Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 63
FRIDAY - 11TH SEPTEMBER 14:
At 7-15 a.m. the Flagship signalled - "Stop engines". We were then in Keravia Bay, an inlet of Blanche Bay.
7-17 a.m. Flagship signalled - "Send motor boat", and at 7-17 a.m. further signalled: -
"Picket boat will signal to you when the passage into the anchorage has been swept."
At 7-38 a.m. the Brigadier received the following message: -
"Captain Fry embarked in the Fantome at Townsville morning 10th September for passage."
9-50 a.m. the "Warrego" reported that the wireless station was said to be defended by rifles and guns.
The 50 men who were sent on the 9th instant to the "Sydney were landed - 25 at Kaba Kaul and 25 at Herbertshohe - with instructions to seize the wireless stations. As they met with strong resistance at Kaba Kaul the Admiral directed that 100 men drawn from the garrison intended for Herbertshohe should reinforce Kaba Kaul party. Two Companies under Commander Elwell and Commander Beresford, also 1 Infy. M.G. Sec. under Capt. Hercus were landed. At about 11-15 a.m. request received from shore for a Surgeon to be sent to Kaba Kaul to attend a wounded German; at 12-25 a.m. message received that Capt. Pockley, A.M.C., and naval Brigade man had been seriously wounded (N.B. man named Williams); the three wounded were brought to "Berrima" in charge of Capt Donaldson, A.M.C. At the same time two German Officers were received as Prisoners - Capt. Wuchert and Lieut. Mayer. At 1-45 p.m. message received from "Sydney" that nothing had been heard since early morning of the 25 men landed at Herbertshohe and suggesting that strong force should land there. Instruction immediately issued to Lt.-Col. Watson to land with 4 Coys. Infantry and 2 Machine Guns. At 2-15 p.m. Admiral offered field gun from "Sydney" to land with Infantry; this was accepted and sent with Col. Watson's force at 3-0 p.m.
Brigadier visited Admiral and conferred on situation, and recommended that balance of force on "Berrima" be landed at Kaba Kaul to reinforce Commander Beresford; that at daylight on the 12 instant guns of fleet should shell with shrapnel ridge between Kaba Kaul and Herbertshohe, which appeared to be strongly held, and that on completion of shelling the forces at Kaba Kaul and Herbertshohe should attack simultaneously. Admiral concurred in Brigadier's dispositions, but directed that "Berrima" after landing troops at Kaba Kaul should return to anchorage at Herbertshohe alongside the "Sydney". As Captain Stevenson was of opinion "Berrima" could not complete landing and return to Herbertshohe before dark (there being no anchorage at Kaba Kaul) it was determined to defer this until next morning and to utilize time at disposal to land supplies for Herbertshohe Garrison. Instructions were issued to Col. Watson and Commander Beresford as to next morning's work.
In the afternoon Captain Pockley, A.M.C., and A.B. Williams succumbed to their wounds on board "Berrima" and were buried ashore. Report also received that Commander Elwell, A.Bs Courtney and Moffat had been killed and Lieut. Bowen, RAN, wounded. Report received from Commander Beresford that he had taken 2 white prisoners and 30 natives, and later on Colonel Watson reported the capture of 6 prisoners.
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