Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: May 25th 1915
Miss Shand and Mrs Clare
Lena A. Davis

S.S. Corinthian.
May 25th. 1915.

Dear Miss Shand and Mrs Clare:

We are now closing our tenth day at sea. I think we shall soon land now, But no one has any idea where we are going. Well when we left the train at Montreal we marched in orderly fashion down to the warf and boarded the boat. I was in with the other Western Graduates, four of us. I was very much dissappointed to find we had an inside state room. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday passed very peacefully. On Sunday we had service and sang a lot of hymns in the evening. By Wednesday we were out of sight of land and the next three days – Well I guess I better not say much about them. I wouldn’t even give them honorable mention in my diary. If “Britannia Rules the Waves” she was not on to her job those days. The only blessing I found in those three days was turning my watch on forty minutes each day. Then I crawled up on deck and got cold and got lumbago so I could not straighten up. However I am all well again now and am really enjoying life once more.

We have life boat drill quite often. The whistle blows two or three times, then we rush for our life belts and go to the life boat to which we have been assigned. We also have drill just like the soldiers every day at 12 oclock. We have seen three whales and two icebergs, also a school of porpuses. Yesterday we saw a fine big sailing vessel quite as large as our own. It had no engines at all. It was an oil boat going to New York. We were near enough to it for the men to shout at me [?]. All port holes are blanketed and no lights burning at night at all. We are not allowed to go anywhere at all without our life belts. I am now writing in the dining room and mine is at my feet. To day they got the engine all ready to lower the life boats. I have only seen Mr Williams at the church service but was near enough only to nod. By the way you might tell Dr Clare to call off his bet. If a man appears on the horizon the order is “Shun”. I know now why they say “Shun” instead of “attention”. They mean the shun all right. Last night (24 May) we had a concert. I am going to send you the words of one song given by the “Emetic Quartet” Dr Yellowlees, Dr Pearce, Dr Sharpe, Dr Imery. The John refered to is Dr. Mallock.

[sidenote to first verse:] First verse sung to the tune, “Put on your old grey bonnet.”

On the good old ship Corinthian
Cyclists and Artillerymen
With the good C.A.M.C.
Sent out across the ocean
With this admirable notion.
To defend his majesty
Colonel Roberts was their O.C.
And right glad they were to be
Under his command.
And it’s now our grave intention
Worthy friends of his to mention
As occasion may demand.

[sidenote to second verse:] {It seems Col Hendry has taken a great interest in the ice making machine.} This is sung to “When you wore a tulip.”

Here’s to Bill Hendry (Col Hendry).
What will his end be?
So just listen to our tale,
He picks out some young guy,
And skins him till he is dry
Of all his ready pale
He has a hobby.
That sounds pretty nobly
He calls it his ice machine
And when its warm weather
We’ll all go together
And have some of Bills ice cream.

Our Colonel Chambers
Incessantly labors
His cabin to keep quite neat.
Your clean shirt and collars and watch and revolver
In his bag he will secrete.
He has a compass
Which raised quite a rumpus
When he notified the crew
That instead of East steering
To the north we were veering
Good Lord: where shall we get to?

[sidenote to fourth verse:] Read this to Dr Clare I think he knows Dr Mallock quite well.

We have a major
A big husky major
Who goes by the name of John
He sailed far away
On a bright day in May,
To put the Kaiser on the bum.
He made life cheery
When all things were dreary
With stories we can’t repeat
And with a whiskey and soda
Tells the Kaiser to goah
A place known for intesive heat.

[postscript added across the top of the first page:]

Kind regards to Drs MacKay and McLennan. I don’t believe I have it spelled right. Please write and let me know what is going on. Tell Miss Mac I am keeping my eye skinned for Ireland.
Much love to yourself.
L.A. Davis.
P.S. It is now 7 pm Wednesday. We were met at noon to-day by a war ship (Homer). She is right beside us and we feel so safe.


Original Scans

Original Scans