DIARYINTRO & PHOTOS3 - 4 - 190118 - 8 - 19011 - 1 - 1902
1 - 5 - 19022 - 7 - 19021 - 10 - 19021 - 1 - 19031 - 4 - 1903

 

HMS PERSEUS DIARY - 3rd April 1901 to 17th August 1901

 

May 1st Weighed anchor at 4pm left Berbera & started on our patrolling duties. Keeping a smart look out for dhows. 7pm Chased a dhow & boarded. Thoroughly overhauled her trying to find arms. Found nothing. Ordered her to Berbera.

 

2nd Laid off Haros for a few hours while the headsman of the tribe came on board. Proceeded up coast again & boarded a dhow off Ras Kashak. Found she was on pearl fisheries. During evening boarded two more dhows but found nothing. At 6.30 we dropped anchor for the night at Laskhora. The reason for boarding all dhows is that no dhow is allowed on Somali coast without consent of General Swayne. Dhows caught on coast after being warned off once being fined R2000.

 

May 4 Under way. Boarded dhow 9am. Divine service. Anchored off Bander Hasham. Boats sent on shore to bring off several chiefs. People very hostile on shore. Boats crews were carefully watched from ship while performing this duty. Left for Berbera.

 

5th Chased several dhows & ordered them away from Somali coast. At 11am we anchored off Haros. Sent carpenters ashore who repaired a dhow that was employed by General Swayne. Left Haros at 5pm.

 

6th Arrived at Berbera at 6.40 am.

 

7th We took aboard General Swayne and some of his staff & left Berbera at 9pm and proceeded to Aden.

 

8th Arrived Aden 1pm.

 

9th RIMS Mayo arrived in harbour.

 

10th Diving forenoon. HMS Cossack, the ship we relieved here, arrived from Perim. On her way to Bombay at 9am. We weighed and left for Berebera

 

11th Arrived Berbera 11am.

 

12th Man & Arm boats and carried out boat firing. Twelve native chiefs from Lashorar came on board for passage. We weighed & left at 4.45 pm.

 

13th We arrived and anchored at Hais. Landed Somali troops who were taking passage. We here took on board some native troops & at 1.30 pm we left Hais and proceeded along the coast. We stopped several dhows and searched them, they were pearl fishers. We stopped off Baghala, sent ashore to communicate with Sheik.

 

14th Left Baghala at 6am, searched several dhows all had satisfactory papers. We had now reached Cape Card De Fue Which is the extreme end of British Somaliland, so we put about. Exercised small arms companies. At 5.30 we arrived and anchored off Lashora for the night.

 

15th Weighed and proceeded at 5am. At 7.30 we stopped off Bander Laskora & sent an armed boats crew with an interpreter ashore to fetch the Sheiks of the place aboard. Natives very hostile & for half an hour the Sultan refused to come. At last he left his palace & was escorted by hundreds of savage niggers towards our boat. When he arrived on the beach some of the niggers held him back and some wanted him to go. Plenty of blood was shed. Then he made a rush & entered the boat followed by a dozen of his bodyguard. These were ordered out of the boat but refused to go, but the seamen used force & soon a dozen swarthy niggers were struggling in the water & the boats crew pulled off for the ship & took the Sultan on board, & at 9am we proceeded along the coast. At 5pm we anchored off Bander Hasham. We here bought two swift sailing dhows to be manned by a dozen bluejackets each & armed with 3 pounder gun to be used for patrolling the Somaliland coast, to aid in preventing arms being landed on these shores for the Mad Mullah.

 

16th The dhows were brought ready for service & at 3.15pm the dhows left the ship. No1 dhow under charge of Lieut Bevan and twelve men. No 2 dhow Lieut. Lindsay and ten men and proceeded to carry out their duties. At 4pm ship left for Berbera. Exercised Gen Qtrs & fired C. Tube.

 

17th Arrived at Berbera. Landed Sultan of Bander Laskoria. Colonel Swayne who is in charge of troops out here came on board ship, saluted. At 2.30 p.m. we left Berbera for Aden.

 

18th Arrived in Aden 6 a.m.. Divine Sevice held.

19th Coaled ship 255 tons & left at 6 p.m. for Berbera. It being necessary for Colonel Swayne’s troops to pass through Italian territory we took on board a Italian General who we took to Berbera to conduct the troops in his country’s territory. (4p.m. left Aden)

 

20th Arrived Berbera, 9.20 a.m. Landed Italian General. Left 4 p.m.

 

21st Exercised General Quarters. We sighted No 2 dhow & we replenished her stores. She reported all well. Several dhows she stopped, all satisfactory. She then tied up astern of ship. At 3.30 two dhows were sighted. One of them proved to be No1 dhow, the other a capture. She had large quantities of ammunition & fifty natives on board. Only enough hands to work her stopped on her, remainder came on board. Replenished No1’s stores and both our dhows then left us for another five days cruise. The prisoners were all stalwart niggers and it is curious they did not show fight. Ships proceed with captured dhow to Berbera.

 

22nd Small arm Companies were exercised & at 5 pm we anchored off Berbera & landed dhow & prisoners over to military authorities, each one receiving forms of imprisonment. We ran torpedoes during evening.

 

23rd Seigning party went, good catch of fish

 

24th Cricket party landed & played. Army Officers winning by 5 wickets.

