May 1st  was celebrated in great style with the greatest display of fireworks I’ve yet seen.
We arrived safely in Alex at 0730 and tied up at the fairway buoy right out in the midst of the French ships. Buzz started that it is ‘farewell’ buoy. During the afternoon I went ashore with Bertie to buy some souvenirs but after walking round until 6 o’clock decided to go to the pictures as we could not find anything we liked or within our means. Walked back and arrived at the wharf at 2100 – ten minutes later the blitz commenced. We had just been discussing the suitability of the night being conducive to an air raid when the sirens sounded.
We scattered along the wharf crouching against walls seeking some means of shelter which was entirely lacking – all we could do was watch and hope for the best. The night was bright as day with searchlights and hideous with the noise of the barrage. No planes were caught by the lights and they continued for upwards of half an hour when a lull in the barrage came. They then commenced again for another half hour evidently firing by R.D.F. Still no planes were sighted but the din was terrific and terrifying to listen to especially as we had no shelter but a thin wall to lean against. Luckily for us the barrage was not directly overhead or we would have been showered by shell splinters.
There was another lull of about 20 minutes and then once more it commenced and this time a plane was caught directly in the cone of light. We had thought the firing intense previously but now Hell itself broke loose- they hurled everything at the plane the sky was lurid with tracers from the Bofors to say nought of the shell bursts from the A.A guns. He kept steady course directly overhead passing above it as though it were merely put up for his entertainment. The sailors screamed themselves hoarse and when three parachutes were seen to leave the plane they thought the crew had bailed out but they were acoustic mines it is thought as the plane kept steady course and finally vanished out to sea. He must have been at a great height as nothing could possibly have been in range and lived through that – it was the greatest barrage I have ever seen put up. We eventually reached the ship at midnight thankful indeed to escape that little lot. It is expected that we may look forward to quite a lot more of this now.
The moon is just waxing to its first quarter. No place seems safe to relax in these days – it is time they sent us home out of it all. A new cruiser to the station has arrived Dido – original ship of the class to which Phoebe and the ill-fated Bonaventure belonged. She has everything – flaming onion throwers etc.
Quite a mustering of Greek destroyers and their battleship (a 1850 vintage ship by the look of it) are in Alex also. Yugoslav torpedo boats and seaplane and one submarine. We are getting our multiple pom pom fitted – also new 4” ‘liners’ as our standard 4” guns are worn out. Doesn’t look as though we are on the way home yet. The draft, which left the ship last time in, are lording it at a hotel ashore. Saw Doolan this afternoon. Some air mail today five letters. Decided not to go ashore any more unless I come back very early in future – it is too nerve wracking waiting ashore for bombs.