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The Emile Baudot Part II

by FrankMackegg

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Frank Mackegg
Location of story: 
At Sea
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 March 2004

The Emile Baudot was an unusual ship - she was coal-fired ship, which had given over four years service until her boilers were almost beyond use.
We felt a little hard done by after the time they had spent abroad to have to travel on such a rust-bucket at speeds of less than seven knots for some four thousand miles. But at least they were homeward bound and what a journey it was, with little or no journeys at all. First of all, before the ship left Colombo, we had our first experience of this strange crew of almost illiterate Scottish fishermen who were built like houses and all had Highland accents. Four of them were going ashore to get some supplies and I had to report to the Port Wireless Office, so I went with them. As they left the jetty to return to the ship, the Admirals barge approached us with the Admirals flag on display from the flagship HMS Anson. John McCabe, who was Coxswain of our cutter refused to give way to the barge and it had to swerve round us, only to return before we got back to our ship and with the use of boat-hooks, towed us to the Anson, secured the boat to the gangway and ordered the crew members to go aboard. John was the first to go and was met by a Royal Marine in full dress uniform, whom John pushed out of his way. The Marine charged after him, using his rifle butt to get John to do as he was told, only to find himself flat on his back with John's foot hovering over his head. At this point, Albert and I, the only properly-dressed men with the crew, managed to persuade the duty officer that these men were what is known as T124x ratings and after asking for permission to signal the Emile Baudot with the portable auldice lamp. This eventually brought the Captain of the Emile Baudot threating the Marine with all sorts of abuse until the Captain ordered the crew back to the boat where they went like meek children, to everybody's surprise.

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