Frederick Bailey Royal Marines 1943 War Diary

Preface

Young Fred’s war diary is a record of him serving at the start of 1943, aged 22 years old, in the Royal Marines Division. Initially based at Spurn Point on the East Yorkshire coast of England doing largely watch or guard duties. He spends most of his time ashore but occasionally is tasked on board requisitioned trawlers.

Later he is posted back to the Royal Marine Barracks at Chatham (which his service record serial number CH/X 100377 indicates was his home barracks) in Kent. He undergoes signal training there and is eventually posted overseas from Portsmouth on Sunday 18th July, via Freetown Sierra Leone & Cape Town South Africa, to Bombay India.

Also included are 2 airgraphs from Fred to his mother, a Mrs H.E. Bailey residing at “Mahalaxmi41 Drayton Road, Borehamwood, Herts England written from Naval Party 1030 GPO London to celebrate her birthday and Christmas 1943.

His sweetheart was Betty Price from whom he receives various letters and a valentine card and to whom he writes fairly regularly, although like many naval types he appears to have a few others on the go too!

He was born on the 10th August 1920 and had with the following further details:

Pay No: 6th Div. (GII 1212) 266
Rifle No: V 14457
X Rayed R.N.B. 8th March 1943 (140359)
Naval Party 1030 Pay No 219
Inoculation TABC 100% 8th November 1943

He survived the war but no further information is known.

January 1943

Friday 1st

Orvicto/Spurn

Packed gear. Forenoon below. Left HLV 11.00. Transferred to Outburst at 13.00 off Spurn. Turned in until supper. Naafi in evening.

Letters from B. Price & Alan.  Ditto P. Davey.  Greetings from Dot. Walsham.  Airgraph from Gordon Tedder

Saturday 2nd

Spurn

Got up 08.00. Paid £2-10-0. Did first dog and first. 3/6d in letter from Mum from Women’s Sec: British Legion.

Letters from Mum (& Jo).  Ditto Mary Wilshire.  Card from Alan

Sunday 3rd

Spurn

Did the afternoon and last dog watches – proceeded by the morning. Cold as the grave. Much A.A. at night.

Monday 4th

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon. Turned in all afternoon.

Letter from B. Price.  Wrote: Alan Hedges, Peggy Davey, Mum and British Legion, Betty Price, Mary Wilshire

Tuesday 5th

Spurn

Did first dog and first.  Strong blizzard in progress.

Sent £1-0-0 home, also uniform.  Letter from Peggy Davey

Wednesday 6th

Spurn

Did morning. Turned in all forenoon. Tidied gear in the afternoon. Snow – 30 mph SSE.

Wrote (& sweater) to Bill

Thursday 7th

Spurn

Did afternoon watch and last dog. Pleasant weather.

Friday 8th

Did middle, forenoon, first dog and first watches.

Letter from P. Davey.  Ditto B. Sweeting.  Paper from Mum

Saturday 9th

Spurn

Did morning watch. Cold 33 degrees.  Rolled in forenoon. Bathed in afternoon.

Letter from B. Price.  Wrote 2 airgraphs to Dot.  Wrote 1 airgraph to Tedder.  Wrote 1 letter to Gwen

Sunday 10th

Spurn

Loafed most of the day. Dhobied a little. Snowing heavily. Went to concert and saw Carlton Accordion Players.

Letters to P. Davey, B. Sweeting.

Monday 11th

Spurn

Dhobied in the forenoon.  Did afternoon watch. Tanner Officer of the Watch. Last dog.

Wrote B. Price.

Tuesday 12th

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon. Turned in for afternoon.

Wrote Anne Scullion, Joan Peacock.

Wednesday 13th

Spurn

Loafed most of time.  Did first dog and first.

Thursday 14th

Spurn

Did morning watch. Turned in for forenoon. Fixed Aerial for radio. OK.

Friday 15th

Spurn

Laid in until 10.30. Paid £2.2.0

Letter from Doris Milner.  Wrote Doris, Fitz

Saturday 16th

Spurn

Learn that Bill is at, of all places, Patrington.  Did afternoon, last dog, middle

Letter from Bill, Alan, B. Price.  Wrote Bill.

Sunday 17th

Did middle forenoon.  First dog and first

Monday 18th

Did morning. Learn Bill at Out Newton. Bus to Easington. Walk to site. Have an hour or so’s jaw with him. Walk back nearly to Kilnsea and then get lift. Owe Cecil ½ lb sig (repaid)

Lent Barney £1.0.0 (Paid FRB 21/1).  Lent Bill £0.10.0.  Letter from Bill

Tuesday 19th

Spurn

Loafed etc. Lit boiler etc.  Went on watch 12.00. Did afternoon.  Last dog.

Wrote Mum.  Letter from Anne & Gwen

Wednesday 20th

Did Middle and Forenoon.  Borrowed bike from F.C. Cycled over to Out Newton to see Bill.  Stayed at site for tea. Got back in time for supper. Saw “Manhunt” at NAAFI.

Thursday 21st

Did spot of dhobeying in forenoon. First dog and first.

Wrote Alan, B. Price, Anne S., Pte Gwen Cutbush A.T.S.

Friday 22nd

Spurn

Morning, afternoon, last dog.  Bad visibility.

Letter from Mum, Peggy Davey.  Wrote Mum.

Saturday 23rd

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon.  Turned in for afternoon. Bathed and dhobied in evening.

Letter from Len Skinner.  Papers from Mum.  Wrote P. Davey, L. Skinner.

Sunday 24th

Spurn

Did not turn out until 12.00. Bill came down to Spurn. Had tea, supper, couple of pints at the NAAFI. He left at 2.00.

Monday 25th

Spurn

Got up 08.15. Did first dog and first.

Letter from Mary Wilshire.  Wrote Mary Wilshire.

