Monday January 29th 1917.

Left Blackboy Camp en Route for Fremantle at 12 noon. Being a Public Holiday, large crowds had gathered at the different Stations and Sidings, cheering and waving a final farewell to us. At Perth, every engine in the Station yard I think blew the customary Cock-a-doodle-do, and the accompaniment of cheering and shouting with which one began to realise that we were at last about to leave Australia's Sunny Shores. (Passing through East Perth, I saw my cousin Ede standing at the cross-ing with another lady; I waved to her but do not think she recognised me.)

A tremendous crowd were waiting our arrival on the Fremantle wharf. After preliminary arrange-ments were carried out, we boarded the Transport which is to carry us to our destination, wherever it may be. The bout is the "Miltiades" or, in Military terms A28, a large steamer fitted with all the necessaries needed for carrying a large number of troops, and, or course, Wireless Apparatus. At 4.15 p.m. amid shouting and cheering from the large crowd of people assembled on the wharf we steamed slowly out of the Harbour on a voyage which we all hope will terminate successfully (Many wet eyes both on the wharf and of Board). Owing to the usual cus-tom of placing a number of extra men on board as "stand-bys" in case some men were missing we anchor-ed in Gage Roads. The rolls being called, and the "stand-bys" not being required they were sent back to Fremantle again. This proceeding delayed us until 9 p.m. when the anchores were raised and we started on our long journey. All told we numbered about 400. This number comprised of the following units: 24/16, 24/11, 19/27, 19/28. 7/44 and 9/51 and the Railway Corps.

The sleeping accommodation to my mind is unsatisfactory, having to sleep in hammocks suspended from hooks directly over our mess tables. There are sixteen men to each mess and these have to be accommodated in hammocks over the mess. When you realise that the men dine eight on each side of the tables, you will understand how cramped sixteen men would be in sleeping over the same amount of space. Nevertheless a large number of us on deck have a much healthier and more comfortable place. It is very fresh, but we have plenty of nap to keep our-selves warm. The usual customs are carried out on Transport as "Military Camp Lights Out" being sounded at 10.15 p.m. and Reveille at 6 a.m. "Retreat" at 6 p.m.

Click on a page number to go directly to that page:

 Intro    1.    2.    3.    4.    5.    6.    7.    8.    9.    10.    11.    12.    13.    14.    15.    16.(last)  

The pic at the top right and background of the page is the SS Miltiades.