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
Did not do any work again, to hot, just sit around and swet. We must all be losing weight. Bed bugs still around some more chaps lost there bunks yesterday. Clocks back ½ hr makes 6 ½ hours.
Still very hot. New Amsterdam left us was convoyed by the light cruiser just as she was going away another ship was sighted on the horison. Very well worked out we thought. The time was 1400hrs. The ship that we seen was only a armed Merchantman, so I hope we don’t meet anything , expect to reach land Monday
Clocks back 1/2hr. Still don’t know for certain whether the Art is going to M. East yet. Will be on this boat another 10 to 14 days yet past over the line at 1000hrs or there abouts don’t know yet the exact time. Going west now time 1700hrs. Seen no sharks yet but hope to soon.
Escort left us at night. Wind very strong. Clocks go back ½ hour. Right down to 2/- again. Won 30/- again playing pontoon. Expect to be in port Sunday or Monday our letters will be droped there. Having a cold bath every night (salt water) Getting a ration of Lime juice twice a day. Received a voucher for 8d from the Pat board.
3 weeks at sea. Sea very rough and wind strong. A monsoon. We will move out of it soon we hope. Some of the boys not feeling so good. Received so far from the pat board 3 pac cigs, 2 apples 3 pears 2 cakes of soap.
Clocks back 1 hour. Clocks now back 8 ½ hrs..
Sighted land 1350hrs. Arabia. Pulled into Aden and dropped anchor at 1630hrs. Seen our first Camel. It was walking along the street. We could see from the ship buildings are all grey stone and a lot of them have flat roofs . It is great to see the blacks. We have to get oil here. Can see the ———– Hotel, but ¼ mile over water have to go dry. Some of the natives are black as coal (——– up until tie up) Freemantle to Aden 14 days 23hours 30 min. Aden built on solid rock.
Left Aden 0900hrs no escort . Two other ships came in about 0600hrs. Tommies were on them. The blacks selling mellons 1/- ea. Bananas 12 for 2/- green and soft. Heat still bad on the boat. Entered Red Sea very calm like a lake. Land on either side. Dolphins very plentiful. A hot wind like a north west at home.
Sea a bit rough today. Seen first shark one about 7 – 8 ft long , first one so far. We are now within range of the enemys planes long range, A lot of chaps have got the runs. The doctor said the water is the cause that is the water we got from Aden. Canteen closed up. Expect to land Friday 11th.
The weather is a bit cooler now, the last two nights have been alright. Paterson —– and I started a board 1 – 6 and threw the dice. We made about 10 pounds between us. I have now got 8pound again. The clocks went back ½ hour that makes 91/2 hours behind NZ. Got 2 oranges, 2 pks cigs, 1pk tobacco 4 apples, 1 cake chock from the Patriotic Fund.
Port Tewfick. Landed 1330hrs out in stream. There were a lot of boats there. Had our first look at the Wogs. They are very dirty and very black. We came ashore in fighters about 100 per boat. It was great to see some of our own boys and are they brown. We seen all sorts of ———– too. Went through Cairo 1930hrs. Great buildings.
Our first day in Egypt. We had tea at 2130hrs last night and then to bed, up at 0530 this morning, it does not get hot until about 0900hrs and then until about 1700hrs. After that it starts to cool down, it is very cool at night and it never seems to get dark at night. We can see the three pyramids from our camp. Our camp is Mena Camp
I think Dad was in this camp last time. So far our food is very good. The glare of the sand is very bad.hard on the eyes.. Got paid today 1 pound equale to 1 pound and 7pence. The water here is pretty good but it is very warm. I suppose we will get used to that. Have not seen Norm yet for he is in Maadi MC about 14 miles from here.
Got payed 100 Akers (?) for a bottle of drink 31/2 A/C 8d Large cake choc 20/A 4/- 6 sticks gum 4/A 10d. There are some wonderful things over here to buy but we would have to be getting 5 pounds per week to get all we wanted, somethings are cheap and some are very dear. Sunglasses 4/- about double our price.
