The diaries of Ronald Baldwin, British Constable in the Palestine Police Force from 1946 to the termination of the British Mandate in 1948.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
14th & 15th April, 1948 - Ron is enjoying the cruise but no luck on the Tote.
We sailed from Malta at about after setting off and taking on hundreds of troops. I should imagine the discipline is very
strict on land for the naval launches & other crafts were all spick &
I think I must have slung my hammock on the
wrong side of the ship last night for I woke during the night feeling a cold
wind blowing. This morning we pressed
close by the North coast of PantelleriaIsland. I got out my binoculars and this showed me
the details of this face of the island.
Extinct volcanoes domineered the picture, the sides sloping steeply down
to the cliff faces. These slopes are
deeply terraced between the old volcanics lava courses. Houses are scattered thickly on the lower
slope but not by the sea. A lighthouse
on the cliffs and a castle on the summit of a hill stand out from the other
We shall see quite a deal of land as we
pursue our course just off the north coast of Africa. Cape Bon was sighted at . All the coastline seems to have
been volcanic at some time and as a result is very barren looking.
This evening we assembled on deck for an
open air cinema show.
The weather has been beautiful with no sign
of rain but as soon as the show started so did the rain.
There was no land in view this morning but
at it could be faintly seen through the misty
low lying clouds.
There is a totalisation held on deck every
morning to see who can judge the mileage covered in the last 24 hours. I bought a shilling ticket this morning but
was unlucky. Judging from the map of our
route and our average speed I should think we should arrive at Gibraltar tomorrow night.
This afternoon I spent reading with the
usual break for tea and a bun at . Yesterday we each received a bulk ration for
11/-. This consisted of 300 cigarettes,
a bar of chocolate, two rolls of sweets & six chocolate biscuits. This was very cheap but I did not need so
many cigarettes but had to have them to get the other articles.