Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 13 of 26

Conflict:
Second World War, 1939–45
Part of Quest:
Subject:
  • War Diaries
Status:
Awaiting approval
Accession number:
AWM2020.22.18
Difficulty:
4

Page 1 / 5

26 27 Annae Dyg Easte Sundy, attended clued when special Angac prayer way read. Meals have een good in lowr f Easter. Arle cous at misdey with quite a bit of porle in it, duclcoap at dinner, a bread neue nearly & it per yan& as at to paw paw eacl suall quantitoy ags rle & fol no cme in. First prosocal was to cope to tbore toho lad ontered them but then seus Percival Dl & wanwryed met togetter, deided t t ltwaseou supply agier be came down to our fidaythe room letty to obtain the view of the Anstralidy as to metted of distribation rius were expessed I axfressed the opinion that tey should be divided port ayle turned on te instant & said sluit tepr g to Day! I have no ider oflle reason ofte ctbynt but am getting ver bed up with his distatial manster (I b afraid we will have a flare-up soon. A you wirates late e was etreme rude to proed Ten Teals WsA who is 67 pearso ag H reald is about the rudest wan I have nepr wet! T. perpactly friendly today just as if nolling woleattirer had lespened! Veny good wige last miae ou up twice at mednigae & fie octode. Air faid alarm (whether practice or not I dont lenes) exeded at wednigt & all ligats wvent out. Tea. Ade cane today but in iicking it we were infermed be we camt keep any wore tio do in futhes all ta empty tws must be returned. Lize bere in this camp is very manotanous _ in at 0620/- roll gile 0700 Greatefast 0720 diner 1300, supper 1720 & roll call at 2000- lights out at 2100, apare from walking around the suall area 8 Ago to th mile- tere is nothing to do age play sroge or read. I am thinking of settling dow to a regular period of about Ilwvs writing of my or we lest a rtformation of the as a mental exercise. The climate still vntinue very pleasant - chay warm mornings, claud ouill afternoous wel a loge sreage of then stile nigats? unfortunately the veavy cloyds which cike over every aptanon walee te pighty when the bree dies alvay very appreside rsturpy It is stringe to thuils that today is Casty manday I wauder if Oattanly" to being held ig so if a family have gove to it. I do so hope my Harlide are not too mereable & loualy withu me Easter being owver meals have droffed teelea bit today although still better than the were before caster Te weather geens to be sevled into Arigae suring mernings with cloudy cool estemoous with nigatfall the sreeze drops & final about is very close & apprecive midwiges by morning all souds have disapeared again. Opned in aple puding from my ped pfeetday It was absolutel delicious. Curious manle o now small a littlemended a ratler selfid this life is making us all ocgurred to day. In thi reom are we australy som addi &a Amerigaus. At first there was one t t on & we had two padded reats& all of which we had leaving the amoius sitte n boes or their beds Then a little raile ap another
25 29 from came in which to Amean took. I usuall arrange the rn imedicted at waig noll call e the ats down from talle et toda one our officers asied me to malee sure that we got the good pr as one oythen is rougle splinten & let the Americans have t latte last night more was another eartequate shod Allbough) did not knaw as d elest amgle to aand since we arrived in i gan It is containly be place for eartliquels. A Bridge tournament has been arranged which I have entered for with rrott rsual bright morning but clauds did not come over until late in the afternoon insterd of about in weals wrse tan insterdan tte rid suga cooga isue today of te usual ege 26 really malies a wonderful difference to our nealo. gep issued an ordert day that in lyt water say be used for washing clothes or besting sup bo a food. The poblem of washing dothed is becomis acute I am almost sut of weshing pap po that but water is prolubited I can't lungine lige I can got my clothes clean. A your ago tf were toed, that I would have no coap & no et water no waiting my llotte & warld gave expected a bad Outbreak ofshin but so far there seems to be he sign anything of the Dert. Am sleaving very well now & dream of hee t te famile practually nigge. It is glain whilst the dream last but oh I feet so lutter londy whep I welle up. I will never be agle to tell my e nd be uttarly & conyleted I have her & long to be with ing waid er again- and yet I have a feel amounts some reason almost to di certaint that I aul destend to se more figng beng am again with her. Rose my agt I know we will be tagether again bett it is1 weary waiting and must be so awgul for yout