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Description

Date: 24 April 1918

Transcript:

HUN BARBARITY.
Ship Torpedoed Off Pembrokeshire Coast.
ONLY ONE WHITE MAN SAVED.

The following account of an inquest held by Mr. H. J. E. Price, county coroner, on Monday, serves to show the dangers encountered on the sea at the present time by peaceful merchant shipping, and will bring home to the people of this locality the inhuman nature of the warfare carried on by the Germans. It also presents a lurid picture to those who fail to appreciate the character of the enemy we have to deal with which cannot but fail to move to indignation even the most hardened pacifist.

Sandford Abbott, a coloured seaman, deposed he was one of the members of the crew of a cargo boat of 1504 tons, that his ship left a Western port on Saturday last with a crew on board of 26 all told, 12 of them being white men and the rest coloured. All went well until about 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, when, after relieving the look out, he heard an explosion and felt a shock. The Captain shouted to cut away the boats, but before anyone could get near enough to do so the ship went down in a few minutes. Nothing was seen at that time. He succeeded in getting on to a hatchway together with four other men, the Captain and two others being on an upturned boat close by. Shortly afterwards a submarine came along side, threw the Captain a life belt and hauled him on board and sailed away saying nothing and quite unheeding their other victims. The weather was bitterly cold and the deceased, who was also a coloured man and the ship's carpenter, being below at the time, was only clothed in a shirt. Abbott described in a pathetic way how three of the number on the hatchway gradually got exhausted and were washed away by the waves, leaving the witness, the deceased, and three others alone in the water. After being in the water for three hours they were picked up by a patrol boat at 7.10 p.m., but the deceased died about 7.15. He was a man apparently about forty years of age and a native of Barbadoes. So far as the witness was able to depose, the loss of life was twenty one, assum- [sic] the Captain is now a prisoner. The Captain was the only white man saved out of the whole of the crew.

The jury returned the verdict that deceased died from exposure in consequence of his ship being torpedoed.


Source:
'Hun Barbarity.' Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph. 24 Apr. 1918. 3.

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