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The Diary of Able Seaman 7893 Albert Edward Knaggs

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    Posted: 22 Apr 2012 at 17:20

The Diary of Able Seaman 7893 Albert Edward Knaggs R.A.N.

Feb 10th 1914
 HMA Submarine AE2 left Barrow-in-Furness with HMS Adamant as escort at 10pm on 10th Feb 1914. Met with bad weather and put into Holyhead on the 11th. Left again on the 12th and had to put into Fishguard until the weather moderated. Left Fishguard at 9pm 15th Feb and proceeded straight to Portsmouth where we secured alongside Fort Blockhouse on 17th Feb.This is a transcript of my grandfather's diary. 
It covers the voyages of the Australian submarine AE2, 
action at Gallipoli, and the time he spent as a prisoner of war in Turkey.

  • Feb 18th We went into dock and had foremost hydroplanes unshipped and to complete the boatpreparatory to leaving for Australia, during this time 10 days leave was given to the second part of the crew. The first part had their leave from Barrow.
  • March 2nd Left Portsmouth at 8.30am 2nd of March in company with AE1 and HMS Eclipse as escort. Lost a propellor blade going through the Bay of Biscay and was taken in tow arriving Gibraltar 2pm 6th March. Proceeded into dock and replaced propellor.
  • March 9th 9th Instant came out of dock and sailed at 11.40 same night.
  • March 13th Arrived Malta.
  • March 16th Left Malta.
  • March 20th Arrived Post Said.
  • March 23rd Left Post Said arriving Suez the same evening. Anchored for night.
  • March 24th Left Suez for Aden losing another propellor blade just before arriving in Aden where we arrived on the 29th.
  • April 1st Replaced the second damaged propellor on the 1st of April by divers, leaving that day for Columbo, arriving their the 9th April where we turned ober to HMS Portsmouth as escort.
  • April 14th Left Columbo 14th April with HMS Portsmouth and arrived in Singapore the 23rd and turned over to HMAS Sydney.
  • April 25th Left Singapore 25th inst with HMAS Sydney as escort which escorted us the remainder of our cruise.
  • April 27th Arrived Batavia 27th inst and left the following day the 28th arriving Port Darwin 6th of May, this being the first port of call in Australia.
  • May 9th Left Port Darwin on the 9th May and arrived in Cairns on the 13th inst. Here we had a good welcome, as many men as could be spared were invited to a trip to the Barren Falls free of Railway expenses.
  • May 18th Left Cairns 18th inst and put into Morton Bay on the 21st inst on account of bad weather, proceeding once more on the 22nd inst and arriving inside Sydnet Harbour 6.30am Sunday the 24th of May, and secured alongside Garden Island.
  • May 28th The 28th inst proceeded to dry dock at Cockatoo Island for overhaul.
  • June 6th Came out of dock 6th June & proceeded alongside Garden Island to complete refit. While the two submarines were in dock our steamboat was run down by a cargo steamer and the leading stoker named Groves was drowned.
  • August 4th War declared on Germany, refit being hurried on night and day. It was a busy time. Our fleet, which consisted of HMAS Australia (Flag), Sydney, Melbourne, Encounter, JSBs Warrego, Parramatta, Yarra, & submarines AE1 & AE2, with the exceptions of the submarines the fleet coaled provisioned, ammunitioned and prepared for battle, leaving as soon as possible for New Guinea in search for German cruisers and Gunboats, also to take posession of her colonies.
  • August 28th The Submarines remained behind waiting orders for imediate departure eventually leaving Sydney on August 28th.
  • Sept 2nd Arrived at Palm Island 2ns September where we joined the Sydney, Encounter and transports. We all left the same evening and arrived at Port Moresby at 4am the 5th inst.
  • Sept 6th Left Post Moresby the 6th inst & met the Australia and other transports at sea where we received our orders for the future events. As the German Cruisers Sharnhorst & Gresnau were known to be in the vicinity of Rabaul where we arrived on the 12th inst.
  • Sept 13th AE1 went on patrols duties outside Rabaul on Sunday 13th in the morning and returned that evening.
  • Sept 14th AE1 went on patrol duties the next day the 14th inst but never returned, being lost with all hands consisting of 3 Officers and 32 Men.
  • Sept 20th HMAS Encounter bombarded Herbert (sands?) further along the coast from Rabaul, troops were landed and after a short fight against German Officers and native soldiers the place was captured by our troops and Naval Brigade with a loss of 1 Officer and 6 Men killed.
  • Oct 14th 1914 Left Rabaul in company with HMAS Encounter, destroyers Warrego, Parramatta, storeships and colliers. The force proceeded to Brisbane for slight repairs, Australia and French cruiser Montcalm proceeded on ahead of us.
