L35064 Rank BSM. Bannerman G.
We boarded the ship. We had been taken under control of people with Movement Control. All extremely well organized.
Captain Forbes our officer commanding went with other officers while myself and other sergeants were given instructions to go where directed. I was directed to a state room which was not very big but it had six bunks and each of us were allotted a bunk bed. The other five in the room were WO 2's from different units. The only name of the five I can remember was a WO 2 Alexander from Vancouver who had served in a headquarter position. I do not think any of the five were combatants. After getting settled in I went to find out where our battery personnel were located. If memory is correct they were in large rooms with bunks bed in rows ten high, so there was probably two hundred to the large room.
We were all pinching ourselves. Were we really going home? The answer was yes, but it was hard to believe.
On board the Queen Elizabeth were 12,800 troops, male and female, most from the 5th Armoured Division. The female group from the CWAC. Some airforce personnel and I suppose the top dog of all was Sir Winston Churchill along with Mrs. Churchill, and their daughter Mary. We did not see the Churchill family and I believe the rank of Colonel and up were able to hob knob with them.
The Movement Control people certainly were organized and all went without a hitch down to the time you went for meals the table and seating partners all laid on. Two meals a day and they were good meals, not the old Oronsay fare when we went over to England in 41. The Queen Elizabeth made so many trips taking American troops home. The ship would have been provisioned in New York so there was good food, even ice-cream. I do not remember what time we felt the giant ship start to move out of Southampton, but I can tell you we now knew no blackout, no submarine worry, and every turn of the massive propellers moved us closer to CANADA ...........and........ HOME.