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Title: Scapa and a Camera - Pictorial Impressions of Five Years Spent at the Grand Fleet Base
Author: Burrows, C. W.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Internet Archive)



                          SCAPA AND A CAMERA



[Illustration: COUNTRY LIFE]

                      _First published in 1921._

[Illustration: "THE SURE SHIELD OF BRITAIN AND OF HER EMPIRE."
(_Extract from His Majesty the King's message to his Navy at the
outbreak of war._)]



                                 SCAPA
                             AND A CAMERA

               PICTORIAL IMPRESSIONS OF FIVE YEARS SPENT
                       AT THE GRAND FLEET BASE.

                                  BY
                             C. W. BURROWS

                        WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
                    VICE-ADMIRAL F. S. MILLER, C.B.
                  REAR-ADMIRAL SCAPA FLOW, 1914-1916

                                LONDON

            PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICES OF COUNTRY LIFE, LTD.,
          20, TAVISTOCK STREET, COVENT GARDEN, W.C. 2, AND BY
     GEORGE NEWNES, LTD., 8-11, SOUTHAMPTON STREET, STRAND, W.C. 2
                   NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

                                MCMXXI



                       DEDICATED (BY PERMISSION)

                                  TO

            ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL BEATTY, O.M., G.C.B.,

                                AND THE

                  OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE GRAND FLEET
                            AND AUXILIARIES



PREFACE


The Author desires to express his indebtedness to the undermentioned,
who, by the loan of photographs or in other ways, have assisted in the
production of this book:

     THE PHOTOGRAPHIC BUREAU, Imperial War Museum.
     O. BAIRD, Esq., Admiralty.
     P. GOODYEAR, Esq., Senior Constructor, Admiralty.
     Lieut.-Commander N. A. K. MONEY, R.N., O.B.E., Admiralty.
     Paymaster-Lieut. HUMPHREY JOEL, R.N.R., H.M.S. "Excellent."
     T. KENT, Esq., Kirkwall.
     A. H. DOMINEY, Esq., late Junior Army and Navy Stores, Ltd.,
        S.S. "Borodino."
     JAS. MACKINTOSH, Esq., Kirkwall.

  GUIBAL HOUSE,
         LEE, S.E. 12,
              _March, 1921_.



INTRODUCTION


It was my privilege to be in administrative charge of the Naval Base at
Scapa from August, 1914, to May, 1916, until relieved by Rear-Admiral
Prendergast.

The Author, Mr. C. W. Burrows, assumed duty as Cashier of the Dockyard
Section at the Base in May, 1915, and was so employed until March,
1920, and thus had a long and intimate knowledge of local doings and
surroundings.

He has compiled a unique and profusely illustrated book, which should
prove of surpassing interest, not only to those who only know of Scapa
by hearsay, but particularly to the thousands of officers and men of
the Naval, Marine, and Civil Services of the Crown, the Mercantile
Marine, and others who were employed in and near Scapa Flow. To the
latter it will serve as a remembrance of the incidents, many joyous
and some sad and tragic, associated with their sojourn in the northern
mists which shrouded Scapa from the public eye. Part IV., dealing with
the German ships at Scapa Flow, their dramatic sinking on 21st June,
1919, and the subsequent salvage operations of several of them, is an
exceptionally fine pictorial record.

Owing to the lack of facilities, practically the whole of the Base
Establishment had to be accommodated afloat, and until the arrival of
H.M.S. "Victorious" in March, 1916, as accommodation ship and workshop
for the Dockyard Staff and workmen, the officers and men experienced
considerable discomfort. The men usually found quarters on board the
ships upon which they were working, and, owing to the shortness of
notice, they were frequently taken to sea.

A very marked feature throughout the war was the spirit of loyalty,
good comradeship, and emulation which evinced itself among all ranks,
ratings, and grades, whether on duty or in recreations. It was
this spirit that lightened the discomforts and difficulties which
necessarily occurred, maintained the Grand Fleet and Base in a healthy
state of efficiency, and brought about the breakdown of the German
morale, resulting in the ignominious surrender of the German ships in
November, 1918, and their ultimate transfer to Scapa Flow.

The Author is to be congratulated in providing such a delightful
souvenir of the Great War.

                                                          F. S. MILLER.

  LONG HOPE,
    SHORTHEATH,
      FARNHAM,
        SURREY.



                               CONTENTS


  PART I
                                              PAGE
  THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASE                    1