coday os the Emperer of Japans birthdyy, there lipes no caremany at all but we have had a little mera in fr meals. Both middry 20 roup had a cittle torte in it_ enough to we of povide quie a litof saton a good flavour the Cop. It was been anwer beautin enovercast & blowls the ou ser Vary wet all day suied about five o ce in tll apternoon. I have goe an attack of Anardet which is very painful c0 must go most of the Ggreens whese are abbut all te days si te opening be soup cousit of of the red Goss parbels nearly everyope to hard at wile maling cooliing uncersils sit of did tino, Cudding bowl i is d only pasible one + many weird + wantrgul pendi rice o cugar, vegotables curry & paw al mined together or naple are sent over to t cook bouse for coo ing, I havent tacbled anything of the sort yot as the artile are noser to be just as they are, but in a letter today drtewing attention to tho fact that my two glito lave been Idew & es out whish has been exfor wde last few days was listed temperperily oniget Hope it to & a gonuine blackout &f not gest practices. Vigilant guard to 4
ye cay uneventful day. Bright & clear all day. Attended church in morning, Officer conducte same urged us in lieu ofaser Atainly of Aale on the subject of the clllo of the day which anged resirt gron malicioes tal + thoug to a very approprate remender whicl I wilst keop, in mund & cany out as sam ape am becoming a byt warped in my to anto about com apls ceap te inrilating a As I have written before, probably Herbitate aythe glap chape just as much. meals heave Cevel again. We seie back to av were told today that me were alionogs will be supplied to us of the suply of any ort is a little mcaten other Have started the cooling traye myself made a ooking pot this morning & this agtetie peet it a pot of curried rice & beg, Have almost exhauts the Intents of my indirisual parcel. Afare from te th timo of sugars one of golden cyrp whitI il I have dufy the have put sewals so mangaine left bad a long Alle to for ten of nE1 about conditions of Eidustrial & Locial lige in Austratic during my mor walk stanade stil a little bit upet out not s0 as to seriouly inconveniene we lights filed yater evening & we were in complete darness until about 3020 lys Hada very recss night last nigat fill of cnfeised srean about home & things back in iustralia. Dysantary noculation today. Claged our first round with wotl in Bridge to comnanedt. Wow 1540 upt tinevetful day. Had be badade o very sore tirm afte the insculation. officer who was camp sd Ravenks when we left visited bere pdey & did a cour of inspection. Very bed night last night. Ieal terkibly dsrened and am sur comeng dreaful las expened At home. Taveg times in we night I wolse up to a dream that Rose was sallind me was ting me because she was in some awsul trouble, las of news from bome becomes a ast unbandle at the lilfe this, cannot dade off the feeling that Rosl is in terriole need of me e ugarcoca was ou gai to day Teue of tocon about the same oft buger was engaity more sae virited beal toy came around sla B.P. Mean & a yarn with most ofus. Reports that obeone is rother bruckwt well it t Syet guard tonigat 0020 0120 trle lgo Conylettly cared up Another beg oated of newpose came in tody out it is impossible to an from then any relicble newsegt thet cae in tnisia to be going well. Played second round of aridge out &won by 2410 points Geo age cound mne a lot, I have ead to practtiall give up reading which makes the days very bray supply of cosfee Frut ennce came into cmp foda w about 1 coppe 4a e fris exersalso suply oy livatry papes which ng overdue still b cigaratt was avery gerious sold bath ater my wall His maning. have been keeping of them owing to fute therinon but weather is getting warne o
227 Enspection of wipor sinesblarkety pellow food b slreets its Enday & chortages noted w. Weulst at t everyone head to either make a will & give a write statement that as lead als ay wade a will roda they were all returned together with a flugger sect of p out don to a again on the ig As I have leg a will in adclaie leguing everthing to Rore, I did no attenpt to make, andh will sil ver defressed about e&e family & cannot lake of seeling that Something dreadful leas tappened again feel very depoed. R bags one elquent in l is that I feel damnably lonely here apprt from the Cuslies of beug so long away from Rose & the ramily, I miss my good friend & Searle very tesle indeed. Harl i noboy here wen 3 pl can ever male an intinate friend the at was, I have never been able to ha es prands casel and the other australing luneenseyt done aspal to e at all. Tha sem to send mast fthe time(ix mos) in colsponing