Letters, diaries and photographs from World War II


Sunday 22nd April 1945

Nothing happens as normal. This is the last day of arrivals. Perhaps something will start happening.

Getting browned off slightly with seeing so many officers I think and having so little to do.

The boredom John and others felt at the Deolali British Army transit camp gives rise to the expression “Going Doolally”, originally “doolally tap”, meaning to ‘lose one′s mind’. ‘Tap’ possibly comes from the Sanskrit word ‘tapa’ meaning ‘heat’ or ‘fever’.

Friday 20th  April 1945

Arrived Deolali at about eight and seem to be more or less the first arrivals. This joint looks quite good. Grub is not bad. Go to the bazaar with Tony and he shows me around.

Deolali transit camp was a transit camp for British troops in Deolali, India, notorious for its unpleasant environment, boredom and the psychological problems of soldiers that passed through it. Its name is the origin of the phrase “gone doolally” or “doolally tap”, a phrase meaning to ‘lose one’s mind’.

Wednesday 18th April 1945

On the train. We live on K rations and for short periods they are quite pleasant

The K-ration was an individual daily combat food ration which was introduced by the United States Army during World War II. It was originally intended as an individually packaged daily ration for issue to airborne troops, tank crews, motorcycle couriers, and other mobile forces for short durations. The K-ration provided three separately boxed meal units: breakfast, dinner (lunch) and supper (dinner).




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