H.M.S. Albion letter 30 Apr

 

H.M.S. “ALBION”

30th April 1915

 

At 4.45 a.m. on 28th April, weighed, and proceeded to take up position 170. W to support right flank as ordered.

 

At 6.10, came under fire, replied about 6.12; under occasional fire until about 7 a.m.  Observed white screen in Domuz Deresi valley probably an aiming mark.  At 8.50 observed French troops advance from Totts Battery; their line then wheeled to left and faced about W.N.W.  At 9.5 fired on enemy on ridge up Kereves valley.  For remainder of forenoon took station about 163.F, in order to see up Kereves valley.  At 9.45 Totts signalled that enemy were advancing in Square 176.T, the position recently shelled by “ALBION”.  About 9.40 observed and sank a mine.  At 9.50 noticed French troops facing to their right towards Achi Baba, then saw they were under gun fire.  Continued firing at intervals.  At 11.0 right gun, Fore Turret, valve box cracked.  At 11.20 shot struck near stem, went astern, apparently no damage.

 

At noon opened heavy fire on body of Turks seen in former position, and continued supporting French Flank.  Frequently under fire sometimes from heavy guns which we could not locate.

 

At 12.55, “LORD NELSON” coming up to relieve, 1.0 proceeded, at 1.3 hit aft port side.  Ammunition expended for day, 12” 7, 6” 165, 12 pr. 134 largely on Turks in the open.  Enemy fired 54 rounds at “ALBION” including many heavy shells.

 

On arrival at North Side of Rabbit Island, ordered TEES alongside, and DEMETIAN to proceed to Gaba Tepe; saw RIVERSDALE anchored south side.  Noticed that “ALBION” was holed before collision bulkhead; sent down divers to examine who reported that plating had parted 11 ft by 2” horizontally, 2 ft by 2” vertically; a split 2 ft by 2”, and several rivets out.  Ship side badly bulged.

 

Ceased taking in ammunition, but continued getting out empties and reported damage.  Directed by Rear Admiral to complete with ammunition and rejoin Flag, unless orders to the contrary were received from the Vice Admiral, and later by Vice Admiral to proceed to Mudros if necessary.  Considered it necessary, and proceeded at midnight arriving at Mudros at 5 a.m. 29th, and sent down divers to wedge and plug as necessary.  Obtained one diver from HUSSAR; RELIANCE carries none.  Obtained services of Engineer Captain.  Ammunitioned from BONDICAR, very little shrapnel obtainable.  Coaled from QUEENSLAND TRANSPORT, and received stores from CARDSWELL.  Sent defective 12” valve box to RELIANCE.

 

About 1 a.m. 30th, outside work sufficiently advanced to commence pumping, but could only get hand pumps to bear, and they would not reduce water.

 

About 7 a.m. 30th, sent diver down to Cofferdam between 7 and 8 to take off manhole in steel deck.

 

Drained water into bilges abaft.  Considerable vibration of bulkhead between Bosn’s store and Cofferdam owing to air; shored up as necessary.  Pumps got water under about 1 p.m. on 30th.  All compartments forward of 7 and part of cofferdam between 7 and 8 had been flooded, and the damage consisted of the following:- The 80 lb Protective Plating was found to have been split at the rivet holes on lower edge and forced inwards to about 4 ins.  The two thicknesses of 20 lb plating behind protective plating were found to be extensively damaged, one plate being turned inwards to approximately 9”, all rivets being sheared.  The protective deck was forced down 2” in frame space, many rivets sheared.  The collision bulkhead was buckled at boundary port side, many rivets sheared, length approximately 2 ft in depth.  The cofferdam bulkhead only slightly damaged at boundary angle; three rivets started.

 

In repairing the damage, divers placed wedges in fracture, and drove in oakum plugs where it was possible to do so effectively.  The water was then pumped out by Main Suction of Ship, taking about 6 hours.  The fracture was filled in with blankets, oakum, stiff red lead, and possible wedges.  Three cofferdams were constructed, consisting of cants 6” x 6” bolted to stiffeners of bulkheads, and planking of 3” deal boards bolted to them; the space was filled in with concrete up to deck, and whole securely caulked.  Shores were then placed from Starboard side to cofferdams.

 

Only small leakage of water discovered when compartments were closed down; quite within the pumping capacity of ship.

 

After various too sanguine estimates, defects were completed and compartments closed up, and ship sailed to rejoin Flag at 9.15 p.m. on 1st, but was later recalled to pick up lapping gear, and returned to outer anchorage.

 

Sailed after receiving gear about 12.30 a.m; arrived off Dardanelles and proceeded to relieve VENGANCE.

 

  1. Watts Jones

CAPTAIN (Act)

 

The Vice Admiral Commanding,

and Rear Admiral Commanding Divisions,

Eastern Mediterranean Squadron,

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s