Diary of 2/Lt. A. B. STREET Jan 16

Diary of 2/Lt. A. B. STREET

48 SIEGE BATTERY RGA

 

1st Jan. Saturday.  Went over to the Docks by train; they had now started loading Tentage and there was nothing for us to do.  Meade King went up to Town for the night to see his wife.  I returned to Bristol soon after midday.  Went to the Pantomime “Goody Two Shoes” in the evening, a very good show, amusing and some of the scenes very pretty.

 

2nd Jan. Sunday.  Went to church at 8.0.  Paid my bill at the Hotel and went to the Docks.  Meade King returned.  Went to the Rest Camp at 2.0 and marched our 15 men and the 30 for Malta down to the ship and embarked them.  Paraded them at 3.0 for inoculation against Cholera and I was vaccinated as well.  Meade King went off to his cousins at Stoke Druid for the night.  I slept on board.  Rain all evening & night.

 

3rd Jan. Monday.  Cleared up about 9.0 and was a fine sunny day.  Meade King returned at 10.0.  Said we were both asked by his cousins for lunch, dinner and the night if not sailing.  I went into Bristol to see Mr. Meade King re a power of attorney for Mother and returned to Stoke Druid to lunch with his wife; into Bristol again after lunch to sign P of Att: then to tea at Stoke Druid.  M. K. and I then went out to the Docks to see if the ship would sail.  On finding that she wouldn’t we went to Stoke Druid for the night which was very pleasant.

 

4th Jan. Tuesday.  Caught bus after breakfast and were at the Docks shortly after 10.0.  They finished loading by midday and we expected to sail between 4 and 8, no orders came however so we are here for the night.  Started raining in the afternoon and continued.  Sent a wire about 3.30 to say were off!!

 

5th Jan. Wednesday.  Fine sunny day.  Took a walk round the Docks in the m’ning.  Cast off about 6.10 p.m. and anchored off Barry at 9.30 p.m. awaiting escorts.

 

6th Jan. Thursday.  Left Barry Roads soon after midnight accompanied by our escort which was two armed trawlers whose speed was so slow that we had to reduce to half speed.  A fairly fine day but a bit thick.  A good many men were ill there being a fair amount of motion.  Meade King succumbed also.

 

7th Jan. Friday.  A fair day, fresh breeze and some sun.  Most of the men were ill., Meade King in bed all day, the ship was rolling a lot.  Made the Wolf Lightship about 8.0 am and picked up a new escort, 2 armed trawlers which could steam at our full speed, they left us at about 9.0 p.m. when off Ushant, we passed about 60 miles off.

 

8th Jan. Saturday.  Fine sunny day, light wind but a heavy swell.  Sunny.

 

9th Jan. Sunday.  Fine day, dull.  Wind veered round to the E.  Bigend of H.P. Cyl[inder] began to knock about midday.  Hove to at 6.30 p.m. for engineers to repair it.  Under way again about 10.0 p.m. Abreast off Cape Finisterre, about 150 miles out, at about 5.0 p.m.

 

10th Jan. Monday.  Lovely sunny day calm with an Easterly breeze.  Stopped in the forenoon for about 15 minutes to adjust Bigend.

 

11th Jan. Tuesday.  Lovely sunny day calm with an Easterly breeze.  Altered course about 9.0 p.m. for the Straits of Gibraltar.

 

12th Jan. Wednesday.  Lovely sunny day very calm Easterly breeze. Sighted land N. coast of Africa at 4.0 p.m.  Met Patrol boat outside Gibraltar about 9.0 p.m. and arrived in Examination Anchorage about 12.0.  Did not anchor.

 

13th Jan. Thursday.  Lovely sunny day, very calm, practically no wind.  Left Gibraltar at 5.0 am.  Saw Sierra Nevada 11,000 ft. snow covered.

 

14th Jan. Friday.  Fine sunny day, fresh breeze dying away in the evening.

 

15th Jan. Saturday.  Fine sunny day wind went round to the North.  There was a swell which caused her to roll rather heavily.

 

16th Jan. Sunday.  Fine sunny day.  Swell went down v. light wind.  Passed several ships, one a 4 funnel cruiser on the horizon.

 

17th Jan. Monday.  Hot sunny day calm light breeze.  Arrived off Malta at 4.45 p.m. and were sent round to St. Paul’s Bay to anchor for the night.  Anchored at 7.30.

 

18th Jan. Tuesday.  Weighed anchor at 6.30.a.m. and proceeded into the harbour, anchoring off the fish market about 8.30.  The 30 men for Malta were disembarked before noon.  Meade King and I went ashore in the afternoon, cabled home, did some shopping and walked about.  Fine sunny day.

 

19th Jan. Wednesday.  Fine day but cloudy.  Meade King and I went to lunch with 3 Subs. of 603 Coy. M.T. A.S.C. at Mosta Cross Roads about 7 miles outside Valetta.  Did some shopping and posted letters.  30 men R.N.D. ratings joined on board.

 

20th Jan. Thursday.  Fine sunny day.  Fresh breeze from N.  We left Malta at midday.

 

21st Jan. Friday.  Warm sunny day no wind.  Clouded over in the evening.

 

22nd Jan. Saturday.  Dull.  Rain on and off all day.

 

23rd Jan. Sunday.  Dull and wet in the morning but cleared up in the afternoon.  Calm sea fresh breeze.

