The Diary of Thomas Victor Rayson-1916

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Page 30

TVR diary page 30

Dec 18th till 19th

Remaining in harbour

Dec 20th till 22nd

Under 2hrs notice until 11pm on 22nd

Dec 23rd

In harbour

Dec 24th

Left for sea 11pm.

Dec 25th

At sea weather rough heavy swell.

Dec 26th

Arrived in harbour @ 6.10 am. & coaled ship 180 tons.

Dec 27th till 31st

In harbour

January 1st 1916 till 4th

In harbour. Blowing heavy.

Jan 5th

Left for sea 4o/c pm.

Jan 6th, 7th

At sea.

Jan 8th

At sea evening proceeding to harbour arrived @ 10o/c

Jan 9th

In harbour coaling ship 500 tons & oiled

Page 31

TVR diary page 31

Jan 10th till 15th

Remaining in harbour

Jan 16th till 23rd

Remaining in harbour

Jan 24th

In harbour coaled ship 85 tons.

Jan 25th

In harbour

Jan 26th

In harbour - all hands watch keeping 2.30 pm.

Jan 27th

In harbour. Steam for 22 knots 45 mins notice from 6am.

Jan 28th & 29th

In harbour. Under short notice & @ 11.30. am left for sea on 29th weather fine

Jan 30th

Arrive in @ Cromarty 11.30. & Saw some of remains of Natal[1] proceeded to coal @ 1 o/c pm. Amount taken in 220 tons. Under short notice

Jan 31st

Went to sea 12 o/c noon for firing & returned in the evening @ 4.30 pm under short notice

Feb 1st

In harbour. Left for Queensferry 1.30pm.

Page 32

TVR diary page 32

Feb 2nd

Arrived in Queensferry 8.30am & coaled ship 220 tons. Lit up all round. 10.30 pm ready for sea. Warning of air raid but nothing done

Feb 3rd

Still under short notice. 1/2 hr. 2.30 went under 2 1/2 hrs notice under 4 hrs 10 o/c pm.

Feb 4th

In harbour. Under 24 hrs notice for repairing of boiler

Feb 5th

24 hrs notice up @ 9am.

Feb 6th

Proceed to sea @ 2.30 pm

Feb 7th

Arrived in harbour 11 am & coaled 240 tons.

Feb 8th & 9th

In harbour under short notice

Feb 10th

Still under short notice 11.30am went under 4hrs 11.45am 1 hrs & @5.45 got under weight for sea. Heard news that a German squadron were @ sea. Weather calm

Feb 11th

@ sea weather same as previous day Guns crews all closed up till 10 o/c am when we found they had gone back to harbour.

Page 33

TVR diary page 33

Feb 12th, 13th

Arrived back @ Queensferry @ 7 o/c am & coaled ship 309 tons

Feb 14th

In harbour 2 hrs notice

Feb 15th till 23rd

In harbour

Feb 24th

Under 2 hrs notice

Feb 25th

Proceeded to sea. 12 o/c noon weather rough

Feb 26th

At sea weather rough

Feb 27th

At sea weather as previous day

Feb 28th

Arrived in @ Queensferry 9 o/c & proceeded to coal & oiled ship under 4 hrs notice

Feb 29th

In harbour 8.30 pm @ night went under 1 hrs notice

March 1st

Still under 1 hrs notice

March 2nd

Went under 4 hrs notice @ noon

March 3rd

Left for sea 2 o/c pm. Weather moderate

Page 34

TVR diary page 34

March 4th

Returned to harbour 10.30 & coaled ship 177 tons. & oiled ship

March 5th

In harbour. Long notice

March 6th

In harbour went under 1/2 hrs notice 10 o/c & proceeded to sea @ noon Commander telling us the German Fleet were out.

March 7th

Returned to harbour 5.30 am & coaled ship 110 tons.

March 8th & 9th

In harbour

March 10th

In harbour lit up & proceeded to sea for patrolling @ 2 o/c pm.

March 11th

Returned to harbour @ 9.30 coaled ship 120 tons & again proceeded to sea 11am weather blowing rough & returned to harbour again @ 9 o/c & coaled ship 90 tons finished @ 11am.

