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Thursday, 16 July 2009
Miscellaneous Topics, Contents
Topic: AIF - Misc Topics

Miscellaneous Topics

Contents 

 

Items

Army Post Office delivering the mail 
British West Indian Regiment 
Bugle Calls 
Entertainment for the troops - the movies
Events effecting soldier's pay and pay book 
Happy New Year for 2009 
Light Horsemen who enlisted in 1914 and served over 5 years
Merry Christmas, 2008 
Pip, Squeak and Wilfred - the Trio Medals 
Sand Cart Plans and Description  
Three Cadets from Royal Military College 
Troop transport ships 
William De Passey 

 

Further Reading

Miscellaneous Topics

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

 


Citation: Miscellaneous Topics, Contents


Posted by Project Leader at 4:31 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 October 2009 3:27 PM EADT
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Troop transport ships
Topic: AIF - Misc Topics

Ships that moved an Army

Australian military shipping, 1914 - 1919

 

His Majesty's Australian  Ship [HMAS]

Rarely happening but Australian naval vessels were employed in transporting small numbers of reinforcements from Australia to a theatre of war.

 

HMAS Encounter

HMAS Encounter

 

The HMAS Encounter weighed 5,880 tons with an average cruise speed of 21 knots or 39.9 kmph. It was a Challenger Class light cruiser Commissioned on 10 December 1905. It remained in service until disarmed and renamed Penguin in 1923 and scuttled at Bondi in 1932.

HMAS Encounter Embarkations

 

HMAS Una

HMAS Una

 

The HMAS Una was a captured (10 October 1914) German yacht called the KGS Komet. It weighed 977 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. After the Great War it was occasionally impressed into service and was finally broken up in 1959.

HMAS Una Embarkations

 

His Majesty's Australian Transports [HMAT] Ships

A fleet of transport ships was leased by the Commonwealth government for the specific purpose of transporting the various AIF formations to their respective overseas destinations. When not committed to military transport, these ships were employed to carry various commodity exports to Britain and France. The fleet was made up from British ships and  captured German vessels.

 

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HMAT A1 Hymettus

HMAT Hymettus at the Gulf of Suez

[From: AWM C02548.]

The HMAT A1 Hymettus weighed 4,606 tons with an average cruise speed of 11.5 knots or 21.3 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 15 May 1917.

 

 

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HMAT A2 Geelong

HMAT A2 Geelong at Hobart, 20 October 1914

[From: West Coast Recorder, 19 November 1914, p. 23.]

HMAT A2 Geelong weighed 7,851 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the P&O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until it collided with SS Bonvilston in the Mediterranean and sunk, 1 January 1916.

 

 

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HMAT A3 Orvietto

HMAT A3 Orvieto embarking from Melbourne, 21 July 1914

[From: The Australasian, 21 November 1914, Picture Supplement, p. I.]

HMAT A3 Orvieto weighed 12,130 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Orient SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 29 December 1914. It formed part of the first convoy of the AIF to the Egypt. The Orvieto became well known for its work during this convoy as it transported the prisoners captured from the beached German raider Emden. The German prisoners were take to Egypt by the Orvieto for imprisonment.

 

 

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HMAT A4 Pera

HMAT A4 Pera, Tasmania, Hobart, 1915-16
 
[From: AWM A03211]

HMAT A4 Pera weighed 7,635 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. It was owned by the P&O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 6 January 1917. The Pera was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean on 19 October 1917

 

 

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HMAT A5 Omrah

HMAT A5 Omrah

The HMAT A5 Omrah weighed 8,130 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Orient SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 February 1915. The Omrah was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean, 12 May 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A6 Clan Maccorquodale

HMAT A6 Clan Maccorquodale

[From: AWM P01122.003]

The HMAT A6 Clan Maccorquodale weighed 5121 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Cayser, Irvin and Co., Glasgow, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 April 1915. The Clan Maccorquodale was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean, 17 November 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A7 Medic

White Star Liner HMAT A7 Medic leaving Fremantle, 2 November 1914.

[From: The Western Mail, 20 November 1914, p. 25.]

The HMAT A7 Medic weighed 12,032 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Oceanic SN Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 26 October 1917. The Medic was well known by the Australian forces as it was a key troopship for Australia during the Boer War, some 14 years before the re-engagement.

 

 

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HMAT A8 Argyllshire

HMAT A8 Argyllshire

The HMAT A8 Argyllshire weighed 10,392 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Scottish Shire Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 24 January 1918.

 

 

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HMAT A9 Shropshire

HMAT A9 Shropshire at Port Melbourne, Victoria, 11 May 1917.
 
[From: AWM P01843.001]

The HMAT A9 Shropshire weighed 8,130 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Federal SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 5 August 1917.

 

 

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HMAT A10 Karroo


HMAT A10 Karroo at Port Melbourne, Victoria, 18 September 1916.
 
[From: AWM PB0504]

The HMAT A10 Karroo weighed 6,127 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 3 January 1917.

 

 

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HMAT A11 Ascanius


HMAT A11 Ascanius at Port Melbourne, Victoria, 27 May 1916.
 
[From: AWM PB0127]

The HMAT A11 Ascanius weighed 10,048 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Ocean SS Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 30 July 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A12 Saldanha

HMAT A12 Saldanha

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a639516]  

 

The HMAT A12 Saldanha weighed 4,594 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 June 1917. The Saldanha was torpedoed and sunk in Mediterranean, 18 March 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A13 Katuna

HMAT A13 Katuna at Gallipoli unloading troops, 1915.

