Sunday, 16 January 1916
A dull hazy morning which gave place to a beautifully clear, sunny afternoon. Was awakened at ¼ to 6 by the soldiers being moved off the deck outside to take their blankets on down below. Bath & coffee & apple were enjoyable before going on to the early morning parade, where physical exercises were carried out. The available deck space was not very large, but the men seemed to enjoy the exercise & went down at 7.30, hungry & ready for breakfast, which was attended to by one of the other officers, my week of orderly duty being up.
Our breakfast was at 8.30 & parade fell in at 10 for Divine Service, held at 10.30. The chaplain is a Capt Holliday, C of E. I take it. His talk on "It's a long way" was straight & good, & the men listened well. Afterwards the Colonel said a few words to the men, telling them that if they played the game he would do all he could for them in the way of shore leave at the various ports etc.
The passengers attended the service in full force. There are only 1st saloon on board, all the 2nd bookings being cancelled to make room for the troops: at present the 2nd saloon is the sergeants mess, & the 2nd cabins theirs. Of the 1st saloon passengers there are abt 100, mostly ladies. I think the majority of them are short distance travellers only.
After lunch spent the time writing & going amongst the men. Abt 6.30 passed land on both sides (Flinders Is?). There was a glorious sunset, but owing to the late hour for our dinner we missed most of the beauties of it.
A general sing-song was being held when we came up on deck, passengers & men joining in. Turned in abt 10 o'clock, land being fairly close on the starboard side.