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well-bred English lads in helpful friend reported on time at headquarters. As ships, to provide good ports of call for the
aviator was concerned, their cruisers by land, to continue to the incident was closed, for the regulathem the fashioning influence of refine tions do not require a report of personal ment. It concerns larks ashore, and the conduct on leave of absence. He was things of good report-justice, honor, fighting for England, not for himself. decency. That the work has accom He simply returned to his air-patrol plished its object is proved by the re duties over the trenches. It seems, howmarkable place Mr. Wood has in the ever, a patrol-boat in the Channel had wide-spread affections of these young
witnessed the fight and picked up one of sters-gained on first acquaintance with the Germans and reported the affair by a desperately homesick apprentice, and wireless, so that word eventually reached continued through the passing years the commander of his unit. On being until now those of the early years are questioned by the commander, he recaptains of the seven seas, doing their plied, “Oh yes, I thought I had time bit for England, wherever Admiralty to take a pot shot at them and get back orders take them. Their letters forever here before my leave was up. come to him in precisely the way that Another letter presents their attitude letters go home.
in the face of disaster. Drenched to the “What have they been doing?" I skin, drifting about on a wild sea in a asked Mr. Wood.
tossing life-boat, after his ship was tor“Why, junior mercantile officers are pedoed, the undismayed apprentice enholy terrors as commanders of mine livened the drooping spirits of his comsweepers," “
he replied; "and scientific panions to such an extent that he turned seconds and thirds of Atlantic liners are a crew of typical castaways into a crowd gunnery officers and navigators on bat of cheerful Britons by striking up the tle - cruisers and patrol - boats in the ditty, “All dressed up and nowhere to North Sea; and the mischievous apprentices of peace times are everywhere, “Are we down-hearted?” hailed one in prison camps, in Mesopotamia, and boat to the other. in the submarine service. Here's a “Not a bit of it," came the answer. bundle of letters that will give you an “Pack up your troubles in your old kit idea much better than I can tell you.” bag.” The letters proved interesting reading
There comes a time in every voyage for me. Coming from hundreds of both of many captains, in these war times, apprentices and captains, and covering when chance flings him into a position many phases of war duties dating from of tremendous peril. That adventure 1915 up to the present time; they are comes without a moment's warning; the remarkable for the ever-present way of enemy's challenge is suddenly given, and viewing their desperate adventures and upon quick action depends the fate of exploits as just a big sporting chance to an enormously valuable and desperately be carried out according to the rules of needed
It comes from an enemy the game. One of them relates the tale armed to the teeth for his deadly misof a young apprentice who left his shipsion, while the cargo-carrier on Adto serve with the Royal Flying Corps in miralty Service has at best but a makeFrance. It is an excellent example of shift means of defense. In that moment, their attitude. It seems the young avi being out of range of any assistance from ator left his station at the front to fly to the King's armed forces, with shells his home in England on forty-eight hours' spouting about the ship, or a torpedo leave of absence. On the return trip to shooting unseen through the water, when France, half way across the Channel, he confidential and secret instructions of sighted two German aircraft and at once the Admiralty are as useless as the promade for them, and after splendid visions of the Hague Convention, the maneuvering on his part he finally put captain pits his cunning against the both his opponents out of commission, enemy; and that fight, to many capcausing them to fall into the sea. He tains, means disaster, for many are continued on his way, unharmed, and overcome. Daring seamanship and
quick action postponed it for the young although I completely lost my bearings while captain of the Kenilworth, but eventu drifting, I took her up through the crowded ally he was caught unawares in a French narrow harbor filled with ships. Some were port. It was a discouraging experience, war-ships and the rest were merchantmen coming after several desperately perilous
laden with valuable cargo of munitions. All
of them lay without lights, and the waters of voyages, carried out with distinguished
the harbor were being whipped to frenzy in success. In a letter from La Pallice,
the blackness by a viciously driving sleety France, under date of February 14, 1917, rain. A good night to be safe at anchor, he writes:
but not the sort of night to be adrift. I took We loaded a cargo of ammunition; the
the wheel myself and although you could not ship was a veritable floating magazine when
see the bow from the bridge, we slid by
within a few inches of all of them. I did not we left home. The cargo was valued at more than two million pounds. They gave me a
even kiss one of the thirty or more ships, gun and we set off for Russia, everything
and finally felt my way into a safe berth at
the top of the harbor. It was quite a job in going merrily until one morning, when we
the teeth of the gale. were nearing our destination, a sub opened fire on us most unexpectedly. I brought the
The fact that a big five-or-six-thouship’s stern to, zigzagged, and fought him
sand-ton tramp was wandering around for six hours. His range was ten thousand yards and ours about eight thousand. We
in the darkness and gale, in absolute could not reach him, and our one chance
disregard of His Majesty's port regulawas to keep him off so he could not see how tions in time of war, created quite a stir his shots were landing. We had a deck-load on board the fleet of closely anchored of high explosives, so one hit would have men-of-war. There was no chance to ended us in one nice big bang. Some of the give any explanation, and the harbor crew got a bit panicky and rushed for the
was a strange one.
