Bowler war diary, 21 May-July 1917 / William (Bill) Gordon Bowler - Page 11

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[Page 11]

cropped off. The result was fearful. Any judge would give us life without the option on any evidence whatever. Never has a more fearful lot of criminals been seen out of gaol anywhere. Hindenberg would look absolutely handsome beside us, and you do not wonder at the tales about the huns being afraid of the Australians? We even frighten ourselves if we look in a mirror     too sudden.
Monday 21st May. At reveille (6am) we went outside and saw Rottnest Island Light on the starboard side. It was the first bit of Australia we had seen since the coastline of Victoria disappeared on the north-eastern horizon on the 12th instant. Convoy now took station line ahead, Encounter leading, with "Ulysses" and "Shropshire" following. We took a wide sweep round the Rottnest, and dropped anchor at the head of the line, about 9 a,m. The whole fleet then proceeded to anchor in the roads just outside the entrance to Freemantle Harbour. The "Encounter " had broken line and lay over on the port side while the Convoy steamed past and anchored. Then she entered the harbour and was followed soon after by the N.Zealand Transport "Tofua", who required coal etc. As the "Tofua" steamed by us, our troops lined the rails and rigging and gave the Maorilanders a rousing cheer. They returned the compliment with a war yell, and our boys, not to be outdone, sent back a rousing cooee that scared the sea gulls for miles around. Then the Cruiser that we had taken for the "Pioneer" or the "Psyche" but now proved to be H.M.S. "Doris" steamed past. We gave her a cheer also, and threw in

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