[From: AWM P00437.001]

The HMAT A13 Katuna weighed 4,641 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 February 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A14 Euripides

HMAT A14 Euripides, 1919

[From: AWM P03987.001]

The HMAT A14 Euripides weighed 15,050 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the G Thompson & Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 2 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A15 Star of England

HMAT A15 Star of England at Pinkenbar, Queensland, September 1914

[From: AWM C02483]

The HMAT A15 Star of England, later renamed Port Sydney, weighed 9,136 tons with an average cruise speed of 13.5 knots or 25.00 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 22 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A16 Star of Victoria

HMAT A16 Star of Victoria

[From: AWM P00369.007]

The HMAT A16 Star of Victoria, later renamed Port Melbourne, weighed 9,152 tons with an average cruise speed of 13.5 knots or 25.00 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd London and leased by the Commonwealth until 2 October 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A17 Port Lincoln

HMAT A17 Port Lincoln
 
The HMAT A17 Port Lincoln weighed 7,243 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 26 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A18 Wiltshire

HMAT A18 Wiltshire

The HMAT A18 Wiltshire weighed 10,390 tons with an average cruise speed of 13.5 knots or 25.00 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 2 October 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A19 Afric

HMAT A19 Afric

The HMAT A19 Afric weighed 11,999 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Federal SN Co Ltd, London. The Afric was torpedoed and sunk in the English Chanel, 12 February 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A20 Hororata

HMAT A20 Hororata, Port Melbourn, 23 November 1916

The HMAT A20 Hororata weighed 9,400 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 11 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A21 Marere

HMAT A21 Marere

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a638400]  

The HMAT A21 Marere weighed 6443 tons with an average cruise speed of 12.5 knots or 23.15 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London. The Marere was sunk by a submarine's gunfire in the Mediterranean, 18 January 1916.

 

 

 

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HMAT A22 Rangatira

HMAT A22 Rangatira about to leave Pinkenba Wharf Brisbane, Qld, 24 September 1914

The HMAT A22 Rangatira weighed 8948 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Shaw, Savill and Albion Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 15 February 1915. The Rangatira was stranded off Cape of Good Hope, 31 March 1916.

 

 

 

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HMAT A23 Suffolk

HMAT A23 Suffolk sailing through the Suez Canal, 1916

The HMAT A23 Suffolk weighed 7573 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Potter, Trinder and Gwyn, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A24 Benalla

HMAT A24 Benalla at Port Melbourne, 19 October 1914

The HMAT A24 Benalla weighed 11,118 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 6 August 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A25 Anglo-Egyptian

 

HMAT A25 Anglo-Egyptian at Port Melbourne, 1916

[From: AWM PB0112]

The HMAT A25 Anglo-Egyptian weighed 7,379 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Nitrate Producers SS Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 16 April 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A26 Armadale

HMAT A26 Armadale, at Port Melbourne, February 1915
 
 [From: AWM P05194.001]

The HMAT A26 Armadale weighed 6,153 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. It was owned by the Australind SS Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 7 June 1917. The Armadale was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine off coast of Ireland, 27 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A27 Southern

HMAT A27 Southern, part of the 1st Convoy, 1914

[From: AWM H15740]

The HMAT A27 Southern weighed 4,769 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. It was owned by the Central Shipping Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 3 February 1915.

 

 

 

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HMAT A28 Miltiades

HMAT A28 Miltiades in King George's Sound, Albany, October 1914

The HMAT A28 Miltiades weighed 7,814 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the G Thompson & Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 15 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A29 Suevic

HMAT A29 Suevic, 1919

The HMAT A29 Suevic weighed 12,531 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Oceanic SN Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 9 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A30 Borda

HMAT A30 Borda
 
[From: State Library of Victoria a17530]
The HMAT A30 Borda weighed 11,136 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A31 Ajana

HMAT A31 Ajana

 

The HMAT A31 Ajana weighed 7,759 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Australind SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 12 May 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A32 Themistocles

HMAT A32 Themistocles

The HMAT A32 Themistocles weighed 11,231 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the G Thompson & Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 20 October 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A33 Ayrshire

 

 HMAT A33 Ayrshire departing from Port Melbourne on 3 July 1916 

The HMAT A33 Ayrshire weighed 7,763 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the The Scottish Shire Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 9 January 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A34 Persic

HMAT A34 Persic departing from Port Melbourne on 3 June 1916
 
 [From: AWM P00997.013]

The HMAT A34 Persic weighed 12,042 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Oceanic SN Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 8 November 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A35 Berrima

HMAT A35 Berrima

[From: Clydesite 11748]

The HMAT A35 Berrima weighed 11,137 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 October 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A36 Boonah

HMAT A36 Boonah

[From: State Library of NSW, PXE 722/526-527]

The HMAT A36 Boonah weighed 5,926 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. The Boonah was previously a captured German vessel called Melbourne. It was manned by Australia officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 28 March 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A37 Barambah

HMAT A37 Barambah at Port Melbourne on 5 June 1916

The HMAT A37 Barambah weighed 5,923 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. The Barambah was previously a captured German vessel called Hobart. It was manned by Australia officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 23 May 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A38 Ulysses

HMAT A38 Ulysses at Port Said, December 1914
 
The HMAT A38 Ulysses weighed 14,499 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the China Mutual SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 15 August 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A39 Port MacQuarie

HMAT A39 Port MacQuarie

The HMAT A39 Port MacQuarie weighed 7,236 tons with an average cruise speed of 12.5 knots or 23.15 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 13 January 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A40 Ceramic

HMAT A40 Ceramic, Port Melbourne, 1915

The HMAT A40 Ceramic weighed 18,481 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Oceanic SN Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 9 July 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A41 Bakara

HMAT A41 Bakara

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr001322]  

The HMAT A41 Bakara weighed 5,930 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. The Bakara was previously a captured German vessel called Constaff. It was manned by Australia officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 1 May 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A42 Boorara

HMAT A42 Boorara at Port Melbourne on 10 May 1917

The HMAT A42 Boorara weighed 5,923 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. The Boorara was previously a captured German vessel called Pfalz. It was manned by Australia officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 24 June 1919.

