The battle of Jutland, 1916 - a personal account. from the June 16th edition of the Scarborough Mercury, 1916
MORE SCARBOROUGH SAILORS IN JUTLAND BATTLE - HEROIC DEEDS ON THE MALAYA
Another Scarborough sailor at present on leave is Harry Toft, a son of Mr and Mrs Toft, 3 Vernon Place. The young sailor has seen a good deal of service, having been in the Navy for some years.
In the Jutland battle he was on the battleship Malaya, which had an exciting time in the fight, and the crew of which claim to have sunk the German vessel, Hindenburg. As illustrating the rough time the Malaya had, and the gallant fight the ship put up, a summary of an interview with members of the crew may be given. The Malaya, and one of her sister ships kept up a running fight for an hour and a half, the captain directing the whole of the time. "He was splendid."
SOME INTERESTING DETAILS
A 14 inch shell struck one of the Malaya's guns and killed every man in the battery. Another 14 inch shell struck the Malaya's turret and the ammunition hoisting tackle was disabled, but the crew carried on by hand. Another shell went into the canteen and killed three men and a lad, all that were there. The Malaya,a fast ship, made splendid use of her power, for it enabled her to put paid to the account of the Hindenburg. "There is not the slightest doubt about it," said one of the crew. "We were nearer her than any of the German ships, and could distinguish all her lines. She was flying the admiral's flag. We put shell after shell into her and saw her turn over and sink. You can tell what damage one shell can do, 40 men being killed or wounded by one that burst on the Malaya. An officer was talking to a lad in another part of the ship, and a piece of the shell killed him without hurting the boy.
Of individual deeds of gallantry two on board the Malaya will want some beating, The ship had been set on fire, and we thought that everything had been put out all right, but it was found that it was well alight where the cordite was stored, and the sailor got on to the heap of cordite and rolled over and over until the flames were distinguished. He saved the cordite and the ship. The other instance was that of a well known boxer, who was so badly wounded that he was one of the first to have attention, but he absolutely refused to be tended. "Leave me," he said, "I can stick it, I am used to the pain, so you can attend to the others first." When his turn came morphia had to be given to him as his agony was that great. He was a hero."
Thus, in brief, is an outline of the doings of this ship. No one will read it without a thrill of pride for our brave sailors, including the Scarborough man , tinged with regret that so many gallant lives have been lost.
Young Toft rejoins his ship in a few days