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 This diary was written by my grandfather Cuthbert Helsham Heath-Caldwell during the period 18th November 1911 up until 10th December 1914.  It covers his time as a young officer in the Royal Navy, with various postings, the main period being his time in the Persian Gulf where he was in command of the armed launch Miner, operating off the coast of what is now known as the Sultanate of Oman.

Cuthbert's launch Miner was originally part of a small group who's main objective was to stop gun running amoungst the local Arab population.  In late 1914 events changed quickly with the beginning of World War I and Britain being at war with Turkey.

In general I have tried to type the diary out with minimal changes and I hope this copy gives an accurate flavour of exactly how Cuthbert wrote it.  Where I have added further information to help complete the picture, this is always in italics so as to distinguish it from the original text.  Where I am not certain of the spelling of a particular word (which is quite often) I have typed the closest to what I think the word was supposed to be.  This applies particularly to place names, which are often quite clearly spelt in a number of different ways, sometimes all in the same paragraph.

The diary was of particular interest to me, not only because it was written by my grandfather, but also because from 1982 to 1985 I was myself working in the Sultanate of Oman.  Although I gained a good familiarity with many of the places mentioned in the Diary I was at the time almost completely unaware that I was in a small way following in my grandfather's footsteps.

According the the Heath Family Records Volume 1, Cuthbert was born at Aldershot, 7th November 1889, educated at Winton House, Winchester, passed 11th as naval cadet, and two years later passed out of the Britannia 6th.  He then went as midshipman to the Australian station for two years in the Flagship H.M.S. Powerful, then in the Home Fleet, until going to Greenwich for the usual Sub-Lieut course.  There he passed out well obtaining four firsts and two seconds.  After this he was for a short time second in command of a Torpedo-Boat Destroyer in the Home Fleet, then from 12 January 1911 he was appointed for what was to be 18 months in the battleship HMS Triumph in the Mediterranean.  It is from here that the diary starts as follows:


Diary 1911


Saturday 18th November 1911, HMS Triumph, Malta

Just formed another good resolution i.e. this diary business.  It will be interesting to see how long I keep it up.


My 8th day off today so I have had no watch to keep.  Last night dined at club with Brodie & Westlake of the Swiftsure.  Afterwards to a charity show at the Manoel theatre which I thought rather poor.  Played rackets before breakfast and this afternoon.  A fine day after about 10 days rain.  At 4.00pm the fleet proceeded to sea en route for Platea leaving Cornwalis & Aboukir in Malta.  Business done.  Paid Tomlin & Mulveney's bills, read a little of Hamlet, otherwise I am afraid I haven't got much forrader.  Feeling on the whole pretty merry & bright in spite of what promises to be a pretty mouldy week.  Spent most of the day weighing the pros and cons of beard growing, finally decided to wait a bit.  A fine evening, am carrying my scuttle but intend to sleep on top of wireless room.


Sunday 19th November 1911

So far an uneventful day plugging along at about 9 knots with a following wind & sea.  Kept forenoon watch and took an unsuccessful sight though the horizon appeared to be quite good.


Tuesday 21st November 1911 3.45am

Another very pleasant middle over.  Passed time reading Stalky & Co & making . . . with an occasional glance at stars.  We anchored about 4 miles from Oxia at 10am.  Got under way at 4pm.  1" Piff at targets from 6.30 till 7.30.  Now going rounds. 

After lunch.  Piff all afternoon.  By the way before I forget it who wrote.


"I never had a dear gazelle

to glad me with its soft black eye.

But when it came to know me well

and love me it was sure to die".


Thursday 23rd November 1911

Spent all yesterday forenoon at anchor doing 14 Pdr piff (303) at two 24" iron targets towed at about 4 knots, range 500 yards.  Got underway at about 3.00pm and towed targets for Exmouth & Russell, night defence practice &ldots;. two pattern 111 targets used.  Exmouth got no hits, Russell got 4.  Anchored again at about 9.30, at 10.30 shifted berth closer to Oxia.  The whole of Wednesday was spent at anchor, in the evening practised two night attacks on port side only, using three steam boats.  Boats came down in line ahead and got very close before being observed.  Afterwards 14 Pdr control piff (1" aiming) at 6 by 8 target range about 900x, with large percentage of hits.  Early this morning, Captain, Commander, No.1 and Pilot started on shooting expedition; to any island about 8' away.  Just received signal to say that Hussar has gone on beach off Corfu, where she has gone for mails.  Diana has gone to her assistance.  Perfect weather whole trip.  Glass about 30.00 fine sunny days, temperature nearly 70°, sea about 68°, a delightful bathe every morning.  Before I forget it, must just jot down about Shooting at Minorca, farm called Mangope vell, write to British Consul, and washing-man called Rogers, cost about £1 per day 4 guns.


Saturday 25th November 1911

Old Thomas went on the "list" on Thursday and I had to take on navigator.  This I managed with fair success that evening when we towed targets for other ships.  However the pilot was still sick on Friday and "Pride had a fall".  Having taken the ship to the first firing ground I had to go down to my first casemate for the 1st practice.  When this was over I was told to fix the ship, the only object bright being Oxia light and a problematical searchlight beam barely visible on the horizon.  The consequence was that Portland got more & more worried & finally Mexse was told to take on whilst I retired, as gracefully as circumstances would permit under a cloud.  Well so much for my opportunity.  Have a first day on today and there is more firing tonight.  Anchored off fixed targets last night, but slipped to berth behind Oxia this afternoon.  Glass falling slightly wind & sea rising.


Sunday 26th November 1911

We had a most poisonous evening for our firing last night.  The first thing was Squadron firing.  This was fairly successful.  Then we went off on our own for the night battle practice, the Russell towing our targets for us.  Owing to the weather she took a long time to get them out.  At the first attempt we couldn't see the targets so we turned round and tried again.  Finally after hoisting in targets we anchored in a fairly sheltered billet North of Makri Island.  Bloomfield, Wood, Warren & Loughlin have gone to the lakes near Plataix  to shoot.  I should love to have gone but unfortunately I have got the afternoon watch.  I have been weak enough to lend my gun to Bloomfield.  I hope they will have better luck than the last shooting party, where the only really exciting incident was when a leading seaman had a fit and had beer poured over his face, there being no water.  Have now been on board over a week and am feeling pretty rotten in consequence.


Thursday 28th November 1911Corfu

We left our anchorage of Makri Island about 6.00am yesterday and moored ship in Corfu about 4.30pm, the distance being 96 miles.  There was a certain amount of disturbance on the way in owing to a report that King of Greece was in Corfu, & we anchored ship in frock coats & swords and stood by to man ship.  However luckily he left before we arrived.  I landed about 5.30 and went for a short walk with Ward, subsequently dining with him at the Hotel Anglaterre or Bien venue in the southern quarter of the town where we had a moderate dinner.  Two admirals & their families were also dining there besides Diggle, Smith, Osborn & Bingham, the former is being cm'd tomorrow for putting his ship ashore.  Landed about 2.30 today after divisional . . .  in the forenoon.  Started off on a solitary walk along the Peninsular at the back (southern side) of the town.  When I arrived at the end met Brodie & Tod of the Swiftsure.  We went across by the ferry (6¢ each) and finally reached the Achillion by rather a round about & very pretty cross-country route.  (4.30pm) Tea at a house there, then walked back by moonlight along the road, arriving in town about 7.15.  Found mail on board with letter from Mother (Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell).  Their projected timetable as follows.


Leave Marseilles 29.12.11

Arrive Egypt 03.01.12

Leave Egypt 10.01.12

Arrive Ceylon 20.01.12 P&O arrives

Leave Ceylon 28.01.12 Singapore 9th March

Arrive Singapore 08.02.12 Colombo 15th March

Leave Singapore 10.02.12 Suez 25th March

Arrive Hong Kong 16.02.12

Leave Hong Kong 03.03.12

Arrive Plymouth 05.04.12


Have been reading Hawke Olympic collision case in Admiralty court.  They have got a large crowd of experts up to prove that Hawke's bow was hauled over to port into the Olympic although helm was hard aport, but I suppose the overtaking ship will finally be had. 

Am sleeping on deck tonight.



Wednesday 29th November 1911

We exercised general drill independently in forenoon getting out nets twice & out all wire hausers.  Getting big wire out on a reel having been forbidden by C.inC. as unpractical, it is now hoisted out on an enormous wooden bobbin.  When it is in the boat, four nuts are unscrewed and half the contrivance is lifted out again.  It undoubtedly saves time, but I don't consider it practical.  This afternoon I walked out to the northward of the town along the sea front most of the way, distance about 8 kilometres.


Friday 1st December 1911

Half an hours mimie warfare this forenoon.


Sunday 3rd December 1911

Five of us, Goldsmith, Wharton, Morse, Loughlin & self obtained 48 hours leave from Saturday forenoon, having planned to visit San Salvatore Monastery, the highest point on island towards north.  Our oringinal plan was to go up to S. Salvatore first day, starting 5.00am, sleep in monastery and return next day.  Saturday being wet, Goldsmith & Wharton cried off.  However it cleared slightly towards the afternoon and at about 1.15pm M. L. & self  were ashore, bound for Spartilla (Spartilas) a village nestling in hills well below S. Salvatore, and distance about 15 miles or rather 20 kilos from the capital.  We drove to Gaind and walked remaining 12 miles arriving at Spartilla about 4.15, damp but cheery.  M was rather exhausted as he would insist on wearing alpine boots weighing an enormous amount.

We arrived in Spartilla by a route which appeared to combine the duties of high street and main drain, and immediately became the centre of attraction of a large gang of villages.  Finally we got up on to the upper road.  I must here remark that I had previously purchased a small paper book entitled the Englishmen in Greece, price &ldots;  After much trouble, which ended in me writing down the name for wine in Greek characters, we were conducted by one man, far more intelligent than the rest to a very doubtful looking & soil smelling hostelry where wine was what out to him & his friends at out expense (I may say that the said wine had a very strong flavour, and taste of goats, owing probably to having been stowed in goat skins.  After more waiting and pantomime we obtained the use of a house (kind of guest house) consisting to two floors i.e. two rooms, two beds! & a table in the upper room &ldots; the lower one.  We also obtained a very savoury meal of some sort of roast cockiolly bird, which we called Ptarmigan (. . .  the week) but which I was really . . . , and 3 boiled eggs each.  After dinner L & S went for the short strole having most of our clothes dried by now.  On out return M was curled up on one of the beds in upper room.  L & S turned in shortly afterwards about 8.15.  Subsequent events are probably best told by following programme. ( By the way I took lower room).  8.15 - 35 or so try & get more or less comfortable, a somewhat difficult business owing partly to a scanty wardrobe partly owing to extremely hard & queerly furnished bed.  8.40 Nearly sleep, soon wide awake again, apparently all the dogs of the neighbourhood aided & encouraged by villages are holding high tourney just under the window.  8.45 Begin to feel tickley.  8.46 more tickley.  8.48 so so more dog fights.  The programme continues like this till about 11.30pm when I sing out to L & M and get a reply that they each feel like one large itch.  Query what can it be?  The beds have been examined and found delightfully clean.  Renewed grownings and tossings from upper room.  I suggest spots due to poisoning brought about by cockidly birds, or was it due to lack of accustomed ablutions.  Finally to cut a long story short at 1am Loughlin found an unmistakable cause, ripped off blankets sheets, exposed mattress found thriving population, similar discovery in other beds.  What's to be done, so far 5 hours Hell, no sleep.  Try floor, the brave M sticks to his sheepskin rug, not so remainder.  After a cold, hard & I regret to say scratchy hour or so spent on floor, L & I take two chairs each & sit & smoke & yarn till 6am. our room & food cost us 10 drachmas all over.  The above mentioned intelligent inhabitant arrives about that hour with coffee & hard boiled eggs, having previously offered to guide us to the monastery. Having caught a few of the livestock we set out feeling remarkably merry & bright we leave our torture chamber and ascend rocky & steep path up the hill.  The dawn is breaking as we start about 6.40 and we are just in time to see O' 'ihos rise as we reach the top of the first ridge.  A fairly strenuous & rocky & very pretty climb brings us to the little monastery perched on top of the hill by about 8.30am.  Now about half an hour here during which we gaze in wonder and rapture at the view.  On the West & North the sea stretching away to the distance.  To the Eastward the snow capped mountains of Epirus, with a whole valley filled with low lying cloud making a beautiful picture.  Next we partake of some coffee made by the monks only two of whom are visible ( one clad in an old military greatcoat, the other in what looks like a paid off dressing gown) & a most delicious glass of water "pure from the crystal spring".  We now descend via Glypho and most precipitous & hard descent which takes us from about 9.30 till when we once more reach the sea level.


Tuesday 5th December 1911

To cut a long story short we had a top hole bath at the bottom and then walked back to Corfu arriving on board about 5pm.  Yesterday I walked out to the Akhillion & back with Heneage.


Thursday 7th December 1911

2nd day of sailing regatta.  Drifting match all forenoon, finally given up.  2nd day on.  Blom placed in durance vile for missing quarters for nth time.


On the 14th December 1911, Amundsen reached the South Pole ahead of Scott.


Sunday 10th December 1911

Sailing regatta was tried again on Friday and leading boats got round though there wasn't much wind.  Goldsmith won the C. in C.'s cup in 2nd whales amidst a scene of wild enthusiasm.  On Saturday there was more sailing the Friesta Cup in forenoon also won by Goldsmith, and Beresford cup for midshipmen in the afternoon.  A mail arrived today by which we see that we have 9 midshipmen appointed.  Father Bray and the clerk (Duggan) left the ship on Friday to visit San Salvatore.  They arrived arrived safely but Father Bray started back alone leaving the clerk at the top to take some photographs.  Apparently they had a guide who lead Father Bray to the edge of a precipice & then producing a murderous looking knife, demanded the reverend gent's gold watch & chain.  There was apparently no alternative.  He telephoned to the police at Corfu from Spartilla and now the soldiers are scowring the country side for this desperate brigand.


Saturday 16th December 1911

Nothing much has occurred this week.  I have been for two or three good walks either alone or with Heneage.  Father Bray's brigand was captured on Wednesday, and was examined by the local magistrate yesterday.  They say he will get between 10 and 20 years, which sounds a lot.  However the prisoners here don't don't have to do any work.  Their cells are opened at sunrise and shut at sunset.  During the interval they are free to wonder about the yard, and converse with their brother jail birds, or else with stray passers by through the bars.  They get 2d a day and a pound of bread from the government, besides anything they make selling trifles to people passing through.  Father Bray's brigand was apparently overcome with remorse and left all the stolen gear on the altar of the village church.  Apparently he was seen in Father Bray's company by a woman who gave him away to the police.  They have a curious custom here; whenever a member of the community does anything bringing down disgrace upon his friends, the priest calls everyone into the church and solemnly curses the miscreant and all his belongings.  I hope to go shooting tomorrow for which purpose I have borrowed Wharton's cartridge bag & 33 cartridges.  Last night we had some boxing at which I was one of the judges.


Monday 18th December 1911

Landed at 5.30am yesterday and started out in a rather ancient motor with Brodie & Forrester of the Swiftsure.  The party also consisted of Lingi an alleged keeper and Bella a white dog of uncertain parentage with the head of a retriever and the body of an enlarged fox terrier.  We had a delightful drive to Caisope on the extreme north of the Island.  We tramped about all the forenoon but saw nothing except a solitary quail put up by Forrester and bagged by Bella (of course I mean the other way about).  We found the car again about 1 oclock.  After a much appreciated lunch in a delightful situation we started back about 3.30 walking through a blank snipe marsh on the way.  Arrived on board about 6.30 after a very pleasant day though the sport was not all that it might have been.  The commander and No.1 had a very good day after rock pigeon off an island near here bagging 72 to three guns in the afternoon.  I arrived on board to find a letter from F at Linley Wood (Cuthbert's father, Maj. Gen. Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell CB RE, had presumably been visiting his elderly aunt, Miss Eliza Louisa Marsh-Caldwell, at Linley Wood in Talke, Staffordshire).  Today I walked out to Gorind with Warren and inspected a Venetian arsenal or rather the remains of one.  Steamboats of the fleet have been engaged in mining operations.


Sunday 24th December 1911

Have had on the whole rather a dull week.  Have been on one or two short walks; and yesterday walked through Arcadia right into the long green valley and back through Canalia.  Thursday night & afternoon it was blowing hard & raining but it is quite fine again though colder, & there is more snow on the Albanian hills.  A small steam yacht came in yesterday with three wild pigs & a deer hung over the side.  According to the latest advices we are going back to Malta on Tuesday.


Friday 29th December 1911, Malta

We had quite a peaceful Christmas at Corfu, which I celebrated by keeping a 1st day on.  We left on Tuesday evening and were to have carried out 24 hours at war stations.  However this was cancelled owing to bad weather.  We had an extremely uncomfortable passage.  I had middle watch one night and morning the next.  We arrived here (Malta) about 11.00am yesterday, having found Lyddite at Filfla about 9.00am.  I dined at club last night with Brodie, Denison, Kilnour, and Westall, of the Swiftsure.  Have not yet heard about P's exam.

(P is probably a reference to Pincher, which seems to be a nickname for Cuthbert's brother, Martin Frederick Heath-Caldwell, who attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1911).


Tuesday 2nd January 1912

Had 2nd day on on New Years eve, which I spent as quietly as circumstances would permit.  Yesterday Wharton & I knocked polo balls about on the Marsa.  We intend to play in club game tomorrow.


Saturday 6th January 1912

Wharton & I played in out first club game on Wednesday.  I rode Iron Juke in first chukka as Mulberry played the fool, and rode Mulberry in the second.  I played on same side as Diggle which was rather unfortunate as he made himself rather objectionable.  Thursday & Friday were my days on.  We coaled ship yesterday taking in 700 tons at an average of 496 tons per hour, which I believe constitutes a record.


Saturday 13th January 1912

Weather was too bad for polo on Monday as a Westerly gale blew half the ground away.  Wednesday it was raining but I played two chukkas yesterday.  Have been down twice before breakfast, find the Iron Duke rather slow after Mulberry.  Telegram from Pincher (Cuthbert's brother Martin) on Wednesday to say that he has passed second into Woolwich.  Supped with the Horniblows on Sunday, in company with Brodie.  He left Malta the next day to join Arragrant for submarines.  Went out for steam trial in Chelmer yesterday.  They ran short of water on the way back and had to draw fires in three boilers & use salt water in the other. 

In the evening dined in the club & afterwards went on to the Duncans Show at the opera with Thomas.


Tuesday 16th January 1912

Sunday & Monday on.  Arranged for Max to keep my afternoon yesterday but was stopped by rain.  New orders out re watch keeping re the W. business.  Extremely annoying.  Portland is sick & consequently more objie than usual.  Docked yesterday forenoon.  Received letters from Father at Cairo, also from Vigo (Vigo Farm in Holmwood, Surrey, was Cuthbert's parents house before his father inherited Linley Wood in Talke,Saffordshire, in 1913).


Saturday 20th January 1912

Played two excellent chukkas on Wednesday, went to club dance in the evening which struck me as being rather rot, very crowded so came away early.  We started coaling 8.00am on Thursday and did another worlds record(!) 512 tons per hour.  Played hockey on Thursday afternoon against Egmont, we were badly beaten.  Our team consisted finally of snotties, 14 of whom joined on Tuesday.  Friday W. court martial took place.  He got off with a reprimand being acquitted on one charge & found "partly" guilty on the other.  Some of the cross-examination was rather unpleasant. 


Friday 26th January 1912

Played tennis at Marsa with Loughlin.  Monday ground unfit no club game.  Rehearsal of lining streets for King etc.  Tuesday ground unfit, hit polo ball about. Wednesday Medina arrived in forenoon & fouled her moorings with propeller.  Full dress most of the day; half an hours practice on polo ground before darkness.  Arrived on board about 6.30 just in time to lay out our bower anchor for Medina. As soon as it was let go (quite successfully) they discovered that it was not wanted.  Took exactly 35 minutes to arrive on the scenes.  Thursday, first day on fairly quiet time.  Ships dressed & illuminated on both occasions.  Four Frenchmen dined on board (from destroyers).  Rig full dress.


Monday 1st February 1912

The Medina & escort left on Saturday forenoon, the French fleet left in the afternoon.  Wharton & I rode out to Alte Veechia to tea [Citta Vecchia or Mdina].  On Sunday I called on the Haynes at 4d Piazza Miratore where I met several people, mostly confirmed "social pests", and then went on to supper with the Horniblows.  Ordered some oranges to be sent to Vigo.  We left Malta at 11am on Monday in company with the rest of the battle fleet.  We ran into bad weather on Monday evening with a rapidly falling glass and head wind.  The weather moderated on Tuesday evening but got worse in the night & there was a heavy sea all Wednesday, and we were battened down most of the day.  It cleared up towards evening and I had a most enjoyable evening watch in the bright moonlight, not cold enough for a great coat.  P was sick and sleeping aft, so the whole bridge brigade were soon puffing away at their pipes right merrily.


Thought out in morning watch in Engine Room by Xim

Winston dear, listen here.

We don't like the sea when its wet.

Twixt two buoys we make a noise 

Blowing our big trumpet

We can coat ship & get out nets

And shine in our social set

We're all swank at Malta

But - we don't like the sea when its wet.


Wednesday 7th February 1912 Vigo (Spain)

We ran into bad weather again on Thursday evening and finally arrived at Gibraltar on Friday about two pm, when we prepared for coaling.  We started coaling about 8.30 on Saturday in pouring rain and took in 685 tons at an average of 345 per hour, which is looked upon as a record for coaling alongside.  However as usual there was a lot piled up inboard when we had finished.  We had a patant fuel lighter alongside port side.  On starboard side there were five brows rigged.  One to each part of the ship & one for marines.  Organisation.  One bay & a half of the shed to each part of ship.  8 men shovelling, 16 lifting and the remainder (about 50) carrying.  I called on the Maiyers at Woodlands in the afternoon.  We were to have sailed for Vigo at 7.00am Sunday.  This was put off on account of the weather, first till 4.30pm, and finally until 9.00am Monday.  We immediately ran into bad weather, falling glass North Westerly winds long sea.  Made St Vincent Tuesday morning glass rose a little without weather moderating much.  Started to fall again in evening (about 10pm) wind backed to South with heavy following sea.  Southerly gale & heavy sea with rapidly falling glass continued all day.  Heavy rain whole time, but made a very good landfall arriving off entrance about 3.45 in spite of the very thick weather.  Moored ship at 5.00pm.  Still raining.  Our mails gone adrift to Villogarcia but expected tonight.  Swiftsure hauled out of line yesterday to secure 7.5 gun adrift on mess deck.  It finally carried away ballveys, port & smashed up breech fittings before being secured.  Swiftsure also lost sea boat.  Cornwallis hauled out at 3.30am today with starting gear broken down.  At 4.30 Russell was told off to stand by her & now we hear that they have both gone back to Gibraltar.  Every ship hauled out of line on some occasion to secure gear. 



Sunday 11th February 1912

Thursday forenoon & afternoon 1st div HF consisting of 8 dreadnoughts and super dreadnoughts, also Atlantic Fleet 5th Cruiser Squadron and various attached cruisers. 

I landed at 1.30 with doctor and walked out at back of town about 5 miles.  We got wet through several & finished up the evening by waiting an hour and a half for the boat.  Friday & Saturday two days on, blowing hard with hail and rain.  Kept anchor watch most of the time.  Glass very low and unsteady.  Sunday 1st day off cleared up in the afternoon.  Landed with Wharton and went for the most delightful walk, to West of the town finally getting up into some topping pine woods.  On arrival on board at 6.30 discovered two large wholes in my trousers due to moth.  Inhabitants of country seem much superior in physique, morals and industry to their southern countrymen.  Vigo looks a prosperous little town and valley behind it well cultivated and populous.  They use granite slabs in their vineyards as props for their vines, in a way I have never seen elsewhere.  We were to have gone to sea tomorrow for PZ manoeuvres, mercifully postponed due to heavy sea outside.  German cruiser "Vineta" (cadets training ship) arrived this forenoon and anchored near Exmouth.


Wednesday 14th February 1912

Fleet did not go out on Monday owing to heavy sea outside.  Started at 1.30 and walked to top of hill near wireless station to Eastward of town.  Yesterday we went to sea and did two PZ's.  Drizzling rain and thick weather combined to make exercises uninteresting and uncomfortably.  Fleet has not gone to sea to day owing to thick weather.


Saturday 17th February 1912

Thursday and Friday my two days on.  Went to sea for PZ exercises on both occasions.  Weather is now fine with high glass and a certain amount of sunshine, moderately warm about 56°.  Read a rather interesting letter yesterday from Wharton's younger brother who is in the Shearwater.  It appears that one night in the first watch their propeller dropped off in mid ocean and they had to sail 400 miles to the nearest port (Acapulco) which it took them 14 days to do.


Monday 19th February 1912

Yesterday was a dead loss to the firm.  Lunched with W.J.B.B. in D of E and was not very favourably impressed.  Did not get back to ship in time to go ashore.  On Saturday got a letter from Miss Gore.  They have sold Yanditta on account of the land tax and intend to settle in Brisbane.  Have been reading two books about British Columbia, BC 1887 by Lees & Clutterbuck, and the New Garden of Canada by Talbot.  It sounds a charming country but I am afraid the service is not a very good education for it.  I fancy either about £3,000 capital or an income of two or three hundred a year is almost essential, also a certain amount of agricultural or business training or else some recognised trade, none of which desirable qualifications I can see much chance of acquiring at present.


Monday 26th February 1912 Malta

Arrived 10 miles from entrance at 2.00am this morning and entered about 7.30.  We left Arosa Bay on Tuesday afternoon in the usual rain-storm.  The weather cleared as we got down the coast.  We started 24 hours passage trial Wednesday morning.  By the time we got to Gibraltar I could carry my scuttle with ease and it has been open ever since.  We had a top-hole trip along the African Coast, sea like a mill pond the whole way.  Some ships-company boxing on Friday evening some of which was quite worth watching.  On arrival I found four letters, one from Mother & Father, one from Burma and one from Pincher (Cuthbert's brother Martin).  On the way down everyone had to write essays on how to take 18 dreadnoughts into action.  Of course some people seized the opportunity to write about 30 pages.  Smack started by a description of the battle of Actuim & so on down the ages.  My own effort ran into about four pages.



A propos of this essay, this is Xims contribution


When ever I tackle a fleet on the sea

My whole mind is bent upon "crossing the T"

Then pipe hands to dinner, so when at the guns

Their faces are smiling, their guts full of buns.


Line ahead or abreast or disposed on the beam

Such horrid confusion its like a bad dream

And visitors * watching it gloomily say

Lets hope we'll be safe in the Elbe on THE DAY.


Then we come to the signals, I know nought of flags 

So whether blue pendant or dirty coal bags

Are hoisted, to me the result is the same.