 

 

 

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HMAT A43 Barunga

HMAT A43 Barunga

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a636443

The HMAT A43 Barunga weighed 7,484 tons with an average cruise speed of 11 knots or 20.37 kmph. The Barunga was previously a captured German vessel called Sumatra. It was manned by Australia officers and crew. The Barunga was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the North Atlantic, 15 July 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A44 Vestalia

HMAT A44 Vestalia at Port Melbourne on 6 December 1916
 
[From: AWM PB0776]

The HMAT A44 Vestalia weighed 5,528 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Gow, Harrison & Co, Glasgow, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 March 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A45 Bulla

HMAT A45 Bulla

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr006216

The HMAT A45 Bulla weighed 5,099 tons with an average cruise speed of 10.5 knots or 19.44 kmph. The Bulla was previously a captured German vessel called Hessen. It was manned by Australian officers and crew and transferred to Commonwealth Government Line, 15 April 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray

HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr006195]

The HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray weighed 5,023 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Cayser, Irvin and Co, Glasgow, and leased by the Commonwealth until 16 August 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A47 Mashobra

 HMAT A47 Mashobra

The HMAT A47 Mashobra weighed 8,174 tons with an average cruise speed of 12.5 knots or 23.15 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 21 December 1916. The Mashobra was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean, 15 April 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A48 Seang Bee

HMAT A48 Seang Bee

The HMAT A48 Seang Bee weighed 5,849 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Lim Chin Tsong, Rangoon, and leased by the Commonwealth until 12 May 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A49 Seang Choon

HMAT A49 Seang Choon

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a639566]

The HMAT A49 Seang Choon weighed 5,807 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Lim Chin Tsong, Rangoon. The Seang Choon was torpedoed and sunk off coast of Ireland, 10 July 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A50 Itonus

HMAT A50 Itonus

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number b38118]

The HMAT A50 Itonus weighed 5,340 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London. The Itonus was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean, 20 December 1916.

 

 

 

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HMAT A51 Chilka

HMAT A51 Chilka

The HMAT A51 Chilka weighed 3,952 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 4 August 1915.

 

 

 

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HMAT A52 Surada

HMAT A52 Surada

The HMAT A52 Surada weighed 5,324 tons with an average cruise speed of 10 knots or 18.52 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 4 January 1917. The Surada was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in Mediterranean, 2 November 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A53 Itria

HMAT A53 Itria

The HMAT A53 Itria weighed 5,318 tons with an average cruise speed of 10 knots or 18.52 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 17 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A54 Runic

HMAT A54 Runic

[From: State Library of NSW, PXE 722/3502-3506]

The HMAT A54 Runic weighed 12,490 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Oceanic SN Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 27 November 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A55 Kyarra

HMAT A55 Kyarra, 1916

The HMAT A55 Kyarra weighed 6,953 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the AUSN Co Ltd, London, and manned by Australia officers and crew. The Kyarra was leased by the Commonwealth until 4 January 1918. The Kyarra was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the English Channel, 26 May 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A56 Palermo

HMAT A56 Palermo

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a639050]  

The HMAT A56 Palermo weighed 7,597 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 10 January 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A57 Malakuta

HMAT A57 Malakuta

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]  

The HMAT A57 Malakuta weighed 7,430 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the T & J Brocklebank Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 24 January 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A58 Kabinga

HMAT A58 Kabinga

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number pc000664]

The HMAT A58 Kabinga weighed 4,657 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London. The Kabinga was captured by Emden in the Bay of Bengal on 12 September 1914 and released with the Emden’s beaching at the Cocos Islands. The Kabinga was leased by the Commonwealth until 19 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A59 Botanist

HMAT A59 Botanist



The HMAT A59 Botanist weighed 7,688 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by the Charente SS Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 6 December 1916.

 

 

 

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HMAT A60 Aeneas

HMAT A60 Aeneas embarking from Port Melbourne on 30 October 1917

The HMAT A60 Aeneas weighed 10,049 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Ocean SS Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 22 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A61 Kanowna

HMAT A61 Kanowna embarking from Townsville Harbour, August 1914

[From: The Queenslander, 22 August 1914, p. 30.]

The HMAT A61 Kanowna weighed 6,942 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the AUSN Co Ltd, London, and manned by Australia officers and crew. The Kanowna was leased by the Commonwealth until 18 March 1919.

 

 

 

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HMAT A62 Wandilla

HMAT A62 Wandilla

The HMAT A62 Wandilla weighed 7,785 tons with an average cruise speed of 16 knots or 29.63 kmph. It was owned by the Adelaide SS Co Ltd, Adelaide, and manned by Australian officers and during her service by mainly Australian crews. The Wandilla was leased by the Commonwealth until 24 January 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A63 Karoola

HMAT A63 Karoola

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr005940]

The HMAT A63 Karoola weighed 7,391 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the McIlwraith, McEacharn's Line Pty Ltd, Melbourne, and manned by Australian officers and crews. The Karoola was leased by the Commonwealth until June 1919.

 

 

 

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HMAT A64 Demosthenes

HMAT A64 Demosthenes

The HMAT A64 Demosthenes weighed 11,223 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the G Thompson & Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 16 March 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A65 Clan Macewen

The HMAT A65 Clan Macewen weighed 5,140 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Cayser, Irvin and Co, Glasgow, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 April 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A66 Uganda

The HMAT A66 Uganda weighed 5,431 tons with an average cruise speed of 10 knots or 18.52 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 4 December 1916. The Uganda was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in Mediterranean, 27 May 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A67 Orsova

HMAT A67 Orsova embarking from Port Melbourne on 17 July 1915

The HMAT A67 Orsova weighed 12,036 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the Orient SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 28 February 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A68 Anchises

HMAT A68 Anchises at Port Melbourne on 14 March 1916

The HMAT A68 Anchises weighed 10,046 tons with an average cruise speed of 10 knots or 18.52 kmph. It was owned by the Ocean SS Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 12 October 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A69 Warilda

HMAT A69 Warilda

The HMAT A69 Warilda weighed 7,713 tons with an average cruise speed of 16 knots or 29.63 kmph. It was owned by the Adelaide SS Co Ltd, Adelaide, and manned by Australian officers and mainly by Australian crews. The Warilda was torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in the English Channel, 3 August 1918.

