Churchill Smith, James – December 1915
…Camp (3rd Brigade) in isolation against dyptheria – expect only for a few days…
Received “Register” & “Advertiser” from Dad. See Flo Forster (Shepherd) \ has / baby boy…
… Hear Colin Smith has “enteric fever” – will very likely be returned to Australia. In afternoon 10th Battn played 11th Battn. football; good clean game. Final Scores 10th – 8 goals 6 pts; 11th – 1 pt. Watson of Ports played excellent game…
Bert Havish gone to Hospital. Very nice sunny day – real Australian
Church Parade ( all 3rd Brigade ) at 10 a.m Col McPhee ( Chaplain ) gave severe talk re filthy language. Officers had leave in afternoon, so I went with 5 others for a row round the Harbour – went very close to few Warships, Destroyers &c, and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
Dr treated me for pains in stomach &c
Dull day. Dr’s treatment acted well and now feeling very much better, but still slight pains at times.
Dull day. Distributed lot of gift parcels &c to men… Went for walk into village in afternoon (Officers given leave) and managed to scrape a few foreign coins together…Lecture 7.15 p.m. Mjr Lorenzo. \ “Guard &c & Orderly duties” /
Fine Day; rather hot sun during midday. Village in afternoon with Harriman. Football –
10th Battn (A & B Coys) 2 Sisters to Mess at night. Bed early.
Fine Day. Drill 10 to 12 noon. as usual. Resting during afternoon.
Fine day. Church Parade in morning. Officers granted leave in afternoon. Had bath in afternoon. 5 Sisters to tea – had good time. Initiation of new members into mess by climbing tent pole – yours truly duly initiated.
Light rain during morning. Parade 9 to 12 noon – Coy. drill. Men working very well. Yachting during afternoon with Lt Coffey \ & Blackburn / – very enjoyable. Wrote Kate.
… Case Meningitis 10th Bttn. today. 4 Sisters to Mess at night. Dreamt last night I had returned home and been away 27 weeks.
Dreamt again last night that I was home – must be getting home–sick. Understand evacuation of Anzac taking place.
Very fine day. 10th played 9th Battn. Soccer. Scores: 10th 7 goals, 9th 1 goal.
… Brigade now have a Brass Band – very nice too.
Fine Day Cold feeling little better. Lot Ausn troops landing here from Anzac. Rumoured place evacuated with only about 6 casualties. Understand 1 M.O. & 60 Stretcher Bearers left behind to pick up stragglers.
… All leave stopped and orders are to be ready to move at any time. Light Horse embarked this morning for Egypt.
Held Sports during afternoon… Billies given out to men, Had a most enjoyable Xmas Eve, but thought very much of Mum, Dad, & dear Kate, also Sid.
Wouldn’t mind being home packing to leave for Victor with Kate. 9th & 10th Bttns. ordered to be ready to move off at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, so Evans & I packed my things ready to move off.
Didn’t leave today… Hope folk at home having Merry Xmas Day. Thinking of dear ones at home also Kate. Church Service (Brigade) at 10 a.m. German or Turkish aeroplane over the Harbor this morning and dropped a few bombs – no damage done. 6 Sisters to tea. … Strolled over to 2nd village in afternoon and went through a Greek Church…
Up early and packed up ready to leave here this morning. … Suppose if I was still in South Aus. Kate & I would be leaving for Victor Harbor today.
Left Lemnos Harbour at about 4 am with all lights alight… Had nice warm bath before breakfast. Parade 9.30 a.m. – boat station drill, everybody with lifebelts, Officers with revolvers…
Nice fine day but little cold, hotter during midday. Allotted to a raft with 30 men in case of submarine attack, On Submarine Guard from 4.30 p.m…
… Arrived safely at Alexandria and anchored in the Harbour at 10.30 am… Hope my next sea trip is to Australia at end of war. Left Alexandria by train for “Tel el Kebir” at about 11.45 p.m.
Arrived at Tel el Kebir at 6.30 am. and marched to Camping ground Believe 1st & 2nd Div. (Aus.) will all soon be here… No tents up yet, so slept outside…
Sun rose very red. Heavy dew during night. No tents yet, still bivouacing. Heavy dew during night. Played bridge (auction) with Lts Hooper, Henwood, and Harriman during night – very enjoyable game. Very quiet night – bed about 10 p.m. Gave Lt Moule a Cable to send to Dad : “Well, Love Kate all “ James.
Diary of James Churchill-Smith