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  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Thursday, December 20, 1945
  • Category:
  • Address: Wellington, New zealand

1 December Sat

We could see the harbour plain when we went on deck this morning. There were ships all over the place. Our only worries were oil and water in this port and as soon as we had done this we would be moving. We could buy fresh coconut at 1/- each they are good ones too. I cannot say anything about this port because the only views I seen was from the ship I was on. We left at 1500hrs and we were soon on our way again towards Aussie. This time we will be 9 days at sea only seeing land once. I havn’t seen any sharks yet. We are going to get some very hot weather in this next week. I was very sick early this morning. When I got up (0600hrs) I was feeling like hanging my head over the rail but when I got pains in my stomagh I knew where I had to go and I was in and out every few minutes until 1100hrs when I seemed to get right again. I was right for the rest of the day. Played bridge after tea as usual

 

2 December Sun

There was no ships inspection today because of it being Sunday. Today was hot but about 1640hrs there were black clouds over in the west, they were rain clouds. At 11.55pm they hit the ship and there was the usual scatter for cover. Played bridge in the afternoon and read in the evening

 

3 December Mon

When we woke this morning it was raining very heavy and with the time now at 0815hrs things are getting a bit mixed up. The rain has forced a lot of chaps below the reason being of course that 75% of the deck space is not covered. This place where we are now is just over the Equator. What time we crossed this “line” we don’t know as the ships Cap has never sent word yet. Today is going to be a dull one unless the rain ceases soon

 

4 December Tuesday

So this is the “Equator” well it certainly doesn’t look very much like it because all day it rained heavy. The days trip was 384 mls and it was a very cool 24 hours too. We are now counting the days till we reach home.Our ship is due in at Aussie on Sunday or early on Monday morning. Then only a little over a week after that. I am playing a lot of bridge this trip, no gambling at all. There is plenty of money changing hands though. “Two Up” and Anchor(?) is being played everywhere.

 

5 December Wed

The sea is rather choppy today and it has cut down speed quite a lot. The ships run has not come through yet why I don’t know. They usually put it over about 1220hrs because our days run ends at 1200hrs every day. I am playing in the bridge comp and we played our first game this afternoon winning by 87 points. After tea we played our second game winning again by 562 points. The wind is still very high and it is cutting down the speed of the ship by 40 miles a day.

 

6 December Thursday

This ship we are on “MOOLTAN” is an ex passenger liner and its run was between the Uk and Aussie in peace time. Its length is 625ft, Beam 73 ft, Passengers 600 “Peace time” Gross tonnage 20,952. Built in 1923. Its propellers are 19 tons  c/cwt in weight each one that is she has two. The propellers are three bladed each blade is 8ft 4” high by 6ft 8in wide. Each blade has over 7000 sq in. I am going on a tour of the bridge this afternoon at 1620hrs. I have also put my name down for the engine room which will come up within a few days. The anchor and chain belonging to the boat weighs 40 tons 5cwt (hundredweight_)

 

7 December Fri

Our run today was only 361mls. There is a strong wind bellowing and this cut the speed a lot. Played our game of bridge to night, but we were beaten in the last rubber. It was “he who won the last game won the comp and also played in the final. I ws feeling out of sorts all day and I think it was just a little touch of boat sickness. We have been on board 2 weeks now and I am sick of it already.

 

8 December Sat

Wrote Janet card it will be posted from Aussie on Monday 10th. We are going to get to Aussie on Monday at about 0400hrs. I hope we don’t stay there very long, we all want to get home. I am still feeling a little off colour but I should be right by tonight.

 

9 December Sun

Today was rather cold and rough. Most of the day was spent below decks because of this cold weather. We shall arrive in Fremantle tomorrow.

 

10 December Mon

Arrived at Freemantle before breakfast and we as we were going to get leave, most of the chaps were getting ready early. The first group got off at 10.30hrs then the rest following in order. The ship was almost cleared by 11.20hrs. I could not go off myself because I was on picquet in Perth and we were not allowed off the boat till 1400hrs. Our job gave us plenty of fun although we couldn’t get around town very much except when we went out in the trucks. The people gave us a good time, as is usual with the people of Perth and West Australia. My job finished at 20.30hrs and I came back to the boat and went to bed it wasn’t worth going out through town after that time. The chaps were coming onto the boat all night and after midnight they came on in their hundreds. I slept on deck tonight. Tonight was a good night to get up top because the chaps would be coming in from 10.00hrs till the time the boat left.

 

11 December Tuesday

Left Freemantle at 015hrs this morning and this was good-buy to Aussie. Our next step was 3100mls bringing us to Wellington. All afternoon we were within sight of land and we will be able to see it for a fair way yet. There are chaps lying all over the decks today sleeping off the effects of yesterdays drinking in Perth. Played bridge after tea

 

12 December Wed

We were still in sight of land when we got on deck this morning. We had changed course during the night from south to east, this meant we were now travelling across the bottom of Aussie. We lost sight of land at 0920hrs. This land was the SW point of Aussie. The next time we see any will be the SE point when we pass through the Bass Sqt. We are due in Wellington early on the morning of the 20th and so far the boat is going on to Lyttelton taking all the South Island chaps down then only 7 ½ days to go till we reach New Zealand.

