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[Page 40]

closer to the shore In front of W beach so that instead of being outside the lines of transports we were actually anchored inside the outer line in a position where it would be extremely difficult for a submarine to get a clear shot at us. I remember remarking at the time 'that in former days the British Navy protected British commerce but that now owing to the presence of submarines British commerce had to protect the British Navy'.

Now that I come to describe the last hours of the poor old Majestic I can only tell the story of what my owne ezperiences were and of what I saw of the vessel and crew when she finally plunged to Iher doom. Personally, although had moved so close in shore and inside the outer line of transports, I felt no great sense of security and felt perfectly certain that the end might come at any moment. For that reason I      had not slept in my cabin for several nights either on the Swiftsure but had my mattress carrid up on deck having long since made up my I mind to get off the ship the moment she was struck and swim as far awayas possible before she turned over and made her final plunge, as I do not profess to be a great swimmer and was detremined not to get mixed up her her decks or dragged down by the suction.

That night we sat up rather later than usual in the wardroom and I was just retiring to rest when I met the Principle Medical Officer who asked me if I had a life-belt. I was the possessor of one of those which ressemble bycle tyres and kept it blown up in my cabin but it was inclined to leak so I told the P.H.0 I could do with an other. He presented me with a similar one only quite new. In fact it had never been blown out.

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