Robert William Milburn - Signalman - Gateshead

  • Description

    A GALLANT OFFICER How a Gateshead Man Was Saved from the Formidable TRYING TIME IN THE WATER Signalman Robert William Milburn, one of the surviors of the battleship Formidable, which was sunk in the Channel on New Year's Day, arrived at his house, 72, West Street, Gateshead, yesterday. Beyond an injury to his foot, Siganlman Milburn is little the worse for his trying experiences, and when seen by a "Chronicle" representative related the circumstances of his miraculous escape. He said at the time the Formidable was struck the weather was very rough, and there were mountainous waves. Everybody remained perfectly calm and cool, and after the boats had been got out, they were all employed getting up gear that would float. Then there was nothing to do but stand by. "It was just as if nothing has happened," said Signalman Milburn "except the ship had taken a terrible list. Everyone was smoking and the men were singing 'Tipperary' and 'Are We Downhearted?' One bloke was playing the piano while a Marine sang, and the Commander and Chief Signalman were on the bridge to the last, quietly giving their orders. Did Not Think She Would Sink So Rapidly. "We did not think she would sink so rapidly, but gradually she began to capsize, and we climbed over the ship's side. I managed to get on the keel, but a lot who were following slipped back into the water." Signalman Milburn eventually swam away from the sinking battleship, and after swimming a while saw a young lieutenant on a plank. The officer had a swimming belt round him , and left the plank on seeing Milburn in the water. "He gave up the plank to me," said Milburn, "but I tried to get him to go back. I pulled him towards the plank twice, but each time he swam away, and after the last time was not heard of again." After being on the plank for about half an hour, during which Milburn suffered a good deal from the cold, he was picked up by a light cruiser and taken to port. He is now home on leave. This photograph was published in the Illustrated Chronicle on the 7th of January 1915. During the Great War the Illustrated Chronicle published photographs of soldiers and sailors from Newcastle and the North East of England, which had been in the news. The photographs were sent in by relatives and give us a glimpse into the past. The physical collection held by Newcastle Libraries comprises bound volumes of the newspaper from 1910 to 1925. We are keen to find out more about the people in the photographs. If you recognise anyone in the images please comment below. Copies of this photograph may be ordered from us, for more information see:" > Please make a note of the image reference number above to help speed up your order.
  • Owner

  • Source

    IllustratedChronicles (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? Public Domain Mark
  • Further information

    Resource type: Image
    Last modified: 7 years, 5 months ago
    Viewed: 470 times
    Picture Taken: Unknown
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