IN THE NORTH SEA.
AN INTERESTING LETTER
A sailor stationed in the North Sea writes the following interesting letter to a friend in Akaroa.
We are anchored at a small plaoe, 10 miles from Edinburgh (the capital of Scotland) in the Firth of Forth and this has been our base since November. It is an ideal spot for us, as the Firth is 80 miles long and submarines cannot attack us very easily Of course, no doubt you know, that lots of things are kept secret from the papers and some of them I dare not speak about. For instance, I can assure you that a lot more German submarines have been sunk than has been published. We know that four or five of them have tried to torpedo us, as we lie at anchor, and they have been destroyed, We have nets placed across the harbour and various positions, and when a submarine gets in them it rings a bell and gives the the alarm. Divers go down with guncotton and "Yon Tirpitz" looses again. Now you can see why such news as that is not published, for we do not want the Germans to knowj where their submarines get to. We pass under the famous Forth bridge each time we enter or leave harbour. It is a wonderful piece of engineering work. It is two miles long and the largest ships in the world oan pass under it. It is guarded with forts, soldiers patrolling it all the time and all paroels are taken off passengers in the trains when they pass over it. Our Navy commands practically every inch of sea in the world and the submarines in the North Sea are treated with contempt. They will not attack us but drop to the bottom whilst we pass over them. May island lis at the entrance of the Firth and that is a dangeroue spot for submarines. One day we passed three ships sinking there. I The "spy peril" in England has caused a lot of uneasiness, but not a I word is ever spoken of our spies in Germany. Why, a German ship can not leave harbour without we know and even the directions they take. The chip is under quarantine now, scarlet fpvfir has broken out and we cannot land to play football or cricket I think the ship ia over crowd ea as we have 1100 men aboard now. As a rule we get a little exercise. Land at a place named South Queen berry and march through the town to a village named Kirkliston and bait for 20 minutes for refreshments. The band goes with us and playa all the latest songs. The school children have bad their holidays and hundreds of them march with us and then we have races for them. Now the weather is hot, bathiDg ig permitted and that is my favourite sport. I could swim for hours and just Jove to play water polo. It ig a fairly high dive from off the ehip'e side, but last week one fellow dived from the bridge. Did you know that H.M.A.S. Australia was over here . She has been over here about six months. We have a surprise for the Germans when when they do come out, for we have double the number of- battle cruisers now and the Australia is flagship of my eqnadron, .Admiral Beatfcy on the Lion is in command of ue all.
Have just received orders to prepare for sea at a moments notice and we shall be somewhere in the North Se& in a few hours, and we may be at sea for weeks, so if this letter is delayed you will know the reason. The Royal Marines have suffered heavily during the last few months, 8000 were killed .and wounded at the Dardanelles. I l do wish I could get out there. But it [is not of any use wisbiog for we are told our services are required aboard and so we must stay.
Captain Halsey has been promoted to Commodore end is now oa the Iron Duke as Chief of Staff to Admiral Jelliooe.
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IN THE NORTH SEA., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3496, 15 October 1915
IN THE NORTH SEA. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3496, 15 October 1915
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