Date: 18 February 1915



"The trip will do you good, old man,
You come along o' me;
I haven't seen much of ye, Jack,
Since you gave up the sea.
It's only round to Liverpool,
You won't be long away,
So let me have your company
This trip, Jack. What d'ye say?"

'Twas my old shipmate, Captain Brand,
O' the ss. Elsmore.
The last time that I'd met him was
'Way vat in Baltimore.'
That's years ago, and, here he was
As hearty as could be.
"Just say the word now, Jack, that's right
You'll come along o' me?"

[cartoon showing the captain]
Captain Brand.

What could I do? "All right," I says,
"I shall enjoy the trip."
I know you will," he says, and gives
My hand a hearty grip.
"A splendid ship I've got, old man—
But there, I'll say no more,
You'll see yourself, when once you get
Aboard the Elsinore."

And then we "started yarning" 'bout
The good old day o' yore,
When we as shipmates sailed betwixt
Hong Kong and Singapore,
The times we had in 'Frisco, and
The glorious fun we bad
When we were trading in the "Gulf,"
Cwba to Trinidad!

[cartoon of the captain and Jack]
"Say you'll come."

Well, two days later saw me 'board
The ss. Elsinore.
'Twas good to see Brand on the bridge—
A sailor to the core.
"This feels like home again," I says
And Brand, he smiles to me. '
"Aye, Jack, ye're right, a sailor's home
Is ever an the sea."

Neat day we passed the Lizard, then
Sighted the Scilly Isles.
By midnight, steaming fifteen knots,
We'd done 200 miles.
Up through the Irish Sea we steamed,
Till just off Holyhead,
At break o' day a periscope
Emerged right dead ahead!

[cartoon of the captain and Jack sighting a U-boat]
A German submarine.

And then the conning tower appeared,
And then we hears a shout,
"Ahoy! you British ship, I gif
Ten minutes to clear out,
And den I sink you." "Well, I'm blowed!"
Says Brand, "Jack, what d'ye think?
The boot is on the other foot,
It's him that's going to sink."

The "Hard a starboard, quick! he cries.
"'Twas touch-an'-go there, Jack,"
And, looking aft, I notices
A big torpedo's track.
"Ye dirty scum the skipper roars,
And then be rings below,
"Full speed ahead!" and off we went,
As hard as we could go.

[cartoon of a German submariner]
"You'll sink my ship!"

Straight for that German submarine!
Up on her conning tower
The officer stood paralysed.
He seemed to have lost all power
Of action; then he found his tongue.
"Clear off, you sink my ship!"
"Ye've guessed it first go off," shouts Brand,
"You've sailed your final trip!"

We struck him 'baft the periscope,
And cut him clean in two;
She went, down like a lump o' lead,
With all her dirty crew.
And all the time our skipper stood,
Collected, calm, and cool.
"One pirate less," he says, then shaped
Our course for Liverpool.

McMann, W. 'Jack's Yarns: The SS Elsinore.' The Brecon County Times. 18 Feb. 1915. 7.

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