Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir

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Title

Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir

Description

Letter from Jim Cahir to his mum in Australia whilst aboard the troopship. In his letter he mentions he is yet to be seasick although they’ve had some very rough seas. He describes the meals on board and what he’s been served and what he has eaten. He describes bathing on board in hot sea water. He describes sport competitions on board ship, deck quoits, golf and tennis. He talks about the plentiful supply of cigarettes and chocolates. He spends his time playing cards or reading, washing and mending clothing. He looks forward to visiting his relatives in the UK and wishes his mum well. He calls on her to not worry about him.

Creator

Date

1943-06-07

Temporal Coverage

Language

Format

Five handwritten pages

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Identifier

ECahirFSCahirM430607-0001, ECahirFSCahirM430607-0002, ECahirFSCahirM430607-0003, ECahirFSCahirM430607-0004, ECahirFSCahirM430607-0005

Transcription

[underlined] June 7th 43 Tues. [/underlined]
I
Dear Mum
This letter is going to be very disjointed as I intend to write a little each day, but you ought to be able to work it out & make it read sense. The first thing I must tell you is that contrary to all prophesies I have yet to be Sea Sick, its really amazing & I [inserted] am [/inserted] very surprised the few days we have been on board we had had some very rough seas & the ship has been tossed about a great deal, only a couple of the Boys have been sick & then only slightly.
The trip so far has been perfect, the greatest problem is filling in your time, here’s the daily routine so far — : a cup of tea brought to your cabin by a cabin Boy at 6 oclock after enjoying that you go back to sleep again until 7.30 when you get up wash & be ready for breakfast at 7.45.
Breakfast always consists of five courses, a bit different to what I have been used to; after Breakfast Time [inserted] is [/inserted] our own until 10.30 when we have P.T on deck, I have been hopping into this P.T. as it’s the only thing that will keep you fit while on board.
Lunch is at 12 oclock & consists of six courses, we start with soup — fish — cold meats & salads — Had meal — Sweets — Bread & cheese & coffee. The Lancers act as waiters & make an excellent job of it, there is one waiter to each four of us, so you see we get wonderful service, as soon as you finish one course your plate is whipped away & the next placed in front of you, you hardly get time to breath in between.
Tea is served at 6 oclock, and it also is six courses,
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last night for tea we had Roast Duck & Potatoes. During the afternoon we are served with afternoon Tea in our cabins. We sleep three to a cabin & have all modern cons laid on, above each bed is a reading lamp, and an Electric fan keeps the cabin cool. Hot & [indecipherable word] cold water is also laid on, there is a chest of draws [sic] & a wardrobe to keep our clothes in so you see there is not much we need to make the cabin look like [inserted] a [/inserted] super Hotel Room. There is a cabin Boy to each section of cabins, our chap is as Black as the Ace of Spades, so the Boys nicknamed him Snow White, he makes our beds for us every morning & tidies up & does any odd jobs, he will also do any washing you have, but I keep mine & do it myself for the sake of something to do; yesterday he prepared my bath for me & then came & told me it was ready, at one stage I thought he was going to scrub my back [deleted ] for me. [/deleted] The bath water aboard the ship is hot sea water, if gives you a sticky feeling after using it, I am glad that Betty gave me a few [indecipherable word] bars of salt water soap they are most useful, the ordinary washing water for your face & hands is fresh water, by the way Mum thank her for me, also tell her that the invitation she gave me to come out to tea at her new flat still stands as far as I am concerned, I suppose she & Phil are living on tinned foods by now!
Today a sports competition was started, Lance & myself have entered as a pair not that we expect to do any good, but it will be a bit of fun. At night, time passes very slowly, the main entertainment is cards and reading, I have read a
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III
couple of books from the library the ship has. We have the whole run of the ship practically, every afternoon the main form of exercise is to walk around the deck for an hour, its amazing what a distance you can cover.
