Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 353

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[Page 353]


Colonel Paton is doing good work as O.C. Garrison at Rabaul. Captain Twynam is organising the Native Police satisfactorily, Lieut. Ravenscroft is acting as Provost Marshal, and Lieut. Manning (a Sydney Barrister) is carrying out the duties of Assistant Judge Advocate. 

The water supply at Rabaul is fairly satisfactory, but precaution is taken to boil the water before use. 

I have just received information from Colonel Paton that before the seat of Government was removed from here to Toma, a large amount of cash was deposited by Treasury Officials for safe keeping at the offices of some German Companies. This is being investigated and Paton states that he believes he is now in fair way to recover about £3,000.

I have not yet received report as to supplies required for the population here, but as soon as I ascertain what is necessary, I propose to get the fleet to wire for some to be forwarded to Merchants or Storekeepers here under my guarantee for payment. 

The health of the troops still continues satisfactory, and I do not anticipate any difficulty in carrying on efficiently the administration of this territory. I will take every opportunity of keping you informed from time to time of the progress of events. 

A German Imperial Flag which I removed from the Government Administrative Buildings here, is being despatched to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, with a suggestion that he might make use of it in any way he thinks best for the purpose of stimulating recruiting for the additional forces which I have no doubt Australia will be despatching. 

(Sgd.) WILLIAM HOLMES, Colonel. 
Commanding Australian Naval & Military Expedition.

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