I read the account of the transporting of canines in the letters pages (Feb 2017 issue of Sea Breezes) and the problems they present in hot weather.
I was crew on Cunard’s Georgic, a vessel totally unsuited to tropical climes, this in 1954. We were engaged in trooping into Mombasa, this during the so called Mau Mau Crisis.
All went well until the Red Sea when the guard dogs began to die of heat exhaustion. It was sad to see the tears of their handlers; to them it was their best friend that had gone. Worse was to follow. In the summer of 1955, the ship was engaged to carry migrants to Australia, the ‘Ten Pounders’. I believe this was via Suez.
If memory serves me right, we, the 4-8 deck watch, on two occasions, were summoned aft, this around 5-6am, again in the Dead Sea, to attend the committals of babies who tragically died in the night due to conditions on board. At 83 years of age, I still carry a mental picture of it all. The anguish and tears of young mums, hopes dashed, was not a pretty picture. Some left at Aden and back to the UK.
The following trip to Australia went via the fair weather route around the cape. Lesson learnt, but too little too late.
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