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The Immigration Story of Mrs. A. R. Jarvis (Scottish War Bride)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

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War Bride Mrs. A.R. Jarvis

Thursday, 25th April, 1946

Had breakfast at Portman Street Hostel consisting of porridge, bacon and eggs. After breakfast went to Waterloo by coach to special train for Canadian Brides. Arrived at Southampton about 12-0 noon and boarded the Aquitania about 1:30.

Had lunch consisting of soup, port cutlet, swede and then apple and custard. Played cards in the lounge until ship sailed at 6-15, then watched England fading away. Had dinner about 7-0 p.m., celery soup, roast chicken, roast potatoes and spaghetti, followed by ice cream and biscuits. After dinner Dawn and I queued for 60 Churchman cigarettes and a box of chocolates, the two costing 6/6. Then queued for make-up and I got a Tangee lipstick also a bottle of Eau-de-cologne, costing 9/. Was hoping to get Max Factor lipstick and Goya perfume. Later in the evening Dawn and I began to get giddy and stayed on deck. Am feeling alright at present and ready for bed, so here goes.

Friday, 26th April, 1946

Got up this morning and found the ship rocking quite a bit. Had stewed peaches and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Lots of the brides started being sea-sick. Fawn was one of them. I myself felt giddy and weak on my legs. Sat on the deck most of the morning until lunch time. Had cold salad and baked jam roll for lunch and the waiter gave me some dry biscuits to prevent sea-sickness. Got talking to a nice Belgium girl.

Had a present during the afternoon.

For dinner had roast veal, runner beans and boiled potatoes, followed by a jelly. The waiter gave me some more dried biscuits and I took an orange away with me. Sat on deck for awhile after dinner.

Ship rocking immensely and many brides sick. I myself giddy and weak on the legs. Don’t fancy another sea voyage.

Saturday, 27th April, 1946

Got up feeling pretty well and most of the girls managed to get down to breakfast this morning. Had stewed prunes followed by bacon and tomatoes for breakfast. After breakfast, dawn and I went to the M.C.A. and loaned a job-saw puzzle. Didn’t get very far with it and then we queued to buy at the shop. I bought two Aquitania flags and a box of chocolates and some Life Savers costing 14/6.

Had vegetable soup with barley followed by cold meat, red cabbage and lettuce, finished with plums and custard. After lunch, Dawn and I sat in the lounge and wrote some letters and then I did some knitting.

For dinner had cream soup, roast beef, potatoes and broccoli, followed by butterscotch sundae and had an apple to bring away with me.

Am really enjoying the voyage and am making quite a few acquaintances with the children included (boy - Boy).

After dinner spent the evening in main lounge. One bride entertained on the piano while other brides and civilian passengers sang. I also did some knitting and wrote a letter. An enjoyable evening.

Sunday, 28th April, 1946

Had half a grapefruit, followed by grape nuts and milk, also a buttered roll with marmalade for breakfast. After breakfast Dawn and I sat in the lounge doing a jigsaw puzzle.

There was a service for Protestants in the main lounge today but I did not go. Had a stroll along A&B deck before lunch today and then stood and watched the water r4om A deck. It is calm today and really beautiful to be on the sea on such a day. Makes you feel good to be alive.

For lunch today had lentil soup, followed by salad and ox tongue. Had rice pudding with custard for dessert. After lunch, Dawn and I sat in the lounge writing letters. Somebody came and suggested my going in the concert and I thought I would do, but changed my mind later on. A beauty competition was held in the main lounge. Disagreed with some of the judges so-called pretty girls.

Watched some of the numbers for the concert tomorrow which should be quite good. Saw most beautiful sky in the evening.

Monday, 29th April, 1946

Had stewed apple followed by cornflakes and sausages and bacon for breakfast. After breakfast Dawn and I went to the pressing room where Dawn pressed my skirt and blouse for me ready for landing. The water is rough today and I have felt giddy again today with the ship rocking. Dawn was bad before lunch and had to sit in the open air on the boat deck. I went to lunch alone and had soup, followed by salad with pressed beef and then jam roll with sweet sauce.

After lunch I sat on the boat deck with Dawn and sunned myself.

Had roast beef, potatoes and cabbage for dinner with pears Helene for dessert. Ship was rocking and my tummy was rather upset. Dawn went to bed directly after dinner. Could not get a seat in the main lounge to see Kathleen in the concert so went to see Laura instead. Felt homesick while watching the pictures as I used to enjoy going with the family to the flicks in England.

Tuesday, 30th April, 1946

Had half a grapefruit, some porridge and then a buttered roll with marmalade for breakfast.

Sat in Dawn’s cabin for a while as she was unable to walk with her legs.

Had a bath at 11-0 a.m. and felt a bit fresher for it. It is colder today, a sure sign we are nearing Canada.

For lunch today had soup, followed by liver and bacon, fried onions, cabbage and potatoes. Packed my big case ready for the final trip to Nova Scotia.

Excitement grew as the ship neared Halifax. Docked about 7:30 p.m. in the evening and after seeing the Immigration Officials and having my money changed, landed about 11-0 p.m. Roy was there to meet me with two of his cousins, Murray and Willis and Murray’s wife, Edie. Motored to the Murray’s flat where I spent my first night in Canada.