Sketch by Jack Chalker

March 1943

Captivity:- March 1943

 

Monday 1st

The final match in the series of netball games was won today by the Argyll’s, beating the Old Salts 10-4. A good hard, fast game, which the better team won hands down.

 

Tuesday 2nd.

Comdr. Reid presented the winning team with “the cup” and a medal for each member. It is hoped that these knockout games will continue as they provide exercise for the fit, and good entertainment for all the rest.

 

Wednesday 3rd.

I shaved off my flowing beard today with some regret, but it was getting completely out of bounds and becoming more of a nuisance than anything else.

 

Thursday 4th.  

I certainly miss it, but it did one good thing, namely that my growth is not half so strong and thus the necessity for shaving has been greatly reduced and when my 4 remaining razor blades are finished, then another beard will take shape.

 

Friday 5th.  

A memorial service was held in officers mess for the lads of HM(A)S Perth, as it was the anniversary of the sinking of that gallant ship in battle with the full might of the Nippon fleet in the Sunda Straits, near Batavia.

 

Saturday 6th.  

Comdr. Reid spoke today on a very surprising subject, namely that of Sodomy.

 

Sunday 7th

It is surprising the fairly large proportion of our numbers who indulge in that low, filthy habit and it is I’m sure, not a necessity here, but rather the reverse. I hope at least it will be stopped and the offenders severely punished when caught at the act.

 

Monday 8th.

A few of the lads have procured a few hens and ducks and keep them in the yard.

 

Tuesday 9th.

It is a homely sight to see a hen with chicks strutting around and reminds one of springtime at home.

 

Wednesday 10th.

This is my second birthday spent in captivity. Another milestone in the best part of my life is passed under very unpleasant circumstances, but surely the next one will be celebrated at home among my own people.

 

Thursday 11th.

My daily thoughts are always at home and the happy days spent there. Freedom to the free means nothing, but to the imprisoned it shines forth as something sacred and divine.

 

Friday 12th.

Since the beginning of this month there has been tremendous falls of rain daily. So much so that the river is high and the fields nigh swamped.

 

Saturday 13th.

It is apparently the rainy season and should last for quite a considerable time.

 

Sunday 14th.

However, it has one good point in that it keeps the atmosphere much cooler and therefore it is more pleasant and comfortable to live here than the usual burning heat of the tropics.

 

Monday 15th.

It is difficult for one to imagine the deluge that takes place, usually accompanied by a violent thunderstorm and terrific squalls of wind which lash the rain everywhere with great force and strength.

 

Tuesday 16th.

Tonight we had a gramophone recital in the mess, of a few records in English, of old favourites and I must say a very enjoyable evening was spent, bringing back memories of home.

 

Wednesday 17th.

And the other days we have seen and hope to see again when this palaver is over and the welcome  days of peace and prosperity return to our native land.

 

End of Entries

On the second last page of this diary is the calendar of 1943 with all the dates ruled through:-

“Still a prisoner.”

On the back cover of the diary are written these words:-

“Received 39 letters from home on Mon. 30 October 1944, mostly from Mother-30, Chrissie – 7, Mairi – 1, M Jackson –1. The cheer and joy they brought cannot be adequately described in words – as happiness and comfort were left behind, nigh 3 years ago at Muntock and life since then an existence.

The high hopes and enduring confidence of my parents concerning my safety, I greatly admired. Their pluck and courage under such adverse conditions was wonderful. Received 1 letter on 22nd. Dec’ 44, dated 2nd. Feb’44.”

 

The End of the diary

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