Grandad’s Diary. 13-14th May 1945

Entries for 13-14th May 1945

To Ostend. Board D. of York. Amuse soldiers by amount of kit we carry. Most of it loot. What a job getting it aboard. Lovely fast crossing. At Tilbury then to Fairlop. getting cleared remustered etc. ready for leave. Dance at Ilford Hospital. Plenty to eat and drink. Good do.

We’ve finally made it.

That was the last entry into Grandad’s Diary, and like all good adventures it finished with a party.

It must have been awkward for Grandad, have written so condemningly of the practice of taking loot to then find it so physically difficult to get onto their boat home, The Duke of York.

But it’s over at last: Grandad’s entries into this little book finish on 14th May with the above words.

I have a few more thoughts and reflections, but they can wait.

Grandad’s Diary. 29th January 1945

The entry for 29th January

Tied off Ostend at 10:30 AM but didn’t land till 7.0PM. Much confusion during day. Nobody knowing what is happening. Drive to Blankenberge. Good meal and bed in hotel.

Looking at the last few posts, it seems that Grandad has spent almost three days in a boat, for a journey that could have been just a few hours. But then, I suppose, he isn’t on holiday.

I wonder how the men would have used their time in those tedious, cramped conditions. If Grandad had had a bigger diary he would have all that time to fill it, but then he would only have been filling it with observations of soldiers being bored, so it’s probably a good job the diary is as small as it is.