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  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Saturday, June 30, 1945
  • Category:
  • Address: verona italy

1 June Friday
I went to find out about the cricket this morning at 0900hrs and the officer told me that it was off, so as we cancelled our trip to Grado today we won’t be able to go. I found out if there were any more names to go on the list for this leave and there was one so I put my name down for it. We left camp at 1345hrs and were in Grado by 1430hrs. After a walk around we came back to the Hotel where we are staying at and got ready for tea which is between 1800hrs and 1830hrs. The time now is 1815hrs so I am going down to get mine right now. Received the cable telling me that the Cameo ring had arrived home, it took three days to get there. I received a letter from Anne also. Wrote Janet card.

2 June
Today I just loafed around doing nothing at all. There are hundreds of soldiers in this place and during the day the beach is just covered with sun bathers. There are two pictures on here but I have seen both of them before.
Wrote Janet two cards

3 June
This morning I went for a walk around town and after morning tea I wrote Janet two cards also a letter to cousin Anne. In the afternoon I had a three hours boat trip away out in the ocean. We went in a 22 footer. Posted a card to Janet and I forgot to put the number of the street on. I hope she gets them. I have one beofre and I posted one this morning so if these two go with the two without the number they will be alright. There are three dances here tonight but as I don’t dance I don’t go. I went and seen “True to Life” for the second time. In bed by 2300hrs. Wrote Janet card, Harry letter.

4 June
Left Grado this morning at 0930hrs and was back in camp by 1035hrs had morning tea at the YM and straightened out my gear before lunch. After lunch I done some washing and then I rested until tea time. Bruce Coburn asked me to drive the YM truck for five days and I had to ask our GPO for permission which I received. Was told by our Col about us going home it will be on the 2 NZEF Times tomorrow.

5 June
Started out driving the YM truck this morning and I never got finished my work until 1715hrs. We started off at 0900hrs. Today was very hot and I got a bit more tan on my right arm because I had it hanging out the window of the truck as I was driving. There is a Reg Cricket team playing tomorrow but as I am driving the truck I won’t be playing for a few days. Gave Bruce some money to buy me a pair of Desert shoes from Egypt they are the second pair now. I sent for a pair of desert boots before. I will send the shoes home. They cost me the same as the boots 1200lire 3 pounds. Received a card from Janet.

6 June
Took the truck into Trieste this morning then away down the road and back to camp. Started to jack up the Reg cricket tonight. I am forming a committee within the Reg. Bed by 2300hrs.

7 June
Never went out until 1500hrs today we had to change the self starter in the truck. Only went for drinks and cakes. Talked cricket after tea again. Wrote Janet card

8 June
Had the cricket meeting tonight and everything went off very well. We plan to play two Reg teams against each other on Sunday this will show up the players wh have rarely played the game

9 June Saturday
Went into Trieste and done shopping for the boys. We left there at 1230hrs and got drink and cakes for the YM and home. After tea I went into Trieste again this time to get some watches that we had being fixed up in there

10 June Sunday
Received three cards from Janet. Wrote Janet card. We played the game of cricket today I got 23 and took one wkt. The other side made 193 and we got 241`after being down for 66. The reason of course was I put all the chaps who had never played before in the first and we, who have, went in last.

11 June
Just done the cakes and soft drinks for the YM. Went into Trieste after tea to collect some watches

12 June Tuesday
Went to the sotre and got a load of stuff for the two Tommie Regs we are looking after. Picket the team for the Reg game against 5th FLD on Thursday. I am going with the YM truck to VERONA tomorrow, so we got nearly everything cleared up for our trip. Bed by 2300hrs.

13 June Wed
Left camp at 0940 and we were soon on the main road to VERONA after leaving camp we travelled through MONFALCONE, MESTRE, PADOVA, VICENZA and at 1700hrs we arrived at VERONA Went to the pictures after tea and it was a very good show. I am sleeping in the truck but I never slept very well last night as I was alright tonight.

14 June
Went shopping this morning and within three hours we spent 300pounds and we have 250 more to spend yet. We bought underwear, rubber coats, umbrellas, cig lighters. This place is about the size of Christchurch 200,000 people. We went down to the market this morning and bought some fruit, apricots, cherries, plums, peaches also vegetables are plentiful. Went to the stage show that was on here last night, it was very good in the first half but the second half was very poor. In our days shopping we spent over 400pound on underwear and we got some more rubber coats in the afternoon. Bed by 0010hrs, it was still very hot too

15 June
Done some more shoping this morning and tonight we took out our books and fixed them up, had a cup of cocoa and went to bed.