 

 

 

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HMAT A70 Ballarat

HMAT A70 Ballarat

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr005940

The HMAT A70 Ballarat weighed 11,120 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London. The Ballarat was torpedoed by a submarine in the English Channel, 25 April 1917 and sank the next day.

 

 

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HMAT A71 Nestor

HMAT A71 Nestor

The HMAT A71 Nestor weighed 14,501 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the Ocean SS Co Ltd, Liverpool, and leased by the Commonwealth until 26 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A72 Beltana

HMAT A72 Beltana at Pinkenba wharf Brisbane, Queensland. c. 1917

[From: AWM H02219]

The HMAT A72 Beltana weighed 11,120 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 September 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A73 Commonwealth

HMAT A73 Commonwealth

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The HMAT A73 Commonwealth weighed 6,616 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 23 June 1917.

 

 

 

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HMAT A74 Marathon

HMAT A74 Marathon

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]  

The HMAT A74 Marathon weighed 7,827 tons with an average cruise speed of 16 knots or 29.63 kmph. It was owned by the G Thompson & Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 28 July 1917.



Royal Mail Steamers

These Royal Mail Steamers were contracted to carry the mail between Australia and Britain. On occasion, parts of the ship were booked by the AIF to carry troops and cargo. The following list is of the Royal Mail Steamers who carried troops:

 

 

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RMS Kashgar

RMS Kashgar

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]

The RMS Kashgar weighed 8,840 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

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RMS Karmala

RMS Karmala

The RMS Karmala weighed 8,9479 with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

 

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RMS Megantic

RMS Megantic

The RMS Megantic weighed 5,531 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by F.Leyland & Co., Liverpool. It was torpedoed and sunk on 10 June 1917.

 

 

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RMS Malwa

RMS Malwa
 
[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Malwa weighed 10,883 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

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RMS Moldavia

RMS Moldavia
 
[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Moldavia weighed 9,500 tons with an average cruise speed of 18.5 knots or 34.26 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

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RMS Mongolia

RMS Mongolia

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Mongolia weighed 4,892 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the  Indian & Peninsular St. Nav Co Ltd Glasgow.  Torpedoed and sunk on 21 July 1918.

 

 

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RMS Mooltan

RMS Mooltan

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Mooltan weighed 9,621 tons with an average cruise speed of 18.5 knots or 34.26 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.  Torpedoed and sunk by UC27 on 26 July 1917.

 

 

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RMS Morea

RMS Morea

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Morea weighed 10,890 tons with an average cruise speed of 16 knots or 29.63 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.  

 

 

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RMS Orontes

RMS Orontes

 [From: AWM 303744]

The RMS Orontes weighed 9,028 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

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RMS Osterley

RMS Osterley

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Osterley weighed 12,129 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London.

 

 

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RMS Persia

RMS Persia

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The RMS Persia weighed 7,974 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London. Torpedoed and sunk on 30 December 1915.


 
Steam Ships

Occasionally, single voyage charters occurred between the ship companies and the AIF to be employed as troop transports. The following list is of the Steam Ships who carried troops:

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SS Balmoral Castle

 

SS Balmoral Castle

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]  

The SS Balmoral Castle weighed 13,361 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company. 

 

 

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SS Canberra

SS Canberra

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]   

The SS Canberra weighed 7,707 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by the Australian Steamships Ltd (Howard Smith), Melbourne.  

 

 

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SS Carpentaria

SS Carpentaria

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr004969]  

The SS Carpentaria weighed 5,766 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., Calcutta.  

 

 

 

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SS City of Karachi

SS City of Karachi

The SS City of Karachi weighed 5,766 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co., London.  

 

 

 

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SS Dorset

SS Dorset

The SS Dorset weighed 7,630 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was a purpose built refrigeration ship owned by Potter, Trinder & Gwyn, London.  

 

 

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SS Dunluce Castle

SS Dunluce Castle

 

 

 

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SS Ellenga

SS Ellenga at El Mina Wharf, Tripoli, Lebanon, 1919

[From: AWM P01122.003]

The SS Ellenga weighed 5,196 tons with an average cruise speed of 16 knots or 29.63 kmph. It was owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company Glasgow & London.

 

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SS Essex

SS Essex

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr003102

 

 

 

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SS Field Marshal

 

 

 

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SS Gaika

SS Gaika

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr003122]  

 

 

 

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SS Graechus

 

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SS Hawkes Bay

SS Hawkes Bay

 

 

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SS Kaiser-i-Hind

SS Kaiser-i-Hind

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr001405]

The SS Kaiser-i-Hind weighed 11,430 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London. 

 

 

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SS Indarra

 

SS Indarra

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]   

The SS Indarra weighed 9,735 tons with an average cruise speed of 16.5 knots or 30.55 kmph. It was owned by the Australasian United Steam Nav Co., Fremantle.  

 

 

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SS Katoomba

SS Katoomba

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr007142

 

 

 

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SS Mahanada

 

SS Mahanada

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database]    

The SS Mahanada weighed 7,196 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by Thos & Jno Brocklebank Ltd., Liverpool.   

