28 Nov 1942, John Charter's wartime journal

Submitted by HK Bill on Mon, 05/17/2021 - 12:38

Permission to transfer the food ((i.e. the bulk IRC rations)) from the godown to our own stores was obtained eventually from the Japanese and the day fixed upon was Tuesday 17th Nov. The weather up till then had been beautiful but Tuesday proved to be a cold and rainy day. I had been allowed a shoe repair by the welfare and had my one pair of leather shoes, which would stand repairing, put again into service by the very hard working but very amateur shoe repairers in camp. The leather they are given wears out very quickly, so, except for special occasions I am saving them for ‘der tag’. So on Tuesday, I just had to put on my leaky sand shoes, without socks and slop about with cold wet feet. Yvonne is in the same predicament except that she hasn’t a pair of leather shoes that can be repaired.

9 o’clock was the hour fixed and at the appointed time, crowds of men from the various blocks were lined up in the rain near the godown. The Japanese as usual were about an hour late, however, they did eventually turn up, and that does not always happen! The organisation for the removal of the goods was very good and we were soon like a swarm of busy ants with the packing cases on our backs, rain quite forgotten. First came 20 lb boxes of dried pears wired together in pairs; then big cardboard boxes containing 28 lbs of cocoa; then 30 lb boxes of dried fruit salad, then cases of sultanas (whopping great currants they are too, like a pair of sized grapes).  All this came from, or was the products of South Africa. Next came 100 lb bags of sugar.

Date(s) of events described