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[Page 43]

rough-and-tumble for the money.

The adjutant ( only a 2nd Lieut) of the Royal Garrison Artillery came on board with instructions from the authorities regarding shore-leave & had breakfast with us, coming up from which we were met by numerous enquiries for washing, for light suits etc: I got a uniform jacket & trousers, getting his price from 35/- down to 25/-.

For about ¾ of an hour I was on guard on the gangway while the officer of the guard went down for breakfast & while there had an opportunity of seeing the antics of the natives on the barges & in the water.

Soon the Colonel called the officers together & announced that only 500 men would be allowed ashore at a time & that they would simply be taken for a route march by their officers thro' the town, going to the barracks before returning so that they might have a beer at the wet canteen. This was slightly varied, the 3 infantry units (600 men) going in the morning & the remainder in the afternoon.

At first there was a good deal of disappointment that free shore-leave was not to be granted, but we told the men that we were lucky to see anything of the place at all. Soon after 10 o'clock 4 empty lighters were towed alongside & the men embarked on them. By this time the cool breeze that had been blowing had dropped & it became rather warm, - not a really trying heat however.

As we were towed to the wharf we passed one of our hospital ships (?Kyarra) with wounded on board, & there was a great exchange of cooees & cheers. At the wharf the men were drawn

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