 

 

 

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SS Makarini

 

SS Makarini

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a638277]  

The SS Makarini weighed 10,624 tons with an average cruise speed of 13 knots or 24.07 kmph. It was owned by G.D.Tyser & Co, London. Accommodation for 750-steerage class passengers. Built by Workman, Clark & Co, Belfast, she was launched on 3rd Feb.1912. In 1914 Tyser's was taken over by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line (Port Line) and she was renamed SS Port Nicholson. Mined and sunk 15 miles West of Dunkirk 15 January1917. [Great Passenger Ships of the World by Arnold Kludas, vol.1, ISBN 0-85059-174-0, which contains a photo of the ship] [Merchant Fleets by Duncan Haws, vol.21, Port Line]

 

 

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SS Malta

The SS Malta weighed 6,064 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London. 

 

 

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SS Ormonde

SS Ormonde

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The SS Ormonde weighed 14,982 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the Orient St Nav Co Ltd, Glasgow. 

 

 

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SS Pakeha

SS Pakeha

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number bs004061

The SS Pakeha weighed 4,331 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company, London. 

 

 

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SS Port Darwin

SS Port Darwin

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number gr006378

 

 

 

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SS Port Denison

 

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SS Port Lyttelton

SS Port Lyttelton

The SS Port Lyttelton [sometimes referred to as SS Port Lydelton in Australian sources] was formerly the SS Niwaru but requisitioned in 1916 as a troop ship and renamed to SS Port Lyttelton. The ship weighed 6,444 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line, London. 

 

 

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SS Port Napier

SS Port Napier

[From: State Library of NSW, picture number a639252 ]   


 

 

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SS Ruahine II

SS Ruahine II

[From: NZSCo Assn.]

The SS Ruahine II [sometimes referred to as SS Rushine in Australian sources] weighed 10,832 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the NZ Shipping Coy, Auckland. 

 

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SS Wyreema

 

SS Wyreema

[From: Clydebuilt Ships Database

The SS Wyreema weighed 6,926 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the Australasian United Steam Navigation Co, Melbourne. 

 

 

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SS Zealandic

SS Zealandic

[From: State Library of Victoria, picture number bs004070

The SS Zealandic weighed 8,090 tons with an average cruise speed of 18 knots or 33.33 kmph. It was owned by the White Star Line, London. 

 


Citation: Troop transport ships


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:11 PM EADT
Thursday, 15 January 2009
William De Passey
Topic: AIF - Misc Topics

Lieutenant Colonel William De Passey

 

Lieutenant Colonel William De Passey

[From: De Passey Collection]

 

William de Passey was born William Passey at Kidderminster, Warwickshire in 1859.  In the 1861 English Census his father, Thomas Passey, was listed as an agricultural labourer and his mother Charlotte, as a farmer’s assistant, with five children including William, the youngest.  By the 1871 English Census the family appears to have moved from Kidderminster to the Habberly Valley, where they stayed, but neither William nor his brothers appeared to have been at home by that time. According to a later biography, he was educated at King Charles’ Grammar School, Kidderminster.

De Passey family lore has it that young William Passey was looking after a bloodline horse owned by a local wealthy landowner when a mishap occurred.  The horse, under Passey’s care, was injured and had to be destroyed. Passey enlisted in the 5th Irish Lancers and changed his name on enlistment to ‘De Passey’ to help hide from the wrath of the land owner.

ON 1 MAY 1876, William De Passey attested at Worcester for the 5th Irish Lancers Regiment at the stated age of 18 years 4 months and joined the Regiment at Aldershot on 3 May, with Regimental Number 1693.  Among other duties assigned to the new soldier was guard detachment to the Aldershot Military Prison in late 1877.  

On 10 February 1879 he was promoted Lance-Corporal, and then transferred to the 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers on 27 May 1879, with Regimental Number 2380.  

 

William De Passey, 17th Lancers, c.1879.

[From: the De Passey Collection]

 

THE 17TH LANCERS took 65 men and horses from the 5th Lancers in February 1879 prior to embarking for Natal on the 24/25 February to join the campaign against the Zulus. De Passey followed with further reinforcements in time to take part in the last days of the campaign.  Although he does not appear on the Medal Roll for the 17th Lancers at the last great battle of the Zulu War – at Ulundi on 4 July 1879 - he almost certainly was there or close by.

At Ulundi, the 17th Lancers were positioned inside a very large British infantry square which was attacked on all sides by Zulu impis. When the Zulus wavered under heavy infantry, artillery and Gatling gun fire, the square was opened to let the 17th out to counter-attack.  The Zulus were routed, with heavy casualties.  

It was a decisive victory and effectively ended the campaign. The 17th returned to station in India later that year.   For his service in Natal Lance-Corporal De Passey was awarded the South Africa Service Medal with clasp ‘1879’.   

De Passey did not return to India immediately, instead attending the Equestrian School at the Cavalry Depôt in Canterbury.  The School trained the future Regimental Riding-Masters, thus ensuring a certain level of uniformity in the equestrian arts among the various Regiments of the British Army.  De Passey finished his course and rejoined his unit in India at Mhow and later Lucknow.  

WITH THE TERMINATION of his fixed period of limited engagement, with 12 years and 81 days of service, De Passey was discharged in Lucknow on 1 May 1888.   He left with written recommendations from his Troop Commander of 7 years and from the Riding Master at the 17th’s Riding School, where he served for his last three years.  The Riding Master, Captain McGee, commented:

‘I consider he was the best horseman in the 17th Lancers.’


He also left in apparently difficult circumstances.  In his memoirs of Boer War service years later, De Passey related how he visited his old regiment, the 17th Lancers, which was encamped nearby and met with some of his former officers. He wrote:

Another officer then came over to me; he was at this time second in command but was the officer who was the cause of me leaving the regiment.  He held out his hand and said “shake! Don’t you know me?” I said “I recollect you too well but don’t want to meet you or the old regimental sergeant-major again, you rotter!”  As he turned away the Col. Said “that serves you right, Fortescue, after the way you and Clarke treated him before he left the regiment.”   


