31 December 1916 – James arrives back in Milford Haven after his Christmas Leave; loses his purse on the train; can’t find HMT Nodzu in the dark.

DIARY: Arrived back from leave

31 December 1916

Sunday

HMS Nodzu

Milford

Dear Mother & Father

I arrived back at Milford station at 12.30 midnight after a rocky passage.  We ran well to Crewe but after that it was a worm race.  We had to change at about ½ dozen places.  However eventually we arrived safely at Milford.  I went to get aboard but could not find the Nodzu in the dark.  I struck another trawler & found an empty berth in her for the night.

I found the Nodzu at 7 AM this morning and got aboard. I must now tell you how it happened that  I landed at Milford with just 1/2d in my pocket.

I went into the lavatory for a wash near Llandillo not knowing we had to change there and in my hurry to clear out I must have dropped my purse which contained about 35/-, my leave ticket & railway warrant.

I discovered my loss at the next station & they wired to Swansea to look through the carriage.  A friend of mine, Jones, got into the carriage I vacated and as the purse contained my metal tally & also had my name & address printed on in ink I think I stand a good chance of getting it back.  I shall have sufficient cash to go on with as I have drawn my fortnight’s pay.  If you hear anything about the purse send me word at once as they might send it home.  It is hard line but I left it in that train certain.  I have written to the Station master at Swansea.  I shall to make the best of it but it is rotten hard lines.  Our ship has been repainted etc & looks quite smart.  We have had a little stove put into or cabin & it will be much more comfy now.  The trouble is I have to go to Chatham & then goodness knows where.  I shall be off to Chatham by next week end but any letters that arrive will be sent along to the new address.

I have had a jolly good time and hope that I shall have the luck to get over again before very long.

I hope that the party went off alright and that Ellen & Fanny distinguished themselves. Nothing more at present so Ta Ta & best love to all

Wretched weather today

James

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