Bowler war diary, 21 May-July 1917 / William (Bill) Gordon Bowler - Page 10

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[Page 10]

Friday 18th May. Sea calmer. Heavy swell. Ship rolling heavily. "Banalla" going rails under. Towards evening the weather is finer. Today we were detailed tour lifeboats. I am detailed to No 7 boat situated on the starboard side near the bridge. Sent letter card home. No 3.
Saturday 19th May. Sea calmer. Day spent by convoy steaming in a zigzag course and then off straight ahead. The "Encounter" went off at right angles on the starboard tack, and convoy followed suit.
Escort then turned sharp to port, and we followed. We are evidently learning how to dodge tin fish. Toward sunset we sighted steamer hull down on the horizon. The stranger signalled escort and the latter replied. We are evidently getting near the steamer routes again.
Sunday 20th May. Sea calm. Church Service at 10a.m C.of E.Hymns Onward Christian Soldiers. Lead Kindly Light. Fight the Good Fight. Hymn for Those at Sea. God Save The King. Afternoon Service by Y.M.C.A. Rep, who is a very fine fellow. Rock of Ages, Lead Kindly Light. Oh God, our help in ages past, etc, sung by all hands.
At noon we changed our course and steamed north. At 3 p.m. the escort signalled, and all ships slowed down to about quarter speed.The "Pioneer" or "Payche"? is on our port side, and she is evidently the stranger who spoke to us last night. All hands are on deck at sunset looking for land. The convoy is just moving, and the sea is at last smooth. All troops are now feeling fit, and Paddy is game enough to enlist half a dozen times if necessary. On the 18th instant, Dick and I with others of the detail had our hair cropped

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