JJ Rowe Diary: 21 Feb 1889


The troopship reaches Suez, at the southern end of the Suez Canal, and Joseph describes what he sees along the way. Joseph comments on what he sees as immoral behaviour aboard ship, and Pollie celebrates her birthday.

WARNING: This is a transcription of an historical document. Some of the diary entries contain offensive language and stereotypes that must be understood in the context of the times. Such language and stereotypes are not acceptable today and are not condoned by the author of this blog.

The Diary Entry

21.2.89 Thursday

Fine morning. Rose early, had a good wash & felt a bit fresh.

Pollie’s birthday too. She had said that she would have not letters from home, or cards on her birthday, but I bought a birthday card on beknown to her at Gibr & gave her it this morning. She was very pleased with it.

We started early this morning. The weather, lovely. Passed several Signal Stations called (Gare) by names & a British vessel by name (Worsley Hall) and an Italian vessel & a small Station called Toussoum.

Saw lots of camels & a get number of Arabs running along side the Channel to keep up with the Ship to get anything that was thrown over to them. I threw a lemon over, but the one who was running did not see it. It fall in a small bush on the bank. I daresay he saw it when he went back.

I forgot to say yesterday there was a Turkish & a French Man of War at Port Said, & their Band played God Save the Queen and our Band played their National Anthems the Napolean march.

Had fresh beef today for dinner, Pollie did not eat any, had a cry instead, as she was thinking of home, but she had some ham later on.

Passed several vessels today. 6 PM got as far as we can get tonight to what is called (Suez). Lovely place. Took on some more fresh meat & vegtables, & live cattle & disembarked some Officer of the Kings Own Scotch Border Regt & a woman to join her husband at Cairo of the C.T. Corp & a young woman who is come out to marry a Sergt of the K.O.S.B. Regt. He came up to meet her. I witnessed the meeting, it was not a very affectionate one as I only saw him kiss her once. She is very young, too young in my eyes to become a wife & I fear hardley knows her own mind, for sitting on deck of nights after dark in the embrace of a Private of the K.O.S.B. Regt is not becoming a young lady who is going out to be married to another man, at least I don’t think so.

As we are laying still tonight there has been dancing on the Ship. String band playing till 10 o’clock. Pollie went to bed. I am on Guard again keeping side of Ship clear. 18 men with me, dismissed at 10 pm. Short guard, didn’t begin till 8 pm, done for the night.

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