If its wrong, then the signalman gets all the blame.


With dotters and spotters I'd cover the ship.

And a man standing ready to give them the tip.

When the enemy's coming, that every one 

May be on the top line at the very first gun.


And after its over and well out of sight

The enemy's steaming full power in his flight.

Up lifting our glasses together we'd say.

To hell with all essays, we've carried the day.



* Wireless signal intercepted from one small German cruiser in Vigo (Spain) to his friend outside.  "British Home & Atlantic fleets arrived, wish I was safe in the Elbe"


Saturday 1st March 1912

Tuesday & Wednesday were my days on.  We came alongside the wall on Wednesday, but I believe our refit does not actually start till next Monday.  I have had two letters from Father & Mother neither of which I have answered so far.  On Wednesday and Thursday & this morning I went down to the Marsa to hit about before breakfast, played to chukkas in club game on Monday and yesterday (Friday).  Rode "Blackbird" rather weedy looking dark chestnut pony.  Tomlyn wants me to buy him, he wants £18.  Apart from his looks he seems to me to be alright.  Drove back from the Marsa yesterday with Norton.  He talks the devil of a lot, but I fancey he is really quite ignorant of the subject anyway he can't play.  Dined at St George's last night with Gardner late of my term now 2nd Lieut in the Gloucester Regiment.


"Money has less to do with happiness than health has and simplicity" (Mr Inglinds by EV Lucas).


Sunday 2nd March 1912

To the Marsa before breakfast, yesterday & today.  Backhand is improving.  Read over Bemerton's the other day.  Am now reading Mr Inglinds, both by EV Lucas.


Tuesday 5th March 1912

Monday.  Range parties commenced.  Kept a day on from 8.30, & first watch.  This morning to the Marsa before breakfast.  Kept standby day on.  Spent forenoon & most of afternoon getting down foreyard.


Saturday 9th March 1912

Day off on Wednesday.  Played 3 chukkas on Mulberry & Blackbird.  Both days striking topgallantmarks & having topmarks.  Friday & today days on.



Monday 11th March 1912

Day off yesterday.  Walked round about 4 oclock and spent an hour at the club.  Met Oswald who is doing "tanky" in the Cumberland.


Ode to Tobacco by C.S. Calverley.


Thou who, when fears attack

Bidst them avaunt, and Black

Care, at the horseman's back

Perching unseatest.

Sweet when the morn is gray

Sweet when they've cleared away

Lunch, and at close of day

Possibly sweetest.


I have a liking old.

For thee though manifold

Stories I know are told.

Not to thy credit

How one (or two at most)

Drops make a cat a ghost

Useless except to roast

Doctors have said it.


How they who use fusces

All grow by slow degrees

Brainless as chimpanzees

Meagre as lizards.

Go mad, and beat their wives

Plunge (after shocking lives)

Razors and carving knives,

Into their gizzards


Confound such knavish tricks!

Yet know I five or six

Smokers who freely mix

Still with their neighbours

Jones (who I'm glad to say, 

asked leave of Mr J)

Daily aborts a clay.

After his labours


Cats may have had their goose

Cooked by tobacco juice

Still, why deny its use,

Thoughtfully taken.

We're not as tabbies are

Smith, take a fresh cigar

Jones, the tobacco jar!

Here's to thee, Bacon!


A Cambridge tobacconist



To-Day (T. Carlyle)


So here hath been dawning

Another blue day.

Think wilt thou let it.

Slip useless away.


Out of eternity

This new day is born

Into eternity

At night will return


Behold it aforetime

No eye ever did

So soon it forever

From all eyes is hid.


How hath been dawning

Another blue day

Think wilt thou let it 

Slip useless away.



Wednesday 13th March 1912

Monday & Tuesday on.  Hope to play pols today if I can get away.  Owing to the fetish of having two Lieutenants on board in addition to the Commanding officer it becomes increasingly difficult to get shore leave at all.  Up till today there has only been 3 watch keepers on board including Marine Lieutenant.  He for some obscure reason is not allowed to count as one of the two Lieutenants.  The ship is just about as uncomfortable as she can possibly be.  Thank god that old swine Weymouth has been promoted.  I think it very unlikely that out new Captain can be more objectionable.  Letters from Redlands & Vigo this morning. (Redlands, also in Holmwood, was the home of Cuthbert's grandfather Col. Henry Helsham-Jones. Vigo was the home of Cuthbert's parents).  Have had one day off in the last five days.  Another reform that I consider is badly needed is that arrangements should be made for officers & men to live out of the ship whilst refit is going on.


I remember I remember

before I came to sea.

I used to think the livelong day

What a fine life it must be.


How nice to wear that clothing

gold lace and buttons brass.

But now I'm filled with walking

Is such a useless farce.


For now I been at sea Sir

For seven years or more.

I hate the ship I've got

I want a job ashore.



Thursday 14th March 1912

Played in Naval game in afternoon.  Four chukkas, two on Blackbird and two on Acrobat.  

I was rather disappointed with my performance but the whole game was decidedly faster & better than the ordinary club chukka.  Joined Garrison Library for a month.


Extract from "The Horse & His Rider" (by Sir Francis Head, 1860) on how to eat - drink forstanding.


"To enable themselves however to ascertain this amount, it is necessary for them to put into a pair of scales to be accurately weighed against each other the enjoyments of temperance & the sorrows & anguish of intemperance.  If on doing so, they ascertain that the balance is in favour of eating, drinking & tobacco smoking ad libitum, they will act wisely in indulging in all three to the utmost possible extent.  If on the contrary they ascertain that some of these pleasures last a few seconds only, some for a few minutes and none for more than one or two hours, while on the other hand the afflictions caused by intemperance endure for months & years: that felo de se they put an end to hunting, spoil cricket, stop shooting; & last but not least ruin not only bodily but intellectual enjoyments they will act wisely to befriend themselves as they befriend their horses, namely by prescribing for all and each an ample quantity of food of the very best description and if more be required by a greedy stomach, the MUZZLE."



Monday 18th March 1912

Played tennis on Friday.  Days on Saturday & Sunday.  Played 4 chukkas this afternoon, but without much success.  Heard yarn today as follows: When we were up at Vigo, we intercepted a wireless signal from Vineta in Vigo to the other German cruiser in Arosa Bay.  "30 English ships left today, wish I was safe in the Elbe".


Thursday 21st March 1912

On Tuesday I played tennis with Wharton, Ward & Bremner.  In the evening Gardner dined with me.  Before he left he gave me three (no doubt priceless) tips for Saturday's races. 

I spent Wednesday forenoon playing rackets with the marker.  There was no polo as owing to most of the soldiers doing battalion training there were insufficient names down.  So I played tennis in the afternoon with Ward, Bloomfield and two snotties Brown and Langhorne.

In the evening I went to a small dance at the Castile which I thoroughly enjoyed.  There I met Brig Gen & Mrs White, Captain & Mrs Butterworth, Mrs Lupton and some others.

A terrible bombshell has come out with the estimates, big Med battleships are to be based at Gibraltar. 


Thursday 28th March 1912

Did not play polo on Monday owing to insufficient names.  On Tuesday at about 7.30am, as Truumph was being docked I left Valletta in the tug "Cracker" bound for Marfa.  Capt Tysrwhit of Good Hope was in charge of the operations which were to transport 750 officers and men of the Gloucester Regiment, 5 field guns (15 pounders) with their crews and 30 mules & attendants together with sections of R.E. and R.A.M.C.  The flotilla consisted of one picket boat from Triumph, Lancaster and Good Hope, the harbour service steamboat Adelaide and the D.D.S.B.  These boats with the exception of Good Hope's picket boat which was kept for Captain Tyrswhit & a large (& to my mind useless staff) each towed one section.  The first section, Triumph's picket boat (Lt. Bloomfield) towed four horse boats containing guns & gun's crews.  The others divided up 10 large and 5 smaller Gozo boats between them.  We arrived at Marfa about 9.30, where Gozo boats etc were taken in tow and after a rather lengthy delay were finally grounded as close to the beach as possible.  The length of the beach being about 100 yards mostly sand with a certain amount of soft seaweed. 

The beach party was organised roughly as follows.


Beach Master Commander Fullerton

Assistant Beach Master Lieut Goldsmith & myself.

About 20 PO's and men armed with heaving lines.


Besides this each Gozo boat & a leading hand and 3 or 4 men in addition to the Maltese crew, and each horse boat had a PO & 4 hands.  The Gozo boats were provided with gangboards about 10 to 15 feet long but they were not of much assistance.  An improvement would be either to arrange a stage over the bows, and have really long stages (such as are used for coaling along at Gibraltar) or else have several jumping ladders over the sides for soldiers to jump in by. As it was there were many funny sights, soldiers crawling up the gangboards & falling off into the ditch.  Most of them were wet pretty well up to the neck by the time they were embarked.  About 75 officers and men were embarked in each big Gozo boat, where mules were carried, 10 mules & about 25 men.  There was a good deal of difficulty in getting them to beach their boats properly, because the sailors in the boats were not a good success.

The mules were slung up by means of a tackle from each mast and an outhaul to keep them clear of side of boat.  This mule business caused a good deal of excitement.  The last one in who strongly objected to the sling was finally secured by a subaltern of the Glosters & myself, with the help of a boat hook, but not until he had half drowned several people.  The actual embarkation was commenced about 10.45 and finished about 1 oclock.  The flotilla then steamed slowly across to Gozo past the island of Comino where they disembarked the troops in Cortintal bay without much incident, although a merry party diving in the mud with water up to their armpits for a bayonet was not without its comic side.  The soldiers then went up to Fort Chambray & Gozo boats etc were moored near the jetty whilst the little flotilla of steamboats anchored within comfortable distance of the beach.  Goldsmith was unexpectedly told off to remain in charge of the boats & I volunteered to stay as well, though I had had quite a narrow escape of having to return in the Cracker with the nuts.  Needless to say we had a splendid picnic.  The whole party in addition to the boats crews consisted of:

Goldsmith, C.inC.

Smart (of Bacchaste), Captain of D.D.S.B.

Bloomfield, Captain of our picket boat

Harden, Captain of HMS Adelaide

And two subs in charge of the Good Hope & Lancaster's picket boat.

Some of us walked up to Victoria (about three miles) in the evening.  It is one of the highest points of Gozo & we had a superb view, being able to see Sicily quite distinctly.  We returned on board about 7.30 and partook of a most excellent supper of which fried eggs were the piece de resistance.  After dinner we all adjourned to the DDSB at which port & the weather were discussed till about 10pm when everybody got very sleepy & so home to bed.  Goldsmith slept in DDSB, Blom & I in the picket boat.  Considering the small amount of gear I had (one spare shirt, trouser, sweater & monkey jacket), I slept remarkably well though I woke up once in the middle of the night feeling a little bit chilly.  I spent most of Wednesday forenoon bathing etc though the water was a trifle cold.  As regards food we did very well, Stockwell the bowman of the picket boat being a most efficient cook.  Two soldiers friends of Blom came to lunch, Gibson a doctor & Pitman a sapper.  After lunch two groups were taken by MacDonald, Smart's servant photographer to the expedition.  Goldsmith, Blom & I went up to the soldiers mess for tea.  They have got a very nice house there with a nice garden, the whole place is hardly ever used and is rather falling into decay.  We told the Gozo boats to get into position for the return trip, which they did very efficiently without anybody worrying them.  About 6 oclock the Cracker was sighted and gloom settled on the countenance of everybody.  Of course directly they arrived, Captain Tyriswirt and the Commander accompanied by a large and to my mind unnecessary staff, the flap started in real earnest.  The embarkation started about 8.00.  As far as my part of the show was concerned, there was frightful chaos.  About 8 small dghaisas had been chartered to convey the troops to the Gozo boats.  There were strict orders that these dghaisas were to remain secured to the bows of the big boats, and were on no account to ferry them out.  I consider this a most foolish order.  Of course soldiers jibbed at it and my position became rather a different one.  However Tyriwhirt & the Commander came buzzing around and I shoved off in a skiff to talk to the crews of the Gozo boats.  When it was too late to be of any use the anti-ferrying order was countermanded.  The sailors in the Gozo boats did not rise to the occasion at all.  I consider a weak point was having the crews from a different ship to the officer concerned.  The mules were the last to be embarked.  We finally got away shortly after nine and commenced the disembarkation about 11.  As it was a dead lee shore and there was a gentle breeze blowing this part of the business went fairly well.  Two mules were nearly drowned but they recovered on reaching terra firma.  One of the house boats filled & nearly sank on the way back to Valletta.  We arrived back on board about 1.30am, Thursday morning.  A small dance was given at the club on Tuesday evening by a few officers of the Triumph to bid farewell to Admiral & Mrs W.  I believe it was a huge success, for which Maere deserved all the credit as of course everyone on board threw cold water on the scheme.  I of course being at Gozo could not be present but I invited the Butterworths & Luptons.


Thursday 28th March 1912

Rackets in forenoon, about 2pm to the Marsa, rode Jim & hit a ball about, 3.30 Rode Blackbird up to Coradeiro [Corradino near Grand Harbour] where we played Egmont at hockey.  We won but don't deserve much credit as there were not more than half a dozen Triumphs playing.  Afterwards rode back to the Marsa & then returned on board.


Friday 29th March 1912

Took part in a club game in the afternoon.  There were only three chukkas.  Rode all three ponies Jim, Blackbird & Bay Rum.


Saturday 30th March 1912

Before breakfast to the Marsa, but did not stay long as I have a very sore backside.  Two or three days ago in my zeal against f sharps & g flats watered my bunk plentifully with formalin before turning in.  Woke up next morning with part of my anatomy tanned.  Now feeling rather uncomfortable.  Have still got a beastly cold.  In afternoon played tennis with Paymaster, Warren, Mrs Phillips & Miss Conde at Sheins.  Rotten tennis, bad courts, was perfectly useless myself.  In the evening dined with Captain & Mrs Butterworth, 2 Piazza Miratore and afterwards went on the Royal Family by the MADC at Manuel Theatre [Manoel Theatre, Valetta].  Not a bad show but in my opinion thoroughly amateur. 

Navy beat Argyle & Sulhalass in Ships & Regiments tournament polo.


Saturday 31st March 1912

Day on.  Nuff said.


Dr RG Hill, Great Northern Central Hospital, Holloway Road North

This address was written at the top of the page, but there is nothing to indicate why?



Monday 1st April 1912

2nd day on.


Tuesday 2nd April 1912

Not at all a nice day.  North-Westerly wind.  Finally after endless trouble succeeded in getting Morant to play tennis.  As we were very late getting away we played at Sal Maison which are very bad courts & catch every breath of wind.


Wednesday 3rd April 1912

More bad weather.  Played tennis with Ottley, and watched the final of Ships & Regiments tournament (polo).  RN beat Scottish rifles by 8 goals to three.


Thurdsday 4th April 1912

Thomas came back from Tunis & went up to hospital in afternoon.  Played four chukkas in club game, rode Jim, Blackbird & Bay Rum.  Jim going well, Bay Rum not bad but Blackbird was hopeless.  Afterwards played a couple of sets of tennis against Warren & Wood.


Good Friday 5th April 1912

Luncheon with the Butterworths at 2 Meralots.  Too tired to play tennis.  Good Hope, Lancaster & Suffolk left for Villafrandie to attend celebration of Eutile in connection with unveiling of statue of King Edward VIII (who had died two years earlier, 6 May 1910).


Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th April 1912

Days on.


Monday 8th April 1912

Train to Cilta Vicchia [Citta Vecchia or Mdina] & walked out to Gian, via Feagh [Ghajn Tuffieha].  After tea walked back to C.V. where I had dinner.  Afterwards drove back to Valletta.


Tuesday 9th April 1912

Played tennis at Marsa with Warren, Harlock & Evill.  Dinner on board with Wharton's people.


Wednesday 10th April 1912

Blowing North-Westerly gale.  Put my name down for polo.  Club chukkas did not come off but in spite of dust storm we raised an impromptu game. 


Thursday 11th April 1912

Lunch at 2 Miratore.  Found that Mrs B had forgot all arrangements about tennis which annoyed me considerably, but I hope I did not show it.  Finally played singles with her at Sal Maison.  In my opinion most detestable courts as they catch every breath of wind.  However they seem to be most extensively patronised by people who are too tired to go down to the Marsa.


Friday 12th April 1912

1st day on.  Sirocco.  Walked up to the Corradino before dinner when I observed a sportsman out after rabbits.  Bloomfield kept my first watch, whilst I went to Wharton's dance at the club.  It was quite a success.  I did not book any dances after about the twelfth.  Wrote to father during interval.


Saturday 13th April 1912

2nd day on.


Sunday 14th April 1912

Portland Bill left ship, & F B reigned in his stead.  At 1.10 clear lower deck fall in on jetty, Auld Lang Syne, Rolling Home and all the rest of the Tamasha.  Visited Thomas at hospital, afterwards called on Horinblows.


Monday 15th April 1912

Ground to hard for club game.  Knocked about and afterwards played tennis with Wharton & his people.


(On 15th April 1912 the ocean liner Titanic sank in the Atlantic on her maiden voyage with the lost of 1,513 lives)


Tuesday 16th April 1912

Racquets in forenoon.  Dance at Floriana Barracks West Yorkshire Regiment.  Dinned with Mrs Butterworth, met Luptons (180 St & J Toeri).  Only item of interest succeeded in losing Mrs B's Catchkey.  Titanic lost by collision with Iceberg.  Tennis in afternoon.


Wednesday 17th April 1912

Eclipse of sun took place about 1.00pm.  No club game owing to ground being still too hard.  Knocked a polo ball about, Acrobat & Blackbird.  Telegram from Whitehall that Triumph is to proceed to England on completion of refit, and I am not sorry (because he is soon to leave Malta and head home to England).


Thursday 18th April 1912

1st day on.  Got Maxse to look out for 1st dog, but there was no club game owing to insufficient names. 


Friday 19th April 1912

Day on.


Saturday 20th April 1912

Rode in afternoon, dined at club with Maxse.  Telegram arrived on Saturday forenoon ordering Triumph to be home by 2nd May.  We were towed out to buoys in the afternoon.


Sunday 21st April 1912

Coaled ship commencing at 7.00am, all coal inboard by 11.30am, but not stowed much before five oclock.  Average 352.9 tons per hour amount taken in 1500 tons.  Supper with Horinblows.


Monday 22nd April 1912

Saw Goldsmith at hospital in forenoon.  P.P.C. cards in afternoon.  Dined club in evening.


Tuesday 23rd April 1912

Left harbour 8.30pm for Hellinda Bay for steam & anchoring trials.  11.30 dropped dockyard people and band off Grand Harbour, proceeded for England.


Wednesday 24th April 1912

Drizzling rain all day and a following wind.  Weather cleared up about 8.00pm, & night was quite fine.  Slept on shelter deck.  Kept afternoon & middle watches.  Passed Cape Bengut about 4.00am.


Thursday 25th April 1912

Fine day.  Sunny.  Passed Exmouth, Duncan & Russel steering for Malta about 11.00am.  Clear lower deck, cheer ship etc.  Usual exchange of complimentary signals.


Friday 26th April 1912

Falling glass passed Gibraltar in dinner hour.  North-Westerly wind rain.  


Saturday 27th April 1912

Slight sea, blowing North-Westerly wind.


Sunday 28th April 1912

Passed Cape Finistere about noon without sighting land.  Wind & sea moderating.


Tuesday 1st May 1912

Arrived Sheerness secured to No. 9 buoy blackstakes.  Kept morning watch.  Very cold coming up channel.


Thursday 3rd May 1912

Left Sheerness secured alongside in South Tidal basin.


Friday 4th May 1912

Took in 700 tons from trucks average about 150 tons per hour.  Went home for 48 hours (presumably to Vigo in Holmwood).


Sunday 6th May 1912

Returned to ship about midnight.


Monday 7th May 1912

Day on.


Tuesday 8th May 1912

Standby day on.  Got ashore for an hour, called on Biggas but found them out.


Thursday 10th May 1912

Paid off Triumph.  Proceeded to West Ham, due for 17 days foreign service leave.


Sunday 19th May 1912

Received appointment to Formidable.


Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st May 1912

Motored over to Redlands with mother, lunch at Vigo. (Redlands was the home of Cuthbert's grandfather Col. Henry Helsham-Jones, also in Holmwood, Surrey)


Wednesday 22nd May 1912

Telegram at breakfast "Join Formidable 9.00am Thursday".  Royal Navy all over.  Fed up.  Motor to West Ham.  Leave for Sheernasty 5 oclock train, arrive 9.30pm.


Thursday 23rd May 1912 (HMS Formidable, Battleship)

Coaling 1000 tons.  Start 9.00am finish 1.30pm Friday.  Keep two days on for a start.


Saturday 25th May 1912

Land in afternoon with P.M.O. walk to Minster.  Look over very interesting old church, shown over by fine old vicar.  Church built about 400AD I think.  Tomb of Robert of Shearland of Ingoldsby fame.  Two very fine brasses.  Most interesting.


Tuesday 28th May 1912

Proceeded to Margate and anchored about a mile off pier.


Wednesday 29th May 1912

Played tennis with soldier.


Thursday 30th May 1912

Day on.


Friday 31st May 1912

Friday afternoon left Margate 3.30 arrived home about 8.30.


Saturday 1st June 1912

Wet afternoon.  Aunt Harry & AVD arrived.


Sunday 2nd June 1912

Wet morning fine afternoon, left by 5.00 train.


Monday 3rd June 1912

Day on



Tueday 4th June 1912

Land 3.30.  Call on Captain & Mrs N.W.


Wednesday 5th June 1912

Go to sea, 1 inch aiming etc for night firing.


Thursday 6th June 1912



Friday 7th June 1912

Return to anchor off Margate am.  Walk to Minster with Padre, having landed 1.30.  Minster about 6 miles.  Ate large tea, strawberries & cream, price 1 shilling and 2 pence.  Very gloomy weather with rain last three or four days, thundery with sunny intervals. 


Saturday 8th June 1912

Day on.


Sunday 9th June 1912

Landed at noon, walked to Canterbury (18 miles), bread & cheese at Minster, supper at Falstaffe Inn Canterbury, which has one room supposed to have been built in 1400.


Monday 10th June 1912

To sea.  Range keeping exercises with Implacable or some rot of that kind.


Tuesday 11th June 1912

Tried to play tennis.  Rain. 


Wednesday 12th June 1912



Thurday 13th June 1912

First half No. 2 firing, arrive Sheerness about 8.0pm.


Friday 14th June 1912

Left Sheernasty by 12.50 train for London.  Visited Scotland Yard re Taxicab dispute and I hope closed the matter.  Met Stewart at Broadwoods Conduit Street (Cuthbert's great aunt Ada had married into the Broodwood piano family) and went on down to Bone Hill where there was no one besides Aunt Ada and Stewart.  Spent most of time messing round motor bike, 1910 Indian 5H.P. which I took over, but could not bring down as Stewart wants use of it for another three or four days.  Left St Albans about 2.30, called at Eccleston Square but found them all out so came down by four forty arriving about 6.30 Sheerness.  


Sunday 16th June 1912

Stayed on board. Guard.


Monday 17th June 1912

Left Sheerness in company, Queen, Implacable, Antrim.  


Tuesday 18th June 1912

Evening anchored off Teignmouth, large fleet of nucloids.  Ripping evening very beautiful.  Heard from Wharton yesterday. 


Wednesday 19th June 1912

Torpedo firing then to Plymouth Sound.  Landed.


Thursday 20th June 1912

Coal ship 600 tons.  Rotten blighters, two pm leave for Bantry, four thirty put in to Falmouth to await orders, as owing to our priceless organisation, there are already 4 ships waiting to calibrate at Berehaven.


Friday 21st June 1912

Falmouth, Saturday 8.30pm leave for Sheerness.




He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rueleth his spirit, than he who takes a city.  Proverbs 16,32.


Answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou be like unto him.  

Proverbs 26,5.


Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upwards, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downwards to the earth.  Ecclesiastes 3,21.


Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.

Ecclesiastes 11,1.


Health and good estate of body are above all gold and a strong body above infinite wealth.  Ecclesiastes 30,15.


"that but for evil there were no good, as Victory is only possible by battle."  

Sartor Resartus.  T. Carlyle.


"Fit emblem of many a conquering hero, to whom Fate (wedding Fantasy to Sense, as it often elsewhere does) has malignantly appended a tin-kettle of Ambition, to chase him on; which the faster he runs urges him the faster, the more loudly, the more foolishly". T. Carlyle, Sartor Resartus.


Ideals first ambition may follow


"The years at the spring.

The days at the morn,

Mornings at seven;

The hill side's dew pearled;

The larks on the wing.

The snails on the thorn.

Gods in his heaven -

Alls right in the world"  R. Browning.  Pippa Passes.


"Its wiser being good than bad.

Its safer being weak than fierce.

Its fitter being sane than mad.

My own hope is a sun will pierce.

The thickest cloud earth ever stretched.

That, after last, returns the first.

Though a wide compass round be fetched.

That what began best can't end worst.

Now what God blessed once, prove accurst".  Apparent Failure.  R. Browning.



Sunday 22rd June 1912 

At sea Falmouth to Sheerness.


Monday 23th June 1912  

Arrived at Sheerness am.  Secured to buoy.  Went ashore at 1.30 and took possesion of 5hp Indian motor bicycle.  Trotted up to Chatham and called on the Bigges.  Had my hair cut etc. 


Tuesday 24th June 1912  

My day on.  Coaled ship taking in 170 tons in about 4 hours.  Large floating dock arrived from the Tyne.  


 Wednesday 25th June 1912  

Our guard, so had to remain on board.


Thursday 26th June 1912

Landed at 1.30 and motored to Smeeth to see Marion, also found to Holland girls there (the Hollands were possibly cousins).


Friday 27th June 1912

Started off to Maidstone.  Ran out of petrol 3 miles from Sittingbourne.


Saturday 28th June 1912

Day on & guard.


Sunday 29th June 1912

Landed at 9.30 and started off to B'stoke at about 10.45.  Arrived at 3.15 without mishap.  Father started off to Ireland in evening.


Monday 1st July 1912

Left home 3.30 arrived Vigo (Holmwood, Surrey) 5.15.  Left Vigo 6.00 arrived Sheerness 8.30.


Tuesday 2nd July 1912

Filled up to full crew (!) & left for Weymouth Bay.


Wednesday 3rd July 1912

Arrived Weymouth, joined up with vast & daminable fleet, started harbour watch keeping.  Day on.


