Author Topic: If you can keep your head when...  (Read 4244 times)

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Offline stokerstan

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If you can keep your head when...
« on: August 20, 2008, 09:40:50 PM »
June 1812, brig HMS Swallow in savage close action against two French ships. Fighting with gun ports almost touching, she fights off four attempts by the French to board her, and eventually forces the enemy to break off. During the action, a sailor's wife aboard Swallow who is aiding the ship's surgeon with the large number of wounded, hears that her husband has been mortally wounded on deck and despite attempts to stop her she rushes up to find him. The dying husband, opens his eyes for the last time to see his wife kneeling over him, but in the same instance her head is carried away by a stray ball!
Unfortunately, it transpired that the couple had on board a three week old baby named Tommy who needed feeding.
The report states that the immediate problem was solve by a goat, retained on board to provide fresh milk for the officers, and the goat quite happily suckled Tommy. What subsequently happened to Tommy isn't in the report, but the writer advises us that the couple were buried together, sewn into a single hammock.
 A number of crew members subsequently reported this story, although a good number of them were lost in the action.