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Thank God We Had a Navy!
Thank God We Had a Navy! 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 13 April 1933, page 2

Thank God We Had a Navy!

Having been on patrol work in the East Indies, on the H.M.A.S. Fantome, in ‘16-‘17, having endured tropical heat., tropical sores, and diseases of various kinds with no prospects of an engagement with an enemy vessel to break the deadly monotony, you can bet we were just about fed up with the whole business. Dissension became rife when our skipper (a strict disciplinarian, but a good little sport) told us that we were doing nothing compared with the men in the trenches! But he very nearly boiled over when most of the ship's company requested to be sent to the front. Fourteen days, hard for frivolous requests! Fancy a sailor wishing to become a soldier! Impossible!

However, our chance was soon to come. Rumour was afloat that the raider Wolfe was in our waters. What excitement!

Now we'd show them what we could do. When "Clear Lower Deck" was sounded we all rushed aft to the quarter-deck to have the rumour verified by our skipper, who addressed us as follows:

"Gentlemen; Men: We are now in the vicinity of the German raider Wolfe. We will probably meet with her in the early hours of the morning. As you know, our port and starboard 12-pounders would be of no use to us. Our forward 4in. gun is out of action. All we have got is our after 4in. gun, and that is unreliable. But we will do our best! Dismiss!''

We did not meet the Wolfe. I suppose when that ship's company hear that there was an Australian warship about, they got the wind up and nicked off. It was just as well for us!

T.W.M., Kelmscott.