Friday 21 February 2014

20th & 21st April, 1948 - The final leg complete but a frustrating wait before disembarking...

Tuesday, 20th April, 1948
We are still moving North but no land has been sighted since the Bishop’s Rock Light House which we sighted with a fog belt inland behind it.  This afternoon we began to prepare for landing.  Library books were handed in and cases etc put ready for being taken off by crane if they are too heavy to carry.
The majority of us are going off in uniform as we do not want to get our civvies dirty in the expected scrabble and rush through the customs.
We were given a railway voucher today made out to our homes.

Wednesday, 21st April, 1948
When I woke this morning I found we were moving very slowly in a fog.  On enquiring I found out that we 
were approaching the coast of England and the mouth of the Mersey.  After breakfast we all crowded on deck hoping to sight England but all we saw were a few buoys which told us we were near the mouth.  We stopped once and it was given out that we could not dock tonight as there was no room for us on a wharf.  Later, so I learned, the ship was ordered to anchor in the harbour where we would be taken off by ferry.  This was done but as it was late only the compassionate leave and ordinary leave troops were allowed off.  Police and other troops were told that they would be taken off the ship tomorrow morning.

The tug men who were to operate the tugs to pull the ship to the wharf were on strike this was why we had to be taken off by ferry.

This evening officials came on board.  Posts & Telegrams accepted telegrams for despatch to our homes.  Railway people exchanged travel warrants for a ticket and times of our trains.  The Crown Agents gave us an advance of £10 and the address to which we should send our uniform.

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