Friday, 17 April 2015

Reuben Mitchell

When we last posted an entry about Reuben he was aboard the AE2 on his way to Alexandria as part of the second convoy. With the Dardanelles landings due to commence in a little over a weeks time it might be worthwhile to post another entry for Reuben to see what he has been doing up to this point of the war.  Reuben is on temporary transfer aboard the repair ship Penguin when the AE2 became the first allied submarine  to breech the Dardanelles Strait in April 1915.  On 30 April  the submarine  was scuttled off the coast of Turkey and her entire crew taken prisoner of war. As a result of this Reuben was transferred to serve aboard British submarines. In a letter sent home to his parents he mentions his transfer.

                                 'I left the submarine ten days before she left Malta, and came up here in a merchant ship, only to hear of her fate when I arrived. It was the first trip I have missed in her since she was commissioned , so I suppose I may consider myself lucky. I would have told you all about it in my last letter , but it had not been announced officially.' (extract taken from Dinkum Oil : letters published in the Ballarat Courier during the Great War. by A. M.Taylor, available in Australiana Research Room, Ballarat Library.)

 The Ballarat Courier also published another letter Reuben sent home describing life on board the submarine AE2   This letter, obviously written prior to the letter written above,  could quite possibly be the letter he mentions in the above extract. The letter is reproduced below. 
Ballarat Courier 14 April 1915  

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