'The mutiny on HMS Luton'

A correspondent writing under the name 'Wireless' took a satirical look at the Peace Day riots in an article headlined 'The mutiny on HMS Luton'.

Information is to hand, he wrote in the Saturday Telegraph of August 9th, 1919, that a serious mutiny broke out on board HMS Luton on the 19th of last month. The details at present are rather meagre, but so far as can be ascertained, a section of the crew who, with others, had rendered great help to the whole of the fleet at a critical period, desired to hold a church parade on the quarter deck.

On referring to the log book, the ship's officers were unable to discover that a church parade had previously been held on that part of the vessel, and, in consequence, permission was refused. This appears to have incensed the crew, but the ruler of an adjacent island, hearing of the trouble, signalled that the crew could disembark and hold the church parade on shore. The invitation was accepted and the incident was considered closed.

On the Saturday, when the ship was dressed with bunting, another section of the crew became unruly and repeatedly called for the Captain to address them from the bridge on various grievances, but this he declined to do, whereupon the mutineers attempted to break open his cabin.

Towards midnight the crew got quite out of hand and set fire to the chart house. Assistance was procured from other ships anchored by and the mutiny eventually suppressed.

It is to be regretted that the Captain does not appear to have adhered to the British tradition of sticking to his ship to the last, as he made his escape in a small boat under cover of darkness.

He seems to have been unequal to the position, and allowed himself to be influenced by the Navigating Lieutenant and Chief Warrant Officer.

It remains to be seen whether the Captain will be allowed to retain his ship or no.

A number of mutineers have been put in irons and are now under hatches until such time as they can be brought before a court martial.