Grandad’s Diary. 27th January

Entry for 27th January 1945

Left early for craft at Tilbury Docks. Tied up all day. Twice as many men aboard Confusion and discomfort Rumours that we leave midnight. So different this trip to that of ‘D’ Day. Wonder how our H.Q. will make out other side. Still trying to carry out static site boating.

I’ve done a lot of ‘wondering’ about my Grandad over the past few posts. It’s good to hear that he did some wondering too. I’m presuming the obvious: that the weather was so bad compared to the D-Day landing that it would be difficult to make out the other side after the trip across the English Channel. But of course it might be something to do with working out the identity of people they would meet when they finally made it overseas.

I’m pretty sure I’ve got the last word in the entry wrong. Could it be ‘looting’, ‘louting’ or ‘booting’? Or something else entirely? I know that barrage balloons were used to defend shipping, so hence tending towards the ‘boating’ translation, although the phrase itself doesn’t make sense.

Either way it must have been so frustrating to be shut up on that boat all day. Grandad had made pretty good time since departing from Wythall four days earlier. Spending an entire day on a boat waiting to depart must have been tense and dispiriting for everyone.