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After Five Hard Years Dad made His Way Home from Malta.

by 365482

Contributed by 
365482
People in story: 
Cyril Johnson
Location of story: 
Malta G.C.
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A4436732
Contributed on: 
12 July 2005

This is a small diary entry written by my father after he spent five years on Malta from 1940 to 1945.

Saturday 21st April 1945
To be at Lascaris Wharf on Monday 23rd at 1400 hrs. (kit bags 0800) Medical forms signed etc.

Sunday 22April 1945
General waiting.

Monday 23 April 1945.
Cabled Edith. Embarked 1400 hrs on "Eastern Princess - cargo boat - converted trooper. We are trying to wangle our Lance tapes through.

Tuesday 24th April 1945
Sailed from Grand Harbour at 0943 as we took up boat stations. Gozo on the horizon very faintly 1300 hrs. Passed Pantellina at dusk.

Wednesday 25th April 1945
0630 off North African coast and Cape Bon. Two troopers going east. 1830 well off coast - occasionally visible - many hills. 17 ships since dinner going east.

Thursday 26th April 1945
Up for a wash 0615. Sailing into Algiers Bay. Long sandy firm water front. Many fine looking quaint buildings. Going back down at 0730. Oiling and watering French Silver Providence. Washing - a big curse aboard.

Friday 27th April 1945
Pulled out into Algiers Bay 1800 last night. Sailed at midnight so I'm told. Now going through choppy sea on breezy, cloudy day. Believe Gibraltar tomorrow morning.

Saturday 28th April 1945
Down about 0700 and as I went up on deck I saw the spanish coast for'ard on the starboard side. Gibraltar. Anchored about 0830 in Gibraltar Bay. About 10 troopers assembled during day - 15 or so merchant men sailed passed in the afternoon.

Sunday 29th April 1945
Still in Gib. We moved quarters yesterday and are now for'ard. I bet she'll heave a bit there in the Atlantic. Quarters much fresher and fewer rats. Sailed 1800 hrs.

Monday 30th April 1945
At sea. 12 troopers, 3 fast merchantmen, 5 frigates, 2 ocean-going tugs. Went slightly N of W for 12 hours (200 miles) then slightly W of N. Feeling a bit ill.

Tuesday May 1st 1945
Feeling very wobbly. Not sick and managed to eat, but she's rolling a bit as we get into the bay of biscay

Wednesday May 2nd 1945
Feeling better. Still smae course - bit W of N. At about sunset (10 O'clock) we changed course - N.E - rumour - 600 miles west of Ireland.

Thursday May 3rd 1945
Thank gppdness our cvouirse now just N of E - we must be heading for the Clyde. Weather cold, showery and misty at times.

Friday May 4th April 1945
Hope am home soon!

Saturday May 5th 1945
What's the little girl going to think about me? Ye Gods! What an experience the next week will be.

When Dad arrived in the Clyde, they had to wait a while as the dockers were on strike!
He later travelled home with an ex-Malta army friend.
As he approached home in Wickersley in a taxi, mum was on the front talking to her next door neighbour.

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