Sketch by Jack Chalker

Leaving Home

Leaving Home


The wind whistles a sad lament

At the passing of summer days

The birds have lost their song

Across the meadow the mist lays.

Shuffling my feet thro’ leaves

As I walk down the lane

Hands deep in pockets

My face wet with rain,

Noisy rooks flying overhead

The cows waiting to be milked and fed

In the distance the call of pheasant to his mate

Poor birds will the shotgun be their fate

The rain stops, leaving a damp dismal day

Nature sleeps in its quiet way.


I was courting Win when we were called up at the beginning of WWII, we had been going out together since we were both sixteen.

After extensive training, the Suffolk’s left Blighty on the 28th October 1941, on board the Andes. Destination unknown, believed to be the Middle East.

Andes - Built: 1939 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast.

On arriving at Halifax the Suffolks along with the 4th Norfolks we were transferred to the U.S.S. Wakefield (27,000 tons).

While crossing to Cape Town on the 9th December 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and Malaya. Thus declaring war on Britain and bringing the USA into WWII.

Leaving South Africa the convoy arrived at Bombay on the 27th December to stay at Ahmednagar near Poona with further training.

We sailed again on the 17th January 1942, destination the Far East, in a bid to stop the Japanese in their advance through Malaya and prevent them taking Singapore.

Arriving on the 29th January, Singapore was in the middle of an air raid, the docks were ablaze and not an Allied plane in the sky.


Next Chapter

A Soldier Battles On - Singapore



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