Navigation Menu
  • Author: Jim Smythe
  • Date Posted: Sunday, September 30, 1945
  • Category:
  • Address: Bari, italy

1 September Saturday

We batted again this morning and this time we made 200 for 6 dec. This gave 2 ABRA 311 to make , they got 170 in their second  ———- and it was all over by 1615hrs so back to Riccione we went. I made 2 N.O. again. So far the the Div I have got 38no, 4. 15. 9 n.o. 1, 2nd  avg 39.6  Went to the dance at 5th Med Reg tonight


2 September

A quiet day today, a walk along the beach and then a game of cricket in the tennis court which was at one time Mussolini’s private one when he was in Riccione. The pictures after tea was called “Jerrie” (?) not bad. Wrote Janet


3 September Monday

Played cricket in the tennis court again this morning and we were all ready to move by 1400hrs but the Officer in charge and the captain all one man, had a “———“ on the beach and worked it so we couldn’t go today. So we all wiped him and we won’t be going till tomorrow now. Went into Catallosa tonight to the pictures. We all slept in the YM hostel tonight


4 September

Left Riccione at 0920hrs and arrived back at the Lake at 1710hrs. Went to the pictures that were showing in camp tonight “Jail Birds” was the name of it, very silly I thought. Received card from Janet and one from Mum S. I won’t be getting my pipes from England now so I will be getting the money order back instead


5 Sept Wed

Today was a quiet one. After tea I played in the Reg soccer team against the A/— we lost 2-1. Wrote Janet card


6 Sept Thursday

The days are now becoming to be very boreing they are all the same. There is a rumour on the board that states that the 9th reinf will be going out on the 15th of this month. I hope its true. There are still 500 8th Reinf left behind so the 9th and 7th could easy make up a boat load to return to NZ. Went to the pictures tonight. When I went to bed there was lighting flashing over to the south and it looked as if we might get a thunder storm before morning. Received 8 cards from Janet


7 Sept Friday

We only got a few spots of rain early this morning and now the day is good although a cool breeze is blowing. Wrote Janet 3 cards and one to mum. Finished my book “Mask these two Lovers” (?) not bad.


8 Sept Sat

Today was a quiet one indeed. Bruce went away to Farno this afternoon so this leaves me I charge of the YM again. Wrote Janet card (1)


9 Sept Sunday

I would have been at Farrars 13 years today if the war hadn’t come along (that was the foundry he worked at in Chch) I left work three years today to go into the army. Church this morning. Drew a plan of a “paper holder” I will send it home today with the photo of the kitchen I got from a Life Magazine. At 2030hrs there was lightening and thunder followed by rain, the YM hut got damp


10 Sept Mon

A quiet day today. It was raining when we woke but it cleared after breakfast and left everything nice and fresh it even made us feel better ourselfs. Wrote Janet card


11 Sept Tuesday

This morning there were two burners to clean as they both blocked up last night. Bruce came back today and with a load of stuff too. Had an hours  cricket in our net before tea and after tea the motor that generates our power for the lights broke down, this took us 1 ½ hours to fix and it was2115hrs when we got it going again. I wanted to write and tell Janet that the time of going out was near, it will have to wait till tomorrow, next Tuesday is the day I think we go out. The days are now getting cold and I think we are in for a permanent change


12 Sept Wed

Another  quiet day there is nothing happening now at all. We,9th Reinforcments were given a talk by the ERS officer for Div, ——— he spoke and about going home


13 Sept Thursday

Played 5th field at cricket this afternoon and we lost by a few runs. They got our score passed with only 3 minutes of their time left. We batted for 1 hour and three quarters each. Played in the final of the Reg Table tennis comp tonight. It was doubles this time and I played with Eric Skinner, we won one each but the other pair beat us 21-15 in the last game. Wrote Janet one card. Received my Desert shoes they are too good to wear over here so I am sending them home in a parcel along with several other things. My pipes are going into the parcel too.


14 Sept Friday

Last night and today I was very ill. Early this morning I was up twoce and it was dry reaching the second time. I am feeling very weak this morning and I got a little better as they day went on. Tonight I was in bed by 2200hrs


15 Sept Saturday

I am feeling much better now and I am eating again too. I am going to drive the YM truck up to SENIGALLIA. We are leaving at 1600hrs . We (Bruce and I) are only going up there for two days and we will be back Monday afternoon. Left for Senigallia at 1600hrs and arrived at the rest camp at 10.30pm unloaded the truck and went to bed


16 Sept Sunday

The clocks went back one hour last night and we had that extra hour in bed this morning. We never got up till 0930 hrs this morning. Wrote Janet one card. The day has been very good so far different from what we have been having. We are leaving here today at 1530hrs and staying the night somewhere and getting back to camp tomorrow about lunch time. Pulled in off the road at 2115hrs and we were 724 met ALT after a meal we went to bed and I was soon asleep


17 Sept Monday

Woke this morning and it was very cold and the fog was very thick. We couldn’t see out past the back of the truck. We were on our way and after calling into the YM bulk store we arrived back at camp at 1220hrs, had lunch and then got everything fixed up. Went around to the 4th Fld Reg playing table tennis for our Reg team. We won this but lost to bridge.


