Torpedoes in atlantic

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Torpedoes In the Atlantic

The disaster

During the early months of the Second World there was fear of German bombers would bomb the cities; causing casualties and deaths among which would be children. To make sure the children were safe, the government decided it would be a good idea to send the children across to the countryside of Canada. Bess Walder was one of the children on board. They all boarded a very luxurious ship- The City Of Benares, to go to Canada, it was great and they felt in complete safety when a German torpedo hit their ship. The nightmare had begun, when the ship started to go down. Children were thrown into the lifeboats of which some missed the lifeboats and fell into the sea.

The ones that were lucky enough to land in the lifeboats were so crowded by other children (including Beth) that the lifeboat turned upside-down and when many drifted away or drowned, Bess and another girl- Beth Cummings held on to the boat.

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The great tale of courage

Bess and Beth were two of the few children that had survived and they weren’t planning on giving up either- in the freezing cold water they still hung on to the up-turned lifeboat with everything they could. They kept each other living, but Bess was thinking about her brother; she thought he must of got lost and died when they were being thrown into the boats- she thought he might have been one of the man that missed, while Beth was thinking of her mother. Bess was upset by this thought, but could only think of her-self now, and staying alive just praying that a ship would come for their rescue.

They were determined to survive even though the water was freezing, it was dark and logic told them that no-one would find them in this massive sea, but they held on to that little bit of hope they had left to keep them going and especially when everyone around them just seemed to give up and let go. They tried not to say anything unless it had to be said and just put all their energy on holding on.

When morning came- there were only four people left that they could see Bess, Beth and Indian sailors (one of which they soon realised was dead), all of which must have had great strength and determination to get through the night! But they were both near death and still they were determined that they were going to get saved and survive.

They were almost giving up, when Bess noticed a small object in the distance, which got bigger as it came towards them- they had been saved! Almost nights of sheer determination and surviving and they were saved freezing cold and half-dead.

The question- is it a disaster/depressing story or is it an uplifting story

After a long thought, I couldn’t decide which of the it was, because on the one hand; lots of children have died which is a complete tragedy. The whole thing is made worse by the way that the children were meant to be taken away from danger and put into guaranteed safety, and in total out of 406 people on the ship, a tragic 56 people died, which included 77 of the 0 child evacuees! There is nothing else to say about those deaths its tragic.

Even though the deaths were a disaster, there is still an uplifting story of happiness brought through courage and determination from Bess and Bess. This story about them keeping going, holding on and thinking of not only themselves, but the effect it would have on their loved ones if they died and why they had to make sure they didn’t die the whole story about them almost makes you forget that so many people died.


In conclusion to this whole story, I would have to say that even though the story of Bess and Beth had a happy ending and was a very uplifting story, I still think that no matter how amazing it was I could not make up for all the losses of children and adults in this tragedy. But I did think that the story of Bess and Beth did make me feel a lot better about the disaster part of it, because if they had not hung on and kept going, then there would be two more parents/families that would be left with the loss of their children and complete heart-break.

So, overall I did think that it was a very nice, happy and heroic story, but I also couldn’t help just thinking about the other families that lost their children. You do not think about what happens to the other families who lose their children because the focus is on just those two characters as is any normal story (you can’t have the focus on too many characters or you lose the story). Conclusively it is a disaster story with a side story of courage and heroicness with a miracle ending.

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