Monday 21st December 1942

Left Mai and Margaret at the dock gates, very sorrowfully, for I realised their helplessness, Yet I knew of Mai's capabilities to get on somehow. I was heartbroken to leave them but for some reason could not say so. Longing,  as I intended to do, wanted to do, say what was on my mind. The longing that I had to turn back.

After I had passed through I looked back, hoping yet fully knowing that I should not see them  for a long while. So I passed on to my ship and started work at once.

We left Avonmouth at 4.30 am . Got to Milford Haven where I wrote  two letters. One to Mai and Mum. We had a water boat along side, taking in fresh water. This was Tuesday. I tied the letters to a piece of wood and threw it to the boat ( for one of their crew to post) but the wind took it and blew it into the water. They retrieved it but they were no good so he tore them up. I was in the middle of serving tea and had to wait until the meal was over before I could write another. Then time only permitted me to write one before the boat left us. That was to both Mai &Mum. I gave him 1/- (one shilling) for posting it for me. I wrapped it up with the letter ok this time.

Having a good time, plenty of work but plenty of time off, eating good meals now, thanks to different surroundings. A wonderful moonrise tonight in harbour, could see across water, hills of land, moon shining on water, ship in the light of it all, anchored and looking very beautiful. Barrage balloons above shining like silver in the moonlight and land lights twinkling.

My job to assist giving  out bond, very cheap cigarettes and 'bacco. I had Woods. Ship's Woods are as big as Players and equally as good. 15/- for 500.

I've had no medicine yet, not needed and I have had a book from the library called "Ship Ashore". Time to read now.

What do you think, my mate nice, clean , quiet chap, young. Makes my bed for me.

Oh, we arrived at Milford at 12.30 pm and we actually had the Captain down to tea. He always has his meals on the Bridge. We were honoured.

Both boys new were sick on this comparatively quiet and short journey. I hope they won't continue being sick in the Irish Sea and the Atlantic.

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Let the journey begin

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