Well it was only a 24 hour run from Casablanca to Gibraltar but it was a long 24 hours.  You couldn’t move about the crowded decks and most of the people were sick and helpless and stayed in the one (place) the whole time.  The only people helping were the old women about 70.  They were trotting around cheering people up and lo king after the children.

The extremely cold night added to the general misery of these people.  It was almost too much for the old people.  That we got in without anything serious happening to these elderly people was remarkable.  We had one cripple girl who sat in a chair all the time.  She was a cheerful soul, always a smile.

We spent about ten days in Gibraltar and we were then more suitably fitted up to take mixed sexes home to the UK.  (They had to evacuate all the people again from Gibraltar.)  We were going to take about 30 passengers.  It would be fairly rough and ready but you couldn’t have all passenger ships.  We just hadn’t them to spare.  We took about 300 passengers and with about 15 to 20 other ships left for the UK.  It was quite a nice trip in convoy, fine all the way with hardly a ripple on the water and no excitement from submarines.  There seems little to say about this trip home.  We really enjoyed the whole trip home and it was quite uneventful as far as the war was concerned.  There was no trouble from seasickness.  Most of the people were of a good class.  They fed and looked after themselves.  In any case we had not enough people aboard to attend to passengers.

We had the little cripple girl with us again, still as cheerful as ever.  Night or morning either the mate or myself carried her up or down the hold she slept in and all day she satin her chair on the deck.  Always a smile.  Actually this girl could have gone on a proper passenger ship reserved for the sick but she preferred to come on the Macbean with her family.

The Gibraltar people were very grateful for our efforts on both occasions and special mention was made in the local Gibraltar papers of the work of the crew of the Macbean.

To carry on.  We proceeded to Cardiff and discharged our passengers (August  Bank Holiday 1940).  After a few days at Cardiff bunkering and getting rid of our ballast we proceeded to Newport to load.

 

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