying past me. My shot broke both his wings and brought him down, dead as a herring. The remainder of the afternoon, I saw nothing, although thick underwood most of the time, you could not get the pheasants up at all.

Stewart left us at 3 o’c done up. Webb and I got back just before sunset and found Stewart had not turned up. Much shouting firing guns and a search party was just being instituted when Pearce firing at a woodcock, just escaped hitting Stewart who turned round the corner at that moment.

A regular good feed, the G Room being food caterers and at 7 o’c our bag being 3 pheasants and a few snipe. We started back, pulling, there being a light breeze against us, but after a short time, sail was made and we got alongside soon after 12 o’c, songs being the order of the day the whole way back. I never heard such a variety and sung in so many songs.

Altogether we had a most jovial day and we all enjoyed ourselves very much indeed.

Employed the whole afternoon, having a look at the Russian Batteries, for the best place for attacking shipping and stores. Had much difficulty in getting what I required owing to the number of officers and men about.

I thought I had left the nude behind in Japan, but going along the Road, a woman (Russian) came down and stripped herself and bathed before a lot of men at work and remained a long time besporting herself in water, not a bit abashed by the male population around.

Had a big dinner on board this night, the ladies and Russians dining with Admiral. The Governor is away on his tour of inspection. His wife and sister in law (all being Germans) remained behind.

Mrs Governor told Core she tried hard to get a woman for nurse who was not a murderess, but could not succeed. All the women are the worst female criminals in the country. The men are sent to Sakhalin to work in the mines and get dreadfully treated by those over them. The men at Vladivostock are not the worst of their kind. One fellow came up to the doctor and told him he was a Pole and expatriated for some rising.

The Harbour is a very fine harbour, capable of holding several Fleets, well protected from all winds. Its fortifications are not up to very much, but could easily be made. I spent all the afternoon having a quiet look at them from the tops of hills etc and sent in report to Admiral and a very easy and feasible plan of shelling stores and shipping, pretty well secured from the fire of the present batteries.

DEPART VLADIVOSTOCK

ARRIVE NAGASAKI

Arrived here Sunday 8 pm, receiving mails on coming in. Heard from Father and Francie and also that my Gunnery Pay for time of travelling had to be refunded.

We had a very strong blow against us Friday and Saturday, then suddenly the wind chopped right round to the Northward and blew quite as strong in that direction. We shored on all sail and got 9 knots out of her, steam and sail. Found that on the 12th they had the fag end of a typhoon at this place.

Paid PPC calls to the Russian and German ships this morning, in company with Goodrich ( Vsadnik and Albatross ).

DEPART NAGASAKI

Admiral left in Vigilant for Shanghai. Magpie and ourselves for Hong-Kong. Captain dining with us this evening.

A fine passage down, carrying the monsoon down with us through the Formosa Channel. Had a full speed trial and target practice coming down. Averaged 9·5 kn by Patent Log and 10·5 kn by Log. At Hong Kong we found a French Mail and that our English Mail had gone on to Shanghai.

ARRIVE HONG KONG

Coaled ship. English mail coming in, brought me a letter from home. All well and a good deal of gaiety with Meta and Francie at home, going on at Sheerness.

Dined with Harry Kelham at 74th mess, a very good dinner. They all seem a young lot of fellows. Purchased a lot of silk to give away at home. Paid a visit to the Battery erected at the North Point. 5 guns, 7 inch BLR, a very nice little battery.

Holy Communion. Topping sowing mischief again between Executive and Non Executives – failed – I don’t think he means to do it but he is quite mad on that point. Went ashore to afternoon service and heard Mr Henderson preach.

An indignation meeting called by Reary and 63 others was held in the City Hall this afternoon. Some few days ago a party of about 100 pirates came to Hong Kong at night time, seized a steam launch, got up steam, posted sentries all round and attacked a Chinese Jeweller’s house and were at work about an hour before being discovered.

They made a fight for it and gave some very nasty wounds, being armed with fire-arms and spears about 20 feet long, and the Police at first only had their staves. After a good fight, they retreated leaving one dead, but carrying their wounded off and got away in the steam launch.

A most daring and skilfully laid plan, and for some time past and particularly lately burglaries by parties of 8 to 10 have been very frequent, so that it really is not safe to go out after dark without a revolver. The Brigade Major, the other night at the 74th dinner, rather startled me by coming well armed.

A great deal of this is owing to the Humanitarian Policy of Pope-Hennessy who would scarcely hang a man convicted of murder and almost abolished flogging and let the law about every Chinaman carrying a lantern and pass fall into disrepute, but now they are being enforced again. P-H does not bear a very good character, endeavouring to force the regular people out of billets and putting Popish Portuguese in their place.

