3rd September 1915

At sea, somewhere in the Atlantic, North West of Ireland. Of course it is not exactly calm in this part. This is usually the part where the Grand Fleet carries out manoeuvres owing to the absence of subs. hereabouts. It is right out of the track of shipping and so a most favourable spot for exercising. We met the Iron Duke and all the other ships at noon and manoeuvres have been in progress all the afternoon. I have not been very interested in them, however, as a splitting headache Рdue partly to a cold in the head Рhas taken my interest away from such matters. It is a very fine sight to see how beautifully such a large number of vessels are worked, very much on the same principle as a game of chess I think. Of course all this kind of work is necessary,  and we have the pull on the German Fleet in this way, as they have no expanse of water to do their manoeuvres in at present. They do their firing exercises in the Kiel Canal, but they dare not venture outside its limits.

A very dangerous exercise has been carried out tonight – if any enemy subs. had been about. Night-firing has been practised. A target was dropped about 8 p.m. and the Fleet steamed away, returning when darkness had set in, to find the target by the aid of searchlights. When it was found it came in for a terrific peppering and one could sympathise with a vessel in the place of the target. This night firing is more in the event of a torpedo attack than for any other action. The firing was completed by 10-30 p.m. and the Fleet took up steaming positions for the night, so as to prevent collisions, as every ship is in darkness. Tomorrow more exercises will be indulged in.

I dreamt of you again last night, the reason being I suppose that I had been thinking of you a lot during the day. My dream was that I was leaving for Newcastle – having been on leave – at 11-15 p.m. At 10-20 p.m. having said goodbye to Mother and all the others, I suggested to you that we should go for a walk before going to the Station. We went out – me with my mac and bundle – and came to a picture place (which I couldn’t recognise) and altho’ it was then 10-40 p.m. I suggested we should go in. You agreed and I went up to the ticket office only to be informed that there was only “standing room”. I came away and told you and we went out again. I remember looking down the programme however and not seeing Charlie Chaplin mentioned I remarked “Charlie isn’t there so it does not matter”. Here my dream ended, and so I was spared the agony of going over the farewell business again. But what an unusual sort of nocturnal experience. Dreams, nightmares, etc are said to be the outcome of disturbance of one or both of the brain’s hemispheres. I think my brain must be in a pretty bad state night times to dream such things.

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