16 June
Left Verona at 1240 hrs and we came back via TREVISO, UDINE, arriving back at 2100hrs. I went over to my tent only to find that all my gear had been pinched while I was away. I lost my greatcoat and all my soap, tobacco, matches, cigs etc and my valese (?)which was full of all my good clothes of my own. I lost the plate I got from the Monastery at Cassino. The complete list in my valese was 1 woolen shirt, 2 KD shirts (one was my gentlemen drill I brought from home) 1 pr hanki socks, one dk blue socks, two yanky thin pairs of socks

17 June
To day I was not feeling very well the shock of the loss of my gear was more than I could stand so I went away from the camp after tea to get a breath of different air but it done me no good because the nerves of my stomach were playing up and I was a very sick man at 0100hrs

18 June
Received two parcels that were sent to Norm from the Tai Tapu one was a tin of chocklate and the other shortbread. Received two cards from my darling wife Janet.
We moved this morning at 0545hrs to a new possition 6 miles further up round the back of Trieste. It is a good place although not so shady as the other one we were in. We took all day to jack ourselfs up but we are now very comfortable. Wrote Janet 2 cards

19 June
Went to the Div sports to help make the “chy” (?) we were there all day and we were able to see the sports which were very good. We never got back until 1800hrs and I was talking cricket and YM until 11pm. Wrote Janet card

20 June Wed
This morning I am in charge of the YM because Bruce is away at the store. I made the tea and done all the business etc everything went off very good. We are going to Verona tomorrow again as far as we know

21 June
Received three cards from Janet. Another busy day at the YM

22 June
Left camp at 1400hrs today and arrived in Verona at 2130hrs the trip was the same one as we went on the first time. I slept in the truck for the night

23 June Sat
We done all our shopping in the morning getting all that we had orders for and in the afternoon we went up as far as the Lake Gardo and then on to the town of BRISCULA. This place was very nice much bigger than Verona. We traveled to within 20 miles of Milan and then turned back. Never went to bed until 2400hrs

24 June
Left Verona at 1400hrs and arrived at the same river as we stopped at on the way up We had a good meal there also a good wash, then on through Udine and “home” I bought a set of ladies underwear (pink) for Frances and a pair of shoes for myself When I go on leave to town I bought another pipe too, cost me 400Lire this time. Received 2 cards Janet

25 June Monday
Received three parcels this morning , two were for me from Janet and a tin of chocklate that was meant for Norm. One of the parcels I received on the 18th was from Mum. There was a game of cricket on against the 4th Fld today but it was put off just ten minutes before we were due to leave. Went into Trieste and to Monfalseone(?) this morning with the YM. Wrote Janet 2 cards

26 June
Today was a quiet day for the YM only a bottle of cordial was the thing we got from the store. I wrote Janet one card and wrote Anne a letter. I was talking until 11.30pm in the YM truck. Wrote Anne letter

27 June Wed
A load of stores were got the YM bulk store and although we never got there till 0930hrs we had to wait until 1300hrs before we got loaded. While we were in Trieste getting them there was a thunder storm came over the city and it did rain. The game of cricket we had fixed up against NZA for Friday has now been put off till Monday. Tried my new shoes out tonight and the YM staff went down and stayed there for an hour just to make ourselfs seen. I was on picquet from 10.30 –2400 It was not done though

28 June Thursday
Yesterday it rained on and off all day and when I woke this morning it was raining very heavy, but by the time our c eak parade was called the rain had stopped and the sky was clearing. I couldn’t hardly eat the breakfast it was thick porridge and egg powder . All I had was the porridge and one slice of bread and honey. I have been eating very little for months. I think I may pick up a bit when I get home in the near future.

28 June Thursday.
Very little rain in the morning but in the afternoon I had a rest. Went away from camp at 1700hrs down to Monfalsone to see some people I got to know. I was asked to go down there but when I got there the whole family was home. Left at 2215hrs and arrived back at camp by 0100hrs.
29 June Friday
Wrote Janet two cards one about the Ford —–. Rained very hard for about one hour this afternoon. Bruce and I went to the 30th Battery dance in Trieste after we had made the tea for the YM tent. The dance was a very good one although I don’t dance. We went down in the wee blue car and it went very well. I am getting my pen fixed up for 40 Lire so it should last me until I get home

30 June Saturday
All I done this morning was some washing but this afternoon we went out to Trieste and then down to Monfalcone to get some drinks. Never arrived back until 1830hrs we missed out tea. Received five cards three from Janet, one from Lower Hutt and one from Bob Christian. Also received two parcels one from Janet chock and sweets and one from Hilda and Mum biscuits. Wrote Mother. In bed by 2230hrs