11th September 1915

At Queensferry. Fine day. Ten bags of mails arrived today. I received letters from Marion and Cousin Fred. Marion informs me of herself and Joe “tying the nuptial knot” next June, Mother having given consent. It seems that they are giving themselves plenty of time to make necessary arrangements, but the time will go very quickly and poor old Marion will be into the net before she know what is happening. I must express a certain amount of loss of joy with the knowledge that my dear Sister is to part from our little circle in those days yet some 9 months distant. But it has to be I suppose, and no doubt I shall be the cause of another young lady leaving home some day. I’m thinking Marion will beat me though in getting married first.

There were rumours and appearances which occurred during the afternoon which led us to believe that we should be going out some time this evening. However our ship seemed to be the only one making preparations for going to sea. Naturally all sorts of rumours are floating around. Our starboard engine gave trouble when we were at sea last. This happening was reported to the Admiral who in turn sent the Engineer Captain on board to see the defects. I understand our Engineer Commander had a row with the Eng. Captain and said he would not be responsible for any future happening as his request for an extension for repairs when the ship was at Hebburn was not granted. In view of this “barney” it is rumoured that we are going somewhere to have the necessary repairs effected. The Admiral came on board late last night, which was rather extraordinary. The whole thing has been kept very “dark” and we were all astonished when we left at 5-45 p.m. (in broad daylight, mark you) accompanied by two destroyers.

At 8-30 p.m. we learnt that we were taking a southerly course and so rumours of Newcastle, Sheerness, etc. started to circulate. But nobody really knows where we are going it seems. The S. B. S. went down to report to the Fleet Surgeon as usual just before 9 p.m. The “old boy” said he had heard some of the officers say Plymouth was our destination. I must add that rumours of Dardanelles, Bermuda and Atlantic patrol are also amongst the rumours. It is really funny where these “buzzs” come from and how they are manufactured.

We have been hugging the coast ever since we left the Firth. Of course there is a channel all the way along the coast between the mine-fields and so instead of being right out to sea as we usually are we are close to land. We are bumping along at 20 knots and it is calm and fine. Everything is wrapped in mystery and we are on Secret Service without a doubt. What will tomorrow bring forth I wonder.

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