12th May 1915
6.30pm I have just come around after my operation, which was successful, they have amputated my leg above the knee, I feel very weak, but not as much pain, the nurse is very kind to me and gives me anything I want. She has just told me that they are putting me off at Gibraltar along with some others. I will never forget our entry into Gibraltar Harbour. It was very foggy so they told me and the ships fog horn was going a trial, all of a sudden we felt a great bump, and the ship shook from stem to stern, we had collided with some other boat. The black stokers came running through the wards, only to be driven back by the ships officers, and they told us everything was alright, we had collided with another boat and had sunk it, with no loss of life. I myself did not care what happened. I was feeling pretty bad at the time. 11.30am I was taken up on deck and laid on a stretcher waiting to be moved ashore, at last it was my turn to be moved, and they carried me feet first; as they were just going to step on the gangway, they hurt my wounds very much with bumping me on the gangway, after that I seemed to get worse, and never remembered going into the Military Hospital.
I was unconscious for quite a long time for days, and I think to this day they kept me so, for my arms were sore with injections, and I had been under another operation. I remember very well coming out of unconsciousness, I looked all around me for I did not know where I was, and I must have cried out, for a Sister came up to me and asked me if I wanted anything. I asked for a drink, and she gave me a spoonful of soda water, she gave me one spoonful. I hope you will notice that for I looked at her, and said to her that I wanted a drink not a sparrow’s drink, she said that was all she could give me just then.
I must have gone to sleep again for I was awakened by the Doctor Major Wilson, he seemed a very nice man, for he talked a long time to me, and asked me how I received my wounds. After he had gone I had a chance to look around, and saw five others beside myself in the ward, I chatted to one of them and he told me we were in South 6 Ward Gibraltar Hospital. He belonged to the 4th Battalion – Sid Clarkson was his name. There was also Jack Towen, a New Zealand boy, Basil Snowden from the West of the 12th Battalion, he had lost his left foot, and Radford of Sydney of the 4th Battalion. Bruce Eager who seemed to be the worst of the lot. There was Sister Alsop, Sister Bates, Sister Clough and Sister Hook an Australian girl. They were all very good to us, and we had a Miss Steel who used to come every other day, besides the various ministers.
I am not going to try to remember dates because I was too bad to take any notice of them. I know that poor Bruce Eager died yesterday that only left five of us now out of nine. At this time I was very bad I had two more operations and it took me all my time to pull through, it was only the splendid nursing that I received that pulled me through. I have a great deal to thank the Sisters and Doctors of Gibraltar Hospital for I do not intend to dwell on what I suffered, for there were others doing the same as myself.
By this time I was feeling a great deal better, but I had to have one more operation. When I came through all right, after that I seemed to pick up very fast. I was put out on the veranda, and I could see the ships going to England, and some the other way. It made me long to see the old home again. I often used to let my thoughts dwell on home and tried to picture them, and what they would be doing. It would be about the 21st July when I first got out of bed, to sit up in a chair, but how tired I felt after being up 10 minutes but I stuck it for I had, had enough of bed.