Entered Aden harbour at 8 a.m. As we flew the wrong signals the outer fort fired a shell at us which passed between the funnels and made a fine splash beside the ship. The Captain’s hair stood on end. Left in tender to Salsette [possibly this ship] at 10 a.m. only about 14 of us. Salsette is a fine pretty boat but full of beetles. We have a lovely cabin and they have let Rose come up the 1st Class end, which was very good of them – without payment.
Breeze turned into quite a strong gale dead ahead – very grateful for it. Susanna was blown down and rolled over and over and quite enjoyed it.
A little breeze and not quite so hot. Daisie won’t let me put on my thin things because to-day is a Friday!
Very hot and sticky with wind aft and a hot night. I am not yet in my cotton clothes. Nothing doing on board, just a peaceful siesta. At Aden I hope we will get news of a naval victory in the North Sea*. The old war is very tiresome, but it does good and the longer it lasts the better.
* This possibly turned out to be the Battle of Jutland, which commenced on 31st May 1915.
Arrived Suez at noon and straight off for Aden. Weather fine and not too warm. It was interesting going through the canal, all lights out and portholes closed on the port side for enemy’s snipers. Bridge protected with sandbags. Troops and defences all along. Saw the 56th that is the old 2nd P.I., and passed two French cruisers and one British. The ship is very empty and nice and quiet. Daisie and I enjoy that but other passengers complain that it is dull with no dancing or athletic sports. Susanna keeps well and cheerful with occasional fits of bad temper. She has one nice little boy to play with and seems in no hurry to get to the end of the journey. No particular war news. Where is our new force going to? The Dardanelles or to Bosnia, via Montenegro? Rumours of a naval expedition off Norway. No prospect of the war ending but of course some day it will end. I am certain that we will strike a blow between now and middle of May, that it will be successful and that the war will end in the Autumn. The Turks seem to be still quite serious in their advance on Egypt, but I do not think they can do much in that direction.
Arrived Port Said at 11 a.m. All our table got off here so we have to make new friends. Stayed all day coaling and left at 9 p.m. Went ashore and did some shopping. Met an old friend, Col. Harding, commanding the 69th, who are here. He took us around in a motor-launch and over the other side to the new Canal works. Thence two ponies for Daisie and me to ride out North to the furthest defences. A small redoubt about 1½ miles away. Poor Daisie riding a fresh pony in a light skirt with lots of leg showing and very uncomfortable. She had to take off her hat and we carried it for her.
Malta 9 a.m. Ricasoli barracks where I joined my old regiment, the Royal Sussex, in November 1884, reminded me of old days. We all went ashore, Rose and Susanna, D. and myself – such a cold day with howling wind. Saw St. Johns and the Armoury and the Guard Room pictures. Left again at 6.30 p.m. Several men-of-war in from the Dardanelles to repair and refit. The Dublin and the Inflexible, which latter was almost sunk, and several French ships with wounds from guns and torpedoes.