Ships Compass

Second Officer Archibald Winstanley was due on watch at 4 a.m. to relieve Bond. As he walked along the Main Deck towards the bridge he saw a flashing light, which puzzled him. Then he realised it was morse signalling. The light was coming from the starboard or landward side, and seemed to be high above the water. He could not understand how a light could be in that position. The morse was too quick for him to read. When he reached the bridge he reported what he had seen to the Captain who tol him to get a naval signaller to translate the morse.

Second Officer Colin Gwynn also went on watch at four to replace Graham. The Captain had decied to make some slight adjustment to the course to allow for drift and told Gwynn to take a message to the Chief Engineer to slow the ship down.

Bond left the bridge to go off duty and walked along the Boat Deck to his quarters.

Gwynn left to take the message to the Chief Engineer.

Winstanley remained as Senior Officer on Watch and chatted to the Captain for a few minutes before sending for a signaller to read the morse signal.

Graham was hurrying back to report the sea depth.

The helmsmen maintained his ordered course of S.19.E. which was calculated to take the Rohilla seven miles off Whitby and three miles east of Flamborough Head.

It was 4.10 a.m. on Friday, 30 October, 1914.

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Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981