Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 77
told me that both Hamilton and Braithwaite had read it, and had written on the margin that it was to be allowed to pass. I cannot say that this altogether surprised me. Meanwhile before I could get back the "Majestic" had sailed for Helles again, and I found myself stranded on the "Arcadian". I then learned that a trawler had sailed for Helles at 2 o'clock, and that I could rejoin the "Majestic" on her. At this time the Navy had just issued an ultimatum to the Headquarters Staff saying they could no longer be responsible for protecting the "Arcadian" against submarine attafek and that therefore the Staff must take up their quarters on shore. The Island of Imbros was selected as being the nearest and most convenient point, and the site had been found overlooking the bay on a sandy waste, where there was said to be good water. I lucnhed on board the "Arcadian" and at 2 o'clock just managed to catch the trawler for Helles, and rejoined the "Majestic" at 4 p.m. That evening we moved closer in to Lancashire Landing until we actually had several large transports between us and the outer sea.
I could not help remarking that in former days it was the duty of the navy to protect British commerce, but that now apparently , it was the duty of commerce to protect the Navy. Nevertheless, in spite of these precautions, no one on board felt any great sense of security, and personally I had a kind of feeling that the end had come. That night we had a kind of farewell dinner in the Wardroom and I drank a bottle of champagne with the P.M.O. The port also went round more times than usual and some of us sat up until about 11 o'clock. There was one of the naval officers, belonging to the "Majestic" with the beach parties on shore, and he was so certain that we were going to be torpedoed that he went around to all his friends and said "Mind you are up early tomorrow morning