Navigation Menu
  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Friday, June 30, 1944
  • Category:
  • Address: Bari, Italy


WROTE MUM (8 pag)

A.Proban came into this camp this afternoon so I will now have some-body to go around with. We decided to go and play housey after tea and we won a house. It was worth L550 he gave me L100. I was very close myself more than once.

We then went for a walk around the block and back to bed.

2 Friday

Wrote Airghs (1) Wrote Frances no 86 (7pag)

Received a envelope from Adv Base Hosp. In it was my disco(?) and an airgraph from Frances.

I was transferred from C Company into B Company and I was given a job digging straight away but I never liked it so I went and wrote a airgraph instead.. Played Housey tonight but we never won anything..There were pictures on in the camp tonight but we never bothed to go to them. Andy and I went up to 2 NZEF. HQ and had a few tickets in the housey instead.

3 Saturday

Received parcel from Frances Date 8.2.44

The Hon P.Fraser came to visit us at this con camp. He told us a few things.

As soon as we come upon a fixed line which was to hold us up for a while the furlough would be resumed in the form of replacements this concernes the 4th and 5th Reinf
New Zealand could only keep one Div going the High Command was deciding which one it was going to be. If it is the one for the Islands we would be going home from here and reform and if it was this one we will be home for the end (in Europe) We should soon know which one it is going to be very soon.
New Zealand is trying to get the airmail going again. From Celon to Fremantel. These are all his words as he said them.

On cookhouse duties in 3 days

4 Sunday

The Allies entered Rome.

I was on mess fatigue yesterday , to-day and tomorrow also.

The Con Camp played the Pommey. ——unit at cricket we lost but only by 6 runs they made 257

Andy and I went into “Bari” tonight to see a Concert it was given by The 23d Concerto Sinfoniro(?) it was a Symphone Concert.

Received Parcel dated by Frances 20 Feb 1944

5 Monday

Wrote Frances No 87 7 pag. Airgraph

Still on Mess Fatigues but will finish up at 1800hrs to-night.

They asked me to play cricket for this camp on Wed. Played Housey to-night but never won anything. Went to pictures and seen Coney Island it was not bad.

By the Notice bourd this morning we read where there was 23 bags of letters ——-bags of parcels and some papers lost on there way to the ME from NZ. I never lost any letters because I received all ————–although no 122- 124 was posted on — — respectively don’t know about the parcels.

6 Tuesday

Wrote Airgraph

We were told that the second front has opened so the Jerry said over his raido. Our Officers told us that there were parashuts droping all over the French sector and that Le Havre is getting a terrific ponding but there is nothing over the radio from the BBC at 1800hrs. It will all be a flase alarm. I have not got a job to-day so far.

One of my parcels was posted on the 8.2.44 so I dont know what the talk is all about the mail and parcels being lost between the 3rd-12th Feb.

Second front has started landings on France and there were 4000 ships used besides 2000 small ones, 11,000 planes waiting.

7 Wednesday

Wrote Harry and Clarice

Airgraph Frances (1)

Played Cricket. The Con V Advance Base . They made 41 and another chap and I went in first and we beat them on our own we made 84 first wkt and he got. 48 and 51 not out.

Received 1 Airgh from Frances

“ “ Airgh “ Harry

I am on massarge from this morning

I was going on a trip to-day but it is off no trucks. There was pictures on at the camp to-night “open air” Had another M.I. and I am B.2 again for another week.

8 Thursday

Not much doing to-day.

Played Housey tonight but never won anything

Andy and I went for a walk around the water-front after tea came back and went to bed.

9 Friday

Wrote Gran

Received 5 Parcels from Frances. 6 Chock No 25, No 27, No 28, No 24, No 29, No 26.

1 tin of choclate

2 cake

3 tins

4 Cake

5 Tins

I am on doing gardening again this time it is digging in between grape vines.

I got a pair of sand-shoes on loan from the Q Store to play cricket. I will have to take them back when I leave this camp

Played Bridge this afternoon

Went to the pictures in camp to-night but walked out. It was called “The Heavenly Body”

10 Saturday

Wrote Airgph (1)

The water came on in the shower house at 1400hrs and I had a shower. The water was not much good for anything else but washing because it was full of “Red Lead”

Played bridge all after-noon.

There are two cakes of chocklate gone from one of the tins already. Went to the pictures to-night in the village.

11 Sunday

In Middle East 12 months

Received two letters from Frances they were numbered 152 and 154. 152 was daated 8.4.44 and 154 9.4.44. I had already received 152 it was dated March.

Ray Mackinley sent a letter also and a small one inside from Bob Christenson. Received one from Mum too. Played the S.A. Arty at cricket they won by 150 runs. Howard Watt was in their team. I only made one was caught behind.

Played Bridge after the cricket match ended.

12 Monday

Working this morning digging the garden. Played bridge all after-noon. Went for a walk after tea.

This Army is getting worse now. They have put all sirvilians

laundaries out of bounds to us . we now have to do our own washing or put it in to the Q Store to the army contractors who must give the Col ———– a cut out of it.

They have also stoped that veno place at Pay Office. (we could go there) We have not seen beer since Feb.

