October 22 1941

Letter No 2

2/Lt J.R. Sheedy. R.Signals  ROAKH. c/o APO 1120

Oct 22nd /41

Dear Cynthia, 

We have arrived at our port of disembarkation at last.  After a long and uneventful voyage we are within striking distance of the unknown.  I think we must be one of the luckiest convoys that ever left our native land.  There’s been no trouble at all- no subs, no raider, no ‘planes- just an easy day to day existence for two months.  At times, life has been monotonous, but I must admit that there’s absolutely no cause for complaint: The food has been consistently good, & the sea calm.

Unfortunately the temperature is not as low as I would like it to be.  In brief, it’s damned hot.  That hasn’t worried me to any great extent while on board, as the obvious remedy- a cold bath- was available for the asking.  What it will be like ashore, I can’t imagine.  The hotter it is the more iced drinks one consumes, and the more liquid down the sink the greater the activity of the sweat glands- a vicious circle.

We shan’t go ashore until to-morrow.  I don’t exactly know why we are hanging about the bay, but there it is- to-morrow is the great day.  After that I think we will have 12 hours in the train.  That’s just a guess; as yet, we have had no information as to our destination.

We (the Signals) had a party three days ago.  Each unit has given a  party and ours was a very hectic affair.  The only drink going  was gin.  It’s very cheap, much more so than beer, but, by Jove, is it poison!  We had it in variety of forms- Pink Gin, Gin & Lime, Gin & Orange, Gin & Lemon etc.  There were about 50 officers present and we put away 750 odd drinks in 1 1/2 hours.  This works out at about 15 per man.  The binge started at 12 noon, and at 1:30- when we went to lunch I felt O.K., if a trifle merry.  After lunch I went to my cabin for a rest.  Then the potion began to take effect.  I felt extremely sick, but couldn’t go further than that.  When I closed my eyes the ship started to loop the loop, and an unseen orchestra played sweet music.  After this spasm perspiration rolled off me like rain.  Eventually I fell asleep after praying for death, and was out for three hours.  No more gin in the morning for me.  In fact no more gin; I know now why it’s called “Mother’s Ruin”.

I haven’t heard a word from home for two months.  I hope that everything is OK- and that all the buildings that where standing when I left are retaining the status quo.  Perhaps, I’ll find some correspondence waiting for me at destination- here’s hoping.

That must be all for now Cyn- I’ll write you again when we are settled in.  Oh! I hope you had a good Xmas and New Year and managed to keep sober.




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