7. Australian First Expeditionary Force

We weren’t in Fiji long, before we were sent to Sydney at full speed to dock, coal, provision and paint ship, as quickly as possible (we couldn’t do it under 4 days) and proceed to Albany W.A. to pick up and convoy the Australian First Expeditionary Force, after a big rush and a few spasms, we arrived in W.A. and we all started out early morning for Europe, there was the finest collection of ships I have ever seen, there were 42 ships altogether, and it took a whole day to get the whole convoy into position, there were 28 Australian Transports, 10 New Zealand, distinguished by being painted all one colour and 4 men-of-war, the “Minotaur” English ship, “Sydney” and “Melbourne” Australian Cruisers and the “Ibuki” Jap ship, it was a great convoy we were  making for Colombo and about 36 hours before we were off Cocos Is. the “Minotaur” had to leave us for “more important work” and the “Melbourne” took full convoy so that when we got the news of enemy ship near Cocos, it fell to us the “Sydney” to go after her.

Image 1: British Grand Fleet via Wikipedia
Image 2: Predecessor of the Minotaur via Wikipedia

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