 

25th Divine Service

 

26th Boats crews exercised boat sailing.

 

27th Landing Parties landed and at 6 p.m. we weighed & proceeded along coast.

 

28th Arrived at Hais, & found No 2 dhow here. She came alongside and was paid off. Left at 9 a.m. with Sultan of Laskora on board. During afternoon sighted No 1 dhow. She came alongside and was paid off. Kept dhow astern for further use. We arrived at Lasklora & landed Sultan & proceeded back to Hais.

 

29th Arrived Hais 7 a.m. & left same day for Aden taking dhow with us.

 

30th Arriving in Aden 5 a.m. dressed ship as P.O. steamer was here with Indian Princess on board going home for Coronation. We then rearmed the dhow & at 7 p.m. we left Aden with the dhow in tow, all lights were extinguished as our destination was left quiet.

 

31st Dhow left us for cruise off Arabian Coasts. Ship proceeded along coast.

 

June 1st Sunday. Arrived at Ash Shihr. Searched all dhows in bay, all were pearl fishers. Large town with fortified wall all around it. Buildings built of mud. At 9 a.m. we arrived off Makella, chief port on Arabian coast. Searched all dhows. We then proceeded & sighted large dhow – fired blank round calling on her to stop. As she held on her mast was quickly blew down. She seemed to be a simple trader & seemed to not understand the blank round. Let her go on.

 

2nd Exercised General Qrtrs. & fired Cannon Tube. During day exercised prepare for battle. At 5 p.m. two dhows were sighted, proved to be No 1 dhow with another dhow in tow, filled with rifles, ammunition & barrels of sulphur intended for the Mullah. She fought hard to get away but the men of No 1 dhow caught her killing 2 and wounding two. No casualties to speak of on our side. This is a version of the affair, which was in the papers entitled Battle between Dhows. During afternoon Lieut Bevans men’s sighted three dhows & gave chase, 2 being swift sailors got away, the other one was caught up with. Lieut. Bevan ordered her to hove to, the reply was a fusillade of bullets all falling short. Then the men of the Perseus knew they were in for a tough job. The 3 pounder gun was quickly brought into action. Accurate shooting was impossible owing to motions of dhow. The mast was quickly brought down & the helmsman was blown sky high by J. Russel A.B. Still the niggers kept a fire on our dhow but all escaped miraculously. Our dhow was brought alongside the enemy & into her jumped a dozen bluejackets armed with pistols and cutlasses. It was soon over, every nigger was cut about, but they dived into the sea & escaped ashore or else were drowned. Only 4 were took on board our dhow. 2 killed only the legs of the helmsman & 2 niggers badly wounded. The killed were given a watery grave and the wounded were attended to as best as possible. The dhow was then took in tow & our fellows were anxiously looking for the Perseus to to them. The Perseus took captured stores and wounded on board & took both dhows in tow & headed for Aden. During the night the ship was stopped for the wounded niggers to be operated on.

 

3rd Bluejackets forming dhows crew came on board. We anchored in outer harbour of Aden 7 p.m. Halstead P.O. 2nd Class Alderton & Russel A.B.s recommended to Admiral for gallantry in dhow action. Boat went ashore & bought off rumour of peace in S Africa.

 

4th Proceeded into inner harbour 5 a.m. Turned captured dhow & arms over to proper authorities

and sent wounded prisoners to European hospital. RIMS Mayo arrived with news of Mad Mullahs approach near Berbera. We prepared for sea at once, coaled ship 300 tons & left for Berbera 7 p.m. Two companies of seamen & stokers were told off in readiness to land if their services were required by Colonel Swayne at Berbera. The two wounded prisoners captured in the dhow died in Aden from the effects of wounds received.

 

5th we arrived in Berbera at 10 a.m.

 

6th Boats crews were exercised during forenoon. Recreation party landed.

 

7th Had a recreation and seigning party during evening.

 

8th Sunday. Divine service.

 

9th Started painting ship.

 

10th Painting ship. Recreation party during evening.

 

11th Pistol firing carried out. Weather very hot.

 

15th Divine Service held.

 

16th Man and arm ship.

 

17th Weighed & left Berbera at 3 p.m. Fired torpedoes in entrance to harbour. At 7p.m. left for Aden.

 

18th Anchored in Aden & found three Italian men of war here. Also HMS Dryad, which ship, was lent to this station from the Mediterranean to assist in naval duties at Aden.

 

19th Italian officers paid visit, which was returned. Surveyed cable during day.

 

20th “Vesuvio”, Italian warship left.

 

21st Italian gunboat “Governolo” left.

 

22nd Divine Service held.

 

23rd Exercised boats crews.

 

24th Employed in preparing ship for canon action day.

 

25th Reuters telegram containing news of the King’s illness & postponement of the Coronation till an indefinite period.

 

26th Last nights news confirmed. Received by ship’s company with deep regret. The day recognised by the Navy as a general holiday.

 

27th Prepared ship for sea. Sailing postponed.

 

29th Divine Service held.

 

30th Exercised General Quarters. 10 p.m. exercised night quarters.

 

DIARYINTRO & PHOTOS3 - 4 - 190118 - 8 - 19011 - 1 - 1902
1 - 5 - 19022 - 7 - 19021 - 10 - 19021 - 1 - 19031 - 4 - 1903