29th July 1917

At Devonport. This has been a wonderful day. I went on board at 6-30 a.m, arriving on board half-an-hour earlier than I anticipated having walked from home in 1 hour. There were very few men about when I arrived aboard, most of the men being asleep and laying about between decks in all sorts of positions, black and dirty just as they finished coaling at 9 p.m. last night. The ship was in a filthy condition and dockyardsmen were still at work. I don’t think the ship will leave tonight, judging by appearances.

Soon after arrival on board I was informed by Munday that I had to pack up and be ready to leave the ship after breakfast with the rest of the draft going to Barracks. At first I thought he was “pulling my leg” and went to the Ship’s Police to make sure that this was correct. I found such to be the case and so set to work on the difficult task of packing my bag. After so long in the ship, my gear was stowed in different convenient places most suitable for clothes, etc. and now that the time had come for my departure I had to get to work to get the articles together and to find room for them. Had I known that I was going to leave the ship I should have taken a lot of the gear home. Eventually I got my gear packed up, it amounting to a very full kit bag and three parcels, plus a hammock.

Having said farewell to the Fleet Surgeon, Chaplain, S. B. Staff and shipmates I left the ship with the other men at 10-45 a.m. All this hustle-bustle almost makes one forget that today is Sunday. On arrival at Barracks we had to go through the usual irksome procedure of being victualled, stowing bags and hammocks, etc, etc. This took until dinnertime when we were sent to D basement to get our dinner. The dinner proved to be the sumptuous meal of corned beef and boiled potatoes (sloppy and unskinned). I decided to go to the Canteen for something better but having to wait some time for that place to open I paid a visit to the Sick Quarters.  I met some members of the Staff I know and was kindly asked to dinner, an invite I readily accepted.

After dinner came some more routine business then we were free to go ashore. Very luckily I have been victualled in the Sick Berth Staff Mess instead of the usual “broadside” mess. At 4 p.m. I had a chance to go ashore in the motor ambulance so seized the opportunity. Home I went to you and how happy the news came of my departure from the Roxburgh after five years service. I have had some good and bad times in her, but have become a bit sick of so much of the same old style of routine. I was sorry to leave some good friends and shipmates but since my departure means so much to our happiness after the separations and bad times in the past I am happy to leave them, only hoping to serve with them in some future time.

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