Tuesday 26th

Spurn

Did morning. Rode over to Bill’s site. Found he had gone to another site called Tunstall, but found he had left me a note. Saw “Andy Hardy’s Courtship” at NAAFI.

Note from Bill.  Wrote Bill.

Wednesday 27th

Spurn

Did afternoon and last dog.

Letter from B. Price.

Thursday 28th

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon.

Reg. packet etc. from Mum.  Letter from Dobs.

Friday 29th

Spurn

Loafed most of day. Made a few gadgets.  Paid £1-16-0.

Wrote B. Price, Mum.  Letters from Nan, D. Ginn

Saturday 30th

Spurn

Did first dog, first.

Letter from Doris Milner.  Wrote Babs, Alan.

Sunday 31st

Spurn

Did morning, afternoon and last dog.  Gale.

February 1943

Monday 1st

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon.  Turned in for afternoon.

Letter from Anne, Peggy

Tuesday 2nd

Spurn

Did first dog and first

Letter from Bill

Wednesday 3rd

Spurn

Did morning watch.  Turned in most of day.

Wrote Doris Milner, Don Ginn.  Letter from B. Price.

Thursday 4th

Spurn

Did afternoon, last dog.

Friday 5th

Spurn

Middle, forenoon, first dog and first.

Herts Ads and Mirror from Mum.  Letter from Alan.

Saturday 6th

Spurn

Did morning watch. Had 3 breakfasts and turned in until teatime.  Bathed and did a bit of letter writing.  Lent Dickinson £1-0-0.

Wrote Anne, Mr J Wright.

Sunday 7th

Spurn

Loafed about. Did a bit dhobeying.

Wrote Mum, Bill, P. Davey

Monday 8th

Spurn

Did afternoon and last dog.

Tuesday 9th

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon. Turned in for afternoon. Saw “Holiday Inn” at NAAFI.

Wednesday 10th

Spurn

Loafed (getting quite a habit isn’t it?)  Did first dog and first.

Airgraph to Dot.  Wrote Alan, Betty Price.  Got Reg. letter from Bill.

Thursday 11th

Spurn

Did morning watch.  Turned in forenoon.

Letter to Bill, Dobs, N. Johnson.  Letter from Dobs.

Friday 12th

Spurn

Loafed, as usual, for the forenoon.  Slept all afternoon.  Paid £1-18-0.

Letter from Don Ginn, Mrs Wright.

Saturday 13th

Spurn

Up at 08.15 for breakfast.  Bit of dhobeying in forenoon.  Did afternoon, last dog.

Valentine from B. Price. Valentine gram to B. Price.

Sunday 14th

Spurn

Did middle and forenoon, first dog and first.

Monday 15th

Spurn

Got gear packed, after coming off morning. Spend day messing about awaiting boat. Spent evening attempting to salvage barrage balloon. Was partially successful.

Valentine from Peggy Davey and one from “?” at Watford. Letter from Alan. 1 from Len Skinner.

Tuesday 16th

Spurn/Arlette

Got rigged and messed about all forenoon. Caught Outburst and went on to Arlette.  Picked up first watch.

Wednesday 17th

Arlette

Did morning, afternoon and middle.

Thursday 18th

Arlette

Did middle and forenoon and part of first. Docked about 18.00. Saw “White Savage” & “Almost Married” at Tower.

Papers from Mum.  Letter from Nellie.

Friday 19th

Arlette

Did forenoon at office. Went to Savoy, saw “War Comes to Mrs Bradley”.

Letter from B. Price, P. Davey

Saturday 20th

Arlette

Did afternoon at Office

Letter from Anne Scullion, Babs Sweeting.  Wrote Mum, B. Price, Alan, L. Skinner

Sunday 21st

Arlette/RN Barracks (GY)

Got gear together. Went to RN Barracks (GY). Booked room at YMCA and went to Regal “Caught in the Draft”.

Monday 22nd

RNB (GY) / RMB (CH)

Up at 07.00, breakfasted at RNB, caught 09.05 at GY docks. Arrived Chatham 16.30.   Slept N6 room.

Tuesday 23rd

RMB (CH)

Spent forenoon going round various offices.

Wrote Mum, Anna Scullion.

Friday 26th

M. Barracks Chatham

Paraded. Paid £1-16-0.  Signal school afterward.  Did 04.00 – 06.00 as bell sentry.

Letters from Mum, B. Price, Don Ginn, Alan

Saturday 27th

Signal school in forenoon.  Rolled in all afternoon.  Did spot of ironing etc. in evening.

Sunday 28th

R.M.B. (CH)

Was warned off immediate foreign draft. Got gear packed. Went on bell sentry 22.00

Wrote Mum, D. Ginn.

March 1943

Monday 1st

Came off bell sentry 02.00.  Paraded with Woof at orderly room 07.55.

Tuesday 2nd

R.M.B.

Paraded 08.00. Sig school.  Forenoon, afternoon.  Saw “King Arthur was a Gent”.

Wednesday 3rd

(CH)

Paraded as usual.

Letter from Bill.  Wrote Bill.

Thursday 4th

RMB

Signal school. Marked gear etc.

Papers from Mum.  Letters from D. Milner, M. Wilshire.  Wrote Alan, B. Price

Friday 5th

(CH)

Paid £0-18-0.  Went to cinema – saw “Me and My Gal”.

Saturday 6th

RMB

Zeroed rifle. Did P.A.D.  (No 1 section fire fighting squad)

Sunday 7th

CH

Went ashore with “Woof”.  Met Betty Haynes.

Monday 8th

RMB CH

Parade 07.55. X-rayed at R.N.B. in afternoon.  Went stroll Vera White, Woof, B. Haynes.

Letter from Anne Scullion.

Tuesday 9th

R.M.B. CH

Signal school.  P.A.D. exercise at night.  N.T.R.

Papers from Mum.  Letter from Jack Wildman, Bill.