 

13 December Thursday

I was not feeling very good today. I have my old pain in my stomach back again. I had to take things very easy today because of it. Today was very cold but the sea was calm. Following the boat today we had 18 Albertrosses and they were feeding on the ships scraps. I played bridge after tea but not for very long

 

14 December Fri

The cold is intense just now and it is useless going up on deck because it is to cold to stay up there. The ERS has cancelled there engagements for this afternoon because they usually use the Rec Room and because of the cold they are allowing the chaps in there today instead of holding their letchures. We only have 5 days to go now till we reach New Zealand. I hope this cold weather gets better tomorrow because if it doesn’t we will have to get into Battle Dress

 

15 December Sat

Another very cold day today and like the last three we spent them below decks. We were issued today with our Rations coupons and leave pass today. This leave pass is for the period seperating our landing in NZ and the time of our Med Board. Only 4 ½ days till we reach home. Went to the ships concert tonight, it was good for the ships effort

 

16 December Sun

The sun is shining a little this morning and today isn’t so cold as the last three days have been but just the same most of today will be passed away below decks. There is a Nat Pat issue today what it is I don’t know as yet. Only a few cigs each today but there was a cake of choch and a tin of fruit each. We were able to buy 40 cigs out of the ships canteen today. I bought two tins of salmon today and I shall buy another two tomorrow, they will help things a bit over Christmas where ever I stay. I don’t know where I am going to put my bed roll down when I reach home on Friday. I know Frances will have things ready but right now I couldn’t say where I will end up over Christmas

 

17 December Mon

Very cold today again and we will be getting the same sort of weather till we reach home again. There are notices going up all over the boat now telling us what we have to do and when. Everything is arranged now up to the time we each get to our own homes. We from ChCh start to disembark at 10.00hrs on Fri morning, so I should be “home” for lunch. Played bridge this afternoon for 3 per 100 and we won 1/3 cash my partner and I.

 

18 December Tuesday

Today is going to be a bit warmer. The sun is shining through the thick blanket of clouds that has been with us since we left Aussie. There is going to be boat drill this morning, why we don’t know. There is going to be a big parade and clean up tomorrow also

 

19 December Wed

This is our last full day on the ship. Tomorrow we get off. (the North Island chaps anyhow) Our trip has been a pleasant one although a long one. We have only been going half speed for the last 24 hours so we won’t get into NZ too soon. About 10.00hrs we ran into a very thick fog and we had to slow down to 3 knots. This fog was so thick that one couldn’t see the both ends of the ship if one was standing at either end. No notice was taken of it until about 1500hrs then the chaps thought that we would be delayed and would be late in to Wellington. About 1700hrs the fog lifted and away we went flat out and we were still going when we went to bed, 2100hrs

 

20 Dec Thursday When we went up on deck this morning land was both sides of the ship. New Zealand, it was the first time I’ve seen it for 2 years 7 months. Weather is dull with slight rain. We “south” chaps are going to get four hours leave I think. We leave at 1700hrs tonight for Lyttelton and HOME.

 

OTHER NOTES IN DIARY

“Zinc is not rolatile and during these processes is present in the atmosphere as a very fine zinc-oxid dust. If this dust is inhaled by workmen not protected with masks or respirators it accumulates in the lungs and from there is absorbed into the blood stream. Small amounts do not cause symptoms but if larger quantities are taken we see the clinical picture as “zinc chills” poisoning most characteristics of which are the so called “zinc chills” They are also called “Brass chills” because they occur most commonly in the brass foundaries. Brass chills however is a misnomer because the chills are due to the zinccomponent while copper, tin,  lead, and————, which are also present in brass have nothing whatever to do with them.These chills are attacks of violent shaking with chattering of the teeth. They last from half an hour to an hour or more and are usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting. They may recur a number of times during a working day and with each attack the employee has to rest but once the chill is over he is usually able to go back to work. The use of efficient masks has very nearly eliminated these chills

“Poison Parade”  William Boas M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

442371  L.E. Partridge, 1 Newell Street, Pt Chevalier, Auckland , New Zealand

 

248 Riccarton Rd (Les Moore)

 

Change of Address for Army Pay:  The Director, Pay Accounts and Base Records, P.O Box 3044, Wellington, NZ

 

 

 

 

Are you married      :Siete sposato”

Sunday                     Domenica

Monday                    Lunedi

Tuesday                    Martedi

Wednesday               Mercaledi

Thursday                   Qiovedi

Fri                             Venerdi

Saturday                    Sabato

 

What is your name    Qual e il vastro nome:

How old are you        Quanti arni avete

Husband                     Marito

Kiss                            Bacio

Together                     Incieme

Evening                       Sera

Night                           notte

 

Messers Loewe & Coy Ltd, 58 Haymarket St, London 2 W.1

 

C/- Mrs C Weir, 344 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden , Auckland, New Zealand

 

Miss A King, c/- Mrs Rae, 27 Davoit Street, Glasgow, S.W.1

 

The End of the 1939-1945 War

Hostilities will end at one minute after midnight (GMT) on the 8th May, this will make it 0001 hrs on 9.5.45

Hostilities will end at 2301hrs CMF time which is here in Italy

Surrender signed at 0141hrs on the 7th May 1945

Surrender of Italy signed on the day May 2nd 1945

 

Des Stanley, 86 Grafton Rd, Auckland.

 

HOME ADDRESS

40 Stafford Street, Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

 

 

MUM        Mrs J. Eaton, Egmont St, Ohakune Junction

GRAN       Clyde Terrace, Kaitangata

Mrs W. Gray, 31 Derwent Street, Island Bay, Wellington

Mrs C. Weir, c/- Mrs F. Allen, 93 Great South Rd, Auckland, NZ

Mrs F. Ware, 434 Esplanade, Island Bay, Wellington, NZ

 

Frances sock size —  8 ½ – 9