Transcription of Nurse Sister Clementina Marshall WW1 diary 1914 page1 to 13.

( Single line  print  version  of  ) Nurse Sister Clementina Marshall hand written diary

{ hand written diary is 128 pages however in the transcription is 22 pages }



Clem. H. Marshall

with Mother’s love


Bellevue Hill

Sydney 17.9.14

end of page 1

( note page 2 is blank)

17.10.14                                                                                              S. S. Argyllshire

At 12.40 the last ribbon connecting us with Sydney broke, and we steamed out to the Bay at the back of Admiralty House – It has been a terrible ordeal leaving Mother and Pop – I do hope and pray that Mother will be kept safely and that she not will not worry unduly – We have just had lunch – Am very moderate with the food for the present – may risk more later on – The Governor General came on board to inspect the troops – He shook us by the hand and wished us Luck, a pleasant voyage etc –


18.10.14 Under way at 9 am – Great Excitement – Very rough at the Heads – nearly everyone sick – I picked out the Reservoir opposite our house both in the harbour and outside – Mother’s pills most effective so far – but I must not brag too much – my time may be to come – Ship steaming 12 knots an hour – very steady

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19.10.14 Feeling very well – A beautiful morning – “Melbourne” just off to starboard at 6 am.  Soon lost her – Have spent the early part of the day wondering why I left home and what madness has possessed me, but suppose that Fate has a finger in the pie, so it is the inevitable – I do wish I knew how Mother is – I posted two letters and a P.C to her since I have been on board hoping that she would at least get one of them – the flowers that Pop gave me are holding their own wonderfully – they are a great pleasure –


22.10.14 On duty yesterday so too busy to write anything –

Today (Thursday) we are about half way through the Bight, and just a gentle swell – nothing at all rough – It is cold and bleak today – no sun – we are about 200 miles from land so I suppose pretty far south – Life is very uneventful – I have just been up seeing the horses exercised and cleaned – Poor old things – they are not too happy stalled up all the time – But they are standing it very well so far –

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23.10.14  On duty today – 7 patients – Did several vaccinations – Very cold and raining part of the day – Hope to see land tomorrow morning and arrive Albany midday. Wrote to Mother, Mac/Mae and Matron –


24.10.14 Land this morning – Beautiful day – We have left the wet weather behind – Everyone looking forward to going ashore at Albany – We have just been about 1 week on board and 6 days at sea – The time has passed very quickly – It is hard to realize –

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27.10.14 We are still lying at Albany – I have been on duty for 2 days – Sister was not too well – We have been coaling much dirt – now it is over and we have gone further out – The Eurepedes A14 is lying just to starboard – I must write again to Mother today – no answer to my wire yet – am just going up on deck for awhile to breathe – This is rather a lazy life –

3 pm. Just received the 1st letter from home, from Mother – They are all well I am so glad – I have another pc us of which I must not lose –


1.11.14 At 7 am we weighed anchor and joined the huge procession of 44 boats in all – Albany left behind, England the ultimate goal, but by what route is still a mystery – Saw Leslie on Friday. He was on the tug boat, had been ashore. He is enjoying himself hugely and looks very well – Mr Cunningham, who is a dear, brought me two lovely bunches of flowers from shore – Sweet peas, larkspurs, honeysuckle watsonias etc – We put about half of them on the Saloon table and everyone appreciated them very much – The others we have in our room – It is simply wonderful to be right away at sea in what appears to be a harbour full of ships – Hope we all arrive safely – The horses are not too good – This morning – a fortnight out, the fifth died – Pneumonia – of course, a fair mortality is expected – Sister and I have a few pets among the neddies, we feed them with lumps of sugar.  They simply dote on it and smack their lips for ages afterwards – I also steal carrots, parsnips etc. for Billy and Jimmy –                    end of page 7

Jimmy’s master is a dear. He is a N. C. O. – an Englishman – His rank is Sargent Major, but he is quite the nicest man on board – Sister doesn’t approve of us going to his cabin for afternoon tea etc  but, I enjoy it no end, but of course can’t go without her – He has been in the Egyptian Campaign  and the S’ African and has 4 medals – But of course, the long tongue of scandal has a good deal to say about him, which, very likely won’t hurt him much –

