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Cheong Wong

Chinese crewman

 

There were also the inevitable stories on the theme of 'panicking natives' as ships sank and men tried desperately to get away. One example will have to stand for all of them - and in any case they scarcely differ. When the Alfred Holt-owned ship, Automedon, was sunk by a German raider in the Indian Ocean, S. E. Harper, 3rd engineer on watch down below said 'pandemonium broke loose and the Chinese firemen came stampeding up the ladder'. A quieter, contrary and more persuasive view came from Cheong Wong who said that when he was sunk: 'Everybody on the ship was frightened and quite panicky - it didn't matter whether you were Chinese or European.'

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