The Indignation Meeting is to protest against present lawlessness and insecurity of place, after so many years of safety and quietness. The Meeting adjourned to the Cricket Ground, the Governor’s Party having packed the Hall with Chinese. Very strong resolutions were unanimously passed, there being only two of the Governor’s nominees to oppose. Every trading merchant of every race, all joined in, declaring the state of things was unbearable and condemning the Governor’s conduct.

Harry Kelham dined with me.

Admiral came in with his Flag at the Main of Vigilant . He had some rough weather coming down.

A typhoon passed to the Southward of the Island, beginning of week. We only got the northern extreme of it, but found it advisable to strike Lower Yards and Topmasts and get up steam. One steamer outside passed a hundred dismasted junks and any amount of wreckage.

Came back from Canton yesterday, whither Stewart and I had been paying a visit. We left on Monday. The first thing I saw on going into the saloon of the Kin Kiang , was an arm-rack intended for the use of the passengers, or rather I should say the rifles and pistols placed in the rack and a notice informing you the arms were loaded and it appears that the Chinese on board cannot be trusted.

These steamers carry between 1 & 2,000 [?] each trip, and it was only 4 years ago, the Chinese rose and murdered all the Europeans and then plundered the vessel. Now they are locked in on the lower deck.

At 8 o’c we started and soon passed through the Cap-sing-Mun pass and past Castle Peak and Pirate Bay, the latter Bay well deserving of its name. Past the Bogue Forts, the old ones much the same as they were 20 years ago, and one or two new Water Batteries. Past Tiger Island, up the Rino [?], and then up to Whampoa, the Docks with all but one exception, being in ruins. As one went through the Reach, the thoughts of the splendid Fleet of Indiamen riding in these waters, passed through one’s mind. At one o’clock past the Barrier Forts, now in ruins.

The Junks sunk in ‘57 were never removed, so the consequence has been, that a bank was formed right across the River, leaving a channel at the side. In amongst the hundreds of boats (the Boat Population being between 40 & 50,000), past the Dutch Folly, now no longer a Fort but covered with houses, and alongside the Wharf and made fast.

We soon made our way to Clayson’s House, who kindly offered to put us up. Nine years ago, a blue-jacket in our Service, now a Deputy Commissioner of Customs with his £1,000 a year. After depositing our gear at his house on the Sharren, we went out and did our shopping, buying all manner of silks and Pekin Enamel. Gauze silk was $6 for the piece 22 yds. Choefee [?] Silk $5½, and Silk Handk’s, 3 for 10.

The next day, taking Archdeacon Gray’s Boy for guide, we sallied out in chairs and paid visits to all the places of interest in the City. Temple of 5 Genii and the 500 Genii the latter contains 500 Images. One is supposed to be Marco Polo, the features and dress being European. Visited silk manufacturies, flour being made, carving and lacquer ships, Pagodas, Execution Ground. Saw the Cross on which Lin-chi is performed and lunched at the 5 Stoned Pagoda. Then finished up by visiting the Examination Hall.

Examinations take place every 3 years, lasting one day, open to every one. There are some 7,000 cells for the Candidates in the open air, in rows of 70 to 60. Once a man goes in he is not allowed out until he has finished Examination. At Pekin I believe there are some 20,000 cells.

DEPART HONG KONG

ARRIVE SINGAPORE

Singapore. Made a good passage down from Hong Kong in 9 days, light and variable winds. Very warm in ship on the passage, 94° in the Upper Sick Bay. Came in here Friday last. Found Iron Duke, Modeste and Fly here. Paid visit to the Iron Duke .

Cleveland is very crotchety in his ideas of discipline and consequently his ship is not very comfortable. Expect Admiral Coote, the 10th, and we shall probably leave the 14th or 15th for home. Had a budget from home. All well.

Admiral Coote came in and at once hoisted his Flag at the Fore of the Iron Duke , and saluted our man, who returned ditto. Admiral Coote, Staff and Captain of ships, dined with our man. I dined also, sitting next Admiral Coote. Renewed the acquaintance Maitland-Dougall, a very nice fellow and a great friend of Meta’s and Ned’s. Dined last night with Mead, Capt. Modeste.

Iron Duke’s dined here last night a long dinner.

We dined on board the I.D. last night. There was a great function after dinner on deck. A large number of our fellows from the G.R. also being on board and some from the shore. McCallum being one, a young Engineer Officer (he took Kennedy, Robinson and myself over the Forts he is building here and making a very good job of it too, last Monday). Lots of singing with very loud choruses and then parting cheers and we pulled back to our old ship, and this morning cheering ship, we started for home. It was curious Kennedy, Robinson and I being such friends of the S---’s should knock up together in this part of the world and many a long talk have we had about the girls.

