Extracts from the H.M.S. Carnarvon's Night Order Books, (1914-1916)

HMS Carnarvon Fonds, William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University Library.

The Night Order book was written in one hand, even when Admiral Stoddart was off the ship. It was therefore probably written by the Carnarvon's commander, Captain H. L. d'E Skipworth

4 August 1914, on patrol in the north Atlantic (without radio)
"if we pass any English merchant ships during the night, ask where they are from & if they have seen any Foreign warships lately, if so where,"

4 September 1914, preparations for Visiting Spanish dignitary

"Ship will anchor in Los Palmas about 9 A.M. Salute of twenty guns to be ready, Spanish ensign at main. Spanish Vice-Admiral will also probably be saluted later in day, 15 guns."

1 October 1914, weather precautions at sea

"Call me at once if any signs of a tornado."

20 October 1914, on patrol in the north Atlantic (without radio)

"Navigation lights to be ready to be switched on at once if necessary. We may be in traffic during night & there is no necessity to risk collision."

26 October 1914, Rio de Janeiro, instructions for ship's defence

"Picket boat to patrol round ship until daylight. Any boats approaching ship are to be warned to keep away; should a [pulling ?] boat containing Germans again come near the ship she is to be warned once & then rammed if she doesn't take the warning. O.O. Watch can use his discretion as to keeping boat either astern or at boom (fully manned & with steam as a moment's notice) while moon is up. Inform me at once if any suspicious boats are observed"

25 November 1914, Abrolhos Rocks, anxiously awaiting reinforcements

"Call me if any strange vessels are sighted approaching anchorage. Battle cruisers should be in sight to southward by daylight."

28 November 1914, sweeping the south Atlantic with the fleet, steaming south

"Station eight miles ahead of flag. Speed of fleet 11 knots. Probably 71 Revs will be our speed. Report any vessels sighted, especially those without lights."

"Kent's station is about 4 points on our S. bow about 6 miles. Remainder of cruisers (Glasgow & C'Wall) are on B.C. squadrons [sic] port Quarter."

"A sharp look Out is to be kept for K P William (4 funnels) in pairs wide apart. 2 masts. Call me at daylight & as necessary during the Night."

15 February 1915, on patrol in the south Atlantic

"Keep a sharp lookout for GOTHA outward bound probably without lights. Give passing traffic a safe margin & switch on Nav. Lights at once if there is any risk of collision or if thick weather comes on."

22 February 1915, Abrolhos Rocks, repairing the hull after the collision with the reef

"Call me at once if wind gets up from East or SE. Keep careful watch on Wire[?] headset[?] and report if ships stem swings off to port. Divers to be diving by 6:30 AM. Call me at 6:30 AM."

7 March 1915, Rio De Janeiro, instructions for ship's defences

"Steam-boat to patrol round ship during the dark hours. She is to investigate all boats or vessels attempting to come close to ship & warn them to keep away. If no notice is taken & the occupants of the offending boat are undoubtedly Germans, she is to be suitably dealt with by ramming & the survivors brought on board here."

9 March 1915, Rio De Janeiro, instructions for ship's defences

"Marine sentries armed with live cartridges are [positioned] at head & stem of dock."

"This duty is to prevent any tampering with this dock & its present contents. Any such tampering will only be [set [prob.] of a fanatic or so called patriot but I have been warned that such an attempt os possible. Any boat approaching the dock at night without lights is to be considered suspicious & if she does not clear off after being hailed twice [or?] at the same time told to go away, she is to be fired at. Following procedure to be carried out.

1) Hail & tell to clear out

2) Ditto. If these (1) & 2) not obeyed proceed with (3).

3) Fire at her, wide shot, do not hit

4) If suspicious boat still comes on, fire again & try to hit her.

"Sentries should be instructed to hail the O.O.W if any boat approaches & should be provided with whistles to attract his attention if necessary."

27 May 1916, Montreal, instructions for visiting dignitary

"H.R.H. the Governor General will visit ship about 9:20 A.M. Guard & band to be paraded. The National Anthem to be played. Dress for officers: Monkey jacket dress with swords."

28 May 1915, Montreal, instructions for ship's defences

"O. O. Watch to keep watch during the dusk hours, Maxim guns crew to be ready at a moment's notice. A search light's crew to be also at their station [on?] after night. Steam boat to be [cabled?] at once to investigate any boat approaching the Dock. Crew to be armed[?]. Special care to be taken to identify all Liberty men returning aboard by night or day. This is necessary as and Enemy agents can easily obtain our uniforms. Always ask me if in doubt about anything & if any boat is seen in vicinity of dock or entrance from River." Original emphasis

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