togetler i narood we had an ise of contie eloen each + they were very acigtae wda, see committee cntrolling cros es to cut dowe the csus of bully bey 24 have ten getting three 12t tws pet week, and twoil Mrtns per woude. We are now to pt 18 lt of bully for week & 1 tio of MV. I tul it is a big mistabe as I am just beginning to fish up of bit of my strength again. I hope they will reverse tha don sc &c ill meel er Ttee as often as we like lat engs adother om today. Alanded ch b morning & Chinate lare s0 far shows trom being very wonderul, Hhe days generally are brime a warm &out with a gol Hege nearly Ivery dy. After darke the wind dgore nlarly every night then commense again before dawn Te odr fom midnight onwards are always col so farshar nevernd le thethi on t duiving the night, marle are still very poor indead the coupseldm conteining anting at all meae vegetables tonight was an mayti as they aroutat in some daks which gave touat coup a lutte more body. However 10 amorget 120 is not very natal! my eyegare safe worning me very much indeed s d find te disficule & read much. There is not much lest to do end or a suppe of notebootes to po an hoping when I well start writing my recollction tthe grien convission of ctral cimblar incidents po as to mnd occupied been my sure morning sut in ateram blaw up will he orgay lo in clouds Heneay roten ptencted Plack-out started again tonight, ss fat as we know it is only waltec to a dawnes nuisance as it is very notonass in the dayle or semi-dark as leavily shaded lants are all all m evening, Heard of an enlicted man if he had to pipe & ilt English fusling tobads which he was willing to dispose of o negotiation but hunieds ended then abe w starling for sameand says be can at to from the Americans. Vend died otown at digad it became mugggs oppreasie. Aparence th to as all weter as wasling a real sbrlage ofa t was turned off met during forty manin
11t 5 tcaske wrtion is now ver wae only tae about 28 left after various eoprowe impleasent weather - sening but very muggt. In 9 couded aver again. Vaterelortage Took M t a f as when I wene to have my bell efter mysner pound tho may terned ofd valo continue at a ad low standerd apart from the led Gross isope, the po n egttwt ser regil oge most onton topo Ivery seldo oniout top of other vigstibles with a very few carpots ett no sucat sotasses van for a prtrpe, We would naudtell be starving if it warne for the sed er supplies promise of ter now w wll nalse a bit ofa disperence but the stand generally is nothing like sufficient to paint yeged dey strogll Have had a Clldace which I am sure is due to lyettreing from asI badly need new glasses. Anoth bread insue today-quitea big one much ot was beavy + soggy like the last lot out of tis assolut was sigal. one wonders sow troop oder nornial conditions would re-act to an ipsue read suce as this I seel thee would be near rest, and yet to us it is an abite acqury, thi practice ended last negar, wato is we we turned toff again tory for a long tu esr as Vigilant guard for me tonight 320- 420, Plack out pactice was resumed coneline cluring be nigar & it was utterly black when t wentt oat on rigilent guard. M eyes are getting startily can hardly see to white you wose and alone read, I put and application ip or seaal medical testing of my eyes teuply of new glasses col Derlam enarsed it that I was in ungt my seveei egatd need of same owing hope it is only a pssing toing& will year uy wi d fo nrmal condition! 2oday return was/e setting out particulars of one genvant o betman I hous Beraelf& mte, si slowing bte Harry Frusted sir Oray his laire, e skepter Lo chaestes, noeit sir wark young he fon wainwright, waor Gous charp a king On. sa ON.E1. Gav Spito WDn DBorta ngoen Var Rees (redied). Te report is that they prs to tyan maved out ofteus cmp - reauor has it Did a deal today of about a lb evar for a hipe geonly remains naw to goe sowe ets to put went a thoroughty, disappointing day Another isque of Had ros pv was dialso three tp of bull beg & two of NYV However te nepor authriti for some reason refused to inlock ths tore 950 we couldnt get anything. They bad one tin of you in staek & so we iiled that apt the fle that descended on the camp ad be feet very eastly! Played l nRees cumen after a lard match fincshes 1170 ups dry day water was turned off nearly all day. coudlnt have a bath scaulent then clean toth at night. hs water on, again this mening. They medut even fill te vailor for morning to. stell no fign of the ties oelt ste r & tal today lave been absolutely dreadful &ce wat I lave had saice being tale aes No stergll o baty in the soup; jest a very latle green tog of negetle