Went to Mence (?) and seen the grounds and sphinks, they are very interesting and old. It cost 20 Ahkers for 5 of us for a guide. We got some orange drinks which were very cold and we seen our first girl and what a beautie. Went into a shop and it was full of tinned salmon and other things we have never seen at home for years.
Marched past bridge and then had talks on health . We have not had any leave yet. There has not been any cards been played here yet, reason, money very short. Things aare very dear here. Got oranges again.
Went to Mena again got a guide half-way in but had to walk home 3 miles. Had my first wiskey no good don’t like it. Have not had any beer here yet. I don’t think it is much good. 6 of us went to Merva (?) House one round 53 Ahkers equals 10 shillings 7 ½ pence. Got home 2200hrs.
One week in Egypt. Done squad drill all morning in the hot. I am getting very brown about the arms and legs. Morning tea this morning, tea and watermelon, for dinner tonight we had oranges chopped up into boiled rice, we got orange for lunch again with other stuff besides of course. We get 50 Cigs and two matches every week free.
Getting used to the weather a bit already. In Cairo there are hundreds of tailor shops all hand done. Seen some good purses around 150Ak will get one next week when I get some more money. Had an Ice cream first since I left NZ with fruit. 4AK about it cheaper, about double.
Had first leave into Cairo went in by trucks we had to ware longs for at night the are marlaria Mossccators about, we were pested with boot blacks they are just kids but they can sure polish shoes. Went to Globe Cabaret 5AC to get in. Went into some dark streets to see some of the low class and are they dirty.
No more rout marches for a week M.O. said that we had been getting too much for one week and that it was the wowwrk that we were doing that was upsetting us, for we are far from used to the climate over here yet so they cut it down a lot. Expect to be posted to the Div. in about 3 weeks.
Went in on leave just went around town with some chaps. I have got a bit more sense now and did not get————– but they got mixed up with some bootblacks. Seen some more wonderful things to-day. We went to the Bazaar, that is the place where they make all the shops for the shops but the prices high.
The chaps are going down like flies . We have 40 in hospital out of 220 so you see what the climate is like, nine went into town into the hospital tonight. One or two dust storms are passing through our camp and are they a curse . Everything we have gets covered in sand our ears a good catcher to, not so bad on the eyes.
Received a letter from Norm. Had to fix up leave, change Fridays for today meet him at 2.45 outside NZ Club. It was great to see him again, he has aulted very much. He said I seemed to himjust like a kid he told me some great tales. We had a great day together I left him at 9.45. He wants to get home.
Not feeling so good. Have got a small pain in my tummy I don’t know what it is yet. I hope it is not the runs. There is a lot of disentory amongst the boys . There is only 3 out of our unit not had them yet. Changed 1 Aus pound got 68 Ahkers for it have got one more note left, but have got about 25/- in silver
Still feeling funny I hope it does not come to anything. Sold a NZ shilling to a chap for 5 AK made ½ AK. The weather is getting a bit hotter now. Our camp area has now been proclaimed a malarias area. There are 4 in hospital with malaria now we have to ware our long pants with shirt sleeves rolled down.
Went to Cairo Zoo, seen my first live snakes, python also. There were mostly beasts from Africia, birds also. We traveled 20 miles in the tram for 2 ½ d very cheap. Have seen no gambling going on yet since we landed. We had ice-cream and orange drinks 8 ½ Ahker each at the——– a open air sort of grill or tea rooms.
Got my C.Hat changed this is the first change I have had since I first got it., so now I got a pommy’s hat a bran new one now. Still getting plenty of water melons nearly every day. Had no oranges for about a week. For dinners we get a lot of tomatoes, melons, fig jam to. Puddings getting a wee bit worse lately
Had no mail yet but I suppose I am expcting to much to soon. I am hoping to get a cake with our first mail. The heaat is not so great yet but the worst time is at mess times when we are having lunch and tea. We sweat very bad for there is so many in such a confined space.