Wednesday 10th

RMB CH

Still at signal school.

Wrote Doris Milner, M. Wilshire, Mrs Wright, Geo Wright, Bill, Mum.

Thursday 11th

Got new greatcoat and stripes from store. Saw Beryl and Vera near barracks. Got gear ready for leave.

Letter from Len Skinner.

Friday 12th

RMB / Leave

Drew pay £2-7-0.  Proceeded on 7 day leave.  Arrived home 1.30.  Dug a bit of garden and a few chores. Went to studio, saw “Mrs Miniver”.

Saturday 13th

Leave

Went to Shenley with Alan.  Dance @ Keystone’s.

Sunday 14th

Leave

Went to St. Albans. Saw “Chump at Oxford”. Few drinks at Crown.

Monday 15th

Leave

Saw “7 Days Leave” at Studio.

Wrote Eddie Gutsel.

Tuesday 16th

Leave

Had ride round on bike, afternoon at R.C.  Strolled over to horses with Babs.

Wrote Mrs Dob.

Wednesday 17th

Leave

Marked gear in forenoon. Out with Al in evening.

Wrote Jack Wuldman

Thursday 18th

Leave / Barracks

Left home 2.45pm.  Arrived barracks 19.00.  Transferred to A2 at main.

Friday 19th

Barracks

Paraded at Miss – musters.  Paid 18/-. Sig school in afternoon.  Saw “Road to Morocco” in evening.  7/6 mess savings from R. Cullingford

Letter from P. Davey

Saturday 20th

R.M. Barracks

Paraded 0755. Rolled in for afternoon. Went to Hippodrome.

Buzzer 100% 100%
Lamp 95% 100%
Semaphore 99.5% 92.5%

Sunday 21st

R.M. Barracks

Paraded 0845, P.A.D.

Wrote R. Cullingford, Mum, Len Skinner, P. Davey, Anne.

Monday 22nd

R.M. Barracks

Paraded at 0800 as usual.  Did a few “reads”.  Did not go ashore in evening.

Wrote D. Walsham.

Tuesday 23rd

R.M.B CH

Stayed aboard.

Wednesday 24th

R.M.B CH

Was on P.A.D. Stayed aboard, of course.

Thursday 25th

R.M.B CH

Went ashore and saw “7 Sweethearts” at Ritz.

Friday 26th

Went to Ritz, saw “Always in my Heart”.  Paid 18/-

Letter from Jack Wildman & Xmas card

Saturday 27th

Forenoon at Sig school.  100% at lamp and sema.  P.A.D. fire watching – but did not have to turn out

Papers from Mum.

Sunday 28th

RMB

Went stroll past Rochester with Woof. Pictures in evening.

Monday 29th

CH

Went to Globe, saw “Who Done It

Gram to Dobs.

Tuesday 30th

RMB

Paraded as usual 0800

Signal school all day

Letter from Dobs. Wrote Dobs.

Wednesday 31st

RMB

Went ashore, saw “Something to Sing About

Letter from B. Price

April 1943

Thursday 1st

RMB

Went on “booze”

Friday 2nd

RMB

Paid 18/-.  Bell sentry 6-8 & 12-2

Letter from Anne, Babs.

Saturday 3rd

BW

Went on weekend.  Home at 4. Went stroll B. Price Green St – Shenley – Green St.

Letter from M. Wilshire

Sunday 4th

BW

Went to “W for V” parade.  Later to Crown with Mickey and Brownie.  Caught 830 bus from B.W.  10.40 from Charing Cross.  Arrived barracks 2400

Monday 5th

RMB

Signal school as usual.  P.A.D.  Slept in barrack room.

Tuesday 6th

All day at signal school.  Went to Sailor’s Home for supper.

Back to write a letter or two.  Wrote Brownie

Wednesday 7th

RMB

Forenoon at Signal school.

Thursday 8th

School. Was nearly broke.  Should have been bell sentry but had all night in.

Wrote M. Wilshire, Mum.  Letter from Len Skinner

Friday 9th

RMB CH

Paid 18/-.  Signal school all day

Saturday 10th

Went Majestic saw “Lady Bodyguard” with “Bolshie Bill”

Note for “Bolshie” read “Comrade”

Sunday 11th

RMB CH

P.A.D. parade 0845. Mel guard room fatigues.  Was P.A.D. firewatcher.  Turned out 0015

Monday 12th

RMB CH

Turned in 0100. Signal school fore and after noon.  Saw “Wake Island

Tuesday 13th

RMB

Signal school. Spot of helio.  Did dhobeying in evening.

Letter from B. Price  Wrote Brownie, B. Price

Wednesday 14th

RMB CH

More signal instruction.  P.A.D. in evening.  Turned out at 2335 or so

Letter from Jack.

Thursday 15th

RMB (CH)

Stayed aboard. Had a spot of footer.  Did intelligence test and joined 38A class.

Friday 16th

RMB (CH)

Paid 18/-. Went pidgeon lecture P.M. Cinema in evening.

Saturday 17th

RMB

Signal school in forenoon.  Kipped in P.M.

Sunday 18th

Saw “White Cargo” and “Pride of the Yankees

Wrote Bill (I think)

Monday 19th

RMB

Nothing of import.

Letter from Babs.  Wrote Mum, Babs

Tuesday 20th

P.A.D. Nothing of import. Alert 22.30-23.00

Wednesday 21st

Went to Blue Bell hill to release pidgeons.  Saw “Twin Beds” at Globe.

Letter from Bet Price.

Thursday 22nd

Stayed aboard again.

Papers from Mum.

Friday 23rd (Good Friday)

Hot X buns for breakfast.  Drumhead Service. Drew £1-1-0.

Letters from Jack Wildman.  Easter card from B. Price.  Wrote Jack

Saturday 24th

RMB

Turned in in afternoon.  Went “3 Crowns” and “North Foreland” with Bolshie and Barber.

