The Loss of HMS Thunder Child
10-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
Today we experience ‘The Miracle of Deliverance’ – the evacuation of 338,000 of London’s inhabitants to France by means of civilian small vessels via Harwich, Foulness, Shoebury, et al while protected by the British Home Fleet.
And through the eyes of Lieutenant Carver, the senior officer of the Royal Marines detachment assigned to HMS Thunder Child, we experience the destruction of 3 tripods before Thunder Child’s self immolation.
In London Toni’s diary documents her increasing anger at the absence of any government below ‘the-line’, and introduces us to Sir John Fowler, who was a noted civil engineer. He was the engineer for the London Metropolitan Railway, and a resident of Queen Anne’s Mansions.
While Morant’s own efforts to organise begin to bear fruit, Lt Dullanty (4th Coy. CdSmGd) who has been ordered to provide an outer perimeter to the Queen’s transfer observes the HMS Thunder Child’s battle with 4 tripods, and recovers the corpse of a Martian.
10-Jun 06:46 @ToniWantsToVote
Woke early. #London #silence. #eerie. #bodiesinthestreets
10-Jun 07:00 #RefugeesInOne’sOwnCountry
Refugees to continue to flee in the face of Martian advances. But with the Martian’s now controlling London, boats are no longer able come up the Thames to ferry people to the relative safety of Europe.
Instead they gather on the Essex coast, Harwich, Walton and Clacton, and as far as Foulness and Shoebury, to take the people off, in what later Sir Winston Churchill describes in his work A Short History of the World as ‘The Miracle of Deliverance’.
10-Jun 07:05 #CommitteesOf PublicSupply
With the breakdown of government, and the links of trade, people start to organise themselves. In Chelmsford – a body of inhabitants, calling itself the Committee of Public Supply, seizes the horses of refugees for food.
10-Jun 08:00 @BreakerMorant #TheSecretRailway
Brown leaves HQ to set up the refugee network routes and safe houses. He takes several boxes of Union Jack flags.
10-Jun 09:00 @BreakerMorant #AnotherBreakfastHandover
Tunnel guides report Union Jack flags work like magic – refugees have even broken into song.
Discuss using locomotive trains converted to ovens for making bread and cooking soup at the breakfast meeting.
10-Jun 10:00 #ResistanceIsFutile
Resistance by army units cut off behind Martian lines continues sporadically and often ineffectively – the blowing up of the Waltham Abbey Powder Mills in a vain attempt to destroy one of the tripods being an example of this. Other units (such as 4th Coy Coldstream Guard) will be more prepared and successful.
10-Jun 11:00 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary
The roads were chaos – everyone seems to be running, without any idea where they’re running to. Arrived at Bradwell to find the waters crowded with small craft taking on board refugees while the Fleet held station off shore.
There was a detachment of marines waiting on the wharf for my Godmother and I ordered an outer perimeter of 10 set up about a mile out of town. The remainder of us occupied houses along High Street. Everyone set-to to break through the interior walls of the Terrace House so we can move undetected between them.
10-Jun 12:00 #RefugeesInOne’sOwnCountry
By noon the Essex coast is crowded with ships of all sizes in a huge sickle-shaped curve that vanishes into the mist towards the Naze. Inshore is a multitude of fishing-smacks — English, Scotch, French, Dutch, and Swedish; steam-launches from the Thames, yachts, electric boats.
While beyond the smacks and launches are the larger ships, filthy colliers, trim merchantmen, cattle-ships, passenger-boats, petroleum-tanks, ocean tramps, an old white transport even, neat white and gray liners from Southampton and Hamburg.
And along the entire coast, with its mill-smooth surface, a dense swarm of boats chaffering with the people on the beach, a swarm which also extended up the Blackwater almost to Maldon, with people being quoted 36 pounds to be transported to Ostend.
