Click here for diary entry for Sunday April 6 1941
Monday April 7th 1941
Rained all morning. Troops came right through the morning. Great crowd down to see us away. Rangitieri and Taranaki gave us a great send off. Nieuw Amsterdam pulled out at 12.15am. Mauretania left 15 minutes later. Stayed in stream for hours.
Left later with 3 escorts :-
Hobart, Canberra, Achilles
Tuesday April 8th 1941
Had a rough night most of the boys are rather sick. Was put on guard duty for 8 hours. Can pick up the escorts quite easily. Nieuw Amsterdam on our port side. 3 escorts right in front of us.
Put clock back one hour. Boys are rather quiet – thinking about when next with they see New Zealand.
Click here for diary entry for Wednesday April 9th & Thursday April 10th
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I have to thank you so, so much. I am researching the story of my uncle Harold Thompson Brook who was in 7 Anti Tank and who left NZ in the same convoy as your grandfather but Harold was on Nieuw Amsterdam- the other ship that left Wellington with your grandfathers ship. He was captured at Sidi Rezegh Nov30/Dec1, was a POW in PG 66, PG 52 Chiavari and PG 57 Gruppignano, then Stalag VIIIA. He died of pneumonia on January 27, 1945 in a work camp in Waldenburg SE of Stalag VIIIA. Very little of Harold’s correspondence survived. Your grandfather’s diaries will enable me to add a huge amount of detail to the story I am writing of Uncle Harold’s war years until his death.
Hi Karen, thanks so much for your message. I’m sorry to hear Harold didn’t survive the war, it was a tragic loss of lives on all sides. My grandfather did survive, and lived well into his 80s, but he never spoke of it ,so his diaries provide a small glipse into that period of his life. I imagine his experiences were much the same of many other New Zealanders and Australian’s who served in the Middle East and then into Europe. I’m very pleased you have found my blog and that the entries are of use to you.