William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Aus.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


 I was six and I  remember parts of my time on the ship. I  have very vague memories of my early childhood in England but most of my memories start from this very exciting time for my family. The first memory is when the ship left the dock in Liverpool everyone was crowded on deck, hanging over the rails waving, crying and singing the Mouri Farewell. "Soon we'll be sailing far across the sea...."
I also remember being scared of getting lost in the crowds of people. I even bawled a few times much to my family's dismay. They said, "How can you get lost on a ship?" (It seemed a pretty big place to me.)

Wednesday 19th January 1949
Weather quite cold this morning, but all on deck to watch for land as we are approaching Port Said, just off the Nile Delta but couldn’t see it. About 3:30 pm we sighted land and were excited and thrilled as we sailed to Port Said and the ship stopped at 4:00 pm. Lovely clean new looking buildings, palm trees and colourful surroundings. Small boats started coming along side and the decks were 3 deep with passengers who were all terribly excited. “Wogs” were soon selling their wares and everyone was jocular, bargaining for goods. Mostly nice leather goods, which were drawn up in baskets and then the money put in and sent down again. We bought a pouf fee for 30/-, straw hat for 5/-, handbag for 25/-, wallet for 2/6 a writing case for 10/- and a dagger. Thrilled with our purchases. Egyptians came on board to sell goods. Shoes, beads etc. Saw a wonderful conjuror. Still bargaining at 1:00 am. After the most thrilling day so far, we went to bed at 2:00 am with the ship still reloading. Got a lovely bunch of red roses in our cabin.

Thursday 20th January 1949
Awakened with tea at 6:30 am so we could rush out and see the banks of the Suez Canal, down which we started at 3:00 am. Sand and palm trees. Camels and Arab tents. Very colourful. Bitterly cold on deck but sat and watched interesting settlements. Wonderful colours. Golden sands. Cream buildings, swaying palms, turquoise water, emerald green patches of cultivation, war ships and soldiers. Arrived at Suez just before dark about 6:00 pm. Not quite as cold at night and we walked around the deck.

 Friday 21st January 1949
In the Red Sea this morning. Lovely sunshine. Lounged all day in the warm air. Housie Housie. Strolled around and discovered the crew playing their band and dancing. Huge flying fish. David spots porpoises.

Saturday 22nd Jan
Really hot. Everyone out in sunsuits. Real assortment. Sun just frying us up. We found a shady spot under the life boats, morning and afternoon. Temp 88 F. Had lovely shower before dinner. After dinner we had drinks and a stroll on deck to watch the phosphorescent sea. Wonderful and fascinating. Lights up greenish blue. Black velvet sky, thousands of stars. Clocks on one hour.
Crew all in white tropical kit. David went to the pictures out on the deck. Have to drink salt and water for perspiration.


  1. Thanks for answering my question Diane. I'm so glad you remember some parts of this trip with your family. I can imagine how scary a big ship must have seemed.

  2. The picture of you and David in the porthole is just precious What lovely pictorials...and some memories?!
    Hugs! Thank you for sharing!

  3. That is really funny ! Nothing has changed a bit ! We did a cruise on the Nile in 2000 and it was the same ! little boats around selling their goods with help of the baskets and I bought 2 egyptian dresses, for 5 € each with golden brodery ! Your mother must have enjoyed this trip after the hard years of the war !

  4. Oh Dianne this is great.....

    I am pottering around in my family history when I am not on facebook (or blogging) and its all fascinating.

    I am helping my godmother out trying to find her ancestors arrival into Adelaide - its taking up a lot of my web-time - but it turns out her GG Grandmother was an irish orphan "bride" sent out to help South Australia's population - she did a great job with 11 kids...just struggling to find her on a passenger list.

    Am really enjoying my search around on Ancestry.com as they have message boards where you can post queries...there are heaps of lovely, helpful people there - its amazing what acts of kindness people will do when they have finished their own trees - its sooooo adictive!

    Yes I will be here on blogger more as I will be changing provider come July and will lose my Bigblog...sent Cindy an email as she hasnt posted for ages, will let you know if I hear back from her....

    Cheers Kim

  5. This needs to be made into a book- lovely photos - such great and detailed commentary - I just LOVE reading this - and what a magnificent adventure - the photos are stunning !

  6. What a great idea, to blog about this :) Love the photos.

    I remember my sister & mother traveled to Europe by ship and I always loved the photos (I hadn't been born yet, so missed the trip, darn, lol)

  7. Fantastic Diane, what an exciting adventure, thrilling to have it all written down and the old photos are wonderful. It would make a great movie.

  8. Your mothers description and joy of the adventure is redoubtable and am so taking pleasure in the journey and perspective,

  9. Thank you evryone for your comments and I'm chuffed to hear you are enjoying the story. I thought it might have been boring for non family members.
    Kim: Family tree stuff interests me too. I did a tree some years ago and meant to follow up but I found blogging.

  10. Hi Diane, You were so small, understandably you were scared when so many people were crowding around you. I remember when we left Genoa and so many people were pressing to the front to throw the confetti and wave goodbye. Your mother really enjoyed the voyage and she wrote a great diary.

  11. These pictures are just wonderful...the on of you and your brother looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I love it!

  12. Your mother sounds like she was thrilled with this adventure. She makes it all sound so exciting.

  13. Fascinating read, was this ship grand like the titanic or was it just basic but happend to have really good food? I can imagine you guys were sunburnt after this, the sun in the South is lovely and strong.

  14. Love the photos, you and David look so happy. It is quite odd that your names are David and Diane as myself and my brother. We both had very early adventures and huge life changes. Your mother looks very up to date with what looks like a bikini top and shorts. Diane