Diaries of Henry BALFOUR (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator
Notebook 1: London – Sydney
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a postcard of the P.&O. S.N.CO’S S.S. “Malwa”.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a ticket which reads:
“BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE / EIGHTY-FOURTH MEETING / AUSTRALIA 1914 / Member’s Ticket / Henry Balfour Signature / No 231 John Perry Treasurer”, stanped with “CENTRAL COMMITTEE” and “MEMBERS NO. 90”.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is the P and O Fleet S.S. “Malwa”’s List of Passengers, 26th June, 1914.” – Balfour has underlined and annotated a number of names inside the booklet.]
Friday June 26 Left Liverpool Street at 11.30 a.m. for Tilbury Docks, + went on board P.+ O. S.N.Co. SS. “Malwa”. Started backing out of the dock at 1.20 p.m. + started in the river at 2.25. Fine + warm. Dropped pilot at Dover. Calm in Channel. Found Dr. Comber on board as ship’s surgeon. Met Prof. Scharff of Dublin + his wife + son. No. of my cabin 263, on port side.
Sat. 27 Fine, warm + smooth; passed Ushant early in afternoon. Cool wind from N.W. Venus wonderfully bright in evening after fine sunset.
Sun 28 Fine + warm, ship rolling slightly but steadied down towards nightfall. Off Finnisterre [sic] early in afternoon. Fairly thick fog for a time. Keeping well away from the coast. Raining slightly at night.
Mon 29 Sea quite smooth + oily, foggy during morning but cleared later. Cape St. Vincent at about 4 p.m.
Evening very fine. Schools of dolphins. Large petrels + small black + white petrels. Passed Cape Trafalgar about 3 a.m.
Tues 30 Arrived at Tangier about 6 a.m. Hazy + cool. Took on a number of passengers mostly for Marseilles, also a pair of white storks for the Marseilles Zoo. Arrived at Gib at about 10.30. Went ashore with Comber + walked up to the back of the old castle. Sun rather grilling. Had to leave Comber in a shady spot “to be called for later”. Went out toward the neutral ground to look at the back of the rock + then went to the other side of the town to look at the gardens. Scarlet hibiscus, blue convolvulus, plumbago etc flourishing + some bougainvillea also in flower. Picked up Comber + returned on boards at 1p.m. Sailed shortly after. Sea absolutely calm.
Wed. July 1 At sea, very fine + calm. No incident.
Thurs. 2 Arrived at Marseilles at about 11 a.m. Hazy. Prepared for coaling alongside the P. + O. quay.
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs of the S.S. “Malva”, deck and interior.]
Had early lunch + went ashore at 12.30 with Stevenson, Drew + Comber. Took tram to the Louvre + bargained with a taxi man to take us to Les Baux + Arles for 150 francs. Started at about 1, a very minute dog, Mirza, accompanying us. Skirted the salt lake to Lançon + on to Salon passing through arid + infertile region of old river bed thick with rounded pebbles + boulders onto a fertile region. Picturesque limestone cliffs to the right. Hoopoes, goldfinches + magpies, also titlarks + other larks, yellowhammers, turtle-doves, swifts + swallows very numerous. Passed by Eyguières + Aureille, Mouriès + Maussane + mounted steep ascent to Les Baux, perched on a high rock (240 m. above sea) in the Chaine des Alpines. The whole rock top covered with ruins of Roman + mediaeval structures of many periods. Natural rock formations cleverly utilized + combined with stone masonry. Many of the dwellings with their water cisterns cut out of the solid rock, others partly so + partly
built. Some fine columbaria with the pigeon-holes cut out of the rock. The church also partially rock-hewn, the old font + its recess being chiselled out of the solid. The castle is on the very top with oubliette at its base. Magnificent view from top, over the lower plains + over Arles to the Camargue.
Left there for Arles + descended by a winding road passing interesting old Chateau at Fontvieille, reaching Arles at 6.30. Visited the Roman Arena, now converted for bull-fights. Very fine structure. Looked in at the Museum Lapidaire with good Roman sarcophagi etc. + a few late stone age specimens. Then had look at the Roman theatre, Constantine’s palace + the Rhone + dined at the Hotel du Nord. Started back a little before 9 p.m. Half moon, but clouded over + some rain + much lightning. Very mild evening. Lamps gave a lot of trouble + caused many delays. Reached the quay at 1 a.m. after a most interesting day.
Fri. 3 Heavy rain till 10. Mail train 2 hours late. Sailed at about 11. Weather cleared + became very fine; calm sea with broken surface. Passed a number of rorquals +, I think, a hump-back (megaptera), playing on surface, some jumping right out of the water. Could not identify species, but think they were B. musculus. Stayed on deck till 1.30 a.m. to see the passage of the straits of Bonifacio very clear night. Passed homeward P. + O. at entrance to straits.
Sat. 4 Passed Bibby Line boat looking rather worn from the monsoon. Beautiful clear weather with light breeze. Off the N. end of Stromboli at 7 p.m. Top of the volcano covered with cloud but evidently fairly active as lava was streaming down the East face + reaching the sea in a thin smoking stream. Could see no glow owing to the clouds. Quite dark when we entered straits of Messina, but all the towns brilliantly lighted. Etna completely cloud-covered. Fine, cool night. Very good triple “green flash” at sundown.
Sun 5 At sea, very fine + smooth, no incident.
Mon 6 Same – passed Crete at about 4 a.m. but I didn’t get up to see it. No life on the water.
Tues 7 Arrived Port Said about 11.30 a.m. Hot day but with Westerly breeze. Lunched on board + went ashore at about 2.30. Didn’t do much but looked around + picked up Comber at 4.30, did some shopping with him + went to the Club (Union Club) of which he + I were made hon. Members by Mr. Wallis. Came on board for dinner + went ashore again with Comber + played billiards at the Club. Won two out of three. On board again at 11.30. Sultry night. 82° F in my cabin.
Wed 8 Isis very late with mails. Before breakfast Comber, Drew; Dodd + I took boat to opposite side of harbour to bathe in deep water. Water very warm. Large dolphin came
up amongst us + promptly hooked it. Many dolphins right in the harbour amongst the shipping. Isis came along side about 9 oclock + discharged a huge mail, some 5000 bags -[Australia, N. Zealand, India + China]. We got under weigh at about 3pm + entered the Canal. A lot of heat haze causing mirage effects. Large flock of flamingos + masked gulls on the shallow water areas on both sides. Sandpipers, + small plover allied to charadrius pretty abundant. Three very handsome black + white terns. At night I heard whimbrel (?) + crickets + cicadae were numerous. After dark we had to tie up to allow the “Patricia”, carrying a large draft of German bluejackets + naval officers, to pass. She is said to be the largest ship passing the Canal, + looked very fine with her crowded decks. Sunset spoilt by the heat haze. Temp. about 82° most of the day + night in my cabin. Huge dredgers very numerous along E. bank, being pumped out onto the banks. The mud in the lighters
is very thick + has to be watered with very powerful jets to liquefy it to enable it to be pumped out. Most of the dredgers built in Holland + bearing Dutch names. Reached Ismailia after dark.
Thurs 9 Arrived at Suez about 6 a.m. End of the 88 s.m. Canal. Was asleep + did not turn out unfortunately. Rest of day steaming down the G. of Suez. The high mountain ranges very fine. Masked gulls abundant, also Caspian terns which were busy fishing, + a small grey tern less numerous. A large falcon or small eagle of pale colouring visited the ship coming quite close but sheered off after examining the ship. Saw the first flying fish during the afternoon. Heat not at all oppressive. Quite a nice cool breeze.
Friday 10 In the Red Sea, Still quite bearable with a breeze. Temp. in cabin at noon 85°F. Flying fish numerous though small. Saw a large salp chain. No sharks or dolphins
+ no birds. Temperature rose to 87° in cabin later. Several ships passed in the evening. Phosphorescent medusae at night.
Sat 11 Very hot day. Good breeze whipping up the sea, but following the ship + sultry. At 7 a.m. temp. 86° in cabin – rising later to 89°. About noon the official temp. was 95°F. Ships numerous. The P.+O. SS “Marmora” passed us this morning + reported a heavy monsoon with high seas. Large schools of dolphins + some bonito + medium size petrels (dark brown above + white below), also some storm petrels (? sp.) following the ship. A dragon-fly visited the ship though we have been for a long while out of sight of land. The dolphins are smaller + more slender than those in the Mediterranean + have less white below. Very active, jumping high into the air. Saw the first Brown (Booby) gannet shortly before sun-down + several others shortly after. Too hazy to see land
Went onto the poop for a talk with Prof. Patten. Terns both mature + immature following the ship. Concert in the second class after dinner. Very sultry + windless + temp in cabin back to 89°-90°. Turned in late + with an effort.
Sun 12 No wind. Temp. fallen a little, but still very hot (c. 97° in cabin at 7.30 am). Hazy. Passed the Straits at about 8 a.m. Several black faced gulls + some storm petrels following ship. On the whole the Red Sea has not been so formidable as regards heat, as it was in July 1907. Reached Aden + dropped anchor in 5-6 fathoms at about 2.30 p.m. Blowing fresh at the time + sea quite rough. Numbers of large iron lighters were brought alongside for the Indian + B.E.A. mail. The native boys in them very noisy. Objected to being photographed. I did not go ashore as it was evidently very hot, but watched the transferring of the mails. The wind died away in the afternoon + the sea
[---FACING PAGE: “Programme of Concert. P&O SS MALWA. Red Sea. July 11th 1914.”---]
became perfectly calm. Two eagles passed over-head. Many good-sized terns with yellow bills + black caps. A number of sharks appeared near the ship, some following the boats going to + fro. Several skate seen in the water + jumping out of it. Several of our passengers were transhipped to the SS. “Salsette” for Bombay. The air coming from the Rocks of Aden quite oven-like + the temp. on deck went up to 90° atleast. At night in cabin 86°. It was about 9pm when we got under weigh. Sea very phosphorescent with noctiluca (?) and small + large medusae. While at anchor a number of locusts flew on board + also dragonflies + moths, + bats flew round the ship after dark. Pitch dark night.
Mon 13 Fresh monsoon breeze blowing during the earlier part of the morning, but this died away later, presumably when the high land near C. Guardafui provided shelter, though we could not see the coast. Saw few birds (storm petrels + large all-brown petrels, a cormorant), few flying-fish, but larger than in Red Sea.
Sharp attack of gout in big toe, very painful + awkward. At night the gap between Guardafui + Socotra opened out + let the monsoon through, causing some heavy rolling. Had no sleep, toe dominating everything + resenting the rolling. Very hot most of the day + night, up to 87° again in cabin + 90° on deck.
Tues 14 Got under the lee of Socotra + the sea moderated a great deal during the morning. Couldn’t see the island as there was a haze, but we evidently were not far off as the petrels (all-brown + white-bellied kinds) were very numerous. Flying-fish not very numerous. Cleared the island before lunch + got the full force of the monsoon from the S.W. Ship rolling heavily + combining some pitching as the wind was on the starboard quarter to some extent. Some extra heavy rolls nearly cleared the tables at lunch, but by wetting the
table-cloths the crockery stuck on fairly well. Heavy mortality among the passengers, a large number of whom hauled down their flags + retired into dry dock. Luckily have felt quite fit myself + can still enjoy my smoke. Toe still very painful + getting about with ship rolling so, very difficult. My one remaining “sea-leg” has to do double duty, + the decks seem miles in length. Feel like a half-squashed beetle crawling about + clawing along the hand-rails. Fine + sunny fortunately no monsoon rain, which is a let off. Sea looks very fine + turbulent. Have taken aspirin + kept foot up as much as possible. Hope to get ashore at Colombo but toe is a serious problem.
Wed. 15 Another sleepless night, toe being very bad all night. Heat still great 80° - 82° in cabin. Fine + sunny day. Monsoon wind still heavy + ship rolling very heavily. Flying fish numerous
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph labelled: “Keepsake of Voyage, R.M.S. - «Malwa» / Peninsular Oriental Co / In stormy weather”.---]
but small. Barely able to crawl about. Towards dinner time wind dropped + the sea went down. Curious that it should happen so early + so long before reaching Colombo. Perhaps only a calm “pocket”. Took trional at night so as to get a sleep. Temp. 82°-83° at night in cabin.
Thurs 16 Had a certain amount of sleep, though not much. Toe inflammable up to concert pitch quite fiendish. Wind quite gone down + sea practically smooth. Ship rolling lazily. Still hot – 82°-84° in cabin. Lay on bunk most of afternoon, but got some writing done later. Mr Cinquevalli gave me some pyramidon tabloids to try – took 3 at night, but no effect.
Friday 17 Sleepless night + much pain. Rather easier in morning, aspirin not working properly. Started quinine. Off [illegible] at 8.30 am, the island seemed to be a solid mass of coconut palms. Saw no birds. Was vaccinated by Comber with several other passengers, owing
to report of outbreak of small-pox at Fremantle with threats of 18 days quarantine. Spent a good part of the morning drying off. Toe better this afternoon. Calm + fine.