18 Sept Tuesday

Our Battery cricket team played 27 battery this afternoon and we lost. I made a duck being caught third ball I had. There was pictures on in our area tonight and it was “Eddy Cantor in “Show Bussiness” it was good


19 Sept Wednesday

Today we played cricket again this time it was the reg team playing against the ————They won by three runs I made 33 not out. Tonight the Kiwi concert party was in the Arty area they are showing here tomorrow night again. I will most likely go tomorrow night. I busted my right desert boot this afternoon playing cricket so I will have to get it stitched up before I can have any chance of wearing it again.


20 Sept Thursday

Breakfast was at 7.30hrs this morning because of the extra hours light each morning now the clocks have been put back an hour. Wrote Janet one card. Done some washing today and I will have to do some again tomorrow. Rumour has it that we 9ths are going out at 0200hrs on Sunday morning. We shall see. Some 9ths have been stopped going on the —-NRA trip to Trieste again so it looks as if it is right this time.


21 Sept Fri

Played cricket today against 24 Batt and once again we lost by only a few runs, this time it was 7, they made 113 and we made 107. I got 24 bowled. Went to the pictures after tea “The Unimuted”(?) was the title it was a “ghost” picture. Wrote Janet


22 Sept Sat

We have some news now. The 9ths are going out on Wed the 26th as far as we know now. The leave to England starts early next month and we are not going we are on our way home instead. Today has been quiet in one way. They all have been lately anyway. Wrote Janet one card


23 Sept Sun

Church Parade at 0900hrs and I read some of my book. Done some more washing this afternoon. Played in the Reg comp at table tennis tonight, all I done was get in the first six. Received the word that we are going out on Wed 26th and we heard that the boat is due to leave for home on the 14 oct if this is so I may even get home for Janet’s 27th birthday. I only hope I do for her sake


24 Sept Mon

The cricket for today was put off because of the dull weather. It looked very much like rain and we decided to tell the other team we would not be along just in case it did rain. It did on and off all day up till tea time. Played table tonight against some officers tonight the gunners won by 21-15. There is a bit of drink being drunk tonight a shout for the 9ths going home. I have only had two drinks myself. I am happy enough to know I’m going without having to drink over it. The time now is 2245hrs and I am going to bed now I am tired too. E Troop played basketball against F Troop, we lost by 26-17. I had a look over all my gear today but I will be having a real pack up tomorrow afternoon sometime.


25 Sept Tuesday

Today was one I had been waiting for ever since I left home. I packet my gear today and it was already by tea time. This afternoon it rained and we had a thunderstorm, this rain has not stopped yet and the time is 1900hrs. We are leaving tomorrow morning at 0430hrs and if this rain doesn’t stop it is going to be very miserable for us in the morning. I am going to try and write Janet a card tonight even if its only half of one


26 Sept Wed

Never wrote that card last night it was so cold I went to bed instead. We left camp this morning at 0420hrs and after picking up the trucks of the rest of the Div we were on our way. Our route took us up to Ausona(?) again we had to go this way to get to route 16. It started to rain about 0915hrs and it was still raining when we went to bed. We came south as far as Pascaro and stayed for the night in a paper factory five miles on the south side of the town. It was wet and cold so I was in bed by 1815hrs and as I only had three hours sleep the night before I was very tired and soon asleep


27 Sept Thursday

Up this morning at 0600hrs and we were told we had to have our gear on the trucks and be ready to move by 0730hrs. This was cancelled however and it was postponed for 24 hours. The morning was spent in playing cards (bridge) and in the afternoon it cleared up so we got a truck and went up to Chicti, a town we were only 40 miles from Christmas 1943. I was dissapointed in the place because I always thought it was a clean place but it is very dirty. Our cooks left early this morning and they couldn’t be called back. This caused some delay in cooking our tea. We 6th Fld had to mess with 5th Fld Reg and we never got our meal until 1900hrs it was not bad either. Bed was soon after tea and it was still very cold although fine


28 Sept Fri

We were woke this morning at 0600hrs and we were told we were moving at 0730hrs. We did !  Our route took us back to Pascaro then onto highway 16. About 10 miles past Otona(?) we had a breakdown the bottom fell out of our radiator, the time was 0815hrs then and the breakdown waggon never got us in tow till 1015hrs. We havd morning tea while we were there waiting. We were towed along with another 3 tonner as far as Termali where we had the hole soldered up and after lunch we got on our way once again. By this time the rest of the convoy was miles away. We arrived at FOGGIA at 1745hrs and we got tea at the NAFFI. I had three buns and tea at 1745hrs and then at 1800hrs I got a ticket and had a tea which was egg and bacon pie stewed tomatoes and bread, stewed fruit and custard was the (afters). Left Foggia at 1915hrs and got on our way to Bari. This journey from Foggia to Bari was done in the day and we were very tired when we got to Adv Base at 2315hrs. This ended a 400 mile journey after crossing many mountains and rivers one of them being of course the Great Sangro Rvr. We crossed it in a different place this time, than when we went across it in 1943. I seen a lot more towns I hadn’t seen before to so now all I am waiting for is the word to move in the second part of the trip home. Whether we leave here or leave from Egypt for home we don’t know as yet I would like to leave from here (Bari) There is some rumour that all the married men plus the 8ths and the “balloted” single men of the 9ths will go together to Egypt on the 4th of this coming month Oct


29 Sept Sat

Up this morning at 0800hrs breakfast was at 0830hrs. Our names numbers etc were checked and they checked the married men apart from the single men so I don’t know what is going to happen. It started to rain at 1400hrs and it looks as if it is going to rain all night. So far the meals haven’t been bad


30 Sept Sun

Today is going to be a very quiet one and by the looks of things every day is going to be the same