Arnold-Forster Letter Transcripts

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May 14th 1902

My dear Father,

I have had my hands very full this last 10 days and had no time to write before.

I arrived here from home that Sunday evening, having caught the train at Shipley all right. I had to see the Captain over the side at 6.30 the next morning and receive orders from him about the trials and things in connection with the submarines he wanted done during his absence. During breakfast I was told a leading stoker was missing and his cap found floating near the torpedo boat. It looked as though he must have fallen overboard so I started dragging at once and found his body at 11.00 and sent it to the mortuary. The next three days were perfectly awful what with arranging about the inquest and funeral and running trials with No.2 in between whiles. We buried him eventually on Wednesday with Naval Honours after a lot of telegraphing with his relations who first wanted him sent to Plymouth, not realising that it would cost them £23. We got a gun carriage from Vickers and the Volunteer band and a number of volunteers attended.

Admiral May was here on Saturday and we took him diving in the dock in No.1 and fired a torpedo from No.2 submerged but not under way. Evans and I had a very good bicycle ride on Sunday along the left banks of the Coniston to Fore How which we found shut up. We started at 2.00 and got there at 5.00 and had tea in the kitchen and rode back by Bowness, getting Dinner at Lakeside. On Monday we took the torpedo boat and No.1 into the lock and went out at 2 am Tuesday morning and had some good submerged running in Morecombe Bay. We ran about 18 feet deep occasionally going to 20 to just cover the periscope. I worked the diving wheel and Evans steered. I have trained one of the torpedo coxswains to take the diving wheel which frees me now to a great extent, as up to now nobody else has done it.

Sueter came tonight, he will live on shore on compensation till I go, I don’t know when that will be. I have been training Evans and Moreton and all the submarine crews pretty thoroughly at submerging the boat and working all the pumping, flooding and floating arrangements, so that Sueter will find them fairly efficient.

It will be very nice if this gets done for the review and all the etceteras.

I will remain your affectionate son


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