Thursday, 27 November 2014

27th November 1914

Red Sea
Friday November 27 1914 – Rangatiara A22

It is very hot down in the horse stalls.  The poor horses are wet with sweat though at nights it is fairly cool now getting.  There is a lot of other Indian troopships going back empty at full speed for more troops.  This morning a ship was going past and couldn’t have given the necessary signals, anyhow the cruiser, Hampshire whipped across and pretty soon stopped her; it must have been alright for she let her go on.  We all thought to see a bit of fun and the decks of all the ships were crowded to watch it.  Had a half holiday this evening and Captain Leslie read the news of all about the sinking of the Emden as so far we got no more information of the adventure.  There is boxing on tonight for prize money.  Proff. barred.

2421 Bombadier Gilbert Mark James Gardner, 1st Division
Ammunition Column - a 23 year old farmer from Gippsland
Victoria, Gilbert died onboard the A9 Shropshire from
measles  & pneumonia on the 27th November 1914, & was
buried at sea (per below).

Friday 27th November

This morning early we passed Jebel Tir with its Lighthouse. New Zealand transports now out of sight ahead. Four British Transports passed us today returning to India, removal of coal to bunkers completed after about three weeks work, but as the ship provided a midday pint of beer for all workers in the coal, I am of opinion the job has been unduly drawn out. Gun layers and fuze setters at work, also signallers. Exceedingly hot and trying day, by far the worst we have had so far. I spent the morning reading but found it very hard work owing to the heat. During the afternoon made use of the Plasticine model to illustrate method of supplying Ammunition in the Field. Capt McGee and Lieut Jenkinson representing D.A.C. and B.A.C. respectively dealt with their particular units, and Capt Leslie dealt with Battery Ammunition Supply.

Col Sutton then followed with a description of the method of evacuation of wounded from field of Battle, and illustrated lecture on the model. While this lecture was in progress the "Orvieto", "Geelong", and "Hampshire" steamed ahead. The "Geelong" lowered a boat which apparently went to the "Orvieto". It rather looks as if a Court Martial was being held. Just as the sun was setting the "Orvieto" & "Hampshire" which were by then some distance in rear, moved ahead again, but the "Geelong" is still a long way in rear. As one of my Battery Commanders is on the "Geelong" I will doubtless hear full details later.

Tomorrow afternoon the ship is to have a series of sports events. Tonight the boxing events were concluded. We had a group of electric lights and the men were arranged around as in an amphitheatre. Major Hughes was Referee. Jopp and Clowes judges, and McClennan time keeper. All seemed to thoroughly enjoy the evening, but I can see no fun or pleasure in boxing.

While these events were in progress we afterwards ascertained that a private message had been sent through from "Shropshire" stating that she was to draw out of line at 8 o’clock for a burial. We do not know who has died, officer or man, but it is doubtless an artilleryman. Night terribly hot. Captain assures us we shall only have a couple of days hot weather to face and then the weather will gradually pass through cool to cold. We are now in proper Convoy formation, all ships being together. As I write several officers have come into the smoke room, all in pyjamas for our 9.30 drink of cold lime juice. It is very acceptable these nights. We have now had a lime juice issue daily since nearing Colombo. Most of us sleep out on the deck at night.


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