Tom Taylor recalls
"...many pieces of shrapnel went right through the ship's side. Rushing up the ladder to my defence station, I had to pass AB Tutty. He was slumped in his Oerlikon gun on the port bridge wing so I tried to help him. I tried to loosen his gun harness when I realised that he was terribly wounded by shrapnel. He asked for his money belt to be taken off from around his waist and for it to be given to the canteen manager. It was at this stage, with all the noise and rushing and movements, I think that it was CPO Jago who took over the situation. It was the cue for me to hurry to my defence station on the bridge".
Jack Hall also went to the aid of Les Tutty -
"..I was closed up in the director, a call came to say that he was badly wounded and had to get a Robinson stretcher ... Yeoman of Signals Nobby Clarke also helped me to get Les onto the stretcher...Poor Les was transferred to Bone hospital where he tragically died the next day".
As I was hurrying to my defence station, on the starboard Oerlikon gun
by the searchlight, I recall passing a small group trying to help young
Ralph Cope. He was lying down on the deck near the for'ard torpedo tubes
and it seemed obvious to me that, from his wounds, he was mortally wounded.
He died there on the deck, with his mates beside him, before he could be
transferred to hospital.
Ralph and Les were buried in the Bone war cemetery, shown below as it is now.
PO 'Slinger' Wood was hit by a piece of shrapnel in the hand, loosing several fingers, and was sent to hospital - in a strange way this may have saved his life as he was still ashore when we were torpedoed. Brian Lowe remembers this incident graphically:
" I last saw (Slinger Wood) going off the ship in a stretcher announcing loudly and with some of his choice language that he wanted to shit."
This incident shook us all badly, particularly the younger lads who had not long been aboard (some were only in their late teens), the war had aged the rest of us beyond our years.
Our poor ship looked a sorry state with all the shrapnel damage and we hoped that we would have to return home to Chatham to have the damage repaired. Instead, the next day we were sent out on offensive sweeps against the enemy, ending up in Algiers on the 8th and leaving the same day after refuelling.
On 9 March 1943, in company with Loyal, we were escorting Royal Ulsterman, laden with troops from Algiers to Bone and were attacked several times by torpedo bombers but managed to dodge the torpedoes. Arriving in Bone on the 10th we refuelled and left immediately for Algiers, again under heavy attack from torpedo bombers. We arrived back in Algiers on 11 March and at 1900 Royal Ulsterman and Royal Scotsman embarked more troops. We took 120 RAMC aboard, and at 2030 we anchored in the bay acting as Ac Ac ship whilst another air raid was going on. We sustained no damage - except to our nerves.
At 0030 the next day (12th) we proceeded to sea from Algiers with Loyal
and the two troop transports, arriving in Bone at 1700. We had been on
the go now for thirteen days of almost continuous action, many of my best
mates would not see the day out.