Sat 18 Passed a Rorqual about a mile away, + sighted the Colombo fishing fleet of outrigger boats at about 9 + got well amongst them. Very pretty sight to see them running free before the wind or tacking with outrigger always to windward + sometimes one or two men standing on it to add weight. Water was thrown over the sails to make them hold the wind. Fresh breeze + moderate sea, but they are splendid sea boats + very well managed, lying fairly close to the wind although keel-less. Nearer inshore were many log rafts (the true catamarans), practically awash all the time. A net would be worked between two of them. Entered Colombo harbour at about 11.15 + anchored. Had a chib from Hartley telling me to say on board till he came off for me. He didn’t turn up till past 3pm. having been mis-informed as to time of arrival. So I lunched on board
+ watched the coaling + taking in cargo (mostly tea) from lighters. Splendid solar halo at midday, very clearly defined + showing prismatic colours in complete circle (? a perihelion). Many crows + jackdaws about the ships + a number of sea eagles (of two kinds, Polioaetus ichthyaetus, the bar-tailed fish-eagle, mostly chestnut brown with ashy white head + breast + dark primaries + secondaries; and Haliaetus leucogaster, the white-bellied sea-eagle, of a greyish colour with head, neck + under surface white + dark quills.). These picked up scraps on the surface with their claws + eat them while flying. The jackdaws hussled them to make them to make them drop the food. Beautiful harbour (artificial). Hartley came on board + said I was to stay night at his house, so I packed bag + went off with him in row boat to the pier, where his car was waiting. Went to his house near the Royal College + had tea with him + Mrs H. + saw part of his collection. Afterwards they motored me around + to Mount Lavinia where many of the fishing-boats were drawn up on the beach, + a small fish market was being held. Took a circuitous route back. Lovely vegetation
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs of “Colombo from the harbour”.---]
chiefly coconut palms, interspersed with flamboyant trees in blossom, cinnamon bushes, mangoes, jak trees, bread-fruit trees, banyans etc. Scores of small native shops + chunan stalls. Population mostly Sinhalese + Tamil. Carts drawn by large + small humped cattle. Wonderfully picturesque. The Colombo crow (Corone splendens) everywhere. They run about over the cattle picking ticks off them; + the beasts turn their heads to have the ticks picked off their ears. After dark numerous fire-flies (or rather beetles) flitting about, flashing light from their tails intermittently. Geckos ran about the room walls + catch the flies. After dinner we sat + looked over Hartleys stone implements + his ‘pigmy’ quartz implements. Turned in under mosquito netting at midnight.
Sun 19 Up early as the birds were getting busy. Saw the magpie robin (Copsychus salauris), a large kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) with blue back, + white + chestnut under parts, crimson beak, + many small swifts. Wired to E. + came on board by the 9.30 am tender. Watched the crows + eagles for a good time. Sailed at about 11.30 – Passed several rorquals. Large
yellow billed terns numerous. Off Galle at about 4.0pm. + took a S.W. course for Fremantle. Fine weather + slight rolling sea. Temp. at night in cabin 82°F. Foot not quite so well, + still much swollen. The Colombo mangoes + mangosteens excellent also a fruit with a bright red spiky husk + soft inside. + small bananas with very thin skins + very good flavour.
Mon 20 At sea, rolling + pitching a bit but nothing much. Very fine + sunny. Still pretty sultry + temp. in cabin 82°-83° day + night. Still very lame, but pain less, though foot very swollen up to ankle. No birds or other life to be seen, except flying fish.
Tues 21 At sea – fine + only moderate sea – Temp. still over 80° in cabin. Foot gone down somewhat. A Wilson’s Petrel flew on board at night (long-legged with pale greenish patches on the webs, black + white squared tail), gave it to Prof. Patten to photograph + let go.
Wed 22 At sea – Passed through some rain squalls. Temp. got below 80° for the first time for a long while. Sea rather rougher + a fair amount of pitching. Wind now slightly on port side. Passed the Keeling Ids. during late afternoon. Some large birds flying round ship in evening, looked to me like gannets, but captain said frigate-birds. Too dusk to be sure. Perhaps both. Vaccination taken just enough to give me a certificate, though have hardly been worried by it.
Thurs 23 At sea – a number of gannets passed the bows of the ship. ? is this Sula serrator (the black of the primaries extended over some of the secondaries in adult birds, body pure white, also tail, neck buff, beak appeared decidedly blue). All were sailing low over the sea + none were fishing. Some mottled immature birds among them. At night a Dove-petrel flew on board (Prion turtur, the narrow-billed form). Sent it to Patten to photo + release. Many rain squalls during the day. Temp. fell to 76° in cabin.
Fri 24 Fine, sunny + calm. Temp. 77° in cabin at midday. A few flying fish seen. No particular event.
Sat 25 Again sunny + calm, temp. in cabin fell to 72° after sundown. A number of dove-petrels (Prion) seen during afternoon. Wind now slightly on the starboard bow. Evident many rain-showers around us toward sunset. Evening quite cool + fresh. Concert after dinner.
Sun 26 Beautiful sunny morning, calm sea, cool breeze – Temp. in cabin 68° at 11am. Passed some large rorquals (? blue whales), one very close to the ship. A few prions and large dark-backed petrels. In afternoon prions in goodly numbers. Wind veered round onto starboard beam, + long rollers caused ship to roll a fair amount.
Monday 27 Strong breeze + roughish sea. Ship heaving about a good deal. Saw a mollymawk. Spent
[---FACING PAGE: “Programme of concert. P&O S.S. “MALWA” Indian Ocean. July 25th, 1914 / “Chantons toujours” say we, as we navigate the Sea. / Keeping equable and philosophic minds, / Are we downhearted? No. – Where the stormy Winds do blow. / Why, blow the stormy Winds!” NB: Balfour performed a recitation.---]
most of morning packing. In evening the sea steadied down again.
Tues 28 Entered the harbour of Fremantle at about 5.45 a.m. + at about 7.30 the health officer passed us + gave pratique; merely examining the palms of our hands. Came alongside the quay at 8.30. The Dean of Perth came on board for me at 9, + I went off with him by train to Perth, about 1/2 hours run. Had a motor run with him through the Park, which is finely situated overlooking the wide lagoon of the river. In the afternoon Visited the Museum + was shown over it by W. Glauert assistant to Dr Woodward. Interesting W. Australian coll. In afternoon a reception by the Governor (Sir Harry Barron) + Lady Barron at Government House – About 2500 people there. Received in the splendid ball-room. Was introduced to a large number of people. Fine garden. In evening went to hear Prof. Herdman’s lecture.
Wed. 29 Motored with the Dean in Mr Pearce’s car to Guildford, where we picked up a policeman + ran on to the mission camp of natives, after turning off the main road we got on a very bad deeply rutted + muddy farm track, + in going fast over a bad bit ran into a ditch of deep mud, the two near wheels being so deeply imbedded that the car could not be got out. So we walked on to the camp + saw the natives who were partly blacks from W. Australia + partly from Queensland, together with some half-castes, perhaps 30 in all, with numerous dogs. An old gin, Wiljie, seemed to be the boss. She talked English very well. After looking around + talking to the natives we took 7 or 8 of the men down to the car with a length of fencing-wire to try + haul her out of the ditch. They all manned the wire which was fastened to a pole + they pulled hard + had moved the car a little when the wire snapped + they all sat down violently together in the deep mud of the road; much merriment resulted. Eventually after much hard work the car
was extricated, smothered in mud, + we ran back to Guildford + saw over the Church of England school + its extremely fine stone chapel, panelled with beautiful wood-work in excellent taste. Met Parry, once of Exeter Coll. + now an assistant master there. Ran back to the Deanery in the car at good speed. In afternoon went with the Dean to the Zoo across the river. Very interesting, animals healthy + many breeding successfully. Went round with the Curator, Mr._____ [left blank], who is most enthusiastic + showed off the animals well. Indian blackbuck jumping + white-tailed gnu panicking, quite a good sight. Some very good tigers + leopards. Many birds strolling about the gardens freely. Dined with the Dean at a restaurant, as there was a juvenile party at the house, to celebrate Miss Kathleen Mercer’s 17th birthday. After dinner went on to Government House to see degree-giving ceremony of the University of W.A. Ball-room crowded for the ceremony. Supper at Deanery + played billiards at the Military Club till midnight.
Thurs 30 Left for Yallingup by the 7.42 a.m. train, a party of 23 Brit. Ass. in special coach. Vegetation along line interesting, mainly gums, jarrah, karri + xanthorhea (blackboy) mixed with Kingia – The most striking flowers along line are the Kangaroo-paws, green on crimson stems. Saw many ‘magpies’ (piping crows, a large bustard (?), grey herons, ‘waggle-tails’, pied cormorant, etc. Arrived Busselton at 3.30p.m. Went in motors to Yallingup (c. 20 miles) + put up at hotel there. Before dinner strolled down the gorge to the beach, which is of white sand, very pretty coast + fine surf. Early dinner at hotel + at 8.0 went off to the Yallingup cave which is electrically lighted, + spent 1 3/4 hours there. Stalactitic formations very remarkable as many are horizontal + stand straight out, perhaps with hooked end. [three sketches] etc. difficult to see how formed. Cave very extensive with several long galleries. My foot bad, but managed to get down everywhere. At night the sounds of surf + frogs dominant. Weather wonderfully bright.
Fri 31 Gloriously fine day. Started in motorcars soon after 8 a.m. for the Mammoth Cave, Margaret R., about 34 miles away to the S. Good road with some bad bits in it, cut through the bush – gums, Karri, banksia, xanthorhea chiefly – Xanthorhea (‘blackboy’) growing with thick, fire-blackened stems, some branching, others single, stems formed of old leaf-bases; leaves forming large tufts, each leaf narrow + square-sections, flower stalk very tall + straight. The leaves are very brittle when bent but very strong when pulled. Cycads (stemless) abundant, + a fair lot of flowering hoveas + shrubs. No peripatus found, but many insects, skinks, spiders + centipedes under rotten wood. Right foot bad all day + left foot pretty bad. Came over queer when hunting around, probably the sun which was strong. Arrived at Mammoth cave + saw over it; heavily stalactitic + containing huge deposits of marsupial bones (diprotodon, phascoleo etc). Perth Museum has about 10,000 of the bones. The stalactitic formations more normal than in Yallingup Cave. Lunched in open just outside cave, 23 all told. Afterwards walked around with Dr and Mrs Dakin + Bassett – saw one wallaby, green parrots, black
cockatoo + small birds. Started back in the cars at 3.30pm. + reached Yallingup at 5.30 – very tired + in a good deal of pain.
Sat. Aug 1 No sleep during night, foot very painful. Rare job to get a shoe on. Left Yallingup in cars about 10 a.m. + arrived Busselton about 11 for the 11.50 train to Perth. Arr. Perth at 7.56 p.m. – drove straight to Deanery.
Sun 2 Arranged slides for my lecture during morning while the Deanery was in church. Went to lunch at Government House with the Governor, Sir Harry Barron + Lady Barron, the Wallers (4 of them) were there also + Mrs + Miss Poulton + 2 aides de camp. After lunch the Dean fetched me + we went to Sir John Forrest’s house to see Lady Forrest’s paintings of flowers. In evening at 8.45 I lectured on “Fire making” at the Perth Literary Institute, to a good audience, Mr Kingsmill in the chair. Everyone full of the War news which is anything but reassuring.
Mon 3 Motor trip to Mundaring Weir, started from the University at about 9 am. Crossed the Swan River by the long bridge. Saw a pelican (P. conspicillatus) on the river, also cormorants. Black-backed ‘magpies’ (piping-crows) abundant + scarlet-breasted robins (Petroeca Campbelli) fairly common. Passed through Guildford + mounted the Darling Range through Mundaring to the Weir, where huge reservoirs for the mines have been dammed up in a valley, high up. Crossed the dam. Fine scenery of gums, blackboy, cycads etc, with stag’s head orchids (terrestrial) + climbing drosera (crawling up the cycads etc. + running to a yard in length) + sessile star-shaped drosera abundant over the ground. Hunted for peripatus (Peripatoides Gilssi) + land planarians, both abundant under rotting timber. Ashby saw a wallaby. Birds very scarce. Had an open air billy lunch-tea. Started back at about 3.30 pm. arriving at Perth at about 4.30. Went with Miss Tannock (Mr Mercer’s sister) to see Mr Campbell’s collection of native weapons etc. Very good collection, over in Richardson Road, S. Perth – Sir Edward + Lady Stone dined at the Deanery.
Tues 4 Sent off luggage to the ship – Spent part of morning at the Museum with Dr Woodward (Curator) and L. Glauert (assistant). Big lunch at the Town Hall, the mayor presiding. Found many friends amongst the “Orvieto” passengers landed early in the morning. Took the 2.30 pm train to Fremantle, the Dean + Mrs Mercer accompanying me. Went on board the Orient SS. “Orvieto” + said goodbye to my hosts. Given a cabin with Prof. Flynn of Tasmania. Started at about 3.45 p.m. Foot flared up badly + I turned in pretty early, but had very little sleep. Much pain.
Wed. 5 Fine day, quite mild. No sea + only slight rolling. Coasting close in, numerous mollymawks (D. chlororhynchus + ? melanophrys) + dark brown petrels (like Cape Hens), also skuas. Passed C. Leewin early in morning + Albany at about 2.30. A few whales seen. Leaving the coast for the open Bight in the afternoon. Smooth at night.
[---FACING PAGE: Illustration of the “R.M.S. ORVIETO”---]
Thurs 6 Fine bright day. Wing from N. Ship practically quite steady. Very lame, gout being largely in tendon achilles + big toe. Can only crawl about. A great many mollymawks following ship (4 kinds, chlororhynchus + melanophrys, exulans + the sooty albatros. The most numerous were the melanophrys, chlororhynchus which were abundant yesterday being now scarce. The wandering albatrosses in various plumages, none quite adult. War news by wireless. Ship has orders to abandon the naval course + it is steering a more northerly one, also to reduce the lights. The German vessel “Seidlitz” said to have filled up with coal at Sydney + to have slipped away armed. Many of the passengers much depressed + nervous over the war-news. The Germans on board, esp. the von Luschans, feel it keenly – Tried to buck them up –
Fri 7 Perfectly calm + bright. Foot awful + can barely crawl at all. Spent most of day in cabin + breakfasted there. Everyone very kind + sympathetic. Nothing doing. After
dinner announcement was made that the Orient SS. “Orsovo” had been allowed to clear from Adelaide, but that there had been a sea fight off Margate, some German ships + a mine layer being sunk. Also news that Belgium had rolled back a German attack. “Orsovo” passed us quite close at 11.15pm. General excitement in hope of news –
Sat 8 Steamed into the harbour of Port Adelaide at 10 a.m. Berthed alongside quay. Dr Stirling came on board + took Haddon + myself in tow. Took train with him to Adelaide city + motored to his house, where Haddon + were given delightful bedrooms. [48 Melbourne Str.]. Still fearfully lame in right foot which is greatly swollen + discoloured. In afternoon went round to the Reception room + collected papers etc. No wire from E. Had motor-drive round parts of Adelaide + suburbs. I did not go to the afternoon + evening squashes.
