1st December 1945

Dear Mom & Dad,

Just to let you know that I received three letters from you this morning safely. The last one was dated 14.11.45 so I expect there will probably be some more on Monday as the mail from Britain has been delayed. Altogether I had twenty three letters so you can guess I shall be pretty busy for a day or two.

Tomorrow I am playing for the ship’s cricket team against a local Marine team. They broadcast anyone interested to play for the team to report and we had a trial. As they wanted a wicketkeeper I managed to get selected so I hope I manage to do O.K. Not bad considering there are 10000 men here.

You will be pleased to know that the washing facilities here are very good and this afternoon I did all my dirty washing. This morning they told us that we shall get paid next Wednesday so I shan’t have to wait all that long. I expect it will be about £4 or £5, we get tropical pay out here, another 6d a day I think it is.

Isn’t Jack S. lucky to get straight back so quickly after going abroad.

I think there is a good chance that I may bump into Bill H. as there is a good percentage of chaps go from here to Hong Kong.

Those two chaps who I met on the “Aquitania” are both on the photo. I forget their whereabouts on the photo. There is also one here who comes from Birmingham, Edwards is his name, I believe he is sitting down in the front line, a blonde chap who looks a proper “weed”.

Pleased to hear about the fowl, there is certainly no shortage of eggs here. We always have two at least when we have eggs and sometimes we get three. Last night we had steaks, tomatoes and two eggs and yesterday we had peaches and ice cream. I don’t know what the Navy is coming to. Tonight for supper we had liver, mash and sausages.

Tell Jean I think the poly photo is very good, quite a lot of my mates wanted to know if I had any “gash” (naval term for tit bits that a person doesn’t want).

How is the car running lately, has the petrol ration been increased yet. I don’t expect you use it so much now with all the foggy weather.

Did you both have a good birthday, I bet you had a sponge sandwich cake and tons of little cakes. Boy what would I give to dig my teeth into one of them now.

I am enclosing some more cuttings out of the Sydney “Daily Mirror” this time giving a bit more news of the “Aquitania”. Seems as though we were quite a rough crowd doesn’t it what with breaking ashore at Capetown and Sydney and throwing “good” shoes at M.P.S. It is a bit of an exgatteration (is that spelt right?) about the shoe actually it was taken out of the rubbish tins. By the way I had my photo taken by a newspaper reporter in Wednesday. When we pulled in alongside the dock I was standing at a big steel door in the side of the ship with a lot of Aussies and he took a snap of the “returning Aussies”. I bought two papers but it wasn’t in either and as I wasn’t particularly ‘flush’ I couldn’t afford to go around buying copies of all the Sydney newspapers.

The caption in Graham’s photo album reads: H.M.T. Aquitania, the last 4 funnelled liner arriving at Woolloomooloo, Sydney on November 28th 1945. The 45,000 ton ship carried some 2000 Australian servicemen returning from war time service in England. The ship left Southampton on October 28th, and travelled to Australia by way of Freetown – Sierra Leone, Capetown – South Africa, Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and then to Sydney. Photograph reproduced from picture in the Sydney ‘Daily Telegraph’.

By the way you should see their papers, thirty odd pages and the “News of the World” has nothing on it. Talk about freedom of the press, they certainly have it out here. Did you read about that French swimsuit case (it reported it was in the British papers) a girl was hired to walk in a fashion parade  with a swim suit on (french model) Well evidently the higher class of people thought it was shocking. The case was splashed across the headlines in two inch letters, while atom bomb discussions, fighting in Java and Palestine was on page 2. To give you an idea of how “shocking” it was she was fined – 10/-.

Well I think that is about all I can think of at the moment as I wrote to you yesterday so – all my love
P.S. Tell Uncle Harry that I had celery for tea. Very tasty – very sweet.


Apart from the above photograph, the newspaper clippings appear to be missing. Sadly, I can’t find any reference to the intriguing shoe-throwing incident.


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