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Wireless Result | 02-May-06

Poem called Wireless Result written about the sinking of RMS Franconia (1916).

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Comments:

DEAR SIR/MADAM.

I AM DOING RESEARCH ON THE
RMS FRANCONIA 1 AND I CAME
ACROSS YOUR SITE.

COULD YOU PLEASE SEND ME
A COPY OF THE POEM WIRELESS
RESULT ABOUT THE FRANCONIA
SO THAT TO INCUDE IT IN MY
RESEARCH.


REGARDS,


VINCENT BORG
MALTA
VINCENT BORG

The poem was written, probably by a member of the crew of the Dover Castle Hospital Ship which picked up the survivors of the torpedoed Franconia on the 4th October 1916. It was printed on a postcard and I have a copy which was sent home at the time by my Great Uncle Samuel Birks who was second engineer on the Franconia.
A "Wireless" Result
(Written on the sinking of H.M.T. "Franconia".)

On the fourth day of October in the year one-nine -one six,
We received a "Wireless" message, "Franconia" in a fix.
Then our captain gave the order to shovel on the coal,
And try to get us there in time and rescue every soul.

The engineers all called a watch and they all went below,
Each man took a shovel and they made the old ship go;
The revolutions;- "Eighty-two", may be you think I lie,
But they made her do her seventeen, 'tis true or may I die.

About our own Chief Officer I have a word to say,
He had to get around the decks on that eventful day
Soon his boats were ready, with ladders everywhere,
For all to climb aboard of us, when our good ship got there.

One hour and half, we're on the scene, the transport gone below,
But fifteen boats we've sighted just off our starboard bow.
They were all filled with men and lads, from the torpedoed liner,
And the orderly way they came aboard I'm sure could not be finer.

The Chief stood on the ladder as well as he could stand
And as each man came on board, he grasped him by the hand;
In the eye of their Commander, there's not a man saw fear,
And as he stepped upon our deck, we all gave him a cheer.

When we had them all on board, the boats we let them go,
The rescued men stood round in groups, the injured put below;
Every man was thankful to think that he was saved,
It is not a pleasant ending - a deep salt-water grave.

I'm glad to say the submarine that sank the good old boat,
Did not live long to tell the tale as the "Sheldrake " was afloat.,
When cruising round the spot, they twigged her on the beam,
She trained her gun upon the Swine, she'll never more be seen.

Jill Elton-Wall


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