10-Jun 12:05 #ChannelFleet
In the distance, a couple of miles out, like some swan shadowing its cygnets, someone on the shore might just make out an ironclad, very low in the water, the Majestic class battleship HMS Thunder Child.
Beyond the Thunder Child a serpent of black smoke marks the ironclads of the Channel Fleet. A fleet that had hovered in an extended line, steam up and ready for action, across the Thames estuary during the course of the Martian conquest, vigilant and yet powerless to prevent it.
10-Jun 14:00 @BreakerMorant #WeWantAHeatRay
Have secured horses and a gun carriage, which we are keeping at the London Bridge station.
10-Jun 16:10 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 09 June 1897 16:10 GMT
Lt Commander Carver is still ashore with a detachment of ship’s Marines pier at Bradwell Waterside, awaiting arrival of Royal Party.
10-Jun 16:11 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:11 GMT
Much has been written of the events of this day, particularly by a certain fabulist-turned-historian, who has taken some liberties and omits certain important details. As a witness, I can only provide my first-hand version of events, which saw my world forever change.
10-Jun 16:12 #historian?
Concerning Lt Roger Carver’s description of Wells as a ‘fabulist-turned-historian’. Some of the contempt may be due to Wells’ Socialist ideals which Carver abhorred. In defence of Wells’ own account, Wells himself was not a witness to what occurred, and appears to have relied on his brother recollections @hgwellsbro.
10-Jun 16:13 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:13 GMT
As per Admiral Kerr’s orders, I had taken a small detachment of the ship’s marines ashore to meet the Royal Party at a private pier just outside Bradwell Waterside, where Turbina was tied up, awaiting its passengers. Thunder Child stood patiently offshore, smoke curling up from her stack.
10-Jun 16:14 #Turbinia
Turbinia was the world’s first steam turbine-powered steamship. Built as an experimental vessel in 1894, and easily the fastest ship in the world at that time, Turbinia was demonstrated dramatically at the Spithead Navy Review in early 1897 and set the standard for the next generation of steamships, the majority of which would be turbine powered.
The vessel is currently located at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England, while her original powerplant is located at the Science Museum in London.
10-Jun 16:15 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:15 GMT
The Martians had swept into London from the southwest, cutting it off from the rest of the country. They drove humanity before them, like lambs to the slaughter. Standing on the pier, we watched a steady stream of humanity clatter by, increasing in size throughout the day. Mr. Farmer would certainly appreciate this.
Some refugees were on foot; many passed us on horseback, bundled into wagons and carriages, and even on bicycles doubtlessly driven by the sounds of artillery in the distance. We drew sullen stares but our line of fixed bayonets and men in khaki had thus far dissuaded anything beyond.
10-Jun 16:35 #The Queen
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines Officer, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:35 GMT
Finally, we heard the clatter of multiple hooves, the whinny of horses, and the rattle of carriage wheels, and the angered calls, of “Make way! Make way!”
Within a few minutes a black carriage with drawn curtains arrived, escorted by a squadron of dusty Horse Guards with carbines hanging from their saddles.
A young Horse Guards lieutenant in his dirty red serge dismounted, hand on his calvary sabre. He marched up to me parade ground style and saluted crisply. “Sir, I transfer my charges into your custody.”
I returned his salute. “Accepted.”
The carriage door slowly opened.
We snapped to attention. A diminutive figure, shrouded in black stepped out, escorted by a pair of ladies in waiting, and a frowning man, presumably her bodyguard. She stopped in front of the lieutenant and took his hand. “Thank you, Lieutenant.”
Thus, in her Diamond Jubilee Year of 1897, Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Empress of India, and Head of the Commonwealth fled England.
10-Jun 16:37 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:37 GMT
Lt Carver signals by heliograph the Royal Party is safely away. Mr. Farmer reports wireless interference continues.
10-Jun 16:40 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:40 GMT
We watched Turbina pull away from the pier. As the yacht and its royal passenger moved speedily into the busy estuary under the protective gaze of the Thunder Child, I said to Sergeant Howard, “Get the men on the whaleboat and castoff.”