Sunday 25th

Went Regent mitt Bolshie and Floyd.

Monday 26th

RMB

Afternoon off, turned in.  PAD at Wrennery in evening. Saw “This Above All” at Globe.

Letter from Bill, Anne, B. Price.  Wrote B. Price, Bill

Tuesday 27th

RMB

Forenoon at Signal School.  Sold stripes for 15/-.

Wrote Mum & Anne.  Parcel (pyjamas) from Mum.

Wednesday 28th

Went and saw ? at Majestic.

Thursday 29th

RMB

Stayed aboard. PAD.  (Gash hand)

Friday 30th

Paid 18/-.  Rained all day

Wrote L. Skinner

May 1943

Saturday 1st

Stayed aboard, except for trip up to Melville canteen.  Raining canines and felines.

Sunday 2nd

RMB

PAD parade 0845, again at 1700. No 4 trailer pump crew. Saw “My Gal Sal” at Globe.

Monday 3rd

Nothing to report. Usual routine

Papers from Mum.  Letter from Anne.

Tuesday 4th

RMB

Got stripes, pressed same and went ashore with “Bolshie” saw Vera Lynn in “We’ll Meet Again”.  Stripes from Mum.

Wednesday 5th

RMB

Bell sentry 2200-2359.

Wrote Mum

Thursday 6th

Saw “Eugine Pini” at Globe. Party good.

Friday 7th

Went ashore to Majestic. Saw 407 Kings Squad on parade.  Paid 18/-.  Boozed up with “Cookie”

Letter from B. Price

Saturday 8th

Test on “Lines”.  Duty flag 0800

Buzzer 100% and 99.5%
Lamp 100%
Sema 98.5%

Had bath, did dhobeying, etc.  Duty flag again at 19.00.  P.A.D. slept rescue store.

Sunday 9th

RMB CH

Did fatigues at M.C.H.  Stayed aboard most day.  Supper at Sailors’ Home.

Wrote Anne, B. Price

Monday 10th

Rained all day.

Letter from Dobs

Tuesday 11th

Signal school 0800 for duty flag.  Rescue squad (No 2 section) for PAD.  Duty flag 1900.

Letter from L. Skinner

Wednesday 12th

Procedure and maps in forenoon. Lamp work in afternoon.  Wrote up notes in evening at D.1

Thursday 13th

RMB CH

No parade. Procedure in forenoon and maps.

Letter from B. Price.

Friday 14th

Duty flag.  Paid 18/-.

Postcard to Mum.  Letter from Dot Walsham

Saturday 15th

RMB CH

Did read up at Lines.  Caught 1258 from Chatham.  Had good feed and then out with Alan.

Buzzer 1100
Buzzer 2100
Lamp 98
Sema 99.5

Sunday 16th

Rode up to Kath’s, saw Christine. Saw Home Guard demonstration in afternoon.  Strolled with Wendy, Joan, Arthur Powell in evening.  Left B.W. 2115 Charing X 2240. Arrived barracks 23.45.

Monday 17th

RMB (CH) Duty watch

Duty flag 0800. Signal school.  Duck eggs for tea.  Firewatcher married quarters.

Tuesday 18th

Turned out twice in early morning. Finally crashed down for good at 0300

Wednesday 19th

RMB CH

Usual routine

Wrote Joan Johns, Dot Walsham

Thursday 20th

Still usual routine.  Bell sentry 1800-2100

Friday 21st

RMB

Paid 18/-. Strolled up to Victoria Park with Floyd.

Saturday 22nd

Weekly read:-

Buzzer 100% 100%
Lamp 98.5%
Sema 99.5%

Saw “Pied Piper” in evening

Parcel from Mum

Sunday 23rd

RMB (CH)

Duty flag 0800 and 1900.  Firewatcher (cookhouse)

Monday 24th

Instruction at signal school

Wrote Mum.

Tuesday 25th

RMB

Instruction at Sig School.  Wrote notes in evening.

Wednesday 26th

(CH)

Daily Flag 0800 and 1900.  Firewatcher WO’s mess.  Wrote notes in evening

Letter from Alan

Thursday 27th

RMB CH

Letter from Nellie with 5/- P.O. Lamp pair work in afternoon.  Letter from Nellie

Friday 28th

RMB (CH)

Paid 18/-. Helio work in forenoon. Reads in afternoon.  “Ratted” in evening.

Wrote Nellie

Saturday 29th

100% on all reads.

Went swimming at Garrison Baths.  Firewatcher on D roof

Sunday 30th

Melville guard room fatigues in forenoon.  Went stroll evening

Monday 31st

Signal School

June 1943

Tuesday 1st

Map ride in forenoon, PAD at night (F.W. No 1 terrace.)

Letter from Anne, Brownie

Wednesday 2nd

Should have gone on CWS scheme, but was prevented from doing so by rain

Thursday 3rd

Did cable work scheme at Chattenden.  Went ENSA show in evening.

Wrote Al and Brownie

Friday 4th

Visual Scheme (HQ Coy).  First Coy back. Our position Hale. Paid 18/-

Letter from Babs.

Saturday 5th

Weekly read. 100% on all reads.

Sunday 6th

Stayed aboard all day.  Wrote notes all afternoon

Monday 7th

Moving central V/S station exercise. Signal clerk

Tuesday 8th

RMB CH

Examinations

Airgraph from Dot

Wednesday 9th

More exams

A/G from Dot

Thursday 10th

RMB

Paid £1-18-0. Left CH 1715 arrived Elstree 1930.

marine-2

Friday 11th

Leave

Went cinema. Saw “Silver Fleet’.  Cycled to South Mimms

Saturday 12th

Leave

Roamed around, getting bored.

