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[Page 54]

we were all at lunch in the wardroom of the Swiftsure when a signalman entered with his cap in his hand and went up to the Commander saying ' beg pardon Sir the Triumph is listing'. This news came as a thunderbolt and everyone left their luncheon and rushed up on the quarterdeck. The news was indeed true. The Triumph was at anchor or else steaming very slowly up and down off the coast in her old position south of Gaba Tepe when she was struck by two torpedoes. Her nets were down at the time but made not the slightest difference as both torpedoes either passed through, or else underneath them. When we reached the deck she was already listing and it was obvious she would turn right over in a few minutes.
On these occasions one battleship is not allowed to go to the assistance of another through fear of being torpedoed by the same submarine which will probably remain hanging about the neighbourhood awaiting just such a chance. In any case the Swiftsure was at anchor and we could never have got there in time. When she was struck there was a Trawler and a Destroyer quite close to the Triumph and these two vessels at once went to her assistance to pick up the crew whom we could see jumping off the side into the water. All the Destroyers off Cape Helles, in our neighbourhood, also got up steam and dashed at top speed across the ocean almost blotting out the horizon with the columns of black smoke thrown out by their eager funnels.
It was a dramatic sight from the quarterdeck of the Swiftsure and also on the quarterdeck itself. The two vessels are sister ships having been purchased from Chili to prevent their sale to Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, and we on board all had in mind our narrow escape

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