12th January 1916

At Queensferry. Had a good night and in consequence am feeling much better, my headache having practically left me, thank goodness. Temp. is down to 99°F as well, so all’s well. It is rather rotten lying here in bed and I’m fed up with it I can tell you.

The other fellows are so busy and you know I feel as if I’m slacking, for at present I can be ill spared in view of the big attending list. I do little items that I can in bed, and feel somewhat relieved in consequence. The fellows have been very good to me during my bad time and I am thankful to them for their attentiveness. Ah! well I hope I shall soon be up and doing.

You will remember my notes of a fairly recent date about Sergt. Baker having gone with a party to France, to visit the trenches, well he returned on board yesterday. He is full of his experiences you can guess, and he is not sorry to get back on the ship again, as he says the discomfort of the trenches are multiple and a ship is much preferable, under the wintry conditions now existing. He visited the British trenches at Loos. Later on he is going to give a lecture dealing with his experiences, and I rather anticipate it, for it should be most interesting, coming as it does from an unbiased and non-exaggerated point of view. He looks none the worse for his visit anyhow.

The Chaplain came up this evening and in the course of conversation stated that a rumour was current to the effect that at the time of the destruction of the Natal a party was in progress on board, at which the wives and children of the Captain and officers were present. I hope this is only a rumour, for otherwise what an awful thing it was. The loss of men and the ship is bad enough, but how awful a calamity it would be if this rumour is true. I should hardly think it possible for such a happening to be kept secret from the public. By the way, the Natal was blown up at Cromarty and not Scapa, I now hear.

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