14 November 1916 – On HMT Nodzu; crew of 21; very happy; fishing in the harbour; gets 10/- (50p) per week for food.

14 November 1916

J Simpson. O/Del

HM Trawler Nodzu

Milford Haven

Dear Mother

I am now settled on the Nodzu. She is a decent trawler and is used mostly as an escort vessel.  We now have a crew of 21 or 22 and although they are a rough & tumble lot they are good ship-mates and I shall get along alright with them.  The discipline is at a discount and everyone does just what he likes and wears any old clothes.  We do nothing at all in harbour except sleep & eat.  There has been a dense fog over this last day or two.

I came on board last night about 3.30PM and we were immediately ordered to look for a small trawler which had broken down. We found her after a short search & then dropped anchor for the night.  I slept aboard in my bunk last night & found it quite alright.  I don’t know when we go to sea but it will be in a day or two.  My wireless chum is one of the best & he is called MacNamara.  We shall get along well together and we have a nice little cabin all to ourselves.  I did a little fishing this morning and got 4 or 5 very decent ones.  We catch enough for tea & breakfast when in harbour.  I shall mess with the crew as we have  a very good cook.  I shall therefore not need the billy can.  We have as much as we can eat.  It is rough of course but much better than the Palace.  So far, I am as happy as a sandboy.  A little of your cake would be alright occasionally but if you send any along don’t overdo it as rations are cheap here.  We get 10/- a week for grub money & it is seldom that this is exceeded by our steward.  I think I have struck the best trawler in Milford & she has done some very useful work up to now.  Most of the crew are old salts and the look of them would make you scream.  This is better than Palace red tape (got up at 8 this morning)  I don’t want to go back there.  I am going ashore tonight in a real live liberty boat.  Up to now it is great & I shall get along alright.  I got your Guardian this morning.  It was brought aboard in our ships boat.  I have applied for extra Winter clothing & will let you know if I obtain any.  I got a woollen helmet & mitts at the palace.  I suppose all are the same at home.  Remember me to Auntie & Uncle Jim, Grandma and give anyone my address who wants it.  Love to all

“Sparks”

(my new nickname)

P.S.

No grog ration here Dad, done us out of something else, rotten isn’t it.

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