  • October 22nd We arrived at Suva in the Fiji Islands on the 22nd inst where we replaced another Propellor blade by divers which was broken a day or two before arrival. Destroyer Yarra rejoined us there. 
    During our stay at Suva the Australia, Encounter and Montcalm used to go out for days searching for the German cruisers, the JSBs and AE2s duties were to keep in hiding behind an Island near Suva and if the enemy came that way the town of Suva would appear unprotected and so draw them in but nothing turned up. 
    The fleet dispersed about the end of October, Sydney and Melbourne left to escort troopships from Australia to the seat of the war. Australia left for South America in pursuit of Sharnhorst & Grusnau leaving Encounter, destroyers, AE2 and Convoy at Suva. 
    While we were in Suva a German Gunboat: Korach: was captured which in peace was the Germans Yacht and surveying ship.
  • Nov 8th Left Suva in company with Warrego and Parramatta and arrived in Noumea 11th inst, Yarra being towed back to Sydney by Berrima.
  • Nov 12th 12th inst left Noumea and arrived in Sydney 16th inst and proceeded alongside Garden Island.
  • Nov 21st 21st inst proceeded into dry dock at Cockatoo Island for slight overhaul of underwater fittings and came out of dock 23rd inst and proceeded alongside Garden Island and completed for Sea. 
    During our stay in Sydney this time our store Keeper G. Hughes died of Alcoholic poisoning.
  • Dec 19th 1914 Left Sydney in company with HM Transport Berrima which was conveying troops of the 2nd contingent also half crew of AE2 and spare Crew. This was done to give the crew a spell as we had practically lived in the boat all the time since leaving England.
  • Dec 21st 21st inst arrived in Melbourne where we joined other troopships some from New Zealand.
  • Dec 23rd 23rd inst we all left for Albany where we arrived on the 28th inst, and joined up with more troops comprising the 2nd contingent, 20,000 officers and men, hundreds of horses and munitions of war, AE2 being the sole escort for 20 transports with the exception of a few which were armed with 4in guns.
  • Dec 31st 31st inst we left Albany with 17 transports, one being left behind on account of fire which broke out in her coal bunkers. The other two went ahead as they were faster ships for steaming.
  • Jan 14th 1914 Arrived Columbo
  • Jan 16th 16th inst left Columbo and arrived at Aden 23rd inst leaving in the evening after taking in provisions and water.
  • Jan 27th 27th inst arrived outside Suez and waited for orders to proceed through the canal as fighting had commenced. No orders came and our captain could not wait any longer so he said it was absolutely essential that we should proceed through the canal without further delay. We had got about halfway when we picked up a pilot who took us on to Port Said.
  • Jan 28th 28th inst being the date of passing through the canal, leaving Suez at 9am arriving at Port Said at 3.30pm same day. A speed of 14 knots being kept up through the canal, in peace time the speed is 6 knots. We made fast alongside Custom house Port Said, transports were got through as quickly as possible proceeding straight to Alexandria, to disembark troops as this was their base. The canal was guarded bu Australians, New Zealanders, Worcesters, Lancashire Regiments, Gurkhas and Sihks.
  • Feb 1st Left Port Said for the Dardanelles arriving at Tenedos 5th inst.
  • Feb 6th 6th inst started patrols duties at the entrance of the Dardanelles with the B class of submarines of which there were three (orig) B9, B10 and B11 also two French submarines.
  • March 10th On returning from patrol duties we ran ashore at entrance to Lemnos our base at 9.45pm on account of a mark light being extinguished and also a boom defence had been placed across the harbour of which we had not been informed. 
    Part of the crew were taken off in a cutter sent from some Battleship in the harbour after some dangerous manouvering and placed on board HMS Chelmer who managed to get a wire across to us and succesfully towed us off at 2am on the 11th inst. There was a heavy swell and rather a dark night so the Chelmer guided us safely alongside SS Hindukush, which was parent ship for Submarines.
  • March 11th At 8pm left for Malta for repairs and first night out about midnight we encountered a French JBO flotilla who challenged us and after making ourselves known, we were allowed to proceed, arriving at Malta 14th inst.
  • March 16th 16th inst proceeded into dry dock, the tanks were severely damaged. While we were in dock the Implacable had arrived and put into dry dock which displayed a large hole under the fore part just before the bridge caused by hitting a mine whilst operating in the Dardanelles.
  • April 16th Came out of dock.
  • 18th April 18th inst left Malta and arrived at Lemnos 18th inst, left Lemnos 23rd arrived Tenedos same day.
