Keep your tails up! We lost a Battleship yesterday, mined in the Mediterranean, a submarine the day before, and to-day we get news (long expected as far as I am concerned) of Townshend surrender to the Turks at Kut el Amara with 9000 men! 9000 men doesn’t matter tuppence and very few white, but the whole thing will be greatly magnified and be a heavy blow to our prestige in the East, it may even bring the Afghans down on top of us, as they have long been hanging on the brink – however, it’s all God’s will and certainly our nation with its pre-war concentration on trade and rubbish, and utter neglect of its army, does not deserve to win this war.
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.
Off Algiers – fine and hot but cold breeze – ideal weather. Think of them shivering in England, France and Belgium. Everyone plays the same old ship games which bore me. I hope we are beyond reach of the sub-marines now, but there was one on the lookout for us before Gibraltar. Tied on our lifebelts, Susanna’s is an enormous one, it would certainly drown her.
Fine and arrived Gibraltar 10 a.m., left at 2 p.m. Went ashore bought cigars and two nice old pomade pots with pictures of the Crimea – will make into mustard pots I paid 10/- for the two. Susanna is well and happy and everybody loves her.