In war man is often made to feel his impotence. An illustration of this occurred the day following the armistice. About midday the workers on the beach heard “Picket boat” cried in those anxious, agonized accents that characterize the cries of “Stretcher bearer” or “Wire,” cries that send a shiver down the spine of the most hardened. Looking out to sea, a great column of smoke welled up from the side of the “Triumph,” lying about a mile off shore from Gaba Tepe
. It was obvious she was hit, for at once she commenced to heel over. Glasses revealed her decks crowded with men, her
crew falling in at their stations. Swiftly from every point of the compass came the torpedo-boat destroyers—from Nibrunesi Point
, Imbros and Helles. Our old friend the “Chelmer” nosed into the flank of the stricken ship, and orderly, as if on parade, the bluejackets commenced marching off. More and more boats crowded alongside to take off the crew. Steadily the vessel heeled until her masts were almost parallel with the water, her port guns sticking aimlessly into the air. Suddenly she quivered from stem to stern. Her attendants drew back quickly, as she turned completely over amidst a cloud of spray and steam, which, clearing away, revealed her red keel shining brightly against the
The Sinking of the “Triumph.”
The old ship, surrounded by small craft, is near the horizon on the left of the picture.
blue Ægean Sea. Once again the destroyers and trawlers closed in to pick up the men in the water. Other destroyers, working in ever-increasing circles, engaged in a hunt for the submarine. Presently the old craft commenced to settle at the bows. Slowly and gracefully she slid into the depths, and the watchers on the Anzac hills heaved a heartfelt sigh. But out there in the blue, the gallant sailormen gave three hearty cheers as the old ship disappeared. An irrepressible cried, “Are we downhearted?” “No,” roared the crew of the sunken ship, and a great volume of cheering rose from the vessels gathered round.
This disaster cast a gloom over Anzac. To see one's friends in peril and be powerless to help caused the Colonial soldiers more pain than any previous experience. This old
ship had been such a trusty friend, and now, in a short twenty minutes, she was gone! Men sat up on the hill that night, cursing the Hun and all his allies!