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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Cawdor Castle - embarkation from Southampton August 1914


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I have a friend trying to fill in her grandfather's history during the early part of the war: she knows he embarked on CAWDOR CASTLE from Southampton, 12 August 1914, but would really like some idea of the details as to how the embarkation was organised beforehand.

Does anyone know where she might go for information?

Thank you


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SJ, you could / should give the Southampton Library Archives a try. They have extensive lists of passengers & ships.


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Thanks! I'll tell her.

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Sounds like the period of the Cavalry Division's shipment to France,part from Southampton and part from Ireland and Avonmouth.

I have made enquires before about records held at Southampton Archives and have been told that they were Army records which were removed after hostilities ceased.I have also never been successful in finding anything about UK port military records for shipments to the near Continent,other than that which is recorded in the early pages of the War Diaries leading up to first landings.

The answer to organisation of the movements could be more specific if the name of the unit was posted. A typical build-up seemed to be,from mobilisation on 4 August 1914,a unit would build itself up to full strength in men and equipment,calling up of reserves where necessary,and meeting a readiness deadline,then enrailment to the port of departure prior to shipping out . In the case of Southampton units may have camped in the surrounding open areas (such as the Common a large expanse of parkland on the northern outskirts around a mile from the docks)before marching through the town to some acclaim to take their place aboard the vessels,which were largely chartered liners/cargo vessels for the roughly half day run to France.

I have a photo of the "Old Contemptibles" plaque which still adorns the wall at the entrance to the now Eastern Docks (there wasn't a Western Docks at that time)so if you would like a copy let me know.

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Sotonmate, thanks! I will ask Angela concerning the division and/or direct her to this thread.

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