 

[*25th*] Anzac Day & Easter Sunday. Attended church this morning

when Special Anzac prayer was read. Meals have

been good in honor of Easter.  Pork soup at lu

midday with quite a bit of pork in it, duck soup at

dinner, a bread issue nearly 1/2 lb per man & ab about

1/4 paw-paw each. Small quantity of cigs (Sterles) & rolo

cigars came in. First proposal was to issue to those

who had ordered them but then Gens. Percival, Ter Poorten

and Wainwright met together & decided that they be

issued pro rata to squads. Our lot was issued to our

supply officer & he came down to our end of the

room later to obtain the view of the Australians

as to method of distribution. Various views were

expressed & I expressed the opinion that they should be

divided pro rata. Taylor turned on me instantly

& said "shut up & go to sleep". I have no idea of the

reason of the outburst but am getting very

fed up with his dictatorial manner. I am afraid

we will have a flare-up soon. A few minutes

later he was awfres extremely rude to poor old

Gen. Seals (U.S.A) who is 67 years of age. He really

is about the rudest man I have ever met!

[*26*] T. perfectly friendly today just as if nothing whatever

had happened! Very good night but last night only up

twice at midnight & five o'clock. Air raid alarm

(whether practice or not I don't know) sounded at

midnight & all lights went out. Tea order came in

today but in issuing it we were informed that we

cannot keep any more tins so in future all tins

empty tins must be returned. Life here in this

camp is very monotonous - up at 0630 - roll call

0700 - breakfast 0730, dinner 1200, supper 1730 &

roll call at 2000 - lights out at 2100. Apart from

the walking around the small area - 8 times round

to its mile - there is nothing to do except play Bridge

or read. I am thinking of settling down to a

regular period of about 2 hrs writing of my experiences

since I left Aust. (for the information of the family)

as a mental exercise. The climate still continues

very pleasant - clear warm mornings, cloudy

dull afternoons with a cool breeze & then still

nights. Unfortunately the heavy clouds which

come over every afternoon make the nights when

the breeze dies away very oppressive & stuffy.

It is strange to think that today is Easter Monday.

I wonder if "Oakbank" is being held & if so if the

family have gone to it. I do hope my

darlings are not too miserable & lonely without

me.

[*27*] Easter being over meals have dropped back a bit

today although still better than they were before

Easter. The weather seems to be settled into bright

sunny mornings with cloudy cool afternoons. Then

with nightfall the breeze drops & until about

midnight it is very close & oppressive. By morning

all clouds have disappeared again. Opened my

apple pudding from my Red Cross parcel toady.