13 Tuesday

Wrote Frances (Airgrph (1)

Got word at 1035hrs that Norm has been wounded and is now in 2 GH. Bari but it is not very bad. He got it in the back. This is the first smash he has ever had. He wants me to go in and see him, which I am going to do this after-noon.

Seen Norm he is alright but his would is a deep one it is in the left side. He is walking around.

There are quite a few other chaps out of our BATTERY in 3GH also no one was killed out of 18 wounded.

The wounded for the Reg in three days were 81. A very bad time. Jerry waited until the quads faded (?) away and then opened up on the quad.

14 Wednesday

Wrote Frances No 88(6)

Air (1)

We was to play cricket against a S.A.——-team but they never turned up so we did not play at all.

I played bridge all after-noon instead.

Went into S.Sespisto(?) before 6pm and had a few drinks.

Played cards after tea.

15 Thursday

Wrote Norm

Helped a chap who is building a small shed on the top of the main building. The job lasted until lunch time. Went for a walk in the after noon

Had five drinks in a shop in S. Serfindo.(?) A walk and cards after tea. Received a Airgph from Mother 25.5.1944.

16 Friday

Heard C. Carew is going home so I wrote to him as I want to see him before he goes. I went to see if he will take that book home for me

Met GNR Prouse he is one of the chaps in our troup who was wounded he told me a lot more about things that happened up the line.

Went to the pictures to-night at 2030hrs it was “Yes PTE HARGREVE” It was a yanky army picture and it was just as we think it was.

17 Saturday

Playing cricket against 2 NZEF at 13.30hrs this after noon




The cricket match was a win for us we made 192 they 34 I made 55.

18 Sunday

Went to church parade this morning, it rained just as we were having our breakfast and as the floor of the mess room was being concreted the tables were outside and was there a scatter for the tents.

Played bridge all the rest of the morning.

Played cricket against 2 GH team in the after noon. We won by 70 odd runs. They made 140 and we got over 200. I made 2.

19 Monday

Played cricket after tea tonight and it was against the Blood Donors. We batted first making 43 and they went in and made 51 it was a very good game alround.

Played cards after the game until 2200hrs.

20 Tuesday

Went on leave to Bari with Larry Baird. We only walked around the town until lunch time and after lunch we went to a bar and had a few drinks after that we went to the hosp to see Norm but he was not there. He was out on the Plonk.

Came back to camp at 1800hrs and flayed bridge the rest of the evening.

21 Wednesday

Wrote Frances No 89 9pag.

Played cricket against NZ B.O.D. they made 24 and we got 201. I made 21. ——————. Roy Smith was playing in their team and he got his chin out with the ball it took two stitches to close it. He only made 6.

Open Air Pictures is in camp tonight. They were broken in the middle by rain. It never lasted for very long so the pictures continued.

22 Thursday

Received Air (1) Frances.

Not very much doing this morning but this after noon I went for a trip which took me through MOLFETTA and BETANTO We arrived back at 1300hrs and after tea we had a game of Bridge which lasted until 2130hrs

23 Friday

Very dull today digging this morning in the grape vines and this after noon I told Ray Smith I would be down to see him but I could not go because I never got payed until 1455hrs. It was to late then.

Took my two grey shirts to the taliors to be fixed up will get them tomorrow.

Went for a walk came back to camp and played bridge.

24 Saturday

I am playing cricket this afternoon against PAY OFFICE. The game starts at 1330hrs. They batted first and made 160 and we went into bat at 1645hrs and I went out second ball I got. The mat was covered with mud and I stoped when the Capt seen how wet it realy was he decided to pull out (after I went out) It is to be continued on Tuesday night.

25 Sunday

Church parade at 0930hrs. Afterwards Bridge in the afternoon we played cricket against the we won by 1 innings and 80 runs. I was out LBW FOR 6. Bridge after tea.

26 Monday

Sent Frances photos of “Bari” Cartoon Arty Burrage., drawing of bench , photo of J Bower Martha(?). Played cricket Masharge v the Rest. They won by 60 runs we made 143 I got 52 retired.Went to the pictures in the village after tea.

27 Tuesday

Wrote Airgraph in club.

Received Air (2) Frances

Went into Bari on leave. I had told Norm Iwould meet him at the club at 2pm and we would get our photo taken which we did . they will be ready on Friday. They are larger than the ones I got taken last time and although it was taken at the same place they only cost 200 lire.

28 Wednesday

Received 2 letters from Frances also one from Gran. Franceses were 156-157.

Played cricket A v B.C company. They B & C won by 24 runs. I made 67 and C a B.Those last two days have been very hot nearly as hot as the days we used to get in Egypt only the reflection from the sand is not pleasant.

29 Thursday

Wrote Airgraph Frances lettercard

Received one letter from Frances 155.

Nothing doing this morning.

This afternoon I played bridge and this evening the Con camp hockey team went to Bari to play the Indians at hockey. The game was at 3pm so I went in and seen them.

Jack Packhurse is here again. This time he is going to have his cartledge out .

30 Friday

Wrote Frances No 90 7 pag

These mornings are very dull. I was doing nothing this morning. This afternoon is pay day 1400hrs it is.

There are no showers on at present.

We are not allowed even to wash any of our own clothes. We have to take them to the Q Store on Mondays and Thursdays if we are running out on Mon – Wed or Thursday we have to take dirty clothes to Bari with us.