At Devonport. The day of departure has arrived and last night is the last I shall spend with you for some time to come. Am afraid I was getting too used to coming home unexpectedly and so hoped to get home today. However, we have felt each time we parted of an evening of late that we may not see one another again, so although I should have liked to say “good-bye” to you all properly, we must rest content with the knowledge that we have seen more of one another than we hoped to do.
Learnt on arrival aboard this morning that we were shifting into the Sound, so I realised then that it was all up with regards to seeing you again. Naturally I felt a wee bit “bumpy” but cheered myself with the knowledge that I had not left a disappointed young lady behind. Left Dockyard at 11-45 a.m. Arrived in Sound 12-20 p.m., the Gloucester following us. On arrival in Sound I picked up the old landmarks – also Bovisand and thought of you all. At 12-45 p.m. I thought of you leaving for home, and was with you all the way home and back again at 2 p.m.
At 3 p.m. leave for C. P. O’s and P. O’s was piped until 8 p.m. This gave me some hopes, so I hastily wrote to you and Ma and gave the letter to the S. B. S. to post. Thought these last communications may be of some help to you both in your usual unhappy hours following my departure. I felt so much happier myself with having got them away.
At 6 p.m. I was with you again, and during the evening up to 8 p.m. (and after) I thought much of you and could picture your expression when at 8 p.m. I had not turned up. Poor old girl I can just understand what you felt like when the postman brought the letter, the contents of which only added to your unhappiness, inasmuch as they had to confirm your fears. Hope however the other parts helped you to bear the disappointment a bit.
At 8-30 p.m. I got busy with the glasses on Bovisand in the hope of spotting Dad on his way home. I know he would take home the news to Ma about our being in the Sound. I did not see him, and it soon came in dark. Had a last long look at dear old Plymouth ere darkness threw its pall over the town which contains so much dear to me – and many others in this ship. When the S. B. S. returned on board I immediately asked hil if he had posted the letters, and I was relieved when he said “Yes”.
The Gloucester left for the East this afternoon, so she is not going with us after all. The Antrim is still in dock so I suppose we shall meet her at Bermuda after we have been to Halifax with the gold. I hear we are leaving 4 a.m. tomorrow.
I had occasion to go down to the Fleet Surgeon at 8-30 p.m. Of course the band saw fit to strike up “Dixie-land”. Is it not peculiar how items turn up at such times to remind one of home?
Received a letter from Fred at 10 p.m. Feeling rather “down in the dumps” so am now going to bed. Good-night to you, and all the rest of you so dear to me.