  • 24th April 24th inst left Tenedos to attempt the forcing of the narrows. We practically knew our errand but nothing had been said ti the crew. We proceeded through the entrance to Dardanelles on the surface to within 2 or 3 miles from the entrance to the narrows which was clearly mined in many rows also entanglements and unknown , everything was in our favour until 4am. As the searchlights had given out just as they were beginning to get troublesome. We dived at 4am and had the misfortune to break the foremost hydroplane shaft coupling which caused us to come to the surface and return to Tenedos for repairs and anchored off HMS Blenheim at 6am going alongside HMS Swiftsure in the evening.
  • April 25th At 2am slipped from HMS Swiftsure, proceeded up the Dardanelles and dived at 4am but not until we were fired upon by the enemy. After diving we proceeded at a depth varying from 70 to 90 feet, came up to 20 feet periodically to take headings. This day was also the day of the great landings on the peninsula. 6am the captain informed us we were through the worst part of the narrows and he came up to twenty feet to have a look around and saw a Turkish Battleship at Chanak. The Bow tube was loaded and we made to attack her, when a minelayer steamed across our bows. The captain immediatly fired the torpedo at her as she was apparently dropping mines for us to run into. 
    The torpedo hit its mark and sank her (Feihh i Shevist). Our orders were to sink everything at Chanek, and found it very difficult to manouvre the boat, it being very narrow. Immediatly on firing the torpedo we went down to 90ft. We heard the report of the explosion and was just complimenting ourselves when we came from 90ft to 8ft. We were half out of the water and on the shore right under the forts. 
    Fire was opened on us from all sides, the captain said the sea was one mass of foam caused by the shells fired at us but luckily we were not hit, but we could hear inside the boat the shrapnel dropping on us like a lot of stones. 
    During this time the motors were doing their best, first going ahead then astern the propellors cutting into the ground but the captain said the boat had to come off wether the propellors got damaged or not. 
    With this he sped up the motors to their speed limit which broughtus safely off and down to 90ft again. As we came off the ground we turned making for the entrance for Gallipoli and Sea of Marmara, buit did not turn sharply enough as we had to turn up against a 4 knot tide and consequently we ran up on the opposite bank and showed ourselves when another fusilade of shells were fired at us with no effect. 
    We were soon off to 90ft again where we settled on a bank and remained there from about 7.30am to 5pm. Being Sunday prayers were read then with the exception of two watchkeepers the remainder of the crew had an opportunity to get some sleep if their nerves would let them. 
    About every quater of an hour we could hear a boat passing overhead on the lookout for us. Early in the afternoon something dropped or banked against our starboard side forward which made everybody on the alert expecting something serious to happen. 
    The hands had been lying down by their diving stations so we were all ready for emergency. About 5.30pm things became quiet overhaed so the captain thought it was time to make a move. We went astern and slipped down a big incline, the diving guage showed a bent needle at 100 signifying we were deeper than 100ft but knew no more. Then the captain had a rather hard job to get the boat up but after doing everything he possibly could he eventually brought her safely to 20ft and proceeded alongside Chanek Harbour and broke surface at 10.30pm in a little bay and commenced charging up batteries until 3.30am.
  • April 26th The night was dark which favoured us as our batteries were nearly exhausted. A strict lookout was kept on deck and boats could be seen passing up and down the channel. Dived at 4am and proceeded towards Gallipoli where we fired a beam torpedo at a Turkish Battleship but missed. The sea was so smooth all the time it was impossible to show our periscope without being seen and when we did, everything movable got on the move. Some to get out of our way, others such as TBOs came after us. 
    After being hotly persued we managed to reach the Sea of Marmara safe where we broke surface and hoisted the White Ensign while we were cruising around charging up batteries. At dusk we proceeded down towards Gallipoli and communicated by Wireless Telegraph with our fleet that the attempt to force the narrows had been carried out successfully. We were interupted by Destroyers scouring the coast for us as they probably heard our wireless but they could not interpret it as it was in code, and they fired on us at short range but we were soon down under where we remained for the night.
  • April 27th Broke surface at daybreak and proceeded to Gallipoli making several attacks but had no hits on account of torpedos running too deep. The chase was picked up again and could not remain on the surface very long during the day. 
    When it was dusk we proceeded to make WT reports to our friends on the other side of the peninsula. The Enemy torpedo craft crept up upon us again and fired but missed as usual. Down under again we remained for another night.
  • April 28th Broke surface daybreak and cruised around charging up batteries in the vicinity of Marmora Island waiting for transports to come round the coats but nothing turned up. That night we found new lodgings.
