Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 28
little more training than the men, and that therefore they had not got the experience and authority that comes from years of service,behind them. Nevertheless, they struck me as being of a particularly well trained and efficient body of men, who could be relied on in any emergency, and whatever they lacked in discipline and experience, would be more than compensated by their natural intelligence and initiative. They got on splendidly with the crews of the battleships, and a warm personal friendship soon sprung up between our bluejackets and these men from the South. I had a very interesting talk with Col. Johnstone, who told me that his great difficulty was the lack of experience amongst his officers, and N.C.Os, but otherwise he felt perfectly confident that his men would give a splendid account of themselves in the field. Thus the days passed and these preparations and rehearsals until a point was reached when everything seemed ready and we were on the qui vive of expectancy as to when the expedition would sail.
Wednesday April 21st.
Meanwhile I had seen nothing of Lawrence, whose battleship the "Triumph" had not appeared in Mudros since we sailed on her. But, this day she came into port, and I hastened on board to have a talk with Lawrence, and to compare experiences. I had been on board the "Queen Elizabeth" in the morning, and had had a talk with Commodore Keyes, and he told me that Lawrence had been making a fool of himself and had got one of the Lieutenants on the "Triumph" into serious trouble, because he had got him write an account of the engagement of March 18th, and he had then attempted to send it through to Reuters. Thus of course causing the unfortunate Lieutenant to commit a serious breach