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Two cases from the same incident following a boat being torpedoed

Year 1918

Read by Francis Bebbington – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Parker, H.L., Captain, Cameron Highlanders.

About 9.50 a.m. on the 10th October, 1918, the Royal Mail steamer Leinster was torpedoed by an enemy submarine in the Irish Channel about two miles from the Kish Lightship.

Mrs M.M. Rae and her husband were passengers on the ship, and when the second torpedo was fired both were thrown into the sea and parted, the lady being unable to swim. Capt. Parker, who had practically only the use of one arm, owing to wounds received in France, swam to her assistance, and, in spite of the rough sea, kept her afloat for nearly two hours, when they were picked up by a boat from the destroyer Mallard in a very exhausted condition.

Maher, William, Stoker, R.M.S. Leinster.

On being thrown into the sea, Maher, who was a stoker on the Leinster, succeeded in reaching a raft to which others were clinging, and two of these, a mother and daughter, would without doubt have been washed away but for the help he was able to give them. Some two and a half hours after, a motor launch came up, and Maher managed to get the life-line round the mother and she was pulled on board. During this operation the raft capsized and the daughter was washed away, but in spite of his exhausted condition Maher swam after her and succeeded in getting her on board the launch.

Maher at the same time rendered material assistance to Private Duffin, of the Suffolk Regiment, who was also rescued.

Of 777 persons on board the Leinster only 164 were eventually saved.

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