  PART II

  SCENES AROUND SCAPA FLOW                      29


  PART III

  THE NAVY AT SCAPA FLOW                        59


  PART IV

  THE GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW                97



ILLUSTRATIONS


  "THE SURE SHIELD OF BRITAIN AND OF HER EMPIRE"          _Frontispiece_

                                                                    PAGE

  MAP OF SCAPA FLOW AND THE ORKNEY ISLANDS                  _To face_ XX
  H.M.S. "CYCLOPS" AT LONG HOPE                                        1
  ST. JOHN'S HEAD, HOY                                                 5
  DRIFTER NET-BOOM DEFENCE AT HOUTON                                   7
  SUNKEN SHIPS BETWEEN ST. MARGARET'S HOPE AND BURRAY                  7
  THE GRAND FLEET BASE AT LONG HOPE, 1916, LOOKING TOWARDS
      WEDDEL SOUND                                                     9
  CLOSER VIEW OF THE BASE SHIPS AT LONG HOPE                           9
  H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE" AT LONG HOPE                                    11
  H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS" AT SCAPA FLOW                                   12
  R.F.A. "RUTHENIA"                                                   13
  TORPEDO SUB-DEPÔT SHIP "SOKOTO" LYING IN THE INNER HOPE             14
  THE BROUGH OF BIRSAY, OFF WHICH H.M.S. "HAMPSHIRE" WAS LOST ON
      6TH JUNE, 1916                                                  14
  DRIVING OFF FROM THE FIRST HOLE ON FLOTTA                           15
  CHILDREN'S RACE AT LONG HOPE SPORTS                                 16
  WATCHING THE SPORTS                                                 16
  A BOXING MATCH ON FLOTTA                                            17
  A SHIP'S GARDEN AT CROCKNESS                                        18
  U.S.S. "NEW YORK" LEADING THE 6TH BATTLE SQUADRON INTO SCAPA AFTER
      CROSSING THE ATLANTIC                                           19
  HARVEST FESTIVAL                                                    20
  THE "GREEN ROOM" OF A BATTLESHIP; OFFICERS MAKING UP FOR A SHOW     21
  GERMAN BATTLESHIP "KAISER" ENTERING THE BOOM AT SCAPA FLOW FOR
      INTERNMENT AT DAWN ON 26TH NOVEMBER, 1918                       23
  THE GERMAN SHIPS INTERNED AT SCAPA                                  23
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "DERFFLINGER" FOUR MINUTES BEFORE FINALLY
      SINKING, 2.45 P.M., 21ST JUNE, 1919                             24
  VICE-ADMIRAL SIR R. J. PRENDERGAST MAKING HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS ON
      H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS," 15TH FEBRUARY, 1920                        25
  GOOD-BYE TO SCAPA!                                                  26
  VIEW LOOKING SOUTH FROM HOUTON BAY                                  29
  WIDEFORD HILL AND THE "PEERIE SEA"                                  32
  LOADING STORES AT SCAPA PIER                                        32
  KIRKWALL HARBOUR FROM THE CATHEDRAL TOWER                           33
  ALBERT STREET, KIRKWALL                                             34
  ST. MAGNUS CATHEDRAL FROM THE EARL'S PALACE                         35
  OLD HOUSES IN KIRKWALL                                              36
  STROMNESS FROM THE SEA                                              37
  HOUTON BAY AIR STATION                                              38
  THE CLESTRON BARRIER, STROMNESS                                     39
  THE STANDING STONES OF STENNIS                                      40
  THE RING OF BRODGAR                                                 40
  THE TUMULUS OF MAESHOWE                                             41
  THE ENTRANCE TO MAESHOWE                                            41
  A WINDING ROAD IN HOY                                               42
  WARD HILL AND GRAEMSAY ISLAND FROM THE SEA                          43
  WARD HILL--THE ROAD TO RACKWICK                                     44
  WARD HILL FROM THE EAST                                             44
  THE OLD MAN OF HOY                                                  45
  THE DWARFIE STONE                                                   46
  THE NEW STONE WALL AND PIER, LYNESS                                 47
  CROFTS NEAR LYNESS                                                  47
  EXCAVATIONS AT LYNESS IN CONNECTION WITH THE BUILDING OF THE WHARF  48
  THE FIRST TRAIN IN ORKNEY                                           48
  SUNSET OVER THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS                           49
  THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS                                       49
  VIEW LOOKING THROUGH THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS, TOWARDS
      LONG HOPE                                                       50
  MELSETTER--ON THE ROAD FROM LYNESS TO LONG HOPE                     51
  LONG HOPE PIER AND POST OFFICE                                      52
  LONG HOPE HOTEL                                                     52
  KIRK HOPE, SOUTH WALLS                                              53
  CANTICK LIGHTHOUSE, SOUTH WALLS                                     53
  DIGGING THE PEATS--HOY                                              54
  CARTING HOME THE PEATS                                              54
  HORSE AND OX HARROWING                                              55
  LOADING SEA-WEED FOR MANURE                                         55
  AN ORKNEY CART                                                      55
  MAKING STRAW-BACKED CHAIRS, ORKNEY                                  56
  INTERIOR OF AN ORKNEY COTTAGE                                       57
  SPINNING                                                            58
  BATTLE SQUADRON EXERCISING IN THE FLOW                              59
  ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL BEATTY ON THE QUARTERDECK OF
      H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH"                                        62
  H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH"                                            63
  H.M.S. "REVENGE" AND SHIPS OF THE FIRST BATTLE SQUADRON AT SCAPA    64
  H.M.S. "RAMILLIES"                                                  64
  H.M.S. "RESOLUTION"                                                 64
  H.M.S. "ROYAL OAK"                                                  64
  FOURTH BATTLE SQUADRON EXERCISING IN THE FLOW                       65
  BATTLESHIPS "ORION," "MONARCH," AND "CONQUEROR" IN THE FLOW         66
  BATTLESHIPS "COLOSSUS," "ST. VINCENT," AND "BELLEROPHON" EXERCISING
      IN THE FLOW                                                     66
  H.M.S. "RENOWN"                                                     67
  H.M.S. "TIGER": A FAMOUS SHIP OF THE BATTLE CRUISER SQUADRON        67
  H.M.S. "EMPEROR OF INDIA"                                           68
  H.M.S. "WHITSHED"                                                   68
  H.M.S. "BARHAM"                                                     68
  LIGHT CRUISER "CALLIOPE" AT SCAPA                                   69
  "MAKE AND MEND" ON LIGHT CRUISER "YARMOUTH"                         69
  THE DECK OF AN AEROPLANE CARRIER, H.M.S. "FURIOUS"                  70
  SUBMARINE "G 13" ALONGSIDE H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH"                 71
  SUBMARINE "K 16" UNDER WAY IN THE FLOW                              71
  OFFICERS OF SUBMARINE "K 7" IN THE CONNING TOWER                    71
  MARINES DRILLING ON THE QUARTERDECK OF A BATTLESHIP                 72
  GENERAL VIEW OF CAPTAIN'S SUNDAY MORNING INSPECTION                 73
  "TIDYING UP" FOR INSPECTION                                         74
  OFFICERS AND MEN EXERCISING ON THE QUARTERDECK                      75
  "HOLYSTONING"                                                       76
  WASHING DOWN DECKS                                                  77
  STOKERS AT WORK                                                     78
  CHURCH SERVICE ON H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH"                          79
  HOSPITAL SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW                                        80
  H.M. HOSPITAL SHIP "MAGIC II.," AFTERWARDS RENAMED "CLASSIC"        80
  TRANSFERRING A "COT CASE" FROM A BATTLESHIP TO THE HOSPITAL SHIP
      DRIFTER                                                         81
  DENTIST AT WORK ON A BATTLESHIP (H.M.S. "COLLINGWOOD")              82
  H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE" WITH FLEET MAIL STEAMER "ST. NINIAN" AND MAIL
      DRIFTERS FROM THE FLEET ALONGSIDE                               83
  MAIL BOAT "ST. OLA" COMING ALONGSIDE H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS"            83
  SORTING MAILS FOR THE FLEET ON H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE"                  84
  DISTRIBUTING NEWSPAPERS FOR THE FLEET (H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE")         85
  DOCKYARD WORKMEN LEAVING H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS" FOR WORK IN THE
      FLEET                                                           86
  REPAIRING A STEAM PINNACE ON THE SLIPWAY AT LYNESS                  86
  SCHOOL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT ON H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS"              87
  THREE OF THE YOUNG ORCADIAN GUESTS                                  87
  "NO COUPONS REQUIRED"                                               88
  CREW OF DRIFTER "SHALOT"                                            89
  LIFTING CHAIN CABLES                                                89
  MOORING VESSEL "RECOVERY" AT SCAPA FLOW                             89
  U.S.S. "PATUXENT" AND "272" ALONGSIDE H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS" FOR
      REPAIRS                                                         90
  AMERICAN MINESWEEPERS IN THE FLOATING DOCK FOR REPAIRS              90
  A DAMAGED BRITISH DESTROYER BEING REPAIRED IN THE DOCK              90
  S.S. "BORODINO," JUNIOR ARMY AND NAVY STORES' STORE-SHIP WITH THE
   GRAND FLEET                                                        91
  INTERIOR OF SHOP ON S.S. "BORODINO"                                 91
  A CORNER OF AN OFFICER'S CABIN                                      92
  FISHING FOR SEA-TROUT                                               93
  A SHIP'S PICNIC                                                     93
  A BATHING PARTY                                                     93
  THE NAVAL CEMETERY AT LYNESS                                        94
  THE "HAMPSHIRE" MEMORIAL                                            94
  AN INTERESTING STONE TO THE MEMORY OF A CHINAMAN WHO DIED AT
      SCAPA                                                           94
  THE "MALAYA" MEMORIAL                                               95
  THE "VANGUARD" MEMORIAL                                             95
  MAKING FOR HOME                                                     96
  THE SCUTTLING OF THE GERMAN SHIPS                                   97
  H.M.S. "LION" ENTERING HOXA BOOM, SCAPA FLOW, AT HEAD OF GERMAN
      BATTLE CRUISERS, 25TH NOVEMBER, 1918                           100
  H.M.S. "REPULSE," "RENOWN," "PRINCESS ROYAL," AND "TIGER"
       ESCORTING GERMAN BATTLE CRUISERS THROUGH HOXA BOOM,
       25TH NOVEMBER, 1918                                           100
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ" ENTERING HOXA BOOM,
      25TH NOVEMBER, 1918                                            102
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "VON DER TANN" ENTERING HOXA BOOM,
      25TH NOVEMBER, 1918                                            102
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "MOLTKE" ENTERING HOXA BOOM,
      25TH NOVEMBER 1918                                             103
  THE INTERNED GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA                                 103
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ"                                   104
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "MOLTKE" AT SCAPA FLOW                       105
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "DERFFLINGER" AT SCAPA FLOW                  106
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "HINDENBURG" AT SCAPA FLOW                   106
  GERMAN BATTLESHIP "FRIEDRICH DER GROSSE"                           107
  GERMAN BATTLESHIP "KAISERIN"                                       107
  GERMAN LIGHT CRUISER "KÖLN"                                        108
  GERMAN DESTROYERS AT LYNESS, WITH BATTLESHIPS IN THE DISTANCE      108
  PLAN OF THE ANCHORAGE OF GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW                110
  A PARTY OF FRENCH OFFICERS VISITING THE GERMAN SHIPS               111
  GERMAN BATTLESHIP "BAYERN" SINKING BY THE STERN, 2 P.M.,
      21ST JUNE, 1919                                                112
  THE FINAL PLUNGE OF THE "BAYERN"                                   113
  GERMAN DESTROYERS SINKING OR BEACHED OFF THE ISLAND OF FARA        114
  GERMAN SAILORS TAKING TO THE BOATS                                 115
  BRITISH BOARDING PARTY ALONGSIDE SINKING GERMAN DESTROYER          116
  GENERAL VIEW SHOWING GERMAN DESTROYERS SINKING ON THE RIGHT AND
      BATTLESHIPS IN THE DISTANCE, AT 3.30 P.M., 21ST JUNE, 1919     117
  GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "HINDENBURG" AS SHE NOW RESTS AT SCAPA       118
  WHALER "RAMNA" STRANDED ON GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "MOLTKE"
      23RD JUNE, 1919, TAKEN JUST BEFORE "RAMNA" REFLOATED           119
  GERMAN CRUISER "NURNBERG" IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING REFLOATED AT
      2 P.M. ON 3RD JULY, 1919                                       120
  SALVAGE OPERATIONS ON BATTLESHIP "BADEN" AND CRUISER "FRANKFURT"
      BEACHED AT SMOOGROO                                            121
  SALVAGE WORK ON THE "BADEN"                                        122
  PUMPING OUT THE "FRANKFURT"                                        123
  CRUISER "BREMSE," WHICH CAPSIZED WHILST BEING BEACHED              124
  BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ," LYING ON HER STARBOARD SIDE IN SHALLOW
      WATER                                                          124
  HOISTING THE UNION JACK ON A SINKING GERMAN DESTROYER              125
  ON THE "SEYDLITZ"                                                  125
  "BADEN" BEING TOWED SOUTH TO INVERGORDON                           125
  SALVING GERMAN DESTROYER "G 102"                                   126
  SALVAGE PARTY WORKING ON A GERMAN DESTROYER                        127
  VIEW SHOWING SALVED EX-GERMAN CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS AT LONG
       HOPE, OCTOBER, 1919                                           128
  THE SALVED GERMAN CRUISERS "NURNBERG" AND "EMDEN" IN LONG HOPE
      BAY                                                            129
  VIEW LOOKING AFT FROM AFTER-CONTROL TOP OF "FRANKFURT"             130
  VIEW LOOKING FORWARD FROM THE SAME POSITION                        130
  EXPANSION RING MARKING ON 6-INCH GUN "NURNBERG"                    131
  A HUMOROUS EFFORT ON THE PART OF ONE OF OUR SAILORS                131
  THE PROPELLER BLADE OF THE "SEYDLITZ"                              131
  RANGE-FINDER AND SEARCHLIGHT PLATFORM, "NURNBERG"                  132
  88-MM. GUNS, "NURNBERG"                                            132
  6-INCH GUN ON "NURNBERG" AFTER-TURRET                              133
  5·9-INCH AFTER-BREECH, "NURNBERG"                                  133
  SEARCHLIGHT CONTROL PLATFORM, "FRANKFURT"                          133
  10·5-CM. GUN ON A GERMAN DESTROYER                                 134
  TORPEDO TUBES ON A DESTROYER                                       135
  ENGINE-ROOM CONTROL BOARD, "EMDEN"                                 136
  LOWER CONNING TOWER, "EMDEN"                                       137
  GERMAN DESTROYER BEING TOWED SOUTH TO ROSYTH, MARCH, 1920          138
  BLOWING UP THE MINEFIELDS                                          140
  CLOSER VIEW OF MINE EXPLOSION                                      140
  SALVAGE OPERATIONS ON S.S. "AORANGI"                               142
  SUNSET OVER THE HILLS OF HOY                                       144

[Illustration: To face p. xx. MAP OF SCAPA FLOW AND THE ORKNEY ISLANDS.]



PART I

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASE


[Illustration: H.M.S. "CYCLOPS" AT LONG HOPE.]



SCAPA AND A CAMERA


THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BASE

Some slight apologia seems necessary to-day for the publication of a
book of war reminiscences (even though they be mainly photographic),
when so many personages, from Admirals and Generals downwards to the
humbler ranks of W.A.A.C.'s and lady typists in Government offices,
have seen fit to record in print their experiences during the Great
War. This little album is being published at the suggestion of various
friends in the Naval Service, with whom the writer has come into
contact during the five years he has been associated with the Royal
Navy at the Grand Fleet Base at Scapa Flow, and, it is hoped, may reach
a wider circle of those to whom the name "Scapa Flow" has hitherto
conveyed but a hazy notion of islands shrouded in perpetual northern
mist--somewhere north of Scotland, c/o G.P.O., where for five years the
Grand Fleet kept its monotonous vigil in readiness for "the Day," and
where finally it had its reward when, in November, 1918, the German
Fleet was ignominiously escorted into the waters of the Flow, whose
defences its submarines had more than once endeavoured, unsuccessfully,
to penetrate.

Various writers--_e.g._, "Bartimaeus" and the author of "In the
Northern Mists"--have written vivid pen pictures of the everyday life
of the Navy, and the photographs reproduced in the following pages,
besides recalling many monotonous--and some pleasant--times to those
who served at Scapa during the war, may help to supplement these books
by presenting the actual environment and life of those whose "lawful
occasions" necessitated so long a sojourn in these northern waters.

To many "Scapa" is a name (judging from the warmth of their remarks
when the subject is mentioned) that they would like to eradicate for
ever from their book of remembrance. Their feelings are expressed in a
parody of a well-known song which appeared in the _Orcadian_ of the 5th
December, 1918, entitled--

SCAPA FLOW

(A HYMN OF HATE).

  Have you ever heard the story of how Scapa got its name?
  If you haven't then you're slow, because it's earned a world-wide
    fame.
  It has caused a lot of howling amongst our tars at sea,
  So I'll tell to you the story as a sailor told it me:

  Sure a little bit of wastage fell from out the sky one day,
  And it fell into the ocean in a spot up Scotland way.
  And when the Sea Lords saw it, sure! it looked so bleak and bare
  They said, "Suppose we start to build a Naval Base up there."

  So they dotted it with colliers, to provide the tars with work,
  With provision boats and oilers, that they dared not dodge or shirk.
  Then they sprinkled it with raindrops, with sleet and hail and snow,
  And when they had it finished, sure, they called it Scapa Flow.

  Now the Navy's been at Scapa ever since we've been at war,
  And whenever it is over, they won't want to see it more.
  But for years and years to come, whenever sailors congregate
  You may bet your life you may hear them sing that Scapa hymn of hate.

Curiously enough, the weather forecast given in the _Orcadian_
immediately below read: "Showers or drizzling rain; local mist."

Certainly even the most enthusiastic Orcadian has to admit that the
islands have few natural features to commend them, and even less of the
artificial amenities of civilisation: country practically bare of trees
and vegetation, days in winter when the sun hardly seems to rise at
all, and a climate that seems to hold the record for rainfall, storms,
and unreliability.