Sun. 9. Mrs Stirling had insisted on my staying in bed to breakfast, so I didn’t get down till nearly 11. Am tremendously fussed over + everyone awfully kind. More motor-runs round about the various parts of Adelaide. Mrs Hopkinson, + Mr + Mrs Grew lunched at the Stirlings. In afternoon went out to a reception at Mr Waitz’s house at the foot of the range of hills, under Mt. Lofty. Perfect view over the plains + sea + a lovely garden full of colour. Stocks, geraniums, bougainvillea etc. fully out + wattle also in full bloom.
At supper Mr. Browne (one of Shackleton’s comrades in the Antarctic) + a niece of Mrs Stirlings turned up + evening was spent over catscradle demonstrations etc.
Mon. 10 Foot easier. Up at 6 a.m. + after hasty breakfast Stirling + Miss Mary Stirling, Haddon + I went off to station to catch 7.30 train for Milang on Lake Alexandria. About 30 people came on the exped. including the von Luschans, Graebner, im Thurn, the Herdmans, Mrs Daisy Bates, the Marett Twins, Marett,
Hartland + Miss H., Myres + his son, Tattersall.
Was presented by Dr Pulleyne at the station with a Fijian club to serve as a “crutch”! Special coaches reserved. Train took us up to Mt. Lofty through very pretty country with Eucalypts, Wattle, gorse, she-oaks, etc. over the range + dropped down through more open agricultural country, kangaroo scrub + grazing grounds. More rain badly wanted, though wheat was still vividly green. Dropped down to Milang on shores of Lake Alexandrina where a large number of S. Australian (Narrinyeri) natives had been gathered together from the mission station on other side of lake. Many very interesting native types, the men very hairy, + both sexes very pronouncedly Australoid. Several half-castes as well + many children. Saw some boomerang throwing + native cats-cradling etc. Lunched at the little hotel. After lunch the natives gave a corrobborrie dance or series of dances, the old gins singing lustily + drumming on rolled up blankets. The dancers were painted in white stripes.
Saw many birds on + round the lake –
[---FACING PAGE: Three photographs of dancers, labelled: “Corrobborie dances of the Narrinyeri tribe, Milang, L. Alexandrina, Aug 10.”---]
number of porphyrios in the swamp, some black + white ibises, pale-coloured herons, numbers of white-breasted cormorants, black swans + black duck, a few pelicans (P. conspicillatus), silver gulls ( L. novae Hollandiae), white-backed “magpies” (Gymnorhina _____ [left blank], piping crow-shrike), wag-tails, + some stone curlews (?), etc. Several I could not identify. Met Mr W.G. South, protector of Aborigines. Pleasant train journey back. Did not go out to Oliver Lodge’s lecture at night, but stayed in with Haddon to do some writing. Foot much better during evening.
Tues 11 Went to the Museum in the morning. Good Australian Coll., esp. S. Austr. + Central. Strehlow collection captured by the Museum when about to be exported. Lunched with Stirling at the Adelaide Club + afterwards motored with the Von Luschans + a local lady up to Mt. Lofty to have tea with Mrs Patterson + go on afterwards to the Stirlings’ country house where the garden is very fine. Very fine views over Adelaide on the way
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs of “Narrinyeri natives – Milang.”---]
up the range of hills. A little rain but fine on the whole. Motored back with some other people as the original car was running very badly. Went to dine with Fry in Norwood at his mother’s house, + after dinner went with him + Marett to Sollas’ lecture on “Ancient Hunters”. Rather disappointed. After lecture went back with Fry to his house + saw his Melville Id. collection + selected many specimens. Fry is in practice as a medic, but spent some time on Melville Id. Got back to the Stirlings fairly late + did most of my packing. Wrote to E.
Wed 12 Said goodbye to Mrs Stirling whose kindness had been extreme. Went down to Reception Room for letters + paid a bill or two, + then went to the Zoo + went round it with Mr Minchin, the director. Very interesting, the animals being healthy + well-cared for. Australian collection good, + a magnificent African lion. Entertained at lunch at the Adelaide Club by Dr Stirling + Dr Marten. Sat next to
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a card from the smoking room of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, on the back of which Balfour has written down distances between major cities.]
Stirling’s brother, Sir Lancelot Stirling. Went with Stirling + Miss Mary S. to the station for the 3.30pm special to Melbourne. Very sorry to leave Adelaide + the Stirlings so soon. Travelled in a compartment with Rivers over the Mt. Lofty Range. Not much sleep at night. One coach had to be taken off for a “hot box”, but didn’t know this till after arriving at Melbourne, which was reached soon after 9 a.m. – Thursday.
On arrival was met by Spencer + went off with Edgeworth David, Haddon + his daughter to Armadale, they being put up in the house next door to the Spencers. Went on with David to the Spencer’s (“Darley”, Hampden Rd., Armadale). Had breakfast after cleaning up, + then went down to the reception room to get letters etc. + fix up Assoc. business. The Assoc. meetings + offices at the University very convenient + well situated, though several miles from Armadale. Invited to lunch at the Melbourne Club where
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph of ‘“Darley”, Armadale, Melbourne.’---]
I met several local people, Dr Lyle, Mrs Barrett, etc.. + also met the Governor General of the Commonwealth. At 2.30 was an exhibition of boomerang-throwing by Dr Sutton + others on the University Oval. Met Prof. Leaper who took me to tea with Mrs Leaper at Trinity College (Sidney Ball, Mr Kirkaldy + Ashby also there). Returned with Mrs Spencer + David to Armadale. Dined there + went with the Spencers to an evening squash at Government House, given by the Governor General + Lady Hilda _____ [left blank]. No end of a squash in spite of the very large rooms, about 3500 there. Good music. Met crowds of friends. After some difficulty in collecting house-party got away fairly early + finished evening at the Spencers. Foot very much better, though still swollen + slightly painful in the heel. Not much sleep at night. Spencer’s house charming with beautiful furniture + pictures.
Fri 14 Up pretty early for 8.15 breakfast. Motored down with Spencer + David to the University. Attended Committee meeting of Section H + section meeting, part of which was in the museum to see Mr A.S. Kenyon’s exhibit of Australian stone implements (very fine + interesting) + Spencer’s show of Australian Ceremonial objects, which is splendid. Went with Spencer to lunch at the Savoy restaurant + by cutting the degree giving ceremony managed to have a couple of hours with Mr Kenyon over his stone implements. Trammed back to Armadale with Haddon. Dendy + Miss Dendy came to dine at the Spencer’s + all but myself went to hear Bateson’s presidential address. I stayed behind to do some writing + have an evening off. War news interesting but uncertain. Got wire at last from E. Much relieved.
Fairly cold weather, but fine. Fires in the house.
Sat 15 Everyone away on excursions. Did not go but stayed behind to do the Museum in the morning with Spencer. Lunched with him in the town, and went with him to the Zoo where we were taken round by Mr le Souëf, the director – brother of the director of the Zoo at Perth –. Very interesting collection including exceptionally fine female orang, some young thylacines, a litter of white dingo pups etc. Went back to Armadale by train + had quiet evening looking at photos etc.
Sun 16 Several of us met at the Museum + spent morning there. On way back we picked up Mrs Moseley + Harry Moseley + brought them to the house to lunch. In afternoon, I tried to call on Mrs Gordon (Miss Byron Moore as was, who came out in the “Malwa” from Colombo with her fiancé, Capt. Gordon) but failed + Spencer + I tried to get war news in the Town without success. Had tea at the Melbourne Club. Haddon + Miss H. came in to supper.
Mon 17 Went to the Melbourne Club at 9.30 am. + met Haddon, Marett, Layard, Mahony, A.G.Kenyon + Man, the latter having arranged an excursion with motor cars to visit several old aboriginal camping-sites. Motored first to Maribyrnong, hills over the Salt-Water River, near Essendon in the parish of Doutta-Galla, downlands with sandy soil overlying newer volcanic strata + having outcrops of quartzite exposed by denudation. The quartzite had been broken + used for implement-making by the natives + many flakes were around + some implements, also some of tachylite (glossy-basalt) brought from a distance. Fine scenery over the winding river. Watched by a soldier with fixed bayonet, who was eventually pacified as to peaceful intentions. Thence motored to Keilor, also Salt Water River, farm-land, where Mr J. Wallace gave us some good implements + we found others. Lunched by a bend in the river under blue gums + wattle. Found nest of blue-wren (malurus cyanochlamys, superb warbler), on
a bank + saw the birds, also on the way saw 2 magpie-larks (Grallina picata) + many white-backed crow-shrikes (Gynorhina leuconota). Thence motored to Altona Bay + examined the sandy expanses (low-lying flats near the sea) where old shell beaches are exposed by drifting sand. Found flakes + small implements. Motored back by the harbour. Haddon + I came back to Armadale from Flinders Sh- Station, getting back a little before 6. Dinner at 6.30 + in evening went with the Spencers to a squash at the Library + Museum, given by the State Government. About 4000 people there. The Governor General of the Commonwealth + Lady Helen Munro Ferguson present in semi-state. Got away early to pack.
Tues 18 Went down to the Section meeting at 9.30 – Discoursed to Section H. on African Stone Age + spent morning in the section. Saw a living platypus exhibited in the Reception
[---FACING PAGE: Profile sketch of “Sir Everard im Thurn, President of Section H”---]
room. Invited by Mrs Daisy Bates to lunch, but had no time, + lunched at the University. Attended Von Luschan’s lecture in Sect. H. in afternoon + went on to Garden party in the Botanical Gardens given by the State Government. Gardens extremely fine + interesting. Many moorhens + ducks on the ornamental water, + numbers of cormorants flying overhead + settling on the small islands. Also saw a Laughing Jackass. Went back to Armadale by tram, picking up aNew Guinea spear-thrower in a shop on the way. Dined with Mr + Mrs Grimwade, next door to the Spencers. Very nice house where the Haddons were staying. Left early + was motored by Fred Grimwade down to Collins Street where I paid an evening call on Mrs Gordon + her father Mr Byron Moore at 421 Collins Street. Motored back with Spencer + Miss Haddon who had been to an evening lecture. Sat up late packing.
Wed. 19 Motored to the University + there went and drew £15 from the Union Bank. Attended part of discussion on Rivers’ paper in Sect. H. Lunched at the University + motored with Spencer to the Spencer-Street Station to take the special train to Sydney, at 2.30 pm. Many people came to see train off. Hearty send-off. About 300 people on the train which was a record one. Excellently arranged + appointed. Dined on board in three batches.
Country interesting + in places very pretty, especially where the wattle was in flower. Mainly ‘park-land’, running along the dividing hill chain. Dullish weather. Arrived at Albury soon after 8 pm. where we had to change into 9 narrow-gauge trains. I had a stroll outside station, but too dark to see much of Albury. I was booked for No. II train leaving at 9.5 pm. Train very crammed + not comfortable, but sleeping berths were arranged in long cars. No spare space. No sleep.
Thurs 20 Wet day – Up at 6 a.m. + we all had hurried breakfast at Moss Vale at about 6.30. Arrived Sydney at 9.40. Drove in a hansom to Sir Francis Suttor’s house (“Tredegar”, Darling Point), after some delay trying to find luggage. Later Suttor + I trammed into Sydney + looked around the central part + lunched at the Australian Club, + saw view of harbour from the top storey. Introduced to many local men, including some old Oxonians. In afternoon went to the University to the Reception Room + later returned + ran in to Burns Philp + Co to arrange about homeward voyage. Bought inlaidMalaita club at Tost + Rohu’s shop near the Post Office
. Lots of rain during afternoon. Trammed back to Darling Point + dined with Miss Sutton + her sister Mrs Hawke, + afterwards we went round to Mr Cator’s house to see a very small species of opossum (D. [illegible]), a jolly little beast only about 4 inches long, excluding tail.
Fri 21 Attended Section H during morning. Much excitement over a fossilized human skull from Darling Downs, near Brisbane, said to be of Pleistocene date. Lunched at the Town Hall, an enormous number of people present as guests of the Government of the State, the Premier (the Hon. W.A. Holman) presiding, between 600 + 700 present. Afterwards went with the Suttors to “Cranbrook”, Rose Bay, to a Garden Party given by the Governor of N.S.W. + Lady Edeline Strickland; about 1100 present. I came away at once in order to see the Museum. Took tram there + spent an hour in the Australian section, which is very good. Looked in at the Botanical Gardens + walked about there with Prof. Penck + afterwards went with him round the Circular Quay, thence back to Darling Point. Found Mr Allen (brother of Boyce Allen of Oxford) waiting to see me. After dinner I took Mrs Hawke + Miss Suttor to hear Elliot Smith’s lecture on “Primitive Man”.
[---FACING PAGE: Newspaper article entitled “The Darling Downs Skull – Big Event of the Congress”, “Daily Telegraph (Sydney), Aug 22”---]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is the seating plan of the “Government luncheon in honour of science congress delegates, town hall, 21st August, 1914.”---]
Sat 22 Left Sydney station with party of 60 by the 9.25 am train for the Blue Mountains + Jenolan Caves. Interesting route first over the low-lands via Parramatta + Penrith, then climbing up the hills through Eucalyptus forest to Mt. Victoria (76 Miles), arriving at 12.45. Lunch at Imperial Hotel + then left in several motors for Jenolan Caves (36 m.) Through charming + varied scenery on a winding road of alpine type. Highest point on road c.4200 feet. The Caves are at a relatively low level. The H.B. Dixons, Mr + Miss Seward, + Sidgwick came with me in the car. When caves are reached the road passes through a magnificent vaulted tunnel (natural) from which some of the caves are approached. On arriving I went off by myself to look for wallabies etc. Soon found some Rock Wallabies (Petrogale penicillata) on a rocky hill above the Caves, cautiously got to within 8 feet of one who did not seem to mind, + others came round me. Watched them a good while, + saw many others later while
[---FACING PAGE: Three sketches of “Brush-tailed rock wallabies, (Petrogale penicillata) Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains. N.S.W.”
