17th July 1917

At sea. Destroyers appeared at 8-30 a.m. from various directions, nine in all ultimately joining up. We thought such a small number of destroyers for so many ships was ominous and matters have confirmed out thoughts. About 11 a.m. a notice was placed on the board which caused general disappointment since it stated that “Roxburgh will arrive at Plymouth at on Thursday morning”. We all had expected to leave the convoy as soon as the destroyers joined up and so arrive at our destination tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. It is said that a larger escort could not be spared at present – a poor outlook if such is the truth – so we have to accompany the convoy through a large part of the danger zone at a speed of not more than 10 knots since the ships are mostly of that speed. This sort of game is, to say the least, dangerous for speed is the one great defence against the U-craft. Disappointment more than thoughts of danger is uppermost in our minds. It is of no use “kicking up a dust” about such rotten management I suppose but if the ship does get “winged” it will be through absolute carelessness.

Fog and rain have been the order of the day.

I hear that at 4 p.m. we were 257 miles from Plymouth and we did so much hope to be in harbour tomorrow. Still as long as we reach there I suppose any old time will do.

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