[Illustration: ST. JOHN'S HEAD, HOY. (The Highest Cliff in Great
Britain.)]

Yet, in spite of all the unkindness of Nature, to many there hangs a
cloud of romance over these far-away northern islands. To those who
have the observing eye, they are rich in the remains of a prehistoric
past, with a history extending far back into the centuries. They
possess a coast of unsurpassed grandeur of form and beauty of
colouring, and as they are approached from the south, or seen from one
of the hills of Hoy on a fair day, appear like some "fairy archipelago
set in a summer sea," whilst a distant mirage often heightens the
effect of unreality. In few places does one see such wonderful sunsets
and cloud effects as in Orkney, followed often a little later by the
"searchlight" rays of the Aurora Borealis. But mainly will those who
spent long months and years in Orkney look back, not without regrets,
on the spirit of comradeship which made exile endurable, and which,
in face of a common danger, united even the most varied personalities
to work in harmony for a common cause. Many friendships were made
which will long survive the war; many a "cheery night" in the wardroom
will recall pleasant memories of those who are now scattered over the
Seven Seas; and few of the many thousands who returned to civil life
after serving in the Navy during the war but will have some regrets
for the days when they took the rough and the smooth together (it was
mostly rough) in the northern mists of Scapa Flow. Not a few married
into Orcadian families, and the writer recalls his embarrassment on
one occasion when in Stonehouse Naval Hospital recovering from an
operation, in discussing somewhat freely various Kirkwall acquaintances
with a naval officer invalided from the Northern Base, he happened to
mention a certain lady's name as one of the fairest of the Orcadian
maidens, whom he understood had married a naval officer. "Yes," was the
reply, "she is my wife."

Until quite recently Scapa Flow and the Orkneys were practically
unknown to the majority of Englishmen, and even to-day very few could
point out the exact location of Scapa Flow on the map. In a well-known
London newspaper of 23rd June, 1919 (after the scuttling of the German
Fleet), Scapa Flow was marked on a map as north of Kirkwall, whereas it
will be seen from the map reproduced in this volume that it is actually
south of that town.

It is recalled also that on one occasion a travelling claim of a
certain officer at the Base was returned from the Admiralty with a
query as to the car hire claimed, and the inquiry was made as to why
more use had not been made of the railway facilities!

[Illustration: T. Kent. DRIFTER NET-BOOM DEFENCE AT HOUTON.]

Scapa Flow was used as an exercise ground for the Home Fleet many years
before the war, with headquarters at the north-eastern corner of the
Flow; but no preparations appear to have been made for its use as a
permanent war Base prior to 1914, and consequently an enormous amount
of pioneer work was needed to render it a safe and efficient harbour
for the Grand Fleet and its auxiliaries. The magic growth of the Base
from a few ships to many hundreds of vessels of all types--battleships,
cruisers, destroyers, submarines, depôt ships, oilers, colliers, store
and ammunition ships, hospital ships, etc.--constituting the most
powerful Fleet ever assembled in one place, was a gradual process,
in which many novel situations arose and many difficulties had to be
met and contended with. The absence of railway communication, the
difficulties of local transport in weather conditions which at times
even large vessels could not face, were additional obstacles to the
hurried improvisation of arrangements, both ashore and afloat, which
were essential to the effectual working of the Grand Fleet.

[Illustration: J. Phillips. SUNKEN SHIPS BETWEEN ST. MARGARET'S HOPE
AND BURRAY.]

When Admiral Jellicoe succeeded Sir George Callaghan as
Commander-in-Chief of the newly-named "Grand Fleet" on 4th August,
1914, there were practically no defences whatever on any of the
islands, with the exception of a few 12-pounder guns landed from the
Fleet, whilst there were, of course, no booms or obstructions across
the numerous entrances (Hoxa, Switha, Hoy, and Holm Sounds) to the
Flow. It was not until the end of 1914 and the beginning of 1915 that
sunken ships were placed across the narrower channels, such as Burra,
Water, and Holm Sounds, and that net-boom defence drifters were placed
across the larger ones, and 4-inch and 6-inch guns landed at various
batteries, which were erected to command these entrances. Consequently,
during these early months of the war, the Grand Fleet could not remain
in harbour in the Flow for more than a very brief period, owing to the
danger of submarine attack; indeed, as Jellicoe remarks in his book on
the Grand Fleet, it is a wonder that the Germans did not make a more
determined attack on our Fleet during this period. It was on 16th/17th
October, 1914, that the "Battle of Scapa Flow" took place, when a
report that a submarine was in the Flow caused great excitement, and
every available type of craft got under way in the endeavour to locate
and sink it, firing at anything remotely resembling a periscope, and
at night-time sweeping the seas with their searchlights. It was, I
believe, never actually ascertained whether a submarine was present,
but, as a result, the Grand Fleet moved further westwards to Lough
Swilly, and did not return to Scapa until a few months later when
the defences were somewhat more secure. Meantime the organisation
of the Base proceeded apace, and H.M.S. "Cyclops" and "Assistance,"
Fleet repair ships, were joined by a large and increasing number
of vessels, with Rear-Admiral F. S. Miller in command of the Base.
Even so, continued difficulty was felt to accommodate the even more
rapidly expanding personnel, and Admiral Jellicoe writes regarding the
"Cyclops" at this period: "The manner in which the great demands on
her accommodation were met was a standing wonder to me. In the early
part of the war, officers on Admiral Miller's Staff and others were
obliged to make their sleeping berths as best they could on the deck
or on top of their writing-tables, and it was surprising that the
overcrowding in all directions did not affect health."

[Illustration: THE GRAND FLEET BASE AT LONG HOPE, 1916, LOOKING TOWARDS
WEDDEL SOUND.]


[Illustration: "Cyclops." "Victorious." "Assistance." "Imperieuse."
"Ruthenia." CLOSER VIEW OF THE BASE SHIPS AT LONG HOPE.]

Towards the end of October, 1914, the Base, owing to weather
conditions, was moved from Scapa Bay to Long Hope, where it remained
until April, 1919, when it was transferred to Lyness, where a
substantial sea-wall was in process of completion, and where the
Floating Dock was moored. Here it still remains, though of it "Ichabod"
must be written, for it retains only a shadow of its former activities.
The Fleet itself lay north of Weddel Sound, and the auxiliaries were
disposed between Long Hope and Gutter Sound (see map).

[Illustration: H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE" AT LONG HOPE.]

One of the earliest arrivals at the Base was H.M.S. "Imperieuse"
(previously "Fisgard I."). She left Portsmouth in September, 1914, in
company with "Fisgard II.," with a party of dockyardmen who were coming
up for work in the Grand Fleet; unfortunately "Fisgard II." capsized
off Portland Bill with the loss of several lives, but "Fisgard I."
arrived safely at Scapa Flow, and was renamed "Imperieuse." During the
war she discharged many useful and important functions, and there are
few naval officers who served any length of time at Scapa who did not
at some time pass through her. Primarily she was the receiving and
distributing centre for the mails for the Fleet, and some idea of the
enormous number of letters, etc., dealt with may be gleaned from the
fact that when the Fleet was present some 50,000 items were sorted
and despatched daily. "Imperieuse" was also the headquarters of the
staffs of the Admiralty Port Officer (or King's Harbour Master, as
he would be styled at a dockyard port), Fleet Coaling Officer, Naval
Store Officer, Victualling Store Officer, Naval Ordnance Officer,
Cashier, Base Censor, and also accommodated the dockyard working
parties, until at a later stage other vessels arrived which relieved
her of some of these functions. In spite of the limited office and
cabin accommodation, it was an interesting time: the work and the
conditions were novel, and there was always plenty to be done in
straightening out the various problems that arose. One could write a
small volume on the personalities one met at the Base at that time: of
a certain genial captain, addicted to forcible but effective speech;
of "V.O.S.O.," equally proficient in supplying flour and potatoes, and
music; of "N.O.S.O.," who insisted on a duly receipted, countersigned,
and approved voucher (in triplicate) before he would part with a
minute brass screw; of the "Drifter King," whose knowledge of Scotch
drifter-men and their idiosyncrasies was profound; of a certain
officer in charge of Water Boats, sent to the Base by the Admiralty as
a "gentleman of affairs," whose versatility flowed into such diverse
channels as the organisation of a band, sports, the edition of a
ship's magazine, the supervision of gifts forwarded by the Fresh Fruit
and Vegetables Fund, and in numerous other directions; of W---- and
B---- (the "Bullion Brokers"), who could give you _the_ very latest
tip straight from the horse's mouth: these are but a few of those who
enlivened the Base in 1915-1916.

[Illustration: H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS" AT SCAPA FLOW.]

One of the next noteworthy arrivals at the Base was that of H.M.S.
"Victorious," early in 1916. A "dockyard ship" had been awaited for
nearly a year to relieve the congestion on "Imperieuse," and in
September, 1915, the "Caribbean," duly fitted out for the purpose, left
Liverpool for Scapa, but, like "Fisgard II.," sank on the journey north
off Cape Wrath. H.M.S. "Victorious" was then taken in hand, and reached
the Base safely in March, 1916. She was well provided with workshops
and accommodation--being indeed a miniature "floating dockyard"--and
at times over 500 dockyard artisans were accommodated, although these
usually lived afloat on the ships of the Grand Fleet. The presence of
such a large body of civilian workmen on a ship officered and manned
by Service ranks and ratings presented several novel problems, and it
was largely due to the tact and consideration of both parties that the
experiment, on the whole, was justified by the results. The possession
of such a ship at the Base, by enabling defects to be adjusted and
installations, such as director firing gear, protective deck plating,
flying-off platforms, etc., to be fitted by skilled workmen at the Base
instead of at a southern dockyard, added considerably to the fighting
strength of the Fleet at a time when ships were badly needed, and when
our numerical superiority over the enemy fleet was less marked than at
a later period of the war.

[Illustration: R.F.A. "RUTHENIA."]

Early in 1917 the addition of a small Floating Dock enabled much useful
work to be done in carrying out minor refits and emergency repairs, and
over 200 keels were docked whilst it remained at Scapa.

The Fleet repair ships, H.M.S. "Cyclops" and "Assistance," have already
been referred to, and they should not be overlooked in this connection;
both these vessels carried out, with naval ratings, valuable repairs in
connection with the maintenance of the machinery, etc., of the ships of
the Grand Fleet.

[Illustration: TORPEDO SUB-DEPÔT SHIP "SOKOTO" LYING IN THE INNER
HOPE.]

[Illustration: THE BROUGH OF BIRSAY, OFF WHICH H.M.S. "HAMPSHIRE" WAS
LOST ON 6TH JUNE, 1916.]

Meantime the duties of "Imperieuse" were still further relieved by
the arrival of other vessels. R.F.A. "Ruthenia," previously a dummy
battleship, became the storeship and headquarters of the Victualling
and Naval Store Officers, and the Fleet Coaling Officer took up his
quarters in R.F.A. "Perthshire" in the secluded waters of Pegal
Bay; whilst the "Sokoto" (a depôt ship for the storing and repair of
torpedoes) and M.F.A. "Zaria" (repair ship for small craft, such as
drifters, trawlers, etc.) were already at Long Hope.

[Illustration: DRIVING OFF FROM THE FIRST HOLE ON FLOTTA.]