A sudden shout made me turn around. A Martian tripod towered menacingly above the forest behind us.
“Belay that!” I ordered, with an eye on the looming Martians.
I tossed the mooring rope to the cox’n. “Get that whaleboat away!” Then turning to Howard and the Horse Guards lieutenant. “Get your men to cover!”
10-Jun 16:41 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:41 GMT
Look out reports sighting Martian fighting-machine ashore, now joined by a second. Captain orders battle stations.
10-Jun 16:44 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:44 GMT
Along with the other men, Sergeant Howard, the Horse Guards lieutenant, and I crouched low behind a stone wall. The civilians around us rushed about pell-mell, ignoring our example. I looked over the wall: the three Martians had linked up on the beach.
I watched as the Martians waded into the Blackwater, calling out, Ulla! Ulla!”
The shipping around them tried to scatter. I saw one of the tripods raise a giant leg and step on a fishing smack full of screaming people, driving it underwater.
“Inhuman monsters!” seethed the Lieutenant. He tried to stand up, but Howard and I grabbed him and held him fast.
“Stay down,” I growled. “Are you trying to get us killed?”
“You saw them! If mere men can’t stop them, what hope is there?”
10-Jun 16:43 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:43 GMT
Look out reports whaleboat pulling away from pier without Mr. Carver and his shore detail. Third Martian machine sighted, moving towards its companions.
10-Jun 16:50 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:50 GMT
Martians moving towards a sidewheel passenger ferry. Captain orders all ahead full, setting course to intercept the enemy. Crew reports ready for action in all respects. Light mist hinders visibility.
10-Jun 16:53 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:53 GMT
In the mist, the three Martians stood in the middle of the estuary, seemingly transfixed by the sight of the hapless channel ferry, loaded down with terrified passengers. They towered above the little boat as its sidewheels churned and smoke poured from its stack.
10-Jun 16:54 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:54 GMT
Mr. Farmer observes the enemy hasn’t noticed our approach.
Captain replies they won’t be given the chance and orders full speed ahead.
10-Jun 16:55 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:55 GMT
“Ulla! Ulla!” The trumpeting Martian chorus overlapped the panicked cries from the passengers on the ferry as the enemy pondered their next victims. The pour souls: they were doomed, and they knew it.
“Look!” shouted Howard.
From out of the fog, came Thunder Child.
10-Jun 16:56 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:56 GMT
Captain orders ‘prepare to ram’.
10-Jun 16:57 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:57 GMT
Like a knife, Thunder Child’s bow slid into legs of the first tripod, causing it to tumble into the water. Smoke pouring from its stack, the battleship plowed forward into the legs of the second Martian, which scarcely had time to react.
10-Jun 16:58 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:58 GMT
Along with Howard and the young Lieutenant, I got to my feet, open-mouthed. Thunder Child was still afloat, low in water by the bow, with a crumpled Martian tripod laying across her forward decks. The remaining tripod stood a distance away in the fog, as if stunned.
10-Jun 16:59 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 16:59 GMT
Bridge wrecked by impact with Martian machines. Captain unconscious. Mr. Farmer in command. Foreword turret not responsive. Flooding in forward spaces. Engine room responding to bridge commands.
10-Jun 17:00 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 17:00 GMT
“Good old Thunder Child!” shouted Howard.
“Is anyone still alive on her?” asked the Lieutenant.
Smoke curled from the battleship’s crushed smokestack as it began to move forward. Plainly life remained on her. The last Martian began to move, bringing its Heat Ray to bear.
10-Jun 17:02 #ThunderChild
From the log of HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 17:02 GMT
Remaining Martian war machine off our bow. Mr. Farmer orders full speed ahead.
10-Jun 17:05 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 10 June 1897 17:05 GMT
I felt a sickening lurch in my gut as the Martian fired, causing the length of the ship to erupt into the flame. But it was too late. Carried by momentum, if nothing else and the spite of a dead hand on the helm, Thunder Child barrelled head-long into the tripod’s legs.