Both circumstances boats; another batch coming for the pridge
were equally awkward to the captain. cursed me out for not abandoning the ship
It was pretty hot for a time; a I was promptly hauled up, next morning, couple of shells passed between the bridge before a court of inquiry, on board the Flagand the funnel while this was going on. At ship, seeking information of the occurrence the point of the revolver I finally drove them [writes the captain), and much to my relief away from the boats. What with explosives I was commended for my skill and seamanon deck, the submarine banging away, keep- ship in having saved not only my own ship, ing the mutineers in hand and holding the but also for having done no damages to any ship on a zigzag course, I had my hands full of His Majesty's ships in the harbor. They for a long six hours. It was my first experi said it was the most remarkable feat ever ence in command under fire, and I did not done in Lerwick. I was recommended in particularly like it, for one mistake on my dispatches to the Admiralty on account of part ends the game. But I managed to keep that, too. the submarine off and won out. Anyway, at Archangel they thought it pretty good
It is likely that some of H. M. S. work, and I have been recommended to both cruisers had attempted the same trick the British and Russian Governments for on a pitch-dark night and learned somedecorations, which I understand I shall re thing of the sense of feeling needed to ceive in due course.
successfully accomplish the feat. Now comes the return voyage, during Before we pick up the tale of the loss which no mention is made of sub of the ship, here is a matter of good marines, but this is likely due to the fact fortune attending a breakdown, that that the captain followed the edge of the happened crossing from New York to floe ice. Captains never mention facts an English port. Not long after passing like that, nor do submarines that put some drifting life-boats—which were their periscopes out of commission at carefully avoided because hidden Utempting to emerge under a cake of ice. boats use them to attract unsuspecting At any rate, his letter continues: ships-engine trouble of a serious nature
While at Lerwick, Shetland Islands, on the developed requiring instant repairs, and way home, a very heavy gale came on in the
the ship lay helpless, drifting all the night and one of our anchors broke and the
while. Two other ships in the neighborship dragged down on the rocks. We got hood fled at top speed, for the incident her under way just before she struck, and, was suspicious and suggested that a
submarine was the cause. For two hours it is full of fun, for it is a case of never knowthey spent an anxious time on the dis- ing when you will be bagged. We have been abled steamer, both in the engine-room in the game five months solid, and "your and on deck, where every one was on
can claim to have landed all the the alert for submarines. Eventually
heavy guns up there. So far we have been the engine was repaired and the ship
wonderfully lucky, though a few days ago proceeded on her way, and in less than
we had a nasty smashup amidship. The
Turks had our range nicely and plunked two an hour she picked up the astonished or three in, making a rotten mess, before we survivors of the two ships that passed could get out of range. Anzac is the rumon and fell victims to a submarine ten miest place we go. The Turks' trenches are miles beyond. The ship reached port. right close to the shore, and they amuse However, there is an end to such luck. themselves trying to pick off men on the On a voyage from Salonika to a French ships. They have been pretty smart at it, port, the captain, left to his own de and bagged a lot on the destroyers that run vices, again dodged the enemy's sub- though they have been very thick over this
the men over; but we were ali
very lucky, marines. That he was successful was
deck, and have an unpleasant way of flipdue to the fact that he was continually Aapping past your ear. I don't mind that, on the bridge for eight days and nights for you don't hear them till past, but those and his gun crew equally alert. Obvi- bloomin'shells are absolutely rotten. You ously, he was quite ready to turn in can hear them coming, but you can't make when a French patrol escorted the ship
sure if the rotten thing will drop near you, to anchorage at the end of a long line of
or near the man a bit away. Our captain was thirty or more ships.
presented to Admiral Wemyss. He was
thanked, and asked to convey the Admiral's I regret to say (writes the captain that, thanks to the officers of E-86 in recognition to my great chagrin, two minutes after I of the work they were doing-bow-wow! I've pulled my boots off, a torpedo struck the had to unbutton my weskit since then. ship and she sank in ten minutes.
Thirty-knot_destroyers carried the A cunning submarine had followed the
troops over; E-86 lumbered along at steamer from the open sea and bagged twelve knots, dropped anchor, unloaded her in the change of watch from the heavy artillery to lighters, and lumbered captain to the French patrol.
back, kept continuously at it for five A glimpse into the adventures of a
months. Once and awhile she was six-thousand-ton tramp, known as the
smashed up amidships, but any personal Roman Prince in Lloyd's Register of display of courage on the part of the Shipping, but now hidden under the
crew is modestly condoned: official phraseology H. M. Transport
"It's full of fun,” they say, “never E-86, discloses the desperate character of knowing when you will get bagged!” Admiralty Service in the Gallipoli cam
Here is an episode in the day's work paign. Under heavy fire from the of the mine-sweepers at the Dardanelles.
