BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in February 2012We've left it here for reference.More information

20 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site Print this page 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Extract of Diary: George Wilson,Senoir Radio Officer SS Cameronia

by grandseadevil

Contributed by 
People in story: 
George Reginald Wilson
Location of story: 
English Channel on and about D Day 1944
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
15 May 2004

May 21 19444
Anchored Loch Ewe at 10 am. Anchored till 4 pm then leave with Cit of Canterbury and Devonshire.

May 22nd
Pass through Pentland Firth at 8am .All quiet of E. Coast

May 23rd
Arive at ? noon .Full of ships of all sorts awaiting D.Day

At anchor,nothing doing

25th May
Leave ? for Southhampton at noon,speed 12knots,pick up ? and Lancashirefrom the Tyne

26th May
Pass along the East Anglian coast,enter the Thames.5pm ,anchored west of Southend at 7 pm.

27th May
Very hot , warching ships passing up and down the river.

28th May
Very hot,Sunbathing

29th May
nothing doing.

30th May
Recieved a letter from Edie,telling of safe journey home.

!st June
O/C troops arrive.

2nd June
Continiouse wave of bombers over tonight ,also many LSTs pass down river loaded up ,wont be long now.

No mail.LCI loaded with assault troopsleaving the river ,followed by LCT ,Liberty ships etc all loaded with men and materials.We mored pup at Gravesend at 6 am .What a sight ,every sort of craft carrying men amnd trucks .

4th June .
Embark troops ,and move out at 2 am . Think tomorrow will be D. Day . What activity here, we are only one small spot. Anchored at Southend for night ,weather deteriates wind from S.W. , long faces here ,is there going to be a delay?

5th June
Rome fell last night ; many LSI have left for the job.river busier than ever,conference at 7.30 . Recieved 8 letters from Edie, what a surprise.Tomorrow is D.Day,it cant be pursponed after the last few days,everyone is as keen as mustard.

6th June
Wave after wave of fighters flew over the ship this morning.This is D.Day,we leave at 11 am.pass through the Straits with a smoke screen.Air raid,Liberty ship on fire off he Goodwins.Peacefuly passage up channel towards Portsmouth .See Hastings and thought of the walks we had .

7th June .
Anchored off Portsmouth at 4 am .LCIs and LCTs returning from the beaches.LCI 181 has flag at half mast, shell hole in her side .Endless stream of LCs returning and leaving for the beaches . Warspite and Roberts return, crew yell at the troops" What are you waiting for , there is plenty of room over there" .Hospital shipsleave at 1 pm .many reurningships have damaged craft in tow , wonderfule effort made to get the damaged craft back to port. Major plays the bag pipes on deck at night , prepairing to lead the men ashore.tugs seem to be leaving with everything under the sun in tow,bridge pontoons etc.We are sailing a 11.30 with Leopoldville ,Worcester and two American Empire boats.eveyone is longing to get on with it.

8th June

8 am .We are there ,what a sight,as far as the eye can see,ships,ships and more ships, ovehead , hundreds of planes roar ,cruisers , etc shelling beach and jerry.Disembarking 8 pm.

9th June
Spent last night off the beaches. Air attack at 9.30 and continuing until midnight ,no casualties.Leave with escourt for Portsmouth at 9 am.Arrive Portsmouth at 5 pm.

10th June
At anchor off Coweswith numerouse other vessals.Beaches we were at Goldand Juno

11th June
Left for the Clyde.
( the ship then loaded for the invasion of Southern France)

An extract of the diaries of George Wilson ,Chief Radio Officer SS Cameronia

George first went to sea in the Merchant Navey in the 1930s as a Radio Officer,leaving in 1936.
He served through out the Second World War in the Merchant Navy and was sunk twice
He returned to his pre war occupation and became a manage at Pye of Cambridge
He died in 1992

Contributed by his son John Wilson

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Royal Navy Category
Diaries Category
D-Day+ 1944 Category
Mediterranean and European waters Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy