At Halifax. The 14 invalids came on board this afternoon and evening. There is only one cot case amongst them which is as well, because all our seven cots are occupied and two hammocks are slung up as well, in consequence there is little room to move about. All the invalids have been put in the Sick Mess which means that we shall have to cater for and supervise their meals.
We have been very busy all the evening preparing for them, and all their utensils have been drawn from the Paymaster and they have been suppered. I have told off twelve of them to take it in turns – two a day – to make preparations for their meals. They will draw their victuals and we will supervise the preparing and cooking, which will be done by the ship’s cooks.
There are 9 on full or ordinary diet, 3 on minced foods, one on milk and milk puddings, one on tea and soup with toast. We are wondering whether the Roxburgh has become a hospital ship, with such special foods and treatments. All the men will have their meals in the Sick Bay and are completely under our supervision. We have now got 31 on the sick list and about 20 others attending for treatment so you can guess we have got our “hands full”. I hope we shall have fine weather anyhow, for it will be a pretty miserable existence otherwise. We have not had a chance to see what Halifax is like, no leave having been given during our stay there. I have managed to get some picture postcards of the place which will serve as a memento of our visit to the place “across the herring pond”.
Now we are homeward bound and I hope to be with you again in the near future, for we expect to get some leave on our arrival, especially as the ship requires dockyard treatment. I am informed that during the first 48 hours at sea when we were outward bound, no less than 100 tons of water leaked into the fore compartments. This is a very serious thing – and the outcome of a too quickly carried out job at Hebburn.
I’m pretty tired with my efforts of the evening and will to bed. The weather at present is pretty good.