back to if stones could speak
At 1.54 the Suffren was leading “B” line out, the Bouvet being immediately astern her. I happened to be looking at them, to see if they had been much knocked about, the Suffren had just passed, and the Bouvet was almost abreast of us, when I saw a great column of smoke shoot up, which I thought was the burst of a heavy shell striking her, followed by a tremendous explosing, which looked as if her magazine had blown up, she heeled over, still going very fast, capsized and plunged out of sight, with an incredible swiftness. Within a minute of the explosion there was nothing to be seen but a few heads in the water. Five officers and about 30 men, who were engaged in the fire control and upper deck batteries, were picked up by the Wear and our picket boats; 639 of her company, and her gallant Captain Rageot, lie entombed in her. ...
From interviews with survivors, who were with him (*) in the armoured
blockhouse, the captain supposedly gave the order to stop the machines and,
hoping to stabilize the ship gave the urgent order to float the port-side
compartments. But the disaster was coming on with such speed that neither of
the two orders could be carried out.
Then realising the end was near, the captain turned to the sailors who were assisting him and with great gallantery told them : “Come on boys, get out quickly ... It is time...”
After pushing them gently out of the blockhaus, he stayed to make it, without any doubt, his final resting place.
Translated from "The Dardanelles", Paris, National Association of Veteran Groups of the Dardanelles, p. 72
(*) Captain Rageot de la Touche
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“Bouvet going" - "and gone" period pictures reproduced from “Gallipoli”, Robert Rhodes James, p. 130
last updated : 24/02/08
Captain Rageot de la Touche, commander of the "Bouvet", picture reproduced from "The Dardanelles", Paris, National Association of Veteran Groups of the Dardanelles, p. X
painting of the battleship "Bouvet" by Firuz Aşkın reproduced from "The whole World", March 2002