Sunday 13th

Went cinema, saw “This Man Reuter”.  Picked up 1st Good Conduct Badge

Monday 14th

Leave

Did bit dhobeying

Tuesday 15th

Leave

Saw “Get Cracking” at Studio with Brownie

Wrote “Jenks”, Bill

Wednesday 16th

Leave

Walked to Elstree with Brownie

Thursday 17th

Leave RMB CH

Saw “Casablanca” at Studio. Left for CH 1300 arrived 1700. Slept A2

Letter from Brownie, Mary Wilshire

Friday 18th

RMB

Paid 18/-. Moved to C14 Kitchener barracks. Top on exams. Start radio.

Practical 86%
Paper 89%
Reading 100%

Letter from Bill, Brownie.  Wrote Brownie, Mickie

Saturday 19th

Weekly read

Buzzer (1)
Buzzer (2)
Lamp
Sema

PAD 1BW Canteen.  Turned out twice during night

Sunday 20th

K Barracks CH

Fatigues Me. Guard room.  Slept in afternoon.  Saw “Money for Jam”, “Dr Syn

Monday 21st

Radio work 38 set in forenoon.  Motor cycle instruction afternoon.  Went ashore for supper at “Freddie’s”

Tuesday 22nd

38 set in forenoon.  Motor cycling in afternoon.  “Arabian Nights” at Globe

Wrote Mum.  Letter from Mickie

Wednesday 23rd

RM (KB) CH

22 set in forenoon.  Motorbike in afternoon.

Letter from Brownie.  Wrote M. Wiltshire

Thursday 24th

22 set in forenoon, motorbike in afternoon.  Wrote up notes in evening

Friday 25th

Gas test 0800. Duty flag. 22 set in forenoon.  Paid £1-5-0. Reading in afternoon. Bell sentry 10-12, 0400-0600.

Saturday 26th

Test read buzzer 100%, lamp 99.5%, sema 98%

Cleaned school.  Moved to K.B. B12

Letter from Jenks.  Paper from Mum.  Letter from Mum

Sunday 27th

Saw “Desperate Journey” at picture house.

Wrote Mum, Brownie, Len Skinner

Monday 28th

No 18 set on forenoon.  Chatham – Maidstone – Rochester – Maidstone – Chatham on motorbikes in afternoon.  Duty flag. Firewatcher W.O.’s mess. Turned out at 0200-0230

Tuesday 29th

22 set in forenoon.  Draft on board at noon.  Have afternoon off.  Pack gear, etc.

Wednesday 30th

Leave

Have medical, dental.  Paid £2-3-0 Leave.  Went flicks with Brownie

July 1943

Thursday 1st

Leave

Loafed most of day.  Out with Nellie West in evening

Friday 2nd

Roamed and loafed.  Went flicks in afternoon

Saturday 3rd

Cycling with Hilda

Sunday 4th

Made rabbit hutch yesterday.  Pictures with Brownie.  Wilkie came over.

Monday 5th

Nothing much to report. Went to Watford to buy pipe.  Got it.  Saw J. Peacock at Watford

Tuesday 6th

Went stroll with Brownie Elstree & back

Wednesday 7th

RMB

Got back to barracks about 2000. Bunked B12 Kitchener with A.S. Thorpe

Thursday 8th

Loafed in forenoon.  Sig School in afternoon.  Aboard in evening

Letters from Babs, L. Skinner.  Airgraph from Jack W

Friday 9th

Paid £1-2-0.  Ashore with A.S.T. and pal. Saw “3 Hearts for Julia

Saturday 10th

Sig School in forenoon.  Draft in afternoon.  Med, Stores etc.  Packed gear.

Sunday 11th

Embarked 0815 for naval Party 1030. Arrived Pompey 1400

Monday 12th

Loafed around.

Wrote letters to Mum (1), Brownie, Babs.

Tuesday 13th

Strolled around Southsea

Wednesday 14th

Went Savoy Pompey.  Slept Trafalgar Club

Thursday 15th

Paid £1-0-0

Friday 16th

Paid £4-0-0

Left Pompey with draft.

Wrote Mum (2), Brownie

Saturday 17th

Arrived: – …………. Went aboard S.S. ………..

Soon settled down. We 6 bootnecks mess with 10 matelots.

Letter No 3 Mum, Bill, Nellie

Sunday 18th

10.30 sailed.

Wrote Mum

Monday 19th

En route.  Good weather.  The blanks in the following pages are due to the monotony of the daily routine. One eats (after a style) sleeps, loafs on deck etc. The unusual (to us) heat makes one’s brain numb, or so it seems.

Tuesday 20th

En route.  Good weather.

We sunbathe almost every day – bearing in mind some of the burns I have seen, I take it easier

Wednesday 21st – Friday 23rd

Nothing to report.

Saturday 24th

N.T.R.

Wrote Mum (4), Alan Hedges, D. Milner, Mrs Stockley, Brownie

Sunday 25th – Monday 26th

N.T.R.

Tuesday 27th

N.T.R.

Wrote K. Colter, Lena Endicott, Mary Wilshire

Wednesday 28th – Saturday 31st

N.T.R.

August 1943

Sunday 1st

Our first port. We do not get ashore, but lean over the rail, wistfully looking at the lights ashore and watching niggers dive for pennies.  We are allowed the luxury of sleeping with the scuttles open at night, lately fresh air has been at a premium.

Monday 2nd

We oil and water, watch the ships etc. and speculate as to whether the next meal will be worth eating.

Tuesday 3rd – Sunday 8th

En route

Monday 9th

Wrote Anne Scullion, J. Wildman, Vera Cross, Chief Jenkins, Mickie, Peggy Davey, Mrs Robinson, Brownie

Tuesday 10th

My 23rd birthday.  Drank my own health in lukewarm, brackish water.

Thursday 12th

Wrote Mum No 5, A.S. Thorpe, Nellie Johnson, G. Tester.