  • April 29th Broke surface at daybreak proceeded to Gallipoli making more attacks on transports crowded with troops which were guarded bu Destroyers. We sank one transport and was chased and worried all that day. Towards the end of the afternoon we got back to the Sea of Marmora and charged up batteries. While thus steaming along HM Submarine broke surface about a mile off our port bow. 
    We immediatly steamed close up to her showing the White Ensign. Her captain then told us how she had come straight through as far as Gallipoli where she had made an attack but did not know if she secured a hit. Made arrangements for meeting next day then proceeded to the bottom for rest of the night.
  • April 30th Broke surface and proceeded to meet E14 and then we were going to Constantinople to see if there was anything doing. E14 was sighted on the horizon coming from Gallipoli as she had been communicating with the fleet the night before, on nearing E14 we saw she was being chased by TBP and two gunboats. 
    E14 dived and we continued to draw the enemy on while E14 manouvered for an attack. When we was getting too near we dived and then the boat got into difficulties and unmanagable, exposing ourselves frequently. At one time the Capt gave orders to take her down and she broke surface. Then came the worst experience we have had and it was by the captains presence of mind that the crew lives. 
    Came to the surface again, more water was let into the tanks and down we went again nose first this time (as we had been going up and down all ways previous to this) with what seemed a terrible speed and at an aweful angle. 
    Everything that was not a fixture went sliding forward. It was about noon and the dinners etc in the cooking process flew here and there mingling with other various articles. Everyone had to hang on to his station or else we should have found ourselves with the other things mentioned. The captain quietly gave the order Full Speed Astern and if ever our motors had a trial it was then for we fairly shot out of the water on reaching the surface stern first. 
    By this time a torpedo boat was on top of us firing for all she was worth, also one of their Gunboats but from a much further distance. The 2nd Capt reported that the TB appeared to be making ready to ram us. Under we went and fould that we were holed in the after end of the engine room and that the pressure was too great to remain under much longer as the water was coming in with great force. 
    We were absolutely crippled, all being sorry that we had to give in, broke surface and surrendered. Capt ordered all hands on deck and when we gained the bridge a Gunboat was still firing at us but his shots were falling short. The torpedo boat got in the line of fire and, blowing her siren while her signalman waved his flag, the firing ceased. Then the TB lowered a boat to take us off in which there was a German Officer but she could only take five hands so we had to swim for it. 
    When we got onboard the TB we saw that her torpedo tubes were empty and a German sailor who could speak English told us they had both been fired at us but missed, also that one of the Gunboats had fired one with the same result, which was lucky for us. 
    Before leaving the boat the captain opened up a couple of tanks to ensure the boat sinking, which she did a few minutes after leaving her. Aboard the TB the officers were kept in the after cabin while we were in the forward mess deck. While our clothes were being dried on deck the TB proceeded to Gallipoli and made fast alongside a hospital ship, while we were interviewed by General Linian Von Sanders who was in command of the Peninsula. 
    At 8pm TB proceeded to Constantinople where we arrived next morning.
  • May 1st 1915 After being nearly eaten alive with bugs and lice which this country is noted for. Before leaving the boat we were supplied with soldier suits, overcoats, slippers and red fesses to march through the streets of Constantinople to prison. The officers rode in a carriage. On arrival we were put into a small room in the basement and food brought in which was not fit for pigs. 
    Some of us were taken out one by one to be interviewed by an officer who spoke English for information regarding our movements while in the Sea of Marmora and Questions about the boat but he didn't learn anything good for him. So about 10 of us were interviewed out of the crew but we were not allowed back into the same room. As each man finished he was marched into another room and we were not allowed to see or speak to the remainder. That evening we were served out with Turkish Sailor suits and a pair of socks. We had nothing to sleep on but the bare floor and our overcoats to cover us.
  • May 2ndHad our hair shorn close and shaved like criminal prisoners of whom there were several in the prison, a good number in chains.
  • May 3rdAll the crew and officers were assembled in the parade grounds to be photographed. Our allowance of food here was a loaf of black bread about 1.5 lbs in weight and very coarseand as much water as you could drink. We asked to be allowed out for an airing as our room was dark having just a small window and that was granted, 2 hours in the afternoon.
  • May 5thLeft Constantinople by train at 8.30am arriving at Eski-Chelier at 7pm and put up for the night in a large room which was very cold, nothing being provided.
  • May 6thEntrained at 6am arriving at Afium Kara Hissar about 11am and taken to a wooden building where we stayed for two days and two nights until quaters were prepared for us. It was impossible to sleep at nights with the cold and the wind, nearly all hands marching up and down all night.
