4th September 1915

At sea. Manoeuvres started very early this morning and two seaplanes went up from the Carmania, presumably for scouting purposes, since the ships had been divided into two Fleets for mock warfare. Seaplanes would be splendid help in a sea-fight for ascertaining the enemy’s strength and disposition. They are able to communicate their knowledge by wireless.

It is inclined to be rough and the motion of the ship has given some of us nasty headaches. During the afternoon I sat in the arm-chair vainly endeavouring to read, but could not find interest in this, so gave up my thoughts to you. Wondered how you were spending the afternoon and what a great contrast there existed in our positions. Yet I should not be satisfied if I were at home at such times as these. Guess you wouldn’t altogether agree with it either, so much as you would like my company.

“Mail will close at 9-45 p.m.” was piped this evening – a sure sign that we are going in harbour. Rumours have been current all day to the effect that we would arrive at Scapa in the morning watch (4 a.m. to 8 a.m.). I was determined to get an answer to Mother’s letter away as soon as possible, so have written to her to catch the mail which closes tonight and leaves the ship on arrival. I expect I shall receive a letter from you tomorrow, but I hope there will not be too many at once, for I don’t want you to be kept waiting overlong for a letter.

I hope we shall soon return to Queensferry again so that you will be able to receive my letters earlier. This is a most inconvenient place for mails and papers. It is not very interesting from a scenic point of view either. Should think Sir John Jellicoe found it pretty monotonous.

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