Tuesday, May 4, 2010

H.M.N.Z. Troopship No. 21, Thursday 22nd April, (19)15

Dear Mother,
You would no doubt be surprised to find we had gone when you looked out on Sunday morning. I certainly was to see that were half through the straits when I woke up at Reveille. The weather was then perfect and has been so ever since. I started work early being put on guard at 10 a.m. on Sunday. I soon became sea-sick, however, so my spell of guard duty to not last long and I got some one to relieve me at 6 that night.
The Waitomo left us before we were out of the straits and we have not come across her again. We believe she called in at Nelson for fodder, and as she is a slow old tub we don’t expect to see her until our next port of call.
We have not been told anything about our next port of call and a guard is placed over all communications but until last night it was popularly believed we that we were heading for Albany. About 11, however, they called for volunteers for the stokehold and we increased our nine or ten miles an hour to about fifteen. When we came out deck this morning, we found that we were travelling alone, the Knight Templar being far behind where a black smudge showed on the horizon.
Rumor gives several reasons for the alteration. The most feasible seems to be that one of the men managed to break and swallow his false teeth and that nothing but a serious operation will save him, hence the increased speed and the alteration to the nearest port of call.
It has just been announced that that there will be a New Zealand mail tomorrow, so I must write a few letters. Hobart, I suppose. The weather could not have been better if we had ordered it. Our ship rolls a bit to the swell, but the Knight Templar which has been all along about a mile behind us appears to roll much more. She is not very deep in the water while we are well over the water line. On Tuesday she drew up with us and signaled three cases of measles and we have seen several horses dropped overboard.
My berth is in the saloon smoking room up on the promenade deck. We have easily the best quarters on board. I have two big ports just at my head. I am not a very good sailor, though I think I have found my feet at last. Yesterday was the first day I was not sick at all and today again I feel all right. The food we have here is better than that we had in camp and so far I have missed only the one meal. Well, I will post this now and may write again if we are long enough in port.
With best love to all

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