Bert Henson Diary - 1

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The War Diaries of Bert Henson

Diary 1 of 10 is summarised below - View full text of Diary 1


Bert Henson 1917-1919 Diaries.  First Diary, written in pencil in notebook

Headed: J.H.H. Henson  7th Platoon  B Coy 10/3292  NZEF  13  Nov.  1915


Summary of Diary 1

Sat 13 Nov 1915

By train from Trentham to Wellington. Boarded troopship Willochra, balance of troops boarded Tofua. Sailed to Lyttelton. Smooth passage. Left Lyttelton 4pm and on the 15th entered Fouveaux Strait and saw the last of the NZ coast.

From the 16 to 20 Nov 1915

Crossed to Hobart for the Tofua to receive repairs then onto Albany (Western Australia), arriving Frid 26 Nov 1915.

Sat Nov 27th

After fresh provisions were loaded aboard and about 6pm with the Tofua leading we left harbour-heading to Africa.


The following entries describe life aboard ship; physical drill, boxing, fatigue duties and erecting shade awnings. Also lifeboat drills. As we got to the tropics a lot of us are sleeping on deck. Have been taking and developing photos. (Bert was a keen photographer).

Frid 10 Dec

Crossed the equator line. King Neptune arrived about 1-30pm.

Mon 13 Dec

At 6-30am we sighted land! It was Cape Guadafia, the north-eastern tip of Africa. We are now in the Gulf of Aden, heading to Suez.

Sat 18 Dec

Dropped anchor at Port Suez.

Sun 19 Dec

Kitbag is packed. It is rumoured that we will be in action within the fortnight. We disembark tomorrow.



Bert Henson Diary - 1

Sources:Transcribed by Dion G. Minhinnick