A special code, which is described in another of the letters, was used to indicate to the Ministry which map was concealed inside a particular game so that it would be sent to a prisoner of war camp in the appropriate area. A full stop after Marylebone Station, for instance, meant Italy, a stop after Mayfair meant Norway, Sweden and Germany, and one after Free Parking meant Northern France, Germany and its frontiers. “Straight” boards were marked “Patent applied for” with a full stop.
The attack took them by surprise, but the DEMS gunner standing by on the poop got off a burst at the aircraft with a stripped Lewis as it passed overhead and before its bombs hit the ship. Two heavy bombs hit the after deck, exploded below and caused devastating damage. The mainmast and its housing and most of the derricks housed in trestles on the after deck disappeared entirely. A wide crater was smashed in the steel deck and a huge hole in the port side shell plating. Every steam-pipe in the engine-room was fractured and some of the men in the engine-room and stokehold were badly scalded, though no-one was killed. Fire was soon raging in the ship.