March 26th 1944 – Bombay

Morton and I have a last brandy session until they throw us out and he tells me of his experiences with mothers and angry husbands in 2 1/2 years in India. On the 24th I embark on “Orontes”. Grindlays have all my luggage ready, and today I even find some of it in the Baggage room. Last night at 23h00 we cast off and moor in midstream and are now circling round testing compasses and “degaussing” equipment. The ship’s standing orders are “No diaries will be kept”. I have a two berth cabin with and acting squadron leader like myself – B.R. Noble. I see Johnny Benbow on the docks. He is a Captain again and due home owing to malaria. There is a pioneer battalion of Italians on board wearing pips and crowns, and a small 5 pointed star in their lapels. Morton is the officer commanding on another ship. Seton-Broughall is on board and in a bad way, also W/C Paul Ritchie, who trained with Hugh.



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