State Library of NSW
to view and then the old Flagship disappeared forever except for a small piece of her ram which remained above the water as her bows were lying on a shallow sandbank. As she turned over and sank a sailor ran the whole length of her keel and finally sat astride the ram where he was subsecquently taken off without even getting a wettinng. The final plunge was so sad but grand that for a few seconds you forgot about the large numbers of officers and men who were still clinging to her like limpets when she went down.There was a great deal of cries and shouting as these unfortunates were precipitated into the water mixed up with the foam and steam. Some were dragged down by the fatal nets before tkey could get clear others were probably killed Inside by the explosion.
Nevertheless the loss of life was small numbering only fifty. This was due to the fact that most of the men had lifebelts, the majority had time to clear the ship before she turned over, we were anchored in shallow water so the suction was small and above all assistance was promptly forthcoming from the numerous ships's boats and launches which hastened to pick up those struggling in the water. The final plunge was watched by thousands of troops on shore and by thousands of men afloat. It was a sight which will not easily be forgotten. Captain Talbot the moment the ship was struck rushed forward with his Yeoman of Signals to seize and either save or destroy the Confidential Signal Book. This was accomplished and then when the ship went down he was thrown into the water but was picked up by a launch. Then seeing two of his men in danger of drowning he plunged into the sea again and saved them both.
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