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a booklet containing a menu of the dinner for British Association Members and time-table for the train journey on the Melbourne to Albury Express.]
scrambling over the rocks. Saw some Laughing Jackasses feeding each other + heard them laughing. Also “Beel-Magpies” quite common, with a peculiar cry. Dined at hotel + went after dinner to see the “Left Imperial” Cave, with several others. Very interesting galleries of stalactitic freaks + at a low level an underground river of perfectly clear water (temp. 54°F). Spent about 1 1/2 hours in Cave. My bedroom at Hotel shared by Dr Goldstein of the Observatory in Berlin (a physicist), a pleasant + genial old gentleman. We did not discuss the European situation!
Left the Jenolan Caves in the cars at about 9.20 am. But I had put in an hour’s walk before breakfast, going through the “Devil’s Coach House”, a very imposing vaulted natural tunnel, somewhat like the other but finer, thence up a beautiful ravine. Birds singing everywhere. Especially striking the “Wattle-bird” (_____ [left blank]) with its boldly streaked brown + white plumage + its
pinkish red wattles. Arrived at Mt. Victoria at about 11.30 a.m. where the second party for the caves was waiting for our cars to take them on. Walked about around Mt. Victoria + up Mt. Piddington for the view. Lunched at Imperial Hotel, left in cars for Katoomba visiting Govett’s Leap on way. Magnificent view over the valleys + cliffs. Thence to Echo Point with another splendid view + Leura Falls, + to Katoomba where we had high tea at the Carrington Hotel. Took 6.15 pm train back to Sydney, getting to Darling Point about 9.
Mon 24 Saw about passage home at Burns Philp + P.+O. offices. Got home mail. Lunched at the Union Club with Mr. Arthur Allen + im Thurn. Spent some time in the Museum. Was motored by Mr Allen round about + taken to his house where had tea with Mrs Allen. Sir F. + Miss Sutter + I dined at Government House with the Governor + Lady Strickland. Took in Miss Strickland + had Lady Patey (the Admiral’s Wife on other side. The Batesons, im Thurn, Sir C. Lucas etc. present. After dinner the whole party went on to a Ball at the Town Hall given by the Local Mayor. About 1200 people present. Decorations very good.
[Inserted at the back of the first diary are a few pages from the “Western Mail”, July 31, 1914, showing photographs and details of British Association members visiting Australia, cartoons on reverse.]
[Inserted at the back of the first diary is a photograph, labelled: “The Owa of Owo + retinus. Ondo Prov., S. Nigeria d.d. E.K. Milborne.”]
[Inserted at the back of the first diary is the “Suggested Itinerary of Visits to the Native Industries in Abeokuta.”]
[Inserted at the back of the first diary is a notice of “Victorian Railways” Special Train on Wednesday 19 August, 1914. Melbourne to Albury.]
[Inserted at the back of the first diary are a few pages onto which Balfour has written an itinerary with distances and names of ships.]
Notebook II: Sydney – Singapore
Tues Aug 25th
Attended Section H. Wrote to E. Lunched at Australian Club + went with a large party on trip round the harbour at invitation of the Harbour Board, in special steamer. Went out to the Heads + then up the Middle Harbour + along the N, Side, then some way up the harbour towards the Parramatta R. Most interesting. Day very fine in afternoon, though it rained during the morning. Few birds seen – mostly Crested Terns + Cormorants (black + pied), + one sea eagle (haliaetus leucogaster). On returning to the Circular Quay, Dr George Brown took me over to N. Sydney to his house in Gordon + showed me his collection of Ethnographic objects etc – extremely fine. Stayed there till 10pm + caught train back to the Ferry + so across to Sydney + back by tram to Darling Point arriving at 11.10. The Conversazione at the University had been put off owing to death of the Chancellor.
Packed till about 2 a.m.
Wed 26. Took my luggage to the station soon after 9 a.m. Went to Reception Room for letters etc. Then went to look up Henry Fortey, at the Masonic Hall in Castlereagh Str. Had not seen him for some 30 years. Not much changed, acting as official shorthand writer to the Masonic Hall. Only had a short time with him + rushed off to Australian Club for lunch + then on to Station for the 1.50 pm special train to Brisbane. Many people to see train off. Train journey very interesting. The train ran for a long distance along the Hawkesbury R. amid splendid scenery, mangroves + palms etc. giving tropical effect. Dined at Singleton in a hall near station. Sleeping car of the corridor type with upper + lower bunks. Cold night – very little sleep.
Thurs 27 Arrived at Wallangara at about 8.30 + crossed the N.S.W. – Queensland border, changing to a narrow-gauge train 3’6”. Breakfasted there at Station. Train climbed up the Darling Range, via Stanthorpe up to height of 3,023 ft. Through a very fertile region. Past Warwick
with many fine views over valleys to the heights. Then on to Toowoomba (where we lunched) through more well cultivated + fertile plains, maize, lucerne fruit etc. + sheep runs, horses, cattle. Past Spring Bluff + an interesting outcrop of columnar basalt forming a quarry. Birds numerous especially, “magpies” (both white-backed + black-backed) + magpie-larks. Laughing Jackasses very numerous + a small kind also seen. I saw two Banksian Black Cockatoos, very fine, striking birds. Also green parrots, doves, ravens, kestrels, grey herons etc. Reached the foot of the range + passed through Ipswich arriving at Brisbane at 6.15pm. Motored to Mr T. Herbert Brown’s house, where I was a guest with Prof. Lander. Very nice house in large bungalow style with a very fine central hall. [“Merthyr” in the suburb of Merthyr].
Fri 28 Crossed the Brisbane R. by two ferries, walking across Kangaroo Point + went to the Reception Room at the University via the
Interesting Botanic Garden along the River. Got letter from E. + excursion card. Thence took a walk around the town. Lunch at the Café Eschenhagen at invitation of the Senate of the University, the Vice Chancellor presiding. Then on to the Museum – good material badly arranged – Then to garden party given by the mayor at Bowen Park. Then motored with Yule Oldham to the Queensland Club + went back to Merthyr by the ferry route. Stayed at the house for the evening to write, the others going out to a lecture.
Brisbane very picturesque + tropical looking with great clumps of bamboos, Kauri pines, flamboyant trees resembling the Kaffir Boom, poincettias, umbrella trees, date + other palms, mangroves along the river in places. Some captured German mercantile vessels lying in the river under guard.
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph of “Kangaroo Point & Petrie’s Bight.”---]
Sat. 29. Left the Central Station by 8.15 a.m. special for the Glasshouse Mountains. A large party going to the Blackall Range + Nambour, while a smaller one, about 17 + mostly geologists, whom I joined got out at Glasshouse Mts. station at about 10.15 + walked through the bush, climbing to the top of Mt. Ngun Ngun (810 ft). Rough going. Very fine view of the isolated peaks of the Glasshouse Mts. standing up very boldly + suddenly. Partly columnar basalt (trachyte). Signs of wallaby plentiful. Descending we visited a trachytic cave + had a very rough tramp through the bush country to near the base of Mt. Conowrin where we had as hour’s halt for a billy-tea lunch, near a small water hole fringed with melaleuca trees. Geologists went off to examine Mt. Conowrin + I went with another man to look for birds. Parrots, lowries + lorikeets very numerous + noisy, flying swiftly + impossible to identify for certain, but I identified the Superb parrot (Polytelis barrabandi) clearly. Noisy Miners (myzantha garrula) very plentiful in flocks. Also Blue-faced honey-eaters (Entomyzon cyanotis),
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a newspaper cutting entitled “A Record Train”, describing the record length of the train taking delegates from Melbourne.]
[---FACING PAGE: “Sketch Map of Glass House Mts Area - Scale 4 Miles to 1 Inch”---]
Black-backed “magpies (gymnorhina tibicen) with very melodious notes; magpie-larks (grallina picata), “fan-tails”; one Friar bird (Tropidorhynchus corniculatus) also seen, + a Coackwhip bird (Psophodes crepitans) heard as well as a Boobook Owl (Ninox boobook). At about 5pm returned to the lunch-spot + all the party assembled + followed a blazed trail through the bush back to the railway, arriving at the station soon after 6.30. Had a picnic billy-tea on the platform – sitting on edge of platform with our feet on the rails, + the provisions spread out over the platform. Train came in at about 7.30 with the Blackhall party + picked us up. Arrived Brisbane at 9.20pm. Very tired after about 7 hours of rough walking + scrambling in the bush + over rocky ground masked by long grass + xanthorhea + bracken.
[---FACING PAGE: Unlabelled photograph of cattle pulling a cart.---]
Sun 30 Day off. Wrestling with a bad cold caught on the Darling Range. Strolled about Mr Brown’s property + visited Scout’s Camp, attending their church parade. Looked at Mr Brown’s collection of native curios + tried some of the boomerangs in the paddock. In afternoon motored with Mrs Brown, Miss Griffith + Lander to Cleveland a small place on a promontory in the Moreton Bay. Mangroves all round the shores. Fine sunny + hot day, turning cooler towards evening.
Mon 31 Hot morning, 87°F in shade, but very dry. Went with Lander by the ferry route to the University + then to the town + got some photos. Wired to E. Lunched at the Queensland Club. Went to Garden party in afternoon at the University, given by the Premier. Stayed in after dinner to write, while the rest went to Schäfer’s lecture. Heard flying foxes (pteropus) round the house in the palm trees.
Tues Sept 1 Motored with Mr Brown, Miss Griffiths + Lander to top of One Tree Hill for the view over Brisbane which is very fine. Rather misty in distance, but could see from Ipswitch on one side to Moreton Bay on the other with the whole of Brisbane + its winding river below. On the return we went into the Cathedral (not yet finished) which promises to be a fine building. After lunch I went to the Museum + went round with the Curator, Dr R. Hamlyn – Harris + Dr Graebner (of Köln). Found a shop with some interesting native curios (Samuel Sheppard, 201 Albert Str.) + bought several things. Dined quietly at “Merthyr”. Before turning in we looked for flying foxes + started several of them flying around, but we failed to see any opossums, though these are fairly common round the house + are often seen or heard at night. The flying foxes roost on an island up the river + come into the gardens at night doing much damage to fruit.
Wed. 2 Got some packing done, everything having to be rearranged for voyage home. Went to the Union Bank of Australia + drew £40. Lander + I lunched at the Club with Brown, Peter Macgregor, an old Balliol man, also there. Fine weather, rather dusty. Went round to the business premises of T.Brown + Co to see the native curios there. Fine establishment for wholesale market of general goods. Quiet evening at Merthyr. While packing I heard sounds on the iron roof + went out to see if an opossum was around, + soon found one in the tree over the roof. It showed up well against clear sky; about the size of a cat. When scared it ran with great rapidity along the branches + up the tree + was lost to sight. Saw some more flying-foxes in the garden.
Thurs 3 Finished packing + went into the town + to the museum, but returned to the house for lunch. Saw a white-headed eagle (Haliastur girrenera) flying over the river. Lander’s + my luggage was fetched in one of T. Brown + Cos carts, + we said
goodbye to Mrs Brown + Miss Griffith – + trammed to the station, catching the 3.12 train to the Pinkenba where the “Montoro” (Burns Philp) was lying. Lander + I together in cabin 34 on the top deck. Due to sail at 5pm but did not get off till 6.30. Two young Germans, Graebner of Köln + Prinzheim [Pringshein] were detained at the last minute + had to return to Brisbane. All lights on the ship were covered, making the ship very gloomy, + also very stuffy in the saloon + smoking room. There is some risk from armed merchantmen, but this is probably only a slight risk. Impossible to read or write on deck after sundown owing to there being no deck lights. Crew + stewards all Malays or Cantonese.
Friday 4 Fine morning early with fresh S.E. breeze + fair amount of pitching + rolling. Ran through a heavy rain shower later. Close in to the coast but animal life scarce. Saw one mollymawk, a number of brown booby gannets + some white gannets (? cyanops) fishing, also two frigate-birds (?), a Richardson’s Skua, some crested terns (Bergii)
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a booklet containing the itinerary, list of saloon passengers and staff of the S.S. “Montoro” to Java and Singapore.---]
[---FACING PAGE: Profile sketch of “Dr Graebner” and a postcard showing “Burns, Philp & Company’s S.S. “Montoro””.---]
+ some large dark petrels or shearwaters. A few flying-fish + one hump-backed whale, the latter blowing a number of times not far off. A very fine lunar rainbow, showing all the spectrum colours very clearly, seen in the evening, the full moon being masked by a cloud at the time.
Sat 5 Off the Cumberland Ids. in the morning. Very fine, sunny day, light following breeze (S.E.). Extraordinary absence of bird life. Rocky islets very numerous, with slight vegetation (arancarias, grass trees etc). Passing between islands all day; in afternoon a fair amount of bird life, silver gulls (Larus Novae Hollandiae) numerous, a few terns (crested + other), some brown booby garnets (sula leucogaster). A few immature white gannets, + two very large petrels, as large as gannets + dark brown all over (? the ‘giant’ petrel, although this is far north for these birds which usually keep S. of 30º). No flying fish, dolphins or whales. Perfectly smooth sea, just broken by S.E. trade. Passed Whitsunday Passage about 7.30p.m. Lovely moonlight night. We had the lights on on board, as it was considered safe inside the Barrier Reef.
Sun 6 Entered the land-locked lagoon in which Townsville is situate [sic] about 8.30 a.m., passing magnetic island. Anchored for a short time in the very shallow-water + then went on into Townsville harbour + tied up along a wharf. Went ashore with Alexander (of Perth Museum) to look for birds. First went along a sandy shore + saw a lesser egret (garzetta nigripes), a number of curlews (numenius cyanopus) + whimbrel (N. variegetus), + a great many dotterel (? sp.) + a larger sandpiper. Silver gulls + crested terns (sterna bergii) very numerous, + a few Caspian terns (Hydropragne Caspia). White-headed sea eagles (Haliaster girrenera) also pretty common, flying over the water + sand expanses. Next we made a cast round to another stretch of sand + saw more eagles, including some white-bellied sea eagles (Haliaetus leucogaster) probably immature, a large yellow-billed egret (Herodias timoriensis) + more curlews. Returning towards the town Indian mynahs (mizantha sp.) were common, also magpie larks (grallina picata) + peaceful doves (geopelia tranquilla)
We made for the mountain which dominates the town + on the lower slopes had lunch + watched some beautiful bee-eaters (merops ornatus) + some banded finches (stictoptera bichenovii). We ascended the mountain, seeing only some kestrels + looked at a very fine view over the town + harbour + extensive alluvial flats. Descending on the other side we had a scramble down over rough ground, granite broken up + hidden by grass.