  • May 8th8th inst we were marched to the other prison where we found about 250 Russian officers and men mostly interred from the mercantile service. There was also the crew of the French Submarine Sapphire, also the crew of E15. We were packed 32 to a room which would only accomodate 15 or 16 healthily and nothing to lay on as usual. 
    The crew of E15 made some tea for us which they had been able to buy with some money which some of the crew had managed to keep and had changed. The Turks kept us in strict confinement for about a couple of months but was eventually allowed 2 hours exercise a day in the yard. The sanitary arrangements were in a bad state.
  • June 2nd We were all made to work making roads and breaking stones, starting at 6.30am and finishing at 5.30pm, being kept going by armed sentries, a few of our people being struck with the rifle which made trouble but as time went on things became easier for us.
  • July 9th All English left to work in the countryside being given a pair of Turkish shoes before leaving and the usual loaf of bread. We left Kara Hissar about noon and had a very rough march over very rocky and hilly ground arriving at our destination about 8pm where we were glad to drop and sleep, No tents being provided we had to sleep in the open which was cold. Tents arrived during the night.
  • July 10th Pitched tents and made ourselves as comfortable as circumstances would permit.
  • July 11th Being Sunday was a day of rest, which the Turks recognised, being our day for washing and having a bath.
  • July 12th Started work on the road as before sunrise to sunset. Here we were short of food for a couple of days so we refused to work.
  • July 19th 19th inst sent back to Kara Hissar leaving camp at 7am arriving there at 3pm and found we all had to be inoculated which was done three sundays following a Russian had contracted Typhoid and died. All rooms were washed and disinfected also clothes were fumigated.
  • August 3rd Beds of hay were made for us.
  • August 4th The 4th, 5th and 6th the rooms were limewashed and disinfected again, shelves put up, tables and stores made. We were equalled out to 16 men in a room where 32 were previously. Very cheap civilian suits were issued.
  • August 7th 1919 The American Ambassador visited us from stanboul bringing us provisions, soap, pipes, tobacco, underclothes, a quantity of insect powder and each man received 1 Turkish Pound 18 Shillings and all complaints were given to him. He told the Turkish officers the place was not fit to live in etc.
  • August 20th Started work again on the road and was promised payment but never received any so asked for better food but nothing doing.
  • August 24th 24th inst stopped work on account of Russian contracting Typhoid fever. More whitewashing and disinfecting, being placed under quarrantine for 14 days.
  • October 4th Received 2 boxes of cigarettes.
  • October 5th 39 British prisoners entrained for Angora at 2pm but did not leave until 6pm. All this time were shut up in a horse van in which was not room to sit down comfortable. in this condition we remained until 10pm the next night.
  • October 6th 6th inst we arrived at Angora, and after walking about 3 miles we arrived at the prison. Here we joined up with E7s crew and other French and British prisoners.
  • October 14th 274 British and French left Angora at 11.30am to march to fresh Quaters at Kangkeri 4 days march, a distance of about 80 miles arriving at villages for the night where we would be distributed in different barns in different barns to sleep. Many of the prisoners were suffering from wounds, not having been long out of hospital and the march being on bread and water. Many of the best amongst us fell out with some of them to help along the way.
  • October 17th 17th inst at 7pm arrived at Kangheri. Here we found beds and Quilts to lay on, which was very acceptable, but the place was full of vermin, lice etc as usual. The barracks here appear to be an old training establishment which was very cold and draughty. One water tap in the yard for all hands to wash, no soap being provided and no working clothes.
  • November 16th 33 more prisoners arrived from Angora. Also some clothing etc from the American Embassy. Received 1 box of cigarettes.
  • November 26th Had a heavy fall of snow.
  • November 30th 30th inst £5.10.0 per man arrived from the Red Cross Society for AE2s crew of which we received one from the commandant.
  • December 4th 1915 Received £2 from Commandant.
  • December 17th Survivors of Submarine E20s crew arrived from Angora.
  • December 18th Received £1 from commandant.
  • December 22nd Representative of Red Crescent Society visited us to find out what clothes were needed and to hear all complaints. Snapshots were taken of prisoners.
  • December 25th Xmas day was made as bright as possible by our Turkish officers who gave us permission to play football outside in a field. We played a match Navy versus Army in which Army won 4 goals to 1. 
    A concert was held amongst ourselves in the evening.
  • December 26th Boxing day another football match took place AE2s versus E7s ended in a drawn game.
  • January 1st 1916 New Years Day the commandant visited us and wished us a happy new year and hoped we would soon be home with our families. This day the australians played Rugby against the Scottish Borderers, Australians won 6 points to 3. 
    In the evening another concert was held.
  • January 4th Received £1 from commandant, also received Xmas puddings, sweets and cigarettes from Red Cross Society.
