W.A.Clayton - onboard the Strathallan when she was hit by the torpedo
I was aboard the Strata when she was torpedoed. It was about 2.30 a.m when I heard a dull thud and the ship shuddered. We formed an orderly queueand there were no signs of panic.
By the time we got to the deck the ship had listed rather badly.There were no rafts or lifeboats and we just stood several deep around the deck. One of the destroyers appeared out of the darkness and a voice said over the tannoy “Don’t panic boys – everything is under control”.
There were no signs of panic, and not realising the danger we were in, made my way down several decks to a destroyer.
As I was looking down to the gap between the two ships a burly seaman grabbed hold of me and lifted me over.
At the3 time there was an air raid and I was startled by the sound of the Guns of H.M.Rodney. That night we sailed for Algiers, escorted by two destroyers,arriving at 7 am the following Morning. We were taken to a little fishing village – La Perouse- about 8 miles from Algiers where we spent Xmas. After being re-equiped, we were taken in a goods train to Le Kef in Tunisia. A couple of days later we left for Thala and I was allotted to the 2nd Lothian and Border Horse,- a tank regiment.