DEPART SINGAPORE

ARRIVE TRINCOMALEE

Arrived at Trincomalee this afternoon, having experienced a Southerly current the last two days. The voyage over was much the same as our usual cruising. Received a letter from Russell, who states his intention of coming home and going about with young Chirnside. I hope he will not do so.

Finished coaling this morning at 7 o’c. We commenced to coal Tuesday morning and went on until 8 o’c each night. The coolies work so very slowly ashore, filling the lighters. I attended at the coal sheds each day for 12 hours, not that I could do much but Durrant was very anxious to push on, and thought I suppose, we would expedite matters by having someone watching the coal.

The Euryalus we missed by two days. She thought we had gone to Galle. We found the Wild Swan in. That bear, Dacres in command. She is a very pretty looking craft and sails very well. Met an old shipmate of mine in her.

Devil Drink has been at work again. 1st Lieut., D.S.S. [?], and tried to run a sword through himself Carpenter going home in us and a fine Ldg Sea. dying of consumption, getting drunk and laying all night on the pier at Aden. I also heard that in the small detachment of R.A’s at Trincomalee, there is a Gunner who was very lately Paymaster in the Spartan and can’t even keep his Corporal’s stripes.

Went ashore with Durrant and paid a visit to the Fort built by Parravivium, 1767. I see the authorities are making preparations for mounting some more heavy guns, in addition to the 12 ton already got up.

We sailed at 11 o’c cursing the washerwomen who have lost and brutally abused our washing. I lost 7 pieces and my washing not mangled, nor ironed. Clarke had a collar given to him, the remains of a shirt. They seem to have put the washing on a stone, strewn sand on top and taken another large stone and regularly holystoned the linen and I’ve got to go on to Malta, five weeks or more.

DEPART TRINCOMALEE

A strong current with us down the coast of Ceylon and following us round to the Westward. Hitherto out of the Monsoon, unfortunately however we hope to pick it up soon. Took the Communion today.

Fine breeze from the Northward. We should be off Socotra tomorrow and get into Aden, Friday or Saturday.

ARRIVE ADEN

Arrived at Aden after a quick passage of 15 days from Trincomalee. A most barren looking rock.

Leave until 3 pm so I very soon started off with Aplin, Bourke and Sandilands to walk out to the Tanks.

Soon after landing an irresistible desire took Bourke to ride a camel, so a passing camel was stopped. Boy bribed to get off and Bourke (230 lbs) went to get on, asking Sandilands to give him a leg up and not throw him over the Camel, which taking into consideration Bourke’s weight and camel’s height was not very probable. Sandilands, in giving him a leg up, got a leg from the camel in the shape of a kick and down came old Bourke.

Nothing daunted he made another gallant attempt and succeeded in placing himself athwart the camel, sitting on a straw saddle, and off he went at a walk, soon a trot and then a run as the animal’s feelings got excited. Under the influence of ‘Sporto’ backing and Sandilands in his rear heaving stones at his quarters, Bourke was soon jumping up and down in a most uncomfortable way and also gradually working back towards his tail, when to our intense amusement Bourke was seen on top of the large straw saddle to gracefully make his exit over the animal’s stern and alight on his legs. The straw round the hind legs of the camel effectually hobbled it, and we all roared at seeing the scene. I noticed Bourke was not keen to ride another one.

We ultimately fetched the Tanks which are at present quite dry. They do not get rain here for years sometimes. The Tanks hold some 30,000,000 gallons, but I fancy they condense all their water. Aden is strongly fortified. A Japanese corvette and French transport in.

We sailed at 4 pm leaving our messman behind, but fortunately the grub is on board, but still it is a very great nuisance the man missing his passage.

Got a tremendous lot of papers etc on board, six mails I think. I got five letters. All well at home. Mr Boyce, so Francie tells me, wanted to marry her but the RE officer was not successful. I hope the dear girl will marry some good Christian man who will love her and guide her well.

Russell, I hear is going to be Managing Director of a Company in Victoria. He goes up to grow Olives and they got a grant of 1,000 acres free from the Government. He certainly is a wonderful fellow. Robbie’s 21st birthday. Every good wish attend him.

DEPART ADEN

Passed the S of Perim this morning, the P & O passing us at the same time. Asked her if she had our messman on board No.

The story of how we obtained Perim is curious and authentic. The French had their eye on it and despatched a Frigate to take possession, but running short of coal she put into Aden. The Governor asked the Admiral to dine and during the dinner under the influence of Bacchus, he let out what his destination was and the reasons, etc. The Governor being a sharp sort of fellow, kept the Admiral in play as long as he could, and in the interim, despatched an English Gunboat away as fast as possible to hoist the English Flag on the Island of Perim. So on the French Frigate getting there they discovered to their disgust and surprise that the Island was English, so they seized the point on the mainland opposite. I hope they are satisfied. In Vino Veritas.

