4th May 1915
2nd May; At 4.30 a.m. 7 miles off entrance course East, 14 knots observed heavy firing on shore. At 5 a.m. Action. 5.15 arrived off Totts Battery; observed VENGANCE firing and under accurate fire, and came under fire on closing her. Observed French retiring everywhere, but whether a retreat or retirement uncertain. Told by VENGANCE to keep out of the way. Dropped back off Morto Bay, and asked R.F. station for situation. Received optimistic reply. 6.10 VENGANCE signalled us relieve. Closed. 6.20 came under fire. 6.27 VENGANCE communicated situation as follows; from position about 163.F:- ”At present our troops have advanced to the ridge beyond yellow hollow on cliff joining west side Kereves Dere. This position is best for close work like this, but it is exposed to Suandere River Guns at range of 12,000 yards from 7.B. battery. Best post for general work and view is 163.0. Three Asiatic disappearing Howitzer Batteries, a little Field Gun, and big howitzer hunt you everywhere”. Asked for position of big Howitzer and yellow hollow, but did not get them. 6.25, opened fire on relieving VENGANCE. Remained under fire until about 8 a.m. firing at Turks on ridge. 7.40 hit Port side abreast B.2. Gun. 7.53 firing at small bodies of Turks advancing. All forenoon firing occasionally at trenches as required. Did not succeed in establishing signal communication for spotting, working ship as requisite. At 12.30 concentrated fire on trenches. Saw Turks running. 12.50 under fire, from whence not ascertained, about 1.5 hit twice, one in same place as at 7.40 the other Starboard side of boat deck. Fired on Suandere on chance. Went astern to change range. AGAMEMNON signalled thought battery in 178.L but not certain. Under fairly accurate intermittent fire until 5.36. Hit Port side at 2.25, abreast of Y.I casemate. Curiously enough this Shot, the first that has killed a man on board “ALBION” at the same time cut the Ensign Halliards and half-masted the colours.
Noticed some British and Indian troops on Hill 236. 1.50 fired on battery in position given by Totts, that was firing at them, and on supposed positions of guns that were firing at “ALBION” , occasionally. 2.50 noticed Ship had listed slightly; reported fact, stating relief not necessary at present. Wells dry. 4.43 observed LATOUCHE TREVILLE under fire and firing. 5.33 Relieved by GOLIATH. Turned over orders, and messages recently received from Military and proceeded to anchor in Billet 162 P off Seddul Bahr. Ammunition expended 12” 6, 6” 151, 12 pr 272. Enemy’s shot or Salvoes 76, including some heavy projectiles four hits. Their fire as on 28th, apparently regulated according to the movements of their infantry, and our fire on the latter.
Casualties Ply/12797 Sergeant Edwin Kershaw R.M.L.I. killed.
Damage as far as then ascertained Wing Compartment 48 to 60 flooded, 30 ft Cutter smashed, 24ft Gig holed, Main Derrick Purchase and topping lift wires badly stranded, and engine damaged. Main derrick slightly holed; Shelter and upper deck holed, other minor damage. Reported same. Received two cutters by order of R.A.I., ordered by R.A.3, to proceed to Mudros and make good defects. Discharged Major A.F. Thomson, R.A. to Shore. This Officer was not on board on 25th from no fault of his own, but has been of much assistance to me on the succeeding days, stationing himself in the Control position and exposed on 28th April and 2nd May to considerable danger. 9.30 proceeded at 7 ¼ knots, a cutter in tow, as boats falls shot through. 4.45 stopped. Committed body of Sergeant Edwin Kershaw, R.M.L.I. to the deep. 6 a.m. anchored in Mudros. Sent down diver; diver report armour plate (240 lbs) cracked and adjacent seams opened. Some water found in wing bunker abaft 60. Divers caulked seams. Shored sluice valves; commenced pumping. Later commenced cleaning bunker abaft protective deck. 6.15 p.m. examined compartment. Damage as ascertained; outside superficial cracks on armour plate, plate pushed in about ½ inch. Inside **** protective deck, side plating bulged but not fractured, many rivets gone; “B” Seacock and tranches off forward to C.O. 2 Rooms and Magazines, extensively damaged.
By 3 p.m. 4th May, bunker was sufficiently clear to examine above protective deck, when further damage as follows was found.
48 to 60 Armour driven in about 2”. Below protective deck: – Lightened plate frames 3 in Number under protective deck much buckled, many connecting rivets sheared.
Side plating buckled for two frame stations, indented to about 6” from original line, and butt straps damaged, many rivets loose and fractured. (B) Seacock, Downton Discharge, and Master Flood of C.O. 2 valves extensively damaged.
Above Protective Deck:- I Bulkhead much buckled, Z frames (3 in No) behind armour buckled, gusset plates torn from seating and distorted; armour bolts 6 in No appear to have had severe strain.
Compartments flooded Wing 48 to 60 stations
Reserve Coal Bunker, 60 to 68.
- Watts Jones
The Vice Admiral Commanding,
and the Rear Admiral Commanding
Eastern Mediterranean Squadron,