The reminiscences of Stores Assistant, P/MX736065 Jim Davey.

 

Jim was drafted to RNAS Middle Wallop to join MONAB IX and recalls the passage out to Australia and on to Singapore.

 

 

I was assigned to MONAB IX which commissioned as HMS Nabrock on August 1st 1945.

 

We sailed from Liverpool early August, in fact I believe it was on 1 August but cannot swear to that now. Our ship was MV Dominion Monarch launched I believe in 1939 and pressed into war service immediately. We lost way in the Indian Ocean due to an engine breakdown. Drifted for about 24 hours before regaining power. Sailed through the Australian Bight to Wellington, North Island, New Zealand. Given shore leave for the one day then sailed to Christchurch, South Island. No shore leave at this port. From Christchurch to Sydney. We experienced some heavy weather as we progressed around NZ, believe we hit the tail end of a typhoon.

 

After a brief stay in Sydney we were transferred to the Troop ship Largs Bay. This can only be described as a vermin infested tub. My understanding was it was launched in 1913 and it showed every day of its age. Having been used to transport former POWs from Singapore, it was in a ruinous condition. The authorities determined that fumigation was unnecessary. About 600 personnel boarded the ship and within a few hours over 300 requests to see the captain and state a complaint had been filed.

 

Australian Medical Officers came aboard and examined the specimens we had collected and determined there were no dangers organisms and we sailed on schedule. A few days later, delousing procedures were necessary.

 

We proceeded within the Great Barrier Reef to Port Darwin. Given a day ashore we found ourselves surprised by the tides which rose about 20 feet between the time we went ashore and the time we returned to ship. The town had been evacuated because of Japanese bombing and the only civilians I saw were 3 aborigines. From Port Darwin we sailed to Singapore Island. We were apparently the last group to arrive at Sembawang airfield. I found men I had trained with there ahead of me.

 

On December 15th 1945 we recommissioned as HMS Simbang.

 

 

 I believe I am the guilty party in the fourth row down and the 16th person from your left in the ships company photograph

 

Jim Davey

 

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