- Ross, Trevor Wilson, OBE, Captain, RAN
- History - WW1
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Australia I
- December 1975 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Meantime, the Germans knew that two battle cruisers were out of action so they made a raid on Lowestoft. Our Admiral, Pakenham, wanted to go to sea, dry dock and all, so he left us and hoisted his flag in New Zealand.
We left the dry dock at 1330 on 1st May, steaming 21 knots and anchored in Humber from 2100 to 0400 by the Nore Lightship when we were told we had just steamed through a minefield!
It was foggy on 3rd May, but we managed to leave the forenoon and worked round to Deal through masses of shipping and wrecks but then had to anchor. While there the Germans dropped bombs on Deal Pier – we could see them overhead but they could not see us or the many vessels all at anchor. In the evening we proceeded to dead low water and carried away a ‘gate’ much to the annoyance of the Admiralty and finally were in dock at Devonport at 1300 on 6th.
A magnificent job was then done in a few days – the ship’s side was pulled out, armour and all, and rebuilt, the bows right abaft the hawser pipes were cut off and rebuilt – no steel casting for the stem could be obtained in time so steel sheets were used in lieu; a lot of additional equipment was fitted and we got back our old port inner propeller, but not the outer. We undocked, coaled etc. and left 1100 on 31st May – the day of Jutland!
We went west about round Ireland and arrived at Scapa on 3rd June, steaming in with other ships of the Battle Cruiser Fleet to the ringing of cheers of the Battle Fleet – you can imagine our feelings.