My novel in progress, ‘The Dreadnought Boy’, has reached an interesting impasse; the lad’s ship RMS Osterley is being pursued by the infamous SMS Emden, somewhere south of the Cocos Islands, and is about to be boarded. Will HMAS Sydney be in time to save the passengers and crew. Although, I’ve come across some interesting research in a couple of newspapers of the day regarding her swashbuckling commander, Karl von Muller, which might influence the outcome.
There is no doubt …that the German cruiser Emden had knowledge that the Indus was carrying 150 cases of North West Soap Company’s celebrated ELYSIUM Soap, and hence the pursuit. The men on the Emden and their clothes are now clean and sweet, thanks to ELYSIUM Soap. Try it!
A month later, in October 1914, an Australian newspaper reported that “all British residents in India hold the captain of the Emden in very high regard, although they would like to hear of his capture.” Then the report goes on to burnish von Muller’s reputation further, stating: “ When the Medina was at Bombay, an interesting story was going the rounds of official circles there which goes to show that the Emden’s commander is not without a keen sense of humour. Knowing that the ships were hung up at Rangoon (fearing the Emden ) he despatched a wireless message to the authorities there stating that if they wished to send any mails to Calcutta he would take them on.
A few of the colourful cast of characters coming to life in my novel in progress, ‘The Dreadnought Boys’. Lieutenant Helmuth Mucke, and Prize Crew Captain, Julius Lauterbach. Along with some young enlisted chaps of the Imperial German Navy.