Mon 7 Fine day with fresh breeze from E. Went with a dozen others in a motor launch to magnetic island. Roughish 1/2 hour crossing. Vegetation of island very tropical. Arancarias + gums interspersed with screw pines (pandanus) in fruit, coconut palms, phoenix, figs with extraordinary roots + aerial roots; along the shores extensive mangrove swamps. Went first to Cockle bay to search the mangrove swamps for periophthalmus which I soon found in hundreds jumping over the sands + surface of the water. Saw curlews + whimbrels, + blue kingfishers (alcyone azurea) near a fresh-water pool. Saw a large flock of some
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of mudskipper, labelled: “Periopthalmus, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Sept 1914.” And signed “H.B.”---]
Scores of sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) + got right under them. They were apparently eating Eucalyptus fruits. Many pied bell-magpies (Strepera graculina) amongst them. Also saw some bush-tailed wallaby +, I think, a scrub-wallaby. One harrier (? circus assimilis) + a small eagle [? the little Eagle, Entolmaëtus morphnoides]. Came back to the landing-bay for picnic lunch + then went off to a bay on the other side. Saw many bell-magpies, some bee-eaters (M. ornatus), sacred Kingfishers (Halcyone sanctus), some more white cockatoos, a scarlet-breasted flower-pecker (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)) etc. No mangroves in that bay. On the rocks a number of large chitons (3-3 1/2 inches long). Started back in the launch at 4.30pm. Sea pretty rough. On landing I went off to the sand flats as tide was out + saw curlews, whimbrel, crested terns, silver gulls, little stints + other small waders, lesser egret, 3 white-headed eagles. Ship due to sail at 6, but did not sail at all. No information as to probabilities of sailing.
Tues 8 Still no sign of sailing + no information, very trying knowing nothing + wasting time on board.
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph of a picnic on the beach, labelled: “Phot. by Prof. S.H. Reynolds-”---]
All waited on board till after lunch, in hope of getting off, but the ship was prevented sailing by the Custom House officers, because of cargo destined for neutral ports. Went ashore with Haddon to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, + went over it with the chief, Dr A. Breinl, who showed us his New Guinea photos etc. taken during an overland journey from Moresby to the Fly R. Well-equipped small hospital with laboratories for research. Back on board at 6pm, but it was evident ship would not sail. Telegrams to head quarters in Melbourne reassuring.
Wed 8 At last the ship got away at 8.30 a.m. to relief of all. Gray, cold morning, finer later, but misty. Passing Palm Island I could see the White cockatoos on it 2 or 3 miles away. A few terns including, I think, some sooty terns, + one flying-fish seen (the latter seem very scarce.). Passed very many islands some wooded, others barren. Entered the natural harbour at
Cairns at night, but took a long time to get alongside the quay + it was midnight before we tied up. Found Malilovsky on the quay waiting to see us, having come on by another B.P. steamer bound for Port Moresby, as he is bound for New Guinea. Turned in at about 12.30 a.m. Evening very cold.
Thurs 10 Very wet morning. Got up at 6.30 + most of us took a special train to the Barron Falls. Vegetation very tropical + interesting. Passed through plantations of bananas + pineapples, with mangoes + pawpaws everywhere near the habitations; crotons, hibiscus, bougainvillea etc. in gardens. Then up the mountain sides through tropical forest, gums + figs of various kinds + lianas, lawyer vines + other climbers trying to destroy them. Ferns both terrestrial + epiphytic (e.g, stagshorn fern) very abundant, a few orchids but not many flowering plants. Had about 1 1/4 hours at the Barron Falls which are fine + then returned by the train getting back to the ship soon after 12.30 p.m. in time for lunch. Saw some interesting birds, at or near Cairns. Some mud-flats near the quay had on them several straw-necked ibises (Ibis molucca), Great white egret (Herodias timoriensis), a white Reef heron (Demiegretta sacra), a
number of silver gulls (though the beaks are not nearly so red as in this bird further S.), gull-billed terns (Gelochelidon macrotarsa), a black-fronted dotterel (aegialitis melanops) + other small plovers + a night heron. Magpie-larks + mynahs common everywhere. On the mountain slopes large flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos, top-knot pigeons (Lopholaemus antarcticus), Forest Kingfishers (Halcyon Macleayi), a Brown-hawk (? Hieracidea orientalis), many Laughing Jackasses, some small doves (not identified) etc. At the Falls a large number of Tree martins (Petrochelidon nigricans). Tropical butterflies, ornithoptera etc. also seen.
Ship started soon after 12.30 p.m. for Thursday Id. Following light wind, perfectly calm sea. Hoping to see the Barrier Reef tomorrow. No flying fish to be seen.
Fri 11 Delightful day; not too hot; trade wind still holding. All day long have been steaming past coral islands, some with vegetation (mangroves, melaleuca etc.), some mere sand banks, with lines of reef, shallow lagoons showing bright green or brown against the blue of the deeper water. Pelicans, egrets + reef herons numerous on the islets,
[---FACING PAGE: Five photographs, labelled: “Coral islands inside the Great Barrier reef.”---]
In the morning flights of nutmeg pigeons (Carpophaga bicolor) flying towards the mainland for the day, to return to the islands to roost at night. In crossing they fly very low over the water + do not look like pigeons + their bold black + white colouring is striking. Sooty terns, crested terns + noddies also seen; + a few brown gannets, silver gulls numerous. A few dolphins + bonito (?) seen. Passed Cape Tribulation (of Captain Cook fame) in the morning + the spot where Capt. Bligh landed after the mutiny of the “Bounty”, in the afternoon. Mainland fine + mountainous. Navigation difficult + the channel tortuous in places where the Barrier Reef approaches he mainland.
Sat 12 Passing through the Torres Straits Islands early in morning. Rounded Tuesday + Wednesday Ids. + came into the anchorage of Thursday Island at 8 a.m. Military camps visible in various directions + guns mounted on the hills. Anxiety as to possible attack by German vessels.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Cape Tribulation from the N.”, and two photographs of “Thursday Island”.---]
Several luggers of the pearling fleet anchored off the town. Sea + reefs very beautiful in colour, pale green or brownish of the reefs contrasting with the rich blue of the deeper water. Went ashore with Sidgwick after we had tied up to the jetty. Walked round the shore past the hospital + Residency + reached a mangrove swamp (Ceriops, Bruguiera + Rhizophora); tide was high unfortunately so could not find periophalmus. Enormous numbers of green-ant’s nests in the mangroves + other trees. Nests made by drawing leaves together, the edges being held together by a number of ants, while others take the silk-spinning larvae +, using them as bobbins, lace the edges together with the silk which adheres, the larva being carried backward + forwards zigzag-wise, + thrown away when empty, like an empty cotton reel. The ants swarmed out when the nests were disturbed in passing, + got all over us, but luckily did not sting us. Several very fine tropical butterflies seen, + grasshoppers with yellow wings that made a noise like clapping of hands when they flew. Saw some whimbrel. We tried to get further round the shore, but
[---FACING PAGE: Four sketches, labelled: “Black” mangrove”; “Ceriops candolleana “Grey” mangrove”; “Bruguiera “Red” mangrove”.---]
a sentry peremptorily stopped us with a bayonet so we had to get across over the hill. Screw pines, mangoes, Bombax (?) with yellow flowers but no leaves yet, ‘Bottle-brush trees; a very large, white periwinkle on the shores, coconut palms etc. Among birds were large flights of bee-eaters (merops ornatus), evidently migrating from New Guinea to Australia; small honey-eaters, a grey cuckoo-shrike (Graucalus melanops). An adult sea-eagle (Haliaetus leucogaster) flying over the harbour, crested terns + silver gulls. Came on board for lunch, + went ashore afterwards to see the Quetta Memorial Church, with relics of the “Quetta” which foundered on an uncharted rock in 1890. The church is now the Cathedral of Carpentaria. The Sub-dean, the Rev. E.J. Nash, of Lincoln Coll. Oxford, came in + we palled up over Oxford, + he came down to the ship with me. The ship sailed soon after 3p.m. Passed Booby Island with its lighthouse at 5.30. Large flock of nutmeg pigeons passed us making for the mainland, + a flight of bee-eaters passed over us. Two of them remained on board huddled together on a wire (they were still there
at 10.30 pm in the same position. Day very fine + hot. Glorious starlight night with fine shooting stars. One very large falling star was of bright blue colour. Meagre war news but quite reassuring. All letters had to be posted open, so that the censors could read them before sending on. Notices posted up in the town on Thursday Id. as to the splinter proof shelters provided for women + children. Some German cruisers still knocking around + the Japanese SS. “Nikko Maru” had been held up two of three days waiting for a convoying cruiser. Fancy that our risk is a small one, though lights will probably be put out on deck tomorrow night. Tonight we have them on. No cameras or sketch books were allowed on Thursday Id.
Sun 13 Fine + bright with following breeze from the E. In blue water crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria. The two bee-eaters still on board up to 10 oclock in the morning, but disappeared later. Flying fish scarce during morning, but disappeared later. Flying fish scarce during morning but more numerous later, all rather small. Saw a curlew, some terns (? crested), one Tropic bird + some very small dolphins + bonito (?). All lights out or masked at night. The “Princesse Alice”, armed German merchantman, said to be about.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of the two bee-eaters huddled on a wire.---]
Mon 14 Warmer, the breeze from E. being less strong. No hostile ship seen. Saw a frigate-bird in the morning, + several terns (? Crested). Flying-fish numerous + small, a few bonito. Some large sea-snakes seen sunning themselves right on the surface. I saw two 4 1/2 – 5 ft long + rather thick; general yellowish buff colours banded with pale brown. Very sluggish one raised its head out of the water when the ship’s waves disturbed it (it was very close) but otherwise showed no emotion, the second coiled itself into a close knot. Another had been seen earlier. In places the whole sea was covered with trichodesmium of a bright orange-brown colour, for scores of miles. Examined some under the microscope [collected on a sponge], small bundles of striated (or jointed) rods, the bundles being 2-3mm long. Said to be the origin of the name of the Red Sea. Very striking effect of colour. It has appeared in long streaks ever since we got inside the Barrier Reef, but nowhere so abundantly as here. The sea has smelt strongly, almost overpoweringly of malt, especially at night + when passing the patches of Trichodesmium. Very curious; never before encountered a smelly sea before, in open water at least.
Passed Oxley’s Id. during the afternoon. No flying fish to be seen among the desmid patches. I expect that the minute Trichodesmium rods get into their gills + cause irritation. During afternoon saw several more turtles, some very large, + one very small one (only about 6 inches long). One sea eagle (H. leucogaster) seen a long way from land, some sooty terns + crested terns, a frigate-bird, one brown gannet, silver gulls, a flight of nutmeg pigeons; great numbers of large + small medusae, + all day long immense numbers of cuttle-bone. Mrs Drew + others saw what must have been a small shovel-nosed shark (ray) from their description. Schools of bonito fishing. After sighting the islands we have steamed dead slow so as to get a difficult piece of navigation done in daylight. No lights at night, not even mast-head + side-lights. Ports all painted black. Curious effect + ship very stuffy. Drat the Germans!
Tues 15 Off Melville Id. early in morning + passed straits into Van Diemen’s Gulf, passed New Year’s Cape
+ Cape Hotham, crossed Adam’s Gulf, + through the Vernon Islands, with Melville + Bathurst Ids. as a background to the N. + crossing Shoal Bay saw the limestone cliffs to N. of Port Darwin, + then, rounding a headland ran into Palmerston (Port Darwin) at about 4.30 pm. A few frigate birds + brown gannets, crested terns seen + also a few more sea snakes, during the morning. Trichodesmium much scarcer, but still in patches. A few flying fish only. On arriving at Port Darwin a number of the chief officials + residents met us + gave us an organized welcome. Mr Stretton (Protector of Aborigines) was told off to look after me. We went in a train along the jetty to where traps of all sorts were waiting. Mr Playford had brought a light ‘buckboard’ for me with a pair of minute pale brown ponies, derived from a wild (feral) herd, the descendants of some Timor ponies which had run wild at Port Essington in 1836, + have become a wild breed. The pair had been captured very young, + broken to harness, going very well over very rough
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs, labelled: “Limestone cliff N. of Port Darwin”; “Coast near Port Darwin.”---]
roads (unmade). We drove straight to the native compound where I looked at the natives, some pure bred N. Australians, others half-castes. Mostly gins + children as the men were mostly away in the gardens. They showed off some of their accomplishments + sang to me. The Superintendent seemed very kind to them + they are evidently very fond of him. From there we drove to the public gardens where tea was provided by the Administrator + Mrs Gilruth. Pretty gardens with a wonderful banyan tree, sago + coconut palms, hibiscus etc. Soon got dusk so drove back to the ship for dinner. After dinner some of us went to a lecture by Bateson in the Town Hall. Audience considerably reinforced by dogs. Hottish night. After the lecture Mrs Gilruth asked the Batesons + me round to Government House for drinks + at about 10.30 the Administrator walked back to the ship with us + had drinks with me, as also did Judge Bevan. Ascertained that the ship would sail at daybreak. Very sorry as I had been offered a further tour round in the morning + breakfast at Government House. Turned in at midnight.