Mileage Record


23rd June.  Sheerness-Chatham via Sittingbourne & back 38 miles

26th June.  Sheerness-Smeeth & back 70 miles

27th June.  Sheerness 28 miles

30th June.  Sheerness-B'stoke 108 miles

1st July.      B'stoke-Sheerness via Vigo 110 miles

26th July.  Sheerness-Sittingbourne & near Maidstone 30 miles

27th July.  Sheerness-Chatham & back 36 miles

1st August.  Sheerness-Sineleth & back 70 miles

3rd August.  Sheerness-Basingstoke via Redlands 110 miles

5th August.  West Ham to Bere Hill & back 27 miles

7th August.  West Ham to Pensford via Newbury 80 miles

8th August.  Pensford to West Ham via Warminster 80 miles

12th August.  West Ham  to Aldershot 15 miles

Clutch broke

779 miles


Thursday 4th July 1912

Day on


Friday 5th July 1912

Anchored at Spithead in company with a large fleet.  Asked to dinner by Uncle Herbert but felt too mouldy to inflict my company on them. (Cuthbert's uncle Herbert was Admiral Sir Herbert Leopold Heath, later 2nd Sea Lord)


Saturday 6th July 1912

Still feeling pretty mouldy.  The family arrived alongside about 3.30.  Dined with Uncle Herbert.  More ships arrived.



Sunday 7th July 1912

1st day on.  Luncheon aft in Cuddy.  Escaped about 3.45.


Monday 8th July 1912

Day on.


Tuesday 9th July 1912

Review for MP's.  Proceeded about 5pm.


Wednesday 10th July 1912

Nothing of importance.


Thursday 11th July 1912

Arrived & anchored off Queensferry south of bridge.


Friday 12th July 1912

Manoeuvres commenced.  May they soon be complete!  Now in three watches with afternoon kept.  Coaled on Friday night.


Saturday 13th July 1912

Second, third & fourth fleets arrived.  Went to sea about midnight & steered S6SE till about 5.0am, then about S20E.  Ran into thick fog about 4.45am, some very narrow shaves.


Sunday 14th July 1912

Letter from Burma last week, he is now at Katha Upper Burma.  Anchored in fog somewhere off Whitby.


Monday 15th July 1912

Got under weigh in afternoon.  My middle watch it came on thick about 12.30.  Remained under weigh all Tuesday at 6 knots.  Anchored about 9.30pm Tuesday. 


Wednesday 17th July 1912

Fog lifted.  Weighed at 4.00am.  Patrolled all day.


Thursday 18th July 1912

Sighted remainder of Blue fleet in morning and some of the Red fleet in afternoon.  4.30 Telegram from Admiralty operations over.  gq's no less than seven times during day. 

Lieut CR Sharp.  Pensfold near Chew Magna.  9 miles from Bath 12 from Bristol.


Friday 19th July 1912

Arrived Firth of Forth 2.0pm anchored South of bridge & usual wave to officers.  Half an hour later.  Raise steam ½ hours notice.  Hoist Blue Peter etc.  Two letters from Mother.


Saturday 20th July 1912

Left Forth midnight Friday.  Anchored in fog off outer Dowsing at 7.30.  Weighed at 10pm in compliance with orders from Queen anchored again about 10.30.





"Let be thy wail and help thy fellow men."  Tennyson, The Ancient Sage.


"I hold it true whate'er befall.

I feel it when I sorrow most.

Tis better to have loved and lost.

Than never to have loved at all."  In Memoriam XXVIII



Flower in the crannied wall.

I pluck you out of the crannies.

I hold you here root and all in my hand.

Little flowers, - but if I could understand.

What you are, root and all, and all in all.

I should know what God and man is.


A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18,24


The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.  Ibid 30.19


Polonius advice to Laertes

Look thou character, give thy thoughts no tongue.

Nor any unproportioned thought his act.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried.

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steal.

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

of each new hatched, unpledged comrade.


of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in.

Bear't, that the opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.

Take each mans censure, but reserve thy judgement.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy.

But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy.

For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

And they in France of the best rank & station.

Are most select and generous, chief in that.

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be:

For loan oft loses both itself and friend.

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all; To thine own self be true.

And it must follow, as the night the day.

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell: my blessing season this in thee.



Sunday 21st July 1912

Weighed at 4.00am.  Proceeded 14 knots.  Signal from Queen to take Irresistible under our orders and proceed so as to reach Portland 3.00pm Monday.  A very pleasant day, rising glass, my forenoon.


Monday 22nd July 1912 Weymouth

Arrived anchored in Portland Harbour about 8.30pm.  9.00pm commenced coaling from SS Pelica.  Took in 800 average about 140.  Most unpleasant owing to frequent heavy showers.  Finished about 2.00am.


Tuesday 23rd July 1912

After many contradictions rest of 5th BS, sailed for Torbay at 1 oclock.  

Landed with Dewar, haircut and walked to Spring head and back.


Wednesday 24th July 1912

Original order, weigh at 4.00am.  Next weigh at midnight.  Everything ready then ordered to sail at 8.00am.  Went to sea PZ all forenoon then in to Torbay anchored about 3.30.  As usual suddenly ordered back to Portland for night, Swines!!!



Thursday 25th July 1912 

11.30pm To sea carry out PZ.  Finished about four and & proceeded to Devonport to pick up a steam pinnace.


Friday 26th July 1912

Picked up steam boat at 4.00pm, & proceeded for Sheerness.  My middle watch.  Received orders to go to No.18 buoy on arrival, 4 miles from Sheerness, 3 from Chatham.  Hunt, Sharp & Pilkington left ship at Devonport. 


Saturday 26th July 1912

Arrived Sheerness, went to No.12 buoy just opposite Actaeon.  Took "Red fly" for trial trip. 


Sunday 27th July 1912

Motored to Chatham, drove out of Wouldham camp and had supper with the Bigges.

Lt. CR Sharp, Bellaton House, Pensford, Somerset (this address appears by itself).


Monday 28th July 1912

Day on.


Tuesday 29th July 1912

Landed about 5 till 7.


Wednesday 30th July 1912

Day on.  Wet & windy.


"A scene, where, if a god should cast his sight.

A god might gaze and wonder with delight".

Calypso's Isle.  Popes Odyssey Book V (Homer).


"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor yet hath great riches".

Proverbs 13.7


"He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbours, but a wise man holdeth his peace"Ibid 11.12


"No it must oft fall out

That one whose labour perfects any work

Shall rise from it with eye so worn that he 

of all men least can measure the extent 

of what he has accomplished.  He alone

who nothing tasked, is nothing weary too,

may clearly scan the little he effects:

But we the bystanders untouched by toil 

Estimate each aright."Do they?



"Give me the clear blue sky over my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me and a three hours march to dinner, and then to thinking".

Hazlitt "on going on a journey"


To be natural, to find our true life, to be independent of luxuries, not to be at the mercy of prejudices and false ideals - that is the true secret of life.

The House of Quet, AC Benson



Saturday 3rd August 1912

Sent my clothes etc by train & left Sheerness on motor bike about 10.30.  Clutch trouble near Maidstone.  Lunch at Redlands arrived at West Ham about 5 oclock.


3rd to 12th

Spent one night at Bellaton House near Pensford with Sharp.  Bicycle not pulling very well.  Very pleasant 10 days but it passed very quickly.  Came back as far as Farnham by mobike but clutch went wrong there so trained from Aldershot sending bike onto Clarke at St Albans for repairs.  Aunt May & A & Pinche were all at West Ham.


Tuesday 13th August 1912

Day on.  Left Sheerness for Portsmouth.  My application for RFC noted.


Wednesday 14th August 1912

Arrived Portsmouth 7.0am.  Left 1.0pm.  Large number of gunnery experts joined ship.


Thursday 15th August 1912

Landed & walked.


Friday 16th August 1912

Stepped ashore about two oclock and walked to Dorchester with Byron.  Ate an indifferent tea and came back by train.  After dinner had a long yarn with Plater about Australia and British Columbia.  Then read up my subject in the field before turning in.


Saturday 17th August 1912

Day on.


Sunday 18th August 1912

Went for a walk with Dewar a fairly fine day.  In the evening, wrote & applied for a ship in the Persian Gulf (a request that was granted in November).


Monday 20th August 1912

After two attempts two ships did battle practice.  A most vile & poisonous day.  Oh how I hate the sea, or rather the Navy, because the sea itself isn't so bad.


Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22, Thursday 23 August 1912

Firing each day.  Going to sea about 6am. returning about 7.30pm.


Friday 23rd August 1912

Coal ship from 2 Lighters.  400 tons, 100 an hour, usual delays, unpleasant weather.


Saturday 24th August 1912

Left Portsmouth for Ardrossan.


Sunday 25th August 1912

Weather better, quite warm in afternoon, had quite a pleasant middle watch last night.


Monday 26th August 1912

Picked up ITP at Ardrossan & arrived Lamlash in dinner hour.  Another cold snap.  My day on, but nearly everyone else went ashore.  Letter from Colles, SHB and MLG.


At the top of the page in the journal is a newspaper item, pasted in, extracted 

from Morning Post Wed 3rd Sept 1912


CANADA - A Young Gentleman of good character, aged between 25 and 30, desirous of obtaining 

a good knowledge of Canada with a view to farming or otherwise, can be received at once by a well-connected young English ranch owner (bachelor) in Alberta, free of charge, for board and residence, for a year or more, with a view to COMPANIONSHIP. 

For further particulars, address 8925, "Morning Post" Office, Strand, W.C.


Monday 26th August to 14th September 1912

Hell, rain, coaldust, and watchkeeping in equal parts.



Saturday 21st September 1912

We have completed our duty as counting ship and are now just off Folkestone, en route for Plymouth, where we turn over our passengers to the Irresistible.  Heard from Burne who wrote giving me all particulars of his present occupation in Burma.


Sunday 23rd September 1912

Arrived in Plymouth Sound.  My day on.


Monday 24th September 1912

Proceeded up harbour and coaled alongside dt Keyham.  1000 tons about 70 an hour.


Tuesday 25th September 1912

Took a day off.  Train to Yelverton, then walked to Princetown where I lunched at the Ducky Hotel and wrote a few letters.  After walked to Prince Hall and then to Tavistock from where I took train & Plymouth, a few sandwiches & an excellent glass of port at the saudest club.


Wednesday 26th September 1912

Left for Bantry.  At the last moment I had a signal from Goldsmith asking me out to Lawsand.


Thursday 27th September 1912

Anchored off Bere Id about midnight.


Friday 28th September 1912

Proceeded to Lea Hill with shore party.  Weather too bad for fire, but had a very pleasant day.


Saturday 29th September 1912

The same.


Sunday 30th September 1912

Went for a walk with Crace, & tea'd at Roadis, consumed a vast amount of bread & honey.


Monday 1st October 1912

Calibratis left in afternoon for Colonsay.


Tuesday 2nd October 1912

At sea.


Wednesday 3rd October 1912

Arrived at Greenock about 10pm and sent Commander Currie to Maine, (suffering from appendicitis).  Afterwards left for Colonsay.


Thursday 4th October 1912

Carried out in sub calibre in afternoon.  Then proceeded around the fleet with ratings.


Friday 5th October 1912

Carried out No. 2 firing.


Saturday 6th October 1912

At anchor.  Bad weather.  All boats hoisted in.


Sunday 7th October 1912

Went about 9 mile walk in afternoon with Crace.  Quite a pretty little island, with a certain amount of covert mostly small beech trees.  Saw about 10 grouse, 15 pheasants & 2 snipe.


Monday 8th October 1912

My day on.


Tuesday 9th October 1912

Scribuer shot all day and came back in evening with 4 brace grouse, and a couple of snipe.  Weather too bad for night firing.


At this part of the journal is an address written in presumably for reference


Miss KM Butt (Kathleen?)

c/o Messers King, Hamilton & Co, Calcutta

c/o CT Ambler Esq, Balaremi, Dharhara, El Railway, Bengal


Remainder of October and beginning of November oscillating between Bone Hill & Lamlash.


November 9th 1912

Left England's hospitable shores in P&O SS Palawan bound for Colombo (praps) and the Persian Gulf.


November 29th 1912

Arrived at Aden.  Marching orders on arrival.  My Lords and their organisation again - bless them.  Said Au & Euoie to little Kathleen.  Spent two days at Aden in the Salrette.  Nice lot of officers particularly Welch 3rd and Macraith the purser.  Arrived at Bombay on Friday morning and transhipped to B1 steamer Liza.  Arrived Karachi Saturday afternoon & transhipped to Dumra, very uncomfortable.  Passengers were Cowper paymaster of Perseus, four RIM (Royal Indian Marine) people, a gunner, Edmonds going to Consulate & at Bushire, three Frenchmen an Austrian & Rennie family.  Arrived Muscat on Monday morning & took over from him.


Tuesday 10th December 1912

Left Muscat about 9.30 for Kaish 300´.  Took deviation in evening and made 12°E instead of 120W.  Passed Perseus about nine oclock.


Wednesday 11th December 1912

Passed Qouis at midnight.


Thursday 12th December 1912

Anchored off Bistana 5.0pm.


Friday 13th December 1912

Rather an uncomfortable night.  Turned out about 2.30 by a heavy squall blowing dead on shore.  Got under weigh at 7.0am & anchored for night off Kais in 5 fathoms.  Boarded a Karachi dhow (boat) before anchoring.  Landed with interpreter & a shot gun, for pigeons.  Saw several but no bag.


Satuday 14th December 1912

Anchored off Terus about two thirty, & landed with Mr Bunyard & four sailors to shoot gazelle.  I got the only one.  As a matter of fact it was rather a hot shot 300 yards or so clean through the shoulder, but I missed several sitters.



Sunday 15th December 1912

6.0 weighed & closed Philomel, sent mail & drew slops etc.  Rigged up fishing anchored at Charak in evening where we met the Philomel's cutter with Davies Lt RIM.  Left at eleven pm on receipt of signal to close Philomel off Kais.


Monday 16th December 1912

Closed Philomed off Kais in forenoon, sent mail, & got signalmans (Wright & AB, Bradbury) back.  Anchored off Chiru about 3.00pm when Gordon (Pelorus Cutter) boarded us & stayed to dinner.  Sent some medicine ashore for Sheikh's cold.  He sent me off a fine pair of Ibex's horns in return & promised plenty of Ibex shooting.


Tuesday 17th December 1912

Left Chiru about 7.30am for Bistana.  Searched Dhow (boat) off Kolat which took about three hours.


Wednesday 18th December 1912

Met Minto off Bistone, coaled & got mail.  Only one letter from home for me.  Afterwards hove to for night between Ras Yarid & Fareur.


Thursday 19th December 1912

Uneventful day.  Only saw two dhows, hove to for night between Kais Island and Ras Yarid. 


Friday 20th December 1912

Anchored at Chiru and visited Sheikh.  A picturesque crowd of ruffians assembled there mostly with rifles.  Took Sheikh's photograph which seemed to please the old boy immensely.  He produced two ponies for self and interpreter with most uncomfortable saddles.  He also sent two guides mounted on one donkey.  No luck in shooting line as all we saw were five houbara and three foxes besides one covey of partridges.  Possibly might have got more with a shotgun.  On our return Sheikh accompanied by his two sons & a crowd of retainers visited ship.  He was much delighted at being allowed to fire the 3 pounder.


Saturday 21st December 1912

Weighed about seven and spent day steaming round Sheikh Shuab.  Stove to for night between Sheikh Shuab & mainland.


Sunday 22nd December 1912

Anchored for night off Kalat el abeid.


Monday 23rd December 1912

Intended to land at Kais, however we sighted Philomed at 7.30 chased her all the forenoon & finally picked her up off Charak when we received orders to proceed to Linga for Christmas.


Tuesday 24th December 1912

Landed at Linga in forenoon.  Pelorus, Philomel, Minto & Kooranja there.  Made my number on SNO (Senior Naval Officer) and Philomel, landed in afternoon & played tennis on mud courts.  Dinned with Commander Ballard, Philomel.


Wednesday 25th December 1912, Christmas Day

Mail arrived early.  Only one postcard from Kathleen, several letters from home.  Played football Miner & Karanja v Philomel.  Philomed won by two goals to one.  In evening dined in Philomel.


Thursday 26th December 1912

Alongside Minto 6.30 coal & water, nine oclock sees us thumping off to our beat.  Ran into a nasty Shamal (bad weather) outside.  Finally rolled into Mugu about 5pm.  Went away in skiff to watch mysterious lights ashore, three garfish jumped into boat on way off.  About 9.30 sighted Persian customs launch.  Run out of coal.


Friday 27th December 1912

Gave Persian launch 1½ tons to take them into Linga.  Afterwards hugged coast and stopped off Charak about 2.30pm.  Landed interpreter for vegetables etc.  Found Hill there in Philomel's pinnace.  Turned over the monkey to him, as the men are fed up with her.  Shoved off again at 7.30.  Hove to off Ras Yarid.  A lovely evening with only slight swell.  The moral effect of this powerful vessel backed by a cutter or two seems to be keeping the gun runners away.  Seen no signs of a rifle yet except for two very old ones carried by most of big dhows.




At this stage in the journal there is a simple map with some islands marked as; Sheikh Shuab, Hindarabi, Kais and Farus.  In addition there are coastal points; Mogan, Chiren, Kalat, Linga, Charak, Haisinah, Ras Yaris, Mugu, Duan, Bistane.  It can be seen on a modern day map that these are the islands off the coast of Iran opposite UAE.


Kais, Haisinah, Duan & Charak belong to Sheikh Mohammed.  My first whack of papers arrived by this mail, Blackwood Magazine, Daily Graphic, Spectator & Field.


Saturday 28th December 1912

Anchored for the night 10' west of Chiru in hope of some shooting.



Sunday 29th December 1912

Landed before breakfast with gun, rifle and interpreter.  Had a long walk and saw two partridges and two gazelle.  Missed a long shot at one of the latter.  And so to breakfast with a hearty appetite.  Drifted back to Chiru & landed again with no better luck.  Met Philomed after lunch, & was politely told to go to Mugu.


Monday 30th December 1912

Sculling about all day, spent night off Charak.  Hill dined on board.


Tuesday 31st December 1912

Spent forenoon searching dhow.  Met Pelorus in evening with our mail.  Repaired on board and got it in the neck for coaling Persian.  However I expected I know enough of the Navy to be certain that I was bound to do the wrong thing anyway.  Ordered unofficially to proceed to Lingah to square the matter off.  Hove to for night.  The usual services business of beer and bo bells at midnight.


Wednesday 1st January 1913

Arrived Linga in forenoon.  Saw Captain of Persian launch and squared off the coal transaction.  What a pity it is that we can't all be honest.  Also made my number on New the counsel.  After lunch weighed and proceeded.  Pat into Shinary and anchored about 3.30, owing to a convenient Shamal.  Mr Bunyard, Interpreter & I landed in hopes of augmenting larder.  Shot a fox.  Saw several coveys of partridges but they were altogether too wild, so didn't get a shot.  I think the only way is to engage a large staff of beaters & do the thing scientifically.  Observe that partridges do not fly down wind, in this case they all flew beam onto it.  Lost my dear old grey hat.  Sheroo bin Mohammed interpreter now acts in capacity of my servant for princely salary of 7 chips monthly.  Dear old Anton's brains really are not up to it.  Wrote to Stokes for football and Indian clubs also wrote note to Kathleen.  This month we have put in 2000 miles and burnt 50 tons of coal. 


Thursday 2nd January 1913

Left Shinas 7.00am & proceeded towards Yarid.  Hove to for night.


Friday 3rd January 1913

Arrived Kais about 11.30am.  Visited Sheikh Mohammed, and took his photograph.  He is apparently at war with Sheikh Sala of Charak.  When Sheikh Sala returned from Mecca, Mohammed went over to pay his respects.  Sheikh Sala say to Mohammed.  "Oh I see you no got plenty soldiers.  I give you two of mine for backsheesh".  So Mohammed returns to his Kingdom vastly pleased with a substantial addition to his army.  But the two warriors were previously told by Sala to assassinate Mohammed on arrival.  Unfortunately for themselves they take one of Sheikh Mohammed's men into their confidence, promising a "Sheikhdom" all to himself if he will help them to do the trick.  However this man remain true to Sheikh Mohammed and go tell him all about it.  Mohammed put two warriors in prision & presently go fight Sheikh Sala.


Saturday evening 4th January 1913

Shamal started about 3.30 so we put into Mugu bay, and anchored, although there was very little shelter there.  Benskin arrived in the Pelorus cutter & tied up astern.  We spent next day and night there as well, as coal was beginning to run short.  Monday afternoon saw the hook dropped in Linga.  The Philomel was already there and Pelorus arrived about five oclock.  We were to have left the next day but at the eleventh hour were told to wait for the mail which needless to say did not turn up.  Finally left for Basidu at four oclock and arrived in darkness at 7.30.


Wednesday 8th January 1913  

Remained at Basidu all day expecting Minto.  Coaled in morning.  In the evening rode out about 8 miles on donkey in company with Shikari.  Only saw one gazzelle and he was up off and out of it before we were anywhere near him.  However I had a little exercise, and as it was a lovely evening I thoroughly enjoyed the ride back in the dark.



Thursday 9th January 1913

Minto arrived about one oclock followed closely by Karanja.  Left for Muscat about 6.00pm.  We got our mail but no letters from Kathleen.


Friday 10th January 1913

A fine day.  Chased a dhow off Musandam, as usual no rifles.  Passed through the whole in the wall (Fak al Asad Straits) about 10am.  A fine day though hazy.  Took a lat by Polaris in evening but it was about 40 miles out.  Course for Muscat SSE ¼ E.


Saturday 11th January 1913

Sighted land about 10am on port bow.  Took a mer alt which gave fairly good latitude.  Sighted Fahal Island about four pm.  Altered to S so it was a fairly good shot.  Anchored about 6.30pm.  Perseus and Minto in Muscat.  Dined in Perseus.  Shamal came on about 2.00am followed by quite a heavy swell which made things rather uncomfortable. (Fahal Island is a large rock just off the coast of Oman near Muscat.  Although the waters surrounding it are full of sharks, it was a very popular for place for diving in 1984).


Sunday 12th January 1913

Rolling like devil all the forenoon.  Finally laid out a stern anchor which made things a little better.  Shifted back into berth ahead of Hour of Bahr about two oclock.  Afterwards landed with Boultbee of RIM and called on Major and Mrs Knox, then walked out to the green patch which consists of one or two gardens which are quite soothing to the eye.  The local method of irrigation is quite interesting.  They have the usual scaffolding over the well with a sheave at the top and a roller at the bottom.  An ox is harnessed to the end of the fall and as he is pushed down a steep hill cut by the side of the well, he draws up a goatskin full of water.  As he stops at the bottom the spout is released automatically and the contents of the skin fall into the well.


At this part of the journal there is an address written in, presumably for reference.

J Sequira, Photographer, Camp Studies, Karachi.


Monday 13th January 1913

Minto hauled us up but the rise & fall was insufficient to get at the propellor.  Stayed ashore with the Knox's.  Mail arrived.  No letters.


Tuesday 14th,  Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th.

Sent wire to K, c/o King Hamilton & Co.  No reply up till Saturday.


Friday 17th January 1913



Saturday 18th January 1913


Sunday 19th January 1913

Tennis.  Lunch with Dr & Mrs Little.  Shamal blowing. Miner headed off pm.


Monday 20th January 1913

Mail arrived.  Letters as usual from Mother & Father, also one from Pincher.  Parcels include two excellent books and a letter from old Wharton.  Minto's are most inefficient and useless crowd I have encountered up to date.


From Longfellow. Tact.


Intelligence and courtesy not always are combined.

Sometimes in a wooden house, a golden room we find.


Man like it is to fall in sin

Friend like to dwell therein

Christ like is it for sin to greave

God like is it all sin to leave.


No letters or communication from Kathleen.  I suppose I must consider myself another victim added to the long list of broken hearts.  No papers this week except the Outlook which is like the celebrated egg of the curate, but is too rabid.


Tuesday 21st January 1913

Tennis in afternoon.  Bought up half DeSousa's shop.  Dined and slept at Aganey.


Wednesday 22nd January 1913

Went off to ship about 10.00am.  No attempt made to rivet the rudder stops.  Put 14 tons of coal on focsle & rigged stage.  Two men sent over from Minto flatly refused to risk their valuable lives.  Made various signals and sent several notes to Minto.  Finally they sent Marsh & some hands over and kedged closer in.  Then I arose in my wroth & bearded the Father Christmas in his den.  He spluttered and fussed and sent for the Chief Engineer, and generally behaved in a foolish manner.  However as a result we got the Wolfson & his merry men over & they made a start at the job, so at any rate I accomplished something.  I am afraid the Minto's are not quite straight.  Landed for some gear & dined on board.  Glorious moonlight night.  It really is good to be alive on an evening like this.  Spent half an hour after dinner building castles in Spain, mostly centring around K.  Somehow I am certain in my heart that she is true to me, although I admit appearances are against it.  But there must be some terrible mistake somewhere.  Anyhow it will all work out for the best.  I am certain of that.  I sent another telegram to her today but there is no answer so far.  The Knox family have been very kind indeed, but somehow I am jolly glad to get on board again.  It is funny how one's ideas change.  Now if the Navy was all on a par with this, I should be the last to grumble about it,  - and so to bed - Ah Kathleen if I only knew the truth of this long silence.


Saturday 25th January 1913

Funeral of OS Goodall of Perseus who died of beri-beri.


Monday 27th January 1913

Mail arrived around 11 am.  Letters from Mother, Pincher, Pieko, Vere and one from K by the Indian mail.  Left Muscat about four pm.  Swung for deviation.  Hear that Perseus cutter has been missing for eight days


At this part of the journal are two addresses written in presumably for reference

Miss ME Gore, Indrim, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia.

Mrs Tufton, 7A Earls Court Square, SW


Tuesday 28th January 1913

One of the chickens laid an egg about lunchtime.  Came up with Musandam Island about 11.00pm.


Wednesday 29th January 1913

Course for Farur passing to Northward of Taub.  A strong current with us the whole time.  Passed through miles of fish spawn in forenoon.  Some large patches being like thick tomato soup and making sea bright red all round.  4.00pm met Espiegle, ordered to close SNO between Hindarabi & Sheikh Shuab. 


Thursday 30th January 1913

Closed Pelorus 9.00am.  Ordered to cruise between Chiru & Mogam to look for missing cutter.  Picked up Pelorus interpreter off Hindarabi.  Landed interpreter at Chiru.  Sheikh's idea seems to be that they have been cut up by Tanyistanis.  He has sent a man along the coast to look for any wreckage.


Friday 31st January 1913

Weighed at 6.30, and proceeded up to Sheikh Shuab.  Landed gunner and Pelorus interpreter on Shitwar Island and went myself with our interpreter to see Sheikh of Sheikh Shuab.  Seems a better class of fellow than the others.  Rather upset about Karanja's treatment of his brother.  Cutter was last seen in Mogam the evening of Sunday 19th.  Anchored off Nakhills quite a green spot in the wilderness.  Surf too bad to make landing worth while.  Mr Bunyard found cutters bottom board on island.


