Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 43

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[Page 43]


At 4-30 a.m. our Escort "H.M.A.S. "Sydney" left for Townsville to coal, we having been previously  instructed to proceed direct to Palm Island, where H.M.A.S. "Encounter" would be waiting for us.

7-15 a.m.   All the Officers paraded on the Flying Deck for instruction in Pistol Drill by the Brigade Major (Major Heritage).

7-15 a.m. the Palm Isles were reached, and the "Encounter" was at anchor awaiting our arrival.   Immediately on arrival an Officer from the Cruiser came aboard and took off all mails for  his Ship.

10-30 a.m. Captain Lewin, Commander H.M.A.S. "Encounter" paid an official call on the Brigadier.   Previous to his arrival the Brigade Major (Major Heritage) and Lt. Comm. Brown went ashore to Palm Is. and made reconnaissance for a suitable landing place.

2-0 p.m.   'B' and 'C' Coys. and 2 M.G. sections of Infantry, 3 Coys of Naval Contingent and a detachment of the A.M.C. landed on Palm Island.   14 boats were utilised, 7 each being towed by a steam cutter from the "Encounter" and a launch from the "Berrima".   The force on disembarking, and after wading ashore went through the preliminary stages of an attack.   The Island at this part proved to be very densely timbered, and the undergrowth hampered movements of the  troops very considerably.   Captain Travers (Intelligence Officer)   discovered a more suitable place to the South and East of Mr. Butler's selection.   The force returned to the ship at 6-0 p.m.

The P.M.O. reports that there are no serious cases of sickness, although about 200 minor cases were brought under notice.   He further intimates that no baths are provided in the fore part of the ship, in which there are 600 men quartered.   The Captain of the  Ship has promised to remedy this.

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