Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 5
Friday - 21st August 14:
Acting on instructions received by wireless, the ship put in to Moreton Bay at 5-0 a.m., to await receipt of despatches arriving by the Brisbane Mail Train for H.M.A.S. "Sydney".
It was reported to me that it was doubtful whether mess tins requisitioned for in Sydney by the Ordnance Department, and supposed to have put on board, were really on the ship. These were included in the issue voucher from Ordnance, and the Quarter-master was assured by the Ordnance that these articles had been placed upon the Lighter at Central Wharf and sent up to the dock.
As it was most important to have these mess tins, I despatched a boat to the Pile Light in Morton Bay, with a telephone message to the District Commandant, Brisbane, informing him of the circumstances and asking him to send to the ship before 10-0 p.m. 1,043 mess tins.
At about 8-0 p.m. I received a signal from the Pile Light enquiring whether the number of mess tins required was 1,043, and I replied that this number was correct. Later on I received another signal message from the Navy Department asking to be informed whether the mess tins required were of the Naval or Military pattern; I replied "the usual Military mess tins", and suggested reference to the District Commandant who would know what was required.
During the day Navy Contingent and the Ship's crew were inoculated against Typhoid and an examination made of all men requiring to be vaccinated against Small-pox. Instruction was carried out by all Units.
At 11-0 p.m. a boat from the pilot steamer "Otter" came along side and Mr. Lyng came aboard with despatches from Melbourne for delivery to H.M.A.S. "Sydney".
Certain Naval stores were requisitioned for by telephone from the Navy Office, Brisbane, at the same time as I despatched my message for mess tins, were received, but no mess tin arrived nor was any explanation received as to why they were not despatched; and although I received a private letter from Colonel Lee, District Commandant, no mention whatever was made of the mess tins. I concluded, therefore, that the Navy Office, Brisbane, which received my message about the mess tins, did not convey same to the Commandant.
All the stores in the holds of the ship, which were taken in very hurriedly immediately before the ship left the dock at Cockatoo, are being re-arranged and checked with the lists received from the Ordnance Department of stores supposed to have been placed on board, and I hope that the mess tins in question will be found, but as there was a doubt about it, I considered it advisable to ask for a double supply rather than risk departing without any.
At 11-30 p.m. the ship sailed from Moreton Bay.
To-day received for the first time list showing total strength of the Naval Contingent on board, viz:-