Goole Times, 23rd November 1917
GOOLE SKIPPER AND THE KING - MEMENTOES OF A THRILLING NIGHT AT SEA
On his recent tour of the docks at London, the King inspected a number of vessels under repair. One of these, the SS Northfield, a mercantile ship of considerable size, proved to be of especial interest to his Majesty, inasmuch as it was a survivor of an attack at sea by a German submarine, and had been saved from total loss and its cargo as well, by the efforts of the Captain and crew.
This boat is of considerable local interest as well, of the skipper is Captain George Arnold, of Brough Street, Goole, and the Chief Engineer is Mr Alfred Jackson, of Colonel's Walk, Goole. The first officer, Mr John Thomas Arnold, brother of the Captain who, although not a Goole man, is also well known in the port, whence he has sailed in various vessels for a number of years. The steward is Mr J. Bleasdale of 15 Henry Street, Goole. All these men were aboard the vessel at the time she was torpedoed.
Captain Arnold was standing beside his vessel as the King passed, and from him the King heard the story of the attack; and the way they managed to get the vessel into safety at a speed of about nine knots, despite the damage and heavy sea, "We were not armed then", said Captain Arnold, "so we were very lucky".
The King heartily congratulated him upon his pluck and his escape and shook hands with him. His Majesty also shook hands with the Chief Engineer, Mr Jackson, and wished him and the crew the best of luck.
After the King had gone on his way, the owner of the vessel performed a little ceremony on the deck, in the presence of the entire ships company, and many of their relatives, including Mrs Arnold and Mrs Jackson, who travelled from Goole.
Captain Arnold and Captain Jackson were each presented with a handsome gold watch, with a monogram on the cover and an inscription inside. Several members of the crew are also to e presented with War Loan Stock.
Captain Arnold possesses two interesting mementoes of the attack. One is a photograph of the hole in the ship caused by the explosion, which is some 38 feet long, and the other a portion of the torpedo which was responsible for the damage, with an inscription on it.
A sad end to this tale is that a year later, under the command of the above-mentioned John Thomas Arnold as Captain, the SS Northfield was sunk and the Captain lost his life.