Poor Sister is down with a bad headache – She is hardly off sea sickness – I am quite all right so far – Hope it continues – not much of a seaman – I suppose the Major is in the throes again – He (Major Christian C.O.) is a victim to mal de mer by his own confession, but no one seems to see any evidence of it. He is rather quaint – said to be a brilliant cavalry officer, one of the very first Greats, yet to the uninitiated he appears, a somewhat somnolent, heart and kidney subject, who is rather overburdened with his own greatness. He sleeps in a superior sort of way, drinks whiskey and soda and plays Bridge – anyway he takes a hand after that they say he goes to sleep – The next seems to be Major Lucas, very tall physically, and quite the accepted type of the popular novelist – not above having a yarn with a mere nurse, not too much patronage either, quite                                                                                     end of page 9

a flirtatious element if one wished to encourage it, but as I happen to be fatigued I won’t bother just yet – Then the Adjutant, a gay lad, very gay – Wears his forces cap at just the right angle – He appears to be quite pleased with himself all the time and with other people some of the time – However I like him on the whole, he is very nice always

But of all the men I think I like Mr Cunningham quite the best – he is such a dear, nice, kind chappie – nothing is a trouble to him – His horse is Billy – who loves sugar and gets it too –

All the small lieutenants from Duntroon are nice boys – look rather like toy soldiers in their blues – Really men are awfully easy to live amongst compared  with women –                                 end of page 10

The Catholic Chaplin is a great sport – shockingly lazy but a good hand at a laugh which is a great thing in this dreary world – Our Chaplin is much the same build mentally so they are a good pair – I foresee that they will have to enlarge their tent poles if (not the mention their waist-bands) unless they take more exercise –

The hospital is full, quite an epidemic of influenza with very sore throats – However we are hoping they will soon be all right – No letters for 3 days and goodness knows when we will get away –


8.11.14 (Sunday) Another week, three since leaving Sydney – very uneventful – occasionally we have an alarm

such as a fire or an enemy in sight – and try to get mildly excited – otherwise it is just ocean, ocean all around us always the same – All the same I am finding it very pleasant, of course, needless to say, I am misbehaving when, in all my life didn’t – Be a bit cheerful and grin at anyone and instantly you are no manner of good if you are a woman, so on this Sabbath morning, I suppose, for the good of my soul I shall resolve to be a Puritan and as dull and expressionless as I can possibly be – Going to breakfast –

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9.11.14 Monday – This morning at 10 am much excitement because the Japanese Cruiser left her position on the Right and crossed over to the left, also the Sydney sped away in that direction and the Melbourne from the lead – the excitement held until midday when we got a wireless message to say that the Sydney had beached and gone for the “Emden” – tonight we hear that the Konigsberg is still at large and the Emden it appears was coaling at Cocos. Getting ready to have a go at us – We are a day and a half ahead of our time so that is all that has saved us –                                                                  end of page 12

It is frightfully hot – night and day.


13.11.14 This is Friday and my day off I am spending it mostly on the boat deck, just reading and talking a little and laughing and joking a little – This morning the Hampshire – a sister ship to the “Minataur” went on in front with the N. Z. boats and two of ours – They have to coal and water at Colombo – Rumour says that we are lying three miles out and only remaining two days –

Today we had some war news – Cape of Good Hope sunk, Monmouth beached and the Glasgon escaped also most of the German possessions in China! had surrendered – about 2000 prisoners – Yesterday the Empress of Russia past about midday – Rumour says that she was going to relieve the Sydney of the German prisoners from the Emden which she had on board –


(Note;  Sister Clementina Marshall & Sister Bessie Pocock  share a nurses room on board SS Arglyshire Troopship )                                                                                                                                         end of page 13

( Single line  print  version  of  ) Nurse Sister Clementina Marshall hand written diary

{ hand written diary is 128 pages however in the transcription is 22 pages }

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Click here to read the official ABC news article on Clementina.