Mine-fields of the enemy accounted, enemy, the E-86 steamed from the transport base to the landing-place on that
with deadly results, for three English scraggly, sun-parched wilderness, where
battle-ships and one French battle-ship the Anzacs had desperate need of heavy
during the bombardment of the forts. artillery to hold their own against the
In attempting to clear the narrows of well-supplied Turks. An officer, schooled
mines, and reduce the tremendous odds in unloading freight into lighters on the
under which the allied fleet fought, the South American coast, writes to Mr.
trawlers were compelled to steam into Wood:
the very vortex of the unleashed passion
of mine-fields, fourteen-inch guns, rapidSix months ago we came up
guns, land torpedo - tubes, and and because of a big boom were given the
search-lights. This account, of one job of running heavy guns up to the Peninsula. Transports are unable to go up there,
night's attempt at clearing mines, apbecause of the submarines, and the nasty
pears on record in a letter from a Royal habit that the Turks have of shelling ships.
Naval Reserve officer of the merchant We take the guns from the transports and
service assigned to duty on H. M. S. run them up. While it is day and night work, Majestic, under date of April 7, 1915.
I have volunteered for minesweeping and We killed a German general and six hundred now am in command of a large minesweeper. Turks and brought off one lone prisoner. The other night we steamed right up the narrows with six search-lights on us, and The moment that every seaman anxevery gun, big and little, pumping stuff into iously awaits, doggedly enduring any
We had to go entirely unprotected. It service, however perilous, that will help was not possible to cover us. We turned at
to insure the issue, may come with the the narrows and swept down through the
next tick of the clock. Three times the mine-field with nothing but huge fountains
thrill has gone the rounds of every of water all around us and bursting shrapnel, to say nothing of Maxim rifles. Both banks Admiralty ship in the North Sea waters.
Twice that thrill has carried beyond the seemed to be nothing but sheets of flame. A naval officer was in each trawler. None of water of the North Sea into the utterus ever expected to get back; there were a most parts of the globe. No matter lot of casualties, but not one of the trawlers how aggravating the results may be to was sunk. We were all hit, not personally, the fleet at Wilhelmshaven, they failed but the trawlers were full of holes, most of
to satisfy the crews on any of the more the shells passed right through without burst
than four thousand ships, ranging from ing. One went clean through my wheelhouse, between the helmsman and myself.
the patrol to Beatty's flagship, engaged All we felt was a rush of wind. The shooting
on business of the Admiralty. The enwas very bad. I think they were afraid the
viable position, in the sight of every man fleet was behind us, and got a bit panicky.
in that vast fleet, is on board the vessel Of the original lot of trawlers sent out here, in the thick of it. Some of the men of only three of us are left.
the merchant service have been in the
fighting at Jutland, and again when the Notice it was the enemy, safely tucked
Blücher was sunk during the raid of the away in the darkness on shore, out of enemy's battle-cruisers in the North Sea. reach of the fleet's guns, that became Members of the Royal Naval Reserve, “panicky,” not the crew on the hundred- trained in naval warfare, they left their ton Yarmouth trawlers, blinded in the ships of the Royal Mail, the P. &0. and glare of search-lights, and annoyed by Atlantic lines and were immediately asshells that went clean through the hull. signed to the active fleet for service durHere the record stops; doubtless the ing the war. Here is a letter written trawlers swept the mine-field as per in after the sinking of the Blücher: structions. At any rate, the writer continues:
H. M. S. Tiger, February 11, 1915.
Yes, we were all mighty pleased to get a The application has gone in, signed by my slap at the Sausages, as you call them, parcaptain, for my other stripe--so I'm fairly ticularly as they were coming across to try lucky.
another raid on our coast towns. We picked While the mine-sweepers were patched They at once turned about and made off.
them up about daylight, on the Sunday. the fleet took advantage of their suc
However, we had their heels and began to cessful work and bombarded the fortifi
overhaul them slowly. We opened fire and cations. Then there was the desperately began to hit them very quickly, although ten perilous work of landing parties to com miles off. The weather was very clear, so plete the destruction of fortifications they had not the same good luck as they had silenced by the fleet. The “fairly lucky” when we last chased them. I was on the one continues:
disengaged side and filled in my time watch
ing the shells explode alongside, and maybe a A day or two later a party of two hundred twelve-inch shell doesn't send up a column of of us landed and suddenly found ourselves spray. It was a wonderful sight to watch up against a concealed regiment. Our job them drop around and alongside the Lion, was to demolish a fort that had been shelled, which was the leading ship. We had a fair resulting in thirty-six guns blown up and number ourselves, but the Lion got it hot, completely silencing it. For twelve hours we till finally a lucky shot potted her in the did nothing but fire with our rifles and re water-tight_compartment and she had to volvers. It is rotten seeing men shot down drop out. Then we got to it. Shortly after all around one-a chap had his head blown this one of their Zeps came out to assist, off close to me by a piece of shell. The fleet but she only looked on from afar and was covered us well by firing over our heads. kept off by our light cruisers. I wish she