The Hon. Major L.H.D. Fortescue was later killed in the battle of Diamond Hill.  De Passey wrote:

I felt very sorry, for death atones all injuries.


DE PASSEY ARRIVED in S.A. and on 10 September 1888, enlisted for five years in the Permanent Force Artillery as a Gunner with Regimental Number 82. He was quickly promoted to Bombardier (Corporal) and then just as quickly discharged on 31 October 1889 to take up an appointment as a Staff Sergeant with the SAMR (S.A. Mounted Rifles).   

In 1890, on 3 May, De Passey married Louisa Wegener, at St. Bede Church, Semaphore, near Port Adelaide.  They made a home in Kensington Park, with their son, Roy, who was born the same year.  

William de Passey (front centre laying on ground) Tea Tree Gully Mounted Rifles, c. 1897.

[From: AH Harris Collection.]

 

He continued in his chosen profession.  By the time he was selected as the Drill Instructor for the S.A. Contingent to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in London, he was a Warrant Officer First Class and was the Staff Sergeant-Major (drill instructor) to the SAMR.  His selection to the Contingent was popular, evidenced by the lengthy stories of his service in the newspapers, such as in The Advertiser, 23 April 1897.

ON HIS RETURN from England with his Diamond Jubilee 1897 Medal, De Passey was busy with a constant round of judging military sports, inspecting troops and conducting drills.  At Gumeracha, according to the Mount Barker and Southern Advertiser, 7 January 1898, De Passey acted as judge at the Gumeracha Military Sports and Picnic held on 3 January 1898.  

At Jamestown, in a report in The Agriculturalist and Review, 30 August 1898, De Passey shot with the Adelaide team against the Jamestown team in the morning, judged the competitions with Lieutenant [J.E.] Rowell in the day and in the evening, gave an exhibition of sword drill at the Grand Military Concert held at the Jamestown Institute.

A YEAR LATER the Boer War broke out.  De Passey was appointed as Instructor to the formation of the 2nd SAMR Contingent which was formed in December 1899 and served to May 1901.  De Passey went with it to South Africa as its Regimental Sergeant-Major.  He was commissioned in the field as a Lieutenant on 13 March 1901.

He was present at the whole fighting, including the operations in Cape Colony between de Aar and Priesca; took part in the advance from Bloemfontein to Komatapoorte; and was present at the actions at Brandtford, Vet River (5/6 May 1900), Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill (11/12 June 1900); and the operations east of Pretoria, including the actions at Belfast (27 August 1900), Swatz Kopie, and Dulstrom.  

Captain Howland of the 1st S.A. Contingent, in a letter home from Koree Kloof on 1 May 1900 (not long after the 1st and 2nd S.A. Contingents joined up as part of one unit, The Australia Regiment), wrote:

Sergeant-Major De Passey was with me yesterday, and we were talking about our Mount Gambier dances, wishing we were at one again.


According to the Adelaide Observer, 22 February 1902, De Passey:

... served 15 months…..working on the veldt from Bloemfontein to Koomati Poort on Lord Robert’s march back to Pretoria, and afterwards in the Goswin Valley district, where he remained five months in charge of a detachment of South Australians at the front.  


De Passey’s memoirs recorded a curious incident at Komitia Poorte:

Just as we were leaving Komitia Poorte, Mr. Van Herden, General Botha’s private secretary, and his brother, came in and surrendered to us and we took them on with us in the train to Pretoria..... and [they] were released on parole.  I got a valuable memento of the War from Mr. Van Herden.  It was a Kruger Sovereign, one of 8000 struck and minted out of some of the last gold which left Johannesberg on the evacuation.  It was struck off at Machadorp and dated 1900 and was distributed among the Boer Leaders as a memento before President Paul Kruger left the Transvaal.  Mr. Van Herden had five of these sovereigns in his possession and he exchanged one of them with me for an ordinary Kruger sovereign…


For his service with the 2nd SAMR Contingent he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 5 clasps, with two further clasps being awarded after his second period of active service in South Africa.
ON 7 JUNE 1901 De Passey wrote a memo to the Commandant of the SAMF (S.A. Military Forces), requesting that he be allowed to retain his field rank of Lieutenant upon his return to Australia.  The memo noted his service as Drill Instructor and Staff Sergeant-Major for up to 12 years, with the whole training of the Mounted Branch under his supervision from 1889-1900.  Attached was a letter written on 11 August, 1900 by Major G.J. Reade, the Officer Commanding 2nd SAMR. This recommended De Passey:

...be granted a commission either just before or just after the return of the Contingent to the Colony.  


Initially it seemed that there would be no place for him.  A number of officers who had been commissioned in South Africa were also hoping to retain their rank, and there were not enough places for all of them in the new Commonwealth Military Forces.  When it appeared he would not be able to retain his rank some public sentiment weighed in.  The satirical magazine Quiz led on the subject with an article on 27 June 1901:

The staff office order which has been issued depriving Lt. W. De Passey of his commission is little short of rank snobbery.  Quite a howl has gone up in the ’dailies’ correspondence columns and Quiz trusts that the question will not be allowed to rest there.  It would be intensely interesting to know why Lt. De Passey has been deprived of his rank.  Is it on the score of an enemy or is it to forward the Federal preferment of military aspirants?  The two questions, of course, cannot be allowed to hang together…..Mr De Passey left South Australia as a Sergeant major and was made Lt. on the field of South Africa battle.  If he is fit to hold a Lieutenancy – and mind he gained it in a war – surely he is entitled to bear the honour when he returns home after the campaign…..What is good enough for the British Army on active service is not good enough for our khaki on a peace footing…..meanwhile it is a trifle nauseating to hear a lot of bloodthirsty stay-at-home, toothpick warriors who have never met a ball other than at Government House defending the action of the Staff Office…..   