Saturday 1st February 1913

Landed in Morgam in morning.  No shooting.  Interpreter produced some eggs.  Afterwards anchored off Jazza, saw and chassed three coveys of partridges, bag nil.  Sailors landed with football.  A lovely evening, flat calm & a good sunset.  Heard three guns fired from Sheikh Shuab.


Sunday 2nd February 1913

Proceeded to Sheikh Shuab for news and also to find out why guns were fired.  No news of cutter.  Guns were only a salute for Sheikh Jbiahin on his return from Mecca.  Met Karanja and had a yarn with Blagrove.  Took over a chair & some beer that we had brought from Muscat for him.  Afterwards shaped course for Keza, as we have a man with a poisoned foot & a temperature of 102°.  Met Persius somewhere off Kais about 11.30pm.  Told to close her in forenoon off Sheikh Shuab.


Monday 3rd February 1913

Chased Perseus all forenoon.  Finally started coaling off Nakiules.  Heavy swell made it very uncomfortable, & we had to shove off before we had finished having carried away one awning stanchion, about 15 feet of out rubbing straks & Perseus sea gangway ladder, & one of our arial wires.  Heavy Shamal coming on so ran down to Chiru for shelter & to make good defects.  Met Karanja on way down & Balgrove & his gunner came over to dinner. 

Blowing like hell, but perfect shelter in Chirn.


Tuesday 4th February 1913

Turned out rather late; just about to have my bath when Sheikh Ahmed & his scoundrelly hangers on came off and stayed for 2½ hours, eating best part of a tin of biscuits, & hanging on to everything they could.  Finally shifted them on to Karanja.  In afternoon we all four went shooting first making our salaams to old Abdulla.  Mr Bunyard borrowed Ahmed's gun.  Plenty of Partridges on the rocky ground inland, and I had some very sporting shots.  No luck however.  Mr Bunyard got a Frenchman or as I maintain a species of francolin, & an Indian partridge.  No one else got anything.  Dined in Karanja.


Wednesday 5th February 1913

Weather moderated considerably.  Perseus arrived about 11.00am.  Karaija coaled first.  Afterwards proceeded slowly up the coast.  Mail arrived letters from Mother, A, Dewar, an unknown Christmas card, and all missing papers.  Bombshell from SNO in shape of request for routine of exercises carried out in launches.  All rot.  Photos arrived from Sequira.


Thursday 6th February 1913

Hanging about between Shuab & Hindarabi.  Met Blagrove and landed at Hindarabi to look for Partridges.  Saw none.  On my return found tide considerably lower than I had bargined for, and we only had 11 feet aft, while there were plenty of little rocks sticking.  Got under weigh and escaped without hitting anything.  Hove-to for night. 


Friday 7th February 1913

Anchored off Mogam, landed interpreter for provisions.  Swell & slight Shamal, rolling a little.


Saturday 8th February 1913

Night at sea.


Sunday 9th February 1913

Sheikh Shuab.


Monday 10th February 1913

Met Karaiya off Jazza about three oclock.  Balgrove, Mr Hartwell & I after partridges.  Several shots, Balgrove brought one down, but he proceeded to be a runner & we did not pick him up.  I brought back two doves.


Tuesday 11th February 1913

Anchored Chiru pm.  Karanja's dined with us.


Wednesday 12th February 1913

Perseus arrived pm.  Dined with McHardy.  Rotten mail.  Letter from Pincher & Grandmother.


Thursday 13th February 1913

Pelorus arrived paid December mess savings & January pay.  Coaled & watered.  Bought goat for natives 5½ rupees.


Friday 14th February 1913

Anchored Magam about 11.30am.  Landed & visited Sheikh.  Quite a strong fort.  In afternoon Mr Bunyard, Derrick, Johnston & I climbed mountain behind Magam.  Started about two pm, reached summit, about 2700 feet by aneroid about 5pm.  Saw eight ibex and a few partridges.  Started down a very fertile gully, many signs of gazelle or ibex, lots of shrubs, small trees flowers & grass.  Saw several rhododendrons on way down.  About 6.30 further progress barred by 50 foot precipice, which necessitated a long detour.  Finally reached beach about 9.30pm, & found a hell of a tamasha under weigh.  Interpreter & sheikh with about forty armed men wandering about looking for us.  Other side of mountain more mountains & one or two fertile looking valleys.


Saturday 15th February 1913

Sheikh Shuab.


Sunday 16th February 1913

Nakhila night at sea.


Monday 17th February 1913



Tuesday 18th February 1913



Wednesday 19th February 1913

Coal from Pelorus.  Afterwards to Sheikh Shuab to deliver letter to Sheikh.


Thursday 20th February 1913

6.30am.  Proceeded to Naband.  Howling Shamel.  Partial shelter at Bustona.  Weather moderated in evening.  Todays great thought;

For him no wretches born to work & weep.

Explore the wing or tempt the dangerous deep.      Oliver Goldsmith.


Friday 21st February 1913

Left Bustano about 8.30 to battle with the elements, intending to make Naband.  Heavy swell, NW'ly swell.  At two oclock wind freshened & soon heavy sea was running.  Naband point abeam about four pm.  Naband out of the question as it is entirely open to Shamal.  Decided to make for Dayir the nearest good shelter.  Wind & sea increasing till midnight with an occasional lull.  Pitching & rolling a lot but old junk behaved very well & very good sea boat.  Spent most of my time on bridge from four oclock to midnight, when I was relieved by gunner.  When I came up at four am, sea moderated as we were beginning to feel shelter of land beyond Dayir.  Finally anchored off Dayir at 8.00am.  Landed and visited Sheikh or rather Khan, a regular Persian.  Spent two hours there, discussing every subject under the sun from politics to buying onions.  Seems fairly well informed.  Drank some very nasty sherbet.  Sheikh's fort very dilapidated.  In afternoon started to blow, by eight oclock blowing 6-8.  Thank god for a sheltered anchorage. 


Sunday 23rd 22rd February 1913

Still blowing.  Dropped second anchor & remained at Dayir.



Monday 24th 23th February 1913 

Shamal over, 6.30am proceeded 110 course for Aslu.  Delivered letters at Aslu & Naband, though no Sheikh was to be found at either.  Everyone at Aslu seemed frightened about something.  Proceeded for Shiun.


Tuesday 25th 24th February 1913

Delivered letter at Shuiru about 9.0am, arrived Mogam lunch time, & Naklidu a little later.  Delivered letters at both places.  Anchored off Fazza, after partridges.  Saw one hare and brought back one see-see partridge.


Wednesday 25th February 1913

Left anchorage 5.00am and coaled from Perseus at Chiru in forenoon.  Afterwards anchored off Machalu, and succeeded in getting two brace of frenchmen, and four snippets.


Thursday 26th February 1913

Mr Bunyard bagged a brace of sand grouse (sand plover?) on Sheikh Shuab.  


Friday 27th February 1913

Anchored Mogam.


Saturday 28th February 1913

Another Shamal beginning.  Full speed ahead for Chiru, where we remain until the blow is over.  Highflyo heard on WT.


Sunday 1st March 1913

Still at Chiru.  Arranged a game of football in afternoon.  With assistance of hog-wallahs raised nine a side.  After about twenty minutes play, ball blew out to sea, and was gone before it could be picked up.  Allowed the sailors to stay ashore.  They wandered round a bit, and seemed to enjoy themselves.  A change for them anyhow.  I borrowed Sheikh's pony (without a saddle this time) and went for a canter half an hour or so, which shook up my liver.  This afternoon's exercise seems to have been beneficial to the troops.  Anyhow they are singing hymns on the messdeck now.  As several of them have quite good voices, the effect is rather nice.  Today's great thought.  "All professional men are greatly handicapped by not being allowed to ignore things which are useless".  Goethe.


Monday 2nd March 1913

Wandered up to Sheikh Shuab.


Tuesday 3rd March 1913

Hanging about off Sheikh Shuab.


Wednesday 4th March 1913

Met Pelorus in forenoon.  Coaled, received pay etc.  No news except that Perseus has gone to Colombo to refit, and will probably go on to Mediterranean afterwards.  Beat shifted Chiru to Bistona, quite nice to have a change.  Much to my surprise I got a letter from K. It has taken over a month to get here.  Also a letter from Pincher, and several papers.


Thursday 5th March 1913

Anchored off Kalat for an hour or two yesterday evening.  Weighed at seven oclock and stopped for the night three or four miles out.  Anchored off Kais this evening.  Went after pigeon for half an hour, had two or three shots.  Sailors landed with new football that they got from the Pelorus.  The weather has been perfect for the last two or three days.  The temperature has been steadily mounting and remains in the vicinity of 80°.  Had several false alarms after turtle.  I wonder if we shall ever get one.  Weighed at 8 oclock, and hove to for the night at nine oclock.  If fine hope to paint the side tomorrow. 


Friday 6th March 1913

Anchored at Kais again in the afternoon.  Visited Baniyas shop.  Afterwards after pigeon, bagged one dove.  After dinner weighed & steamed in the direction of Hansina.


Saturday 7th March 1913

Stopped off Hansina and landed interpreter.  Nothing doing.  Anchored of Charak at 2.30.  Blowing from SW.  Felt rather rotten all day.  Early to bed.


Sunday 8th March 1913

A SW'ly swell rolling around Taurana point warned me that a Shamal was beating up outside, so I decided to make a dash for Kais, where we should be more comfortable.  Previously landed the interpreter who came off with a large bundle of spring onions.  Once outside we soon got into the thick of it.  Anchored off Kais about two oclock, and experienced that indescribable feeling of comfort produced by a comfortable anchorage with a howling gale outside.  Went for a short stroll in evening. 


Monday 7th March 1913

Kais to Mugu.  Kaus starting.  Steamed around Mugu bay and anchored under Lee of Bistana point.


Tuesday 8th March 1913

Left anchorage at 4.00am to rendezvous with Pelorus off Farura.  Good strong Kaus blowing.  When we met Pelorus he lowered dhows boat with two seedaboys, and ordered me to take the boat with a letter to New at Lija & then go on to Basidu.  Very uncomfortable trip to Lijah, had to stop & hoist dhows boat in half way as she filled.  Anchored off Ras Kharya about 1.30 and landed with interpreter.  Suffered total immersion during process, but sent back for dry clothes, and afterwards did three miles into Liyah in peace.  New's letter was about Turkish Consul.  About 10 days ago a Turk landed from a Russian steamer & told New to turn over to him the Turkish business, which New refused to do.  Wireless orders to proceed to Henjam instead of Basidu.  Met Karanja off Henjam Wednesday morning, & afterwards proceeded into anchorage, arriving about the same time as Pelorus.  Wheel rope carried away as we were getting in, and steam pipe to capstan engine developed leak.  Remained alongside Pelorus till 5.30, coaling, making good defects etc.  Game of football from two to four.  Damnably hot & dusty, and it was a merciful relief when bursting of ball finished game.  Karanja off to Banda Albas, which is in danger of being raided.


Thursday 13th March 1913

Left early for Abu Jhabi on another wild goose chase.


Friday 14th March 1913

Arrived off Abu Jhabi in afternoon.  Landed Peloru's interpreter Mohammed Salim.  Made elaborate preparations for a hostile demonstration, but none occurred.  Spent night at anchor, weighed and proceeded for Sir Abu Nair Saturday morning.  Anchored under lee of island 8.30pm, after a trying day playing into a Shamal.


Sunday 16th March 1913

Remained at Sir Abu Nair all day.  Ashore for a walk in forenoon.  A most desolate spot, nothing but red & yellow rock & sand (iron ore I think).  Still blowing hard at time of writing.  Landed interpreter to search for wreckage.


A Recitation (H&C Blagrove)

He was just an ordinary old sailor with grey hair and a weather beaten appearance, but there was a certain forlorn hopeless look about him, as though life was too dreary and oppressive for mere words.  On questioning him he said he'd been engaged in the Arms Traffic Operations in the Persian Gulf, and on being pressed for a yarn wiped his mouth on his sleeve and commenced:

Would yer like me to tell yer the story?

Ay ay Sir! It won't take me long.

It deals not with honour or glory.

Will never be lauded in song.

It deals not with "arduous seiges".

Or "long sustained bloody campaigns".

No medal its vassals and lieges.

Can therefore aspire to attain!!

Though the "Abor Botanical Mission".

This rare decoration received.

We were denied the permission.

For what we'd in duty achieved.

You ask what it was we achieved Sir.

Well, in honesty I must confess.

It was aix, although still we believed Sir.

A medal we'd get none the less.

You ask what it was we were doing?

Well, just the Arms Traffic Blockade?

Which mainly consists of pursuing.

A water policeman's trade.

When I tell you that thousands of pounds, Sir.

Are spent upon this every year.

I think you'll agree that it sounds, Sir.

At least, well a little bit queer.

That medals, and such decoration.

To us are entirely denied.

And the reasons and full explanation.

Of such a mean act not supplied.

When I say that the wily gun-runner.

Out wits us at every turn.

You may well ask. But what has been done a.

bout more of his habits to learn?

But that doesn't really matter.

So long as the ships keep at sea.

And use up their coal and their water.

Informing his Ex C-in-C.

Now here's the last great master-stroke, Sir.

For ending the weary blockade.

And the traffic in arms will be broke Sir.

Perhaps in another decade.

It is this - that whenever the "hook" Sir.

Is dropped in the mud for a space.

Full reasons are put in the book Sir.

Reporting the time, date, and place.

So at last we are really awaking.

To the needs of the case, it would seem.

By methods like this we are breaking.

The whole of the gun-running scheme.

And in time when our game has succeeded.

We can say in the ages to come.

Strong measures, like this one were needed.

To bring it all under our thumb!!

For by then - its not meant to be funny.

The arms-traders, rich, will retire.

And pack up, having made enough money.

While we'll have achieved out desire.

You've followed the point of my yarn Sir.

You understand all that I say?

A question you want me to answer?

What! - Drawing-room methods don't pay.

And why don't the Spinx & Pelorus.

The Philomel, Oden, Alert.

Do something effectively for us?

Contrive the gun-runners to hunt.

The Fox, Espiegle, and Perseus.

The launches, the Highflyer too?

When you were a kind, your old nurse used.

To do something better to you.

Ah! well Sir I've told you my story.

Your questions, the "Powers that be".

May answer, for they in their glory.

Are running the business, NOT ME.


Monday 17th March 1913

Blowing all day, moderated towards evening.  8.0pm started off for Farur.  Hell of a night heavy swell.


Tuesday 18th March 1913

Thick haze over everything.  No sign of land, but we happened on the up mail about four oclock, and got bearing and distance of Farur.  Made Farur about 6.30 and anchored in 6 fathoms to Westward of island.


Wednesday 19th March 1913

Blowing strong Nashi all day.  Landed shooting party.  Saw plenty of gazelle but discovered that it is oo ought to be the close season.


Thursday 20th March 1913

Anchored at Hanjain midnight having been under weigh since 4.0am.  

Kaus all day accompanied by lightning & heavy rain.  


Friday 21st March 1913, Good Friday

Boarded down mail.  Afterwards landed and wired for orders.  White dined on board.  

At 2.0am grounded by the stern, soft mud.  Got off without difficulty, no damage.


Saturday 22nd March 1913

Received mail.  Arrived at Bandar Abbas in the evening, found Pelorus there.  All quiet.  

The The Baharhos are down for the annual raid, this time 19 of them were short by the railaray surveyors, and some forty Mekran levies.


Sunday 23rd March 1913

Rained all day.  Alert came in in forenoon.


Monday 24th March 1913

Watered alongside Alert, and proceeded to cruise about for 24 hours.  However as it was beginning to blow we anchored under the lee of Larak.


Tuesday 25th March 1913

Weighed & steamed towards Musandam during forenoon.  Arrived and anchored off Pelorus at Bandar Abbas about 8.30pm, Karanja arriving shortly afterwards.


Wednesday 26th March 1913

Mail arrived by Odin about five oclock.  Karanja & skiff pulled Pelorus skiff.  Pelorus won.  Letter from Pincher.  Proceeded at 6.0 pm for Musandam, night at sea.



Thursday 27th March 1913

Anchored off Hormoz about four oclock.  Remarkably well preserved old castle (see Sykes 10,000 Persia), presumably built by Portuguese in 15th century.  In several places wooden beams still in place.  The outline of the old town can still be traced, about three miles in circumference.  The whole thing reminded me very much of Diocletian's palace at Spalato.  Built of stone.  Several arches still standing.  Afterwards had quite a good evenings sport at pigeons, bagged five, four of which I was responsible for.



Friday 28th March 1913

At Bandar Abbas and Khor Kawi.


Saturday 29th March 1913

At sea.


Sunday 30th March 1913

At sea.  Started meals on summer palace.


Monday 31st March 1913

Henjam for coal. Played tennis.  Wrote to K and ELW.


Tuesday 1st April 1913

Oh don't the days seem lank & long.

When all goes right and nothing goes wrong.

Oh isn't your life extremely flat.

When there is nothing what ever to crumble at.


Proceeding in a leisurely way from Henjam to Taub.


At this stage in the diary there are some poems pasted in that read as follows:





Little lad, little lad, and who's for an airing,

   Who's for the river and who's for a run;

Four little pads to go fitfully faring,

   Looking for trouble and calling it fun?

Down in the sedges the water-rats revel,

   Up in the wood there are bunnies at play

With a weather-eye wide for a Little Black Devil:

   But the Little Black Devil won't come to-day.


To-day at the farm the ducks may slumber,

   To-day may the tabbies an anthem raise;

Rat and rabbit beyond all number

   To-day untroubled may go their ways:

To-day is an end of the shepherd's labour,

   No more will the sheep be hunted astray;

And the Irish terrier, foe and neighbour,

   Says "What's old Hamish about to-day?"


Ay, what indeed? In the nether spaces

   Will the soul of a Little Black Dog despair?

Will the Quiet Folk scare him with shadow-faces?

   And how will he tackle the strange beasts there?

Tail held high, I'll warrant, and bristling,

   Marching stoutly if sore afraid,

Padding it steadily, softly whistling;-

   That's how the Little Black Devil was made.


Then well-a-day for a "cantie callant,"

   A heart of gold and a soul of glee,-

Sportsman, gentleman, squire and gallant,-

   Teacher, maybe, of you and me.

Spread the turf on him light and level,

   Grave him a headstone clear and true-

"Here lies Hamish the Little Black Devil,

   And half of the heart of his mistress too."

C. Hilton Brown.



"All thoughts, all creeds, all dreams are true,

   All visions wild and strange;

Man is the measure of all truth

   Unto himself.  All truth is change:


All men do walk in sleep, and all

   Have faith in that they dream:

For all things are as they seem to all,

   And all things flow like a stream.


There is no rest, no calm, no pause,

   Nor good nor ill, nor light nor shade,

Nor essence nor eternal laws:

   For nothing is, but all is made.

But if dream that all these are,

   They are to me for that I dream:

For all things are as they seem to all,

   And all things flow like a stream."





"It was early last September night to Framlin'am-on-sea,

An' 'twas Fair-day come to-morrow, an' the time was after tea.

An' I met a painted caravan adown a dusty lane,

A Pharaoh with his waggons comin' jolt an' creak an' strain;

A cheery cove an' sunburnt, bold o' eye an' wrinkled up,

An' beside him on the splash board sat a brindled tarrier pup,

An' a lurcher wise as Solomon an' lean as fiddle-strings

Was joggin' in the dust around 'is roundabouts and swings.


'Goo'-day said 'e; 'Goo'-day,' said I; 'an' 'ow d'you find things go,

An' what's the chance o' millions when you runs a travellin' show?'

'I find,' said 'e, 'things very much as 'ow I've always found,

For mostly they goes up and down or else goes round and round.'

Said e', the job's the very spit o' what it always were,

It's bread and bacon mostly when the dog don't catch a 'are;

But lookin' at it broad, an' while it ain't no merchant king's,

What's lost upon the roundabouts we pulls up on the swings!


'Goo' luck,' said 'e; 'Goo' luck,' said I; 'you've put it past a doubt;

An' keep that lurcher on the road, the gamekeepers is out';

'E thumped upon the footboard an' 'e lumbered on again

To meet a gold-dust sunset down the owl-light in the lane;

An' the moon she climbed the azels, while a night-jar seemed to spin

That Pharaoh's wisedom o'er again, 'is sooth of lose-and-win;

For ' up an' down an' round,' said 'e, goes all appointed things,

An' losses on the roundabouts means profits on the wings!'"



Wednesday 2nd April 1913

Watered from Odin at Henjam.


Thursday 3rd April 1913

Anchored off Khasab.  Very hot wind.  Temperature up to 97.  Spread side screens.


Friday 4th April 1913

At sea.


Saturday 5th April 1913

Ditto.  Temp about 80.


Sunday 6th April 1913

Anchored off Saub.  Visibility 20 miles.  Saw Homer who is building lighthouse.  Take about three months to build.  Capable of being dismantled in 48 hours for political reasons.  Light being built without reference to Persian government as island is supposed to belong to Arab Sheikh.  Blew up some fish with dynamite cartridges.  What a damnable voice that fellow has got.


Monday 7th April 1913

Same old shunt, looked at a few old dhows.  


Tuesday 8th April 1913

Evening received mail.  Letters from Mother, Vera, A, & Marsh.  Shamel blowing, no sleep.  


Wednesday 9th April 1913

Alongside Odin for water.  Shoved off at two oclock, still shamaling.  Atmosphere a little less highly charged owing to soothing influence of mail.  Anchor Henjam 10.0pm.  Chart blew overboard on way in.  Bright lads informed me about 10 minutes afterwards.  Discharged old Holmes to Odin for passage home, gave one fireman leave.  Blowing like hell.  Wrote to Vare.


Who is this that darkineth counsel by words without knowledge.  Job 38.2


Thursday 10th April 1913

Coaled at Henjam am.  Played tennis with White, and two telegraph clerks James & Tomlinson.  Afterwards honoured with a command to "upstairs".  Dined with White and his clerk "Nagarki".



Friday 11th April 1913

To sea 5am having left interpreter on the beach.  Fouled anchor & dragged some considerable way.  Sighted slow mail "Bankura" in afternoon and boarded her about five oclock.  Met Mrs Homer.  Sea again stopped about 9pm.


Saturday 12th April 1913

Arrived at Taub pm to find Odin there, watering lighthouse brigade.  However she shoved off about 6.30 so we remained.  Dined with Homer.  Lighthouse getting on splendidly but was nearly delayed by an important bit of iron being adrift.  However it turned up after 150 yards of the foreshore had been dug up in the search.  After dinner listened to Homer's gramaphone. 


Sunday 13th April 1913

Sea.  Atmosphere pultry.


Monday 14th April 1913

Sea.  Slight insubordination, principly stirred up by the champion gunner 7 ably assisted by my military friend.


Tuesday 15th April 1913

Presented my dissatisfied friend with 14 days IOA for insolence & frivolous request.  Gave the others a nasty shock too.


Wednesday 16th April 1913

Met Odin off Taub.  Watered & proceeded to Henjam having previously planted 7 in Odin.  Decided improvement noticed on his departure.  Coaled at Henjam and left about 6.30.  Good mail two tophole letters from Mother, also news of Father's appointment to command Scottish coast defences (Cuthbert's father, Maj Gen Fredereck Crofton Heath-Caldwell, was in the Royal Engineers). 


Thursday 17th April 1913

Anchored in Khor Kawi for shelter from Shamal.  Blowing.


Friday 18th April 1913

Still anchored in Kor Kawi.  Landed on island with Mr Bunyard.  Stalked wild goats all the afternoon, also saw a gazelle and a brace of partridges.  Mr Bunyard shot two goats. 

I fired about 25 rounds but missed them all.  Mr Bunyard also shot 5 grey mullet with rife, about 3-4lbs each.


Saturday 19th April 1913

Boarded several dhows off Khor Kawi.  Followed dhow flying French flag & anchored near her off Khasab.  Big dhow, name Fathel Keir painted on quarter.  Baluchi crew. 

Owner M. Soguey, Muscat.  Nakoda.  Ismail Sahak.  Black tip to steampost with white band.  Probably has arms.  Verified papers.  Left Muscat 25 March.


Sunday 20th April 1913

Left Khasab 7.0am.  Arrived Tamb 4.30pm.  Landed letters for Homer.  Homer came on board.  7.30pm left for Khasab.


Monday 21st April 1913

Arrived Khasab 8.0am.  Found second Frenchman owner, Deisines & Cir (?) Muscat.  Nakoda Pindeok bin - has been to Barka & Sohar where she probably picked up arms.  Both dhows have sails bent, & spent most of day laying out & weighing anchors.


At this stage of the diary is written a note which appears to be out of place.  It reads as follows:


Fortune.  Death of acqaintance (casual male), death of female.  With first death come tidings of fortune.  Mans name begins with J.  Females name K.  Finish launches in Sept.  6th May hear news which will be production of journey (to Karachi I hope) probably to England.


Tuesday 22nd April 1913

Still at anchor.  Frenchmen weighed about 10.0pm.  Followed them out.


Wednesday 23rd April 1913

Following Frenchmen.  Last seen off Shuam.


Thursday 24th April 1913

Spent whole forenoon looking for dhows.  Anchored off Ras al Khaima at noon.  Landed for information.  Bought two ducks for Rs 2 each.  Also heard that French booms had anchored at Shuam.  Wireless orders from Pelorus to meet him Linga next day.  Passed French dhow off Shuam.


Friday 25th April 1913

Mail. Heard of death of Aunt M (this was probably his aunt Eliza Louisa Marsh-Caldwell of Linley Wood, who died in 1913.  This resulted in the Linley Wood estate passing to Cuthbert's father, Frederick Crofton Heath.  Both then added the name Caldwell to their surname to become Heath-Caldwell ).  Met Pelorus off Linga.  Watered received pay for March; afterwards ordered to take native troops to Basidu & meet Pelorus there.  Shamel & dust storm blowing (glass very low).  Half way there & more orders from Pelorus to return to Linga.  All soldiers very sick.  Finally got rid of them about 10.30pm with loss of nothing less than one water bottle. 


Saturday 26th April 1913

Daylight weighed and proceeded to Chiru - Bistana beat to look for Karanja.  Sill blowing.  Anchored Charak.


Sunday 27th April 1913

Still at Charak.  Natives state that it will blow for 20 days.


Monday 29th April 1913

Met Pelorus.  Tuesday mail.  GM's death (Mary Helsham-Jones, step grandmother?).  

Arrived Heijam 1am Wednesday.  Coal.  Wednesday night anchored Tarub.  Elephantia.  Sight Dafferin.


Thursday 1st May 1913

Abu Musa.  Shoot pigeons.  Very bad head.


Friday 2nd May 1913

Hover round Abu Musa.  Away sailing in skiff.


Saturday 3rd May 1913

Met Philomel.  


Sunday 4th May 1913

Took over Tazistan beat from Karanja.


Monday 5th May 1913



Tuesday 6th May 1913

Philomel mail, water, soup.  Fed up.  Anchored Kais Shamel.