March 12th

In harbour

March 13th till 22nd

In harbour

March 23rd

In harbour. Lit up allowed 12 o/c

Page 35

TVR diary page 35

March 24th

Went to sea @ 5 o/c in the morning weather grand

March 25th

At sea informed by Captain that we were having big air raid. At night news came through air raid was successful & also that the German fleet were out & that we were cut off

March 26th

Still @ sea weather rough. Got through the German fleet allright carry on & proceeded to harbour @ slow speed weather being to rough.

March 27th

Father Home
Arrived in harbour @ 11/30 am. & proceeded to coal, 550 tons & oiled ship 150 tons weather good

March 28th

In harbour

March 29th

Lit up 5am to go firing postponed on accounts of submarines in vicinity of Firth of Forth. Went under 4 hrs notice 12-30 noon.

March 30th

In harbour 12 hrs notice for drill test

Page 36

TVR diary page 36

March 31st

In harbour 2 1/2 hrs notice

April 1st

Same as previous day

April 2nd

In harbour. Lit up @ 8.30 as notice of airships coming from Stockholm turned out @ 10.50 pm. & went to action stations until 12 o/c midnight when all quietened down.

April 3rd

In harbour. Went to sea @ 2.45 for patrolling

April 4th

Arrived back in harbour 8.30 & coaled ship 180 tons.

April 5th & 6th

In harbour 4 hrs notice

April 7th

Left for Scapa Flow 12.30 pm

April 8th

Arrived @ Scapa Flow 6 o/c am & coaled ship 150 tons. Went firing @ 12.30 pm returned @ 4 o/c pm

April 9th

In harbour Scapa Flow

April 10th

Got under weigh @ 12.30 pm. for firing weather grand. & returned @ 6 o/c

Page 37

TVR diary page 37

April 11th

Went to sea for 6" firing @ 7 am & returned @ 11am & coaled ship 150 tons & @ 3 o/c went to look for torpedoes found one out of the two & returned to our anchorage @ 6 o/c

April 12th

Went out firing 1" aiming & found the other torpedo & also night firing 3" @ 9 o/c

April 13th

Went out for firing but too rough so returned to our anchorage

April 14th

Coaled ship 100 tons.

April 15th

In harbour

April 16th

In harbour

April 17th

In harbour. Left for sea fired 6" practice @ 11.30am. Returned to harbour @ 1.30 Admiral Jellico came abroad. Left for Queenferry @ 4 o/c weather grand.

April 18th

Arrived in Queensferry @ 10 o/c & coaled ship 250 tons & oiled ship

April 19th

In harbour

Page 38

TVR diary page 38

April 20th

In harbour

April 21st

Raised steam @ 4 o/c got under weigh & got as far as the dockyard & turned back again & anchored got under weigh again @ 10.0 pm & went to sea.

April 22nd

At sea weather grand foggy @ night New Zealand & Australia in collision[2]

April 23rd

At sea. Foggy up till 4am. Returning to harbour @ 7 am. & coaled ship 250 tons under 2 hrs notice.

April 24th

In harbour. 7 o/c ordered to light up with all possible speed. Went to sea 9.10 having heard of news of bombardment of east coast.

April 25th

At sea weather grand action stations @ 4 o/c am Expecting to be in action @ 11.30 with German squadron that had been @ Lowestoft bombarding but was just too late so returned to harbour

April 26th

Invincible in collision with trawler. Arrived & anchored outside Forth Bridge @ 5am on account of weather being foggy. Proceeded to anchorage @ 7.30 am & coaled ship 310 tons.

April 27th

In harbour. Provision ship went under 1 hrs notice 6 o/c pm.

Page 39

TVR diary page 39

April 28th

Still under 1 hr went under long notice @ 8 o/c pm. 2 1/2 hrs

April 29th

Still in harbour under short notice

April 30th

In harbour

May 1st

In harbour

May 2nd

Left for sea 9 o/c pm weather calm. Air raid expected

May 3rd

At sea weather grand. Heard news that we were to do air raid in morning

May 4th

News of Zeppelin being brought down during night. Crew taken prisoners machine blown up. 10 o/c received news that H.M.S. Galatea & Phaeton had bought another one down & whilst going to rescue prisoners she blew up with all hands.

