[Elizabeth Buchanan Young describes her experience of surviving the sinking of the Marquette]
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Elizabeth Buchanan Young, a nurse on board the troop ship, the Marquette, is interviewed by an unidentified woman about the sinking of the ship on October 23, 1915.
Miss Young: "Well, the first I remember of it, I was standing with two other sisters looking over the side, and one of them said "Oh, look at the funny little thing coming through the water!" Just then the bells went and an officer alongside said it's the peal for 'torpedo' and then there was a sudden bang in the ship. And I just can't remember all that happened there straight away. The captain on the ship was very definite about the nurses all wearing their life belts. Had he not been so there would have been none of us alive today.
Interviewer: You didn't have a chance to get down to your cabin or anything?
Miss Young: None. None whatever, we were just practically thrown into the water as she sank.
Interviewer: And how were you actually saved then Miss Young?
Miss Young: Well, just the matter of having our lifebelts on kept us alive. I can't remember the hours that we were in the water, but it was given the official time that she was struck at 11 o'clock and it was well on in the afternoon before we were picked up by destroyers that were on their way back in to harbour at Alexandria. She was a troop ship, filled with ammunition and we had donkeys and horses and gun carriages onboard. I feel that the mistake was that we as a hospital ship, a hospital unit, should never have been on that ship."
Recorded in 1966.
Transcript by Sound Archives/Ngā Taonga Kōrero
Reference number 250776
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Interviews (Sound recordings)
Young, Elizabeth Buchanan, Interviewee
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster