This page has already been transcribed. You can find new pages to transcribe here.


[Page 9]

Tuesday - 18th August 14:

Troops marched from Agricultural Ground at 10-20 a.m. via Randwick Road, Flinders Street, College Street and Macquarie Street to Fort Macquarie, which was reached at 11-40 a.m.   Here the members of the Force were conveyed to the Troop Ship at Garden Island.

At 11-45 a.m. I received information from Lieut. Howell-Price, A. & I. S., that the Prime Minister desired to see the District Commandant and myself. I at once visited the Commonwealth Offices at Customs House and saw Senator Millen, who expressed himself dissatisfied at so many married men being taken with the Force.   He anticipated difficulties would arise after the men got away in providing for their wives and families.   He said he had given explicit instructions that preference was to be given to single men, but instead of this he found a large number of married men had been accepted.   I explained the system of enrolling and attesting, and pointed out that the enrolling and medical examination were carried out in Victoria Barracks, after which the men were sent to me merely for organisation, and that I had no voice whatever in the selection of the men, but accepted those sent me with the exception of a few which were culled out.

Senator Millen also said that he considered we should have gone away earlier.   I pointed out that the first section of the men   did not arrive at the Agricultural Ground until Tuesday, 11th August so that the Force had to be enrolled, attested, organised, equipped, clothed and armed and placed aboard the Troop Ship within one week.   I therefore expressed surprise at his complaint of dilatoriness.   He stated that he quite recognised the force of my remarks and said he had no fault to find with the organisation of the Force, but he considered it should have left Australia earlier, but as this was a matter entirely outside of my control I did not pursue the subject further.

The whole Force was got on board the Troop Ship by 1-30 p.m., and here also the Naval Contingent reported.

Although it was originally intended that the Force should sail in the evening, it was found that the last punt load of supplies for the Troop Ship would not leave Central Wharf until after 4-0 p.m., so that it would be impossible for the ship to leave that evening.   Commander Stevenson, Officer Commanding H.M.A.S "Berrima", informed me that he proposed to undock the Ship at 5-30 next morning.

At 5-0 p.m. the Orderly Officer to the District Commandant brought to me a communication from the Chief of the General Staff, notifying the necessity for taking with me an Intelligence Officer and instructing me to equip that Officer withe necessary instruments, etc. to enable him to make sketches and surveys of places visited by the Expedition.   Detailed instructions were also received of the work required to be done by this Officer.   I at once selected Captain Travers for this position and sent him ashore to obtain all the instruments and materials he required for his work; directing him to report on board at Farm Cove at 10-0 a.m. next day as I had received word that the Ship would not leave Sydney pending the arrival by next day's Mail Train of an important despatch.

It might be noted here that I anticipated work of this character would be required, and Captain Travers had made application to the Officer Commanding the Intelligence Corps of New South Wales for the loan of instruments, etc. but I was informed these could not be spared and that if I would submit a list of my requirements they would be purchased by the Intelligence Corps.






Current Status: