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”
What is your name Qual e il vastro nome:
How old are you Quanti arni avete
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.
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
1 November Thursday
Nothing doing very much today. I went to a ERS lecture this morning, it was about housing, I learnt quite a lot I didn’t know before. Wrote Janet three cards tonight. It started to rain very heavy about 1900hrs but by the time we were ready for bed it had stoped There was terrific thunder and lighting with it.
2 Nov Friday
Only three days to go we told ourselfs this morning but at 1500hrs word came round that the boat had been put forward 10 days, this will (if it is right) make our date about the 15th of this month. So far we have had the dates as such 26th, or 24th Nov and now this new one
3 Nov Saturday
Our boat has been put forward 10 days so the date will be the 18th. Went to the pictures tonight. I haven’t received any mail from Janet for 3 weeks.
4 November Sunday
Today as usual was very quiet. Wrote Janet card
5 November Mon
Today is Janet’s birthday she is 27 today the same age as myself. I had saved a bottle of beer from my last issue so I drank her health and happiness for the future. At one time I had hopes of being home for her birthday but now we will have to fight hard to be home for christmas
6 November Tuesday
Wrote Janet a card. Never went to the pictures tonight as I didn’t think I would like it. Went to the ERS workshop and made the pattern for our glass shelf in the bathroom I also made a good tooth brush rack for two, the bath jobs were made out of perspex
7 November Wed
I had my new slacks fixed up today, loops on the top and I had the bottoms widened from 29” to 22 ½ “ They don’t look so bad now. Went to the pictures tonight and seen “Where Salome __________” (fair) The weather is cold now and the rain is holding off so far.
8 November Thursday
This morning for breakfast we had egg powder making it the third morning running. The food is very scarse and we are just getting enough to eat and that’s all. There has been another cut of 20% this makes 60% cut now of the rations we were getting when we first came down here 5 weeks ago. 800 more men are coming off the draft for NZ they will be going to Egypt now, the date will be Sunday 11th. There are only a few single chaps here left of the NZ roll for this boat, all the married men are going home
9 November Fri
We have only a week to go now until we get on the boat. The days are cold now too. Pictures tonight
10 November Sat
Another cold day. The chaps who are going to the ME are going on Tuesday now instead of Monday(ME would be Middle East)
11 November Sun
It rained for a while this morning but not very heavy. Played bridge after tea. Ray Jarden arrived down here this afternoon he is going home with us he is a 11th but as his wife is very sick so he has got Compos Leave
12 November Mon
The chaps who are going to the M.E. packed up today it took them nearly all day to get done. Med Parade, pay parade just as we will be doing them in two days
13 November Tuesday
Rex Ball arrived Italy
At 0630hrs this morning it started to rain and at the time the boys left it reached its peak. They got pretty wet before they actually left the camp. The rain continued all day and all night. It was very cold too. Received my list of Bulletins from England. Wrote Tom Stoke(?) and give him the list of what I wanted. Spent most of the day in our tents. In bed at 1730hrs and read a book
14 November Wed
Today we changed our money. I put in 6 pound, 4 pounds for myself and 2 pounds for Ray Farden. “Short Arm” inspection. Rex left us today for Florence, he was around with me most of the time he was here. Pictures tonight The Naughty Ninetys “Costello Abbot”
15 November Thursday
Our boat has been put on 24hrs so we leave on Saturday instead of Friday as before. We will be very lucky to get home for Christmas now. A fine day today. Had a trial pack this afternoon. I shall have two large bags one down the hold and one with me. Picture “Black Swan”
16 November Fri
This is our last day in Italy. We are leaving at 0845hrs tomorrow morning. We have to hand in our blankets and webb etc at 0630hrs in the morning. We shall be going on the boat at 1015hrs in the morning. Our bag for the hold is being taken on board this afternoon. We collect our BMA at 1400hrs this afternoon. I arrived in this country (Italy) 2 years 10 days today. I have been overseas 2 years 6 months now. In the army altogether 3 years, 2 months 5 days today
17 November Sat
Left Adv Base at 0905hrs and traveled to TARANTO in trucks. The day is fine and warm.After waiting on the wharf for some five minutes we went aboard lighters and so onto our ship the “MOOLTAN” We left the shores of Italy at 1021hrs and it ws the end of the winter for us, within a week we will be in a much warmer part of the world. There are quite a few men on this boat and just about every “service arm” is represented even if only by half a doz. We embarked on the ship at 1050hrs. At 1400hrs the ship pulled out of the harbour and we were soon on our long way home. We were told that there were three ports of call. Tufick first then Colombo, on to Freemantle and then home. We would be arriving in NZ somewhere near Dec 21st so we should help to bring some happiness home with us for Christmas. Our quarters are not the best, we are sleeping in hammocks above our mess tables. Last night (today) I tried to sleep in my hammock but my back ached terrible so my sleep was almost nill I am going to sleep on the table tonight if I can. This ships top speed is 17 knots.
