Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 18
DIARY OF EVENTS IN CONNECTION WITH AUSTRALIAN NAVAL AND MILITARY EXPEDITION UNDER COMMAND OF COLONEL W. HOLMES, D.S.O., V.D.
[Beginning of diary]
Monday - 10th August 1914:
11-0 a.m. Received telephone communication from District Commandant that he wished to see me. Proceeded to Barracks immediately and was informed by the Commandant that it was intended to at once organise a Force, consisting of one Battalion of Infantry and 500 Blue Jackets, with proper complement of Army Medical Unit, to be ready for Foreign service within 6 days. The Commandant then offered me the Command of the Expedition, which I at once accepted. The Commandant asked me to nominate my Infantry Battalion Commander, and I at once mentioned the name of Lieut.-Col. Russell Watson, and asked to be granted time until 2-0 p.m. to afford me an opportunity of consulting Col. Watson. This was agreed to.
At 12-0 noon saw Lieut.-Col. Watson and offered him the Battalion Command, which he accepted.
2-0 p.m. Again visited Commandant and formally nominated Lieut.-Col. Watson for the position. The Commandant then informed me that I would have practically a free hand in the selection of the Officers accompanying me, with the exception of the Naval Unit, which was being organised by the Naval Department, which he understood was being drawn from several States of the Commonwealth and would be handed over to me as a complete Unit on the day of sailing. He also advised me that arrangements had been made with the Royal Agricultural Society to grant me the exclusive use of the Show Grounds at Moore Park for organising the detachment.
At 3-0 p.m. visited Randwick Rifle Range and interviewed Major F.B. Heritage, Commandant, School of Musketry, and offered him the position of Brigade Major, which he at once accepted.
Immediately afterwards visited Agricultural Grounds and arranged for the use of buildings and offices required for the staff, and the housing and messing of the men.
The other members of the Brigade Staff selected were:-
- A.D.C. - Lieut. B. Holmes 6th Inf. Brigade.
- Staff & Intelligence Officer: - Capt. R.J.A. Travers A.I.C. Area Officer 34B.
The position of Adjutant of the Infantry Battalion was also offered to, and accepted by, Major MacNaughton.