Letter No 2
2/Lt J.R. Sheedy. R.Signals ROAKH. c/o APO 1120
Oct 22nd /41
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.