My trip to the SEAC with WVS: the Diary of Services Welfare member Miss Yellowley

This week we return to the Mauretania and the adventures of Miss Yellowley on her way to the South East Asia Command.

We rocked all night and all day of Monday the 22nd most of the party were sick, I stayed in bed all day living on two day biscuits and an apple.

Tuesday 23rd nearly everybody feeling better got out of the bay and in the straits it’s a lovely day sun shining beautiful and feels quite warm we are all up on deck enjoying the sun at 11 o’clock we shall be having lifebelt drill. The time has been put on 1 hour and already we can feel the difference in the weather we are passing the coast of Spain and can see the hills in the distance. After lunch sunbathed until time to dress for dinner, the food here is excellent. After dinner we went to an open air concert on the deck it is a glorious moon light night and the deck is floodlit and everybody sitting around on their life saver. Babs sang two songs for the troops and quite a number of chaps sang and various other things it was very good and we enjoyed it very much. While we were listening to the concert we had passed by the rock of Gibraltar about 9o’clock it was all lit up but I was very sorry I hadn’t seen it, we are now in the Mediterranean.

Wednesday 24th it is a lovely day the sun is shining beautiful and it is getting quite hot. Everybody on deck is gradually getting into shorts and sun bathing and the sea looks divine, we are on deck sewing for the troops, the piles of sewing are gradually getting bigger and it looks as though we’re in for a good time. We can see the Libyan coast and we have come in quite close to Algeria, we had really good views of these places. In the evening there was a concert and dance for the troops on the lower deck, it was jolly good and ended another grand day.

Thursday, a lovely day we did the usual things sitting about and sewing etc. passed the island of Pantelleria off the Sicilian Coast. In the afternoon we passed Malta not very close to it and that will be the last land we shall until we reach Port Said on Friday morning. In the evening we went to the pictures and saw Sonja Heni in “Wintertime” enjoyed the skating scenes very much but the story was poor, after the pictures there was a dance and concert in the officers lounge and that was very good and I had a good time at midnight the clocks were advanced one hour, now we are two hours ahead of British time.

Friday we all woke up feeling tired but got up on deck and the skies were very grey. Soon after it started to rain and we went inside and squatted down anywhere we could find a spot. After lunch the sun was shining again and we were on deck until dinner, there was a grand concert in the Officers Lounge for the troops and the girls were invited it was very good indeed. At midnight the clocks were again advanced one hour, that is 3 hours since we left England. Saturday about 9o’clock we were just at the entrance of the Suez Canal, it was a glorious sight …

We will join Miss Yellowley again in a few weeks when she travels through the canal and there is more sewing to be done.

Posted by Jennifer Hunt, Deputy Archivist at 09:00 Monday, 13 February 2017.

Labels: WVS, , Services Welfare, , SEAC, , Mauretania, , Suez Canal, , diary

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