Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 330
SATURDAY - 16TH JANUARY 1915:
S.S. "Eastern" arrived off Port Jackson Heads at daylight; A Pilot came on board, and the Ship proceeded to Watson's Bay and anchored there. A medical examination of all on board was carried out by an Officer of the Department of Health, and the Ship was given a clean bill of health. The Principal Medical Officer of the 2nd. Military District had detailed certain Medical Officers to examine the Troops in connection with venereal diseases, but on a satisfactory certificate being furnished by Major Maguire, this course was rendered unnecessary.
The Provost Marshal of the Fortress Area came on board with confidential instructions from the Chief of the General Staff, to search all baggage of Officers and Troops on board for loot. This action was taken in view of a wireless message received from Colonel Pethebridge, addressed to the Minister for Defence, and marked 'confidential', which read as follows:-
"Am informed considerable quantity property taken from various houses by Officers and men returning to Australia as loot. In view of Para. 72, page 247 Manual of Military Law, you might consider it desirable have all baggage inspected and make addressee justify his claim of ownership. Desirable that Etomological [Entomological] specimens should be returned for examination by P.M.O.; he had no opportunity of doing so before they were taken away. Could be eventually be forwarded to Australia."
The Provost Marshal made a complete search of all baggage and no loot was discovered. The cases of Etomological specimens are addressed to the Minister for Defence C/o Ordnance Stores and will be delivered there.
The "Eastern" arrived at Circular Quay at 10-0 a.m. and the Troops were marched to Victoria Barracks via Pitt Street, Martin Place, Beorge, [George] Liverpool and Oxford Street. Mid-day meal was provided for the Trrops, after which general leave until 7-45 a.m. Monday, 18th instant, was granted, on which date it is intended to discharge the Troops. The Brigadier received a message of welcome from the State Governor, Sir Gerald Strickland.