[Written on 14th January 1916]
At Queensferry. There have been rumours on board for a few days about the King Edward VII which ship was on her way to refit at Belfast. We heard that she had been torpedoed and had been run ashore to save her from sinking. Also heard that she had run ashore. At the time a nasty gale had been hanging about these northern parts for some days and I thought it possible that she may have struck a mine which had probably broken loose in the gale. Today an official report states that such is the case. The ship has been lost but all hands saved. She was a fine battleship and her class were the wonder of the world before the “Dreadnought” era. This class was very heavily armed and could steam 19 knots.
There are rumours about to the effect that the Liverpool (light-cruiser) and Erin (battleship) have also struck mines and the former is said to have sunk. Hope this news is not true coming so quickly on top of the other disaster.
I have not been very well today, in fact, I have had a sleepless night and got out of bed this morning with a sore throat and headache. I couldn’t eat my breakfast. I took my temperature and found it to be 100°. However I thought I would treat myself during the day with gargles etc and get a nap if a chance presented itself.
At 10 a.m. I felt worse and couldn’t keep going so laid down. Couldn’t get any sleep though, my headache being very bad. At 12 o’clock I had a cup of cocoa. After taking a powder for my headache and having a gargle I again laid down. Dozed off for about an hour in the afternoon, but felt a jolly sight worse at 4 p.m.
% p.m. I took my temp. again and found it to be 103°. I reported it to the Steward and he ordered me to bed and sent for one of the Surgeons. I was feeling rotten I can tell you, my head and face was like a furnace. I was not sorry to turn in. Shortly after, the M. O. came along and examined me, afterwards prescribing gargles, medicines, etc. He also gave orders for my head and arms to be sponged with cold water so as to reduce my temperature and headache.
My temp. did not drop much under this treatment but I felt much more comfortable. Well, this is the first time I have been on the Sick List since I left the Hospital in 1911, so I have not done so bad.
I had a very bad night; couldn’t get to sleep anyhow, my head giving me considerable pain. Each time I shut my eyes I saw all sorts of ugly faces and I began to wonder if I was going b”barmy” or if I had been on the bust.