Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 35
majestic and inspiring spectacle I had ever seen, "but withal there was an atmosphere of tragedy, because we knew that there were so many on this battleship who would never see another sun sink to rest in the West. The weather was beautifully fine, and no sooner had we cleared the entrance to the bay than instead of making direct for the Gallipoli coast which would have caused us to arrive there too soon, we steamed due West so as to pass around the far side of the Island of Lemnos, and made to a secret rendezvous, which only the Admiral in Charge knew of. It was obvious that at the best we could only effect a purely local surprise, because the Turks, according to Sir Ian Hamilton's own words, knew of the exact composition of his force, before he ever left Egypt, and they must have known from their aviators, and the numerous spies scattered amongst the islands, the exact point which our preparations had reached and when we were likely to strike. They also could guess that it would be between the waning of the old moon, and the rising of the new.
About 6 o'clock the Australian Contingent fell in on the Quarter-deck and the crew of the battleship on the other side of it, and Captain Armstrong then read Admiral de Hoebeck's proclamation wishing success for all ranks. His place was then taken by the ship's chaplain, and prayers were uttered for victory, the crew and the contingent standing with bare heads. The Australians were then taken to the mess deck, where a hot meal was served out to them by the crew, and then they turned in to obtain as much rest as possible before dawn. It was the last sleep for many'a brave warrior