Pay day again. I had to get some this week as I never got any last week. I am trying to get some more credit in my pay book in case I want some money in a hurry sometime. No cricket this week we played last week, a Essex Reg team. I made 12. I hope to be playing in two or three weeks.
Left Wellington 0720hrs Dominion Monarch. 27155 tons Gross. Circled around the harbour twice and then straight out must have made a very wide turn for we did not know if for a long time that we was going along the East Coast of NZ. We went right around the bottom of NZ did not even see Stewart Island it was very cold an icy wind.
One day out the sea was rough and a lot of the boys are sick, there is a mess that will have to be cleaned up when we are all right again as it is no use doing it until everybody is alright again.
2 days out , alright but sea very rough boys still sick
3 days out at 0720hrs. Sea balm wind cold. Still feeling alright. Don’t know where we are going. I think
4 days out 0720hrs
Clocks have now been put back 3 ½ hours. 5 days out
6 days out Clocks ½ back. Passed under a storm , could not see anything above us but the horison was as clear as anything. A very good sight in its way. Watched the sun rise and seet within the usual 12 hrs a truly wonderful sight out of the sea and back On guard.
7 days out at 0715hrs
We now have three Cruisers for our escort. Should pull in to Freemantle at 1400hrs. Time now 0830 hrs no sight of land yet, it is a fine day. Sea very calm.
Sighted land 1200hrs. Berth at Freemantle 1700hrs. Trained in goods cars to Perth 12 miles did not see much of city was to late. Slums terrible. Got drunk first time in my life and the last I hope. Vomited terribly. Wellington to Fremantle 18 days 8hrs 30min
Marched through Freemantle. Very hard rain after tea. Jumped boat, caught bus to Perth bought 24 oranges 6/- Also 3lb grapes 2/- Still feel sick from being drunk.
New Amsterdam arrived in Freemantle 1015hrs 3000 yanks from Islands, they are going with our convoy. They got leave we did not, the Aussie people could not cope with the crowd. Was still raining this morning.. Down to 6/4 ½
Left Freemantle 0937 hrs so good bye Aussie. Lost at cards again this brings me down to 1pound 2/6. A week ago I had 11 pounds. We have two light cruisers for an escort. W.A. people very broadminded and friendly. Licensed brothels which I never even seen. Good homes in Perth. Fremantle houses very slum, wood and dirty, just a seaport.
Going NW from Aussie.
Were told to put shorts on. I changed mine, cold wind. I think our next port is Durban, S.Africa. Sighted a small whale could see spout from it about 400yds (star) Time 0940hrs. Sea rolled bad last night things falling everywhere, plates etc. One ship (cruiser) left us during the night. Clocks go back ½ hr.
Seen flying fish size of herring flew about 30yds. Bed ticks were found today, just ripped down bunks and put them out the porthole, then slept on the floor. My cabins alright so far, was feeling sick but was only dried apricots I ate at dinner. Done the same thing last time shall have no more. Clocks go back another ½ hour. Are going to spray the whole of A deck tomorrow with Flit (?)
It is now 14 days since we left Wellington at 0715hrs. Today very hot. Guards allowed to wear shorts on duty. Put clocks back another ½ hour. Met on the boat. Val Osbourn, Maurice Borland (school)
Coming to the equator, very hot. Have seen a fish they call the Bombay duck. It can be seen in the water at night. It shines like a light it looks like a gel(?) Sea calm. Cigs, tobacco, bic, Cig papers getting short on the boat. I think we are going to Aden
Very hot again . Wrote to Frances ready to post at the next port of call don’t know what it is yet Aden most likely. Escort vessel had gun practise. Got payed received 1 pound. Clocks went back another ½ hour