22 Sep 1945, Barbara Anslow's diary
(Diary was packed last night (21st) so couldn't write anything then. Went shopping.)
Had a cable from Aunt Lily, she had received ours, thank God she is still alive.
Assembled at Queen's Pier at 9.30am, launch to 'Smiter' which is out in mid-stream. Assembled on hangar deck.
Olive and I have the Paymaster's cabin (one bunk and one camp bed), everything pale green. Most of the Nursing Sisters (all from Tweed Bay Hosp) are in layers of 4 on the Mess Deck. Olive has given her bunk to Miss E. Riley ((aged 52, we thought of her as elderly!)), Olive will sleep on camp bed, and I've taken Miss Riley's stretcher (the topmost of the 4) on the Mess Deck, very near the ceiling.
So far we are supposed to be going to Trincomalee (Ceylon), about 6-7 days, then transhipping.
The Stanley folk came round in a minesweeper.
We have to climb over enormous steps over every section of below decks; the bathroom queue is reminiscent of Stanley - no time for baths. We had a lovely meal of mutton chop served by white stewards.
As we sailed about 7pm I really thought 'This is the last of Hong Kong.'
As we passed the 'Duke of York' she bugle-called us, the men on board stood to attention, and then everybody cheered everybody else.