At Plymouth. Preparations for taking in 120 tons of coal were in progress when I arrived on board at 7-30 a.m. I think this looks rather ominous. Commander returned to the ship last night, his ship went into Liverpool. Captain brought his wife on board to lunch.
Leave was piped about 1 p.m. and caused great relief to the natives of this port, for matters were pointing towards our leaving tonight. I shall not be home tonight as Woods S. B. A. is going with his chums. There may be an opportunity of seeing you tomorrow but I am doubtful as we were informed that all leave expires at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Drafts of men are leaving and reliefs arriving at all sorts of times. A draft of 23 seamen left this evening for the R. N. B. Dr. Brown came to the Sick Bay about 5-45 p.m. with a Dr. Churchill. The former – a fine chap – is leaving this evening and came up to say “Goodbye” to me and also show the other M. O. the Sick Bay. We are very sorry Dr. B. is leaving.
At 3-15 p.m. it was piped “The first boat for liberty men will leave at 4 p.m.” At 3-45 p.m. I went along to the Boatswain’s mate to ask him to get the men leaving the ship to muster at the Sick Bay for medical exam. He informed me that leave had been cancelled owing to a signal having arrived ordering preparations to be made for sea. The Captain was ashore with his wife so the signal was sent to him.
Many were the long faces when the news got around about the leave being cancelled. However, they brightened up again when at 4-30 p.m. liberty men were piped to “fall in”. I wish I could have gone ashore since it is possibly the last opportunity this time, but I must not grumble Mabs. for I have not done so bad for leave this visit.
I have been pretty busy this evening getting the draft examined and their papers signed up and dispatched. I thought of you at 8 p.m. and wished I could have met you. It seems a pity that we cannot have more time together when the ship is here, especially in view of the little time we have had at our disposal before and since the war. I hope we shall be more fortunate when peace comes again, otherwise we shall not gain much by marriage. I just long for the time when war and rumours of war, and other troublesome items, will have ceased to prevent us from having a really good time together. The unhappiness of separation we have experienced should only tend to make any such opportunity worth double as much. I wonder if tomorrow will bring disappointment or joy for us.
It has been quiet since 8-30 p.m.