  • January 6th More clothing issued, also boots. Heard that the British and French troops had evacuated the peninsula.
  • January 13th Very heavy fall of snow.
  • January 14th Received orders that we were to make ready to proceed to Angora on Monday 17th.
  • January 17th Left Kangheri at 10am, men from hospital being convoyed in carts and everybody else on foot and had to carry his own goods, clothes etc which many threw away on the road when it got too heavy to carry. The roads were in bad condition with the snow, the soil being cheifly clay in which you would sink to your boot tops. At night we were put up in the same as the other journey only this time staying 1 day and night in a village for a rest as the roads were so heavy for tramping which was welcome.
  • January 21st 1916 Arrived at Angora and were distributed in different quaters in the town.
  • January 22nd Tea and sugar distributed to prisoners, the first issue in Turkey.
  • January 24th Another issue of tea and sugar, also paid £4.10.0 balance due to us of our money.
  • January 27th 6.00 we assembled and marched to the station about a mile and entrainedin carriages at 7pm. the train moved off at 8pm and as the carriages were crammed to the limit of sitting places there was not much chance for sleeping only sitting up.
  • January 28th At 6am we arrived Eski-Chechir and remained in the train. Left again at 6.30 pm.
  • January 29th 29th inst 7pm arrived at Konya. Left there at 9pm and arrived at our destination a little further on than Bozanli at 9.30 pm, disembarked and slept in wooden sheds. People from Afion Kara Hissar being already here. 
    Here we are under German and Swiss Engineers for work and receive 8 piastres per day for food which we buy our own doing away with the Turkish food and we are allowed plenty of Liberty no sentries are allowed to to interfere with us as long as things run smooth.
    The work here consists of drilling and blasting tunnels, navvying, clerks, carpenters, electricians etc and odd jobs, extra money being paid monthly according to abilities at work. The name of the place being Balemedik.
  • Feb 1st 80 English left here to work some four or five miles away. They are representatives of the East Yorks and Worcestershire Regiments.
  • Feb 2nd 18 of our men departed this morning to work in the tunnel.
  • Feb 3rd More men going away to work in tunnel. 500 Russians arrived here today from Sivas most of them soldiers captured in the Caucasians.
  • Feb 7th Started work this morning at 6am in the Sawmills attached to Railway Construction works, work is easy but hours rather long, being 6am to 11am 12noon till 5pm.
  • Feb 12th Heard that a British Squadron have paid a visit and bombarded the Turkish port of Mersina about 30 miles away from here.
  • Feb 13th Fever broke out several Russians down with it one of our men has a touch but not very severe. The Russians who are sick are members of the party from Sivas.
  • Feb 18th Enver Pasha, Turkish Minister for War arrived here last night evidently inspecting railway works. Remainder of men from Angorra arrived bringing the news that one man from E7s crew died in hospital there.
  • Feb 20th Heard today that Russians have captured Sivas, one of the Worcestershire Regiment died in hospital today from heart failure following on an attack of Malaria fever.
  • Feb 22nd Funeral of deceased soldier this afternoon about 100 of us attended, we buried him in a small armenian cemetary on top of a hill, some trouble amongst the men working in the tunnel dont know the facts but as a result two Englishmen are imprisoned for two days on bread and water. Some parcels at Bozanli for English prisoners.
  • Feb 23rd Parcels arrived about 30 in number.
  • Feb 26th Russian died in hospital today and another man in critical condition suffering from Typhoid fever.
  • Feb 27th Large party of Russians leaving today to work in the tunnels, some 10 miles away. Money to the amount of £280 pounds has arrived for English prisoners.
  • Feb 28th French prisoner died in hospital last night of Typhoid fever.
  • Feb 29th Funeral of Frenchman took place at 3 o'clock Greek priest read funeral service.
  • March 5th Train arrived today bringing several German officers & men they spent the day climbing round the hills with heliographs and range finders. Heard today that our ships have again bombarded Messina.
  • March 6th All germans departed this morning, some on horseback and some on mules. We hear they are going 100 miles from here.
  • March 8th News reached here that a German cruiser has been sunk in the North Sea. Received £3 Turkish 1 Midigee & 1 piastre from Red Crescent society (High Commt of Australia).
  • March 9th Large numbers of parcels arrived for English prisoners great expectations.
  • March 10th Parcels distributed today (nothing doing)
  • March 11th Latest rumour is to the effect that inhabitants of Mersina have been ordered to leave the town on account of the bombardment by English and French Warships.
  • March 13th Finished work at sawmills, having been detailed to stand by for another job.