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Natives of N. Australia in the Compound at Port Darwin”.---]
Wed 16 Was awakened at 5.30 am by the “Montoro’s whistle, signalling her departure in half an hour. Got up as the sun rose. Began to cast off from the jetty at 6, + as we started I saw Mr Stretton who had come down to say goodbye. Very sorry to leave Port Darwin so soon + to see the last of Australia which was out of sight soon after breakfast. Steering a Westerly course for Bali-Lombok Straits. Very fine, sea quite smooth to oily. Life more abundant. Saw many frigate-birds during the morning, 10 of them together at one place, close to the ship. A few brown gannets, singly or in twos + threes, some crested terns. Many dolphins (dark all over with high fin + long beak), no gulls. Sea snakes very numerous. Must have seen quite 30 of them, from 2 ft in length upwards. In the evening dolphins very numerous + lighter in colour (very gray on the sides), many bonitos fishing, fewer snakes, swarms of small medusae, + shoals of fish. A sooty tern was seen standing on a piece of floating wood, looking rather
curious, right out in open sea. Much phosphorescence at night. Some of the luminiferous animalculae captured with a bag on a tap, showed the phosphorescence when shaken or stimulated with chemicals. Fine sunset + Venus very bright, casting wide beam of light on the sea. Ship completely darkened as this is reckoned a dangerous part in event of hostile ships being on the prowl. War news obtained in Port Darwin very reassuring. Was given some Melville Id. + Roper R. spears by Dixey, who had received them from Dr Houson of Darwin.
Thurs 17 At sea – Sea quite oily-smooth in early morning, but a light breeze sprang up later. Very little animal life seen. A few sea-snakes of a dark species, nearly black seen in early morning. Some very large medusae (brown + buff), a brown gannet in morning + 2 in evening. A small sandpiper settled on the ship. In evening dolphins, bonito + flying fish numerous, but not strikingly so. For some days 2 sunspots have been very clear + sharply defined, one could be seen with naked eye. Ship completely darkened at night.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Position of suns-spots”.---]
Fri 18 At sea. Light following wind all day from E. Slight swell. Keeping away from land to avoid meeting German ships, so have not seen Sumba. Birds very scarce. Saw an immature white gannet diving + one or two brown gannets, a small sandpiper. Three whales (? hump-backs) passed us, going fast. Ship darkened again after sundown. Spent evening talking Zoology with Alexander. Sea very phosphorescent.
Sat 19 Fine hazy morning. Lombok in sight early + we coasted along it all the morning. Fine mountainous + wooded shore. Sighted Nousa Id. later at entrance to the Straits. Frigate birds, boatswain-birds, brown gannets + a large dark petrel or shearwater seen. Otherwise a scarcity of life, though flying-fish were pretty numerous + a few butterflies came to the ship. Bali in view before lunch. Very mountainous. Curious currents + tide-rips in the Straits. As we approached Bali, Lombok gradually faded out of sight in the haze. View very fine. When the high volcanic peak on Bali came
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs, each labelled: “Bali.”---]
into sight, appearing as a conical mountain above a cloud layer (c.11000 ft). Sides of the mountains terraced for cultivation. Splendid views along the coast. Coconut palms + ? sago palms on sky line + down to the shore + a wealth of vegetation + fine trees. Old lava flows very striking, some of them still bare of vegetation. Passed near a fleet of small fishing canoes with double outriggers (floats of bamboo) + triangular sails + numbers of Malay praus mostly anchored but some sailing along. Could see the natives on the shore. Passed what looked like a mosque or rather temple, as the natives are mostly Hinduized. Some schools of dolphins seen fishing. Some of the small outrigger canoes were propelled with a double-bladed paddle (like an Eskimo Kayak). Various old volcanoes along the N. shore. Off Java in the evening, but barely visible.
Sun 20 Very hazy but fine. Saw little of the shore in the morning though close to it. Many frigate birds, terns + dolphins. Enormous numbers
[---FACING PAGE: Coloured sketch, labelled: “Bali and volcano c.11,000 ft. high. Sept. 19, 1914.”---]
of native fishing boats, elaborately carved + painted bows, no outriggers, carrying triangular sails with mast + boom [sketch]. All fishing. Some larger boats with lateen sails. This fishing fleet a very beautiful sight, sails in every direction. Several sea snakes floating on surface (pale buff with dark bands). Many steamers in the roadstead off Surabaya, German, Japanese, Dutch + British. The Straits between Java + Madura here very narrow. Arrived off Surabaya at about 10.30 am. + anchored. Many sea eagles (? haliastur intermedius, very like the Australian one), also many crows (corone macroshyncha, the gaok of the Javans). Went ashore in small, crowded launch + got drenched with spray, but soon dried in the scorching sun. On landing I took a cab (a quaint kind of small dog-cart, tipped well back + with very small pony). Drove to the Simpang Hotel, a rambling one floor building with large bed-rooms + double-doors closing half the very high door way. Stoep in front with lounge
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Surabaya roadstead”.---]
chairs for each room. Huge bed with no bed-clothes but pillows + large long bolster (“Dutch wife”) placed longitudinally. Waited for the Sewards, Lander, Reynolds + Sidgwick to turn up from the ship + after lunch went for long stroll through the town with them; especially through the native quarters which are very picturesque, Chinese + Javanese doing the petty trade. Streets full of life + bustle + much horse traffic. The moving colour very fine in effect. Went to station to get tickets at the half rate offered us by the State. Station Master spoke English + very obliging + anti-German as were all the Dutchmen I met in Java. Paid 21.50 gulden for ticket to Batavia via Djokja-karta. Getting back to hotel after dusk found tea waiting for me outside my room. Midges + mosquitos trying. Geckos run all over the walls + ceilings of the rooms + eat the insects. They make a curious “kissing” noise when calling each other. Sparrows very numerous. All of them throughout Java seem to be Tree Sparrows (P. montanus). Bed at 11.0.
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a receipt for the hotel “Simpang”, 20-21 September.---]
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Bedroom in Dutch Hotel, Java”, and a note headed “Sourabaya to Batavia” containing directions or itinerary.---]
Mon 21 Up at 4.30 a.m. Drove to station in a “my lord” (Victoria + pair). Caught the 5.50 a.m. train for Djokja. Thoroughly tropical scenery. Tremendously cultivated, chiefly sugar, padi, + tobacco. Extensive plains. Elaborate terracing of the padi fields very striking especially on the steeper slopes. Rice (padi) in all stages from seedling in nursery patches to the nearly ripe ear. Natives busy in the fields, wading about in the water + mud. Great numbers of water-buffaloes, some ploughing, others raking up the mud in the padi fields, or drawing carts laden with sugar-cane. The buffaloes off duty either grazing or wallowing in the streams + mud holes; many had calves accompanying them. Irrigation very elaborate + well controlled. The shadoof in use (? introduced by Arabs), + large pivotted ladles also employed to fill the channels where the water did not flow [sketch]. Elaborate arrangement for bird-scaring. Small shelters where a boy can sit + jerk
very long cords fitted with clappers + waving-rags etc, extended over the rice fields. Or wind-mill scarers erected here + there + working automatically. Distant views of volcanoes very striking. Coconut palms in great abundance, mangoes, breadfruit (artocarpus), huge bamboo clumps, avenues of tamarinds, flame-trees (erythruia), hibiscus, bananas etc. I luckily saw 3 or 4 gibbons (Hylobates) in a high tree in a belt of jungle, also many monkeys (? Semnopithecus mitratus or Thomasi). Drongos very common also sturnopastor jalla (djalak of the natives) + buff-necked herons (? Bubulcus coromandus or ardeola speciosa), corone macrorhyncha. A few white egrets, one adjutant stork (leptoptilus javanicus), + many swallows. Several giant herons (? ardea goliath) also seen, + many eagles (? haliastur). Arrived at Djokja at 11.30 a.m. drove to Grand Hotel, + washed off the filth of the journey (I was nearly black from the dirty coal of the engine). Had stroll about the town,
+ native markets. Saw women doing battik work, drawing the designs in melted wax. Procession of a Javan dignitary very amusing with rabble of attendants bearing the silver sireh box, umbrellas + other paraphernalia behind a smug-looking youth of high birth. After lunch at the hotel, which resembles the one at Surabaya, I drove in a motor with the Schaefers + Reynolds past a number of picturesque native Kampongs, each having a big gong of hollowed out wood or palm-tree base, hanging up. Villages very populous with naked children, half-naked adults, chickens + dogs. Great petty trade being done at small stalls. Visited the old Indian temple at Mendoet (Tjandi Mendoet), with elaborate stone carvings + a colossal figure of Buddha inside; partly ruined but very effective. Went on to Borobudur (the many Buddhas), a magnificent Buddhist temple which was unearthed + partly restored. Built on a low hill top in 7 tiers + covering a huge space. Very elaborately carved with
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs, labelled: “Tjandi Mendoet”; “Boroboedoer”.---]
scenes from the life of Buddha etc. + with innumerable figures of Buddha all over the structure which is of dry masonry of lava stone or trachyte. A marvel of detail. It stands in beautiful scenery of palms + betel-pepper (piper methysticum) trees, with a back-ground of volcanic mountains. Colouring splendid. Saw battik-work going on at back of the hotel + bought some of the wax-pens used for drawing the designs. Drove back in the evening through the padi cultivation + tobacco fields with their enormous barns for drying the leaf. Quite dark when we got back to hotel at about 7.0. Hotel quite comfortable but food not attractive though slightly better than at Surabaya. Few mosquitos + many geckos. Very little war-news, but still reassuring.
Tues 22 Got up at 4.30 a.m. + caught the 5.50 train for Buitenzorg. First part of journey very similar to yesterday’ s. Coconut palms in great profusion + much copra-drying in process. Sugar cane rather less abundant, but padi everywhere.
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a receipt for the “Grand Hotel de Djocja, Djoejakarta”.]
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Sculpturings at Boroboedoer. Inner wall of third terrace.”---]
Padi herons + plovers very abundant, saw one very large flock of white egrets, several blue Kingfishers, an adjutant stork, + several monkeys (seminopithecus). The climbing palms (calamus) very prevalent in some of the jungle patches, + bamboo very fine + in huge clumps. As we got higher scenery finer, + vegetation changed somewhat, caryota + areca palms, erythrina, tree ferns + sessile ferns, frangipani etc. Scenery steadily improved in the higher levels of the mountain railway, + views over the cultivated plains very fine + dominated by the terraced padi fields, which when flooded + with their crops showing up vivid green were most effective. A good deal of cassava grown. Some of the natives very prognathous, recalling the Kalang type. Mountain scenery impressive, the cone-shaped volcanoes (extinct or dormant) being striking. Saw a white falcon + mostly the same birds as before. We ran through a thunderstorm in afternoon
With very heavy rain. Cleared up afterwards. Arrived at Buitenzorg at about 6.30 p.m. after 13 hours of the train + a most interesting journey. Fine view from my verandah, with volcanic peak in distance + palms + villages in foreground. Geckos all over the walls + ceilings of the Hotel Belle Vue (expensive but very fair). Very tired + turned in about 10.30. Frogs in the swamps very noisy.
Wed. 23 We should have arrived today in Singapore, but are two days late. Got up before 6 a.m. + had early breakfast + went to the famous Botanical Gardens for two hours or so. Splendid Gardens everything growing in a natural manner. Magnificent palms, banyans + other tropical trees growing luxuriantly. Victoria regia + other very fine water-lilies growing well in the open ponds + lake. Very well-kept gardens + very extensive. Also visited the Zoological Museum, interesting but not well arranged.
[---FACING PAGE: Two photographs, labelled: “View from my verandah, Buitenzorg”; “Victoria Regia lilies, Buitenzorg.”---]
Lunch at 11. Caught the 11.45 train for Weltevreden. On arriving at the Nordvijk station I left my bag there + went with the Schaefers to a hotel where we got a ramshackle cab with two ponies + drove to old Batavia. Very picturesque Chinese streets with shops mostly kept by Chinamen. Chinese temples. Drove to the fish-market + arrived just after the days catch was being landed + sold by Chinese auction; + then carried away to the town in baskets slung on shoulder-poles. Extraordinary collection of fishes. Hammer-headed + other sharks, rays, garfish, eel-like fish with pointed jaws + large teeth, fish like coryphenes, prawns, marine worms, + a host of other things. At the auction the bids are apparently taken while an attendant gabbles very rapidly giving a yelp at definite intervals, the last yelp closing the bidding. A great number of fishing boats along the quay + many small dug-outs. After this we drove
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Native boat in canal, Old Batavia”.---]
further round old Batavia. Saw two men carrying a huge monitor lizard (alive) slung on a bamboo pole, through the streets. All European shops shut between 2 + 4 during the siesta time. Driving back to the Hotel I went for a stroll + watched the Javanese children + adults bathing in the very muddy river, enjoying themselves hugely (the more mud the more fun). Caught the 4.21 train to Tandjong Priok (the port of Batavia about 1/2 hour by train from Weltevreden + rejoined the “Montoro” which sailed at 6 p.m. Have heard that the German cruiser “Emden” has been sinking British ships between Singapore + Penang + Colombo, + that this route may be closed. A great many eagles (Haliaster) in the harbour + quite close to the ships. Saw a frigate bird just outside harbour. Ship thoroughly darkened at night.
[FACING PAGE: Newspaper clipping on the “Emden”, labelled: “The ‘Emden’.”---]
Thurs 24 Hazy, calm morning, sultry all day as we approach the equator. Passing between Sumatra + Banka Id. both very visible as the straits are narrow, though evidently well-lighted. Very little life to be seen. Some ‘skip-jacks’ a long, blade-like fish jumped along the surface in a very peculiar manner, leaping on the surface itself as the ship scared them. Very few birds + those a long way off mostly. A flutter was caused after lunch when we saw a white vessel carrying guns coming straight for us. Visions of German armed merchantmen + cruisers arose. She came close to us + fired twice across our bows, evidently a 4.7 gun, of which she had eight. Relieved to see the white ensign + to read the name “Empress of Japan” (converted into an unarmoured cruiser). We stopped close by her + she sent off her whale-boat with a lieutenant + armed
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “’Parang-fish’ Chirocentrus dorab.”, and two photographs of “The Empress of Japan”.---]
crew (drawn from the “Triumph”, “Britomart” + “Moorhen”. Lieutenant boarded us to find out who we were + see the ship’s papers + then left us, smashing his tiller as the boat came alongside in a slightly lumpy sea. Had the vessel been a German we should have had to take to the boats probably while she sank the “Montoro” after taking her coal etc. Anyway it was odd to have 4 naval guns trained upon us while we were being diagnosed + an armed boat alongside. The Empress looked very pretty in the sun, especially with a British crew on board + British flag flying.
