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The Invincible's End: Crew salute flag while vessel sinks

Transcript of Durham Advertiser article

A thrilling story is told by a warrant officer of the Invincible’s glorious end. The Invincible was the first of our big ships to go under. Her end was glorious. She was engaged by two of the bigger ships of the enemy’s fleet and at one time it was believed the great super-Dreadnought, the Hindenbrug, had a cut at her. One of the German ships was accounted for by the Invincible, and she also helped to send to the bottom two other smaller ships before her own turn came. Very soon afterwards she was seen to be in difficulties. Flames were issuing from all parts, and it was so hot that the gun crews had to be withdrawn in rapid succession until only one was left. From the nature of the trouble it was impossible to do anything for the Invincible, and the ships nearest to her had to stand off more and more. The men could be seen on deck stolid awaiting the end as though on church parade. There was no time to launch boats. Her flag still flew proudly, and as the flames crept closer to that band of heroes they lined up and gave it a last salute. All was nearly over. There was a terrible explosion. Men went sky-high, the ship listed heavily, and disappeared partly below the water. A few men still remained visible on the end of the ship standing out of the water. They had no chance of getting away. Above the noise of battle there came across the waters the strains of “God Save the King” which those heroes broke into as their death song. To this and the accompaniment of a terrific explosion, the rest of the ship went under.

It was reported in Durham that a son of Mr J Mearis, postman, of West View, Gilesgate, was also on board the lost cruiser, but this happily proved to be incorrect. Mearis was formerly a member of the crew of HMS Invincible, but had been transferred to another vessel.

Date: 9 June 1916

Where to find this: Durham County Record Office

Contributed by Durham County Record Office

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