Friday 13th

Wrote Babs

Monday 16th

Paid £1.0.0.

Tuesday 17th

Re-wrote letter No 5 to Mum (reached home Oct 16th).  Wrote Joan Peacock

Wednesday 18th

15.00 I have a grandstand view from forward end of prom deck. First the Table Mountain comes into sight and we swing into the Bay. Our escort swings aft as if we are of no import now that there is something of interest to look at. Rather reminds one of a pack of dogs leaving a bone for a larger one. As we get into the bay the town unfolds itself and is a beautiful sight. I can see now why Mum (bless her) wanted to go back. We drop hook, look at the lights, wish we could go ashore and turn in. Sleep – sleep – sleep.

Thursday 19th

08.30 Up hook, and away we go. Never far from land. Meet occasional ships. Start thinking of our next stop.

Wednesday 25th

Watch aboard.

Thursday 26th

Went ashore.

Friday 27th

Stayed aboard.

Airgraphs to Mum (No 6), Nellie (Bailey), Brownie

Sunday 29th

Wrote Bill.

September 1943

Friday 3rd

Paid £1-0-0.

Wrote: – E Gutsell, Babs, Al, B. Lumsden, Dot, N. Bailey, Mum.

Tuesday 7th

Wrote Jean Bilton, B. Price

Friday 10th

Anchored in Bay

Saturday 11th

Docked.

Sunday 12th

Sorted gear on dockside.  My first impressions of this country is one of dirt and dust, heat and hullaballoo – and maybe I’m not mistaken.

‘Gram from Dobs.  Airgraph from Dot

Monday 13th

Went to RNB II.  Room 21.  We have a nice place here. A large room, tiled floor, with two sets of double doors opening onto a large veranda. I sleep outside and it’s beautifully cool. One can go up onto the roof where a grand view is to be had. Mosques, spires, blocks of flats, all in their variety present a cosmopolitan view.

Tuesday 14th

Paid R.40.  Saw “Star Spangled Rhythm”.

Wednesday 15th

As a city this place does not impress me. Dirt, dogs, beggars – all combine to make up all that is offensive. Clean this place up – give the native a bath or rather a soak – that would my first action if I were able to have my way.

Wrote A/G Mum, Brownie

Thursday 16th

Saw “Hello Frisco Hello” at Eros. Had a nice supper after the show.

Friday 17th

Nothing to report

Wrote A/G Nellie, Babs

Saturday 18th

Swimming in forenoon at Breach Candy – a Trust swimming bath for Europeans only. A very nice place too.

Sunday 19th

Swimming in afternoon.  Stroll in evening.

Monday 20th

Afternoon at RNO. From my point of view a sheer waste of time.

Tuesday 21st

Day off.

Wednesday 22nd

Feeling low. Forenoon at RNO. Sick at night.

Thursday 23rd

Went sick – excused duty (Dengue fever)

Friday 24th

Sick bay in forenoon

Letter No 3 from Mum, letter from Jack, card & letter from Nellie all posted 10th August from England (46 days)

Saturday 25th

Sick bay in forenoon

Write letter (8) air letter card (9) to Mum (arrived home Oct 18th – 23 days)

Sunday 26th

Sick bay in forenoon

Monday 27th

Returned to duty

Tuesday 28th

Forenoon at RNO

Wednesday 29th

Afternoon at RNO

Letters to Bill, Dot

Thursday 30th

Paid R30.  Saw “China” at Regal – am rather disappointed

Postcard & letter from P. Davey (posted 28th July England).  Wrote letter No 10 to Mum (Air Letter Card) arrived home Oct 18th (18 days).  Airgraphs to Bill, Brownie, Alan.  Xmas Cards to Mum, Brownie

October 1943

Friday 1st

Strolled round Native Quarter in forenoon. Did “Dogs” as bell sentry.

Saturday 2nd

Morning as bell sentry.  First as bell sentry

“Greetings A/G” to Brownie & Mum.  Letters to P. Davey., Mum, Jack Wildman

marine-3

Sunday 3rd

Forenoon as bell sentry rolled in for afternoon. Went swimming at Breech Candy in evening.

Monday 4th

Spend forenoon on roof, writing etc.  Did afternoon watch on bells

Greetings A/G to Al.  ALC to Mum No 11.  Wrote letter to Babs & Greetings A/G

Tuesday 5th

Did middle. Writing on roof occupied most of forenoon.  Dhobied afternoon. Dogs on bells

Greetings A/G to Dot

Wednesday 6th

Did morning watch and first. Breach Candy in afternoon.

Wrote Anne Scullion, D. Milner.

Thursday 7th

Did forenoon. Turned in for afternoon. Dhobied in evening

Wrote Mary Wilshire letter and greeting A/G

Friday 8th

Forenoon on roof.  Afternoon on bells.  Cells, not bells, you fool

Saturday 9th

Did middle, dogs forenoon on roof.

A.L.C. to Mrs Rob.  Wrote letter to Brownie, Mickie

Sunday 10th

Have morning watch. Saw “What’s Cookin” at Regal.  Have first

Monday 11th

Do forenoon watch.  Saw “Big Shot” at Strand.

Tuesday 12th

Scotch Kirk in forenoon.  Swimming at Breach Candy in afternoon.

Herts Ads from Mum (posted Aug 29 – 44 days).  Letter from Nellie (posted Aug 31 – 42 days)

Wednesday 13th

Paid R25. Breach Candy in afternoon. Saw “Navy Blues” at Strand in evening.

A.L.G. No 12 to Mum

Thursday 14th

Left for Deolali (rest camp).  Arrived about 1900.  An interesting train journey. Scenery very impressive. Jack and I could have a grand time camping here – or maybe we will have had our fill of camping by the time this is over.