By the time De Passey arrived back in Australia on the troopship Tongariro (after 1 year and 141 days away) during July 1901, the Staff Office caved in.  De Passey was commissioned as Lieutenant in the Military Forces of the Commonwealth of Australia from 24 July 1901. Colonel J.M. Gordon, the Commandant of the SAMF, was surprised to be commanded by the Duke of Cornwall during the Royal visit to Adelaide in July 1901 to give him information regarding the promotion of officers and others from Australia in South Africa.  The Duke especially mentioned De Passey:

…he appeared most anxious that the Warrant Officer and others promoted from the ranks…should not lose their commissions. 

This influence could not be ignored, although how the Duke came to know of De Passey’s case in particular is not known.

Receiving his Special War Gratuity and colonial officer gratuity of £137/10/- for service in South Africa, De Passey went back to routine soldiering.

The Border Watch 20 November 1901 noted Lieutenant De Passey as acting Staff Adjutant of the SAMR, visiting Mount Gambier to examine several candidates for N.C.O. rank in the Mount Gambier MR.  

ON 8 JANUARY 1902, De Passey was appointed for further service in South Africa with the 2nd ACH (Australian Commonwealth Horse).  He was selected to command ‘D’ Squadron, consisting of South Australians.  

The Adelaide Observer of 22 February 1902 said that De Passey:

‘…has the respect and esteem of every member of the force under his command, and is every inch a soldier.’  On his return to South Africa in late February 1902:

…..he served with the regiment until the conclusion of the war, taking part in Lieutenant-General Ian Hamilton’s last great drive, Lieutenant De Passey’s squadron taking the last prisoners of the war at Devondale, near Vryburg [in the Transvaal].


THE PROBLEM OF finding a position for De Passey occupied the minds of senior officers in the military establishment in Australia.  Again, his retrenchment as an officer was actively sought out by influential senior officers. De Passey’s interests in 1901 were saved by some high level interference and the support of Colonel Gordon.  Now some officers tried to discredit him personally.  While he was still in South Africa, De Passey was reported by the Commandant of Western Australia for being ‘under the influence’ at Port Fremantle on the day the 2nd ACH was leaving for South Africa.  An internal inquiry was conducted by Colonel J. Hoad, and Lieutenant-General Hutton, the G.O.C. (General Officer Commanding) the Australian Military Forces. They may have seen the report as an opportunity to have De Passey humiliated or at least retired early.  

 

The Minister of Defence, Sir John Forrest, points out the problems with the retrenchment of de Passey.

[Click on page for larger version.]

 

Subsequently, while still in South Africa, De Passey received a letter stating that he would have to retire on 31 December 1902: ‘…..consequent on the reduction ordered by the Government…..’ with a gratuity of one month’s pay for every year of permanent service. The letter made no mention of the Fremantle report.

However, the Commonwealth Minister for Defence heard of this and quietly intervened.  He called for a special report on De Passey.  The balance of this high authority interest in his impeccable war record, coupled with strong supporting letters defending De Passey and disputing the earlier reports of ‘conduct unbecoming’ from his Squadron officers, helped to scuttle the attack on his reputation.    

De Passey’s opponents did not give in to the Minister’s decision to retain De Passey without a fight.  As late as June 1903, objections were still being made.  Hutton, the G.O.C., objected:

I consider his retention in the military services of the Commonwealth to be distinctly detrimental to discipline.

Confidential reports on De Passey from Colonel J.M. Gordon (having to choose between De Passey and his General Officer Commanding, he chose the G.O.C.) and from Lieutenant-Colonel J.S. Lyster (‘…in my opinion he has not the sufficient educational qualifications or status to perform the duties of a staff officer.’) were made in support of Hutton’s rear-guard action. But they were to complain to no avail, especially when the Minister pointed out that it was Gordon who recommended De Passey so strongly for Lieutenant, so how could he now say that he was not suitable?  

Arriving home on the Norfolk in July 1902, De Passey was subsequently appointed as a Staff Officer to the Headquarters Staff, MR (‘provisionally’), was confirmed as a Lieutenant and Honorary Captain and as an Enrolling Officer in March 1903.  

IN MAY 1904, Lieutenant (and Honorary Captain) De Passey was appointed to the A&I (Administrative and Instructional) Staff of the Military Forces of the Commonwealth.  In July 1905 he was granted a two year extension of service on the A&I Staff, was promoted Captain on April 4, 1906, and granted a further extension of service in the A&I Staff from 1 July 1909.  He even gained a long entry in the prestigious Cyclopedia of S.A. in 1907, which in part informed:

He [is] a member of the Naval and Military Club, Adelaide, and … a past master of Moyston Lodge of Freemasons…

A medallion inscribed to Captain W. De Passey (‘Special School of Instruction Albury 1910-11 - Inauguration Universal Training’) gives another clue to his activities during the pre-WWI period. De Passey was subsequently promoted Major on 1 October 1911.  

WITH THE OUTBREAK of WWI, De Passey was placed, according to The Advertiser, 19 June, 1942:

‘…in command of the AIF camp [Mitcham] in South Australia.’ He was the swearing-in officer for S.A. enlistees in 1st A.I.F. and ‘Throughout hostilities Col. De Passey swore in no less than 38,000 men for service…’  


In WWI, his son Roy enlisted in October 1916 for the Tunneling Corps. Roy De Passey embarked for England in late 1917 and saw active service with the 3rd Australian Tunneling Company in Flanders.  He was made Lieutenant and returned to S.A. for discharge in July 1919.