The Martian collapsed forward onto Thunder Child as the burning ship swept under its legs. At the same time, an explosion from below decks caused Thunder Child to explode like a bomb, leaving its debris to rain down us.
“The boilers, “said Howard. He quietly crossed himself. “Almost as if she were waiting.”
10-Jun 17:15 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary
The Queen’s escort arrived at 16:30 and leaving 2nd platoon in the town I took 1st platoon down to the quay to watch. The transfer took place without incident and I was intending to pull everyone back when we spotted three of the Martian tripods approaching. I can remember staring at them, gobsmacked, shocked by their size.
I ordered everyone to scatter, while Sergeant Hugh, Corporal Smith, and I took cover on the beach. From our position we watched HMS Thunder Child ram through the legs of the 1st tripod, plowing on into the legs of the 2nd Martian, bringing it down even as the tripod sprayed black dust.
We saw for the first time the Martians use their heat-ray, but it was too late and the Thunder Child exploded under the last tripod.
“Lieutenant,” Sergeant Hugh said, pointing out to sea.
Raising my head I saw something bobbing in the water, only a short distance away.
“Is that a Martian?” the Corporal asked.
“Looks like it might be,” the Sergeant said, cautiously.
At that a mad thought came to me. “Come on,” I said. “Let’s capture it.”
10-Jun 17:20 @AdmiralKerr
From the personal log of Admiral Sir Walter Kerr, C in C, Channel Squadron, aboard HMS Majestic, 10 June 1897, 17:20 GMT:
Lookouts report HMS Thunder Child lost, presumably with all hands after destroying three Martians. My commendation for her captain and crew shall note that they gave their lives in the performance of their duties.
10-Jun 18:00 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary
After #ThunderChild’s success I had expected the fleet to move closer to shore but suddenly they abruptly went about, passing into the thickening haze of evening, southward.
And then the reason for the ironclads’ disappearance. Out of the deep twilight something rushes up into the sky, and into the luminous clearness above the clouds in the western sky. A Flyer.
Flat, broad and very large the Flyer sweeps round in a vast curve, before vanishing again into the grey mystery of the night.
10-Jun 18:02 #Turbina
From the personal log of Captain Charles Parson, RNR, Commanding HMS Turbina, 10 June 1897, 18:02 GMT:
The coast was behind us in the haze. I became aware of someone clearing her throat behind me on the bridge. I turned around: Her Majesty, Empress of India, Queen Victoria stood before me. “Y-your Majesty?”
“Tell me Captain,” she smiled. “How long would it take us make Aberdeen?”
10-Jun 18:50 @ToniWantsToVote
?Steam cleared streets of #blacksmoke so we went out to see if we could help #strangesounds from far away today. Is someone #fightingback?
10-Jun 18:52 @ToniWantsToVote
@graceharwoodstewart and @lizcadbury and I found no survivors today #bodies everywhere. Too #frightened to go very far. #blacksmokekills #whatiftheycomeback?
10-Jun 18:54 @ToniWantsToVote
@sirjohntheengineer is coming for #dinner
10-Jun 19:00 @ToniWantsToVote
#feelsouseless #whydidwestay #shouldwemovethebodies #theywillstink
10-Jun 22:21 @ToniWantsToVote
@sirjohntheengineer has a keen intellect and has made some observations
10-Jun 22:23 @ToniWantsToVote
@sirjohntheengineer says #blacksmoke definitely affected by water. Turns to ?#powder and then sinks. Could this #help?
@sirjohntheengineer has corresponded with an Italian scientist @GMarconiwireless over the last three years. He has a #newfangledtelegraph #nowires! #scienceforthewin #hope
@sirjohntheengineer says he’s been trying to contact the government #whereisthegovernment? on his #wirelesstransmitter but that there’s some kind of interference.