Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 36
from ''down under". At 7 o'clock dinner was served in the Wardroom, and the officers of the "London" did the Australian officers extremely well. Whatever happened to them on the following day, at least their last night was made as comfortable and as lively as possible, and many a man, who had not tasted any drink for a long time past, was invigorated by cocktails, champagne, and whiskies and sodas. We all gave up our cabins to the officers in order that they might obtain as much rest as possible, and personally when I turned in at about half past ten, I snatched a few hours of sleep on the floor. At sunset of course all lights on board had been extinguished, and we steamed slowly through the night to our nnknown destination, and to an unknown fate.
Sunday April 25th
At 1 a.m. the Fleet stopped, and all on board were roused. I hastily got into my clothes, and went around the mess deck, where I found the Australian troops having a final hot meal before falling in. Likewise one was served to the officers in the Wardroom. At 2 o'clock the men fell in by companies on the numbered squares of which I have already spoken. Our boats had meanwhile been lowered, and the steam pinnaces which were to tow them in shore. Each battleship towed three of these pinnaces behind her from Mudros. There was only a faint light from the moon, and the scene on the decks was dramatic in the extreme. The magnificent contingent from Australia stood there in absolute silence, the men receiving their last instructions from their officers. Around them stood the beach parties from the ship, who were to put them ashore. Lieutenants in khaki, midshipmen not yet