May 5th

Arrived at Queensferry @ 8 o/c am & coaled ship 430 tons. & oiled

May 6th

In harbour

May 7th, 8th

In harbour

Page 40

TVR diary page 40

May 9th

In harbour 12 hrs notice leave to Edinburgh from 8am till 2.30 & in forenoon for Port Watch.

May 10th

In harbour

May 11th

In harbour wearing duck suits & left for sea 4.30 pm for patrolling.

May 12th

Arrived in harbour & coaled @ 7.30 am. 170 tons.

May 13th & 14th, 15th

In harbour.

May 16th

In harbour 3 o/c pm We had some Russian Officials come aboard from off of T.B.33 which came alongside. Weather grand

May 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th

In harbour

May 21st

In harbour under 2 1/2 hrs notice Emergency Squadron

May 22nd

In harbour. Arrival of 5 of the Warspite Class 12 o/c noon 2 1/2 hrs notice

May 23rd

In harbour. First lot of Stokers went on leave till 1st June @ 7.30am

Page 41

TVR diary page 41

May 24th

In harbour

May 25th

In harbour 8.30 from Captain sent wire to men on leave for extension of 24 hrs & Told Batch of Seamen to leave in the morning.

May 26th

In harbour Seamen left for leave until Monday 5th June.

May 27th

Went under 1/2 hrs notice @ 12.30 am in the morning & also heard the news that H.M.S. Chatham had struck a mine whilst on her way North outside Harwich.

May 28th

In harbour went under 4hrs notice @ 8.30 am Fleet Surgeon joined ship Bannister[3]

May 29th

In harbour coaled ship @ 5.30am 104 tons.

May 30th

In harbour lit up all round @6.30 & went to sea @ 9 o/c pm

May 31st

At sea weather find expecting action @ 12 o/c noon but did not go until 2.30 pm when we were standing by as Barham & squadron were in action we saw one Ship Blown up

Page 42

TVR diary page 42

by them in the Distance later on we came to the Lion & her squadron they were in action. At 4o/c we sighted the Battle Fleet of Scapa FLow with Jellico in Command @ about 5o/c they picked up their stations & we & whole fleet opened fire @ about 5o/c. Shortly after the commencement one of our destroyers on Starb Bow blew up. When @ a Distance of about 5000 yds. on our starb beam came range 6500 yds five German Battle Cruisers the leading one was reckoned to be the Derflinger. The other unknown one of the coast raiders we fired five or three Broadsides @ her & in response she fired @ us & only one of her shells hit us & that was our foremast breaking the live voice pipes on a level with forebridge but not much damage done to the mast. One boy was struck [of - deleted] on the arm, by a splinter but was not hurt much & after that we fired a torpedo @ her & missed but the next one hit her in amidships & we afterwards learnt she sunk along with the other just before we fired the torpedoes. The Invincible which was steaming on our port quarter let go a broadside into the Derflinger but as she let go so did the German ship & she must have hit ours for as she fired there was one terrific explosion amidships a sheet of flame & smoke when that cleared away there was nothing left of her only the two ends sticking our of the water nobody saved as yet this happened between

Page 43

TVR diary page 43

6 & 6.30 pm. we still carried on firing @ different ships but we stopped firing about 7o/c as no ships were in range of our squadron but all the Battle Fleet were still @ it up till about 8.30 pm as we could see them quite plain.
Whilst steaming to cut off some German ships which had managed to escape from the clutches of The Battle Fleet. We came up to 5 German armoured cruisers making a dash to break through the lines be we caught them in time & opened fire & they answered back sharply but they every where but hitting us falling all around the Ship this was about 9.30 @ night.
During the action we fired about 300 rounds of ammunition & two torpedoes were fired one shot from our Port battery all the firing was from Starb side