Wednesday 7th May 1913

Still at Kais.  Shamal.  Exercise 2-7.  Shot one pigeon.  


Thursday 8th May 1913

Anchored off Shinas.  Sent interpreter into Linga.  He returned with five tame pigeons. 



Saturday 10th May 1913

At Taub.


Sunday 11th May 1913

2.30am arrive Henjam.  6.15am alongside Minto for stores & water.  Afterwards coal.  Philomel & Spinx arrive in course of forenoon.  Reliefs joined.


Monday 12th May 1913

Left for Ras al Kuh.  Tuesday morning followed Odin anchored near Jask for mail and fruit.  D.R. defect.


Tuesday 13th May 1913

Arrived off Ras al Kuh early and sighted Odin about 8 oclock.  A Shamal & moderate sea running so followed her in under lea of Ras al Kuh for shelter anchoring about 11.00am.  Remained at anchor to repair broken pipe in E.R. (Engine Room?)


Wednesday 14th May 1913

Weighed 6.0am and anchored again for shelter close under Ras al Kuh after boarding two dhows.  Landed with gunner & interpreter and tramped over a low sandy plain covered with camel grass for an hour or so.  Sun intensely hot & we were very glad to reach shade of date gardens of village of Ras al Kuh.  After a rest shot a few doves.  Interpreter bought 7 chickens & some eggs.  Finally rode back, gunner & interpreter on donkeys, myself on camel.  Noticed a mango tree in village.  Inhabitants seemed very friendly and slightly cleaner than Persians, the women particularly being quite graceful.


Thursday 15th May 1913

At sea, examining the coast up.  Anchored in 3 fathoms to Northward of Kunari Point.  Landed amid the mangrove swamps.  Plenty of herons about, and houbara (?).  At 2.30pm we caught a 15lb bonito on line towed over the quarter.


Friday 16th May 1913

Anchored off Kuhistak about four pm.


Saturday 17th May 1913

Landed interpreter at Khajum am, with orders to go to Minau and buy fruit.  Sailed into creek in evening and sounded.  About four feet, at low water right inside, but bar practically awash.  Excellent shelter for dhows.


Sunday 18th May 1913

Minto appeared am, so perforce we had to coal, this being the second Sunday running.  Frequent expeditions to the beach to see if interpreter had returned.  Finally landed at four oclock and started to walk along caravan route towards Minab, soon met interpreter returning.  Rough trip off in skiff. 


Monday 19th May 1913

100°F on bridge.


Tuesday, Wednesday 21st May 1913

Off Ras al Kuh waiting for Odin.


Thursday 22nd May 1913

Odin appeared with mail.  Anchored off Sihik pm.  Landed interpreter who returned at midnight.


Friday 23rd May 1913

Shipped billet to Jakrei (chart Juru).  Interpreter came off with two individuals who gave a lot of information about gun-runners.


Saturday 24th May 1913

Visited Khargun.  Caught 10lb barracuda on stern line.


Sunday 25th May 1913

Anchored off Belai, about four oclock.  Landed and met Mir Hajji.  Donkeys were produced and we rode into Sirik accompanied by the usual bodyguard.  On arriving at the village we sat down on carpet outside the Sheikh's house, and watched the luti-wallahs dancing in honour of the marriage of one of the Sheikh's nephews to his daughter.  The performers consisted of about eight women, dressed in red clothes with gold nose rings and other ornaments, also three men who constituted the band with two tom toms, and a small trumpet, out of which they extracted the devil's own din.  Finally Mir Hajji asked me to stay to dinner, which consisted of a roast chicken and some chupatties.  After dinner the whole population walked around the village lead buy the band aforesaid, lighted by torches.  Then followed more dances, and finally I got away about eleven oclock. 


Monday 26th May 1913



Tuesday 27th May 1913

Met Odin off Ras al Kuh with mail.  Anchored Sirik pm.  


Wednesday 28th May 1913

Interpreter came off with news that Mir Hajji had shot one of his own men at Gunari in order to throw suspicion on Mir Birkelt, also Mir H on warpath.  Coal & water from Minto at Larak pm.


Thursday 29th May 1913

Off Khagun.  Anchored Gurn pm.  Plenty of trees, shot two doves two hares.

"But for myself, I have not much opinion of a seafaring life" Hazlite "The Indian Jugglers".


Sunday 1st June 1913



Monday 2nd June 1913

Landed Guru for two hours.  During week shot two hares and several pigeons.  

Saw several partridges.


Tuesday 3rd June 1913

Met Odin off Ras al Kuh.  No letters for me.


Wednesday 4th June 1913

Anchored of Khoer Minau pm.


On 4th June 1913 in England, the suffragette Emily Davison died after having thrown herself in front of the King's horse in the Derby.


Thursday 6th June 1913

pm.  Anchored off Kukistak.  Away sailing in afternoon.  Landed about five oclock with gunner.  Country sand hills with heathery bushes and occasionally patches of prickly scrub.  Saw three gazelle and a few partridges.


Sunday 8th June 1913

Anchored Henjam daylight.


Wednesday 10th June 1913

Hauled up to Eastward of spit.  Quite a successful operation.  Rows with Minto.  Mem RIM brigade very touchy (livers?).  Bloody war going on ashore between the Janes & Stormer family.  Very foolish.  Read Also & Perhaps, & unaddressed letters.


Thursday 11th June 1913

Went over to Deristan pm.  Put up at old Hajjis hour fairly clean, lived principally on native food rice & chickens.  Started off on Friday morning on camels.  Devilish hot no proper stukari.  Wednesday - mail arrived.  Saturday slow mail.  Obtained some mangoes.


Sunday 22nd June 1913

Refit finished.  Successful trial in early morning.  Everyone rather edgy.  Arrived Tamb at 4.0pm.  Anchored.  Called on Homer and inspected lighthouse.  Came away with a gallon of Ripolin, some white paint and two hedgehogs.  Weighed at 8.0pm.


Monday 23rd June 1913

Anchored Chiru 5.0pm.  Sheihk Ahmed on topline.  Shot a hare & a partridge (rather early).  

6 chickens hatched out of 8 eggs.  


Wednesday 25th June 1913

Striking case.  Damned nuisance. 


Thursday 26th June 1913

Spent all day searching big dhow off Ras Yarid.


Friday 27th June 1913

Met Karanja with our mail off Farur.  Letters from Father, Mother & Pincher.


Saturday  28th June 1913

Anchor Chiru pm.  Rode Sheikh's pony.


Sunday 29th June 1913

Anchored Kais pm.


Monday 30th June 1913

Coaled & watered from Minto pm off Farur.  Scranja turned out & Rogers & I had chow on board.  Anchored off Scranja near Farur village pm.  Scranja shifted billet 4.0am having bumped a rock.  10.30 Arrival of Marsh with boat load of hauses.  11-12 Vast quantities of &ldots; & sand arrived and are piled up forward.  1.25 Operation began.  Grass line is sent out in Minto's steam boat, at 2nd attempt they bend it on to, shore hauses, having managed to get it foul of dhow.  Much shouting and swearing in Hindustani (principlly at dhow's crew who only understand Persian).


Tuesday 1st July 1913

Slow mail arrived about 8.30 & was boarded by Minto.  Went out and got first pick of sun helmets.  Rogers & Mr Hartudt had tiffin with us.  Up mail arrived about 4.30pm.  Raced Scraija out & beat her.  One letter and all papers arrived.


Wednesday 2nd July 1913

Piglons which deserted on Sunday returned this evening.  Still blowing Shamel.


Thursday 3rd July 1913

Anchored off Chiru in evening.  Short walk and long bathe.


Friday 4th July 1913

Sighted Pelorus bound for Muscat and Colombo.  Chased Pelorus.  Went on board for about a quarter of an hour.  All in high spirits on account of scrap up at Dilman (about 20 natives killed, our casualties one killed and four wounded).  Apparently the inhabitants opened fire on the boats when they went in to haul off dhows.  In end Pelorus, Philomel & Sphinx landed every available man.  Received a few letters and some overdue papers.  Amongst papers one from Endrim Toowong.


Sunday 6th July 1913

Bistone to Chiru.  Anchored Chiru pm.


Tuesday 7th July 1913

Met mail off Farur.  Karanja & Minto there.  No letter from Mother, one from A.



Thursday 9th July 1913

Minto turned up am, and went off with Mr Bunyard (gunner, candidate for mate) and Derick L.S. poisoned foot.


Friday 11th July 1913

Anchored off Bistona at 8.0pm and passed most uncomfortable night.  Not a wink of sleep till 4.0 oclock owing to swell.  Stopped another pearl merchant off Miju with 110 rounds of manulicher ammunition which he could not account for satisfactorily.


Saturday 12th July 1913

Weighed 6.0am.  Shortly afterwards sighted Karanja astern.  Closed and picked up 

Mr Bunyard again.  It appears that when he arrived at Hejam on Friday morning he shifted to the Elephanta & there to the shore, the slow mail having gone 24 hours earlier.  Then another telegram arrived from SNO saying his passage was cancelled (presumably till arrival of relief) so he came back to Tamb where he rejoined Karanja & incidentally passed a most uncomfortable night.  Anchored at Chiru this evening and shot a pseudo sand grouse, also visited the remains of whale.  He must have been at least fourty feet long & judging from footmarks must have been a regular godsend to the jackals.


Sheikh most interested in his forts.  He and his brother Abdullah have declared war on Mogam & Kalat & they say that Abdullah with 400 men has beaten Mogam having killed two.  But it is most probably a lie.  The following is a copy of curious document discovered stowed away in writing table.  The writing is shaky and whole manuscript shows signs of antiquity. 


Examination of candidates for Captain of an armed launch.  

Time allowed 3 hours.  Only 6 questions to be attempted.


I.  Give Hindostani, Persian and Goanese equivalents of.

(a)"fool".  (b) swine.  (c) "You are a damned liar".  (d) He is no good at all. 

(e) That will be one days pay.


II.  Write a specimen letter to Senior Naval Officer, explaining that.

(1) Half your crew are sick.  

(2) The remainder are bad characters.

(3) You consider that they should all be relieved.


III.  Give SNO's reply to letter in question II.


IV.  Describe how to tame a wild Goanese cook aged (according to his service certificate) 50.  Said cook knows no language but Goanese.  Special consideration should be given to "Breaking to soap & water".


V.  Describe briefly "How not to beach an armed launch on the occasion of her (alleged) quarterly overhaul.


VI.  Describe cause, symptoms & treatment of:

(a) Prickly heat.

(b) Boils.

(c) Malaria.

(d) Persiangulfitis.


VII.  (a)  Give specimen weekly anchoring returns for following beats

(1) Chiru to Bistane.

(2) Tamb to Abu Musa.

(3) Farur to Musandam.

In your answer "considered expedient" is not to be used as a reason for anchoring.

(b) Write down number of times per month you consider it safe to give "shelter from Shamel" as a reason for anchoring.




VIII.  The quartermaster (who is a youthful marine) wakes you up at 6.0am, and informs you that he has lost overboard

(a) The service binoculars.

(b) The service telescope.

(c) Your own binoculars.

Give a selection of remarks suitable to each case.


IX.  A is CO of a launch, which is on a lonely beat and has no chance of meeting a man-of-war for at least 6 weeks.  His crew consist of 1 Gunner, 11 PO's, NCO's & men of the Royal Navy & Marines, besides 11 lascar stokers.  At 10.30am the gunner informs A that.

(1) The PO requests to be relieved because he cannot get on with the Gunner.

(2) 6 men request to be relieved because they cannot get on with the Gunner or Petty Officer.

(3) The PO & six men are in the report for insolence to the Gunner.

What should A do?


X.  Write an essay on the Arms Traffic Blockade with special reference to armed launches.  Describe the changes that you would make if you were

(1) The C-in-C East Indies.

(2) Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf Division.


XI.  Write a letter to a friend explaining the advantages of life in an armed launch.


XII.  Write a service letter requesting to be relieved of your command.


Sunday 13th July 1913

Pariah bitch puppy joined ship.


Monday 14th July 1913

Anchored Farur pm.


Tuesday 15th July 1913

Mail day.


Thursday 17th July 1913

Met Minto at Tamb & developed defect in feed pipe.  Off to Henjam for repairs to same.


Friday 18th July 1913

Played cricket with Harolds and Mintos.  Alert & slow mail arrived in evening.  

Left about nine thirty.


A printed poem as follows has been inserted into the Diary at this point.



(A Kitten Buried at Sea.)


Not in a garden of rose and lily

Where the bee and the blackbird play,

Not in a cloistered crypt and chilly

Under the minster grey; 

But under the fair and open Heaven,

Longitude fifty, latitude seven,

The wind in the east and the hour eleven,

Peter was laid away.



A dirge for Peter, son of the morning,

A dirge for Peter, infant of days,

Snatched from the sun with never a warning,

. . .  in the nether ways:

Down where the fearsome deep-sea cattle

Stare and terrify, rend and battle,

And the bones of long-lost mariners rattle,

Poor little Peter strays.


And yet down there, -there can be no telling

And a mortal may not know -

A kindlier folk may keep their dwelling

Where a little cat could go:

And he must have met with the Sea King's rangers,

Aye on the watch for land-born strangers

To guide their feet through the deep-sea dangers:-

At least let it have it so.


So now he lives upon lordly dishes,

Sleeps on a princely mat,

Hunts all day for the little fishes,

Waxes exceeding fat;

And courtiers cry to him - sorely smitten

By Peter's claws, and probably bitten-

"Hail, oh Peter! a land-child's kitten,

Peter,the Sea-King's cat"C. Hilton Brown.


Saturday 19th July 1913

am to Linga where I left some mess gear for Minto & incidentally got some mangoes and sour limes.


Monday 22nd (21st) July 1913

To Farur for mail.  Stopped down mail Kha on Tuesday morning, but up mail, Dcoarka was 26 hours late &  did not arrive until Wednesday evening.


Friday 25th July 1913

Devilish hot.  Stormy Shamel.  Tempurature up here 108°.


Saturday 26th July 1913

Shamal still blowing.  Weighed at 6 oclock & damaged a dhow off Kais.  Escorted dhow to anchorage but damage slight.  In afternoon to Chiru.  Ashore to play cricket.


Sunday 27th July 1913

Weighed 6.30 & proceeded East slow.  Shamel came on about 3.30pm so anchored off Charak about four thirty.  Feeling rather fed up with everything.  Read several chapters of Dr Johnston.  Although the famous doctor seems to me to have been rather a pompous individual (a course of seafaring which he so much despised would have done him good), I like the book better every time I read it.


Sunday 3rd August 1913

Shamal lasted well on into last week.  We coaled & watered from Minto at Farur on Tuesday and mail arrived about two oclock.  Two letters for me but all my papers from Everett were adrift for second time running.  We had a rotten trip up to Kais arriving there at 11pm.  Nothing of importance has occurred during week.  All dhows have returned from pearling in preparation for Ramadan.  Have rather allowed small worries to get on my mind, & have been feeling rather depressed.  Ramadan commenced this week & all dhows are now back from pearling.



Saturday 9th August 1913

Coaled from Minto off Farur on Tuesday morning.  She afterwards proceeded to Linga taking our interpreter.  Up mail did not reach Farur until 10.30pm.  Karanja got mail & we afterwards proceeded to Linga.  I anchored 2.30am, Karanja at 3.30.  Left 7.0am next day and anchored for night at Charak.  Blowing Shamal.  Landed and saw three Hyenas.  Anchored Kais Thursday evening about 8.30.  Very thick & did not sight island more than a mile & a half away.  Friday anchored at Kais again.  Played Cricket.


Monday 11th August 1913

Anchored Farur 4.30pm.  Landed with gunner after gazelle.  I only had one shot, (running about 150 yards) which I missed.  The gunner got a fine fat doe.  Karanja arrived evening.


Tuesday 12th August 1913

Weighed 4.30am & took mail to Minto.  Afterwards coaled & watered.  Home mail arrived about two oclock.  Karanja & Minto proceeded for Linga.  Sighted Sphinx about three oclock, flying Resident's flag.  Followed them to Hassina where they anchored.  Dined with Oswald.  A nice lot there Oswald, Spurgeon & Braisford, doctor Cock, AP name unknown but a good sort.  The Resident Sir Percy Cox a very distinguished looking man.  New was on board too.  Apparently visit to Hassina was in connection with missing cutter, but whole thing is supposed to be a great secret.


Wednesday 13th August 1913

Anchored Chiru pm.  Cricket.


Thursday 14th August 1913

Remained at anchor & painted side.  Cricket in evening.  Foster with temperature of 102°.  My diagnosis is overheating.  Prescribed normal remedies, viz:- bursting charge followed by quinine in large quantities.  Dixie behaved very badly all day and received several lickings.


Monday 18th August 1913

Anchored Farur 5.30pm in company with Karanja, ashore with Mr Bunyard after gazelle.  

I had one very good chance just after sunset but missed it.  

Couldn't get to sleep till about one oclock.


Tuesday 19th August 1913

Under weigh at 4.0pm to catch down mail.  Mr Bunyard departed by it, after nearly missing his trip.  The Karanja took interpreter into Linga for provisions, returning about 2.30pm.  Up mail arrived about 12.30.  We sighted here an hour and a half before she arrived, or about 22 miles off.  A very satisfactory mail, including several books.  Started reading Hajji Baba of Jspahan.


Saturday 23rd August 1913 off Charak.

I met the Karanja off Bistana at midnight on Thurday, and anchored there for night.  Acting on his information I found Minto at Bisidu on Friday.  We coaled & watered and afterwards proceeded to Linga where we anchored at eight oclock.  Dined in the Elephanta.  Hear that Wood the lighthouse expert died in Muscat and was buried at midnight.  The cemetary is to the West of the harbour, and entails a trip of about half and hour by steam boat.  The landing is very bad and depends on state of tide.  A propos of this following story, rather green but not without humour.  I must explain that Nassib the contractor digs graves.  When the ceremony was over Consul observed that Nassib was still diging.  Consul log "Nassib, what are you doing there".  Oh digging grave Sahib - spare one!  Have been reading Schegton's book the Strayling of Persia.  British foregn office cuts rather a sorry figure.

Have also borrowed volume of A Lindsay Gordons poems, lent me by Cameron in Minto.  Following extracts.



We, too "Jobs comforters" have met

With steps like ours unsteady.

They could not help themselves and yet

To judge us they were ready

Lifes path is trod at last, and God

More ready to reprieve is.

They know, who rest beneath the sod.

Mors gratum, vita brevis Extract from 

"A song of pilgrimage" by A.L.G.


Question not, but live and labour

Till your goal be won

Helping every feeble neighbour

Seeking help from none

Life is mostly froth and bubble

Two things stand like stone

Kindness in anothers trouble

Courage in your own.Ye wear'ee waffarer by A.L.G.



Let never a tear his memory stain.

Give his ashes never a sigh.

One of many who perished, not in vain.

As a type of our chivalry.



Good sooth there a sorry world I wean

If we all went galloping mad

Yet if once we efface the joys of the Chase

From the land, and outroot the stud.

Goodbye to the Anglo-Saxon race.

Farewell to the Norman blood.


On Sunday 24th, Foster came up with an alarming looking abscess (thecal absess) in his hand.  I went straight to Linga where we arrived at 8.30.  Doctor could not perform operation that night.  Left Linga at about 10.30 Monday morning.  Anchored at Farur 4.30pm.  Landed with Coxon, Derrick & McQuade to shoot gazelle.  Down mail arrived unexpectedly (9 hours before her usual time) at 8.0pm.  Caught her with difficulty.  Derrick and McQuade adrift.  Anchored 10pm and landed interpreter, fired Verys lights and a rocket (the latter barely laid out the village).  Derrick turned up 10.30 no sigh of marine.  11.15 landed search party (which I accompanied).  Returned to ship at 1.30am.  Landed another search party and coerced villagers into joining at 5.30am.  Steamed round island.  Search party found marine at 10.0am little the worse for his night out.  Karanja arrived.  Taffin in Karanja.  Up mail arrived midnight on Tuesday.  Proceeded to Linga with Sphinx's mail.  Arrived there at 5.0am. 

Interview with Colonel Cox and Commander Tod, off to Shinderah, Mogam & Sheihk Shuab to make enquiries about missing Perseus cutter.  Arrived Hindarabi 4.30pm Wednesday. 

With assistance of Mullah explained about cutter.   Left Hindarabi 4.30am.  Visited Mogam & Sheikh Shuab in forenoon and second village Sheikh Shuab in afternoon. 

Left 4.30 for Henjam.  Derrick taken ill in evening.  Another night out for me.


Tuesday 2nd September 1913 at Henjam

We arrived here Friday evening having developed a boiler defect.  Found Karanja and Minto here.  It was decided to commence our refit now.  Minto sailed on Sunday morning leaving 12 dockyard workmen with us.  Dined in Karanja Friday night.  Saturday Rogers, Heaton from Karanja, Manfield, Boultbee from Elephanta dined with me.  Played tennis on Sunday evening, White & James dined with me.  Monday evening played cricket, dined with White.  Tuesday (today) played tennis.  My first effort in Henjam tournament was not auspicious, as I was beated by James although he gave me 30 in every game.  Discovered leak in DW tank this evening.  Ramadan ends this evening.


Wednesday 3rd September 1913

Mail arrived, also offensive letter from CO Minto.  What an infernal nuisance these half & halfers are.  Give me either the Royal N (which is bad enough at times) or else the pukka genuine merchant service.  Played tennis in the evening.  Feeling pretty fed up all round.


Sunday 6th September 1913

Since last entry, have been ashore playing cricket and tennis alternate days.  Disturbance on board in evening.  I arrived in time to find most of sailors half drunk, two of whom had violently assaulted coxswain.  The later is undoubtedly tactless, never goes out of his way to be pleasant to anyone.  A most infernal nuisance.  It is difficult to know what to do.  I have done my best to make things as pleasant as possible for all hands, but I don't seem to have had any return for it. 


Tuesday 8th September 1913

Everything has been quiet so far but I have considered it advisable to remain on board until new gunner arrives.  I feel very much inclined to put in my chit & clear out, except that that would be akin to a confession of failure.  Very hot this evening.


Tuesday 16th September 1913

Mr Webber arrived last Wednesday, so that after a lapse of three weeks I have at last got another gunner.  I have played a good deal of tennis.  Minto arrived on Saturday morning, and we were beached on Sunday, a process which entailed far less agony than normal, partly owing to the fact that we kedged close in shore the previous night.  The Lawrence arrived on Thursday evening.  I dined on board her on Friday.  On Saturday Douglas, Marsh, Hallet & Best dinned here.  Today we have coaled & watered.  Trial takes place tomorrow.  Weather still oppressive and I still feel rather out of sorts.


Wednesday 17th September 1913

Coaled am 26 tons (very bad coal nearly all dust).  Warped astern Minto for water yesterday.  Steam trial this afternoon.  Two men sick, left in Minto. 


Thursday 18th September 1913

Left pm for Chiru patrol.


Friday 19th September 1913

Arrived Chiru pm.  Landed with gun and Dixie.  Put up a tremendous lot of partridges at first range of hills, but evidently my day off, as I could not hit them.  Lost Dixie.  Told Sheikh on my way back, who said she was certain to be eaten by hyenas, but that he would look out for her.  Had my usual bathe in evening.  Interpreter brought off some yarn about pirates having been captured off Kalat al abeid by ali Bukka.



Saturday 20th September 1913

Landed 5.30am with interpreter to look for Dixie.  Visited Sheikh en route.  He bought out an enormous hawk which he wished to give me, but I thought it too much of a good thing, though I should have liked to have accepted it.  The gunner suggested keeping it in a hen coup.  We found Dixie about ¾ mile from town.  On way back had tea with Sheikh.  A bathe & then off to breakfast.  Hands painting side.  After breakfast shot two oyster catchers, not very good eating.  4.0pm left for Kais arrived 7.30 after a very close shave for spit.  We cant have been more than 10 yards from it.  Helm hard over full speed ahead one engine, slow astern other, sounded 9 feet, but did not touch. 


Sunday 21st September 1913

Steamed out towards Charak again, anchored Kais 4.30pm.  Landed & visited Bunaia inspected pearls many worth three & four thousand rupees.  Bought 3 for 40 chips.  Bunaia gave me some pearl shells.  Bought some Arab slippers Rs 3.8, two dishes etc.  Mr Webber sick, probably sciatica!



Monday 22nd September 1913

Linga pm for doctor.  Shamel in afternoon.  Left Linga 5.0pm for Farur, arrived 11.0pm after dusting down.  Passed Minto.


Tuesday 23rd September 1913

Mail day.  Anchored off Ras Dastakan at dark.


Wednesday 24th September 1913

Arrived Hejam 10.0am coaled.  Elephanta & Minto in company.  Karaja arrived pm.  Played Karaji at cricket and beat them.  We went in first and made 69, Karanja made 65.  White played for us, Marsh (Minto) Marfield & Boultbee played for Karaja.  Remaining at Henjam owing to boiler defect.


Thursday 25th September 1913

Astern of Minto for water in forenoon.  Played Karanja again in evening.  Put them in first, all out for 39.  We went in and made 82 for three wickets when we had to draw stumps owing to light.


Friday 26th September 1913

Discharged Bin to the shore sick.  He wept as he said goodbye.  However I hope to get him back.  Anchored for night off Shinas.


Saturday 27th September 1913

Anchored Chiru pm.  Ashore after partridges.  Saw four coveys and one hare but returned empty handed, a bathe & so off to dinner.  Blowing a gental Kaus, no Shamel.  Rather an oppressive night. 


Sunday 28th September 1913

Proceeding leisurely towards Charak, anchored 5.30pm.  Away sailing & intended to fish but Dixie swallowed the hooks (no ill effects apparent so far) then I dropped the line overboard & failed to pick it up.  Finally landed & bathed.  Slight Shamel this evening.  Good sunset. 


"Verily my compassion compassion overcometh my wrath" (Mohamed)


Ah love, could you & I with fault conspire.

To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire.

Would we not shatter it to bits & then.

Remould it nearer to our hearts desire."


Anchored Farur as usual from mail on Monday.  Fox arrived on Tuesday morning and we were ordered to proceed to Henjam.  Arrived there 5.30pm, proceeded alongside Minto for water 7.0pm, remained there until midnight, then shoved off with only half our water.


Wednesday 1st October 1913 Biyaban Coast

Target alongside at daylight.  Fox came in with mails at about 6.00am.  Proceeded on board with my criminals about 6.30am.  They were soon weighed off as C.O. of Fox gave them exactly what I put them in for.  Fox gave us one A.B. and sent a signalman.  Spent all Wednesday forenoon towing targets for Fox.  Coaled on return to harbour.  Some talk of our taking on Quoins.  Remained at Henjam all Thursday, left daylight on Friday for Sirik.


