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Sandbach / Myhill (No sermon)

Oh grief! Oh disillusionment! Oh cruel capricious Fate that flaunts Abundance with a generous seeming grace before our famished eyes and then with most malicious mirth whisks away his bounty with a laugh and leaves us, poor deluded fools, to lick our chops and pick the hungry crumbs that from his trenches spill. Lackaday; lackaday!

Yesterday, just before the evening meal was served, Mr Sandbach stood on a table, waved a list in the air and called to everyone to gather round. He then read, ‘The advanced manifest of the Canadian stores that the Japanese hoped to send into camp on the following day’. (Sunday) There was a buzz of excitement!  What were we going to get?

The list was as follows: 600 cases of comfort parcels (2,500 parcels); 21 cases medical and surgical supplies; 37 cases Men’s clothing; 2 cases men’s boots and shoes; 1 case boot repair equipment; 5 cases relief goods and toilet articles; 1 case cigarettes (9,000); 2 cases books. There was polite clapping and everyone did their best to look pleased and not disappointed! One parcel each and four cigarettes each!! Where, oh where were the wonderful bulk supplies?

Well, I suppose it jolly well serves us right for being such greedy gubbins and expecting more. Still, I must say it’s a long time since I have felt so flat and let down. One gets a horrid feeling that we don’t count for anything in the war effort and consequently the Govt at home doesn’t bother about us much. The Americans were repatriated; the Canadians were repatriated; the Dutch get their regular parcels from town but the poor British get nothing! In fact, we feel a little sorry for ourselves! However, self pity never got anyone anywhere and in any case we are sure we are not really forgotten. We are sure it is all the fault of the Japanese – they have double crossed us somehow.

Today the parcels and stores have been coming in. Imagine our surprise when we saw from the canvas wrappers of the parcels that they are part of the original lot that came from Lorenco Marques.

Foggy, damp.

Supplies to be brought by road & not in lighters so much activity from 6am. Supplies arrived during forenoon & stored in godowns. Majority seems to be ex. Lorenco Marques stores. Sgt. Major will not release them today damn his hide.

Jack’s tea party to celebrate his wedding anniv.

Much wood arrived.

Today brought much disappointment.

Very disappointing news - early this a.m the Japs woke us up calling for Max Bickerton ((a Japanese-speaking internee who often interpreted)), and men went off re parcels.

After church, I went to help at hospital shelling cockles which came in rations.

Rumours rife - that there was bulk stuff, that there were Canadian, British and American parcels, but after our 3 plays were put on at Sanatorium ((for TB patients, pre-war the Leprosarium)) this afternoon, we came down to earth with a bang: apparently there may not even be enough parcels for one per person, and they are all 1942 parcels from Lourenco Marques.