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"we do not give way to depression"

Orde-Lees' Journal - 22 November, 1915

Temperature minimum +18.


Colder & a welcome change from the prolonged thaw. A moderate southerly wind also bodes well, if maintained, though our "position" today showed that as yet we were neither north nor west of where we were three days ago; but then we have been unable to get a "sight" since then & may have made some southing in the meantime which has had to be recovered before any improvement is discernible. Anyhow the pack is opening out all around & things look hopeful though we are far from being as far north as we had hoped to be by the date.


The loss of the ship last night cast a slight wave of depression over the camp. No one said much, but we cannot be blamed for feeling the loss in a sentimental way. It seemed as if the moment of severance from many cherished associations, many happy moments, even stirring incidents was at hand as she silently upended & dived to find a resting place beneath the ice on which we now stand and, maybe, a mile below us!


When one knows every little nook & corner of a ship as we did & has helped her time & again to make the staunch fight she made so well the actual parting is not without its pathos quite apart from one's own desolation, & I doubt if there was one amongst us who did not feel some personal emotion when Sir Ernest standing on the top of the look out said somewhat sadly & quietly, "She's gone, boys."


It must, however, be said that we do not give way to depression for long, for this morning every one was as cheery as usual laughter rang from the tents and Sir Ernest even came and had a petulant passage at arms with me as to the inadequacy of the sausage ration, insisting that there should be two each "because they were such bally little ones" instead of the one & a half which I asserted were more than enough. Eventually to get rid of him I yielded. It was 7 a.m. too & I hate arguing so early. I got my own back tonight; I had appropriated a ham for supper. I simply said nothing about it & altered it to seal hoosh without any vegetables and have misappropriated the ham to some future date, near future of course. I had put sausages on in order to cheer people up after the sinking of the ship & I think that when we have a special luxury like that we ought to be satisfied with a moderate helping, but my thrifty intentions are always at variance with Sir Ernest's generous orders and so the compromise generally strikes the happy mean & all is well.

Breakfast - Sausages (2 each, should have been 1 1/2), 2 bannocks, tea.

Luncheon - Soup (18 Knorr's packets, 4 lbs. Beauvais, 2 lb. Knorr's french beans), tea, 1 bannock.



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