It was absolutely delicious. Curious example of

how small & littleminded - or rather selfish - this

life is making us all occurred today. In this

room are we Australians & Torrance (Canadian) & three

Americans. At first there was one form to sit on

& we had two padded seats, leaving all of which

we had leaving the Americans sitting on boxes

or their beds. Then a little while ago another

 

[*April 27 contd*] form came in which the Americans took. I usually

arrange the room immediately after morning roll-

call, lift the seats down from tables etc. Today

one of our officers asked me to make sure that we

got the good form as one of them is rough &

splintery & let the Americans have the latter!

There was another earthquake shock last night

although I did not know as I slept through it. It

is the second since we arrived in this camp.

It is certainly the place for earthquakes, A Bridge

tournament has been arranged which I have 

entered for with Trott.

[*28*] Usual bright morning but clouds did not come

over until late in the afternoon instead of about

midday. Meals worse than yesterday. Another

sugar & cocoa issue today of the usual size. It

really makes a wonderful difference to our meals,

Japs issued an order today that no hot water may

be used for washing clothes or heating soup bowls

or food. The problem of washing clothes is becoming

acute. I am almost out of washing soap & now

that hot water is prohibited I can't imagine how

I can get my clothes clean. A year ago if I

were told that I had no soap & no

hot water for washing my clothes I would 

have expected a bad outbreak of skin disease

but so far there seems to be no sign of

anything of the sort. Am sleeping very well

now & dream of Rose & the family practically

every night. It is glorious whilst the dream lasts

but oh I feel so utterly lonely when I wake

up. I will never be able to tell my beloved how

utterly & completely I love her & long to be with

her again - and yet I have a feeling (which

amounts for some reason almost to a certainty)

that I am destined to see more fighting before I

am again with her. Rose my dearest I know

we will be together again but it is terribly

weary waiting and must be so awful for 

you.

[*29*] Today is the Emperor of Japan's birthday. There has 

been no ceremony at all but we have had a

little extra in for meals, Both midday & evening

soup had a little pork in it - enough to give it

a good flavour & to provide quite a bit of fat on

the top. It has been another beautiful morning

but became very overcast and blowy in the afternoon. 

[*30th*] Very wet all day until about five o'clock in the

afternoon. I have got an attack of diarroeha

which is very painful & so must go without

most of the "greens" which are about all

the soup consists of these days. Since the opening

of the Red Cross parcels nearly everyone is hard

at work making cooking utensils out of the

tins. Pudding bowl idea is the only feasible

one & many weird & wonderful puddings -

rice, cocoa, sugar, vegetables, curry & meat all

mixed together for example - are sent over to the

cook-house for cooking. I haven't tackled

anything of the sort yet as the articles are

nicer to me just as they are. Put in a

letter today drawing attention to the fact that

my two sheets have been stolen & asking for

more. Black-out which has been enforced for 

last few days was lifted temporarily tonight.

Hope it is of a genuine "blackout" & not just

practices. Ben Vigilant guard 3:30-4:30

  

[*May 1st*] Uneventful day. Bright & clear all day. 

[*May 2nd*] Attended church in morning. Officer conducting

same urged us in lieu of a sermon to think a little

on the subject of the collect of the day which

urged restraint from malicious talk & thoughts.

A very appropriate reminder which I must

keep in mind & carry out as I am afraid I

am becoming a bit "warped" in my thoughts

about some of the chaps & the irritating things they do!

As I have written before, probably I irritate some

of the other chaps just as much. Meals have

slipped back to a very bad level again. We

were told today that no more Alsi Bono cigs.

will be supplied to us & the supply of any

other sort is a little uncertain.

[*3rd*] Have started the cooking craze myself. Made a

cooking pot this morning & this afternoon put in a

pot of curried rice & beef. Have almost exhausted

the contents of my individual parcel. Apart from the

two tins of sugar & one of golden syrup which I

have put away for emergency, I have only the

margarine left. Had a long talk to Gov. Gen

of N.E.I. about conditions of industrial & social

life in Australia during my morning walk.

