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Troopship & Warship Sunk.


Troopship & Warship Sunk. 809 Lives Lost in the Mediterranean, The Scoretary of the Admiralty has issued the following announcement:— The transport A r agon (Captain Fran- cis Bateman in command) was torpe- i doed and sunk in the Eastern Medi- terranoan on December 30. One of his Majesty's destroyers, whilst picking up the survivors from the Aragon, was herself torpedoed and sunk, as reported in the communique of January 7. The mercantile, fleet auxiliary Os- manieh struck a mine and sank in approximately the same locality on December 31.. TORPEDOED WITHIN SIGHT OF LAND. TROOPS SING WHILE FACING j DEATH. A V.A.D. nurse, who was on board xme ci the two vessels sunk in tho Mediterranean on Reoeirtber 30 (as an- JQounced in the House of Commons re- cently), has sent homo- to- her parents &t graphic ;V\'uiu\t of her, experiences. "She writes that the Iran snort Aragon sailed from Marseilles -witli. destroyers Rtt escorts. The vessel spent five days at Christmas in harbour, where they j had a "top-hole" time. The vessel left the harbour the following Sunday. Pro- I oeeding, the writer says:— "No doubt we were watched then. As we were so close to land wo thought we wero quite safe. At about 10.30 in the morning we could see land. I went down to my cabin, and the st-o ward was attending to my trunk, which had got damaged on the jour- ney, wh<v). at 10.55 there was a ter- rible crash, and the steward cried out, 'My God, we've got, it.' Anyway, ho got me outside, though I was not frightened, and gave me my lifebelt, and I ran up the two flights of stairs to our boat stations, as we sisters had been detailed to boats. AN UNFORGETTABLE SIGHT. "In a minute we had orders to get into the boat, which we promptly did without any confusion. We were low- ered, which was a shaky business, and a doctor and a colonel accompanied us. We got away from the ship as sson a6 we oould, but by that time we cou M see the stern of the Aragon down in the water and her bows in the air. The troops on board her were singing. By jove, it took some doing. We picked up a lot of the boys in our lifeboat off the rafts, and when we were picked up we made for a trawler which was cloan bv. Fortunately, there were several close at hand, as we were so near hnd. "In the meantime we looked at the Aragon, which w.-is rapidly sinking. There were, hundrsd nf boys in khaki on- board her, and the sight I shall never forget. In fifteen minutes she had r,onc, no: sign of her at all. Anvlnr.v, we got. into tho traw- ler, and in another minute our des- troyer was torpedoed right .midships. She went cle.n in half. She wns close hv, and had picked up hundreds of Tommies. The Ivd to go down again and So my tniiwi that was the worst of all. The trawlers headed for land at onoo. "All the sisters were saved, but there is a heavy death-roll. We had many troops on board. As soon as we reached land we were taken to a ser- geants' mess close by, where we had brandy and hot tea. We were then put in am bulances and ta ken to hospital. I We had nothing in the wide world ex- cept what wo stood in. They were very kind at the hospital, and we went straight to bed, but, of course, we could not sleep. I thought it most kind j of the Red Cross people to send us each a little parcel containing clothing and articles for toilet use. When we got up in the morning we were all attired in borrowed clothing. This morning (New Year's morning) we are going to Cairo. We are all perfectly happy, only we should have liked to have known exactly how many were missing. "The captains of the Aragon and the destroyer are both gone, also the chief offioer, the purser, the chief en- gineer, and crowds o foffioers." Con- tinuing. the writer adds: "A most aw- ful thing happened yesterday morning. Another ship was torpedoed in exact- ly the same place. She went down in five minutes. There were forty sisters on board, and they were all 'In tbi, water. A good many, I believe, wero drowned, I know they brought eight I sisters into the mortunary of tpial. STOOD AS IF ON PARADE. Pte. Byfield, who has relatives at Barrack Hill, Newport, writing to a former comrade -at Brecon. gives ome of his experiences on the occasion ou the occasion of the sinking of the two British vessels on New Year's Eve, re- cently reported in the House* of Com- mons. Byfield has seen active service an India, German East Africa,, and Fraaiee, and after a period in a hos- pital at Liverpool was proceeding on active service to another field of operations. In the course of his letter he na)ys "We landed hero on Sunday, but not in the way any of us expected, as we wero torpe doed aobut twelve miles from laud. Omr ship was struck at fire jwu-t eleven, and by twenty past she was no more. All the nurses and wounded got away first, and quite safely. Then we had tho order, 'Every man for himself.' I was not long lip getting over the side. Until we had orders to movo there was not the slightest disorder or anything wrong. The n»n stood exactly as if t.hf>v were on an ordinary pantde, and the bohayious of all the troops was marvellous. There was no panic what eveir. When the order oame to get over 1 tlaen it was a case of 'it.' I wt down to a boat but tliore were eo naany in her that tlhe turned right over. It was then a case of getting as far as pof^ible from the sinking ship before she went under. After rooming around a bit in the water I was picked up bv the destroyer that was escorting tif. I had not beea long on the destrover | when she -sha,red the same fate, as the j larger vessel. And again it meaht going in to the water. After some time I was picked up by a trawler more dead than alive. I was' covered with oil from the destroyer, and suppose must have swallowed some of it, as well as the sea water. You can guess I that I was not very lively when brought to shore. "The worst oases from the disaster were carried to hospital. I am gettimg oai well, and shall be ut of hospital next week, and shall re-join my old battalion. I .am nearly myoId self again. For experi&pce 1 would sooner go 'over the top' anyw-ehere than have another dose of such forced bating as I ('xperie:ruced on   as I cx pcrieiM?d on th?s trip."