• Harold Craig Close

Army / Flying Corps

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  • Enlistment - WW1

    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

  • Birth

    Caufield, Victoria, Australia

Stories and comments
    • Letter from Harold Close re the Southland saga
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 25 September 2014

    Bendigo Advertiser Tue 23rd Nov 1915: PRIVATE HAROLD CLOSE OF MYERS STREET, BENDIGO. “Just a few lines to let you know I am safe. We have just had our first experience of war. While on a troopship we were torpedoed a couple of days ago. It happened about 9.45am. Of course, it frightened me for a while, but when I got to work I was right. Some of the crew seemed to lose their heads, and the boats were managed terribly; they got overcrowded, and some were upset. I never tried to get into a lifeboat, as they were overcrowded, so I made for the collapsible boats, and after helping to get off two or three of them I got into one by sliding down a rope. I was on board about 1½ hours after she was hit, and was picked up 3½ hours later by a cargo boat. Within about two hours after she was hit there were boats, cruisers, etc., around us coming to the rescue. She did not sink, but was brought into harbor. Some of our lads stopped, and got her under way. She was hit forward between the engine-room and the hold where the ammunition was stored. I am quite well, but a bit stiff after the rowing, having to do 1½ hours while out.”