  • March 16th Rumours afloat that four German Officers were killed at Bozanli through trying to stop a locomotive with a motor car. Engine happened to be English made.
  • March 17th St Patricks Day Large quantity of parcels arrived at Bozanli
  • March 20th Received three parcels containing shoes underclothing cigarettes and other necessaries.
  • March 21st Started work as cook for German Carpenters living at the 1st tunnel camp.
  • March 24th Received two parcels one addressed Afion Kara Hissar the other Kingre
  • March 26th Received small issue of clothing.
  • April 4th Rumours that Roumania has declared war on Bulgaria Roll on Bristol.
  • April 6th Fortunate enough to see a German off for his bottle of wine
  • April 7th £350 arrived for English prisoners.
  • April 9th Rumours America has declared war on Germany
  • April 10th Heard that Lieut Condr Stoker and two other officers have escaped from Afion Kara Hissar and have got clear away. 
    50 Hands gone to work about 10 miles away on railway cuttings & road making.
  • April 11th Received 1 turkish pound from Commdt
  • April 12th Rumours that the train services between Berlin and Constantinople has been cut off in Bulgaria, and that five English warships are in the Sea of Marmora, and England has given Turkey 10 days to consider what she is going to do, or Constantinople will be bombarded. Great excitement in the camp.
  • April 13th Paper says English troops have landed in Holland, and also that the people in Constantinople have had orders to clear out.
  • April 16th Rumours the English and French troops have won their way through to Constantinople. (good buz)
  • April 18th Heard that English troops & French have landed in Mersina.
  • April 19th Telegram states that Allies Aeroplanes have dropped bombs on Constantinople but no damage has been done. Rumours that Germany has accepted Englands peace terms of paying over to England 8 billion pounds sterling. Buz originated from German boss at Tsack Dermos.
  • April 20th Received 2 parcels one from wife (dec 4th) and one from Mrs Dennis both addressed Angorra.
  • April 21st Good Friday and no beer.
  • April 24th Easter Monday Koniak plenty, drunk.
  • April 27th Shifted diggings about four miles further on to between Nos 6 & 7 tunnels. no name for camp.
  • April 29th Telegram states great revolution in the Irish capital & Government overthrown.
  • April 30th Annie's birthday - Anniversary of AE2's last dive.
  • May 1st Glorious weather. lucky month.
  • May 3rd Bert's birthday, 1 Russian died from fever & buried same day. Rumours that Submarine E22 has been sunk in the Baltic, & Battleship Russel has been sunk in the Mediterranean. Some parcels arrived for Prisoners (nothing doing)
  • May 7th Serious accident happened at Hulu Maghera a few men whilst felling a tree up on the hill disturbed a large rock about 2 cwt which rolled down the hill and fell through the roof of one of the dwellings killing one Australian lad who happened to be asleep, only just coming off night shift from the tunnel and injuring three more. broken arms etc
  • May 8th Heard that Lieut Stoker has been recaptured. 
    Funeral of the remains of the Australian F. New killed on the 7th inst.
  • May 9th £1 per man arrived for English prisoners from American Ambassador.
  • May 10th One Englishman named Harry Barter one of E15s crew drowned in the creek at Kulu Maghara slipping off a plank. Two pounds Turkish money & 29 piastres arrived for AE2s crew.
  • May 11th Rumours that the Russians have landed in France and also made a new landing in Salonica and the Bulgarians are being driven back on all fronts. Roll on Bristol. 
    Paper states Kaiser Wilhelm has asked the powers for peace twice but has been refused and states it's not his fault the war continues (Poor Bool) 
    Party of English has been searching the creek for the body of the deceased Harry Barter, so far no trace, Rumours E31 has been sunk.
  • May 12th Body of the deceased Harry Barter found at Tsack Dermos (news rumoured) - not found.
  • May 13th Large numbers of parcels at Bozanli for prisoners. Received 1/2 note from comdt.
  • May 15th Parcels distributed no luck. stores have run out of Tobacco for the present none available hard luck.
  • May 17th Another rumour that Greece has declared war on Bulgaria at 10pm this date. A few bundles of summer clothing arrived from American Ambassador also a little Tobacco, hopes of a smoke. Received 39 piastres from Commdt.
  • May 19th Received a small issue of clothing & 1/2 ounce of tobacco, Tobacco has been very scarce this last few weeks Turks as well as English having to pay nearly three times the value when we can get it. There seems to be large numbers of Turks Armenian & Greek soldiers arrived here for working on the tunnels, mostly dressed in English or French uniforms what has been taken off the dead.
  • May 20th Have a new mate working with me the other having left to work in tunnels
  • May 25th Returned to dwellings in Kulu Maghara.
