Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 23
18 years of age, although I understood the instructions provided for men of the Naval & Military Expedition being between the ages of 19 and 39 years.
(7) Many of these young men exhibit very poor physical development, and in my opinion could not do a day's march as Soldiers, particularly in the Tropics.
(8) The Medical Officer of board informed me that some of the men suffer from Varicocele, Varicose Veins, Thrombosis and Hernia, and were unfit for service.
(9) The men are possessed of only one suit of clothing, which they have now been wearing for 3 weeks without a change.
(10) Many of the men have been issued with ill-fitting, and in some cases odd, Boots; they have, therefore, been obliged to wear private Boots of a light pattern, which are nearly worn out. Some are wearing light elastic side Boots (Jemimas), while others are wearing and old pattern Regimental issue which are falling to pieces. Many men are now on their uppers and could not march 5 miles without discomfort, or worse.
(11) The Unit is not provided with tents, hammocks, or mosquito nets.
(12) Very little instruction has been given on board, while musketry instruction is conspicuous by its entire absence, not a shot having been fired.
(13) The discipline on the Ship is unsatisfactory.
(14) I understand the Ship was only provisioned to convey the Troops as far as Thursday Island; the result is that the short rations, of which 30 days supply only were taken on board, are now being drawn upon.
(15) No provision whatever has been made on the Ship in the way of Mess Tables, and the men after receiving their meals, have to sit on the decks to eat same.
(16) As there are no hammocks or bunks, most of the men sleep on the decks with only waterproof sheets and blankets.
(P.S.) Attached hereto is a report by the PMO of the expedition. result of his inspection of the Army Medical Corps Unit on board the "Kanowna" showing the same to be quite unprepared for active service.
(Sgd.) W, Holmes,