SUNDAY 13th DECEMBER 1914:
Church parade was held at Rabaul and Herbertshohe as usual.
Major Heritage paid a visit to Bita Paka wireless Station, returning about 5-0 p.m.
The following message was received at 9-0 p.m. from Colonel Pethebridge:-
"Arrived Frederick Wilhelmshafen this morning, all well. Sealed orders from Headquarters for you on Destroyer "Warrego", commander of which expected meet you here. I have copy of your orders, which are in effect - (begins) In accord wireless already sent, you will consult with Commander Destroyers and proceed to Kaiserin Augusta River, where Destroyers will block enemy's vessels. Troops will seize mission station 40 miles West by North from mouth River. German Station with armed ship and troops reported 60 miles up River. Do not take too much risk pending arrival "Eastern" with 200 more troops, and "Una" with three 4 inch guns. If enemy's force will not surrender they will be ------ (6 words missing) - Legge (orders end). My instructions are to co-operate and put my troops your disposal. Have consulted Commander Destroyers, and, assuming Bracegirdle's force is all you propose to send, will carry out plan of operations indicated by C.G.S., unless you desire otherwise - Pethebridge" 2200 of 7th.
This is the first intimation the Administrator has received of the operations required to be performed by the Expedition despatched under the command of Lt. Commander Bracegirdle.
At 10. p.m. a further message was received from Colonel Pethebridge as follows:-
"Three Medical Officers for you on "Eastern", but in consequence of urgent necessity here, have detached one of them to assist Captain Byrne. The two will be sent Rabaul first opportunity with mails and cargo from Sydney."
The following wireless message was also received from Major Martin:-
"The following Officers will re-engage: Martin, Morrison, McLachlan, Chambers; one Non-commissioned Officer and one Private, at present rate for service in Tropics. All Officers and 90 per cent men at present rate of pay for Europe; none at reduced rate."
A disjoined message was also received, which reads as follows:- "To Administrator: ----reconnoitered ---- Kaiserin Augusta river and found no armed -------- arriving Rabaul about Wednesday. - Pethebridge 1901."