September 12, 1916
Safely aboard their ship, the 48th battery went nowhere, taking on coal (1) and waiting for the rest of the troops who were to be in the convoy to arrive.
Lay in harbor all … day and enjoyed the sights. Several Cruisers and Destroyers at anchor.(2)
Officers settled into their first-class cabins; the 12th Brigade, including the 48th Battery, got second-class accommodation. They were lucky; the 14th Brigade, had found themselves in steerage, in some cases twenty men to a “small cabin to sleep and live, and goodness knows what will happen when they get sea-sick.” (3)
There was considerable complaining, until the 14th was assured that half-way through the voyage, they would trade quarters with the 12th. (4)
Mealtime on board brought its own difficulties: there was room for 300 men in the messroom, so there had to be multiple sittings. Archie Wills noted that no one was willing to take the chance of getting whatever was left over for the second sitting, so the whole brigade went down at once. “It was a scramble,” he said, and
to ensure getting everything their [sic] was to eat, which was not much – you had to take it when it was passing; result, marmalade on sausages and bread and butter in tea. It was an awful mess.(5)
(1) Cox Bertram Howard. Letter to his mother, September 23, 2916. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project
(2) Ives, Raymond Ellsworth. Memoir (manuscript). Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project.
(3) Stratton, Charles Roy. Postcard. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project, where it is dated July 18, 1916, despite the very clear date three days earlier on the back of the card.
(4) Wills, Archie. Diary. September 11, 1916. 3: 13-14.Archie Wills Fonds, University of Victoria Archives. Copyright 2007, University of Victoria.
(5) Wills. 3: 14-15.