We sailed on the Persie a white star liner of 11000 tons. She was not overcrowded, there being only one Regiment (of 500 rifles strong) and of course 500 horses commanded by Colonel Harris. The weather all the way was glorious and the sea beautifully calm. The food which consisted chiefly of bread, butter, jam, porridge, beef, mutton, rabbits, cheese, bacon and all vegetables was kept up to us all the way and we had plenty to drink. (water, tea, coffee, lime juice, etc.)
The first piece of dirty underhand work by the officers on board was noticed after we left Albany. One of the North Coast Butter Factories sent several boxes of butter, marked specially For the Troops ONLY and the people of Tasmania sent several huge cases of beautiful big apples also marked for the Troops. We did not get an ounce of butter and not one of the troops saw an apple, excepting on Christmas Day when each man got a miserable old withered one.
The officers on the other hand were eating them night and day and their cabins were always plentifully supplied with them. Each table in the Dining Saloon was loaded with them and rather than let us have them before they went bad they used then for cooking purposes and in the end two or three cases had to be thrown overboard. In the canteen on board, several things were bought and on being opened up one found slips of paper with the senders name on it for distribution through the Red Cross and Patristic Funds to the troops.
J. A. Graham
(This is a diary entry insert from 5 April, 1916).
Jack Graham, ANZAC soldier, kept a diary from 1914-1918. Here it is, blogged 100 years later to the day....