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THE LOST CRESSY.

A SUimV Oll'S STORY. “THEY’VE FINISHED US.” William Moon, Bradford postman and naval reservist, was aboard the Creasy when she was torpedoed, and was rescued after being four hours in the water. He gave an interesting story to a ‘ Yorkshire Observer ’ reporter. 1 was in my hammock (he said), when about 6.20 in the morning one of our chaps came to me shouting : " Como on ; one of our ships is going down.” 1 said "Get out.” and he replied: "Come on; it’s right.” 1 slipped out, put on my clothes, and rushed up, to see the Aboukir with a terrible list. The men were all saying “ She’s struck a mine.” 1 believe ninety-nine out of a hundred of us thought she iiad struck a mine—until we saw the Hogue go. Then we knew better. Meanwhile, all our boats were sent to the Aboukir to pick up as many survivors as they could, and that is why our crew has suffered so heavily. When we were .--truck wo hadn’t a b..at. As a matter of lact, the boats were coming back to us full of survivors when the Hogue was struck. Just after this we saw a submarine perisiopc on our port bow. 1 was standing inr ihc .-e ..-.i ;2-pounder port at the time, and saw it. Two shots were fired .iuin uni sftvi.ti i2-pounder port gun, am: the shells dropped exactly on the spot where I saw the submarine. Then the 9.2 fired. 1 sa.v the submarine lOnning to welcome up, and four men conic out almost as if they had been b.oivu out, and start swimming towards us. A minute or two after we heard the men , beer ano G.,p •>.. tne standard side, and there were shouts: “ Another of ’em.” My mate sang out “ Come on,” and we ~.n aer..,ut were too iate, and could .-oa nothing. The men there sere all cure that we had hit another a..d sunk it, bu. I can’t say of my own knowled e what happened. About the other one, however, i am quite sure. Three torpr.d‘>es were discharged at the Cressy, so far as we could tell. The first hit us, but I don’t think it did so much damage to us as to have prevented us making {tort. All the water-tight doors were closed. I heard the captain shouting from the fore bridge, and ran up to him. He said : “Go aft and ask the carpenter if much damage is done.” I went to find the carpenter. Meanwhile a second torpedo was discharged at us, but it passed astern without hitting us. Coming back to the bridge, I was juct telling the captain that the carpenter said he didn’t think the ship was making much when the third torpedo struck u-—somewhere near the engine room, I think. It didn’t half rattle us. It nearly threw me off the forebridge. The captain turned to me and said very quietly: ‘‘They’ve finished us.” I came down the fore-bridge ladder, unlaced rny boots, slipped them off, and then threw off my clothes. I thought I would be ready, although I made up my mind not to hop into the ditch until 1 saw what the ship was going to do. But she was gradually turning over. So I slid down one of the guys, and stood for a while on the beading. Then the ship gave a quick lurch. I thought to myself “ I’m off.” I dived in. Talk about an awakener! It awakened me, I can assure you. I started swimming away to get dear in case there was any suction. As the ship turned over she seemed to be coming over me, and, swim as hard as I could, I seemed unable to get out of the way. Then I saw her bottom upmost for a time, until she gave a final plunge. I have been fifteen years at sea (said Moon, in conclusion), and have often heard : stories of ships’ crews in danger not giv- I ing way to panic. After fifteen years’ ex- I perience I had never believed these stories altogether. But I can assure you that in this case there was no panic. The men kept complete order; indeed, they were so cool that one might have thought they did not realise what had really happened and how serious the position was. They took their orders from the officers and carried them out coolly until the last. It was a very neat piece of work on the part ot the Gormans. They waited until we were opening out to sail back, and the a l i a.n ceruun that we i task at least one of them. i

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141126.2.15

Bibliographic details

THE LOST CRESSY., Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

Word Count
784

THE LOST CRESSY. Issue 15660, 26 November 1914

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