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[Page 138]

20th September 1914.

Colonel W. Holmes, D.S.C., V.D.,
Brigadier Commanding, 1st Australian Naval & Military Expedition.

Report: By the Adjutant, 2nd. Infantry Regiment:

(1) Reported for Duty to Major Aitken in S.S. "Kanowna" 11.30 a.m. September 9th, 1914.

Condition of Troops on that day was as follows:-

(a) Clothing:  The men only had one suit of uniform each (some of which had been issued under Universal Training Regulations some months previously) and as this has been worn continuously for five weeks it was very dirty, and in many cases torn and unserviceable.  51 men had boots not fit to wear.  4 of these had not received new boots for 18 months.

(b) Rations: The ship's stores in potatoes, onions and jam had been exhausted for 14 days; during this period they had drawn on the troops 30 days rations.  A portion of the remainder was unfit for consumption.

(c) Water: As the S.S. "Kanowna" had no condensing plant, fresh water was very scarce, the troops being allowed 3 pints of water a day.  While in Port Moresby one of the fleet condensed water for the ship, and a small quantity was obtained from the Governor.  The Ship's Officers stated that the scarcity of water was partly due to the unrestricted use immediately after leaving Thursday Island, 22,000 gals being used on one occasion in 24 hours.

(d) Sanitation: The decks and latrines used by the troops were in a dirty condition, particularly one latrine where a pipe had broken out and the urine had been allowed to collect on the floor, to the depth of 9 inches in one corner.

(e) Organisation and Administration:  The regimental strength of 490, organized into four Companies, and some N.C.Os had been temporarily appointed (list of Officers and particulars attached hereto).  No actual promotions or appointments of N.C.Os had been made and inserted in orders.  No Head Quarter's Staff complete Nominal Rolls, pay books or sheets had been made out from time of departure from Thursday Island on or about the 16th August.

(f) Issue of Rations:  Rations were cooked and issued by the Stewards of the ship, each man filing past a table and receiving his food.

The following additions were made in existing orders on taking over the duties of Adjutant:-

6/9/14, 6-9 p.m.


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