Jim Vane - Life aboard a ship

Running time
1 min 57 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Sitting on the deck with me back towards the hold, and of course, when this started, the ship was closed, you had to stay where you are. There was a number of us there, sitting with our back to there, and we could just see in that direction with who knows what going on that you couldn't see.

There's a big boat, what they call a Liberty boat, had brought troops out to the Philippines from Sydney, from America and then come down to Townsville to get supplies for itself and took us aboard. It was a new time, and it went down on the first deck, and the second deck was accommodation and right down on the third deck were showers and toilets, very deep-like.

Hammocks, side by side like this and you put your kit bag there and stand there, and get in the hammock. That's all the room we had. It was hot. It was humid inside. They had certain circulations, but it was very humid and it's one of those things you sort of got used to. If you went to sleep you didn't know what was going on, yeah.

We ate in sixes. They had a small mess up near the bridge, down underneath, and we went there. They had passengers inside the boat, of course, to go along like this and there was a number of holds coming from... you only had that area, as I say. You were allowed to go up on deck for twenty minutes or half an hour and then come back down and let a few more go. You couldn't all go up."

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