His personal observations in his diary, letters home and ship's documents are a real glance into the past. Wellings joined the crew of Hood on December 12th, 1940. His first day on board, he makes these comments, from page 78:
“12 December – At anchor – First Lieut. (Lt. Cmdr. J.L. Machin) assigned as my liaison officer. He took me on a tour of the ship – It certainly is a large ship – 42,000 tons or more. The largest man of war in the world. Called on Vice Admiral W.J. Whitworth before dinner. Seemed very friendly type of man. Now all settled in room. Service is excellent – Food much better than on destroyer. Mess well regulated. Breakfast 0730-0900, lunch 1200-1300, dinner 2000. Drinks before lunch and dinner. No special seats at table – except for Mess President and vice president – Different officers preside for a week at a time. Quite a good idea. At dinner tonight Exec. Off. took the chair – He toasted the President of the U.S. - I answered with a toast to King George the Sixth.”
A true diplomat and a gentleman! The following pages go on to describe the types of foods available on ship, and I have to admit to some envy. Those guys ate well and someone else cooked and cleaned up. Maybe there are some perks to life as an officer on board a ship. :o)
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