MADAM: “First School Cruise” (“Percy’s Postbag”, Spring 2016) reminded me of my voyage on the same vessel, the Dilwara, courtesy of the RAF. After two years’ service overseas I left Hong Kong for the UK in June 1948. We were accommodated below deck and the forward part of the ship, with cabins and more deck space, we understood to be for families and officers.
After a rough passage to Singapore we sailed through calmer seas for Aden. En route we were alerted by the stopping of the ship’s engine and great lifeboat activity. Word went round that a baby had fallen overboard from someone’s arms. A lifeboat went to the rescue. Upon its return ( see picture above) we were given to understand that the child’s clothing had kept it afloat and all was well. We continued our voyage to arrive in Southampton on 1st August. Indeed, a slow boat from China.
Now, 68 years later, any reference to the Dilwara brings to mind this event and I hope that the rescued child is enjoying his/ her old age pension. — MOSS TENNISON, KELSALL, CHESHIRE.