Packed at intervals during the day. Hot work. All lights out at night.
Fri 25 Very hazy, but fine + absolutely calm. Off the Lingga Ids. so got up soon after 6. Passed large number of small rocky, wooded islands through the Lingga + _____ [left blank] Island Groups.
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “Armed boat from “Empress of Japan” coming off to the “Montoro”.”---]
Numbers of the long jumping-fish doing ducks + drakes over the sea surface, leaping out of the water + rebounding off the surface in a series of curves, sometimes rising 3 feet at least in the air. They seemed to spread their pectoral fins + bounce off them, giving a tail flick at the same time. Shaped like a sword sword [sic] blade, with sharp edge along under surface, the whole body much flattened laterally. Sea in places thickly covered with (?) Trichodesmium as it was round Queensland. A shrike _____ [left blank] flew on board, + swallows + terns were seen. Arrived off Singapore at 1.15 pm. Too hazy to see much. Alongside wharf about 3.0. Turned luggage over to Hotel porter + drove with Dixey in a gharry to “Raffles” Hotel, very nicely situated overlooking the “Roads” which were crammed with craft of all sorts. Went to the G.P.O. + got a wire from E. but no letters. No mail had come in for a fortnight. Wanting home news badly. Sent wire to E. Had stroll along the Chinese quarter along the river which was packed with Chinese boats. Then
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of a Chinese junk.---]
went to the Raffles Museum till 6. Dined at Hotel. Splendid moving colour effects in Singapore; nationalities very varied; Indians, Sinhalese, Tamils, Malays, Chinese from various parts, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians etc. Most of the trade is Chinese, some of whom have become very rich + have fine houses. Smells anywhere near the river, canal + other water, appalling.
Sat. 26 Spent morning at the Museum. Mr V. Knight (deputy curator in absence of Dr Hanitsch) came round with me + Mr Makepeace of the Asiatic Soc. came + talked to me. Shops + Officer of Europeans closed in afternoon, but I visited the most interesting Chinese fish-market where fish in great variety are sold, sharks, rays, siluroids, heniochus chaetodon, bonito, squids, squilla, etc. Very fascinating. Went around the town + Chinese quarters + took a gharry to the Botanical Gardens which are extremely interesting, though less so than at Buitenzorg.
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a handwritten letter dated 25 Sept. 1914.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a typed letter from the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Raffles Museum, Singapore, dated 23rd September 1914.]
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph, labelled: “View from my room at Raffles Hotel.”---]
In evening dined at the Singapore Club Dinner given to Brit. Assoc. members by the medical men of Singapore. Mr Wilkinson (Colonial Secretary) in the chair. Played snooker pool afterwards.
Sun 27 Visited the Bukit Sumbawang Rubber Estate, by invitation of the Company, who provided motors + gave us a great time. I drove with Johnson, Reynolds + Miss Crossfield + we were accompanied by Mr Craig, one of the Directors + founder of the company. Drove across to to [sic] Woodlands where the ferry crossing from Singapore to Johore Bahru is. Sultan of Johores house visible on opposite side. Then along the beautiful Mandai Road, through some virgin jungle where I saw a Krah monkey (M. Cynomolgus); same species as “Mona”, got down to the straits of Johore again some miles further on + looked at the fenced off bathing places of the rubber Co – the fences are against crocodiles (C. porosus) rather than sharks.
[---FACING PAGE: Menu from the Singapore Club. Saturday, 26 September 1914.---]
Dug out canoes with false gunwale drawn up on the shore. Passed along a small tidal river with mangroves + then through rubber plantations, many pine-apples planted beneath them (a form of payment of the Chinese who contract to clear the jungle for planting. Went then to the factory + saw the processes of coagulating the rubber juice into huge lumps + then rolling these out into wide, long bands which are suspended in the drying-houses. Enormous quantity of fine Para rubber. Saw also the tapping of the trees. Splendid lunch given us at the club-house on the estate. Mr Mengies, manager, presiding; regular banquet. Motored back to the Raffles Hotel, via the reservoirs, getting back at about 2 pm. Roads excellent + very pretty, especially where there are patches of jungle. “Flame of the forest” trees very striking. At about 4, had a drive with the Sewards along the Beach Road + as far as the Malay village built on piles over the sea, + through
Chinese + Malay + Indian parts of the town, past a Hindu temple + some Chinese joss-houses. After this I had a stroll with Mr Macfarlane, a Cambridge man, who had been on a rubber estate in Patani. We dined together at the hotel.
Mon 28 Went to the P+O office + had passage by “Salsette” + “Maloya” booked. Information as to times of sailing vague + unsatisfactory. Mail from England arrived per S.S. “Oriental”, so I went to Post Office + got letters from E. + Lewis + large bundle of daily + weekly “Times”. Delighted to get news. Packed my traps + handed over the heavy luggage to the hotel porter to send down to the P.+O. Wharf for the “Salsette”. In afternoon I joined a party organised by Burkhill (Director of the Botanic Gardens) to some Chinese Temples, + had a motor car with Forbes. The first temple was not a very special one, Buddhism much tainted with Lamaism. The second was much finer + larger + seemingly more Buddhist. It consists of several temples + shrines, some very elaborate. Strikingly decorated. Buddha figures
from Tibet, Burma etc – Figures of Kwau-yin + huge demons crushing evil-doers under foot. Very large mu-yu (wooden gongs), one in the form of a grotesque fish, metal gongs of varied form, on the altars [crescent]-shaped pieces of wood or of bamboo root, in pairs, for casting lots to ascertain if prayers have been heard, also bamboo inscribed spills for same purpose. On one altar were what I thought were two imitation snakes + as I was closely examining them to see how they were made + was just going to pick one up, it started crawling away – rather a shock – they were a male + female pit-viper (Lachesis wagleri), very poisonous, the [female] about 2ft 6 long the [male] smaller. They had been on the altar for some months + were tame, the priest handling them freely. He said they were holy snakes + could be handled by those whose hands (+ therefore whose souls) were clean. On the whole I thought I would not risk the test, + was content to stroke their tails leaving the business ends to the priests.
On return to hotel paid bill of 31 dollars + took a gharry to the Tank Road station, booking
to Kuala Lumpur. Left by 7.15 pm. train. Arrived at woodlands at 8:5 + transferred to the Johore ferry boat. Crossed the straits to Johore Bahru + left there in the train at 8.50 pm. Comfortable sleeping berth for 1 dollar extra. Dined on board. Cool night + journey not at all bad.
Notebook III: Kuala Lumpur – Oxford.
Tuesday 29 Arrived at Kuala Lumpur (Selangor) at 7.0 a.m. Found Sidgwick on platform. Went to Station Hotel (excellent) + got room with huge bath-room where I could splash to my heart’s content. Walked with Sidgwick to Lake View Road overlooking Botanical Gardens. Sensitive Plant growing everywhere along the roads, some in flower (small lilac powder-puff like flowers), some seeding. The leaves close instantaneously on being touched or shaken. We then walked about the town + native quarters, largely of Chinese shops. Spent rest of morning at the Selangor Museum with H.C. Robinson (director) + C. Boden Kloss, + lunched with them in their bungalow. Went for another walk round the town (temp. about 97°F) + after a bath, took a ricksha to the Lake Club where most of the European residents were assembled. Walked back with Kloss + dressed quickly to dine with the Luton Brains, whom I met at the Club. (Luton Brain is Director of Agriculture in Government Service). They sent a car for Kloss + me. The Sewards, Lander + Mr + Mrs Brookes also at dinner. Very jolly evening. Got back at midnight.
[---FACING PAGE: Dried plant, labelled: “Sensitive plant. Kuala Lumpur”.---]
Wednesday 30Up at 7.15 a.m. Caught 8.0 a.m. train for Taiping (Perak). Train passed extensive rubber estates, tin-workings + virgin jungle. Jungle is being rapidly cleared, but there are some extensive government reserves. Native huts mostly on piles. Climbing Malacca canes (palms) a feature of the jungle. Flying-foxes (pteropus) asleep on the trees. Rivers mostly bright red from the laterite soil. Some way after passing Ipoh + its beautiful marble mountains, the Perak River was crossed. Rice-fields numerous, lotus + other water-lilies abundant + very fine. Rainy afternoon + floods out near Taiping. Arrived at Taiping at about 3.30 p.m. Met by I.H. Evans (son of A.H. Evans of Cambridge), who took me to the New Club + got a room for me there. Went on to the Museum with Evans + stayed there till dark. Very good local ethnographical collection, mostly got together by Leonard Wray. Went on to Evans’ house where his mother was staying, having come by the “Montoro” from Brisbane. Dined with them + had a good talk with Evans.
Thurs Oct.1 Up at 6.15 a.m, ricksha’d to station + caught 7.30 train for Penang. Very hazy and moist, the rainy season just beginning. Old tin-mining district; padi-fields + quantities of pink lotus. Arrived at Prai at 11.40 a.m. + transferred to ferry streamer, crossing to Penang. The Straits very beautiful. Great numbers of Chinese sailing vessels + sampans along the Penang shores + quays. A small French gun-boat + two torpedo-boats in the harbour. Took ricksha to the Eastern and Oriental Hotel (poor) + got a room in the annexe. Went to P.+O. Office + learnt that the “Salsette” would not sail till tomorrow morning. Wired to E. to say that I was hoping to transship to the “Maloja” in Columbo. Lunched at hotel with the Sewards + Sidgwick. Went with them by tram to the Kek Lok monastery of the Chinese Buddhists at Ayer Itam. Very interesting. A series of temples + shrines one above the other up the hill-side with a library at the top + a very dirty kitchen. A pond crammed with sacred tortoises of various sizes, some hundreds, which came to be fed with biscuits + fought for the bits.
Another pond contained fish. An intelligent priest took us round + gave us tea, cigars, etc. + got subscriptions out of us in an artless manner. These were entered in a book, a much larger sum being put down (e.g. 5 dollars instead of 1), to act as ‘ground-bait’ for the next generous donor. Bought a huge packet of crackers + fired them in one of the courtyards to attract the Gods’ attention. Tremendous din. Effect of Gods un-certain, but they probably capitulated – anything for a quiet life! – Priest got quite excited when I asked where Kwan yin’s image was. He shouted “You know Kwan yin”, “You know Kwan yin”! “Oh yes, intimately”, I replied, + he was delighted + pointed out the image of the goddess, + was very friendly giving me a book of the monastery rules + an affectionate farewell. Returning, we passed an open-air Chinese theatre in full swing in a Malay village. Getting back to Penang, I walked around the native + Chinese town with Sidgwick, + looked into shops but saw nothing worth buying. Dined with the Sewards + Sidgwick at hotel, + sat out on the sea-front till 11 pm.
[---FACING PAGE: Newspaper cutting from the “Times 3.11.1928” about snakes at the temple of Penang.---]
Friday 2 Got up at 5 a.m. Still quite dark. Ricksha’d to the Victoria Pier for the “6 a.m” launch which the P.+O. people stated would be going off to the “Salsette”. The latter had not even arrived, however, so I kicked my heels about for half-an-hour, when the “Salsette” appeared + anchored in the roadstead. Went out to her with the P.+O. agent. Found I had been given a bad cabin on the main deck (hot as Hades), so interviewed the Purser + got a large 3-berth cabin (134) on the Spar-deck, about 14ft x 8’, to myself. “Salsette” sailed at 8.30 a.m. Several Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) + Haliaetus leucogaster, jackdaw-like crows + ravens, flying about the harbour. When well out to sea, great numbers of noddies seen fishing, also terns + brown gannets. A few flying-fish (black-winged + white-winged). Ship not at all crowded. Of the British Assoc. there were the Batesons, the Scharffs, Peteval, Miss Benson + Miss Crossfield on board. Heavy rain during the evening. No lights at night on board. Pitching somewhat.
Saturday 3 Dull morning with heavy rain-squalls + a broken sea. Up at 6.30 a.m. Ship pitching +
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph showing the P. and O.S.S. – “SALSETTE”.---]
only three ladies appeared at breakfast. Sighted the S. end of Great Nicobar to starboard at 11 a.m., + were passing it at noon. Hilly coast but too hazy to see detail. Read bundle of daily “Times”, sent me to Singapore (July 30 – Aug. 19). No lights at night.
Sunday, 4 At sea, no incidents, continued reading the “Times” most of the day. Again, lights out or masked at night, the Emden being about in these seas.
Monday, 5 Up at 6.30. Sighted Ceylon Coast soon after noon, + passed Dondra Head lighthouse after lunch. Very fine lighthouse. Coast with low foreshore backed by mountains. Saw Adams Peak during afternoon for a short while. Sighted the Galle light about 6 p.m.
Tuesday, 6 Arrived in Colombo harbour before day break, c. 5 a.m. Fine but showery morning, The French cruiser “Dupleix”, the Russian cruiser “Askold” with her five funnels, a Japanese cruiser, + an armed C.P. liner “Empress of Asia”, in the harbour. Four troop-ships waiting to go out under convoy. Had been told that we should be transferred to the P.+O.
“Maloja” before breakfast, but there was no sign of her + no information. Waited on board to no purpose, so went ashore at 11 a.m. + enquired at P.+ O. office. No news there but they said that the “Maloja” anyway would not sail before 8 a.m. next day. Telephoned to Hartley + ricksha’d to the Museum + saw that, + then went on to the Hartleys’ house at the Royal College. They insisted upon my stopping the night there, so during afternoon I motored to the jetty + went on board the “Salsette” to get a bag + see to luggage being transfered to the “Maloja”. The latter steamed into the port at about 4 pm. Came ashore again + returned to the Hartleys, + later had a short motor run with them. Got a wire from E. at the P.O., but no letters.
