THREE TIMES Torpedoed by Germans - Crew of 'Rose Dorothea' Were on Three Ships Sunk by Huns
Capt. Hamilton of Mayola Drowned in Bristol Channel

Capt. W. Bradbury, R. Richardson, R. Wilcox, and J. St. Clare, master and part of the crew of the schr. Rose Dorothea, owned by Messrs. Campbell & McKay, which was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Portugal early in February, arrived in the city by express last night. These men have had, perhaps as much experience with German subs, as any who have followed the sea since the outbreak of the war, as they have the record of having been on three different ships that were sent to the bottom by the Huns.

The Rose Dorothea left here on Dec. 31st with a cargo of codfish for Europe. The weather was excellent during the run across and the passage was made from here to Gibraltar in good time. Arriving at the "Rock" Capt. Bradbury received orders to proceed to Oporto to discharge his fish and the vessel arrived there in due course. The cargo being discharged, the next move was to Cadiz to take a load of salt, and it was on this run that the Rose Dorothea met her doom. The greater part of her run from Oporto to Cadiz was completed, Cape St. Vincent having been rounded, when the German got in his work. The crew had just enough time to scramble into their boats when their vessel was sent to the bottom. They were, of course, left to the mercy of the winds and waves, but fortunately the weather was very moderate and the vessel's boat was equal to the occasion.

After a few hours they were sighted by a schooner, which proved to be the Lunenburg vessel Mayola, also from St. John's, with a cargo of codfish shipped by the Smith Co. They were taken on board and warmly welcomed by Capt. Hamilton and crew, who reported seeing nothing of submarines, but the Mayola was destined soon to get her share of what was going, for the crew of the Rose Dorothea had not been on board her two hours when, without any warning whatever, she was blown up. Again the men had to take to the boats, this time in even a greater hurry than in the case of the sinking of the other vessel, and again they were adrift on the broad ocean. The boats at once started for the nearest land, which was about fifteen miles distant and after many hours hard rowing they reached Tagos on the south coast of Portugal. From here the two crews went to Lisbon and took passage with hundreds of other men of different vessels and steamers which had been sunk, their destination this time being Falmouth, England, and the ship by which they sailed being the royal mail packet steamer Drina, a ship of 11,484 tons gross and 9,855 tons nett, built in 1913.

The voyage was uneventful until near the end, but when the Drina was in the mouth of Bristol Channel, the diversion in the shape of another underwater boat, came. The time was midnight and most of those on board the Drina, the number of passengers alone being nearly five hundred, were comfortably asleep. Without any previous warning a terrific explosion occurred and it was quickly realized what had happened. Men rushed to the deck half clad and the boats were quickly got out. Confusion was avoided as well as possible and eventually all the ship's company were adrift in the boats. The crew of the Rose Dorothea were beginning to think that they were destined to spend the remainder of their days being sent adrift by Germans and of their three experiences the last was the worst by a long way.

With scarcely any clothing on they were pierced by the stinging wind and biting frost. For three or four hours the boats were adrift but were picked up at daylight by a trawler. Unfortunately all the boats had not survived and amongst those of the Drina's company who had met a watery grave was the master of the Mayola, Capt. John Hamilton, tho the others of the crew were safely landed and brought to Liverpool. Capt. Hamilton was a Carbonear man and had been in the Ford River, which was also lost, before taking command of Mayola. He was a brother of Mesdames Chas. McCarthy and Peter Keough and of Mr. Michael Hamilton of Carbonear.
- facsimile of a 1915 newspaper article -