Friday 15th

Cleaned rifles in forenoon. Fired 200 x ranged in afternoon. Score 13/20.  Saw “Tale of Two Cities”.  I have a bed on the veranda again and a boy between three of us

Saturday 16th

Swimming in forenoon – make and mend after lunch. Got my head down.

Sunday 17th

Divisions: did dhobeying after dinner. Saw Holton at sick bay. Got soaked

Monday 18th

Lectures on marriage and divorce and Brain Trust in forenoon. M and M in afternoon.  Town patrol at night 7-0.30 (saw part of Black Swan)

Wrote Nellie

Tuesday 19th

Swimming in forenoon.  Climbed hills 800-900’ ft. in afternoon. Had a grand view from the summit plains, lakes, rivers & mountains.

Airgraphs from Bill (posted 27 Sep – 21 days), Mum (letter 5 posted 22 Sep – 26 days) Nellie (Graph 1)

Wednesday 20th

.22 range in forenoon .303 range in afternoon.  Chinese restaurant in evening

A/G (No 13) to Mum.  A/G to Nellie (6th Nov 17 days)

Thursday 21st

Revolver in forenoon .303 in afternoon.

Wrote Bill

Friday 22nd

Tommy gun in forenoon .303 in afternoon

ALC to Brownie.  Letter to Dot.

Saturday 23rd

Helio work in forenoon.  Saw “Crossroads” at garrison theatre

Sunday 24th

Divisions in forenoon. A short service by the Commander. Spent the afternoon writing 1600 to 1800 as phone watch keeper. Strolled down into town during the evening.

ALC to Babs (arrived Nov 5).  Wrote A/G to Bill, Mum (14)

Monday 25th

Went for short march in forenoon. M and M in afternoon. Saw “Whistling in Dixie” at Munro

Tuesday 26th

Took division in Semaphore in forenoon. Went on tour of caves at Pandu Lena (5 miles west of Nashik) then caves carved by Buddhists between 100 BC and 200 BC. Stayed aboard in evening

ALC (15) to Mum.  A/G (Greetings) to Joan Day

Wednesday 27th

Semaphore instruction in the forenoon.  Zeroed rifles on range in afternoon.  Stayed aboard in evening drawing greetings A/G

Thursday 28th

Semaphore instruction in forenoon. Zeroing rifles in afternoon. Spend evening writing

A.L.C. from Dot (posted 5/10/43 – 23 days).  A/G 2 from Nellie (posted 29/9/43 – 29 days).  A/G 3 from Nellie (posted 6/10/43 – 22 days).  Letter 6 from Mum (posted 6/10/43 – 22 days)

Friday 29th

Went down to baths in forenoon, but said baths were closed on account of water shortage. Zeroing rifles in afternoon. Concert in evening by RA.  Paid R 35

Airgraph to Doris Milner, Jim Bailey (Greetings)

Saturday 30th

Loafed in forenoon.  Afternoon phone watch

Greeting AG to Bill.  A.L.C. to Dot Walsham.  AG to Nellie

Sunday 31st

Strolled in afternoon.  Saw “Yank in RAF”.

Letter to Al Hedges.  A/G Mum (16) Nov 29th.  A/G V. Cross.

November 1943

Monday 1st

Signalling in forenoon.  M and M in afternoon.  Babs mother died today.

Tuesday 2nd

Cleaned rifles in forenoon.  Head down in afternoon  Think I have slight attack of fever.

Wednesday 3rd

Signalling in forenoon.  Yet another Make and Mend in afternoon.

A/G to Brownie.

Thursday 4th

Signalling in forenoon (getting a bit fed up with this). Strolled round town in afternoon. Read mail and wrote in evening.

A/G (Letter No 7) from Mum (Oct 14 – 20 days).  Herts Ads from Mum (Aug 12th – 86 days)

Friday 5th

Route march in forenoon.  Dental inspection in afternoon – then make and mend.  Town patrol in evening. Saw part of “Forever and a Day”. Met Les Rance (Radlett) who was at Medburn with me. He is a Cpl in Sigs.

Received ALC (No 4 – Oct 16th – 20 days) from Nellie.  Received ALC (No 8 – Oct 20th – 16 days) from Mum.  Before I wrote ALC No 17 to Mum, A/G to Babs

Saturday 6th

Strolled down to village during the forenoon.  Wrote airgraphs etc. in evening.

Wrote A/G (18) to Mum.  Wrote A/G to Nellie

Sunday 7th

Divisions. Applied for 1939-43 Star.

Wrote A/G Jack Wildman

Monday 8th

Inoculated in forenoon.  Make & Mend in afternoon. Go swimming in River Darna.

Tuesday 9th

Lecture on Achilles part in Battle of the Plate.

Wrote:- A/G (Greetings) Aunt Dot, Uncle Ted

Wednesday 10th

Signalling (helio) in forenoon. Swimming in afternoon

Thursday 11th

March in morning. Swimming in Darna in afternoon. Good Ho!

Friday 12th

March in forenoon. Make & mend in afternoon. Saw bill Tory at hospital in evening.

Saturday 13th

Swimming at garrison baths in forenoon. Dhobied in afternoon.

Wrote ALC No 19 to Mum

Sunday 14th

Divisions. Town patrol at night.

Head down in afternoon.  Saw part of “Now Voyager

Wrote ALC to Nellie

Monday 15th

Clipped ammo in forenoon and had a lecture (such as it was) on close combat fighting.  Make and mend afternoon.  Swimming in evening at garrison baths

ALC from Len Skinner 18/10 27 days.  ALC from Jessie Rob 27/10 18 days.  AG from Nellie No 5 20/10 25 days.  Wrote Jessie Rob ALC

Tuesday 16th

Route march in forenoon.  Loafed and wrote letters in evening. Saw “West of Suez” at Munro in evening.

Wrote ALC Nellie, Len Skinner

Wednesday 17th

Fired .38 pistol (range).  Scored 7/18.  Judo practice.  Played cricket in afternoon. Bowled one over – no good.  Caught out after 5 balls – no good  Note: Get some practice in. And soon!

