Item 02: John Duncan McRae diary, 11 December 1916-9 February 1917 - Page 80

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[Page 80]

to disembarking. Final Church Parade this morning. Sailing boat in full canvas seen quite close to our ship. The air very cool & a very heavy swell on.

Jan. 29. After a dark, tempestuous wintry night, the early light of dawn revealed several light-houses which, we were told, protected England's coast. This was the first indication of our proximity to Britains sacred soil. Very soon the great number of boats of all sizes which we passed pointed to the fact of England's great commercial activity. Later we passed within several hundred yards of the famous Eddystone, which lies out of sight of land and warns ships of a submerged rocky reef. The base of a former L.H. still stands alongside the present structure. Shortly after dinner we came quite close to land and soon turned into the approach to Dartmouth harbour. The English soil appears to be extremely fertile and every inch of it is well cultivated. The fields were mostly ploughed & separated by hedges & stone-walls. Although there were no leaves on

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