|SS City of Perth - acknowledgements John Clarkson & Roy
Fenton from "Ships in Focus, Ellerman Lines"
"I was Third Officer on a British Merchant ship when we were in the last south-bound convoy through the Canal.
The British FO must have warned Ellermans that the Canal was under threat, hence our orders to bunker in Crete. This was in case we had to go back round the Cape to India. How we cheered the Israeli planes over the Bitter Lakes!
|Cadet Williamson - 1962|
Then at Port Sudan all the local cargo workers suddenly left the ship before they had started discharging. Again, we must have had word from the Agents that a violent mob was being incited to march on our ship, the only British ship in port. As I understand it Sudan had declared war on GB for supporting Israel. (?) Captain Robinson, a veteran from wartime convoys, decided things could get nasty and our crewmen let go most of our mooring ropes and, when they were safely back on board, we cut through the rest and departed without a pilot or tugs.
We were bound for Aden to discharge some armoured cars etc for the Army but Aden was closed due to unrest. We therefore went to Djibouti where scores for ships were anchored awaiting orders. After a couple of days we must have got priority as the Army were sending landing craft over the Bab-el-Mandeb to get their goodies. We also discharged the cargo the Sudanese should have had - agricultural equipment etc. There, we drank with French Foreign Legionnaires (many ex- Wermacht) and they too were cheering the TV news of the Arabs in retreat.
We then proceeded to Bombay.
I am only 1/4 Jewish but I am proud to remember being a small part in that history. "
- C Williamson