IN NOVEMBER 1918, after several extensions of service beyond retirement age, De Passey was transferred to the retired list, with honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.  His rank was confirmed in 1921, with full Colonel following in his retirement year of 1922.

Little is known of his retirement years.  He took an active part in Anzac Day marches, visited his son and family in W.A. and no doubt kept an interest in the goings-on of military affairs in S.A. in particular.  He wrote his memoirs, but unfortunately only parts remain.  William De Passey, 81, of Kent Town, died 16 June 1942 and his wife Louise died, aged 82, on 5 February, 1947.

De Passey experienced a remarkable career.  He saw active service with the 17th Lancers in South Africa during the last Zulu War and in the Anglo-Boer War in S.A. and Commonwealth Contingents.  He fought staff and social prejudice to be commissioned on his merits. Above all, although controversial at times in the staff setting, he remained the consummate horseman and swordsman.  De Passey sensed his own importance in the scheme of things, yet he could also enjoy himself. Serving once more during WWI and achieving high rank, he proved himself to be a survivor who outlived most of his critics.  

 

Acknowledgement:  Reprinted with permission of the author, Andrew J. Kilsby, from Lions of the Day - The Colonial Contingents to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1897 - The South Australians, (Melbourne 2008). Copies of this book may be obtained directly from Andrew who may be currently contacted at:

kilsbya at optusnet dot com dot au

On this same theme, Andrew is currently researching for a PhD at UNSW@ADFA under the title Australian Defence and The Rifle Club Movement 1850-1926.  He would be interested to hear from anyone with information or interest around this topic. Please feel free to contact him.

  

Further Reading:

Philip Fargher

Militia - Rifle Clubs 

 


Citation: William De Passey

Posted by Project Leader at 11:21 AM EAST
Updated: Saturday, 17 January 2009 2:29 PM EAST
Thursday, 1 January 2009
Happy New Year for 2009
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: AIF - Misc Topics

Happy New Year for 2009

from all here at the

Australian Light Horse Research Centre

May your new year be happier and more prosperous than your last.

Now a glimpse in the past as to how Australia saw the new year over 90 years ago. The following two extracts give a window into the minds of Australians when they faced the gravity presented by reflections on the New Year.

The hopes of New Year's Day, 1917

[From: Melbourne Punch, 4 January 1917,  p. 3.]

THE NEW YEAR.

The New Year has come in with the flag half-mast. It has begun its career Of 365 days in the uncountable periods of time with the world at war and Australia in the sickly sleep of drought. The year 1914 went out with bowed head and eyes full of tears, a year of momentous tragedy whose solution is still in desperate evolution. It is during times of great oppression that the robust characteristics of a nation are summoned to the fighting line to resist the onslaught of pessimism and doubt. Even tremendous disasters are not without moral significance and stimulus, and while we are a British Empire at war we are also a British Empire of a magnificent harmony, united not merely in sentiment and held together by artificial ties, but united in a shoulder-to-shoulder determination for the supremacy of right and the enthronement of honor among nations. Australia is associated with Great Britain, France, Russia, and Belgium in a noble and heroic struggle. and 1915 finds her lifted into the prestige of a world power-not in the large acceptation of the word, but in the valor and influence which her sons are exerting against the mighty immorality of a nation which menaces human freedom and is the demonstrated instrument of atrocity and despotism.

So, while 1915 has come to us under very sad auspices, and while Australia, with the rest of the world, is feeling the abomination of this war in the transference of her best manhood to the scene of action and in the crippling effects of trade, and while all these terrific handicaps on progress are associated at the same time with the awful struggle against drought, yet the position is being faced with courage and fortitude. Australia, in popular phrase, is not getting her "tail down." Her head is erect and her shoulders square, there is a vigorous swing in her body and an expression of unconquering determination on her face. She means to see the whole thing through, to stand by the Motherland in the awful calamity of a great war, and to remain firm against the oppressive circumstances that are waging within her own borders, and against which there is no defence except a strong and well-entrenched optimism. If 1915 has come in with the flag half-mast, there is a feeling of confidence that before it shall pass into history the war will have closed and the world be wrapped in a peace resting on liberty and right. The great powers of Europe have rested uneasily for a long time. This turmoil that has made the Continent a vast cemetery and turned the highways of commerce into rivers of blood, has filled millions with terror and plunged the various Governments into crushing expenditure on defence; this turmoil that has sucked the blood of progress and hindered the solution of fearful problems-of social horror will leave behind such an aftermath of security and tranquillity, such a sense of established peace, that perhaps, after all, it will have been worth while. It seems a terrible price to pay-a price in death and suffering that one shrinks front contemplating-but it was inevitable that the bill had to be met. And if 191 5 shall receipt it and give back to the world an unchallenged freedom the colors which now flutter from half-mast will be hauled to the peak, to stay there for a long, long period of happy and progressive years.

[From: Adelaide Critic,  6 January 1915, p. 6.]

Regardless of the conflict, Australians still enjoyed the festivity of the New Year's Eve countdown to the New Year.

A large crowd outside the Adelaide Town Hall counting down to the New Year.

[From: The Observer,  8 January 1916, p. 27.]

 

Happy New Year

 


Citation: Happy New Year for 2009

Posted by Project Leader at 8:13 AM EAST
Updated: Thursday, 1 January 2009 8:14 AM EAST
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Merry Christmas, 2008
Topic: AIF - Misc Topics

Merry Christmas



6th LHR Christmas Card, 1918

 [The card traces all the Christmases spent by the 6th LHR during their overseas service.]

 

Merry Christmas for 2008.

At the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre we would like to extend a hearty thanks to everyone who contributed their time and effort to create this site.

For every visitor and contributor, let this year be your best and next year even better.

 

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

 


Citation: Merry Christmas, 2008

Posted by Project Leader at 7:48 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 26 December 2008 11:47 AM EAST

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