Once the early work of organisation was over, life at Scapa, especially
for the Base ships, settled down to a somewhat monotonous routine,
varied by spasms of excitement when the Grand Fleet received orders
to proceed to sea, and one wondered if _this_ time it was actually
a "stunt," or merely once more "P.Z." The summer of 1916 was not,
however, without incident. The return of the Fleet from Jutland, on
the morning of 2nd June, was an exciting moment, followed a few days
later by the dramatic news that Lord Kitchener had been lost in H.M.S.
"Hampshire" off Marwick Head, and later in the month the King paid a
short visit to the Fleet. Just over a year later, in July, 1917, the
battleship "Vanguard" blew up with the loss of practically the entire
ship's company. The explosion occurred late at night (about eleven
o'clock), and the vivid flames which illumined the twilight sky (it was
still fairly light) were followed by a dense column of smoke rising
about half a mile into the sky. Everyone rushed on deck clad in a
varied assortment of night attire, every available craft was rushed
to the scene of the disaster, and anti-submarine precautions were
ordered to be taken. Some idea of the force of the explosion may be
gathered from the fact the "Vanguard's" pinnace was blown clean over
the next ship in the line, and landed in the water on the other side,
practically undamaged, whilst it was reported that a packet of Treasury
notes was picked up intact next day on the neighbouring island of
Flotta.

[Illustration: CHILDREN'S RACE AT LONG HOPE SPORTS.]

[Illustration: WATCHING THE SPORTS.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. A BOXING MATCH ON FLOTTA.]

[Illustration: A SHIP'S GARDEN AT CROCKNESS.]

Towards the end of December, 1917, our Fleet was strengthened by the
arrival of four U.S. battleships, which were incorporated into the
Grand Fleet as the Sixth Battle Squadron. The presence of the Americans
contributed some new features into the life of the Base, notably in
the domain of sport, and baseball became for a time quite a popular
game. The importance of games and sport, incidentally, has always been
recognised in the Navy, and nowhere was the need for recreation more
essential for the maintenance of morale and fitness than at Scapa.
Football was played all the year round (there being no summer to speak
of in these northern latitudes) on Flotta (the playing ground of the
Grand Fleet), and at Long Hope and Lyness by the Base ships, whilst
two or three rough golf courses were laid out for the use of officers.
Admiral Jellicoe used often to be seen playing a hurried game round the
course at Flotta in the few moments of relaxation he was able to snatch
from his work on the "Iron Duke." Tennis was hardly a possible game,
owing to the inclement weather and the continual winds, but one or two
ash and gravel courts were made at the shore batteries. Sailing and
pulling matches were frequently arranged, and the sports of the Base
ships at Long Hope became an annual event greatly looked forward to
by the local inhabitants as well as by the ships' companies. Another
annual event of great interest was the Grand Fleet Boxing Championship
Contest, held outside the Y.M.C.A. Hut at Flotta. These competitions
were witnessed by as many as 10,000 men, and the writer recalls an
inspiring speech made by Admiral Beatty to this great gathering of
sailors in July, 1917, after he had distributed the prizes. Prince
Albert, incidentally, was present on this occasion.

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. U.S.S. "NEW YORK" LEADING THE 6TH BATTLE
SQUADRON INTO SCAPA AFTER CROSSING THE ATLANTIC.]

[Illustration: "HARVEST FESTIVAL. "]

The work of the Y.M.C.A. Huts, at Flotta and Long Hope, and of the
Church Army Hut later at Lyness, was of great value in providing
almost the only recreation and social amusement obtainable outside of
one's ship, and the ladies who volunteered for service in these lonely
islands deserve every praise for the way in which they cared for the
comfort and entertainment of the men during the war.

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. THE "GREEN ROOM" OF A BATTLESHIP:
OFFICERS MAKING UP FOR A SHOW.]

Gardening became at one period quite a popular, as well as profitable,
recreation amongst many of the men and officers, and although neither
the soil nor the climate was very promising, some remarkably good crops
of vegetables were obtained, which were especially welcome in view of
the difficulties of obtaining fresh fruit and vegetables on board
ship. One enterprising ship actually raised chickens and pigs on one
of the islands, although the uncertain movements of the ships made the
feeding question a difficult problem at times.

A variety of indoor amusements was provided on board ship. The "movies"
were always a standing attraction, whilst billiards proved a popular
war-time innovation, the movement of the ship adding a fascinating
element of uncertainty to the game! Some excellent "shows" were
organised, and an improvised stage, with the necessary accessories,
was rigged up on the Frozen Meat Ship "Gourko," which proved an ideal
"theatre ship," although it was advisable to come warmly clad, as the
auditorium was over the refrigerating room!

Very little of interest occurred at the Base in the early part of
1918, and the Grand Fleet spent a considerable time in this year at
Rosyth, where the completion of the boom defences permitted exercises
and firing to be carried out with almost the same degree of safety and
convenience as at Scapa. The progress of the war was, as elsewhere,
watched with great excitement towards the end of the year, and the
signing of the Armistice on the 11th November, 1918, came as a great
relief after four years of strain and effort. One of the most welcome
of the minor changes effected by the Armistice was the removal of the
Censorship which had been rigorously maintained during the war, and for
the first time the general public became aware of the jealously guarded
secret of the location of the Northern Base of the Grand Fleet.


[Illustration: THE GERMAN SHIPS INTERNED AT SCAPA. (Battle-cruisers
"Hindenburg" and "Derfflinger" in the foreground.)]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLESHIP "KAISER" ENTERING THE BOOM AT SCAPA
FLOW FOR INTERNMENT AT DAWN ON 26TH NOVEMBER, 1918.]

The entry of the German ships into Scapa Flow for internment towards
the end of the month was a memorable sight, which will not soon be
forgotten by those who witnessed it. The vessels came north from Rosyth
in detachments, and each group of ships entered the Flow in the grey
dawn of an autumn morning, escorted by our own ships. Little groups
of spectators who had gathered at points of vantage on the islands
identified the various ships as they entered with great interest, and
more especially in the case of those who had last met them in action.
It was some compensation for those who had spent so many months and
years at Scapa that "the Day" should have culminated in such a dramatic
and complete surrender of the German Fleet, although it seemed then
almost unthinkable that such a surrender should have been made without
at least an effort to strike a last blow, or in the last resort to
scuttle their ships in port. That some, at any rate, of the officers of
the German Navy had these feelings was evident from the destruction
of one of their submarines just before the Armistice in the act of
entering the Flow, whose outer defences it had indeed penetrated. There
seems little doubt that this was a last desperate attempt to sink as
many as possible of our Fleet before the final and then inevitable
surrender, and one cannot but acknowledge the spirit and the bravery of
those who took part in such a forlorn hope.

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "DERFFLINGER" FOUR MINUTES BEFORE
FINALLY SINKING, 2.45 P.M., 21ST JUNE, 1919.]

[Illustration: VICE-ADMIRAL SIR R. J. PRENDERGAST MAKING HIS FAREWELL
ADDRESS ON H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS," 15TH FEBRUARY, 1920.]

Even more dramatic was the afternoon of Saturday, 21st June, 1919, when
the large majority of the interned vessels sank beneath the waters of
the Flow.

[Illustration: N. A. K. Money. GOOD-BYE TO SCAPA!]

In accordance with the terms of the Armistice German crews were allowed
to remain on board the interned ships, and after the preliminary
inspection, there was practically no communication with our own ships
except for essential matters of duty. This rather aided the preparation
of the plans made by the Germans, and shortly after noon on the 21st
the sea-cocks of all the vessels were simultaneously opened, and
ensigns, and in some cases the Red Flag, hoisted. The First Battle
Squadron, which was then at the Base, was exercising in the Pentland
Firth at the time, and was not able to return until later in the
afternoon, but all available tugs and small craft were immediately
ordered to the sinking ships, and as many as possible were run ashore
on the surrounding islands. It was a clear afternoon, and probably no
more wonderful sight has ever been witnessed than that of these huge
vessels on all sides heeling over and plunging headlong--some with
their sterns almost vertical above the water, others listing over
to port or starboard, with steam and oil and air pouring out of the
vents and rising to the surface long after the ships had completely
disappeared beneath the water. Débris of all sorts, boats, hammocks,
lifebelts, chests, etc., littered the sea for miles round. Small craft
of all descriptions were variously engaged: here a drifter would be
seen picking up Germans from the water, there a pinnace towing a long
string of boats and Carley floats full of prisoners to the Flagship,
whilst other craft were occupied heading off parties of Germans who
were endeavouring to make for the shore. One or two amusing incidents
occurred during the scuttling. One of our water-boats was busily
engaged supplying water to one of the ships as she was sinking, and
whilst the Germans were actually leaving the ship on the other side.
Some school children from Stromness in the tug "Flying Kestrel" had the
unique experience of a trip round the ships in the morning, which on
their return journey were sinking or had disappeared.

By five or six o'clock the whole of the ships had sunk, except the
battleship "Baden," which was boarded in time to save her, and three
cruisers, which were run ashore or beached. The battle cruisers
"Hindenburg" and "Seydlitz" drifted into shallow water, and with the
cruiser "Bremse," which turned turtle as she was being beached, are
resting on the bottom, and present a spectacle of interest to visitors
as they pass in the Mail Boat to Stromness.

Such was the inglorious end of the German Fleet, and with its
disappearance the Base began slowly to break up. One by one the ships
went south, and the acquaintances of many years were severed. On 15th
February, 1920, the Base reverted to a peace-time status, and the
Admiral commanding the Orkneys and Shetlands (Vice-Admiral Sir R. J.
Prendergast) hauled down his flag. Towards the end of the month and
during March the salved German cruisers and destroyers were towed south
to Rosyth for distribution amongst the Allied Powers, and on 25th March
the last of the Base ships remaining, H.M.S. "Imperieuse" and H.M.S.
"Victorious," left for Rosyth and Devonport respectively.

To-day not a vessel remains of that vast assemblage of ships which
were gathered at the Base during the war, and Scapa will probably in
future be an exercising base only for the Fleet as in pre-war times.
But, whatever its future, the name of Scapa is one that has earned an
undying fame in the history of the British Empire and of the world, and
it will remain as an enduring memory to those who were destined by the
chances of war to be exiled in those lonely islands of the North.



PART II

SCENES AROUND SCAPA FLOW


[Illustration: VIEW LOOKING SOUTH FROM HOUTON BAY.]



SCENES AROUND SCAPA FLOW


KIRKWALL

"Voir Kirkwall, et mourir," a French naval officer remarked to me
when visiting Scapa Flow. Without inquiring too closely as to whether
there might not have been some ironical "double-entendre" in his
apparent admiration of the capital of the Orkneys, it was certainly
the Orcadian "Mecca" of the Grand Fleet, and never in its history has
it known such activity and prosperity as during the five years of war.
A sleepy little town of four or five thousand inhabitants, it was
suddenly called upon to assist in supplying the needs of a floating
population of close on 100,000 men, and its narrow main (and only)
street, "where two wheelbarrows tremble when they meet," bustled with
unwonted activity--messmen from the ships loading provisions, naval men
and officers engaged in an afternoon's shopping and sightseeing, with
an occasional motor lorry or car trying to thread its way amongst the
traffic.

Kirkwall, as will be seen from the map, is approached from the Flow by
way of Scapa Pier, whence it is a walk or drive of about a mile and a
half to the town.

