State Library of NSW
This disaster naturally cast a gloom over the whole expedition.
Friday May 14thThere have "been rumours for some time past that German submarines are on their way out to the Eastern Mediterranean. It is said that they have been sighted passing Gibraltar, and that also one has been seen off Malta and another in the Doro Channel. If this news is true it will be a very serious thing for the Expedition, as it will be impossible to keep the ships lying off the coast. Already the "Queen Elizabeth" has disappeared. It is said she is to return home and join the Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Of course it will be foolish in the extreme to keep her exposed out here. Today two transports lying close in to the gully ravine, and chained together for the purpose of brining off wounded were suddenly opened on by a Turkish Field battery, which commenced to pour shells into them.It was really a most extraordinary sight to us on the "Implacable", as we were lying quite close. The shrapnel hit them with a fearful whack, which could be heard a long distance away or else threw up great columns of water alongside. Both ships had their anchors down, and almost the first shell burst one of the steam pipes conveying steam to the anchor winch, and she could not get her anchor up . The position of both vessels began to look very precarious, and a destroyer hastened in to their assistance, whilst we and the neighbouring ships tried to locate and knock out the Turkish battery, but met with no success. One of the crew in his panic jumped overboard, and the destroyer had to lower a small boat to pick him up. He was rescued in the most gallant manner but the little boat had some very narrow shaves, as the shells fell all around her. Captain Lockyer now ordered his anchor to be raised for the purpose
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