September's Item of the Month is the diary of an ordinary merchant seaman, steward GW Smith, from 1916.  The RMS ship Avon was requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service and fitted as an armed merchant cruiser and renamed Avoca.

JOD258-Single Sheet A3001

Smith and his colleagues were set to work supplying other ships at sea, meaning these could avoid going into port to refuel. It was awkward and difficult work, especially in a heavy sea where the supplied and supplier were frequently unceremoniously knocked together by the waves. Smith also had to contend with U boats and angry German yachtsmen, but he did manage to watch the odd game of football and met Ernest Shacklton who came on board for fresh clothes and provisions. Take up the story with September's Item of the Month: