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This year we will be following the adventures of Miss Yellowly and her fellow Services Welfare Members in the South East Asia Command (SEAC). Look out for our regular installments each month. This week we start at the beginning with her journey from London to boarding the Mauretania in October 1945.
"Today the 20th Oct 1945. Sue Dorothy and baby
came to London (Euston Station) to wave me off. All the girls and myself were
thrilled to bits and very excited. We left Euston Station about 11am hardly
realising we were off. Arrived at Liverpool 3.40pm and boarded the bus for the
docks. We were all amazed to see the Mauretania in the dock and to know we
would be sailing on it. After seeing customs etc. we boarded the Mauretania and
what a moment, my cabin was on the main deck and I shared it with Nom Dewey,
Clare Chamberlain and Mrs Cranston, we are very comfortable. After a clean-up
we went out investigating walking around the decks and chatting to the soldiers.
There are about 6000 troops on board including about 60 girls. We had a lovely
dinner, pea soup, lamb, vegetables, fruit salad, rolls plenty of butter, coffee
or tea and I’m sure we all felt better after the meal. After dinner we went
into the lounge and wrote some letter cards and had another stroll around until
I slept like a log until 6 o’clock Sunday morning. We pushed
off 9 o’clock, we were in our own cabins and everything was so calm we didn’t
realise we were moving. We went on deck and it was a queer feel[ing] when I thought
of leaving England behind. We strolled about all day and in the evening there
was a concert given by local talent, it was funny seeing everybody sitting on
the prom deck on their lifebelts what a crowd, the concert was good and we
enjoyed it very much. By 10 o’clock at night we were beginning to rock, we are
now in the Bay of Biscay, I had a cup of tea (which was quite the wrong thing
to take) and when I got to my cabin I was very sick indeed ..."
We will re-join Miss Yellowly next month as the ship
approaches the Suez Canal as she and her fellow WVS members' journey to the SEAC.