Grandad’s WWII Diary – Tuesday April 22nd (cont.) – Saturday April 26th 1941

23-26 April

Click here for diary entry for Thursday April 17th (cont.) – Tuesday April 22nd 1941

Convoy now :- Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Ile de France with Aust. troops.   Mauretania – New Zealand troops.

Wednesday April 23rd

18th Day

Crossed the equator today.  Heat terrific.  Started on our siesta’s.  11.30-3.30.  Had action and emergency stations.  Fired anti-aircraft guns 12 pounders.

Clocks went back another hour.

Thursday April 24th

19th Day

Went to Boxing Tournament all day good show.  Convoy had manoeuvres.  Clocks went back 1/2 hour.  Weather very hot.

Friday April 25th ANZAC Day

20th Day

Memorial service in morning.  Three Australian ships pulled together to bury man off Queen Elizabeth.  At 2PM Queen Elizabeth and Mary turned off to starboard and disappeared over horizon.  Destroyer came and escorted them to ???.

Convey : Mauretania & Ile de France

Escort : Australia

Got picked for the dreaded job of Mess Orderly.

Saturday April 26th

21st (day)

Began Mess Orderly.  Sighted land 10AM.  Saw ??? about 2 miles out.

Navy airplane flew over us.  Two sampans outside harbour.  Ile de France went in first.  Harbour has two entrances.  Torpedo nets put back across ??? soon as we passed through into Colombo.  Many overseas ships in harbour.  All ships tie to buoys.  Has no wharf to accommodate larger ships.  Had only been in few minutes and niggers* were out in dingys, selling fruit and wares.  Elephants of wood for bookends etc Cigars(?)  Other dingies had boys diving for coins only ???.  Boys very quick.  Dozens of pontoons came ….

Click here for diary entry for Saturday April 26th (cont.) – Monday April 28th 1941

* I was in two minds about whether to put this word in as it stands, due to it now being classed as an inappropriate derogatory term.  I decided to leave it in due to this being a historical record.   You may like to read my blog post regarding the use of this word in this context.



  1. When transcribing journals, etc., from the past, it is good practice to transcribe exactly what is written. To do otherwise is to pervert the work.

    • I decided to do just that but I have struggled with some of the racist and derogatory things he wrote. I have also on the odd occassion fixed a spelling mistake or place name for ease of reading.

  2. Love that you have put up your grandad’s diary and pics. It’s really interesting and a wonderful resource for researchers and families that had people in WW2. Well done! 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m very fortunate to have this amazing piece of history and glad you are enjoying it. I hope to have it completed before the WW2 100 year anniversary… (its slow going)

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