ARRIVE SUEZ

Suez. Arrived here this morning. Been shipping extra piece of rudder all day.

25 December – Christmas Day

Spent very quietly on board. What with a long sea cruise and off such a place as Aden, there is very little liquor knocking about.

Corfe preached a very good sermon this morning. About the best I’ve heard him preach, alluding to our being so close to spots visited by our Saviour. We passed Mount Sinai Monday morning, just seeing the top for about a couple of hours when it opens out, clear of the higher mountain in front and in the evening, we passed the spot where the Israelites are supposed to have encamped, it being the beginning of the Valley leading up to Mount Sinai.

A party of our fellows went out to Moses’ Well, some six miles out. An oasis of three small patches, each about 200 yards in diameter. It is one of the resting places for caravans to Mecca. The water comes out from the top of a cone of sand and irrigates the ground close round, which grows vegetables etc. and Palm Trees.

TRANSIT SUEZ CANAL

Started from Suez this morning at 8 o’c with a head wind, or rather one on the Bow two steamers astern. Bucketed about from one side of the canal to the other and at 1 o’c having got 10 miles from Suez, got toggled right across canal, and remained there for 3 hours, preventing the P & O Mail Deccan from passing, and the two astern also could not go by. I think they were much disgusted at our making a three day’s job of it for them, instead of two.

At 4 o’c after much hauling and carrying away of hawsers, we got off and repeated the operation of bounding from one side to the other. Twice our screws touching, brought up the engines dead, once going 40 revs. and once 30 revs. Some P & O passengers came down to meet us and wished us a Happy New Year, three ladies amongst them.

We got the band up and played marches to them, to which they stepped out in proper style, the ladies going over the sandhills like 3 year olds. Much laughing and chattering going on. Our Upper Battery Deck crowded with officers and the booms and F’cle with men, who at the least thing cheered and clapped. A ladies parasol going inside out was the occasion for one, and each lady got one on getting up a steep sand hill.

Two young people, spooning away, dropped behind and the quick eye of Jack soon twigged what was going on, as in fact we all did. Shortly, some of the Rear Guard of the P & O’s turned round and picked up the two would-be unconscious stragglers, which elicited a cheer and much laughter from the Bluejackets. I heard one fellow say to his chum “Well Bill, this is a pleasure seeing some English ladies again.” I suppose our dried up countrywomen abroad don’t suit Jack’s taste.

At 5 o’c after farewell cheers they set out for their steamer which was close to in a Gare and it being dark we made fast to the Banks about 16 miles from Suez.

I noticed this evening our 90’s Gun, on being fired gave a series of rolling echoes.

Last night we gared at the Station the Suez side of Kantara. The station-master came on board with his newly married wife, to listen to the Band. A very pretty little thing. She came down in the W.R. just as the wine was going round. Passed the Euphrates at Kantara, close work. She was full of troops, principally drafts, cheering and band playing etc. went on.

Arrived at Port Said this morning at 9 am and prepared ship for coaling and are getting in 400 tons and hope to leave about 3 pm for Malta. I had a walk ashore and never saw a more vile hole in my life, especially the Arab Town. The Kaiser-in Hind, P & O came in just after us. She averaged 13·5 kn from Aden to Suez.

Left this evening at 6 pm and had some little difficulty starting as she had got aground astern, but just as we began laying out hawsers, she came off. The Egyptians in the small gun-vessel, were most anxious to assist, sending a boat and gave the Admiral a personal salute, which we returned, as soon as we cleared the Light House.

One blade of our starboard screw is very much bent. We are going 48 rev. with S.S. and 38 with Port Screw and yet carry 3 turns of Port Helm.

DEPART PORT SAID

Another year broken into and I thank God, I see its advent in health and strength and my family unbroken in numbers, and I pray Almighty we may all be spared to each other during this year and for many years to come.

Dined last night with the Admiral, who told some wonderful stories of reconciliation. Making but slow progress through the briny, only going 4·5 kn instead of about 7·5 kn owing to screw being bent.

VISIT MALTA

Left Malta this morning. We arrived at Malta on January 9th with but 18 tons of coal in our bunkers, having had heavy blows from the Westward, which necessitated us laying to. It was very close work and we had to be very chary of our coals. We found Lord John Hay here with Minotaur, Agincourt, Defence and the Raleigh and Rupert , belonging to the Mediterranean Squadron. Any amount of letters, papers etc. Salutes interminable.


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