18 November Sun
We had to get up this morning at 0615hrs, breakfast is at 0645hrs so getting up is necessary. Today is a bit rougher and we are all feeling a wee bit off colour. I hope I am alright because I have been a good sailor up to now. We have been playing “bridge” most of the time so far. Was in bed by 2100hrs
19 November Mon
Today is our last one in the “Med” We will reach Port Said during the night. A very quiet day aboard ship
20 November Tuesday
When we got up this morning we were outside Port Said. After letting some South A’s off also some Poles we were all ready to get on our way again. Only vegetables had to be loaded on. I sent Janet a “special” air card. They were printed on the ship by the crew and they were very nice costing us threepence. We got under way again at 1220hrs and once again I was going through the Suez Canal. We were stoped about 1530hrs and we waited for two aircraft carriers to come through. These were the only aircraft carriers I have ever seen and they were there in all their glory. By tea time we were on our way again but I never seen anymore of the canal in daylight
21 November Wed
We were in Tufick this morning erly about 0500 hrs We are still here and the time is now 1245hrs. A very busy morning indeed, water and oil has been pouring into our tanks all morning. There are 1000 more men on board now, they are the 8ths that was left in Egypt. Reclassified 15ths and married 9ths. I don’t think we will be here very much longer as soon as the oil etc is on we will be on our way. I don’t think we will be here in the morning anyhow. I bought an Egyptian handbag from the “Wogs” that came alongside it cost me a pound but it is not so very good therefore I don’t think Janet will be wanting. I shall give it to young Norma I think (that’s if Janet doesn’t like it of course). There are one or two things to come on yet so I just heard, only time will tell I suppose. After loading some 1100 men on board we left Tufick at 1715hrs and headed into the Red Sea. It is getting warmer every day now, soon we shall be getting about only wearing shorts.
22 November Thursday
This morning found us well into the Red Sea. The sun is becoming very hot now. Living conditions are not so good now the heat combined with the salt sea-air makes our bodies feel very sticky at times but every day is a day nearer home and to Janet my dear wife.
23 November Fri
Our kits that we left in Egypt when we came over to Italy are now on the boat and we are allowed to get them for 24 hours. This will allow me to put a lot of things in mine when I get it, within a few days. The meals are still very good and they seem —— to continue to be the same for the rest of the voyage. They have stopped the sale of tobbaco for a few days. We were asked today for men to volunteer to work in the RNZAF WO1 Mess, we! Were asked , we of the army! I don’t think they shall get one. Our group “5” goes on ships fatigue on Sunday it lasts a week. I hope to get a good job and it will help to pass the time away for a week. Another week should see us in Colombo
24 November Sat
Today is our last in the Red Sea. During the day we were passing small islands and darkness came before we reached Aden. This time we passed ADEN at 2300hrs. Played bridge after tea
25 November Sun
This is our first day on fatigues and our group is on for a week. I was given a job for this morning but I couldn’t find the part of the boat I had to go to. We have now been on the boat for 8 days. We are due at Colombo either on the 29th or 30th of this month. Today was washing day for the troops and the top deck was covered with clothes just like thousands of flags. Bruce Coburn was down to see me today and I asked him if he would look after my battle dress for me until I needed it to get off when we reach New Zealand. Since we left Egypt the food has not been so good as it was the first three days at sea but I may say the meals are still very good and they will have to drop a long way until they come down to the army level that was set in Italy at ADV.BASE
26 November Mon
This morning we seen the last of Africa the most Eastern point . About an hour after we sighted two islands and then we were on the way to Colombo which is going to be the next land we will see for four days or more. The “Cap” said he hopes to get into Colombo by Saturday 1st Dec, now about 20 minutes to 2am. If this is right we should leave again for Freemantle at noon or later. Doing the speed we are now doing we should get there :Freemantel about the 9th or 10th and 9 or 10 days more will bring us about home arriving there about the 19th or 20th Dec. Life on ship is very dull now we have to do the same things every day. Had a talk with young Frank Allan. Played bridge after tea
27 November Tuesday
Best distance on trip so far. 383 Miles. We have been aboard ship 10 days today the time, although hard to pass, seems to be slipping by alright. We have just a little over three weeks to spend on the boat yet before we reach home. The sun is hot now and I have been getting a bit browner than I was when I came on the boat
28 November Wed
We received another NAT PAT issue today. 1 pkt biscuits, 1 tube tooth paste, and 1 cake of chochlate per man. I hope to get my “base kit” tomorrow morning at 1100hrs. In the 24 hours ending at 1200hrs today we had travelled 372 mls. Today for some unknown reason was not as hot as it should have been. We are now 2 ½ days off Colombo. I will have to write Frances a card tomorrow so it can be posted at Colombo on Sat the mail closes at 1000hrs on Friday. Although we are only a short distance from India we havn’t yet seen any sharks and I havn’t heard of anybody seeing one either
29 November Thursday
Today we came upon some islands, there was plenty of growth on them too. All afternoon it was showery and this was the first time I had ever seen rain at sea, there has been rain of course but I never had the chance to see any of it. To me it seemed funny to see rain pelting down on the deck with sea everywhere. We are due at Colombo about 1900hrs tomorrow. So far we have seen very little sea life
30 November Fri
Arrived in Colombo at 2000hrs. It was too dark to see very much only the lights of the harbour was all we could see. As usual in these ports, boats come fussing around here too but we were in bed by 2130hrs. It was very hot down in the ship tonight