Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 338
52,000 tons, "Mauritania" 32,000, all Hospital Ships, and "Olympic" 42,000 tons, Troopship. We had great times cheering all the lads leaving for the front, as they passed the "Argyllshire", which was helpless owing to the nets still being tangled round the propellors. French and English Troops arrived in numbers each day, and as we were close to the entrance, we gave them all good receptions. We had some very cold weather, and snow for a couple of days, and the hills around the Bay next morning looked fine covered with snow. Another torpedoed Crew of the "Helmshire" taken aboard, and just after this the "Knight Templar" Z49 crashed into us at Midnight. Excitement ran high. She smashed a few more life-boats for us. Badges were exchanged for Cigarettes, as we were short owing to the long stay on board.
December 1st was the best day on board, owing to the issue of cigarettes, and another day, the second pay day. Cigarettes were worth 3d each just before the issue. More excitement when a French Hospital Ship went ashore, but floated out again the next day. All the time we were wondering whether we were wanted at the front and one day orders came for the ship and all on board to proceed to Alexandria. You can just imagine how we felt, and were much relieved when the order was cancelled. A lot of time was spent writing letters but as there was a strict censorship on board the letters were short. On December 4th we were up at 5 a.m. and "by George" it was cold, after much meddling and delay we left the boat at 12 Noon. Goodness only knows why they pulled us out of our bunks at such an early hour. When we landed we had a three