Henry Balfour FRS was a British archaeologist, and the first curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum.
An extract from the diaries of Henry Balfour (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator, penned while taking passage to Australia aboard the P and O liner Malwa in 1914. The ship sailed from Tilbury on Friday 26th June and was at Fremantle, Western Australia, when war was declared on the 28th July. He was 51 years of age and, the poor fellow, was plagued with gout.
Friday 26th June
Left Liverpool Street at 11.30 a.m. for Tilbury Docks, & went on board P.& O.S.N.Co. SS. “Malwa”. Started backing out of the dock at 1.20 p.m. & started in the river at 2.25.
Arrived at Tangier about 6 a.m. Hazy & cool. Took on a number of passengers mostly for Marseilles, also a pair of white storks for the Marseilles Zoo.
Arrived at Gib at about 10.30.
Wednesday 1st July
At sea, very fine & calm. No incident.
Ladies taking the air, on board ss Malwa in 1914
Thursday 2nd July
Arrived at Marseilles at about 11 a.m. Hazy.
Arrived Port Said about 11.30 a.m.
Arrived at Suez about 6 a.m.
Passed a Rorqual about a mile away, & sighted the Colombo fishing fleet of outrigger boats. Entered Colombo harbour at about 11.15 & anchored.
Entered the harbour of Fremantle at about 5.45 a.m.
Announcement was made that the Orient SS. “Orsova” had been allowed to clear from Adelaide, but that there had been a sea fight off Margate, some German ships & a mine layer being sunk. Also news that Belgium had rolled back a German attack. “Orsova” passed us quite close at 11.15pm. General excitement in hope of news –
The Orient Lines' RMS Orsova
Steamed into the harbour of Port Adelaide at 10 a.m. Berthed alongside quay.
Note: Henry BALFOUR ‘s (comprehensive) diaries are held at The Pitt Rivers Museum, which cares for the University of Oxford's collection of anthropology and world archaeology.