The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Monday, 17 February 2014
12th & 13th April, 1948 - Settling to life on board - swinging hammocks on deck.
We are now getting settled down to our
temporary home. The messing is good and
the sleeping which we do in hammocks on deck, is passable. These are the main things, for the others we
manage. Toilets if hurried are completed
every morning early.
For recreation we can walk the decks or lie
on them with a book or just lie talking.
Over the inter-com system we get musical programmes and the news and in
the late evening some of the ships crew get out their instruments for a sing
The Police are wandering around trying to use
all 2nd class facilities but so far I think the only ones who have
escaped the Red Caps detection are those in civilian garb who use the 2nd
The sea has been like a mill pond all day
and this morning we saw an island off the coast of Crete.
Every night now the population of deck
sleepers increases. The chaps are
beginning to realise the advantages of sleeping up in the clean open air.
Recreation facilities are becoming
routine. For myself I read and talk with
my immediate friends. Over the
loudspeakers we get a half hour of “swing” music in the morning followed by a
“Quiz” and a half hour of light classical music in the evening. Otherwise the loudspeaker shouts for certain
people to report to other certain people.
In all, up to now the voyage has been a
continuously pleasant relaxation.
Valletta Harbour, Malta, 1948
This evening while I was in the ships cinema
the ship pulled in to ValettaHarbour. After the cinema I walked the decks looking
out upon the Harbour lights. I wish I
could have seen it by day for in the half light it was attractive to see.