Now after six years of faithful service – Three weeks after D Day, the ship owners approached the Unions for a reduction of wages.  Haven’t I repeatedly told you, that as soon as the need for us had finished we would fall back to our pre war place of forgotten people.

I’ve always felt that the “War Bonus” was wrong.  It looked as if we were getting extra to go to sea in War time.  This War Bonus should have been on our wages.  I’m told, that is how the Unions wanted it, but at the Governments request, it was put on as a War Bonus.  They said – if other people saw us get an increase it would start everybody asking for same and so cost of living would go up and inflation.  So they called it War Bonus.  I don’t know what’s happening, but I don’t suppose the ship owners expected a Labour Government, so they’ll draw in a bit.

Second Protest – The cheek of asking us to sign a form to volunteer for “D” Day.  That’s what we’d done all along.  Where our ship went we went and we didn’t need any signing of Special Volunteer Cards.

No one would ever accuse me of being a brave person but I never asked where the Clan Macbean was going to, before I signed on and that was 99% of the Officers attitude.

This form business did I admit, do away with a lot of the formality in shipping. A man could pass from one ship to another without signing on and off.  They might have pointed that out to the general public, instead of making such a fuss about the Volunteers from the Merchant Navy for D Day.  We didn’t need to sign forms – for 6 years we went where asked,

That’s me, Mary.

That’s the one great privilege granted to seamen.  He must have his moan.  Stop that and life isn’t worth living.

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