27 February 2013

Could Have Been Worse

Sydney Nylon Smuggler Fined  £303

London, February 26.  Frank Henry Rogers, of Sydney, who was a steward aboard the Queen Mary, was fined £303 today for smuggling 72 pairs of nylon stockings from New York ashore at Southampton. Two other members of the crew associated with him were fined £303 each.

- The Advertiser, Adelaide, South Australia, February 27, 1946

16 February 2013

The Silliness Strategy

Men Protest 'Overcrowding' On Queen Mary

NEW YORK, Feb. 16--(AP)--The British liner Queen Mary, carrying 1,779 passengers, including 1,310 military personnel, sailed for Southampton, England, early today, after a five-day delay caused by the tugboat strike.

More than 1,000,000 gallons of fuel oil was pumped aboard the liner yesterday. The tugboat walkout, which was called out Wednesday night pending arbitration, had prevented refueling.

Included among her passengers were 700 British naval ranks who walked off the ship for two hours last night in protest against "overcrowding." They returned to the vessel at midnight when naval officers assured them they would received better accommodations if they "stopped being silly."

- Ottawa Citizen, February 16, 1946

14 February 2013



By Gilbert Mant, Former Soldier of the 8th Division.

On the afternoon of February 14, 1941, the Queen Mary began her stately passage down Sydney Harbour towards the Heads. Her decks and rigging were crammed with troops. There were thousands of them from nearly every State in the Commonwealth. They were the cream of the 8th Division.

It was a brave farewell with flags flying and bands playing. Now the Queen Mary was swaying as she met the ocean swell. The cheering had died down. The men of the 8th Division, even then unaware of their destination, stood at the rails gazing back. For all they knew, it might be their last glimpse of Australia, and they wanted to photograph it on their minds.

That was how the 8th Division sailed away more than three years ago. A brave farewell, with flags flying and bands playing for a brave company of Australians. Only a handful of those men have made that passage back through Sydney Heads; for the rest, their journey ended on February 16, 1942, when Singapore formally surrendered to the Japanese.

The 8th Division were fated to spend nearly a year of frustration in Malaya before they went into action. When the novelty of new scenes and new faces had worn off, they found the East neither mysterious nor glamorous.

It was in this savagely unhappy mood that the 8th Division--23,258 men--found themselves in December, 1941, when the Japanese struck at the northern tip of Malaya...seldom have troops welcomed hostilities as passionately as these men did.

- The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, February 14, 1944

12 February 2013

Hey, Ladies

The Queen Mary Reaches New York

NEW YORK, Monday.--The Queen Mary arrived from Southampton yesterday with 2334 wives of American servicemen. Eleven U.S. Army tugs guided the vessel to the pier through heavy ice floes.

- The Advocate, Burnie, Tasmania, February 12, 1946

10 February 2013

Shine A Light

Warning Beam for the "Queen Mary"

A new safety measure for the "Queen Mary" is being experimented with in Messrs. John Brown's shipyard at Clydebank, and if the tests are successful the liner will have a powerful light beam connected with the ship's wireless system which will form an arc extending for four miles in the direction the "Queen Mary" is steaming. Any obstacle, such as an iceberg or wreck, will break this beam, and an officer in the charthouse will receive a warning flash. The liner's course can then be immediately changed.

In the "Queen Mary" is a miniature broadcasting house equipped with transmitting and receiving apparatus unequalled in any ship afloat. Incidents in the liner on her first voyage will be broadcast to stations in England and America, and relayed to millions of listeners.

- The Daily News, Perth, Western Australia, February 10, 1936