The Diary of Thomas Victor Rayson-1916
Dec 18th till 19th
Remaining in harbour
Dec 20th till 22nd
Under 2hrs notice until 11pm on 22nd
Left for sea 11pm.
At sea weather rough heavy swell.
Arrived in harbour @ 6.10 am. & coaled ship 180 tons.
Dec 27th till 31st
January 1st 1916 till 4th
In harbour. Blowing heavy.
Left for sea 4o/c pm.
Jan 6th, 7th
At sea evening proceeding to harbour arrived @ 10o/c
In harbour coaling ship 500 tons & oiled
Jan 10th till 15th
Remaining in harbour
Jan 16th till 23rd
Remaining in harbour
In harbour coaled ship 85 tons.
In harbour - all hands watch keeping 2.30 pm.
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
Arrive in @ Cromarty 11.30. & Saw some of remains of Natal proceeded to coal @ 1 o/c pm. Amount taken in 220 tons. Under short notice
Went to sea 12 o/c noon for firing & returned in the evening @ 4.30 pm under short notice
In harbour. Left for Queensferry 1.30pm.
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
Still under short notice. 1/2 hr. 2.30 went under 2 1/2 hrs notice under 4 hrs 10 o/c pm.
In harbour. Under 24 hrs notice for repairing of boiler
24 hrs notice up @ 9am.
Proceed to sea @ 2.30 pm
Arrived in harbour 11 am & coaled 240 tons.
Feb 8th & 9th
In harbour under short notice
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
@ 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.
Feb 12th, 13th
Arrived back @ Queensferry @ 7 o/c am & coaled ship 309 tons
In harbour 2 hrs notice
Feb 15th till 23rd
Under 2 hrs notice
Proceeded to sea. 12 o/c noon weather rough
At sea weather rough
At sea weather as previous day
Arrived in @ Queensferry 9 o/c & proceeded to coal & oiled ship under 4 hrs notice
In harbour 8.30 pm @ night went under 1 hrs notice
Still under 1 hrs notice
Went under 4 hrs notice @ noon
Left for sea 2 o/c pm. Weather moderate
Returned to harbour 10.30 & coaled ship 177 tons. & oiled ship
In harbour. Long notice
In harbour went under 1/2 hrs notice 10 o/c & proceeded to sea @ noon Commander telling us the German Fleet were out.
Returned to harbour 5.30 am & coaled ship 110 tons.
March 8th & 9th
In harbour lit up & proceeded to sea for patrolling @ 2 o/c pm.
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 13th till 22nd
In harbour. Lit up allowed 12 o/c
Went to sea @ 5 o/c in the morning weather grand
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
Still @ sea weather rough. Got through the German fleet allright carry on & proceeded to harbour @ slow speed weather being to rough.
Arrived in harbour @ 11/30 am. & proceeded to coal, 550 tons & oiled ship 150 tons weather good
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.
In harbour 12 hrs notice for drill test
In harbour 2 1/2 hrs notice
Same as previous day
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.
In harbour. Went to sea @ 2.45 for patrolling
Arrived back in harbour 8.30 & coaled ship 180 tons.
April 5th & 6th
In harbour 4 hrs notice
Left for Scapa Flow 12.30 pm
Arrived @ Scapa Flow 6 o/c am & coaled ship 150 tons. Went firing @ 12.30 pm returned @ 4 o/c pm
In harbour Scapa Flow
Got under weigh @ 12.30 pm. for firing weather grand. & returned @ 6 o/c
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
Went out firing 1" aiming & found the other torpedo & also night firing 3" @ 9 o/c
Went out for firing but too rough so returned to our anchorage
Coaled ship 100 tons.
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.
Arrived in Queensferry @ 10 o/c & coaled ship 250 tons & oiled ship
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.
At sea weather grand foggy @ night New Zealand & Australia in collision
At sea. Foggy up till 4am. Returning to harbour @ 7 am. & coaled ship 250 tons under 2 hrs notice.
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.
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
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.
In harbour. Provision ship went under 1 hrs notice 6 o/c pm.
Still under 1 hr went under long notice @ 8 o/c pm. 2 1/2 hrs
Still in harbour under short notice
Left for sea 9 o/c pm weather calm. Air raid expected
At sea weather grand. Heard news that we were to do air raid in morning
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.
Arrived at Queensferry @ 8 o/c am & coaled ship 430 tons. & oiled
May 7th, 8th
In harbour 12 hrs notice leave to Edinburgh from 8am till 2.30 & in forenoon for Port Watch.
In harbour wearing duck suits & left for sea 4.30 pm for patrolling.
Arrived in harbour & coaled @ 7.30 am. 170 tons.
May 13th & 14th, 15th
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 under 2 1/2 hrs notice Emergency Squadron
In harbour. Arrival of 5 of the Warspite Class 12 o/c noon 2 1/2 hrs notice
In harbour. First lot of Stokers went on leave till 1st June @ 7.30am
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.
In harbour Seamen left for leave until Monday 5th June.
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.
In harbour went under 4hrs notice @ 8.30 am Fleet Surgeon joined ship Bannister
In harbour coaled ship @ 5.30am 104 tons.
In harbour lit up all round @6.30 & went to sea @ 9 o/c pm
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
At sea weather moderate patrolling round Skager Rack @ about 5o/c found a deserted trawler fired @ it but not sunk so left it.
Arrive back @ Queensferry @ 9.30 am & second advance party of Stokers went 5o/c
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
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 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 went under 2 1/2 hrs notice @ 12 o/c noon.
In harbour 2 1/2 hrs notice
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
In harbour. Full watch below 6pm left for The Tyne 10 pm.
Arrived in @ Palmers Yard Hebburn Dock 5.30am & proceeded on leave @ 9am.
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
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
- Natal was sunk by an internal explosion near Cromarty on 30 December 1915 with the loss of at least 390 crewmen and civilians
- This was the collision which caused HMAS Australia to miss the Battle the following month, because she was still under repair.
- Bannister, Percy H.
- 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.