Thursday 18th

Lecture (street fighting) and judo.  Saw “Invisible Stripes” at Munro

Papers from Mum posted Sept 11 (69 days).  Letter from Lena Endicott posted Sept 15 (65 days).  Letter from Lena Endicott posted Sept 11 (69 days).  ALC from Mum No 9 posted Oct 31st (19 days).  ALC from Nellie No 6 posted Oct 30th (20 days).  AG from Nellie posted Oct 23 (27 days).  Letter from Brownie posted Sep 13 (67 days).  AG from Babs posted Sep 22 (28 days).  Letter from Mum No 4 posted Sep 18 (70 days)

Friday 19th

PT, AFO instructors and cinema lecture on malaria in forenoon. Marched to .303 range in afternoon.  Dhobied in afternoon and packed gear for Bombay.

Saturday 20th

Left Deolali, arrived Bombay 1500. Back in same room that I occupied before I left here.

A/G to the boys from Nellie posted Nov 1st (19 days)

Sunday 21st

Initiated into Postie’s job.  Back in RNB2 Rm 21.

Wrote AG No 20 to Mum, Lena, Brownie, Babs, Nellie (posted Nov 27th)

Monday 22nd

Settling down to the routine OK. Have no dough, so stay aboard, doing dhobeying, etc.

Tuesday 23rd

Disappointing day not much mail.

Wednesday 24th

Still staying aboard.

Thursday 25th

Stayed aboard. Not much mail.

Friday 26th

Missed pay parade – big sea-mail. Saw “They Come to Blow Up America” at Eros. Met Sub Lt Fish at Breach Candy.

Letter from Jane Jonas.

Saturday 27th

Paid R 60.  Swimming – Breach Candy

Posted A/G see Nov 21.  Greetings A/G to Ver View

Sunday 28th

Big sea mail.  Swimming Break Candy

Wrote AMLC Dot., A/G Jane Jonas.

Monday 29th

Nothing of import: stayed aboard.

Tuesday 30th

Went Wogs cinema.

AMLC from Babs (posted 9/11/43 – 21 days)

December 1943

Wednesday 1st

Had one tooth out, stayed aboard

Papers posted Oct 21 from mum.  Wrote ALC 21 to Mum.  Wrote 2 AG to Babs.

Thursday 2nd

Nothing doing.  Stayed aboard

Friday 3rd

Saw West Indian boxing championship

Saturday 4th

Roamed around, big eats etc.

ALC from Nellie No 7 Nov 8th 26 days.  ALC from Nellie No 9 Nov 20th 14 days.  ALC from Brownie Nov 15th 19 days

Sunday 5th

No mail in forenoon.  Break Candy in afternoon.  Saw “Geo. W. Slept Here

Monday 6th

Stayed aboard. Did spot of Dhobey.

Tuesday 7th

Very little mail. Stayed aboard.

A/G from Babs 9/11/43.  Wrote A/G to Brownie, Babs.

Thursday 9th

Nothing much of import.

Friday 10th

Make and mend in forenoon. Go to Victoria station, pick up Woof etc. and on to Salsette

Saturday 11th

Clean hut, in forenoon medical. M and M in afternoon

ALC No 11 from Mum (Nov 26 – 14 days)

Sunday 12th

Divisions. Went stroll ashore. Slept in afternoon.

Wrote AMLC Mum No 21.  Wrote AG Nellie.

Monday 13th

Started signal school. Some of these Indian chappies are quite hot at the job.

Tuesday 14th

At S.S. again.  On patrol at night 1900-0000.  Few drinks at Prince of Wales and supper at café Mondegar.

Wednesday 15th

Sig school. Dhobey in evening. Could do with a few Rupees.

Thursday 16th

Sig school again.

Friday 17th

School in forenoon. M and m in afternoon. Draw combined op gear.

Receive AG No 10 from Nellie 27/11 (20 days)

Saturday 18th

Clean barracks. Swimming in forenoon. Loaf and Dhobey.

Letter from Mary Wilshire posted Oct 3.  Letter from Al posted Oct 10

Sunday 19th

Divisions. Pep talk by Capt. Coalville.

Wrote ALC Mary Wilshire.  Greetings A/G from Mary Wilshire 22/11/43.  Wrote AG to Nellie

Monday 20th

Signal school again.  Stayed aboard.

Tuesday 21st

Sig school in forenoon.  Dentist in afternoon

Papers from Mum (Nov 9 43 days).  Parcel from Nellie & 7/6 (Nov 9 43 days).  Greetings AG from Al (19 Nov 33 days).  Greetings AG from Brownie, Hilda (17 Nov 35 days)

Wednesday 22nd

Sig school.  M and M

A/G to Nellie

Thursday 23rd

Sig school till 1100. Paid R 95.  Sig school in afternoon.  Dhobey etc. Duty watch.

Wrote A/G to D. Milner.  AMLC from Brownie, Babs 3/12

Friday 24th

Torencon at sig school.  Make & mend in afternoon. Sent parcel home.

AMLC from Nellie No 11 5/12 19 days.  AMLC from Mary 9/12 15 days

Saturday 25th

What a horrible Xmas.  “Dumbo” at Strand.  Packet gear. Got a trifle cut.

Sunday 26th

Left Salsette. Had tot.

Wrote Mum ALC 22 – not posted yet

Monday 27th

About 2 hours work and remainder of time to myself.

Tuesday 28th

Same routine. Good grub

Wednesday 29th

Still loafing. Beau weather.

Thursday 30th

Lecture on first aid.

Friday 31st

Same routine

Still beautiful weather.

marine-1

 

Frederick Bailey Royal Marines 1943 War Diary

One thought on “Frederick Bailey Royal Marines 1943 War Diary

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