(It is in October 1913 that Cuthbert's surname is recorded in Navy records as changing from Heath to Heath-Caldwell)


Sunday evening 5th October 1913  

Anchored off Sirik Friday evening.  Saturday anchored off Kuhistak.  A few dhows about, which we boarded.  Landed 4pm in company with gunner.  Walked for two hours, saw one gazelle (which came bursting over the top of the hill towards me, but was off out of it before I had time to shoot).  We had stand easy near a creek where I observed a kingfisher at work.  On our return the interpreter (Nainarji from Shiraz) announced that Mr Hajji was at Kuhistak & that he wished to come off and see me.  A boat was sent in & he & three of his ruffians came off about 8 oclock & stayed till ten.  He pitched the usual yarn about his son in law & chiefest enemy Birkett Khan & asked for some ammunition.  He also gave us some vague & unsatisfactory information regarding arms.  Finally he dictated a couple of letters to the SNO and political agent.  This morning we left at 7.0 & arrived here (Buyi) about 5.0pm.




Wednesday 8th October 1913  

Left Larak 4.0am.  Arrived Henjam and coaled & watered.  Arrived Bandur Abbas 9pm with Palinurus mail.


Thursday 9th October 1913

Left Bandur Abbis 10am, 11.30 course for Muscat owing to trouble with an AB, a thoroughly bad hat I have been trying to get shifted ever since I have been here.


Saturday 11th October 1913

Arrived Muscat & saw SNO.  The AB got 90 days.


Monday 13th October 1913

Left for Karachi to give 14 days leave to each watch.  Boil in my armpit rather troublesome.  Arrived at Karachi 6.0pm Friday 17th & secured to bouys.  Saturday. Visited Port Officer Commander Wilson R.I.M.


Monday 27th October 1913

Started off for Hab river on camels.  Arrived about 4.0pm.  Wilson & one servant with son.  


Tuesday 28th October 1913

Caught 3½ lb maksear, shot a brace sandgouse.



Wednesday 29th October 1913

Wilson returned to Mugger Pear via bungalow.  I remained behind & fished (with no result).  Met Ommanly (a policeman) with his family, all on tour.


Thursday am

Remained at Muggar Pear for morning & shot three couple of snipe and one quail.  In the evening went to Sind Club ball, quite enjoyed it but was not tremendously struck by it.  Left Karachi Tuesday 3rd November at 6.0pm; arrived at Muscat at 8.0pm on Friday 7th.  Found Swiftsure, Fox, Harold & Karanja there.  Sent McQuade to Fox.


Monday 10th November 1913

Left Muscat (on arrival of mail) for Sohar taking Karanja's mail.


Tuesday 11th November 1913

Arrived off Sohar, no sign of Karanja, anchored off.  Landed with a view to Shikar, however the whole village turned out to meet me.  Shot a few doves (name of village Samar not marked on chart).

To understand all is to excuse all.  Today's great thought.


Wednesday 12th November 1913

Anchored Khos Fakan.  Inhabitants not very friendly.  


Thursday 13th November 1913

Met Karanja off Sohar.  Feeling very mouldy.  Took 6 cascara pills.  Saturday, anchored Sunday bad weather, mostly spent in Khor Fakan.


Wednesday 19th November 1913

Arrived Muscat daylight (Swiftsure & Karanja there).  Received mails etc coaled & took in BW.  Lunch with C.-in-C.  Dined at consulate.


Thursday 20th November 1913

Secured to lower boom of flagship for DW.  Owing to excess of dash carried away foremost wireless mast & topmast.  All replaced by 2.0pm.  Smart piece of work.  Anchored Dymaniyat Island about 7.0pm.


Sunday 23rd November 1913

Temperature 104° and shivering fits.  Stuffed myself full of quinine.


Monday 24th November 1913

Muskat for mails.  Been sick.  Tuesday, Wednesday, Barka to Sohar.  Thursday, anchored Khor Fakan.  Boarded about 12 dhows.  Thoroughly searched one. 


Friday 28th November 1913

Anchored Duhat Haffa an inlet about 2 ½ miles long and 3 to 5 cables broad, depth about 7-9 fathoms.  Hills run sheer up on either side two or three thousand feet.  Remains of several villages to be seen.  Anchored off one with about 50-100 inhabitants.  Apparently nothing to shoot. 


Saturday 29th November 1913

Sheikh came off to pay his respects, and get medicine.  Much interested in gramaphone.


Monday 1st December 1913

Arrived Muskat for mails Sunday evening.  Left 3pm Monday after coaling.  Breakfast with Little.


Tuesday 2nd December 1913

Spent all night off Quoins averaging 2 knots.  North Wester followed by North Easter.  



Wednesday 3rd December 1913

Arrived Henjam.  Fox, Harold, Marhona & Minto there.  Discovered that we should have met Karanja off Suadi on Tuesday.


Thursday 4th December 1913

Played five sets of tennis before breakfast with Venables, Legh and Mr Pegg.  In afternoon played football.  Fox left for Banda Abbas at noon.  We were to have left at 10pm, but an auxilary steam pipe burst, & they were all night mending it. 


Friday 5th December 1913

Left Henjam at 6.00am.  Passed through hole in the wall about 1.30pm.


Saturday 6th December 1913

Met Karanja off Khor Fakan at daylight, & gave her the mail.  Anchored all day.  Rogers & I shot afternoon 1 sandgrouse, 11 doves.


Sunday 7th December 1913

Anchored pm about 10 miles north of Sohar.


Monday 8th December 1913

Anchored pm off As Swaik.


Tuesday 9th December 1913

Anchored about one pm off centre group of Dymaniyat Islands.


Wednesday 10th December 1913

Remained at anchor hands painting side, new departure painting rubbing strake black,  This is owing to our having received about 2 cwt of black paint from Swiftsure.  Spent part of day sailing in skiff with private rig and keel.  Karanja arrived from Muskat with mails in afternoon.  New memo (very confidential & personal) re armed launches and R.I.M.  The result of rows, R.I.M. are to obey orders, which are to be given in form of requests with every consideration for age & R.I.M. seniority of office concerned.  Mail includes letters from Father, Mother & Mr Bunyard.  Home news, civil war in Ulster getting nearer.  Mr Larkin on the warpath, but I think everyone is getting a bit sick of this stuff.  Dixie getting a little more sensible.


Thursday 11th December 1913

The Gulf is full of important personages.  Admiral Slade and his oil commission have been going the rounds for the last month, apparently to find out whether oil is present in sufficient quantities to make it worth while working it.  Then there is General Birdwood one of the leading lights of the army touring the Gulf.  Lastly there is the flagship, but there is no particular interest attached to her visit (I should say) except that his ex C.-in-C. thinks that he ought to see a little of the Gulf before he goes home.  We weighed at 6.15 as usual and have been wandering up the coast looking for dhows, but have discovered nothing but fishing boats.  The steering gear carried away going astern, & the inevitable jet in the feed check valve has gone wrong again.  I fancy most of the steam pipes are rotten & require renewal.


Monday 15th December 1913

Arrived Muscat daylight, found Sphinx anchored there, breakfast & lunch with Oswald.  Coaled & took in BW in forenoon, alongside Sphinx for drinking water in afternoon, shoving off about 3.30.  About 3.0 had a shivering fit with temperature 103°, doctor pronounced it malaria.  Recovered sufficiently to play tennis & afterwards called on Cumming.  Felt bad again, came on board & turned in.  Mail had arrived about three thirty.  Proceeded at 10 oclock for rendezvous.  Strong South Easterly breeze & moderate sea.  Uncomfortable night, but fortunately wind & sea were on quarter.


Tuesday 16th December 1913

Closed flagship (Swiftsure) after noon.  Shaped course for Khor Fakan.  Still blowing.  Another uncomfortable night.  



Wednesday 17th December 1913

Made land 4.30 about 6 miles North of Khor Fakan.  7.30 anchored Khor Fakan.  Sent mails to Mashona & Stared.  Breakfast with Venables.  10.30 Proceeded rolling like devil.  Felt a bit squeamish and could only manage beef tea for lunch.  Very choppy off Lima where we got into race.  Finally decided to anchor for night which we did in a well sheltered spot Duhal Kabul, just before dark.  Landed and caught a good size garfish which foolishly jumped onto the beach.  Cumming seems (or says) he thinks this oil commission is an elaborate blind for something else.  Apparently Sultan Bey not yet signed treaty.


Thursday 18th December 1913 

Arrived Henjam about 4.0pm, found Karanja & Minto there.  After coming through hole in wall wind changed to Shamel so we had it against us nearly all the time.  From 2 to 3pm we had heavy rain.


Friday 19th December 1913

Astern of Minto for water at 6.0am.  Shoved off 8.0am.  Minto left for Basida.  In afternoon went pigeon shooting with Rogers.  He got two pidgeons & a few doves.  The pigeons were found in disused salt pits. Afterwards played one set tennis.  Dined in Karanja. 

Blowing strong Shamel all night.  


Saturday 20th December 1913

Left Henjam 6.30am.  Beam sea rolling at lot.  Most uncomfortable.  Ran into Kumzar cove for shelter at one pm.  Landed & climbed hills.


Sunday 21st December 1913

Anchored at Al Badi after dark.  Weather good.


Monday 22nd December 1913

Landed Al Badi 6.00pm - 9.0.  Bought small calf.  Very good sport shooting doves, no palms, some quite sporting shots.  Only bought back four but got rid of plenty of cartridges.  Anchored pm off Sakamkam? about 15 miles south of Khor Fakan.


Tuesday 23rd December 1913

Landed 6am with Mr Webber.  Walked along through edge of gardens.  Saw & chased two coveys of partridges, but missed them all.  Plenty of thorn fences about 3-5 feet high which required some negotiating.  Bought back four doves.  4.0pm anchored Khor Fakan after boarding a pearler on his way from Sharjar to Sokotra.  Landed, saw two partridges one of which I chased for some time, but couldn't hit anything.  Had shot at several doves but returned empty handed.  Cook put in request to leave - (presumably one reason Cuthbert seemed to spend so much time shooting animals was to provide food for the crew). 

About 8.00pm observed search lights on NE horizon.  Fired three rockets, weighed & proceeded in direction of lights.  We went on until 11pm , but saw nothing more & finally stopped for the night, our hopes of getting a mail being frustrated. 


Wednesday 24th December 1913

Anchored Khor Fakan about 1.0pm.  Some of the sailors landed to get green stuff for decorations.  The Sheikh appears to have been upset by this, but very little if any damage was done.  I think he is rather a cantankerous individual.  I landed about three oclock to the south of the village & walked right up to the northern end.  The gardens there are quite wild with patches of scrub between the palm trees.  Put up three partridges but failed to get them.  Bag two doves and a snippet.


Thursday 25th December 1913 Christmas Day

In forenoon all hands landed and played cricket.  The ground was soft sand & even with the coconut mat conditions were not good.  However it passed away the forenoon & gave everyone some exercise & fresh air.  The mess deck was decorated most successfully.  After sailors had got outside their dinner, the gunner & I were asked down to have a drink, & we stayed there about two hours.  A short sleep, then Mr Webber & I pulled the skiff up to the Northern end of the bay where I landed with Dixie & a gun, but it was too late to stay long & I did not shoot anything.  Then back to an early dinner at 6.30, after which a sing song was held on deck which lasted till ten oclock.  All the songsters had a chance of airing their voices, & on the whole I think we may say that Christmas day of 1914 was a success. (presumably he ment 1913)  The two ducks were scuppered & were quite good.


Friday 26th December 1913

Weighed 6.45.  Anchored off Majis pm.


Saturday 27th December 1913

Landed with interpreter 6.0am.  First walked through jungle ( thorn scrub etc) to Northward of palms.  Put up several partridges.  Dropped one, but he must have been a runner as we failed to pick him up.  On way back put up several more partridges but failed to get any.  Got one bird (shrike? red wattled lapwing?) description follows.  On way back to beach discovered pool of brackish water with a spring at one end.  Several herons etc there and three ducks (the first I have seen in the Gulf).  They got up just out of range.  Shot a dove near water.  Returned on board to a hearty breakfast at 9.30.  Shrike (?) was fair eating.  Bearings off anchorage post about 100yards from sea in line with Sohar peak. 2 ½ fathoms, Sohar Peak SSW ½ W , village Majis (Sheikh's House) S ¼ E, North Peak W ¾ S.


Description of bird

Walking about alone apparently feeding on ploughed ground under palms.  Head, black with white marking at sides, red wattles over eyes.  Bill, red, black tip; Back, mouse colour.  Wings long & narrow, black primary small features white.  White breast & tail, latter with horizontal black band, legs yellow.  Beak 1-4inches, wings tip to tip 27inches, legs 7inches, Top of head to tail 12inches.


Sunday 28th December 1913

Anchored Muscat 8.0pm.  Received revised sailing orders from consulate.  Minto in Muscat.


Monday 29th December 1913

Mail arrived am.  Collected mails & parcels for Sphinx & Harold.  Coaled & watered.  

pm played tennis.  10pm proceeded for rendezvous with Sphinx.  Mail included usual letters & some cigarettes from Pincher.


Tuesday 30 December 1913

Sighted Harold at daylight, shortly afterwards Fox & Sphinx.  Received last weeks mail, two turkeys & a ham from Fox.  Transferred mails to Sphinx.  Weather moderate.  Thunder lightning and rain at night.  Killed turkey hen.


Wednesday 31st December 1913

Stopped off little Quoin & visited Homer & examined lighthouse.  Light to be burning 28th January.  Landing rather difficult.  Anchored Henjam pm.  Did not land.  Dinner in Karanja.  Afterwards she left for Quoins.  Run during month1500 miles.


Thursday 1st January 1914

Turkey cock very tame but a bit seedy.  Think he misses the hen.  Gave him 5 grains quinine which seemed to buck him up a lot.  Mr Webber & I sailed over to Kishin pm.  Saw one partridge & a fox.


Friday 2nd January 1914

Minto arrived.  Quarterly overhaul started.  Played tennis in afternoon.


Saturday 3rd January 1914

Sphinx arrived towing lighters.  Played tennis.  Lunched & dined with Oswald who is growing very fat.  pm Hauled up on beach.


Sunday 4th January 1914

Sphinx sailed.  Karanja sailed for Karachi.  Went for walk with Cameron in afternoon.  Unsuccessful attempt to haul Miner off beach.  Cameron caught three sea perch with a light rod and a spinner. 


Wednesday 7th January 1914

Dined in Minto.


Friday 9th January 1914

Mail arrived.  Letters from Miss Gore.  pm Ate fatal oysters.  3am woke up in great agony partly mitigated by application of hot plates to little hair.


Saturday 10th January 1914

Miner hauled off beach am.  Feeling very dicky all day.  Cable ship Patrick Stewart arrived.  


Sunday 11th January 1914

Feeling better.  Spent most of day on board the Pat.  Very comfortable old ship.  700 tons, goes about 8 knots and built 35 years ago.  Captain Townsend.  Miller first officer.  Director of 19 Telegraphs & Miss Gunter & Mr & Mrs Needham.


Monday 12th January 1914

am alongside Minto for water.


Tuesday 13th January 1914

Carried out successful trial pm.


Wednesday 14th January 1914

Coaled ship.  Left for Quorins at midnight with dhow in tow.


Thursday 15th January 1914

Arrived Little Quorins 8.00am.  Landed.  Back at Henjam by four oclock.  Have a stinking cold.


Friday 16th January 1914

Waiting for mail, which is a day late.


Saturday 17th January 1914

Mail arrived 6.0am.  After receiving it proceeded at full speed to Quorins to pick up their mail.  Arrived back about 6.0am, found Harold anchored at Henjam.  Legh & Mr Pegg came to dinner.


Sunday 18th January 1914

Left Henjam 9.00am with two dhows in tow.  Anchored Taub 5.30pm (speed 5 knots).  Landed & rode to lighthouse & back on a mule.


Monday 19th January 1914

After sandgrouse before breakfast, no bag.  After breakfast went for a ride on the mule.  In afternoon shot a stone plover moderate eating.  6.0 left for Quoins with two dhows in tow, both laden with sand.  Perfect weather.


Tuesday 20th January 1914

Anchored Quorins 7.30am.  Spent forenoon blowing up fish with dynamite, got enough for all 180 men on Quorins as well as all hands on board.  Left Quorins 4.0pm for Taub.


Wednesday 21st January 1914

Anchored Taub 5am.  Landed 6.45 & shot 1 sandgrouse (large or black bellied variety).  

Shot another after breakfast, which I think was a pin-tailed sandgrouse, also a stone plover.  Afterwards went for a short ride on a mule.  In afternoon went for fish with dynamite, but had no luck till we tried Clive Rock when we picked up enough to go round.  Left 6.0pm for Quorins with one dhow in tow.


Thursday 22nd January 1914

Arrived Quorins 7.30.  Chased & searched dhow N.  Arrived Henjam 6.30pm with dhow in tow.



Friday 30th January 1914

Coaled ship.  Minto arrived am after a tremendous dusting.  Mail arrived.  One letter from Father one from Mother.  Hear that Pincher has not got Sappers (Presumably meant that his brother Martin did not get a place in the Royal Engineers. He joined the Royal Horse Artillery). Dined in Palinurus.


Saturday 31st January 1914

Minto left am.  Proceeded to Khor Ash Shem where we anchored about two pm off Telegraph Islet.  A miserable little rock, not much more than 100 yards long by 50 broad, with ruins on it, also an iron flagstaff still remaining.  Killed a rat in the forenoon.  I think he is the last one.


Sunday 1st February 1914

Still at Khor Ash Shem.  Dropped two bouys pm.


Monday 2nd February 1914

Away all day sounding.  Found it necessary to fix about half a dozen points with sextant.  Finished about sunset.


Tuesday 3rd February 1914

Arrived Henjam about 1pm.  Left for Quoins about midnight.


Wednesday 4th February 1914

Picked up Homer & a large crowd of workmen etc.  As we were leaving North Easterly gale commenced.


Thursday 5th February 1914

Played tennis pm.  Slight attack of fever in the evening.


Friday 6th February 1914

Put Homer in mail & left for Bandar Abbas.  Stayed to dinner with the Biscoes.  

Was presented with grey parrot Miltoo by name.


Saturday 7th February 1914

Returned to Henjam.  Still blowing.  Have a stinking cold.  

Dinned in Palinurus with Henderson.


Sunday 8th February 1914

Still blowing.  Expedition over to Kishus Island to shoot houbara.  Walked about 15 miles but no houbara, however quite a pleasant day.  Dined in Palinurus.  Lawrence at Henjam.


Monday 9th February 1914

Still blowing, still at Henjam.


Tuesday 10th February 1914

Left Henjam at one pm with two dhows after a good deal of trouble with the larger one, 

the nakoda having deserted as soon as he knew we were going to sea.  

One anchor was foul of the telegraph cable & dhow's cable had to be cut.  

Finally anchored for night off Ras Dastakan.


Wednesday 11th February 1914

Towed dhows of Taub and then on to Henjam, arriving there 4pm.  Weighed dhow's anchor which we found were foul of telegraph cable then on to Larak where we anchored 8pm.


Thursday 12th February 1914

Landed on Larak about 6.30am for gazelle.  We started on Western side & Mr Webber  & Flynn struck to the Northward whilst I followed round Southern coast.  They saw three gazelle, I saw none.  Plenty of green stuff.  Rained hard during morning.  Closed Minto off Larak village about noon for mails & water.  Letters from Mother, Pincher  & MLG also piece of Mr Bunyards wedding cake.  Afterwards to Quoins where we landed two cases of rupees just as Shamel started.


Friday 13th February 1914

Shamel all last night & today.  Very heavy seas but not as bad as our Dayir turn out.  Took us from 6pm last night to 3pm today to do the 70 odd miles.  Now anchored off Tamb with both killicks down.  Still blowing hard.  Steering gear (tiller rope) parted just as we got in.  If it had gone sooner the consequences might have been serious. 


"From failure into victory"

Don't let your courage fade

If fate hands you our a lemon

Just make the lemon aid".W Davenport


He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.  He badeth me beside the still waters.


Saturday 14th February 1914

At Tamb.  Both anchors down.


Sunday 15th February 1914

Left for Henjam with both dhows in tow.  Left for Quoins at midnight one dhow laden with sand, other with provisions.  Dined in Palinurus, Taylor (Commander) much interested in British Columbia & Vancouver where he has bought a small plot of land and intends to settle on retirement. 


Monday 16th February 1914

Arrived Quoins 8.0am.  Blowing about one form North East.  Row with overseer who refused to unload sand dhow, though he made no difficulty about provisions.  Returned to Henjam much disgusted and wired G.S.N.O.  Received two cables to say that Quoins had run out of oil.  Another R.I.M. fiasco.


Tuesday 17th February 1914

Coaled ship am.


Wednesday 18th February 1914

Left for Tamb 11.00 am on receipt of cable.  Arrived Taub 7.0pm.  10 five gallon drums oil sent down.  Considerable surf two so eased AB's.  Managed to swamp boat.  Eventually cleared lower deck & working up to our necks in sea got everything off by 8.30.


Thursday 19th February 1914

Arrived Quoins am & landed oil in slight sea, then back to Henjam.


Friday 20th February 1914

Pelorus expected.


Saturday 21st February 1914

Pelorus arrived am with Shatt al Arab lightship in tow.  Went alongside for water, afterwards towed lightship & anchored her off spit.  Drew slopes, but the old paymaster was still there & inclined to be cantankerous.  Discharged PO Flynn to Pelorus.  Mail arrived, usual letters.  Minto arrived pm.  Dined on board after a little fodting tennis.


Sunday 22nd February 1914

Saining party after divisions.  Tiffin in Palinurus.  After a stretch off the land, short walk with Henderson.  10pm Left for Quoin Island.


Monday 23rd February 1914

Arrived Quoin Island 6.0am.  Dhows unloaded in excellent weather.  

2.0pm anchored Khor Kauis.  Picked up a bucket full of fish (dynamite).


Tuesday 24th February 1914

Arrived Tamb 4.30pm.  Time for a ride on mule.


Wednesday 25th February 1914

Mule ride & bathe before breakfast, corrected charts in forenoon.  

In afternoon another mule-ride.  4pm left for Quoins with two dhow loads of sand in tow.


Thursday 26th February 1914

Anchored Quoins 6.0am.  8.30am proceeded for Henjam with two empty dhows.  About lunch time turtle was reported, we passed quite close to him, stopped & lowered a boat.  By the greatest of luck I got him with both shots, one in the head & one in back & we pulled him into the boat just in time.  Anchored Henjam about four pm & went for short walk.


Friday 27th February 1914

Coaled ship.  Mail arrived.  Letters from Mother & Mr Bunyard.  Hear P.g medal to be given.  Pretty cheap affair.  12.30pm off with two dhows in Shamel.  6.00pm anchored lee of Namaklan, fair shelter.


Saturday 28th February 1914



Sunday 1st March 1914

Left pm for Quoin arriving daylight on Monday.  Watered ship 1½ tons by anchoring close in & getting stern hawsers to shore, both hawsers parted.  Afterwards anchored Khor Kari where I had shot at houbara and Mr Webber shot a goat. 


In March 1914, in Ireland, the Mutiny of the Curragh took place.


Tuesday 3rd March 1914

Sighted Karanja am.  Closed and found Alleyne had succeded Rogers.  Turned over dhows etc to Karanja & proceeded to Bandar Abbas for water before going to Muscat to meet Fox.  Dined in Palimous.


Wednesday 4th March 1914  

Called on Biscoes.  Left Bandar Abbas at noon for Muscat.  Slightly South Easterly swell.


Friday 6th March 1914

Arrived Muscat 8.30am.  Found there Fox, Dartmouth, Sirius, Pelorus, Odin & Alert, & Mashona.


Saturday 7th March 1914

Still at Muscat.  Pat (puppy) joined from Mashona.


Sunday 8th March 1914

Left for new beat 9.0am, Sadaich to Madani.


Monday 9th March 1914

Arrived on beat, uncomfortable Shamel.  Spent night East side Madani both anchors down considerable rolling, poor shelter.


Tuesday 10th March 1914

Proceeded for Jask a very uncomfortable night, still blowing Shamel.


Wednesday 11th March 1914

Arrived Jask East Bay 2.0am.


Thursday 12th March 1914

Mail arrived am, having been delayed at Muscat owing to the weather.  Nothing of particular interest.  Played I.E.Tel at football.  Score three all but we should have easily beaten them.


Friday 13th March 1914

Left Jask for patrol am.  Anchored for night off Sadaich river.


Saturday 14th March 1914

Patrolling inshore all the forenoon.  Anchored 2.0pm off Khor Kursa (?).  Landed with gun but only saw two partridges & one dove, none of whom I was prepared for.  Country consists of a very large plain, sandy near sea but getting rocky & gradually rising about three miles in land.  Intersected with old river beds (?) in some cases two or three miles wide.  Had sea breeze yesterday and this afternoon commencing about noon and dying away about four oclock in the afternoon, otherwise a flat calm.  Miltoo the parrot has taken a great dislike to the gunner & follows him around, also sits on the after awning and flies at him as he comes up the ladder.  Yesterday we caught a small bonito on the line we tow. 


Sunday 15th March 1914

Under weigh.  Boarded three dhows in forenoon.  Shamel started in afternoon.  

Anchored off Sadaich.  Calm in evening.


Monday 16th March 1914

Under weight again.  Slight Shamel all day anchored 3pm under lee of Sadaich Shoal.  Blowing hard, both anchors down.


Tuesday 17th March 1914

Blowing hard all day from West to West of South.  Calm for about ten minutes at 5pm, then a squall followed by steady blow from North East, air & everything else full of sand. 

Steam pipes in a rotten condition.


Wednesday 18th March 1914

Weather moderated.  Arrived Jask 9.0pm & discovered that we were "missing". 


Thursday 19th March 1914

Dartmouth arrived am, and gave us coal & water.  Left for Muscat.


Friday 20th March 1914

Arrived Muscat.  Dartmouth & Fox bombarded Cheru al Kawari.


Sunday 22nd March 1914

Dartmouth arrived.


Monday 23rd March 1914

Spent all day towing target for Dartmouth G.L.  She then left for Barka where the Sultan's army is encamped.  Anchored midnight.


Tuesday 24th March 1914

Blew down boilers.  E.R.A. from Dartmouth examining boiler & putting everything in a safe & fit state to go to Bombay.


Wednesday 25th March 1914

Tennis pm.  Dartmouth at Barka.


Thursday 26th March 1914

Away sailings in forenoon.  Tennis pm.  Interesting news from Ulster.  Practically all officers of 3rd cavalry brigade having resigned.


26th March to 11th April

Muscat repairing repairing steam pipes.


Sunday 12th April 1914 Bombardment of Birka

Left Muscat 8.0pm, arrived Barka (Birka) daylight Sunday.  Called on Sultan 9.30 shelled date grove.  In afternoon Sultan left for Muscat and Karyat.  I landed and called on Syed Nada (Sultan's brother).  Tremendous lot of firing from fort, started 8.0pm finished 2.0am.