  • May 28th News about that a peace conference is being held in America, one of the Germans here says the war will finish in three months when English, Germans and french will all be friends again, I don't think. Russian had a paper smuggled in with some clothing and it states the Russians have taken Kangheru & Angorra and they are running a light railway for transporting troops, which I think doesn't seem possible.
  • May 30th Heard that Lord Harding is representing Englang in the peace conference and that Sir Edward Carson has relieved sir Edward Grey as Minister for Foreign affairs.
  • June 1st £1 per man arrived from London for Australian prisoners.
  • June 3rd Telegram from Berlin states a great victory for the German Fleet inthe North Sea between the English and a part of their Fleet. 
    England losing 8 ships The Queen Mary, Indefatigable, Achilles, Margarita, a small cruiser, two Commodores boats in the Torpedo Flotilla and one submarine of the C class. Germany losing three ships. 
    Also states that English ships have bombarded Greek ports.
  • June 6th Last nights telegram states the following ships have been sunk in the North Sea, Queen Marty, Indefatigable, Invincible, Defence, Black Prince, Warrior, Torpedo boats Sparrowhawk Ardent Accesta, Fortuna, Hestor, Turbulent. 
    Received 1/2 note from Commdt.
  • June 7th 150 English prisoners arrived at Bozanli from Baghdad.
  • June 8th Rumoured that the Cruiser Hampshire has been sunk off the Orkney Islands and Lord Kitchener has gone down with the ship.
  • June 9th Above item supposed to be confirmed a rumour that Germany lost twenty six ships in the engagement and England 12. Good percentage if true. 
    150 prisoners that arrived at Bozanli has entrained for Kara Hissar. 
    Serious accident last night on No2 Tunnel. Three turks got severely wounded about face and arms through a misfire in blasting. 
    Rumours that General Townsend and 8000 prisoners from Baghdad has gone to Kara Hissar & Angorra - news confirmed.
  • June 10th News here that powers agree to the settlement of tha War except France. Small quantity of parcels arrived fro Prisoners.
  • June 11th Whit Sunday, received a box of cigarettes and a few cigars from W Porter.
  • June 12th Whit Monday, very dry, Roll on Bristol. 
    Accident happened at No9 tunnel at Taasch Durmas eight Turks being severely wounded a misfire in blasting operations.
  • June 14th A German soldier at Balemadik spoke to some of our people and says a letter he had from his wife states that butter is 16 Marks a Kilo in Germany and she is allowed one loaf of bread a day for herself and four children he doesn't go much on the Kaiser he is off to America again after the war.
  • June 17th Rumours here that Germany has had a big defeat Allies taking 200,000 prisoners and having 800,000 surrounded. 400 parcels of ....? for prisoners.
  • June 18th News arrived that a heavy battle is onin the Dardanelles some parcels distributed (no luck)
  • June 19th News that the Russians have retaken Warsaw, capturing 80,000 prisoners, also a big naval battle in the North Sea Full Strength of both fleets. Resigned position as cook to Germans Starting work with Carpenters.
  • June 20th Received 1/2 a note from Commdt.
  • June 21st News here that Germany cannot supply Turkey with anymore money also that Turkey has asked the powers for separate peace. 
    £1 per man arrived for prisoners.
  • June 25th Received 1/2 a note from Commdt.
  • July 7th 800 parcels arrived here for prisoners small hopes.
  • July 8th Parcels distributed no luck. Received 1/2 a note from Commdt.
  • July 14th Body of Harry Baxter found on rocks at Kalu Maghera Funeral same day.
  • July 15th Another 800 parcels arrived.
  • July 16th Received 1 parcel from wife dated Jan 23rd good condition also two parcels from Ladies Emergency League containing a uniform suit & Flannels 2 pair socks 2 pr underpants 1 pr boots 1 Blue Guernsey.
  • July 18th Another 500 parcels expected tonight more hopes. 
    No war news worth reporting.
  • July 19th News that Vienna Capital of Austria Hungary has fallen.

H.A. Brown of H.M. Australian Submarine A.E.2 noted in his diary:
Able Seaman Naggs (sic.) of H.M.A. Submarine A.E.2 died at Bozanti Hospital, and was buried on the 6th, he died from Acute Dysentry (sic.). 
On the 10th Able Seaman Naggs was buried at Belemedik, E.R.A. McLean conducting the Burial Service.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commision records that Able Seaman 7893 Albert Edward Knaggs died on Sunday 22nd October 1916, age 34, and is buried in Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetry, Iraq. Grave reference XXI L 1.
Grave of Albert Edward Knaggs

Edited by Peter Trounson - 22 Apr 2012 at 17:22
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