Wednesday 7 Telephoned to P.+O. office. Sailing time of the “Maloja” put off till 4 p.m. Most annoying to have wasted time doing nothing, instead of going to Kandy + Peradeniya, but P.+O. people very trying + unsatisfactory. Motored with Mrs Hartley to the Fort + did some shopping. Tiffin at the house. Then went again to the Museum. Left
the house at 3 pm. + motored to the jetty + went on board the “Maloja”. Got a 3-berth cabin (294) which I share with Judge Sproule of Singapore. Spent a long time rounding up my luggage which had been disgracefully handled in transferring from “Salsette”. Had to go down into the hold to find some of my cabin luggage. P.+O. management perfectly vile. No organization + very little attention to wants of passengers. A casual, unsatisfactory staff. “Maloja” sailed at about 4.30 p.m. The Batesons, Scharffs + Peteval remaining of the Brit. Associates who came in the “Montoro”. Ashby + a few other B.A.s also on board, having come to Colombo in the “Malwa” or “Morea”. Ship pitch-dark at night + only a few masked lights in the saloons. Got a letter from Miss Blackman + some weekly “Times”.
Thursday, 8 Off the Coctin Coast. Up at 6 a.m. High mountains behind the lower-lying shores. Coasts visible all day. Very fine phosphorescence at night, in great patches where the wind caught eddies + disturbed the water. Caught some of the phosphorescence on a handkerchief
[---FACING PAGE: Postcard showing the P.&O.S.S. MALOJA.---]
through a bath-tap. Seemed to be due to small alga masses holding phosphorescent animalculae (?), but I had no high magnifyer, so could not be sure. Sea quite calm + oily. Very beautiful effects towards sun-down. Rain-clouds, showers + sunset all mixed up. At my table in the saloon there are Major + Mrs McVities (of Singapore), Mr. French (Borneo Constabulary + a son of the General commanding the Expeditionary Force) + his wife, Major + Mrs Burnside, Judge Sproule (of Singapore), Capt. Croftou (R.G.A.), Major Lovett, Mr Perry Ayscough (author of recent book on Mongolia), + Mr. Rhodes (of Singapore).
Friday 9 Coast still in sight all day. Many native dhows with lateen-rig. Passed Goa harbour at 1 p.m; some German ships lying there (neutral port. Very fine, sunny day + absolutely calm sea. Very hot. Should arrive in Bombay tomorrow morning early. Numerous terns seen fishing. Played cricket + made 19 runs – result, a very painful attack of gout in ankle. Turned in directly after dinner to think it over.
Saturday 10 Gout much better. Up at 6.15. Just entering Bombay harbour. Passed H.M.S. “Swiftsure” going out cleared for action. Large number of army-transports in harbour. Fine sight, the city looking well on a fine, sunny morning. Awfully hot. Anchored some miles from the quay. After the usual delays went ashore in a crowded + appallingly slow launch. Petavel + I went to the Post Office + I wired E. Great numbers of Kites sailing overhead, large + brown all over. We took a gharry after looking at some of the large modern buildings, + drove to the market where vegetables, lions, leopards, monkeys, birds etc. were for sale. Next we went for a pass to the Towers of Silence on the Malabar Hills, but found that they would not be open till too late in the afternoon, so we drove all around the native town, interesting but smelly + teeming with natives. Then we went + got a pass for the Burning Ghâts, from an old + affable Hindu at the top of a ladder staircase. Found the house with difficulty. With the pass we visited the Burning Ghâts where several cremations were in progress, large iron
braziers consisting of four uprights, holding the burning logs, which burn very fiercely + consume the bodies rapidly + efficiently, little being left but the ashes. Mourners beating a small drum + playing on a weak-toned pipe. Drove to Ballard’s Pier at about 1pm. Great squash for a farcical “medical inspection” (i.e. feeling the pulse for 1 1/2 seconds!) before being allowed to embark. Heat tremendous. Went off to the ship in the same launch (c.3 miles an hour), slowest I was ever in + crammed with people. Ship was due to sail at 3 pm, but when all were on board, we ascertained that we should not sail till next morning!! Just like this beastly company! Not allowed ashore again for fear, presumably, that the medical officer might break down under the strain of another medical inspection. So we had to kick our heels about on board for the rest of the day, instead of seeing Indian life in Bombay. Hate the P.+O. + all its inconsiderate officials. Sultry, airless night on board.
Sunday, 11 The Oxford University term begins today, so I shall be three weeks late for it! Got under weigh at
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “At the Burning Ghâts, Bombay.”---]
about 8.15 a.m. Hot, sunny + calm. Passed innumerable lateen-rigged native boats. No incidents. 6 Bee-eaters settled on the ship during the evening, a different species from those seen in Australia.
Monday 12 Sea like a mill-pond – sunny + hot, light breeze from N. Played cricket + made 17 not out in five minutes. Very little bad result + a huge perspiration. Several white-tailed Tropic birds + a brown gannet seen.
Tuesday 13 Same conditions of heat + calm. Great numbers of flying-fish + some Tropic birds. No incidents.
Wednesday 14Sea oily-calm. In sight of the Hadramut coast early; + later we were very close to the land. Very bare, sandy + hilly. Saw only one village. Enormous masses of small petrels (Thalassidroma type), flying low over the water often in dense flocks. They were in every direction + there must have been millions of them. Many large, dark-brown petrels + shearwaters (white underneath), also a medium-sized petrel. Many
Tropic-birds + one white gannet (with black secondaries + central tail-feathers). Large school of dolphins in afternoon, playing + leaping great heights into the air (10 or 12 feet at least). Very fine sunset and after-glow.
Thursday 15 Fine with following breeze, sea ruffled. Passed several ships including a British cruiser (perhaps the “Swiftsure”) + a returning transport (No. 13, SS “Itola”). Sighted Aden Rock after lunch, + later the line of windmills along the low-lying spit connecting the Rock with the mainland + oasis. After rounding the point we anchored in the outer harbour, a long way from the town, at about 5 p.m. Started coaling from barges in a ground swell, with result that the outer plate of a coal-shoot was smashed, necessitating the making of a new one. Coaling knocked off at night. Search-lights playing all night.
Friday 16 Entered the inner harbour + anchored alongside the French cruiser “Dupleix”. Astern of
us lay the British cruiser “Minerva” (?) with her name painted out, and the 5-funnelled Russian cruiser “Askold”. An auxiliary cruiser lay outside. The “Arcadia” + other transports lay further in. Went ashore after breakfast + went to the G.P.O. + Eastern Telegraph Co to try for a telegram from E. No success (a letter + newspapers reached me on board later). Sent a wire to E. Met Turner + took him for a walk along the coast road. Awfully hot. Great numbers of Kites in all directions + several eagles or large buzzards. A great many vultures, some black + white, others brown (i.e. adult + immature) neophron perenopterus, the Egyptian vulture) along the shore, also black crows + in the shallow water some long-legged white plovers with thick black bills + greenish legs.
Numerous camels being ridden, carrying loads + drawing carts; small beasts of poorish breed. Came on board again about noon, according to sailing orders, only to find the ship sill coaling + the damaged plate unrepaired. As usual in this wretched ship we had to stay on board all the
afternoon doing nothing. Amused myself by watching a large flock of pelicans (probably P. onocrotalus) soaring high over the harbour till they disappeared. Eventually the new plate was fixed, at about 6.30 pm. We started. It was already dark. We passed close under the “Askold’s” bows + steamed out to sea. Lights kept on at night.
Saturday 17 Probably passed Perim Straits at about 1.30 a.m. When I got up at 6.30 we were amongst the islands in the S. of the Red Sea. Brown gannets numerous, also masked gulls (L. icthyaëtus). The islands lasted till about 3.30 pm. Strong breeze blowing from S.W. + ship rolling. Breeze died down during the afternoon + it became very sultry (90°F on deck + 87°F in cabin at 4 pm.). Passed a school of pilot whales (globiocephalus) + dolphins during the morning, jumping high out of the water.
Sunday 18 Calm, but not outrageously hot for the Red Sea. No incident.
Monday 19 Calm + fairly cool – Sighted two small islands to the S. of Gulf of Suez after lunch, + later, in the afternoon, entered the Gulf.
Tuesday 20 Arrived at Suez at about 6.30 a.m. Numerous troopships lying at anchor, mostly B.I. boats. Letters + papers from home came to me on board, having been sent on from Port Said. No wire. We sailed at about 1pm. + entered the canal. Large grey herons (A. cinerea) + pelicans, whimbrel plovers + wagtails seen. Passed several returning troopships (B.I. boats of which 67 are said to have been commandeered for trooping). Most of the Canal passed at night, very disappointing.
Wednesday 21Arrived at Port Said before breakfast. Three or four cruisers + several transports lying there. Went ashore with Crofton + Perry Ayscough, but did nothing special. No wire from home. Excellent Arab conjuror did tricks on board. We sailed at 2.15 pm. + passed a picturesque fishing fleet + a destroyer at anchor outside. Coldish N. wind. Comet visible with naked eye on starboard bow.
Thursday 22 Very calm; cool on deck but still very stuffy below. No incidents.
Friday 23 Cooler. Wind from N.W. Many small birds settled on the ship. Two wagtails have been on board for several days + run between one’s legs, perfectly tame.
Saturday 24 Arrived off Malta very early + steamed slowly into Valetta harbour. Splendid effect in the morning sun. French battleships + smaller craft in the naval harbour. Went ashore with Ashby + Petavel. First we went to the Museum + saw especially the very interesting Neolithic finds from the island. Then we drove with Mr T. Zammit, the Curator, to the prehistoric hypogeum of Hal-saflieni, at Casal Paula, a wonderful + extensive souterrain, hollowed out of the solid limestone, in galleries + recesses, some compartments having ceilings decorated with red-ochre designs. Pillars, elaborate doorways + walls all cut from the solid rock. Used extensively for burials + associated with late Neolithic pottery, flint flakes + scrapers etc. Steatopygic figurines
[---FACING PAGE: Photograph cut from a newspaper, showing a harbour.---]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a photograph of birds on a ship, labelled on the back: “Photo by Prof Seward in Eastern Mediterranean near Port Said – Oct. 1914”.]
also found there. Afterwards we drove to a ruined stone structure on Corradino Hill, at Ix-xaghra ta cordin, also of Neolithic late. Had little time there + had to hurry back to the quay + go on board at once, our daisa reaching the ship just as she was casting loose.
Sunday 25 Fine, calm + fairly cool – some rain in afternoon. Off the S. End of Sardinia early in the morning + coasting along the W. side of the island most of the day. Saw some large rorquals.
Monday 26 Arrived at Marseilles soon after day-break + entered the harbour, No. 5 dock. Went ashore with Petavel + trammed into the town. Strolled around + lunched at a restaurant. Visited the cathedral + tried to see the museums, but these were closed on account of the war – so we went to the Zoo. Numbers of British + Indian soldiers in Marseilles, + some Senegalese in addition to French troops. On board again at 4pm, the ship leaving punctually at that hour. The morning had been very misty, but the afternoon was very fine.
Thursday 27 Off Irica by noon + at about 2.30 pm sighted the Spanish coast.
Wednesday 28Close in along the Spanish coast to avoid the inward current + high wind. Much colder, though the sun was quite hot. Anchored off Gibraltar at about 2pm. a long way out in the bay. Could not get ashore, as we sailed at 3.45. Very fine day + the Rock looked splendid. The “Carmania” much damaged by her fight with a German ship, + another Auxilliary Cruiser lay in the Admiralty harbour. Passed Tangier at about 6.30. Strong wind but no sea out in the Atlantic.
Thursday 29 Wind rising, from N.W. After breakfast the sea became rough + got steadily rougher, up to half a gale. Heavy pitching all day. Rain squalls + showers of spray made the decks wet + very unpleasant. Comparatively few appeared a [sic] lunch + fewer at dinner. Passed the Birlings at 4pm. Numbers of gannets (S. Bassana) in all plumages from all-dark birds of the year to adults of 3 years or more. Quantities of shearwaters, and a few
Skuas (Richardson’s + ?), lesser black-backed gulls + herring gulls. In the early morning several whales were passed. All lights out at night.
Friday 30 Rough all day + all last night; quite a heavy sea + a good deal of rain. Off Finisterre before breakfast + Torriñana by 10 a.m. Very lively weather in the Bay. Few birds in the Bay itself, some gannets, shearwaters, gulls (herring-, lesser black-backed + common-) + some Richardson’s skuas. We have lost nearly a whole day through the weather.
Saturday 31 Many gannets seen, heralding approach to Ushant. Sighted Ushant at about 11.0 a.m. Weather moderated + ship not moving much. Rain in the morning, but cleared later. Several dolphins seen. After clearing Ushant we ran into the best part of a gale blowing down-Channel on our starboard beam, the ship heeling over considerably. Everything drenched. Came up with a French cruiser patrolling + passed very close to her. She told us to keep a sharp look out for the Carlsruhe, which was cruising about in these waters. Sighted the
Eddystone light at about 5.30 pm. Went very slowly into Plymouth Sound, inside the breakwater + anchored during dinner. Many search-lights playing across the entrance + visible 15 or more miles away at sea. Very fine sight. After dinner Lewis came on board. Was not expecting him at all. No passengers were allowed ashore that night, so Lewis stayed on board till past midnight + returned to his hotel in Plymouth with the mails.
Sunday, Nov 1We were told we could go ashore by an 8 a.m. tug, but as usual the statement was untrue, + after a wearisome + vilely managed inspection we crowded onto the tug at 10.30 + did not then leave the ship’s side till past 11. Glad to see the last of the “Maloja” as she is very badly run + passengers are of little account. Met Lewis on the Quay + then hung about for customs examination, a very long wait, but no trouble when it started. Most of the passengers went off to London in the special train. Lewis + I lunched at the Royal Hotel, + met Mr + Mrs Penny there. We caught the 2.20 pm. train + had to change at Taunton + go on to Westbury, where
we separated, he going on to London. I had to change again at Trowbridge + again at Chippenham + Didcot. Trains crowded with soldiers, some drunk; hardly any porters. Great difficulty in getting any information as to trains + much bother in constantly transferring luggage which was generally in the wrong van. Arrived at Oxford eventually at about 10.30. Met by E., + so home.
[---NEXT TWO PAGES: List of distances travelled by sea.---]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a blank business card of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company; on the back Balfour has written distances between cities.]
[---NEXT PAGE: List of distances travelled by land (railways).---]