June 1st

Weather grand action stations @ 2.30 am, as expected to meet some German ships that had got away but could not get back as they were cut off @ about 3o/c am. We sighted a Zeppelin which had no doubt come out to aid the Germans to get back, but nothing doing as us & our squadron opened fire with shrapnel & sent her off but was not able to hit her. Steaming about all day but nothing doing in the German line weather rough @ night

Page 44

TVR diary page 44

June 2nd

Arrived in Queensferry @ about 9.30 am. & as we passed the Lion & squadron and we could see how they had been battered & where they had been on fire so far as we know we were the luckiest squadron of the lot although in amongst the thickest of it: we coaled 560 tons. & left for sea again @ 7.30 pm. where -for not known. Weather calm.

June 3rd

Weather rough at sea doing patrolling duties over the scene of the Battle found the bows of a Destroyer nationality not known sunk by one of our Destroyers accompanying us.

June 4th

At sea weather moderate patrolling round Skager Rack[4] @ about 5o/c found a deserted trawler fired @ it but not sunk so left it.

June 5th

Arrive back @ Queensferry @ 9.30 am & second advance party of Stokers went 5o/c

June 6th

In harbour Captain cleared lower deck @ 11.45 congratulating ships company of the way they behaved in action & also that the ship Developed more horse power than she was Designed for 30,000 h.P built for 22000. That means 8000 more

Page 45

TVR diary page 45

also we beat our previous record of the Heligoland fight of Aug 28th 1914

June 7th & 8th

In harbour. News of Ld Kitcheners Death drowned with all hands on HMS Hampshire of the Orkneys.

June 8th, 9th, 10th

In harbour

June 11th

In harbour Admiral had us all up on the upper deck and complimented the ships company on the way they behaved in action & hoped he would still continue to do so

June 12th & 13th

In harbour

June 14th

In harbour went under 2 1/2 hrs notice @ 12 o/c noon.

June 15th

In harbour 2 1/2 hrs notice

June 16th

In harbour 2 1/2 hrs notice. King George V cam(e) aboard to inspect ships company @ 3.30 pm accompanied by Admiral Beatty & General Sir H Smith Dorrien aide camp to the King

Page 46

TVR diary page 46

June 17th

In harbour

June 18th

In harbour. Full watch below 6pm left for The Tyne 10 pm.

June 19th

Arrived in @ Palmers Yard Hebburn Dock 5.30am & proceeded on leave @ 9am.

Aug 19th

At sea expecting action any moment about 1 o/c we encountered 3 Zeppelins & firing @ them during afternoon. Well @ 4.55 whilst travelling @ a speed of 27 Knots we were struck by a torpedo which hit our bows causing the men on Deck to be swamped & thrown all over the place hardly had the noise of the explosion died down when another hit us aft: This causing 1 death & 6 seriously injured of which 1 Died before Dark about 300 of us were taken off sick men first then boys in a trawler which happened to be near all The Other Ships left us only leaving us 3 Destroyers which kept Circling Round us

Page 47

TVR diary page 47

but with all this we had 3 more torpedoes fired before the night but The Good Old Ship had all her watertight doors shut which saved us from sinking @ once we went back to the ship @ 8o/c to take off some more men & left the ship @ 8.15 & made way to Grimsby got in there 9o/c on the Sunday. Heard the news on Monday that the ship had two more torpedoes hit her Sunday while in tow & sank about 9o/c Sunday evening. The last two explosion killed the Hands in No3 Stokehold & making the casualties up to 11 killed So it will be seen that the ship took 28 hrs or more before she sank although being hit by 6 torpedoes show how well watertight doors are to a ship when in action


To 1914 - To 1915 - To 1916 - Miscellaneous


Notes

  1. Natal was sunk by an internal explosion near Cromarty on 30 December 1915 with the loss of at least 390 crewmen and civilians
  2. This was the collision which caused HMAS Australia to miss the Battle the following month, because she was still under repair.
  3. Bannister, Percy H.
  4. The Skagerrak is a strait running between the southeast coast of Norway, the west coast of Sweden, and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the Baltic Sea.