20th May 1917

At Hampton Rds. I turned out at 1 a.m. and relieved the S. B. S.  The patient awoke at 1-30 a.m. the first time since he had the morphia injection. I gave him some brandy and milk and took his temperature. He is slightly delirious and spoke about “his name being in the papers for his idea for the prevention of insanity”. He soon went off to sleep again.

During the watch I wrote a letter to Mrs. Newman and others at New York. I called Munday at 3 a.m, got some cocoa for both of us, then turned in. I could not sleep though and watched the day come in, and was very much awake at 5 a.m. when Munday called Woods to relieve him. I got off to sleep about 5-30 a.m. but was awake again at 6-45 a.m.

The patient was restless and moaning from 3-30 a.m. onwards, but became quieter at 7 a.m. The two Surgeons consulted together in the Sick Bay at 9 a.m. and it was decided that Dr. Browne should try and persuade the Fleet Surgeon to send the man to Hospital here. The man himself is desirous of being left, so much as he would like to go across (if we are going to England) and see his wife. He is not a good sailor and so is afraid he would not survive a rough trip.

Dr. Browne saw the Fleet Surgeon and after much argument persuaded him to try and send the man . However the Fleet Surgeon could not make a move as the Captain went ashore early this morning for the day. The F. S. came and saw the poor chap and pointed out the chance he would miss of getting home, but – rightly so – the man held out for being left behind. There is no comfort or the necessary fresh food in a ship for such cases and hospital is the proper place.

As the Captain had gone ashore there were no “Rounds”, I went to the Morning Service held on the upper deck. It was terrible hot and we were right in the rays of the sun, necessitating our hats being kept on. We were perspiring considerably and I could not face the Holy Communion Service which was held in a casemate below.

Had a happy surprise today in the shape of a mail. I wondered when fellows were going to stop bringing in letters. There were three from you (dated 16th, 23rd, 30th April), three from Ma (dated 16th, 22nd, 30th April), one form my Cousin Fred in France (dated 22nd April) and one from the Secretary of the S. B. Staff Club. The latter contains some very good news in the shape of “certain alterations for the Lower Deck in which our branch is mentioned”. Through our Club we have been trying hard for the past five or six years to get automatic promotion, raise of pay, and to be placed on a similar footing to the Writers and Ship’s Stewards for promotion and privileges. We can do with a whole lot of “legging up” and the Navy is about the only job where one has not had a war-bonus, or any other help towards the increased cost of living.

I have also received two more “snaps” of our friends at Kingston. It is very nice receiving all these letters but the job is answering them, and I would much prefer to have them regularly once a week.

This evening it came in very cloudy and we were treated to a very fine display of lightning, both fork and sheet. It was very powerful and lit up the heavens and shore. The air was much cooler afterwards.

I was informed tonight that during our stay at New York secret arrangements were being made for a convoy to be taken across.

No watches will be kept on our patient tonight as he seems quieter.

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