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kenora

SS Transylvania

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keithfazzani

Another photo

 

 

 

Cape Vado HMS Ttansylvania.jpeg

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Kath

Thanks, Steve ;)

Kath.

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Maureen Siddall

I am so glad that I have found this web-page. My grandfather John Henry Hilton Goodale who died in1936, some years before I was born, was a merchant seaman on the SS Transylvania and was on board when it was Torpedoed. I have a copy of his payslip showing that he joined the ship on 19 Sept 1916 and was signed off on 14 May 1917. He was one of the lucky ones in that he was rescued, but I often wonder how the experience affected him in his every day life. He married my grandmother (his 2nd wife...his first wife died in 1912) in 1918 and they went on to have 4 sons, one of which was my Dad William Goodale.

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BillyH

This poem/card about the sinking of the Transylvania has been shown in earlier posts, but this one was sent home by a local man in the Welsh Reg't who survived.

Sad to say but he was later killed in Palestine in 1918.

 

BillyH.

371445141_Transylvania1.jpg.9994a78575cce5c68f6f6b98c4e669e9.jpg

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Peter M

I was given this some years ago,  it is part of a testimony written by A..P. Jones of Liverpool, who was with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. World War 1 - Which is called "WHERE ARE YOU?"

 

The following is in his words:

 

During  the period of the Great War I joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers, and after a period of training, was sent on a draft to Egypt, on the transport, Transylvania. The ship, carrying from 4,000 to 5,000 troops, was torpedoed by a German submarine twice in twenty minutes while crossing the Mediterranean just off the coast of Italy. It soon became evident that the ship was doomed, and the order, “Everyone for themselves, was the prelude to a scene that might well baffle descriptìon Sixty nurses aboard were safely lowered into the boats, and were rowed towards the land a few miles away by some of the crew. I clambered down a rope hanging over the side of the Ship in the endeavour to reach a destroyer that Was taking survivors aboard. Judge my dismay when the destroyer moved off before I could reach her deck, and left me suspended in mid-air with the deck of the transport 25 feet above my head. I was unable to swim, and I hung on there until at length, my Strength was exhausted, and I prepared to let go. At that moment a thought flashed through my mind. It seemed as if a voice was saying to me — “What about the dear ones at home?“ With the thought came new strength and I succeeded in climbing up the rope, and regained the deck of the transport. An opportunity presented itself to board another destroyer, and I jumped and landed safely on her deck. From where I stood, I saw the transport go down. Her decks were lined with troops when she made her last dreadful plunge.  I determined after this experience, to amend my ways and lead a different life, and when we eventually reached Alexandria, I went to church the first Sunday ashore, and fell asleep during the service. Thus ended my attempt to lead a better life. I made the mistake of trusting, as so many do, in my own strength, and failed, and soon found myself back again in the old godless ways. Then followed a period in the desert, and later I was sent down to hospital. During my convalescence, a lady from the American Mission in Alexandria visited the hospital, and we had a little chat together. Part of my earlier life had been spent in America, and I was pleased to hear the accent again. At the end of our talk, she gave me the booklet, The Life That Wins, by Dr. C. G. Trumbell, of Philadelphia, U.S.A., and on leaving me, said she would bring me a Bible on her next visit to the hospital in a few days’ time. In the mean time, I was examined by a Medical Board, and sent back in a hospital ship to England.....

 

A..P. Jones. “Madeley.” 31 Sefton Lane,  Maghull, nr. Liverpool, England. WHERE ARE .You? *   A tale of two wars

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Peter M
On 14/12/2017 at 16:43, clive_hughes said:

I have recently come across a slightly different account of the sinking of the Transylvania, in the form of a letter & poem (in Welsh) published in an Anglesey newspaper in August 1917.  

 

The letter was published in Y Clorianydd (an Anglesey weekly) on 8 August 1917, and was said to be by a "Private Hugh Davies, RE, now serving in Egypt" who had formerly worked as a representative for Messrs. E.Morgan & Co. tobacco manufacturers in Amlwch, addressed to a "Mr Jones".  The letter doesn't mention the ship by name, but talks about her setting sail from a southern French port, and then being torpedoed about 10:30am the following morning by a submarine.  The ship stays afloat for half an hour or so, before a second torpedo strikes with dreadful effect.  The boats are lowered, and the "female attendants" (?nurses) placed in them.  He does his best to ease the sufferings of those around him by binding their wounds etc.  Then he sits down semi-stunned, discarding his boots and putties ready for the swim.  Around him the Red Cross men are performing their duty.  Most of the soldiers and sailors have by now jumped for it, with the captain's voice calling from the bridge "Everyone for himself!".  

 

Davies goes over "with the rafts", and can see the boat twisting under the pressures, the stern rising into the air while the fore part sinks.   He is picked up by a Japanese vessel, and when he can collect himself a couple of minutes later, there is no sign of the steamship.  They are landed at an Italian town, where they are given right royal treatment including dry clothes, food, cigarettes, chocolates etc.  A religious service is held the following morning and he gives thanks.  

 

He then appended a long poem he wrote about the sinking "of a steamer with the loss of 400 lives", in the Gulf of Genoa.  

 

I've tried to search for him, and thought I'd found a very likely candidate in the Absent Voters 1918 in Spr. (or Pte.) 165707 Hugh Davies, 1st (L. of E.) Sig. Co. RE, resident 14 Parys Square, Amlwch.  His MIC shows the usual medal Pair, but also that he was later WR/220099 RE, and had a Silver War Badge.   I was delighted when his Service papers surfaced (mis-indexed as no. 0099 RE) noting that he was a 33-year old clerk & travelling salesman on enlistment in Dec. 1915 (mobilised Nov. 1916), and including a character reference from an employer B.Morgan of Amlwch; but he doesn't seem to have left the UK for the Mediterranean until November 1917...which is a bit late to be aboard the Transylvania.  It also suggests that this was written a good couple of months before he left the UK for Egypt.   He was medically discharged back in the UK Oct. 1918.

 

Please feel free to check those images.  I'm left a bit deflated:  he might be recording a different sinking (if so, which?); or maybe I've misread the details in his file; but otherwise it looks like a confabulated account!  No other Hugh Davies in the Amlwch town & port sections of the AVL.  

 

Clive

 

Clive, I just posted another account of the sinking by AP Jones of Liverpool who was with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. 

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clive_hughes

Thank you for posting that account, Peter

Member Hywyn might be able to say more about A.P.Jones - I believe that the Absent Voters Lists 1918 for Liverpool were destroyed during WW2, but he has done considerable research into the men of the Regiment.  

 

The date of 4 May 1917 shows about 60 fatalities in the RWF, but most of them were suffered by the 1st Battalion in the action at Bullecourt, Arras.  A significant group of about 15 men however were of the 1/5th RWF who were serving in the Middle East at this time, and it may be that your A.P.Jones was one of a draft to that unit?

 

Clive

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