 

24th Jan. Monday.  Arrived off Alexandria at daybreak and entered about 7.0 am.  We anchored out in the harbour.  Rather windy some showers but warm and pleasant in the sun.

 

25th Jan. Tuesday.  N. W. gale all day.  No communication with the shore.  Some sunshine and heavy squalls.

 

26th Jan. Wednesday.  Fine day fresh breeze.  Hill came on board in the m’ning and gave us news of the battery.  Pilot came on board after dinner and we berthed at No 44 at 2.45 and soon after cargo began to be discharged.  Meade King and I drove up to the town after tea and sent some cables.  30 R.N.D. ratings disembarked at 5.0.p.m.

 

27th Jan. Thursday.  Fine day fairly sunny fresh breeze.  Continued to discharge tentage.  Harvey, Lane and White came down in the afternoon.  Langford and Hutchings in the m’ning.

 

28th Jan. Friday.  Warm sunny day.  Began discharging lorries.  Sent a cable to Judith.

 

29th Jan. Saturday.  Lovely hot sunny day.  Continued to unload lorries and tentage.  Received mail from home.

 

30th Jan. Sunday.  Lovely hot sunny day.  Continued unloading all day.  Got 4 of the gun pieces out.

 

31st Jan. Monday.  Fine sunny day.  Finished discharging the ship at 4.15p.m.  After tea on board we all left for the Camp after just a month on board.  Had a very comfortable happy time on board and a very pleasant voyage.  Dined at Camp, sharing a tent with Harvey.  Quite comfortable.

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Diary of 2/Lt. A. B. STREET 26 to 31 Dec 15

Diary of 2/Lt. A. B. STREET

48 SIEGE BATTERY RGA

Opened 26 December 1915

 

26th Dec. 1915 Sunday.  Paraded at 7.0am.  Sgt. Murphy and 25 men to escort guns and caterpillars to Avonmouth by road.  Raining hard.  Left the gun park at 7.40, weather cleared up shortly after starting.  Hutchings who was in charge of the caterpillars and I went to breakfast with Meade King’s whose house we passed.  Caterpillars going very well, passed through Bridgewater at noon and on the outskirts stopped for about ½ hr whilst a photo was taken, just after this had heavy shower of rain.  Weather otherwise bright and sunny.

Some miles further on Hutchings and I went ahead in lorry to arrange where to stop the night.  Decided on Cross a small village 28m from Taunton.  Caterpillars arrived just after 6.0.  Left a guard of 6 men and 2 NCOs and took remainder into Axbridge about a mile away, billeted the men for the night, it started to rain soon after 7.0 pm.  Hutchings and I had some dinner at the Lamb Inn Axbridge then went back to Cross to see that everything was all right.  Slept at Axbridge.

 

27th Dec. Monday.  Up at 5.0 am and took all the men back to Cross: Caterpillars got under way about 7.20, raining hard.  H & I returned to Axbridge for breakfast.  Soon after this it stopped raining and cleared up, paid the billets and followed Caterpillars up in lorry.  They were doing fairly well.  Very up and down country and pretty; Wind got up and was soon blowing a gale.  Trouble with one of the Caterpillars delayed us about noon when the convoy of lorries with Capt. Langford, Meade King and Hill came up with us.

Had some lunch at a Pub Meade King stayed with Hutchings and me.  The other two went on with the convoy.  Caterpillars were giving some trouble and delayed us; passed through Bristol about 4.0 and at Clifton Hutchings and I went on to Avonmouth to see Langford re arrangements for “packing” etc.  A very strong gale blowing.  Found I had to send my men back by 11.5 train; arranged for them to have hot meal at 8.45.  last gun arrived in about 7.45.  Marched the men down to their meal and went and had one myself with the others at The Miles Arms.

Soon after 10.0 went and paid for the mens’ meal and put them in charge of Hill to return to Taunton.  Langford, Hutchings Meade King and I motored to the Queen’s Hotel Clifton for the night.

 

28th Dec. Tuesday.  All motored over to Avonmouth shortly after 10.  Reported arrival of guns to Embarkation Officer who told us we were to sail in the Hunsgate a 600 ton German vessel captured off the E. coast of Africa.

We received instructions to load next morning at 8.0 and during the afternoon we were told to get the Caterpillars and guns ready on the wharf, this was done easily but on trying to get some of the lorries to the wharf they stuck in the road which was very bad  and 2 had to be hauled out by a Caterpillar.  The rest were then kept outside on the road.  We returned to The Queens for the night.

 

29th Dec. Wednesday. Up early and over to the Docks by 8.0.  It was decided to load the Caterpillars and guns where they were and then to shift the ship to another berth to which the lorries could drive up easily.  This was done about midday.  Langford with Hutchings and all the men except the 15 who were going with us on the ship returned to Taunton by the 1.53 train.  All but about 20 lorries were loaded at the end of the day.  Meade King and I returned to Queens Hotel, the men being in the Rest Camp.

 

30th Dec. Thursday.  From a phone message we heard that the whole of the remainder of the battery left Taunton at 2.0 am for embarkation at Gosport.

Over at the Docks again soon after 8.0.  They finished loading the lorries during the day.  Meade King and I, as all the cars were now loaded, had to use the bus or train for going to and fro.  I went to the Hippodrome but it didn’t please me much.

 

31st Dec. Friday.  Went over to the docks.  Still loading Tentage but were soon stopped owing to the rain.  Nothing to do, cannot get leave to go away as they will not say when the ship will sail, very fed up.