we were all marched onto the green and divided into batteries, N.S.W. Vics, Tassys, S Aus, & W.A into different batteries, the Vics are to be known as the No. 2 battery, we were then marched (in 20s) down to the QMS to give our caps in (as we were not allowed to keep them), and to get five blankets and a straw mattress and then had tea. We were put into Isolation for 1 month, and not allowed to go out of the camp. The distance from Cherbourg to Southampton is 90 miles, at the wharf we saw the "Aquitania", draught 42ft, the 2nd largest steamer and the fastest in the world. It is claimed that Southampton is the largest naval base in England, it certainly is a very large place, the train we were in, a 3rd class, is better than our 2nd class with heaters under the seats.
and we were sorry to get out of them. 5.30 PM had tea then made our beds, very glad to get into it, 9 days since I had slept in a bed or had my clothes off, quite a luxury to have a good scratch, there is a coal fire in the hut, which is a blessing as it is very cold outside.
Saturday Jan 5th
7.30 AM got up and had a wash, enjoyed a good night's sleep, without feeling cold. 8 AM had breakfast, porridge & stew. 9 AM had to go on parade, and was picked out for one of 36 Senior Gunners, then got our kitbags. Afterwards had to go to dentist to have my teeth examined, have to get a new top & part lower set, then on to the Dr. for a medical exam, 12.30 were dismissed 2 PM had dinner no parades for afternoon. Went to YMCA & got some PCards & posted them, 6.30 PM had tea at the Canteen