The “Admiral C.F.Hughes” eventually went to Canada. They arrived in Victoria B.C. on 9th October and crossed Canada on the train. Throughout their time in Canada they were marvellously well looked after. On 24th October they left Halifax for a boring crossing of the Atlantic (“nobody is enjoying it one little bit – or is it that we are all suffering from suppressed excitement”), but the final day, coming up the Channel, was different:
30.10.45. The Bishop hove in sight immediately after breakfast & the sun began to get through. Lovely view of the Scillies & I was able to pick most of them out. Could just see Lands End. The plane from Scilly flew round us. Saw the Wolf very clearly & passed close to the Lizard at 11.15. How lovely it all looks, & how lucky we are to have this pleasant, sunny, calm day to come up the Channel & at last see our own country. Grand. Too excited to take tiffin. Abreast Eddystone at 12.45 & could see the white line of Plymouth itself. Later could distinguish Rame Head & the Mewstone. And so on up Channel past Start Point & later Portland Bill. Entered the Solent from the East after picking up pilot at E end of Isle of Wight & anchored about 8pm. And so to bed.
They docked in Southampton the following day, 31st October 1945, where he was reunited with Carrie. The following day they returned to Plymouth and he met his daughter Jenifer again – just in time to celebrate her 8th birthday a few days later.
This is the finish of our “end of the war” blog. The diary from which it has been taken is extensive and covers the period from February 1942 to his homecoming. We welcome any enquiries and will be happy to provide relevant extracts where appropriate. We hope to publish the whole diary in due course.
Earlier on we mentioned Tony Banham’s website www.hongkongwardiary.com and we recommend it again as an invaluable source of information and news for anyone who is interested in what happened in Hong Kong during the war.
Jenifer (née Sprague) & Philip Burton.