09 January 2009

Battleships with Cyril

Another entry from Sgt. Hanson of the RAF, dated January 9, 1943, as he continued to keep his clandestine diary aboard the Queen Mary, now a troop ship ferrying soldiers from Australia to the Middle East:

Breakfast not good this morning up on deck until 11:30am & play Battleships with Cyril. It's a trifle breezy so go below. Cripps has lent me "Kippo" , I remember I saw the film. Dinner today was terrible, salt beef, potatoes, carrots, no vitamins in any of it & catseyes (tapioca) to follow. At 2.30pm we have our first pay parade since being on board & the first pay I've received since Compton Bassett. For the past week I've been broke, started Sunday with 9 1/4d & for the past three or four days I have had only the farthing. I owe Lionel 5/- [five shillings] -- 2/6 for EMF telegram & 2/6 for sunspecs so that we leave [sic] me 5/-. I buy some cigarettes & chocolate & I'm left again with 1/10 1/4d [one shilling and 10 pence farthing]. After pay parade I decide to dress in home scale blue as its quite chilly. We've been going E.S.E. since leaving Capetown and its been gradually getting cooler. The tea today was worse than ever, some sort of polony, how the Americans put up with such stuff as spam and Frankfurter sausages beats me, unless the stuff we get is for export only [ha!]. Up on boat deck again after tea, blackout is at 7.20pm & some piecans are smoking after blackout time so the order is given to clear decks. That's the trouble if one person misbehaves everyone must suffer. I play two more games, this time with Keith Greenshields & turn in for a read & an early night.

Glossary
piecan: idiot
polony: bologna
"Kippo": I have no idea but I assume it's a book 

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