The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
8th December, 1946 - Underway, Ron witnesses a lunar eclipse and is frustrated by poor "blanket" etiquette on board ship.
Sunday, 8th December, 1946
After a sound night's rest I was awakened at seven by the Deck
Sargeant’s cheery voice shouting “Wakey, wakey, rise & shine!” or words to
I half rolled, half fell, out of the hammock and pulled on that part
of my uniform I discarded. I folded my
blankets and hid them from ‘borrowers’ and packed my hammock away. Then I took my washing kit and queued up
outside the ablutions. Shaving was
difficult with cold water but it seems we will get used to it.
Nothing exciting happened today.
A church service was conducted by and Air Force Padré this morning. The sea was a little choppy in the early part
of the day but was very calm at with bright sunshine. In the
afternoon we passed an Island which I think was Corsica. Just before retiring we saw
two lighthouses which we supposed were on Sardinia.
A cinema show was held on deck but was not very successful as only
one projector was used. The troops
voiced their disapproval everytime a reel was changed.
At about 6.50pm “Egyptian Time” a total eclipse of the moon
occurred. This we saw very well. A “running commentary” was given by one of
the ship’s company who opened with “A total eclipse of the moon is about to
commence, it will begin in the bottom left hand corner.”
My blankets were missing when I retired tonight. I soon found mine but someone else’s were
missing then. This stupid state of
affairs is gone through every night and sometimes during the night.