Stomach still a little bit upset but not so as to

seriously inconvenience me. Lights failed yesterday

evening & we were in complete darkness until

about 2030 hrs. Had a very restless night

last night full of confused dreams about home

& things back in Australia

[*4th*] Dysentery inoculation today. Played our first round with

Trott in Bridge tournament. Won 1540 up. Uneventful

day. Had a headache & very sore arm after the

inoculation. Officer who was Camp Comdt. at

Karenko when we left visited here today & did

a tour of inspection.

[*5th*] Very bad night last night. Feel terribly depressed

and am sure something dreadful has happened

at home. Three times in the night I woke up to

a dream that Rose was calling me & wanting me

because she was in some awful trouble. This

lack of news from home becomes almost unbearable

at times like this. Cannot shake off the

feeling Rose is in terrible need of me.

Red Cross sugar and cocoa was issued again

today. Issue of cocoa about the same but sugar

was slightly more. 

[*6th*] B.P. from Karenko visited here today & came around & had

a yarn with most of us. Reports that everyone is

well at Karenko . Had another brush with T. Vigilant

guard tonight 0030 - 0130. Stomach trouble has

completely cleared up. Another big batch of newspapers

came in today but it is impossible to learn from them

any reliable news except that things in Tunisia seem

to be going well. Played second round of bridge

tournament & won by 2410 points. Eyes are troubling

me a lot & I have had to practically give up

reading which makes the days very, very long.

[*7th*] Supply of coffee & Fruit essences came into camp today

& we each received about 1 lb coffee & big bottle of

fruit essence - also supply of lavatory paper which

was long overdue. Still no cigarettes. Had a very

glorious cold bath after my walk this morning.

Have been keeping off them owing to extreme

thinness but weather is getting warmer to now.

 

[*May7th(contd)*] Inspection of Nippon issues - blankets, pillows, food bowls,

sheets, etc today & shortages noted again. Whilst at Karerko

everyone had to either make a will & give a written

statement that he had already made a will. Today

they were all returned together with a bigger

sheet of paper & we were ordered to copy them out

again on the big sheet, as I have left a will

in Adelaide leaving everything to Rose, I did not 

attempt to make another will. Still feel very

depressed about Rose & the family & cannot shake off

feeling that something dreadful has happened.

[*8th*] Again feel very depressed. Perhaps one element in it

is that I feel damnably lonely here - apart from

the loneliness of being so long away from Rose & the

family. I miss my good friend Col Searle very

much indeed. There is nobody here whom I feel I

can ever make an intimate friend like Searle

was. I have never been able to make friends easily

and the other Australians here - except  xxxx Trott

don't appeal to me at all. They seem to spend most

of their time (i.e. M&T) in whispering together 

in corners. Today we had an issue of "cookies", eleven

each & they were very acceptable indeed. The

committee controlling the Red Cross issue has decided

to cut down the issue of bully beef. We have been

getting three 12 lb. tins per week, xxx and two 1 lb

M&V tins per month. We are now to get 18 lbs

of "bully" per week & 1 tin of M&V. I think it is a big

mistake as I am just beginning to pick up a

bit of strength again. I hope they will reverse

their decision soon. We are all much enjoying a

cup of coffee as often as we like. Lost bridge tournament

game today by 560.

[*9th*] Another glorious day today. Attended church this

morning. The climate here so far shows promise of 

being very wonderful. The day's generally are bright

& warm (but with a cool breeze nearly every day.

After dark the wind drops nearly every night &

then commences again before dawn. The hours from

midnight onwards are always cool so far & I have

never had less than 1 thick blanket on some time

during the night. Meals are still very poor

indeed the soup seldom containing anything at

all except vegetables. Tonight was an exception

as they brought in some ducks which gave tonight's

soup a little more body. However 10 small ducks

amongst 120 is not very much! My eyes are still

worrying me very much indeed & I find it difficult

to read much. There is not much left to do and I

am hoping for a supply of notebooks to come in

when I will start writing my recollections of the Syrian

Commission of Control & similar incidents so as to

keep my mind occupied.

