Reports from the Front

2nd Lieutenant HS Hellawell of the 6th Manchesters fought at Gallipoli, he writes in his diary…

On Friday, I was sent on board this boat which is a prize German cargo boat of about 4 or 5,000 tons, built and fitted up on the Tyne, only about 2 years ago. It belongs to the Deutsche Levante Linie of Hamburg. I have 30 men, and we have about 20 Turkish prisoners on board, taken from various sailing vessels. I have a comfortable cabin (the captain’s) and a small saloon all to myself, so am alright: unfortunately, the cabins are all overrun with cockroaches. I spread a whole tin of Keatings about yesterday and the result was simply astounding: cockroaches marched out from everywhere and walked up the walls, over the ceiling, round the floor – the whole place was crawling! But not for long. In an hour or two they were all lying about with their toes pointing to heaven and my batman swept up a great many – ‘hundreds’, he said. They were still coming out in ones and twos last night and as I was lying in my bunk two had the cheek to crawl over me! Oh, you get used to nearly anything and anyway, they seem fairly clean ones and quite harmless.’

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