The little hamlet of Scapa, incidentally, from which the Flow takes
its name, assumed importance during the war as a seaplane station, and
is the scene of an old custom long forgotten, which is related rather
amusingly in a volume on Orkney by a Rev. John Brand, dated 1701. He
writes: "In Scapha about a mile from Kirkwal to South-West, it is said
there was kept a large and ancient Cup, which they say belonged to St.
Magnus, King of Norway, who first instructed them in the principles of
the Christian religion and founded the Church of Kirkwal, with which
full of some strong drink their Bishops at their first landing were
presented; which, if he drank it out, they highly praised him, and made
themselves to believe, that they should have many good and fruitful
years in his time." He adds rather regretfully: "The Countrey to this
Day have the tradition of this, but we did not see the cup; nor could
we learn where it was." The fact that the Highland Park Distillery
(the most northern distillery in the British Isles) is on the upper
Scapa road rather tends to confirm the legend!

[Illustration: LOADING STORES AT SCAPA PIER.]

[Illustration: WIDEFORD HILL AND THE "PEERIE SEA."]

Conveyances known locally as "machines" (they do not speak of traps or
chars-à-bancs in Orkney) are always available to convey one to Kirkwall
from the Pier, and anyone who has travelled over that bumpy road in one
of these vehicles will not forget the experience!

[Illustration: KIRKWALL HARBOUR FROM THE CATHEDRAL TOWER.]

Arrived in Kirkwall and suitably refreshed (let me recommend the Ayre
Hotel of many pleasant memories), the most striking building which
meets the eye, and which dominates the town, is the Cathedral of St.
Magnus. Kirkwall, as its name signifies (Kirkevaag or Kirk Voe), is the
bay of the church, although the original church from which the town
takes its name was not that of St. Magnus. Founded before the middle of
the twelfth century, it is a very fine example of Gothic architecture,
which, fortunately, owing to its remoteness, escaped the zeal of the
Reformers, and remains to-day a stately witness of the Norse warriors
of old, who played such a prominent and adventurous part in the history
of Orkney. Near by are the Bishop's and Earl's Palaces, both also
eloquent relics of the days when feasting and fighting were the main
preoccupations of the Norse Jarls, whose exploits are recounted so
graphically in the "Orkneyinga Saga."

[Illustration: ALBERT STREET, KIRKWALL.]

[Illustration: ST. MAGNUS CATHEDRAL FROM THE EARL'S PALACE.]

Kirkwall during the war was an examination base, and hundreds of
craft of all nationalities passed through the harbour to be searched
for contraband of war. Later, after the Armistice, it became the
headquarters of our own and the American Mine Clearance Service, and
the advent of four or five thousand American sailors contributed
further to the prosperity and enlivenment of the town. Baseball, for
example, and the "jazz," had not hitherto penetrated so far north as
Orkney, and dancing soon became almost as great an obsession amongst
the fair maidens of Kirkwall as it was further south.

To-day Kirkwall is again outwardly the same quiet town it was prior
to 1914, but the infusion of new ideas and modes of life, which was
inevitable from contact with so many of our own and American people,
has produced many changes of mental and social outlook, and in no
town will the years 1914-1919 be remembered for their historical
significance more than in the capital of the Orkney Islands.

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES IN KIRKWALL.]


STROMNESS

Stromness, situate at the western extremity of the mainland, is
next to Kirkwall in size, and is in many respects the rival of the
capital. Its position did not give it the same importance as Kirkwall
during the war, although it was a convenient centre for some of the
subsidiary activities of the Base. For a considerable period it was
the headquarters of the Western Patrol, and the various building
operations, including the wharf at Lyness and the Air Stations at
Houton and Scapa, were supervised from the office of the Civil Engineer
at Stromness. The accessibility of Stromness to the sea through
Hoy and Burra Sounds, and the probability of submarine attacks on
the Fleet through these channels, rendered defensive measures an
imperative necessity, and at the time of the Armistice a triple series
of boom defences, with the additional safeguards of sunken ships and
minefields, rendered ingress a practical impossibility. One of the
most remarkable of these defences was the Clestron Barrier between
the island of Graemsay and Clestron. This was constructed of conical
frameworks of steel rails, which were placed in position with their
bases resting on the bottom of the channel, an operation rendered the
more difficult by the tides which sweep around these shores, which give
Stromness its name (the ness of the "strom" or current).

[Illustration: STROMNESS FROM THE SEA.]

Stromness is a picturesquely situated little town, with its straggling
houses, rising straight from the water's edge, and its rugged coast
scenery. The traveller from Kirkwall, after traversing fifteen miles of
somewhat monotonous road, is suddenly confronted with the quiet town
lying below him in a landlocked bay, with the heights of Hoy rising
beyond and adding grandeur to the beauty of the scene.

[Illustration: T. Kent. HOUTON BAY AIR STATION.]

Amongst the quaint houses in its zigzag mile-long street is one of
noteworthy interest, being the house in which Sir Walter Scott wrote
the notes of his Orkney novel, "The Pirate," most of the characters
in which are drawn from people who actually lived in Stromness.

[Illustration: THE CLESTRON BARRIER, STROMNESS.]

Stromness was a popular "week-end" resort for those who, during the
war and afterwards, were fortunate enough to get leave, there being
an excellent and modern hotel, with good fishing in the lochs, and a
nine-hole golf course in the near neighbourhood. Close at hand, too,
are many places of interest to the historian and antiquarian, which are
briefly noticed in the following pages.


THE STANDING STONES OF STENNIS

"The Standing Stones" are the most noteworthy antiquarian relic in
the county of Orkney, and their origin, like those of Stonehenge, is
wrapped in obscurity. They were probably erected by the early Celtic
inhabitants of Orkney, possibly as sacrificial spots, and they were
undoubtedly standing when the Norsemen overran the islands in the ninth
century. Standing on the narrow little peninsula in the midst of the
Loch of Stennis, and seen as the shadows of evening are falling, they
are impressive in their lonely solemnity, and insensibly carry one back
to the dawn of history in these islands--to days of sacrificial rites
and strange matrimonial ceremonies, to the worship of Thor and Woden.

[Illustration: THE STANDING STONES OF STENNIS.]

[Illustration: THE RING OF BRODGAR.]

[Illustration: THE TUMULUS OF MAESHOWE.]

[Illustration: THE ENTRANCE TO MAESHOWE.]


MAESHOWE

A mile or two from Stennis stands the celebrated Tumulus of Maeshowe.
This is a conical-shaped mound rising to a height of about 35 feet, and
surrounded by a moat. The interior is approached by a long, narrow
passage, leading into a central stone chamber about 15 feet square,
from which a number of crypts or cells branch off at the sides. On
the walls are inscribed a number of runes, of which, as one humourist
observed, "several professors have given as many translations,
apparently all different." There is certainly considerable diversity
of opinion as to the age and origin of the mound, but it seems to be
generally accepted that it was originally the chambered tomb of some
chieftain, dating from early Celtic times.

[Illustration: A WINDING ROAD IN HOY. (Pegal Burn.)]


HOY

The island of Hoy lies on the western side of the Flow, and, as most
of the Base ships were anchored in its vicinity, it was the island
which became the most familiar to and frequented by those going to the
"beach" for recreation and exercise. The names of Long Hope, Lyness,
Melsetter, North Ness, are as familiar to the many thousands of naval
men who spent so long at Scapa, as are the Strand and Charing Cross
to Londoners. Fortunately, Hoy is perhaps the most interesting and
picturesque of the Orkney Islands, and some of its hill and cliff
scenery is amongst the finest in Great Britain, whilst the sportsman,
the botanist, and the geologist can find ample material for their
various pursuits.

Hoy will probably show more permanent evidences of the "naval
invasion" of Scapa Flow than any of the other islands, as it has now
become, at Lyness, the headquarters of the permanent peace-time naval
establishment at Scapa Flow. At Lyness there are the makings of a
miniature dockyard, with a wharf accommodating vessels of 30 feet
draught, slipway, storesheds, oil, fuel, and petrol depôts, and a
reservoir for fresh water supply, which, in the event of war, would be
at once available for meeting the requirements of the Fleet. Such an
establishment would have been of immense value at the outbreak of the
present war, and, indeed, had been contemplated for some years prior to
1914.


[Illustration: WARD HILL AND GRAEMSAY ISLAND FROM THE SEA.]


WARD HILL, HOY

Ward Hill is the highest hill in Orkney (1,556 feet), and from its
summit on a clear day a magnificent panorama of the Orkney Islands
unfolds itself, lying at one's feet like "the scattered fragments of
some ingenious and parti-coloured toy map," whilst on the further side
of the Pentland Firth the coast of Scotland is clearly defined as far
as Cape Wrath. During the war the whole of the Grand Fleet could be
seen in the Flow, and it seemed hard to realise that those small and
insignificant specks as they appeared in the distance lay as a "sure
shield of Empire" between our nation and the domination of the German
Eagle.

[Illustration: WARD HILL: THE ROAD TO RACKWICK.]

[Illustration: WARD HILL FROM THE EAST.]

[Illustration: THE OLD MAN OF HOY.]


THE OLD MAN OF HOY

The lonely pillar of rock standing well out on the western coast of
Hoy is one of the best-known "sights" of Orkney. It stands 450 feet
above the sea (as high as St. Paul's Cathedral) in one of the most
inaccessible parts of the coast, but the scene repays the hard walk
over the moors which a visit to the rock entails. The photo happens to
show the features of the "Old Man" quite distinctly.


THE DWARFIE STONE

The Dwarfie Stone is one of the strange relics of antiquity which
abound in Orkney. It is a mass of sandstone about 30 feet in length,
14 feet in breadth, and from 2 to 6 feet in height, and lies in a
lonely valley at the foot of Ward Hill. It has been hollowed out on
either side of the entrance door shown in the photo into two chambers,
each with a stone bed, with a hole in the roof to serve as a window or
chimney. Nothing appears to be known of the origin or purpose of the
stone, but a rather quaint theory is brought forward in an old book on
Orkney (1701), as follows:

     "Who hewed this stone, or for what use it was, we could not learn,
     the Common Tradition among the People is, That a giant with his
     wife lived in this Isle of Hoy, who had this stone for their
     Castle. But I would rather think, seeing it could not accommodate
     any of a Gigantick stature, that it might be for the use of some
     Dwarf, as the name seems to import, or it being remote from any
     House might be the retired Cell of some Melancholick Hermite. The
     stone also may be called the Dwarfie Stone, per Antiphrasin or by
     way of Opposition it being so very great."

[Illustration: THE DWARFIE STONE.]

Sir Walter Scott refers to the stone at some length in his novel "The
Pirate," the scene of which is laid in the Orkneys and Shetlands, and
which will be found of interest to the student of Orkney traditions and
history.


LYNESS

[Illustration: THE NEW STONE WALL AND PIER, LYNESS.]

[Illustration: CROFTS NEAR LYNESS.]

Following the rough road on the east coast of Hoy from Ward Hill, by
way of Pegal Burn, one reaches Lyness, in pre-war days a few scattered
crofts, and now the Naval Base in Orkney. The stone wharf, built by
Messrs. Kinnear and Moodie, of Glasgow, is now only just nearing
completion, and the other buildings (torpedo and paravane depôts,
petrol tanks, store sheds, etc.) were not available in time to be of
much value during the war, but they will be ready for the next! Some
idea of the difficulties with which the contractors had to contend will
be realised, when it is remembered that every ton of material had to
be brought by rail and sea from the south, during a time when, owing
to the submarine menace and the shortage of shipping, it was often
months before delivery of stores could be made. The work was frequently
completely held up by non-delivery of a machine or replacement, whilst
the difficulties of recruiting labour in such a desolate spot as the
Orkneys were a great handicap. On many days work had to be suspended
owing to gales, whilst in winter operations were only practicable
during the few hours of daylight available. The works, incidentally,
were responsible for the introduction of the first train into Orkney!

