Orde-Lees' Account of the Rescue

August 30, 1916, Orde-Lees' Journal


Shortly after the last boat had left the shore and was well on its way to the ship, I was seen running frantically along the beach waving my arms and screaming with alarm for fear of being left behind. It would have served old "Always last" right if I had been left like Ben Gunn on Treasure Island but Sir Ernest took undeserved compassion on me and headed the boat once more for the rocks and the last man to leave the accursed spot took a flying header into the boat where I arrived with a grateful, not graceful, flop inflicting minor injuries on more than one of the Chilian sailors amongst whom I fell.

Sir Ernest rather sarcastically congratulated me both on my punctuality and my aerial manoeuvres cautioning me to be more careful in the future, but it was not the time for strafing worn out maroons and Sir Ernest, appreciating the humour of the situation, let the culprit off more lightly than he has done in the past for many a less offence.

The boat pulled alongside the ship, which proved to be the Chilian naval tug Yelcho, and by 2 p.m. actually within an hour of her arrival we were all safely on board, the anchor weighed and her course set for England, home and beauty via Punta Arenas.

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