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The Beltana Sails from Devonport




103 years and 1 day ago, on 26 February 1916, the SS Beltana sailed from Devonport. Onboard were 5 officers and 68 men of 22nd Motor Machine Gun Battery. Among then was my grandfather Ernest William "Bill" Macro. Also onboard were the Battery's 19 motorcycle combinations, 8 motorcycles and 8 cars. I assume their Vickers Machine Guns were also onboard! It was the start of a journey which would take the Battery to Bombay and then Rawalpindi. The next three years were then spent on the North West Frontier. The majority of the men saw action during the Third Afghan War of 1919. For some, including Bill Macro, the culmination of this would come in late July 1919, during the Action at Badama Post.




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