[Illustration: EXCAVATIONS AT LYNESS IN CONNECTION WITH THE BUILDING OF
THE WHARF.]

[Illustration: THE FIRST TRAIN IN ORKNEY.]


CROCKNESS

[Illustration: SUNSET OVER THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS.]

Crockness lies a little beyond Lyness, to the south, and is chiefly
noteworthy for its Martello Tower, which, with that at Hackness on
the further side of Long Hope Bay, was erected during the Napoleonic
Wars, and completed in 1818 as a protection for the harbour. It was in
Long Hope Harbour that merchantmen bound for America and the Continent
assembled to await convoy, and it is curious that exactly one hundred
years later history has repeated itself, and that during the war just
concluded the same system of convoy was adopted from Kirkwall, into
which harbour all neutral vessels were sent for examination and convoy.
It is rather characteristic of our nation that both the Martello Towers
and the works at Lyness were completed some time after the Napoleonic
Wars and the European War respectively were over!

[Illustration: THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS.]

The Towers are very solidly built structures, with gun mountings on
top, and underground cellars for stowing ammunition, etc., but they
have never apparently been of any practical use. It is related that it
was not until the present war that a monthly payment, which originated
in 1818, to a crofter family for certain services rendered to the
original occupants of the Tower, was at length discontinued, when it
was discovered that the Tower had been disused for some generations!
but the accuracy of the story cannot be vouched for.

[Illustration: VIEW LOOKING THROUGH THE MARTELLO TOWER, CROCKNESS,
TOWARDS LONG HOPE.]


LONG HOPE

Continuing by the road from Crockness, the village of Melsetter is
passed on the road to Long Hope.

At Melsetter is the very fine residence of Mr. and Mrs. Middlemore,
whose hospitality was always open to the many naval officers who used
to call there. The visitors' book among many famous names contains
those of the King and the Prince of Wales, and Admirals Jellicoe and
Beatty. A William Morris Tapestry in one of the reception rooms is
noteworthy as recording the exploits of "Sir Gawaine of Orkney," one of
the Knights of the Round Table.

[Illustration: MELSETTER--ON THE ROAD FROM LYNESS TO LONG HOPE.]

Long Hope Bay during the war was the headquarters of the auxiliaries of
the Grand Fleet, and never in its history were so many vessels of such
varied types assembled in the harbour. The village of Long Hope, where
there is a good pier, naturally became much frequented by officers and
men from the ships, and eventually a commodious Y.M.C.A. was erected,
which did much useful work. "Tea on the beach" was always a pleasant
change from ship life (and tinned milk!), and the Post Office at Long
Hope became a favourite rendezvous for informal tea-parties. (Possibly
the attractions of the fair postmistress and her sister had something
to do with this!)

Incidentally, a writer on Orkney remarks that "there is a considerable
Celtic element in the population of South Walls brought by some
seventy-one Highlanders, who, evicted from Strathnaver to make room
for sheep, settled in the parish between 1788 and 1795, and who have
thrown in a dash of good looks not so common in other parts of the
group." The comment seems hardly fair to the rest of Orkney, however
true it may be with regard to Walls.

[Illustration: LONG HOPE PIER AND POST OFFICE.]

[Illustration: LONG HOPE HOTEL.]

The inn at Long Hope (where the King stayed on one of his visits to
the Fleet) was transformed into the office of the Admiral Commanding
the Orkneys and Shetlands, and a wireless station was erected
alongside. It has now (1921) reverted to its pre-war condition, much to
the gratification of the Long Hope inhabitants.

[Illustration: KIRK HOPE, SOUTH WALLS.]

[Illustration: CANTICK LIGHTHOUSE, SOUTH WALLS.]


KIRK HOPE AND CANTICK

The road from Long Hope leads past the Y.M.C.A. to the lonely little
cemetery (shown on the left of the photo above) at Kirk Hope, and
thence to the lighthouse at Cantick Head. A fine view of the islands is
obtained from the Lighthouse Tower, and the visitors' book contains the
names of R. L. Stevenson and Prince Albert, amongst others of interest.


PEATS

As there are practically no trees in Orkney, wood is not available
for fuel, but fortunately peat is very plentiful, and is used almost
universally for heating purposes. The peats are cut in the spring, and
a peculiar-shaped form of spade, known as a toysker, is employed to cut
the turfs, which are stacked on the side of the bank as shown in the
photograph. After a few weeks the peats are "raised"--_i.e._, set on
end--and arranged in small heaps, so that they may dry more thoroughly.
They are then carted home and stacked, each croft possessing its stack
for the winter months.

[Illustration: DIGGING THE PEATS--HOY.]

During the war parties of men from the ships could often be seen
assisting the crofters in digging the peats--such assistance being very
welcome at a time when labour was scarce and there was plenty of work
to be done on the land. A day at the peats can be recommended to anyone
who wants to know what it is to feel really tired after a hard day's
work!

[Illustration: T. Kent. CARTING HOME THE PEATS.]


PRIMITIVE METHODS OF AGRICULTURE IN ORKNEY

[Illustration: HORSE AND OX HARROWING.]

[Illustration: LOADING SEA-WEED FOR MANURE.]

[Illustration: T. Kent. AN ORKNEY CART.]

[Illustration: T. Kent. MAKING STRAW-BACKED CHAIRS, ORKNEY.]

The primitive cottages which prevailed in Orkney, until a few years
ago, are gradually giving way to larger and more substantial dwellings,
but some of the crofts are still reminiscent of very early times,
consisting only of a "but and a ben," with the beds let into the wall,
after the style of the French cupboard beds of Brittany, and with the
floors made of stone flags.

       *       *       *       *       *

Orkney has several cottage industries, no doubt due to the long winter
evenings and the inclement weather. Amongst these is rush plaiting for
the famous "Orkney chairs," which, with their comfortable rush backs
and seats and hoods, are familiar to all who have been in Orkney.

[Illustration: T. Kent. INTERIOR OF AN ORKNEY COTTAGE.]


SPINNING

Spinning is another occupation of the winter evenings, which has been
widely revived recently in Orkney owing to the high price of wool. The
Orkneys and Shetlands are noted for the softness and quality of their
wool, and the various processes of teasing, carding, spinning and
dyeing are all carried out on the crofts.

[Illustration: SPINNING.]



PART III

THE NAVY AT SCAPA FLOW

[Illustration: BATTLE SQUADRON EXERCISING IN THE FLOW.]



THE NAVY AT SCAPA FLOW


The photographs which follow depict various aspects of the work and
play of the Grand Fleet and the Auxiliaries at Scapa, and are more
or less self-explanatory. Owing to limitations of space, it is not
possible to deal adequately with a subject on which so many volumes
have been written, but an effort has been made to include as many types
as possible of the varied units of the Grand Fleet, and to depict the
various phases of the everyday life and recreations of the personnel
of the Fleet. Owing to the strict photographic censorship during the
war, it was not practicable to take many subjects which would otherwise
have found a place in this record, but those which are shown in the
following pages will give the reader some little idea of how the Navy
"carried on" during the eventful years 1914-1919.

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL BEATTY ON THE
QUARTERDECK OF H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH."]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "QUEEN ELIZABETH."]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "REVENGE" AND SHIPS OF THE FIRST BATTLE SQUADRON
AT SCAPA.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "RAMILLIES."]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "RESOLUTION."]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "ROYAL OAK."]

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. FOURTH BATTLE SQUADRON EXERCISING IN THE
FLOW.]

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. BATTLESHIPS "ORION," "MONARCH," AND
"CONQUEROR" IN THE FLOW.]

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. BATTLESHIPS "COLOSSUS," "ST. VINCENT,"
AND "BELLEROPHON" EXERCISING IN THE FLOW.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "RENOWN." (In which the Prince of Wales made his
recent visit to the Colonies.)]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "TIGER": A FAMOUS SHIP OF THE BATTLE CRUISER
SQUADRON.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "WHITSHED." (One of our Latest Type Destroyers.)]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "BARHAM."]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "EMPEROR OF INDIA."]

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. LIGHT CRUISER "CALLIOPE" AT SCAPA.]

[Illustration: "MAKE AND MEND" ON LIGHT CRUISER "YARMOUTH." (Note the
bins for "Bones" and "Pig Food.")]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. THE DECK OF AN AEROPLANE CARRIER,
H.M.S. "FURIOUS."]

[Illustration: Humphrey Joel. SUBMARINE "G 13" ALONGSIDE H.M.S.
"QUEEN ELIZABETH."]

[Illustration: SUBMARINE "K 16" UNDER WAY IN THE FLOW.]

[Illustration: OFFICERS OF SUBMARINE "K 7" IN THE CONNING TOWER.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. MARINES DRILLING ON THE QUARTERDECK
OF A BATTLESHIP.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. GENERAL VIEW OF CAPTAIN'S SUNDAY
MORNING INSPECTION.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. "TIDYING UP" FOR INSPECTION.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. OFFICERS AND MEN EXERCISING ON THE
QUARTERDECK.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. "HOLYSTONING."]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. WASHING DOWN DECKS.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. STOKERS AT WORK. (Over 4,000,000
tons of coal were supplied to the Fleet at Scapa from the outbreak of
war to the date of Armistice.)]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. CHURCH SERVICE ON H.M.S. "QUEEN
ELIZABETH."]

[Illustration: HOSPITAL SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW.]

[Illustration: H.M. HOSPITAL SHIP "MAGIC II.," AFTERWARDS RENAMED
"CLASSIC."]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. TRANSFERRING A "COT CASE" FROM A
BATTLESHIP TO THE HOSPITAL SHIP DRIFTER.

   (The more serious cases from the Fleet were sent to the Hospital
   Ships--of which there were generally three or four at Scapa one of
   which, H.M.H.S. "Agadir," was set aside for infectious cases only.
   In addition to the drifter "Coryphæna," shown in the photograph,
   two other drifters were detached for Hospital Ship duties, named,
   rather suggestively, the "Golden Harp" and "Elysian Dawn!")]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. DENTIST AT WORK ON A BATTLESHIP
(H.M.S. "COLLINGWOOD").]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE" WITH FLEET MAIL STEAMER "ST. NINIAN"
AND MAIL DRIFTERS FROM THE FLEET ALONGSIDE.]

[Illustration: MAIL BOAT "ST. OLA" COMING ALONGSIDE H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS."

  (The "St. Ola" took the place of the "St. Ninian" during the last
  few months of the war, and mails were then distributed by H.M.S.
  "Victorious.")

  For the first three months of the war all mails for the Fleet were
  landed and distributed at Scapa Pier. In November 1914, a Branch
  Post Office was opened on H.M.S. "Imperieuse," where the mails and
  newspapers were sorted and despatched to the Fleet. Some idea of the
  volume of business transacted to the date of the Armistice can be
  gathered from the following figures: 42 million letters and parcels
  sorted and despatched; 85 million letters and parcels delivered; value
  of postal stamps sold, £275.500.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. SORTING MAILS FOR THE FLEET ON
H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE."]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. DISTRIBUTING NEWSPAPERS FOR THE
FLEET (H.M.S. "IMPERIEUSE.")]