[*10*]Fine morning but in afternoon blew up with heavy

angry looking clouds. However nothing eventuated.

Black-out started again tonight. So far as we

know it is only practice & so is a damned

nuisance as it is very monotonous in the dark -

or semi-dark as heavily shaded lamps are allowed -

all nig  evening. Heard of an enlisted man in

camp who had a pipe and 1/4 lb English smoking

tobacco which he was willing to dispose of. Opened

negotiations but hurriedly ended them as he wants

£20 sterling for same - and says he can get it

from the Americans. Wind died down at night & 

we  it became muggy & oppressive. Apparently there is

a real shortage of water as all water in washing

taps was turned off except during early morning

 

[*May 10th (contd)*] & evening. Cigarette position is now very acute as I

only have about 20 left after various borrowings & gifts.

[*11th*]Unpleasant weather - sunny but very muggy. In afternoon

clouded over again. Water shortage took new form today

as when I went to have my bath after my morning walk

I found the water turned off. Meals continue at a shockingly

low standard apart from the Red Cross issue. The soup

is nothing but vegetable water - with very few vegetables

most onion tops - (very seldom onions themselves) & green

tops of the other vegetables with a very few carrots etc. No

sweet potatoes now for a fortnight. We would

undoubtedly be starving if it wasn't for the Red Cross

supplies. Promise of bread tomorrow which will

make a bit of a difference but the standard

generally is nothing like sufficient to maintain

our strength. Have had a headache for 2 or 3 days

which I am sure is due to eyestrain form reading

as I badly need new glasses.

[*12th*] Another bread issue today - quite a big one, much of it

was heavy & soggy like the last lot but it tasted 

absolutely wonderful. One wonders how troops under

normal conditions would re-act to an issue of

bread such as this. I feel there would be nearly a

riot - and yet to us it is an absolute luxury. Blackout

practice ended last night, Water is evidently pre very

scarce as it was turned off again today for a long time.

Vigilant guard for me tonight 3.30 - 4.30.

[*13th*]  Blackout practice was resumed sometime during

the night & it was utterly black when I went out 

on vigilant guard. My eyes are getting steadily

worse and I can hardly see to write now - let

alone read. I put an application in today for special

medical testing of my eyes & supply of new glasses &

Col. Devham endorsed it that I was in urgent

need of same owing to my severe my short sightedness. I

hope it is only a passing thing & will clear up with

normal conditions ! Today return was called for

for  setting out particulars of one servant & batman

for each of the following, Lt- Gen's Percival & Heath, Sir

Harry Trusted, Sir Percy McElwaine, Sir Shenton Thomas,

Sir Mark Young, Major Gen McRae(retired) medical, Lt Gen

Wainwright, Major-Gen's Sharp & King (M.S.A). Gov. Gen

of N.E.I. Gov. Spits, Lt Gen Ter Poorten, Major Gen Van

Rees (medical). The report is that they are to be

moved out of this camp - rumor has it to Japan.

Did a deal today of about a lb. of sugar for a

pipe. It only remains now to get some tobacco to

put in it.

[*14th*] A thoroughly disappointing day. Another issue of Red

Cross parcels was due - also three tins of "bully"

beef & two of M&V. However the Nippon authorities

for some reason refused to unlock the store & so

we couldn't get anything. They had one tin

of M&V in stock & so we issued that but the gloom 

that descended on the camp could be felt very

easily ! Played Cpl Van Rees in the tournament &

after a hard match finished 1170 up. Hot, dry

day & water was turned off nearly all day. Couldn't

have a bath & couldn't even clean teeth at night.

[*15th*] No water on, again this morning. They couldn't even

fill the boiler for morning tea. Still no sign of the

authorities opening the Red Cross store room & meals

today have been absolutely dreadful. The worst

I have had since being taken prisoner. No strength

or body in the soup, just a very little green tops of

vegetables.

 

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Leslie Anne RyanLeslie Anne Ryan
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