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“STOP INSTANTLY!"

THE BMDEN’S EXPLOITS. HER COURTEOUS CAPTAIN CHEERED BY BRITISH CREWS. The courtesy and consideration shown by the captain of the German cruiser Emden so impressed tho British crews of the steamers King Lud, Tymeric, Ribera, aud Foyle, which were sunk in the Indian Ocean, that they went so far as to cheer their destructive enemies for the gallantry they displayed. The experiences of the merchantmen were told vividly by the different skippers to a representative of the ‘Times of Ceylon’ at Colombo on September 29. Captain D. Harris, of tho King Lud, 3,650 tons, which was built in 1906 for the King Line, Limited, Stockton, explained in effect that he was bound from' Alexandria to Calcutta in ballast. About midday of September 25, near Galle, S.E. coast of Ceylon, a cruiser was sighted on the horizon, coming rapidly towards the King Lud. It proved to be the Emden, which signalled "Stop instantly.” Then the captain of the King Lud was informed politely that the enemy intended to sink his ship. The Emden sent an armed crew aboard the King Lud, and an officer said to the skipper: “ Captain, I want to see your papers.” The ship’s papers and register were immediately handed to the officer, who said; “ Captain, prepare to leave your ship; Tam going to destroy her. In an hour’s time I am going to destroy her. We have got no port to bring you into, a* you have done with our ships.” Captain Harris stated that this officer is an ex-Hambnrg-Amenka Lino officer, and belonged to the Naval Reserve, having served in one of the chips of the German. China squadron some time ago. The crew of the King Lud were ordered to go on board of the Markomania. The transhipment was carried out without difficulty, the weather being line. The crew were accorded very good ticatincnt on the Markomania, the officers and engineers being given comfortable quarters. The crew consisted o, 29 Europeans and 2 Arabs'. Later mines were placed in Nos. 2 and 4 holds of the King Lud, whose sides were blown out.

The next unlucky ship to be taken by the Emdcn was the Tymeric, 3,314- tons /Captain J. J. Tulloch). which was built in 1901 for Messrs A. Weir and Co., Glasgow. She was bound from Java to Falmouth for orders, and had called at Colombo for bunkers. The Tymeric was caught at 11.35 p.m.. the Emden coming up without any lights. The cruiser signalled w:th a iarnp to stop, arid in a few minutes the crew of the steamer were ordered to leave the ship. They were given 10 minutes to swing the boats out and | get their clothes. The captain and the chief j engineer were taken on board the Emden i as prisoners; the rest of the crew—7 Europeans and 27 natives—were cent aboard tho Markomania. Captain Tulloch and the engineer were given chairs on tho quarter-deck:, whence they saw in the dim morning light the Germans searching the Tymeric for provisions. About 3 o'clock the last boat left the Tymeric, and five minutes later there was a muffled explosion. The Emden waited until Ike Tymerio soiled deep in the water, and then sailed away at full speed, the Markomania following at her best pace. Tho captain and chief engineer were well treated on the Emden, and were given books to read. They got whisky and soda. at lunch, and pancakes and ham for breakfast. On tire following Sunday night the Emden’s band played. Captain Tulloch thought that this was particularly funny. Two Chinamen did the washing on the Emden. The crew were apparently living on the provisions taken on the captured vessels. They said they were pretty well fed up with the business, and wished to see the thing finished. Captain Tulloch was not impressed with the Emd'cn’s shooting. They put four shots into the Ribera, which was subsequently captured, and three of the shots were 6ft above tho water-line. The fourth struck tho vessel just on the water-line, and the ship Bank after three-quarters of an hour. The next, steamer captured was the Gryfcva!e, 4,424 tons (Captain Steele), bound for Calcutta from Bombay to load coal. The Emden adopted the usual procedure as to questions and cxiiminaf ion, but decided not. to sink bcr. She accompanied the Markomanin, and was finally, after receiving crews from oiher captured steamers, allowed to proceed to Colombo. A good thing for the Emden was found in the Burcsfc, laden with 6,000 tons of Welsh coal for the British Admiralty at Colombo and Hongkong. The crew were transhipped to the Giyfi.vale. but Captain Taylor, the chief oflland the chief engineer wera taken as prisoners of war. The Ribera, 3,5 r 'o tons iCaptain .1. Isdale). bound for Batavia in ballast from Alexandra, was caught by the Emden 200 miles west of Colombo. The captain was asked if there was a lady aboard, as the presence of a larlv woulu have raved the- ship. Captain Bilal* informed the reporter that the officer who boarded tho Ribera, was very jolly over the business, and remarked; “It it the fortune of war, captain.” The crew were transferred, to the Gryfevalc. The Ribera was sunk. “An honorable burial," her captain says, A German officer told Captain Isdale that at. one time H.M..S Hampshire was only eight miles away from the Emden, which did not send out any wir-less messages.

The tame German officer said they hoped that if they were going to get caught in would be by an Englishman. But they would first run like <he. devil, as they were not built for fighting. At midnight of a Sunday the skippers and officers of the sunken rreichant.men were placed on the Gryfevaje, which was released.

Capia.in W. H. Gibson, of the Foyle, 4.147 tons, owned by the Mercantile S.S. Company, London, related experiences similar to those of the other merchantmen. He was much impressed by the exceptional courtesy of the Emden’s officers, who sank the Foy'e by means of a mine in No. 2 hold. Previous ’to the Gryfevale leaving the Emden for Colombo the sbiplcss crews gave three cheers for the. cruiser’s commander, three for her officers, and three for her crew, because of the considerate manner in which they treated their captives. A nephew of the Kaiser is an officer on the Emden, and before the Gryfevale lefa he wi'lied all on board a safe aud pleasant voyage to Colombo. A sea captain in the East advances the theory that there ars two Emdens, another nniser hiving adopted the same name in order to complicate the operations of pursuing cruisers.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141029.2.35

Bibliographic details

“STOP INSTANTLY!", Evening Star, Issue 15636, 29 October 1914

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1,108

“STOP INSTANTLY!" Evening Star, Issue 15636, 29 October 1914

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