[Illustration: DOCKYARD WORKMEN LEAVING H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS" FOR WORK IN
THE FLEET.]

[Illustration: REPAIRING A STEAM PINNACE ON THE SLIPWAY AT LYNESS.]

[Illustration: SCHOOL CHILDREN'S ENTERTAINMENT ON H.M.S. "VICTORIOUS."

(The Navy is renowned for its hospitality, and the above shows a group
of school children and their teachers who were entertained to a cinema
show and tea on board. Many of the children had never seen the "movies"
before.)]

[Illustration: THREE OF THE YOUNG ORCADIAN GUESTS.]

[Illustration: Imperial War Museum. "NO COUPONS REQUIRED."

(The work of victualling the Navy at Scapa was no small task, as the
following figures of the monthly Fleet requirements indicate: Meat,
320 tons; potatoes, 800 tons; flour, 6,000 140-lb. bags; sugar, 1,500
120-lb. bags; bread, 80,000 lbs.)]

[Illustration: CREW OF DRIFTER "SHALOT." (Attached to the Victualling
Store Officer R.F.A. "Ruthenia.")]

[Illustration: LIFTING CHAIN CABLES.]

[Illustration: MOORING VESSEL "RECOVERY" AT SCAPA FLOW.

   (The mooring work of the Base was performed under the control
   of the Admiralty Port Officer, H.M.S. "Imperieuse." Amongst the
   mooring vessels which did useful work in laying and lifting
   moorings for the Fleet, in addition to the "Recovery" pictured
   above, should be mentioned the mooring craft "Strathmaree," "Ben
   Doran," "Ben Tarbet," and "Bullfrog.")]

[Illustration: U.S.S. "PATUXENT" AND "272" ALONGSIDE H.M.S.
"VICTORIOUS" FOR REPAIRS.]

[Illustration: AMERICAN MINESWEEPER IN THE FLOATING DOCK FOR REPAIRS.]

[Illustration: A DAMAGED BRITISH DESTROYER BEING REPAIRED IN THE DOCK.]

[Illustration: S.S. "BORODINO" JUNIOR ARMY AND NAVY STORES' STORE-SHIP
WITH THE GRAND FLEET.]

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF SHOP ON S.S. "BORODINO."

   (The Junior Army and Navy Stores was one of the most popular
   "institutions" at Scapa, and from 1914 to 1919 it was the great
   shopping centre of the Fleet. Almost every variety of article was
   stocked, from "an elephant to a shirt button," and in addition a
   hairdressing saloon and a laundry were installed.)]

[Illustration: A CORNER OF AN OFFICER'S CABIN. (An officer's cabin is
his exclusive "sanctum," and in this case the occupant appears to have
been determined to keep in mind "the girls he left behind him!")]


THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE AT SCAPA FLOW

[Illustration: FISHING FOR SEA-TROUT.]

[Illustration: A SHIP'S PICNIC.]

[Illustration: A BATHING PARTY.]

[Illustration: THE NAVAL CEMETERY AT LYNESS.

   (The Naval Cemetery at Lyness is situate on some rising ground
   overlooking the waters of the Flow. Here lie buried those who died
   whilst serving at Scapa, those who fell in the Battle of Jutland,
   and those who perished in the "Hampshire," "Vanguard" and other
   vessels. Their memory is perpetuated by the memorials which have
   been erected by their shipmates, some of which are here shown.)]

[Illustration: THE "HAMPSHIRE" MEMORIAL.]

[Illustration: AN INTERESTING STONE TO THE MEMORY OF A CHINAMAN WHO
DIED AT SCAPA.]

[Illustration: THE "MALAYA" MEMORIAL.]

[Illustration: THE "VANGUARD" MEMORIAL.]

[Illustration: MAKING FOR HOME. (H.M.S. "Victorious" in the Irish Sea
on the way to Devonport, March, 1920.)]



PART IV

THE GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW


[Illustration: THE SCUTTLING OF THE GERMAN SHIPS.]



THE GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW


Although the association of the Grand Fleet with Scapa Flow would of
itself have given that hitherto almost unknown spot a peculiar and
honourable significance in our naval history, it was undoubtedly the
choice of Scapa as the place of internment of the German ships and
their subsequent dramatic sinking, which made Scapa a familiar name,
not only in this country but all over the world. The photographs which
follow show the various phases of the German "occupation" of Scapa
from the time that the vessels arrived for internment to the final
scenes in March, 1920, when those vessels which had been salved after
the scuttling in June, 1919, were finally towed south for distribution
amongst the Allied Powers.

The first phase took place on 23rd November, 1918, and the succeeding
days, when the surrendered ships were escorted from Rosyth to Scapa and
anchored in the Flow, prior to taking up their permanent billets in
Gutter Sound (previously the collier anchorage of the Fleet; see map on
p. 110).

The ships arrived in the following order:

  -------------+----------------------------+---------------------------
    _Date._    |     _German Vessels._      |     _British Escort._
  -------------+----------------------------+---------------------------
  Saturday,    | 20 Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.| Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.
     23/11/18  |                            |
               |                            |
  Sunday,      | 20 Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.| Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.
     24/11/18  |                            |
               |                            |
  Monday,      |  5 Battle Cruisers, 10     | "Lion" and First Battle
     25/11/18  |    Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.|   Cruiser Squadron and 10
               |                            |   Torpedo-Boat Destroyers.
               |                            |
  Tuesday,     |  5 Battleships and 4 Light | 5 Ships First Battle
     26/11/18  |    Cruisers.               |   Squadron and Second
               |                            |   Light Cruiser Squadron.
               |                            |
  Wednesday,   |  4 Battleships, 3 Light    | 4 Ships First Battle
     27/11/18  |    Cruisers.               |   Squadron and Third Light
               |                            |   Cruiser Squadron.
  -------------+----------------------------+---------------------------

The German ships carried full navigating parties, and came north under
their own steam. The dense clouds of smoke which will be observed in
the photographs on pp. 102 and 103 testify to the poor quality of the
coal with which they were supplied. The crews were later reduced to
care and maintenance parties only.

[Illustration: J. F. V. Guise.

H.M.S. "LION" ENTERING HOXA BOOM, SCAPA FLOW, AT HEAD OF GERMAN BATTLE
CRUISERS, 25TH NOVEMBER, 1918.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. "REPULSE," "RENOWN," "PRINCESS ROYAL," AND
"TIGER" ESCORTING GERMAN BATTLE CRUISERS THROUGH HOXA BOOM, 25TH
NOVEMBER, 1918.]

The complete list of capital ships (apart from destroyers) interned at
Scapa is shown below. The battleships "König" and "Baden," and cruiser
"Dresden," were later arrivals.


BATTLESHIPS

  BAYERN
  MARKGRAF
  KÖNIG
  KAISERIN
  KAISER
  GROSSER KURFÜRST
  KRONPRINZ WILHELM
  FRIEDRICH DER GROSSE
  KÖNIG ALBERT
  PRINZREGENT LUITPOLD
  BADEN


BATTLE CRUISERS

  HINDENBURG
  DERFFLINGER
  SEYDLITZ
  VON DER TANN
  MOLTKE


LIGHT CRUISERS

  BRUMMER
  BREMSE
  DRESDEN
  KÖLN
  EMDEN
  KARLSRUHE
  NURNBERG
  FRANKFURT

During the period of their internment, communication between the German
ships and our own Fleet was restricted to a minimum, and no one from
our own ships was allowed on board the interned vessels unless on
duty of an urgent nature. The Germans were required to victual and
store their own ships from Germany, coal and water only being supplied
locally. As German warships were not constructed for living aboard for
long periods (the sailors being mostly accommodated in barracks when in
harbour), the crews at Scapa must have had a rather unenviable time of
it, though there was a certain element of poetic justice in interning
them in the region where for so long our own Fleet had kept its lonely
vigil. As one of their officers remarked in writing home and describing
the bleakness and desolation of Scapa: "If the English have stood this
for four years, they deserve to have won the war."

The German ships were patrolled by a number of drifters--a somewhat
ignominious guard for the much-vaunted German Fleet.

The Germans' love of music was in evidence even at Scapa, and it was
somewhat strange and at times rather pathetic to hear the unfamiliar
strains of "Die Wacht am Rhein" and "Die Lorelei" rising from the
German ships, some of which still retained their bands.

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ" ENTERING HOXA BOOM,
25TH NOVEMBER, 1918.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "VON DER TANN" ENTERING HOXA BOOM,
25TH NOVEMBER, 1918.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "MOLTKE" ENTERING HOXA BOOM, 25TH
NOVEMBER, 1918.]

[Illustration: THE INTERNED GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA.]

The anniversary of Jutland (31st May) was not forgotten, and most of
the ships displayed bunting, on the pretext of drying their flags,
as they were not allowed to fly their ensigns after Beatty's signal on
the evening of the surrender at Rosyth. One of the ships prominently
displayed a notice in English: "To-day we celebrate the German victory
of the Battle of Jutland."

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ." (One of the ships which
bombarded Scarborough.)]

It was somewhat difficult, owing to the isolation of the German ships,
to form an idea of the discipline which prevailed on board. It was
evident that on most of the ships there were representatives of the
Soldiers' and Sailors' Councils, as the members could be readily
distinguished by their white armlets. Indeed, there is probably some
truth in the report that when the German ships surrendered, the crews
confidently expected that our ships, the crews of which they believed
to be on the verge of mutiny and Bolshevism, would make common cause
with them, and they must have been considerably surprised when Admiral
Beatty refused to negotiate with the Council representatives. There
were undoubtedly disturbances on some of the German ships whilst they
were at Scapa, and it appears to have been due to a rather serious case
of insubordination that Admiral Von Reuter, who was in command of the
German ships, changed his flagship from the "Friedrich der Grosse" to
the "Emden."

On the other hand, the simultaneous sinking of the German ships on
21st June, 1919, proved conclusively that a certain discipline still
prevailed, for the scuttling was undoubtedly organised and carried out
with (from the German point of view) very commendable precision and
thoroughness.

The scuttling of the German ships on 21st June, 1919, has already been
briefly referred to in the earlier part of the book, but as the writer
was privileged to be an eyewitness of the events of that afternoon, the
reader will perhaps pardon the intrusion of the personal element in a
more detailed description of the sinkings.

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "MOLTKE" AT SCAPA FLOW.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "DERFFLINGER" AT SCAPA FLOW.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "HINDENBURG" AT SCAPA FLOW.]

It was at five minutes past noon that the signalmen reported that the
German ships had hoisted ensigns and burgees. The excitement which
this announcement produced was intensified a short time later when it
became apparent that the ships were sinking, and that the crews were
taking to the boats. Lunch was completely forgotten, and arrangements
were hurriedly made to get all available small craft to the ships to
ascertain if anything could be done to save any of them. I obtained
permission from the Admiral to accompany him on an inspection of some
of the nearer destroyers, from which it was ascertained that there was
no possibility of saving any of the ships other than by beaching them,
as the sea-cocks had not been only opened but the valves had been
destroyed. Our picket-boat happened to come alongside at this stage,
so I jumped aboard and proceeded north up Gutter Sound, where the
larger vessels were anchored. Our instructions were to board any German
vessels which were still afloat, haul down their ensigns, and to take
such steps as were necessary to save life and to direct any boats or
Carley floats of Germans to the Flagship. Our picket-boat followed the
course shown in the sketch map on p. 110, and we reached the "Seydlitz"
at about one o'clock, boarded her and hauled down her colours, and
at the same time opened the windlass with a view to parting it and
allowing the vessel to drift ashore, but unfortunately it brought up at
the slip and held. The "Seydlitz" was then beginning to list heavily,
so we left her and next boarded the "Hindenburg," which was also
beginning to list heavily to port.

