Monday, 6 October 2014

6th October 1914

Port Melbourne
Tuesday October 6 1914 A22

Well it was funny last night at Tattoo there was a Roll call and half the men missing so the Officers waited in turn at the entrance to the Pier for their homecoming and booked 83 of them.  Some come back in small boats and some dodged the Guards and climbed the roapes up the the Focksile and got down to the second deck that way but the ones caught were put in the Guard room.  It was just big enough to hold about 10 at the most so as they were put in at the door they got out one of the window at first so they were all brought up next day and got fined £5 each, later it was reduced to £l. There was two Sergents and a few Corporals they were reduced to the ranks.  Took the teams out today and had some fun with them too.  It is terrible hot and the row of the dredges would deafen me.

A group of Officers aboard the Rangatira, some (if not all) of
whom were involved in catching & arresting absconders on the
previous night - Left to right: Liet. Percy John Ross, Major
Francis Hughes, 2nd Lieutenant Sydney Hodgens, Capt. Walter
Aland Leslie & Lieut. Walter Urquhart.

Tuesday 6th October

General parade at 6.15 AM. Every man checked. I had list prepared of prisoners and with Major Hughes called on Col Hobbs to explain the position. I felt there was nothing to be done but send all the culprits up for Court Martial, sentence them to imprisonment and discharge them from their units. Col Hobbs agreed with me, likewise General Bridges, but after a conference it was decided the best course was for me to deal summarily with the men – fine them and stop all leave for those concerned.

I accordingly had the whole command paraded at 2.PM. The defaulters were Marched on Board ship, and in reply to my enquiry they unanimously elected to be dealt with summarily by me.

Under the powers conferred on me as O.C. troops on the Transport, I therefore awarded penalties as follows:- NCOs to revert to permanent rank, have pay stopped to the extent of £5 and be refused all leave till further notice.

All others to have pay stoped to the extent of £5 and be deprived of all leave. Judging from remarks overheard by me I am of opinion the men have learnt their lesson and I shall have no further trouble.

I shall unhesitatingly court martial any similar offenders in the future.

I feel very keenly the want of loyalty of the Queensland Artillery, and can only think lack of knowledge and a lack of appreciation of the enormity of their conduct have led them into a course of action which is untenable.

Battery at work all day with eight 6 horse teams. Ammunition Column assembling and Stamping Harness. Head Quarters Signalling. Gun layers special instruction on two guns.

Handed over to "Omrah", "Star of England" and "Anglo Egyptian", their proportion of oats and rations for use in England.

Special oat ration being loaded for use on voyage.

Embarkation authorities practically completed alteration to Horse stalls and building of Horse brows.

Capt Louden informed me this evening he had purchased a piano for the Ship. All the officers very grateful. Mr Jopp bought extra Gramophone records.

Satisfactory ‘Tattoo’ parade at 8-30.P.M.

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