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David Earley

Third Engineer John Milne & HMAT Warilda

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David Earley

Good morning

 

I am researching John Milne, who was Third Engineer on the Hospital Ship Warilda and was killed, aged 24, when the Warilda was torpedoed on 3 August 1918.  Details of his career in the Mercantile Marine and the Royal Naval Reserve are rather sketchy and all I have to go on is the entry in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, see below:

 

de_ruvignys_vol_4-de_ruv_vol4_pg_0135.jpg.8874046f2123d7cc2e1be5e53a67a1be.jpg

 

I have searched in vain for any entries in the London Gazette and at The National Archives. Presumably, his position as Third Engineer was too lowly to warrant a mention in either.

 

I would like to be able to do add some dates and other details to his biography. Any suggestions where else I might look?

 

David

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seaJane

He should certainly have an entry under ADM and/or BT in The National Archives. 

 

Given that you know the names of both his parents can you find him in the 1901/1911 census and check his place of birth? That will be a useful search term for TNA

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David Earley

Hi Jane

 

He was born in Southampton, 20 August 1893 (as per the image above), I'll have another look in TNA.

 

David

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horatio2

I can find no evidence that this officer served in the RNR. Certainly no John Milne appears as an RNR Engineer in the WW1 RNR Medal Roll. I note that he served in the ARLANZA. She was commissioned as HMS ARLANZA in April 1915 as an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC). The AMCs had numerous Mercantile Marine Reserve (MMR) personnel on the complement and it is possible that he was so employed. There is an entry for an MMR Engineer John Milne on the MMR Medal Roll, where he is noted as qualifying for just a BWM (unclaimed) for service in MORNING STAR. (Personally, I doubt this is right man). I have been unable to access a Navy List with ARLANZA's list of officers. I have not achieved a hit in any of the Kew RNR Officers' records.

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David Earley

Thanks Horatio

I had another look on the TNA website without luck.

Are the RNR and MMR Medal Rolls available online?

 

David

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seaJane
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, David Earley said:

Hi Jane

 

He was born in Southampton, 20 August 1893 (as per the image above), I'll have another look in TNA.

 

David

I have this John Milne born 12 August 1893 but from what I can make out of the preview he was born in Fife.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7284604

 

 

 

Edited by seaJane
Adding link

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ARABIS

The RNR & MMR officers' medal rolls can be downloaded from the N/A but he is not in either roll.

 

He does have an entry in The Cross of Sacrifice:-

MILNE, John 3rd Engineer Merchant Marine SS Warilda [Port Adelaide] drowned 3-8-18. His name is on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

 

ARABIS.

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seaJane

Apparently there is a crew list for Warilda up to 3 Aug here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1733680.

 

Not digitised so it will require a visit in person.

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David Earley
1 minute ago, ARABIS said:

His name is on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

 

Thanks Arabis. 

1 minute ago, seaJane said:

Apparently there is a crew list for Warilda up to 3 Aug here:

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1733680.

 

Not digitised so it will require a visit in person.

Thanks, Jane. I will add that to my list of files to look at on my next visit to TNA

 

David

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David Earley

Can someone confirm what the initials HMAT stand for? Most sources (which seem to follow each other) suggest that it stands for "His Majesty's Australian Transport". However, in “Coast to Coast: The Great Australian Coastal Liners” by James Vickery (2007), which has a very detailed account of the sinking which differs from most online sources,  the author suggests that it stands for “His Majesty’s Ambulance Transport”.

 

Which is correct?

 

David

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seaJane

I can't say off the top of my head but I'm sure I've seen the question asked on the Forum before. I may also have seen A for Auxiliary suggested... apologies for not doing the search myself, but I'm a bit rushed just now.

 

sJ

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David Earley

I've found this thread which explains it all.

 

David

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dabtoe

August 3rd, 1918

WARILDA                             PASSENGER SHIP: BRITISH

WARILDA British steamer built 1912 by W.Beardmore & Co., Ltd., Glasgow. Operator Adeliade SS.Co., Ltd., Port Adelaide, 7,713 tons,  torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel 32 miles S.S.W. from Owers Lightvessel, 7 miles S.E. of Selsey Bill in pos. 50.11N, 00.13W by the German submarine UC-49 (Hans Kükenthal)  whilst on a voyage from Le Havre to Southampton as an armed ambulance transport carrying casualties, on Government service employed as a Hospital ship. 123 casualties.

Casualties Crew:

 Courtney, Alfred Henry, age 28, Steward

 Haigh, George Henry Samuel, age 17, Cadet

 Harris, Victor, age 30, Steward

 Jordan, Edward, age 37, Fireman

 Maidment, Frederick George, age 31, Greaser

 Milne, John, age 24, Third Engineer

 Newnham, Bernard George, age 41, Steward

 Phillips, Douglas William, age 21, Third Cook

Warilda.jpg

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johnboy

 an armed ambulance transport carrying casualties, on Government service employed as a Hospital ship. 123 casualties.

 

 

Were Hospital Ships supposed to be armed?

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MKC
Posted (edited)

At the time of sinking, Warilda was in Imperial service as a cross-channel ambulance transport with the code G-681, so not a hospital ship. The vessel had been a British hospital ship from July 1916 to April 1917, when its status was changed to 'ambulance transport'. So I assume from that the ship would have been 'HMT G681 Warilda' at the time of its sinking. I seem to remember that most of the Australian crew and ship's army personnel had been replaced by British service personnel by the time of the sinking, but I would have to look for the reference to be sure of that.

 

Prior to July 1916, the ship was a troop transport, HMAT A69 Warilda in Australian Commonwealth service (Aug 15 to July 16), a period of service that included a short period in British service during March 1916. The ship was transferred to British Admiralty control on 25 July 1916. 

 

Mike  

Edited by MKC

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David Earley
On 14/05/2019 at 16:21, MKC said:

I seem to remember that most of the Australian crew and ship's army personnel had been replaced by British service personnel by the time of the sinking, but I would have to look for the reference to be sure of that.

This concurs with what is said in "Coast to Coast: The Great Australian Coastal Liners" by James Vickery (2007),.

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