Sunday, November 7, 2010

Outward Bound Souvenir Edition - WW2 Newspaper

As the Cyclonic Storm ‘JAL’ is weakening over Bay of Bengal, I think it is time for another voyage into history :-) Hell, no I even don't know swimming forget about sailing. The only sea where I can attempt to dive is history. So, I will post a small article today on one of the on board publication called "Outward Bound".

June 1945, a British ship sailed towards India carrying British Soldiers to carry on their duty in that vague area termed S.E.A.C (South East Asia Command). The warship was commanded by Lt. Col. G. M. Perry of Coldstream Guards. As usual, the two main things which the troops missed on board the ship were mail and news. To compensate that and keep sailors in high spirit for long voyage to India, the officers of ship made use of reverse side of Army Form N1513.C. by converting them into a wall-newspaper. The broadsheet contained all the latest news [culled from the B.B.C.'s news broadcasts], items of topical interest en route, Quizzes [with prizes] and items of general information. Based on the grand reception the newspaper received along with contribution from soldiers, it was decided to conjure a kind of newspaper out of absolutely nothing. Hence the Outward Journey, a souvenir edition was printed on board the ship.

It was 12 page special edition newspaper, published just above the water line with 3,000 copies only. The newspaper or booklet contains short stories and poems penned down by the sailors along with interesting events organized on board the ship through the eyes of sailors.

The booklet just leaves short of naming the actual ship. It gives some hint though. It mentions that the ship (named S.S. ----) was once the pride of P.&O. line. It was kind of a floating palace-like the Ritz. During the war, it was rechristened as Mistress H.M.T. (His/Her Majesty Trawler) carrying troops overseas.

I tried looking into P&O line ships but couldn't identify this one which sailed in June 1945 to India. It will be great if someone can shed some light on this beauty so I can dig more on history of this ship.

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