A continuation of the previous letter.
We are now three days out of Capetown and the weather is not too brilliant, quite a keen wind blowing My watch is still keeping good time, it hasn’t lost a second yet, touch wood. Since we left Capetown we have had to put our watches on three hours which is three hours sleep that we have lost. Yesterday I finished off my box of Milk Tray so I have only got about 1/2 lb of caramels and two bars of chocolate left now.
I am enclosing some cuttings out of the “Cape Argus” which I think you will find interesting. It will give you a better description of our “day out” than I can give. Don’t destroy them though will you as I want to keep them. One of them also has a paragraph or two on the British soccer. I see the Blues beat Chelsea with three internationals paying for Wales and Lawton playing for his new club. What price did they pay for him by the way. Fancy Scotland beating Wales, I see Dearson was playing at back. Birmingham certainly have got quite a few backs haven’t they. Also the Villa are still hanging on behind them, 21 points apiece.
In one of the pictures it shows you the South Africans going ashore in a tug. Well it was boats like that that we climbed down onto and you can see the height of the “Aquitania” from one of the other photos so you can guess it was a ticklish job especially with a rough sea at the time. I wish I could have had a camera with me while we were in Table Bay, it was a marvellous sight to see the range of hills and Table Mountain and nestling around the foot of them the town itself. Half way up the mountains was a forest of palm trees which made a lovely contrast to the grey of the mountains and red and white of the buildings and the bright blue sea. It would have made a beautiful painting. Still when I am in Australia I shall definitely get a camera and if I come back to England this way then I shall make sure of getting some snaps. It was really worth taking.
Yesterday we heard on the wireless that 21 of the troops were missing in Capetown. Three of those were killed I know, two of them fell in the water trying to get ashore and were drowned and one of them collapsed while he was ashore and died. There were dozens of chaps got beat up while they were ashore in fights with the locals. We were told that it isn’t safe for us to walk around by ourselves at night. One chap, an Australian had a pick axe right through his shoulder but I think he will be alright as it didn’t hit the bone and they say he has been stitched up quite O.K. All the others who are missing are deserters I expect. Two Australians took their full kit ashore with them and intend staying there for a few months. They had both been in prison camps in Germany for three years and said they were barbed wire happy.
Well I think that is about all the news for the time being so I will sign off until next time,
So all my love,
x x x x x x x
P.S. Many happy returns of the day Mom & Jean. I am afraid I am a bit late but when I get to Australia I will see what I can buy for you and will send it on to you.
Remember me to all of the gang.
x x x x x x x