For the pass [sic] few days there has been a [deleted] flock [/deleted] flight of Albatrosses following us, they don’t fly but glide, its’ a sight worth seeing to [indecipherable word] [inserted] watch [/inserted] them glide around the ship & in & out of waves, they very seldom land on the water, its possible to watch the one bird for a quarter of an hour & not see it move it’s wings.
Today Wednesday! we started the deck games, the day was just perfect for such sport, Lance & myself got beaten in Deck Quoits but managed to survive the Deck Golf, Deck Tennis competition has not started yet. By the time this voyage is over I am certain I will have put on about a stone with all the chocolate I have been eating, it’s Cadbury’s Chocolate but is not Australian made & consequently slightly different in taste to what I have been use [sic] to. Cigarettes are plentiful & very cheap, they also are not Australian made, the price of the cigarettes [deleted] at [/deleted] are 3 /- (sterling) for 100, it’s a pity I could not send Uncle Gerad back a 1000 or 2000, the price of the Chocolate by the way is 1/- for ½ lb block. The only commodity [inserted] on board [/inserted] that is Australian made is the beer, even [inserted] if [/inserted] it was not I don’t think the Boys would worry as long as it came in brown bottles.
Every night after tea we [indecipherable word] hold the
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IV
Rosary in my cabin, we started off with three but we are gradually increasing the number, the difficulty is to know who should be there & who is not, we still remain the [deleted] slect [/deleted] select little crowd you saw sometime ago, no less – no extra’s.
Last night some of the Boys started playing “Banker” in cards, for the first half an hour the betting was in 1/-s, after the game had proceeded a little the betting amounted to £’s & the lounge looked like a gambling suite at Casino or Monte Carlo, the trouble is everybody’s got so much money & nothing to spend it on.
Lance and I got beaten today in the Deck Golf, we reached the semi-finals so we were not disgraced completely, I think the chaps who beat us will run out the winners of the competition, they are pretty good at it & had played before. I spent most of the [indecipherable word] afternoon doing mending & sewing, I had quite a few odd jobs in that line to do, a few of them such as the stitching of my overcoat I had neglected for many months, its marvellous what one will do when you have time on your hands. In the [deleted] evening I sat in the lounge & spent the time reading a Book, the Book I am reading now is very good & it’s got me very interested, its written by Phillip Gibbs & titled “Cities of Refuge” it seems to be more of a political Book than fiction.
Today Friday 11th — after the usual cup of tea in bed & later on breakfast, I settled down to some steady washing, at present it is in
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The drying rooms I intend to iron it this afternoon
Well mum this is the end of the hot air from this end, there are so many things that you can’t write about or mention that it’s a wonder I have written so much. When I get the opportunity I intend to write to Tom Clifford I have his address, I hope to be able to tell him that his sister is looking very well & fit. Before leaving I only received one letter from you, that was the one in which you enclosed Pat’s letter, no doubt Paddy is doing alright for himself & enjoying the life, you will have a busy time writing to both of us, I suppose Paddy has developed the writing habit & writes to you very regularly. How’s Vincent going? Are Melb. & Fitzroy still arguing about his services? I presume the Boys won the football once more, I will be very disappointed if they don’t win the premiership this year. How’s work with you Mum? I suppose you are working back [deleted] very [/deleted] often now in preparation for June 30th, see you don’t run yourself down, you know the job is only for a little time & not worth worrying about, so look after yourself & above all don’t worry about me, you know I will be well looked after & cared for by Aunt Louie & Uncle Shamus. When you write to me send the letters to the address given to you on the Post Card I sent you. or send them to Aunt Louie leaving out anything about the air force.
Remember me to all my friends at Preston they will hear from me later on. I intend to send this letter Air mail if I can, I will also [underlined] try & send a cable [/underlined]
P.S. [inserted] I am [/inserted] [underlined] yet to be seasick [/underlined]
Your Loving Son.
Jim xxxxxx A [underlined] Chumley [/underlined]

Tags

Citation

Jim Cahir, “Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 27, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20034.

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