Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir



Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir


Handwritten letter from Sergeant F S Cahir to his mother giving details of his day to day life on board ship, and the antics of the officers and men when they crossed the equator.




Temporal Coverage



Seven handwritten sheets


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ECahirFSCahirM430707-0001, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0002, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0003, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0004, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0005, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0006, ECahirFSCahirM430707-0007


Aust 419441
Postal No. 272
Oversea's. [sic]
Thurs. July [censored date]
At Sea.

Dear Mum

I finished a letter to you a few days ago, I will be posting this one which is number six & the one I have already finished together, I hope you receive them safely.

The weather for the pass [sic] few days has been beautiful, I have discarded my blue uniform & am now parading about in shorts & shirt trying to regain a little of the brown I had at Parkes[?], I feel quite ashamed of my arms & legs at present as they are lily white the only consolation I get is the fact that the rest of chaps are just as white, I suppose by this [deleted] th [/deleted] time Paddy has reached the height of his ambition & is quite tanned, I wonder how many times he got sun burnt to obtain that ambition.

Now that the weather has cleared up

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time is not so boring, I generally sleep in until about 9 oclock then get up & have a walk on deck after which [deleted] we [/deleted] [inserted] I [/inserted] spend most of the morning (what is left of it) in deck games such as Deck Quoits, Golf, Tennis.

The afternoon is given over to reading & lolling in the Sun, with about half on hour's [sic] P.T then a hot bath after which it is time [inserted] for [/inserted] tea. The evenings are usually spent playing cards or housie-house in the lounge; for the past week Bill Cashman [?] & myself have got into the bad habit of sitting & talking for hours after we have finished cards & come down to the Cabin to go to bed, last night [deleted] I [/deleted] we talked for 2 1/2 hours & it was 2.15 when we turned the lights out, its [sic] amazing how many different subjects you can get on to in the course of a conversation.

Yesterday a swimming Pool was put up on deck & should be in action in a couple of days time, from the rumours I hear King Neptune ought to be visiting us very shortly, & the swimming [inserted] Pool [/inserted] will be worked overtime if I know anything.

Yesterday afternoon we were taken down to the engine room to see the working of the ship.

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The Library on board is receiving quite a bit of attention from me at present I have just finished reading "The Inquisitor" by Hugh Wapole [Walpole] its [sic] a most peculiar type of book & quite different to the type of [deleted] [one indecipherable word] [/deleted novel I have been use [sic] to reading, I also read H.F. Morton's "In Search of England" I took the opportunity of making a few notes as I went though [sic] the book they may be useful to me later on, I also read a couple of Detective yarns.

By the way before I forget, will you send me a daily Paper now & again if possible I would like the "Sporting Globe" & any daily paper, you need not send them too often just often enough to keep me in touch with the local news; while on the question of Papers the Advocate of July 22nd would be very welcome as I heard a few days ago over the Wireless that Rome had been bombed.

Today Lance Charlesworth & myself were beaten in the Deck Tennis, we won our first match but ran up against the two officers who beat us in the last competition, we got beaten 6-4 so we gave them a run for their money.

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Today we had the Rosary & read the Epistle & Gospel, we had an attendance of 10 which was quite good there is every possibility we might be able to have Mass which will be very welcome.

When we woke up this morning we were entertained by the antics of the flying fish, there were hundreds of them & they flew quite some distance before entering the water again.

Last night I wrote to Colin's [sic] I thought I would be able to post it in a few days but I am afraid that its [sic] not going to work out, as there is a tale that we might have to save our letters for many weeks, anyhow more about that later on.

I won't write to Paddy for a time yet as his address is a Military unit in a certain place & I am sure the Censor would not pass it, and its [sic] not much use writing to him care of you, it would [inserted] be [/inserted] best that you send my letters on to him, when I get settled I will drop him a line.

This morning we held the crossing the line Ceremony and was it any good, the ship's officers acted as King Neptune & his court & we were the

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the [sic] prisoners, as each chap came forward he was charged with some funny accident that he had taken part in during the trip, if I can get a copy of the charges & punishments I will send it home to you. King Neptune was the first Mate & the Queen was the ships [sic] doctor, the Barber was the Purser & the other officers were Doctors & Torturers.

As each prisoner was bought forward by the policemen who wore tin hats & had swastikas plastered all over them, the Clerk of Court read out the charges & sentenced each one to his particular punishment, some were delivered to the torturers to be plastered with grease oil paint & numerous other sticky substances, others went to the Doctor who very politely gave them a smell of ammonia just to make certain they [deleted] one indecipherable word [/deleted] were still kicking, after passing out of the torturers & Doctors hands the unlucky prisoners were then lavered [sic] with a sickly looking paste & thrown into the swimming pool to be ducked three times; as you can guess the looker ons [sic] saw many funny instances that the unfortunate prisoners

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failed to see. The Nursing Sister that is accompaning [sic] us had to take her turn in the Ceremony, as she is the only woman with us they gave her an extra big dose, she's a great sport & puts up with a terrible lot of teasing & knocking around by the chaps. after [sic] the Ceremony the Prisoners turned on King Neptune & his court who were disrobed plastered with paste & thrown into the swimming water, we thought this was a great joke but we laughed to [sic] soon, [deleted] one indecipherable word [/deleted] for it was no time before the Prisoners & the Court were chasing the spectator [sic] & throwing them [inserted] in [/inserted] clothes & all, I was thrown in fully dressed & it was not until I got out that I remembered that I had a wallet & numerous other papers in my Pockets, thank heaven I was not wearing my watch.

The weather at present is very hot & sultry, its [sic] a lazy kind of heat & knocks you out. At night its [sic] very hard to sleep you generally lay on your bunk in a stupor, I am very lucky in the selection of bunks as the fan is just above mine & it blows right on to me. The only consolation I can find in the hot days is

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the beautiful sunsets in the evening, they are really outstanding and incorporate hundreds of different colours & shades.

Well Mum! that seems to be the lot, I am afraid its [sic] a very [deleted] one indecipherable word [/deleted] uninteresting letter but there is not much of interest to write about, I hope every body is well at home and that Vincent is taking the place of three of us, I am just bursting to hear from you. I intend to post this letter with a couple others, when I don't know!

All my love
Your loving Son & Brother



Jim Cahir, “Letter to Mrs Cahir from Jim Cahir,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 20, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20037.

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