Tuesday 14th April 1914 Bombardment of Birka

Syed Theyab came on board, and we fired at rebles in vicinity of ruined fort.  Landed again in afternoon.  Syed Theyab came on board at 8.0pm.  At night examined suspicious dhow.  Firing on shore several rockets whistling about our heads.


Wednesday 15th April 1914 Bombardment of Birka

Nada had arranged to attack the enemy before dawn, then retire onto the beach & try and draw enemy down after him, we were then to get under weigh and fire at them.  As it turned out Nada did not attack till about 7.30am.  As soon as we heard firing we saw enemy about 9 oclock and opened fire with 3 pounder, firing about 11 rounds.  Enemy gradually worked round to Eastward till they got close to ruined fort.  We fired more 3 pounder and they retired.  Our people then occupied the fort.  We only just escaped a regrettable incident here, as I opened fire on the fort (at the repeated request of Syed Theyab).  After about 6 rounds a messenger came rushing down onto the beach shouting "bus", bus etc and waving his arms.  Theyab landed & rode up to the fort.  Luckily no damage done.  Syed Theyab returned and we anchored again off Barka Fort.  Message then came saying that Sultan's troops were in ruined fort surrounded by enemy, could we go back and let them out.  Landed Mr Webber at fort to spot fall of shot.  Then went back and opened fire at enemy in vicinity of fort.  Enemy retreated after firing at us, and Sultan's troops evacuated fort.  Anchored till dark then shifted bath.


Thursday 16th April 1914

am received W.T. to return to Muscat for examination of gun.  Arrived 5pm.


Friday 17th April 1914

Left Muscat 9.0pm.


Saturday 18th April 1914

Arrived Barka daylight visited Sultan.  During evening Nour al Bakr fired 6 war rockets.


Sunday 19th April 1914

All peaceful.


Monday 20th April 1914

Everything peaceful ashore.  Went on board Nour al Bakr at noon and had an Arab dinner with the Sultan Seyid Nada & Seyid Theyab.  We sat down on the deck of the salon and stuffed ourselves with stewed mutton, chicken pilan, some kind of custard and water melons.  Quite interesting.  At sunset the Nour al Bakr weighed fired off a couple of rockets in the supposed direction of the rebels and after proceeding far as Masna returned same night. 


Tuesday 21st April 1914

Landed with H.H. about 4.30pm.  We walked up to the fort and sat down by the doorway.  

The whole army came in and made their salaams to the Sultan.  Afterwards we got on ponies (a kind of quilt without stirrups for saddle) and rode round the town accompanied by about forty mounted men.  After reaching an open space between Barka Castle [Birka Bhala] and the ruined fort, the Sultan and I "took the salute" whilst the cavalry wheeled about at the canter.  After that they had races two at a time past us, the course being about 600 yards.  After that they all came past together at the gallop.  Then the Sultan joined up with them and this time one man fell off.  However he wasn't hurt merely shaken up a bit.  We also visited the wounded warrior who had a martini bullet through his neck.  We then rode back & the Sultan took me all round the fort, showing me the bay muzzle loader and the five barrelled Nordenfeldt (which they were very proud of, and which they had a Turkish or Armanian instructor for).  We then had the inevitable coffee and afterwards returned on board.  Sultan's steam boat arrived from Muscat during the afternoon with our mails, also orders from the S.N.O. for our return to Muscat following day. 




Wednesday 22nd April 1914

Mr Webber and I landed with the Sultan and found the whole Muscat army about 500 strong drawn up by the castle.  The finest show of the lot was the Persian Contingent.  Eight greasy looking men in old German uniforms with brass helmets, a bugler in a Persian Busby and khaki, the commanding officer had a pair of fright red trousers with two gold lace stripes on each leg and a wonderful blue tunic with a medal or order of sorts.  They were armed with bayonets whilst the officer had a sword.  They took our photographs after which we adjourned to the top of the castle and had another group taken, the Sultan, Seyid Nada, Theyab, Mr Webber and myself.  We went on board and left for Muscat at 9.30, arriving am 3.30, our passengers being a Sheikh from Sohar way, and one of the Sultan's men.  On arrival at Muscat we went alongside Fox for DW.

Sultan of Oman and C H Heath-Caldwell


Thursday 23rd April 1914

At Muscat with Harold & Fox.  No sign of Pat.  He had been landed on rock again as usual but was never seen again.  Sultan gave us an old Spanial bitch called Nelly.  Played tennis.


Friday 24th April 1914

Muscat nothing doing.


Saturday 25th April 1914

Muscat nothing much doing.  Fox held water carnival in evening, pretty rotten show.  Temperature 109° ashore, 102° on board.


25th - 28th At Muscat.  Left pm for Musandam with mails for Karanja & Odin.  


Thursday 30th April 1914

Passed Dartmouth & Palinurus last night.  Closed Odin off Quoins, took over Biyaban patrol, anchored Guru Thursday evening.  Landed shot a partridge.


Friday 1st May 1914

Landed Guru am.  Shot three pigeons.  Took dogs ashore and Nellie had a fit.  

Afterwards proceeded for Hormuz and anchored South East end in 3 fathoms.  

N.B. soundings round Hormuz very irregular.


Saturday 2nd May 1914

Landed 4.0 am and walked over southern end of island.  Saw several gazelle, two of them big ones.  Party consisted of self, Mr Webber & Derrick.  Weighed 7.0am & anchored off Bandar Abbas at eleven thirty, as Mr Webber wanted to see doctor. 

Lunched with Biscoes & completed with vegetables.  

Weighed 2.30 and proceeded back to Hormuz.  Shamel blowing temperature about 75°.


Sunday 3rd May 1914

Landed 5am after gazelle.  Mr Webber got one & Derrick got one.  9.0am Proceeded for Larak where we anchored about two oclock.  Landed with Mr Webber & signalman. 

Plenty of trees and grass but no gazelle.  Lost signalman but he turned up before dark.  


Monday 4th May 1914

Met Karanja off Henjam.  Anchored noon.  Coaled 17 ½ tons.


Tuesday 5th May 1914

Watered from Odin am.  Noon, left for new beat.  Launch B patrol.  Basidu to Farur.  

Hit a dhow about 2.30 off Kish Kuh.  Very little damage more due to luck than management.  


Wednesday 6th May 1914

Called at Linga.  Lunched with consul Mountgavin & played billiards with him & Johnston the doctor.  Anchored for the night at Taub.


Thursday 7th May 1914

Towed target am for Odin.  Suffered from a rebellious inside.  

Anchored Henjam about noon.  Karanja & Odin in company.  


Friday 8th May 1914

Henjam.  Mail arrived 3.30pm.  Dined with Wason (Commander) captain of Odin.  

Left at 1.30am.


At this stage in the diary is an article from a newspaper or magazine, as follows:


Indian Partridges.

As an addition to the table, one learns that the sandgrouse of Asia is to be brought to England; but it is doubtful whether one is correct in calling the little bird grouse, or if partridge would not be a better name.  It is not the rock pigeon, for that is the blue rock of trap shooting, and was to be found in India in the nineties of last century almost anywhere within a mile or so of the grand trunck road where there were sand rocks, the pigeon, somewhat after the manner of the cockoo and the sparrow, sneaking the whole of some other sand bird instead of making a home for itself.  These rock pigeons afforded very pretty shooting as they flew out above ones head, and instanced the survival of the fitest in the shooting line.

The partridge proper, or black partridge, in Northern India used to affect the native villages much after the manner of a pariah dog, and for that reason as a culinary asset was shunned by many.  The colour of the black partridge is probably due to its habit of sheltering in low bushes, and so to help it to hide from small beasts of prey, such as the mongoose and bandicoot, the bird being as difficult to recognise amongst the bushes as the green pigeon of Burma amongst tree foliage.  If by any chance black partridges collect in the scrub away from the villages, good sport can be obtained.  In the Burmese campaign of the nineties the writer took part in a drive at Lashao, then off the high road, when a bag of over fifty was secured, and, shot away from the villages, they were eaten, and afforded a pleasant change from tinned beef and buffalo.

On the hillsides about the Himalayas the partridge has assumed a grey form, to match the kudside, and is known as the chikor, a name possibly derived from the native word hunter, chikare or shikare, and it is really a partridge with plumage modified to its surroundings.  The manner of shooting them is exciting.  One stood at a prominent point on the khud, whilst the beaters put the birds up, according to the hour, either in the arable land or scrub; some times it was an acrobatic feat, standing on a pinnacle of rock, to shoot the birds as they circled around one before making their final flight, and a bag of a dozen was considered good.  The sese, another variation of the partridge found about the rocks between Fort Attack and Preshawur, was half black and half grey, the black back completely harmonising with the rocks when the bird was squatted, and skimming it was difficult to see and hit.

The sandgrouse of India in the nineties was to be found in sandy plains that were within a mile or so of a village, and could be readily shot by walking up; but if one waited to fire until the bird was about to soar - the moment of which depended upon the extent to which it was  frightened - through the movement of the pointed wings and long tail, the bird was apt to twist, some what after the manner of a snipe, and so one might be excused for occasionally missing.  The plumage of the bird has deviated from the normal partridge to match the yellow-green colour of the sand.  It would be interesting to know whether the sand grouse that is to be imported from Central Asia has lost the scavenger habits of the black partridge, and if, like the chikor or grey partridge, it feeds only in fields or about the villages.

All the varieties of the Indian partridge possess a slight gamey flavour, like a dak bungalow morgi that has been hung to make it tender; but none are bitter to the taste like the grouse and blackcock of England - a bitterness that clearly allies these birds with the ptarmigan - but possess a flavour more allied to the guinea fowl and game chick than even to the pleasant or English partridge.            J.F.M.


Saturday 9th May 1914

Sallied forth in forenoon for new beat.  Boundaries, Al Sharura, Musandam, Hormuz, West End Kimu, Taub.  Anchored Karak for night. Saw 4 pigeons, one hare.


Sunday 10th May 1914

Wandered down towards Musandam. Turned 10.30am shot and picked up turtle.  Sighted Karanja.  Anchored Eastern side Hormuz.  Saw 8 gazelle on beach.  Shot one with &ldots;. Good head. 


Monday 11th May 1914

Proceeded round northern end of Hormuz, anchored and communicated with Karanja, afterwards proceeded to Larak and anchored off village.  Alleyne & Mr Hartnek dined with us. 


At this stage is a copy of a poem, presumably from a magazine, as follows:


            POETRY.   THE GREY MARE 

I've bought you a hunter, my daughter, at last.

  A handsomer mare never galloped in grey,

Good-tempered, high-couraged, and clever, and fast.

  While drawing, a pleasure: at "for'ard away"

Sit still, and you'll have all the fun of the fair:

The best of good manners distinguish the mare.


But, while we are drawing, the mare and the pack

  Should fill all your thoughts, to be slack were a crime.

Should the hounds slip away, 'tis the mare has to pay

  - Only Caesar could think of three things at a time.

So mind, when they find, a good start's your affair,

'Tis the least and the most you can do for the mare.


Five miles in an hour she can walk every inch:

  Twelve miles she can trot, at her master's desire:

She can gallop as fast as a hound at a pinch:

  I'd tell you the pace, but you'd think me a liar.

Every sort, every size of jump that is fair

To ask of a hunter, is fun for the mare.


There were horses refusing, and blocking a gap

  On some rails on a bank, with a ditch t'other side-

Broad, rushy, and boggy - a regular trap -

  She flew fence and ditch like a buck in her stride.

As she rose at the jump, as she sailed through the air,

You felt you were safe "in the hands" of the mare.


Whatever the distance, what ever the pace,

  Whatever the country, the mare doesn't mind.

She can go her own line, she can keep her own place,

  Well up with the hounds from the moment they find-

You can't "put her wrong": you can wager the mare 

Will be in at the finish, whoever is there.


Should you take a wrong turn in the course of a run,

  And find yourself blocked by some bottomless bog,

Ride hard for the passage, sit still as a stone,

  Use your eyes and your ears like a ship in a fog.

Can you hear them, or see them?  You needn't dispare:

Just give her her head, they'll come back to the mare.


She's thin in the skin, they must mind what they are at

  When girthing her up, or when dressing her down:

She'll snap, like a trap, with her ears lying flat,

  And a face like a girl's when you tread on her gown.

And, if you offend her, you'd better beware

A fathom away from the plates of the mare.


You should know what's too big for a horse, and, in short,

  A dose of discreation or so never hurts;

Keep a look-out for wire - that spoiler of sport -

  May the man that invented it get his desserts -

In the partnership business this falls to your share:

But, when all's straight ahead, leave the rest to the mare.



Twenty couple full cry on the line, a good scent,

  A stout forest fox not a furlong in front.

If 'tis hunting you love, you can follow your bent

  And watch how they work, every hound in the hunt:

And the fox, you shall see him bowled over, I swear,

If you stick to the saddle, and trust to the mare.Rowe Lingston.



Tuesday 12th May 1914

Poked our nose outside but returned owing to Shamel & anchored off North West spit Larak Island, within 2 cables of beach in 10 fathoms.  Mr Webber & I landed and walked some way to South West after gazelle but saw no sign of any.  Plenty of scrub & camel grass. 

The island is very similar to Ormuz & consists principally of red and white hills 200-500 feet 

in height.  At North East & South East extremes are sandy plains.


Wednesday 13th May 1914

Strong Shamel still blowing remained at Larak.  Walked down to village in evening, shot two doves.  Temp about 77°.


Thursday 14th May 1914

Shamel moderated.  Anchored off Kishin roads about 9.0am & landed interpreter for provisions, coffee etc.  Quite a big town.  Roads provide a good anchorage 8 or 9 fathoms inside with shoals 2 ½ to 3 ½ fathoms outside.  Kishin fort is in a ruinous condition. 

Was captured from Portugese by English about 1622.  We anchore Henjam about 6.30pm.


Friday 15th May 1914

Both slow mails arrived in morning watch.  Nothing much of interest in my mail.  Coaled ship 12 tons.  8 new native ratings & some stores arrived by mail.  Left at noon.  Anchored 7.15pm about in 10 fathoms about one cable from beach off Ras Sheikh Mumd.  Found several dhows at anchor, watering.  Landed & examined well watered seemed fairly good, although only about 150 yards from sea. 


Saturday 16th May 1914

Commenced watering 5.45am.  Employing all hands and bringing off about ¼ ton in bulk in each boat.  Knocked off at noon having taken 2 ½ tons boiler water.  Afterwards proceeded leisurely around Musandam & hove to for night about five miles East of Quoins.


Sunday 17th May 1914

Closed coast about ten miles to Southward of Sirik about 10am.  Proceeded slow to Northward turned at 3.0pm and anchored off village (Bandarun) to Northwards of Guru.  Landed and visited village, usual selection of mud huts.  Saw plenty of doves, shot two & one partridge.  Hear that Mr Hajji has gone to meet Mirza Khan at Rudbar.


Monday 18th May 1914

Sighted Fox 3.45pm.  Went alongside & remained till 9.0pm, hove to for night.  


Tuesday 19th May 1914

Landed to southward of Kuhistak before breakfast after gazelle.  Saw none but there were plenty of partridges.  Anchored for night off South East end of Larak.


Wednesday 20th May 1914

Landed 5.0am.  Saw one gazelle chased him for a long way, but did not get close enough for a shot.  Called at Quoin Island and anchored Khor Kauir for night.  Karanja came in and we dined on board. 


Thursday 21st May 1914

Picked up Quoin Island mail and anchored Henjam 3.30pm.  Went alongside Fox for water.  Dined with S.N.O. Received English mail.



Friday 22nd May 1914

Coaled ship am.  10pm left for Jask, weather good.


Saturday 23rd May 1914

Arrived Jask 8.0pm South West wind.  Landed and visited O.C. Troops.  Picked up one and a half buckets full of garfish, which had jumped into the boat. 


Sunday 24th May 1914

Left Jask 5.0am.  Hove to for night off Dimaniyat Island.


Monday 25th May 1914

Anchored off Barka 1.0am.  Called on Wali in evening, and walked out to the ruined fort and scene of battle.  Beyond the ruins themselves, & a few holes in the ground evidently caused by projectiles also several broken date palms, there was nothing much of interest.  Our job here was to emulate Sherlock Holmes & find out the dhow of noted gun runners, Dillwoh and Khodabash by name.  The interpreter discovered that Dillwoh was owner & Khodabash nakoda of a bedan which which had left for Muscat three days previously.  My orders were to if possible identify Khodabash & his dhow and if possible capture them, whether they were running arms or not. Extreme heat at Barka, thermometer being never lower than 97 during our stay, most of the time over 100.


Tuesday 26th May 1914

Remained at Barka.


Wednesday 27th May 1914

Left Barka 10.0am arrived Muscat about 5.30pm.  Interpreter discovered that Khodabash had been here, but had left for destination unknown. 


Thursday 28th May 1914

Sphinx & Mashona arrived from Bombay.  S.N.O. (Captain Hayes-Sadler) received telegram from saying launches to be reduced & asking which should be the first to be.  Reply Miner & she requires a refit.  However it remains to be seen whether they will be rash enough to send us down until monsoon is over.  There has been a tragedy since we were last in Muscat.  C a merchant about 40 and a very good fellow was engaged to Miss L sister of an official resident in Muscat.  One evening C strolled into L's house and broke off the engagement.  As the situation would be impossible in a small place like Muscat, L & his sister went up to Bushire for a week.  The evening after their return C shot himself.  There seems no doubt at all that he had gone off his head.  As he had spent 10 years in Muscat, I am hardly surprised (though he had gone home for a few months every 3 years).


Friday 29th May 1914

Khodabash apparently left about three days ago after discharging wood here.  We left Muscat 1.0pm, an anchored off Sib (Seeb) about 5.0pm.  Landed interpreter.  A very fertile looking spot.  Bin picked up a friend who said he had come from Muscat in K's bedan.  We gave him a passage to Barka as he stated that K had gone there & that he was afterwards going on to As Suwait (As Suwayq).  Arrived off Barka about 10.30pm having darkened ship.  Attempted to land Bin & his friend but boat was fired on so they returned.


Saturday 30th May 1914

Landed Bin & his friend am.  Latter turned out to be rather a fraud, no news of K.  

Left for As Suwait 9.30am, & anchored there 3.30pm.  A large fort here very similar to Barka.  Inhabitants seemed friendly.  No news of K.  Anchored about 3 cables from shore in

2 fathoms.  Very damp & sticky, light Easterly breeze.  


Sunday 31st May 1914         18 Months in the Gulf

Returned to Barka and anchored off Baluchi village.  Discovered Khodabash's badan hauled up on beach, a very old boat.



Monday 1st June 1914

Still at Barka.  Landed at 4.30am and walked out beyond the ruined fort.  About five hundred yards beyond it are the remains of stone & mud buildings, also destroyed by shell fire. 

There are also a few holes in ground evidently caused by shells and several broken date palms.  The country round here should be rather pleasant in the cold weather.  There is a belt of palms from ½ a mile to a mile wide most of the way along the coast.  Amongst these are gardens where they grow onions and a kind of clover (lucerne I believe it is called).  Behind the palms a sandy plain stretches for about 10 miles to the mountains.  Vegetation consisting principally of various kinds of thorn.


Tuesday 2nd June 1914

Landed in evening and walked round town.  Midnight left for Muscat.


Wednesday 3rd June 1914

Arrived Muscat 6.0am.  Found Odin there broken down.  Dressed ship and Odin fired King's birthday salute at noon.  Landed in afternoon.  Found Little sick of a fever.  Visited Syed Theyab and the Sultan, latter was as usual most affiable and talked away for about half and hour.  Mail as usual, one of the Barka photographs in the paper, but of course the accompanying remarks were lies.  Filled up with coal & boiler water and left for Barka at 6.30pm.


Thursday 4th June 1914

Anchored Barka am.  Interpreter ashore all day.  Interpreter having engaged a private spy had Khodabash (the lad we are after) pointed out to him.  His badan which was hauled up had drawing pins removed (Drawing pins having been S.N.O.'s bright idea for identifying the dhow). 


Friday 5th June 1914

Very hot day 108° in shade on after bridge.  Interpreter brought off a native who stated that his sister, a manumilted slave, had been recaptured about two years ago by a Baluchi named Dadan.  He had complained to British Consul at Muscat who had given him letters to Walis (town chiefs) of three towns, ordering them to catch Dadan and send him to Muscat for trial.  The Wali of Masna had torn up the letters and refused to take action.  The complainant informed me that Dadan was now in Barka.  Told Bin to take them both to Wali  & tell man to make complaint there.  Dadan was clapped in to gaol & is to be sent to Muscat at first opportunity. 


Saturday 6th June 1914

Landed am & visited Wali about slave case.  Midnight left for Muscat.


Sunday 7th June 1914

Arrived Muscat am.  Very hot, temperature at night about 112° dry.  Pelorus arrived am.


Monday 8th June 1914

Launched with Benn, and said goodbye to Little & his sister who are off to Gilghit.  

Left at 10.0pm for Jaskh & Henjam at ½ hours notice.


Tuesday 9th June 1914

Much cooler.  Anchored Jaskh 8.0pm.  Mr Webber landed with letters.  Left for Henjam 10pm.


Wednesday 10th June 1914

Arrived Henjam pm with mails for Spinx, Mashona & Karanja.  No sign of any of them.  

Much cooler here.


Thursday 11th June 1914

Alert, Karanja & Mashona arrived in forenoon.  Alert made the usual fuss (he is an awful panicy ass) and afterwards left, after making all sorts of hot-air signals.  Palmer & Alleyse dined with me, all gunners dined in Mashona. 

Cuthbert became good friends with E.M.Palmer and in 1919 married his sister Violet Palmer.


Friday 12th June 1914

Wired for instructions.  Mashona left.


Saturday 13th June 1914

Sphinx arrived & gave us drinking water.  Discovered that our sailing orders had gone adrift, and that we should have been back at Muscat by now, however it was as much Alert's fault as ours.  Left for Muscat.


Sunday 14th June 1914

Getting hotter as we close Muscat.


Monday 15th June 1914

Arrived Muscat am.  Anchored off gap and secured stern to shore.  Coaled ship.  

Minto in Muscat.  S.N.O. much annoyed over the wireless.  Finally sent to sea 2.30 to test gear.  Met Fox at 1.0am in mid-ocean, and transferred wireless rating. 

Orders to proceed to Barka & water from Odin.


Tuesday 16th June 1914

Arrived Barka 8.0am.  Secured alongside Odin until 3.0pm taking in BW.  

Very cheery lot in Odin.  3.0pm left for Henjam.


Thursday 18th June 1914

Arrived at Henjam with Minto.


Friday 19th June 1914

Commenced refit, hauled up on beach.  


Tuesday 23rd June 1914

Hauled off beach.


Thursday 25th June 1914

Hemelryk & Miskin (both from Minto) and I started off on 48 hours picnic, the object being to try and shoot a gazelle.  We borrowed Minto's steamboat & landed at a place about 5 miles North West of Henjam.  Taking Bin & Hemelryk's boy with us, also a 180lb tent which H had secured.  Spent Friday forenoon on camels to West of camp but saw nothing. 

Returned on Saturday afternoon.  Total bag, 2 pideons, 2 doves and one see see partridge.  The whole business was rather uncomfortable, but of course had its humerous side, but of course it was a complete change to the ordinary Henjam life and we all got a certain amount of exercise out of it. 


Sunday 28th June 1914

Refitting.  Landed in evening and walked to top of hill where there was a good breeze.  

On way back observed a curious stone circle about 24 foot radius (near conspicuous tree on high ground).


On June 28th 1914 the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was assasinated in Serajevo, capital of Bosnia.  This was shortly to spark off World War I.


Wednesday 1st July 1914

Minto left pm to meet Fox off Sheikh Shuab.


Thursday 2nd July 1914

Karanja & Elephanta arrived.


Friday 3rd July 1914

Mail steamer arrived pm, but our mail was missing.  Sailed over to Kishu, saw one flamingo but he got up long before we got close to him & went off like and airoplane, his head streatched out in front and his legs behind in an absolutely straight line.


Saturday 4th July 1914

Damp foggy & rather unpleasant day.  pm went for a long walk round South East side of island.  SS Ginqua anchored in harbour with plant for Salak oil wells.  I have been feeling decidedly mouldy lately but 5 grains of quinine daily for the last three days has worked wonders.  Shall not be sorry when my time is up.


Saturday 4th to Monday 13th July 1914

At Henjam refitting.  No mail last week as the B1 SS Dhorka broke down between Bombay and Karachi.




Wednesday 15th July 1914

Unsuccessful steam trial am.  Alongside the Minto being patched up all night.  Departed this life Dixie R.I.P. (the dog that ate the fish hooks)


Thursday 16th July 1914

Minto left.  Wired to S.N.O. reporting ready for sea.


Friday 17th July 1914

Odin arrived.  No orders for us.


Saturday 18th July 1914

Alert came in on her way to Bombay via Muscat.  We got two mails together this week.  Besides the usual letters I got following books.  Burton's Pilgrimage to Medina, Kipling's songs from books and Brownes Religious Medici, the latter on Goldsmiths recommendation.  Orders came for Odin to take us and Karanja up to the Chiru beat, which was what I had been hoping for.


Sunday 19th July 1914

All our hope dashed to the ground as orders came for Odin, Karanja & Miner to go to Mekram pather.  Coaled in afternoon & proceeded about five pm the Odin & Karanja to follow the next day.  Moderately comfortable passage.


Monday 20th July 1914

Passed Farkh 3.30pm.


Tuesday 21st July 1914

Anchored pm off Gurdin.  No shelter very heavy swell.  Not uncomfortable.


Wednesday 22nd July 1914

Met Odin pm.  Anchored off Galy.  Same as last night.


Thursday 23rd July 1914

Hell of a day, making for Charlur.  Finally anchored 8.0pm in an exposed position in 

Chahlur bay.  Rolling literally gunwhales under all night.  Not a wink of sleep.


Friday 24th July 1914

Anchored off Chahlur village am.  Still rolling but more comfortable.  

Minto arrived about 8.0am.  Cooler.


Saturday 25th July 1914

Astern of Minto.  Watering & coaling from cutter.


Monday 27th July 1914

Started for beat under escort of Minto.  Beat shifted to Sadaich to Mardain.  

Heavy swell and moderate sea.  Spent night with kedge anchor out.


Tuesday 28th July 1914

Cooling very ill in morning.  Made forJareh arriving 8.0pm where we found Karanja.  




If you can keep your head when all about you.

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting

Or being lied about but don't deal in lies

Or being hated, don't give way to hating.

And yet don't look too good, nor look too wise:


If you can dream & not make dreams your master

If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by naves to make a trap for fools

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken

And stoop & build em up with worn out tools.


If you can make one heap of all your winnings 

And risk it on one turn of pitch & toss

And lose, & start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss.

