Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 322
[Private, later Lance-Corporal, Kevin D'Arcy Goldrick, a cable operator of Potts Point, NSW, enlisted on 25 January 1916 at age 23, and embarked from Sydney on HMAT A14 Euripides on 9 September 1916 with the 17th Infantry Battalion, 15th Reinforcement. He served in the Pacific and in France, and was wounded and captured at Bapaume in April 1916, being interned in Dulmen Prisoner of War Camp. He was repatriated to England at the end of the war and returned to Australia on 2 March 1919.
Typed letter written from Fanning Island in the Central Pacific, an important telephone cable relay station, describing the attack by the German cruiser Nurnberg in September 1914. Typographical errors have been corrected.]
September 20th, 1914.
The Germans have come and gone and so far we are all alive and well. I suppose you have been expecting all sorts of frightful things, and there can be no doubt that we, personally, got off very lightly. We have been taking boat watch, day and night, ever since they left, but no relief to date. It is just a fortnight now since they came, and this continual waiting is getting on everyone's nerves.
However, here goes for an account of the "Nuremberg" raid. The Germans came on the 7th, Monday. I had been on night duty, off at 5am. We had several messages from Honolulu saying the "Nuremberg" was coaling there, also the "Leipsic", and on that account a native had been doing night watch for a fortnight previously. Well on the morning of the 7th, he called Smith, the Superintendent, at 4am, and we advised North and South that a large steamer was approaching. Three of us off at 5am, walked down to the wharf but the native said she had gone round past South Point. We put her down as a tramp and turned in.
I awoke at six and strolled down again just in time to see a big three funnel cruiser tearing up from South Point. At that time it was very light; Smith, two engineers, cook, handyman, and I were the only ones on the wharf. As the cruiser got nearer we saw a French Flag at the peak, so we hoisted a "Jack" on the staff. Smith sent me round to the houses to let them know it was a Frenchman, and when I got back the cruiser had pulled up at the buoy and lowered