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLESHIP "FRIEDRICH DER GROSSE." (Admiral von
Reuter's Flagship.)]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLESHIP "KAISERIN."]

[Illustration: GERMAN LIGHT CRUISER "KÖLN."]

[Illustration: GERMAN DESTROYERS AT LYNESS, WITH BATTLESHIPS IN THE
DISTANCE.]

We then proceeded past several of the battleships, which were seen
to be rapidly settling down. Whilst abreast of "König Albert," our
picket-boat was hailed from the deck of a trawler by the German
Admiral, Von Reuter, who asked us to save the crew of the "Bayern," who
were in the water. Two drifters which were near by were accordingly
ordered close to the "Bayern" for this purpose, and we proceeded in the
same direction, when the photographs on pp. 112 and 113 were taken.
Immediately afterwards the ship turned over to port, bottom up, and
sank, whilst the crews of the boats cheered loudly and waved their caps.

We next headed for the "Derfflinger," on the way sending back several
boats full of Germans to the "Victorious." The "Derfflinger" foundered
a few minutes after taking the photograph on p. 24. On the way back we
passed the "Hindenburg," which had then settled on to an even keel with
her masts and funnels showing, whilst the "Seydlitz" was then resting
in shallow water on her starboard side, with her decks nearly vertical,
and her port propeller just showing above the water.

Meantime a considerable number of the destroyers had been beached by
tugs and other small craft, in addition to three cruisers, whilst the
"Baden," the only battleship saved, was still afloat, though very low
in the water.

On arrival on the "Victorious" we found the ship crowded with
Germans, who, after examination, were sent to the Flagship, H.M.S.
"Revenge"--which had by this time returned to the Flow from the
Pentland, where the 1st Battle Squadron had been exercising--from which
ship they were sent south.

[Illustration: PLAN OF THE ANCHORAGE OF GERMAN SHIPS AT SCAPA FLOW.]

A large amount of salvage work ensued on the vessels which had been
beached, most of them being pumped out and docked in the Floating Dock,
although it was not found possible to get some of the destroyers off,
and these still remain as a memento of that eventful day.

All the salved ex-German ships have now been towed south, and have been
apportioned amongst the Allied Powers. It is interesting to note that
the "Baden" and "Nurnberg," of which several photographs are shown in
the following pages, have been allotted to Great Britain, whilst the
"Emden" goes to France, and the "Frankfurt" to U.S.A. It appears that
most of the salved vessels are to be broken up, thus finally disposing
of the remnants of the once great German Fleet.

[Illustration: A PARTY OF FRENCH OFFICERS VISITING THE GERMAN SHIPS.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLESHIP "BAYERN" SINKING BY THE STERN, 2 P.M.,
21ST JUNE, 1919.]

[Illustration: THE FINAL PLUNGE OF THE "BAYERN."]

[Illustration: GERMAN DESTROYERS SINKING OR BEACHED OFF THE ISLAND OF
FARA.]

[Illustration: GERMAN SAILORS TAKING TO THE BOATS.]

[Illustration: BRITISH BOARDING PARTY ALONGSIDE SINKING GERMAN
DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW SHOWING GERMAN DESTROYERS SINKING ON THE
RIGHT AND BATTLESHIPS IN THE DISTANCE. AT 3.30 P.M., 21ST JUNE, 1919.]

[Illustration: GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER "HINDENBURG" AS SHE NOW RESTS AT
SCAPA.]

[Illustration: WHALER "RAMNA" STRANDED ON GERMAN BATTLE CRUISER
"MOLTKE" 23RD JUNE, 1919, TAKEN JUST BEFORE "RAMNA" REFLOATED.]

[Illustration: GERMAN CRUISER "NURNBERG" IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING
REFLOATED AT 2 P.M. ON 3RD JULY, 1919.]

[Illustration: SALVAGE OPERATIONS ON BATTLESHIP "BADEN" AND CRUISER
"FRANKFURT" BEACHED AT SMOOGROO.]

[Illustration: SALVAGE WORK ON THE "BADEN."]

[Illustration: PUMPING OUT THE "FRANKFURT."]

[Illustration: CRUISER "BREMSE," WHICH CAPSIZED WHILST BEING BEACHED.]

[Illustration: BATTLE CRUISER "SEYDLITZ," LYING ON HER STARBOARD SIDE
IN SHALLOW WATER.]

[Illustration: HOISTING THE UNION JACK ON A SINKING GERMAN DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: ON THE "SEYDLITZ."]

[Illustration: "BADEN" BEING TOWED SOUTH TO INVERGORDON.]

[Illustration: SALVING GERMAN DESTROYER "G 102."]

[Illustration: SALVAGE PARTY WORKING ON A GERMAN DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: VIEW SHOWING SALVED EX-GERMAN CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS AT
LONG HOPE, OCTOBER, 1919.]

[Illustration: THE SALVED GERMAN CRUISERS "NURNBERG" AND "EMDEN" IN LONG
HOPE BAY.]

[Illustration: VIEW LOOKING AFT FROM AFTER-CONTROL TOP OF "FRANKFURT."]

[Illustration: VIEW LOOKING FORWARD FROM THE SAME POSITION.]

[Illustration: EXPANSION RING MARKING ON 6-INCH GUN "NURNBERG."]

[Illustration: A HUMOROUS EFFORT ON THE PART OF ONE OF OUR SAILORS.]

[Illustration: THE PROPELLER BLADE OF THE "SEYDLITZ."]

[Illustration: RANGE-FINDER AND SEARCHLIGHT PLATFORM, "NURNBERG."]

[Illustration: 88-MM. GUNS, "NURNBERG."]

[Illustration: 6-INCH GUN ON "NURNBERG" AFTER-TURRET.]

[Illustration: 5·9-INCH AFTER-BREECH, "NURNBERG."]

[Illustration: SEARCHLIGHT CONTROL PLATFORM, "FRANKFURT."]

[Illustration: 10·5-CM. GUN ON A GERMAN DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: TORPEDO TUBES ON A DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: ENGINE-ROOM CONTROL BOARD, "EMDEN."]

[Illustration: LOWER CONNING TOWER, "EMDEN."]

[Illustration: GERMAN DESTROYER BEING TOWED SOUTH TO ROSYTH, MARCH,
1920.]



EPILOGUE.

MARCH, 1921.

[Illustration: R. J. Towers. BLOWING UP THE MINEFIELDS. Group of mines
exploded in February, 1919, by the Quoyness Mining Station, Flotta
Island.]

[Illustration: R. J. Towers. CLOSER VIEW OF A MINE EXPLOSION.
Photograph taken a mile away with a telecentric lens.]



EPILOGUE


A few notes remain to be added to the preceding pages to complete
the story of Scapa to the present time. The war necessarily left its
aftermath at Scapa, as elsewhere, and although much of the "clearing
up" has been accomplished, there will remain for many years visible
traces of the "naval occupation" of the Orkneys.

The signing of the Armistice in November, 1918, entailed only a
cessation of active hostilities, and it was not until the summer of
1919 that the reversion of the Base from a war to a peace footing
really began. One of the earliest and most important operations to be
undertaken after the Armistice was the clearance of the North Sea mine
barrage between the Orkneys and Norway, which has already been briefly
referred to. This entailed a sweep over an area of 6,000 square miles,
and the destruction of over 70,000 mines. The American Minesweeping
Detachment, to which the major portion of this task was allotted,
arrived in Kirkwall in April, 1919, and by the end of September of that
year their task had been successfully accomplished, and the northern
gateway was open once more to the mercantile traffic of the world.

The mines which had been laid in the smaller areas around the
entrances to the Flow were exploded simultaneously in sections--a
very much simpler task, as these were connected electrically to shore
stations. The photographs on p. 140 give some idea of the force of the
explosions, which were audible for miles around. It is of interest to
note that the buoy shown on the left of the photograph on the lower
part of p. 140 marks the resting-place of the German submarine which
was sunk in this minefield a few days before the Armistice.

The removal of the booms and the release of the boom defence drifters
and trawlers was completed before the end of 1919. The fishermen
who formed the crews of these vessels, incidentally, deserve to be
recognised for their work during the war, the monotony and isolation of
which made their task one of the least enviable at the Base.

[Illustration: SALVAGE OPERATION ON S.S. "AORANGI" IN HOLM SOUND. 1.
T. Kent.]

[Illustration: SALVAGE OPERATION ON S.S. "AORANGI" IN HOLM SOUND. 2.
T. Kent.]

The raising of the barrier at Clestron (see p. 39) proved a more
formidable operation. The ice-breaker "Sviagator," early in 1920, made
the unique experiment of crushing some of the hurdles to a sufficient
depth to allow vessels of medium draught to pass over with safety, but
it was not until the summer of 1920 that the removal of the hurdles was
undertaken and completed by a salvage company, and the rails shipped
south.

The raising of the "block" ships, which had been sunk in some of the
narrow channels leading into the Flow, appears to have presented
almost insuperable difficulties, mainly owing to tidal currents, and
there does not seem to be much likelihood that the vessels in Burra
and Water Sounds will ever be raised. In Holm Sound, however, one of
the sunken ships, S.S. "Aorangi," was successfully salved by the East
Coast Wrecking Company on 8th September, 1920, and beached near the
churchyard at Holm.

Of the temporary shore establishments at Scapa very little now remains,
and the buildings which are still standing have nearly all been
converted to meet peace-time requirements. The "miniature base" at
Lyness is in the hands of caretakers, and the completion of the wharf
(on which £300,000 has been spent) has been stopped, whilst the control
of the Naval Area, which since February, 1920, had been in the hands of
Captain Alan G. Bruce, R.N., C.B., D.S.O., was on 1st December, 1920,
removed to Invergordon.

The air stations at Houton, Smoogro, Caldale, and Stenness have been
closed down or removed, whilst the seaplane station at Scapa has been
acquired by the Orkney County Council as a tuberculosis hospital.
Nearly all the shore batteries have been dismantled, the guns removed,
the searchlights withdrawn, and the huts sold or demolished. Only at
Hoy (Stromness) are the batteries intact, but these are in charge of a
civilian caretaker. The Royal Marine Station at Carness (near Kirkwall)
remains, but as a smallpox hospital under the Orkney County Council.

Various schemes have been under consideration for the removal of the
sunken German ships, but at present they still remain as they sank on
the memorable 21st June, 1919--a constant source of danger to ships
passing through the narrow channels where they lie. It remains to
be seen whether steps will eventually be taken to remove the more
dangerous of these vessels, or whether they will remain as a permanent
memorial of one of the most dramatic episodes of naval history.

[Illustration: SUNSET OVER THE HILLS OF HOY. (Mast of sunken German
destroyer showing in foreground.)]


PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY BILLING AND SONS, LTD., GUILDFORD AND ESHER



Transcriber's Notes.

In the text version, italics are denoted by underscores.

Some place names have been found with alternative spellings. These
alternatives may be legitimate and have been left as found.

    Smoogroo, Smoogro
    Burra, Burray
    and
    Stennis, Stenness.

The cruiser Nurnberg should be Nürnberg. This spelling has been
left as found.





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