If you can force your heart & nerve & sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone.

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the will which says to them; "Hold on".


If you can talk with crowds & keep your virtue

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch.

If natures foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds worth of distance run.

Yours in the earth & everything that's in it

And which is more you'll be a man my son!


Tuesday 28th July 1914

Heard that war is declared between Austria & Russia.


Wednesday 29th July 1914

Remaining at anchor & cook is very weak.


Thursday 30th July 1914

Alleyne and I dined with Major Lay & Maltby of Rajputs.


Friday 31st July 1914

Minto arrived unexpectedly.  Orders for all launches to proceed to Muscat forth with.  

8.0pm Passed Sphinx steering for Bombay.


Saturday 1st August 1914

Karanja sighted at daylight.  Set 10 miles to Eastward.  Arrived Muscat 2.0pm.  

Find Fox has left, Odin S.N.O. and war is imminent.


Sunday 2nd August 1914

Germany & Russia at war.


Monday 3rd August 1914

Germany crossed French frontier.


Tuesday 4th August 1914

Strained relation.


Wednesday 5th August 1914

11.30 Hear war with Germany commenced.  Proceeded for Quoins to stop German tramp.  Cleared for action.


Thursday 6th August 1914

Wireless signal from Odin to return to Muscat.


Friday 7th August 1914

Arrived Muscat.


Saturday 8th August 1914

Dismantled Karanja & Miner, left for Bombay in Minto.  Passage fair considering time of year.


Wednesday 12th August 1914

Arrived Bombay am.  Remained in Minto.  No ship told off to attend at office of S.O. armed auxilaries a scene of absolute chaos.  Flagship arrived. 


Thursday 13th August 1914

Minto came into dock.  Transferred my belongings to Yacht Club.  

Position in office desperate.  Appointed to Dalhouse.


Friday 14th August 1914

Managed to get a temporary servant.


Saturday 15th August 1914

Still fiddling around in office.  Dufferin, & Harding are supposed to be ready for sea.  

Native ratings in Minto are objecting as all their leave has been stopped.


Tuesday 18th August 1914

Dufferin & Minto left today.  Dalhousie is supposed to have left Aden yesterday.  We are getting very little news of the war.  Presumably out expeditionary force is in Belgium.  I think Bombay is a beastly place.  Loafing about the club seems to be about the only occupation & the sandflies are the absolute limit.


From August 20th to 31st 1914 the British Expeditionary force landed in France under Sir John French and suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Mons.


Monday 24th August 1914

Swiftsure, Hardinge & Convoy sailed.  Nothing doing.


Tuesday 25th August 1914

Dalhousie arrived this morning.  This really is quite the most desperate business possible.  Here I am after kicking my heals for a fortnight in this detestable place, my ship actually in dock & to commision tomorrow.  I don't know yet whether or not I am first lieut, (probably not) bar myself and Palmer who is in command apparently no one knows what officers or men are going to the ship.  If we meet anything hostile, nothing but a miracale can save us, as we can't even run away.  All sorts of wild rumours are going but I believe several hostile ships are loose.  One fleet of transports has left and several others are getting ready, but they seem to be keeping the destination secret very successfully.


Wednesday 26th August 1914

Went on board Dalhousie.  She has come over from Aden with an executive & one egineer officer.  They must have had the devil of a time.


From 27th to 28th August 1914 the British and German fleets met in the Battle of Heligoland.


Tuesday 1st September 1914

Came out of the basin.  Chasing dockyard mateys round.  The 6 pounder Nordenfeldts look very antique as indeed they are.  I expect that they will tear the deck up as soon as they are eased off.  Have only had one mail since leaving the gulf. 


Friday 4th September 1914 Dalhousie Bombay

We have one RIM Lieut, two absolutely green subs & myself.  RN and RNR seamen a P.O. and a sergent.  Discovered this morning that none of the foresights fit, also that the night sights are supplied for Hotchkis guns and consequently require considerable alteration. 

Have had considerable trouble with my servants.  The first one got tight and rushed out of the Yacht Club brandishing a rifle, first having obtained a considerable advance of pay from me.  The next one considered himself too good to scrub out my cabin.  As far as I know the only loot he went off with was my dirty washing.  Now I have taken of the saloon boy. 

We have had no war news worth having.  


On 5th September 1914 the Germans captured Rheims.  The Battle of the Marne occurred 5th to 9th September.  Trench warefare began on Aisne salient 13th September.


Saturday 12th September 1914

The dockyard are a hopeless crowd particularly the constructors department.  We went out for out gun trials today & on the whole things were satisfactory, both subs made rather a mess of things due to their inexperience.  Swiftsure arrived pm.  We have heard no news of the Konigsberg nor have we really heard anything much about the naval situation.  After much flapping around succeded in collecting three letters from Pincher and a mail of sorts.  Last letter from Pincher dated August 6th.  Apparently he was just off with his battery (117th) with

1st Division of the Expeditionary force.  Here we are to leave for Gulf tomorrow.



Sunday 13th September 1914

Left about noon.  Flag Captain & Lt g (Switurebank) of flagship came & had a look around.  Flagship also sent a considerable quantity of gun cotton etc for demolution work. 

They also sent a leading seamen ST.


Monday 14th September 1914

Ran into tail end of a cyclone about 2.30am.  A most poisonous morning watch raining and blowing like hell, most frightful squalls.  Most of the RIM crowd are seasick, in fact Lane is about the only survivor.  I don't know what we should do without him.  A good many of the natives etc are trying it on & sculking.  They will have to be bought up with a round turn to start with.  The ship is in a rotten condition.  Decks leak & a lot of the provisions are spoilt. 

All the wiring is badly put in and directly it came on to rain there were earths everywhere.  

The dockyard drilled a hole in ships side to secure a rung of sea gangway & forgot to put 

a bolt in.  Only one instance of their criminal slackness.


Thursday 17th September 1914

Arrived at Muscat, a place I had hoped never to see again.  Found the Mashona there, Palmer rather sick of life, but he bucked up a bit when he heard what a rotten time we had been having.  Discharged Angele to the hospital with fever.  In evening four of us went round to Dar Sait in the Mashona, rode out to Bahl Fellage and played a most strenuous game of hockey.  Dined with the Benns.


Friday 18th September 1914

After coaling played tennis.  Left for Bushire in the early evening.  Life is rather strenuous just now, trying to install some idea of gunnery into the heads of untrained men (& what is more difficult) officers.  Also keeping morning walks & first day.


Sunday 20th September 1914

Passed Kais & Sheikh Shuab in morning.  Petty officer Smith & Sergt Langmaid are invaluable.  Don't know what I should do without them.  Hope to get off some aiming rifle in a day of two.


Monday 21st September 1914 War Time

Anchored off Bushire about 8.0am.  Carried out aiming rifle pm.


Tuesday 22nd September 1914

Shifted berth to Reshire.  Carried out some more aiming rifle practice.  Left at midnight for Mahommera.  Had a struggle with our wireless.  The two operators being soldiers, seem to have broken up most of the instruments.  Two men came off from the shore & patched things up.


Wednesday 23rd September 1914

Arrived at outer bar about noon and anchored off the Odin at 6.0pm.  They all seemed pretty fed up as they have been standing by to fight the Turks for 10 days and there is nothing doing.  Find this rather a trying job.  Hear that Pegams has been put out of action by Kingsburg. 


Thursday 24th September 1914

Left Mahommera about 3.30 for Abadam.  Wrote a letter asking to be relieved on the grounds that I have spent two years in the Gulf.  This dago crew is too trying for anything.  East Indies station seems a pretty rotten show all round.  After all it is my own fault.  I applied to come out to this beastly hole.  If only they pay off this old bus there ought to be a pretty good chance of getting to some other station.  One ought not to criticize one's superiors, but it does seem a wicked waste of time & money to have commissioned an old tub like this.  About the only bright spot in the whole show is that Palmer is behaving very well, & running the show as far as possible as it should be, but I wouldn't take on his job for anything. 


Friday 25th September 1914 at Abadan

Captain Brown 17 men of 102nd Grenadiers joined from Lawrence.  Which ship left at 10.0am for Bushire.  Went to general quarters am.  No Reuters & no news of mail.


Saturday 26th September 1914

Mail passed in afternoon.  There were four letters for the ship, amongst them one from Pincher dated August 15th, evening before he left for the front.  (Pincher, Cuthbert's brother Martin, was killed in action in France the following May).  Everyone getting more & more bored.  Nothing doing at all, and damnably hot all day.  Hear that Aboukir, Hague & Creasy have been sunk by German submarine. 


Sunday 27th September 1914

A very dull day, & very hot.  The Odin passed pm bound for the outer bar, and Reshire.  Played tennis pm.


Monday 28th September 1914

Spent forenoon away in whaler trying to pass two AB's for leading seaman.  Espiegle passed up river pm.  Brown & Co had a teafyit.  Received letter via Espiegle from Mother dated 25th August.  My exertions in Bombay Post Office seem to have born fruit after all, as no one else has received a letter since we have been here.  Last night wireless operator thinks he heard three German ships.  Two hostile German warships supposed to have been seen off Bombay on 25th.  Hear that Hague, Creasy & Aboukir have been sunk in North Sea.


Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

Usual routine lying off Abadan, playing tennis as a rule before breakfast.  Temperature about 92 in shade all day.  Goes down to about 70° at night & in early morning.  Hear Mashona is to be paid off. 


Saturday 3rd October 1914 Dalhousie at Abadan.

Ride before breakfast with Macpherson (Chief) on ponies belonging to oil people.  

After breakfast went up to Mahommerah with Brown (102nd Grenadiers) in steamboat.  Lunched in Espiegle.  Afterwards went on to the Anglo Persian Oil Company's place and stayed about half an hour.  No news to speak of.


Tuesday 6th October 1914

Same old routine, tennis on one's day off.  The mail arrived yesterday & I got my missing papers & letters from 5th August to 8th September.  The Turks are supposed to have been active once more, and taken four guns and 150 more men down to Tao.  There are supposed to be two German officers with them.  Heard that Enden has been playing hell with the shipping in Bay of Bengal.  Skipper gave the obstreporous Bhandarin five days cells which upset him very much as he thought he would only have the old Indian Marine trick of half a days pay or something of that sort.  Sailors went roung the oil works yesterday and one of them suceeded in getting half tight and going to sleep on watch on his return. 


Wednesday 7th October 1914 at Abadan

Situation up here supposed to be getting serious.  Spent most of day getting up canvas gear etc as protection against rifle fire.  In afternoon a Turkish officer (Captain of the Marinarice) boarded the Espiegle (anchored off Mahommera) & protested against presence in Turkish waters.  We were warned by WT that he would most probably board us.  About (5.0pm) an hour later he appeared in the white motor launch (armed with two machine guns) and as

he appeared to be making heavy weather of anchoring we sent dingy to offer assistance.  

He came on board and gave Captain letter written in broken English protesting against our presence and asking us to leave the river within 24 hours.  He was refered to Espiegle.  Espiegle refered to C in C.  This makes the fifth protest as I understand they have boarded the Odin twice & Espiegle twice with same protest.  I understand that they also object to our using the wireless but we don't take much notice of it.  The Vali of Basra has also informed Espiegle that any man of war attempting to enter the river after this evening will be fired at

by Tao.  Leave is stopped & we are standing by in case of attack, but I shall be very much surprised if anything happens.  All leave stops.



Thursday 8th October 1914

Got some more sandbags up this forenoon.  No more news except I understand three more battleships and an old cruiser are expected on the station.  No futher news of Emden or Konigsburg.  It certainly looks as if the political people have made a bit of a bloomer in sending us up here at all.  The whole show is very boring as we can't even go ashore now.


Friday 9th October 1914

Intercepted message says "situation easier".  What a parcel of old women they all are.  Feeling lack of exercise so swallowed a bursting charge last night.  Kept an OOW last night in case of attack.  Hear that Russian troops have landed in France via Archangel & Aberdeen.


Saturday 10th October 1914

Situation supposed to be easier.  Received orders to leave for Bushire on another job, 

ie organising look out stations in the Gulf in case any of the German cruisers who are 

loose come up this way.  Hear that Drake of Edinbough is after the Emden.


Sunday 11th October 1914

Left am for Bushire, stood by to be fired at going down the river, but nothing happened.  

Turks are building an earthwork off Kabda Point, and have placed four field guns in a line 

in an exposed position near Tao.  Stopped and communicated with Odin.  


Monday 12th October 1914

Arrived Bushire am.  Found no coal ready as telegraphic communication with Mahommerah was interupted for 24 hours owing to natives having stolen telegraph poles.  Shifted berth to Reshira.  Called on Knoxes pm. 


Tuesday 13th October 1914

Shifted berth to Bushire.  Coaled ship and embarked eight soldiers for Tamb Island lookout.  7.0pm left for Tamb, 9.0 hit and sank a bagglo but saved crew. 


Thursday 15th October 1914

Arrived Linga am.  Landed shipwrecked dhow's crew of about thirteen men.  They were proceeding from Sur to Basra with a German cargo.  Proceeded about noon; passed Henjam about 6pm.  Darkened ship.


Friday 16th October 1914

Arrived at Jask am.  Got a copy of convoy orders and a "very secret" telegram.  Left pm.


Saturday 17th October 1914

Arrived Henjam am and embarked Maltby and half a dozen more sepoys.  A buzz here that Emden or Konigsberg was seen off Musandam on 14th.  Left for Tamb and arrived about four pm, using South-East anchorage.  Landed sepoys for lookout service.  Landed a seinis party but only caught thirteen garfish.  Left at nine pm for Little Quoin Island.


Sunday 18th October 1914

Off Quoin Island at 6.0am.  Very slight Kaus blowing.  Although landing should have been easy enough if ship had been handled with a little more dash we did not get sepoys ashore & boat hoisted till 11.30.  There seemed to be a little too much over caution in certain quarters.  This of course tallies with my previous experiences of "Indian Marine Tradition".  (A thoughly rotten show that wastes quite a number of fellows, some of whom are & most of whom would be, good officers if given a chance).  The lookout business is of very doubtful utility as it is quite impossible to keep in visual signal touch with five inch helio's.  It is 36 miles from Quoins to to Henjam.  30 from Quoins to Taub.



Monday 18th October 1914

Took a military signalman to Quoins afterwards.  Carried out practice firing seven rounds to each gun.  Range 2500 to 1000 yards.  Taking everything into consideration, I suppose the firing wasn't so bad,  but we got no hits.  PM returned to Henjam to see if there were any telegrams for us.  Afterwards left for rendezvous twenty miles south of Jaskh.


Tuesday 19th (20th) October 1914 Dalhousie Persian Gulf

Arrived Rendezvous 10.00am.  Carried out two hours aiming rifle.  About noon one transport turned up, from Eastward and shortly afterwards Ocean arrived with four more in tow. 

Took station four cables on starboard bow of Ocean.  Transport Unthus astern.  It was bought home to us all (ie C.O. and myself) what a thoughly rotten business this R.I.M. show is. 

We have one QS who is not much use and two hopeless lasrar signalmen.  I have also put three AB's on to the signal staff.  They all seem pretty hopeless, also it isn't safe to leave the two sub's on the bridge alone, they are so slow and useless.  About midnight Ocean told us to go and look for a transport alleged to have broken her eccentric shaft.  After turning everyone out and getting ready to tow lame duck started off at a great pace & we found great difficulty in catching her.  She also steadily refused to answer signals.


Wednesday 21st - Friday 23rd October 1914

Anchored in Bahrein harbour with convoy of five transports containing D force and Sir P.Z. Cox.  Ocean remaining outside until convoy was reported safely anchored.  Our wireless

has once more been repaired by the Ocean.  Our two mililary operators are not much use.  Telegram that troops are not to be disembarked pending further orders. 


Saturday 24th October 1914 Bahrein

Mashona arrived after breakfast, with the old lot on board.  Apparently they took the Karanja to Bombay, and had twelve hours there, returning by mail to join Mashona at Muscat and bring her up to Bahrein.  Mail arrived, a letter from father for me.  Telegram from Ocean to say that she is returning to Bahrein.  We proceeded outside showing masthead lights for Ocean to anchor on.  Searchlight and masthead light broken down.


Sunday 25th October 1914 Bahrein to Bushire

Captain went over to breakfast with Captain Hayes-Sadler (SNO) of the Ocean.  

After breakfast went over and saw Carslake and Ley (PMO of Triumph when I was there).  Proceeded inside to confer with Sir P. Cox.  Came out again about sunset and and lay off Exmouth & retrieved bits of our searchlight.  About 9.0pm left for Bushire in order to try and get communication between Force D and the outside world, a necessity which seems to have been entirely overlooked by the authorities.  In fact they seem to have made a pretty good muddle all round.  They have very little food and apparently no arrangements have been made to disembark them.



Monday 26th October 1914

Anchored Bushire 2.0pm.  Found sheaves of "clear the line" telegrams waiting, got one or two off.  The latest scare is that Turks are going to lay mines in the Shatt-al Arab.  His Majesty's Government have informed Constantinople that they will consider any attempt to lay mines in the Shatt-al Arab as an act of open hostility.  Atmosphere is very bad, but wireless got one or two messages through.  Saw Goldsmith's promotion to Commander for Heliyoland fight in today's Reuters.  Bought a black and white Jaskh ring from Bin for Rials 30.


Tuesday 27th October 1914

Rather a rotten day.  Sheaves of telegrams going both ways, bad weather.  Finally about 8.0pm Williams announced that the wireless had broken down.  After a terrible panic which gave master Angell a splendid chance of displaying his hopeless incompetence, and during which we started off for Bahrein they discovered that the wireless was alright again.  Anchored again about 1.0am.


Wednesday 28th October 1914

Nothing much doing.  Wireless working very badly.


Thursday 29th October 1914

Wireless working intermittently.


Friday 30th October 1914

Down mail arrived.  Sent off all the overdue telegrams to Bahrein.  Wireless working intermittently.  Amoungst other news, hear that Germans have invaded Portuguese territory of Angola.  Turks have attacked Russians in Black Sea.  "Now we shan't be long".  Coaling at Bushire.  Amongst other bright things done by the Indian Government, they wired to P.R. telling him to send 1000 tons of coal to Bahrein, how not stated.


Saturday 31st October 1914

11.0pm Long Admiralty telegram arrived to commence hostilities with Turkey.  At same time we heard that Turks had sunk two ships in the river above Mahommerah.  To the last moment the Turks seem to have protested that they did not mean to go to war.  Ocean is to proceed with convoy to Tao.  Dalhousie to remain at Bushire to act as a Post Office until Tao is taken.


Sunday 1st November 1914

Naturally expected to hear of something doing.  Not a bit of it.  Nothing seems to have happened.  As far as we know Ocean & expedition have not moved from Bahrein.  We have received orders to get five river pilots.  Telegram from Bombay to Ocean saying that I am to go in command of Miner.  Am getting everything packed but hardly expect that Miner will get up here, as I believe they have neither charts, men, coal, water or Engine Room stores.


On 1st November 1914 the Germans defeated the British in the Battle of Coronel.


Monday 2nd November 1914

Left midnight to meet Ocean off Kharag, took up tug Garmsir.


Tuesday 3rd November 1914

Joined Ocean.


On 5th November 1914 Britain declared war against Turkey and annexed Cyprus.


Friday 6th November 1914

Combined attack on Tao by Odin, Sirdar, Mashona & troops.  No British casualties.  Odin hit twice by projectiles.  


Saturday 7th November 1914

Miner arrived pm with Mr Gain in command.  Got a few stores in.



Sunday 8th November 1914

Commisioned Miner with a crew from Ocean.  Took in stores, coaled & anchored for night between outer & inner bars.


Monday 9th November 1914

Proceeded up river.  Joined Espiegle about 4.0pm in bend of river above Abadan.  Flotilla consists of:

Espiegle, Captain Nunn (Wilfrid Nunn, later author of Tigris Gunboats) 

Odin, Captain Wason 

Louis Pelly, flying S.O. pendant (Captain Hayes Sadler) armed with two 3 pounder & a maxim

Miner, CH Heath-Caldwell, one 12 pounder 8 cwt one maxim

Mashona, (Palmer) one 3 pounder & one maxim

Garmsir, (Elks RNR) one 12 pounder 8cwt

Espiegle has had one or two scraps.  Three men wounded.


Tuesday 10th November 1914

Went alongside at Aberdan & picked up a few iron plates & some sandbags.  Dined in Mashona.


Wednesday 11th November 1914

Left Abadan at daylight.  Heard a good deal of firing, apparently soldiers were attacked by Turks.  Fired 6 rounds at retreating Turks.  Espiegle fired several rounds.  Achored off Aberdan end of camp to protect it.  There was no attack.  Casualties in this mornings attack, Major Duckett 1A died of wounds.  One subaltern and 25 men wounded.  Turkish loses unknown but must have been considerable.


Thursday 12th November 1914

Proceeded to Ocean to take fiwts had most uncomfortable night as Kaus was blowing.  

Went ashore on way out.  


Friday. Returned to Tao.  Saturday at Tao.  Sunday returned to Abadan.  Took in more sandbags and repaired engines.  Monday. Finished repairs. Troops attacked Turkish trenches.


Tuesday 17th November 1914

Coaled and left for Tao. Attack on Turkish Police Station.  In Monday's attack we had one officer killed and one officer and eight men wounded.  Miner at Tao.  Troops attacked Turkish trenches below Mohommerah, lost eight killed and 30 wounded on Monday.  They carried the trenches but did not remain there so Turks came back next day.  On Wednesday they attacked and carried the Turkish trenches, our casualties being about 40 killed and 300 wounded.  The only Naval casualties so far being three wounded in the Espeigle. 

We returned from Tao on Thursday and anchored off Espeigle about a mile and a half below Mohommera.  Nothing doing except a night attack on our camp, in which Turks seem to have lost about 80 men.


Friday 20th November 1914

There was to have been an attack on Turkish position this morning, but apparently they have all bolted up to Amara.  Our progress has been so damnably slow all through.


Wednesday 25th November 1914

7.0am.  Started in company with Espeigle, Odin & Mashona up river.  Odin 8 knots soon left us behind.  About 11.30 heard firing ahead.  About noon caught them up, just above Swabe and five miles South of Kurna (the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates). Enemy entrenched in neighbourhood of Turkish Governor's house and well concealed.  Both sloops were ashore.  Odin smashed up her rudder and boss of one propeller.  Mashona also hit obstruction (iron barge) and made hole in her bottom.  We fired 60 rounds during day and pretty well smashed up house.  Have heard since that Turks had 500 casualties, probably much exaggerated.  Marmaris was sighted about 6 miles ahead, we were in 9 feet of water most of the time. 


Monday 30th November 1914

Went ashore in entrance of boat channel, stuck there four or five hours.


Friday 10th December 1914

There has been so much doing lately that I have not had much time to write this up.  

On 25th November we carried out a Naval reconnaisance off Kuma, Espeigle, Odin, Mashona & Miner taking part.  Enemy opened fire from Kuma and on one occasion very nearly hit us.  They were firing most of the day.  Fired 33 common & 23 shrapnel, and knocked about the house at Kurna a bit.  Went back that night.  Odin & Mashona both hit obstruction, one making hole in bottom, whilst Odin damaged her rudder.  On 3rd December we left Basra with Espeigle, Odin, Lawrence, Lewis Pelly and Shaitan, two battalions of N.I. one double company Norfolks, two field guns left in river steamers shortly afterwards.  They also mounted two field guns in each of the two river steamers, Blosse Lynch and Midijes.  There was a good deal of firing on both sides and & Lawrence was hit once or twice.  We did nothing much till about two thirty when we were sent on ahead to support troops, Shaitan & Lewis Pelly following.  There was a perfect hail of shrapnel bullets and twelve pounder went out of action owing to recoil cylinder leaking & becoming empty.  When we got our nose round point, range about 900 yards a shot got us in engine room, just below waterline & burst half in coal bunker and half in engine room, severely wounding Stoker PO Jones and Stoker Lacy.  Ship immeadiately began to fill.  About the same time another shell cut the after fall of starboard boat and burst several chunkes coming into the cabin.  Apparently one or two other shells hit the side but bounced off without bursting, there was such a hail of bullets & bits and such a beastly row the whole time, added to which we only had about six inches of water to spare that it was difficult to know exactly what was happening.  Finally we got back & beached her ahead of the Espeigle, who temporarily repaired leak.  Stoker PO Jones did very well by sticking to the engines and finally drew fires.  We got water pumped out by five pm & started to raise steam.  Shortly after dark, enemy again opened fire, I think at Espiegle anyway they nearly hit us.  We got off shortly afterwards and anchored astern of Odin for night whilst they put a patch on the hole. 




The troops carried position on left bank of Tigris taking two guns, but they retired before dark leaving one gun.  This was the fellow who opened fire after dark.

The next day 5th, we went down to Basra to fill up with ammunition & coal leaving at 4.0am on 6th.  On the 6th there was nothing much doing except a reconnaisance by both sides as we were waiting for more troops from Basra.  On Monday 7th we had another go.  Shaitan, Louis Pelly & ourselves.  We had a lot more rifle fire this time as we were nearer the left bank of the river, two casualties O.S. Gibson fatally wounded, Mr Gain gunner hit in leg.  This time we were up there for about two hours within 800 to 1000 yards of the enemy's guns, most of whom we temporarily silenced.  The Shaitan was badly smashed, a shell coming straight though her bridge though her Captain (one Elks Lt Com RNR and a very gallant fellow) hit the wheel taking off the coxwain's hand.  They got her back principally owing to the Gunner's Mate who took charge.  We all had some narrow squeaks as there were bullets every where.  By this time our troops had taken cover on the left bank of the river and were bivouacked higher up.  They crossed the Tigris about a mile and a half up, three fellows swiming the river under fire to bring the dhows across.  On Tuesday 8th the two battalions crossed the Tigris and attacked Kurna from its own side.  They got pretty close but retired and bivouacked for the night.  About midnight I was called and informed that there was something coming down river.  We went to action stations and saw a steam boat fully lighted with an extra brilliant white light in addition to her steaming light making the devil of a noise up at the bend.  She came down very slowly and stopped off Espiegle.  We heard next morning that it was a flag of truce to discuss the surrender of Kurna.  Wednesday 9th.  Anchored off Kurna.  Managed to get two very decent rifles, also the clinometer of a Turkish gun.  Wondered round the place & found four guns.  All the houses were loopholed and there were trenches everywhere.  It seems nothing short of a miricle that we are all alive.


The Diary finishes here, presumably because Cuthbert had finished up all the blank pages in the note book.  Given the situation that he was in at this point in time we can perhaps assume that there was no easy way to get a new notebook with which to continue further.


A collection of Cuthbert's letters can also be viewed on this website.


Extracts from the above diary are quoted in 'The Sailor's War 1914-1918' by Peter Liddle.  A very good book and well worth reading.

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