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Frederick

HMAT Karoo

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Frederick

Hi guys,

Like many others I am working on Family History. I am hoping someone will be able to tell me if HMAT Karoo (might be Karroo) sailed from Alexandria, Egypt, to Lemnos or Gallipoli departing around 30/8/1915 and arriving around 7/9/1915, and which Australian troops she carried on that voyage

Or alternatively can you suggest from where I can source this information?

Thanks,

Fred

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johnmelling1979
Posted (edited)

Hello

Its name was Troopship HMAT Karroo (A10)

A picture of it in 1916 is in here

https://discoverytrailscomau.wordpress.com/18-1-5-hmat-australian-ships-during-ww1/

 

Transport Duties Dardanelles Operations 1915 - 1916

 

Also its mentioned in the very useful book here, with careful eyes looking in each convoy you will spot where its departing from in Australia  

Melbourne and Sydney seem to be mentioned a few time

No destinations though

https://issuu.com/anmmuseum/docs/sea_transport_of_the_aif

 

John

Edited by johnmelling1979

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Frederick

Thanks for your help John. If the SS Karroo did leave from Alexandria on around that date, it will provide the missing piece to an intriguing story regarding my uncle that I will be happy to share with you later.

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David26

Fred,

 

the file WO25/3542 would likely answer your question.  It contains lists of ships which sailed from 'abroad' to 'abroad' (where 'abroad' means not the UK) for the third quarter of 1915.  Sadly it has not been digitised and can only be examined by visiting The National Archives in Kew which is of course shut at the moment due to COVID19.

 

It may not help, but the Karroo had arrived in Alexandria on 18 July 1915, having sailed from Devonport in the UK on 5 July 1915. 

 

Good luck in your hunt,

 

David.

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Frederick

David , thanks for your input. The "minor" difficulty there is that I live in Melbourne, Australia, and flights are a tad hard to get right now!

The reason for my inquiry (which might enthuse other researchers) is that I think my uncle might have jumped on a troopship at Alexandria out of sheer boredom on or about 30th August 1915 to get to the front at Gallipoli. At least that is what dates on his letters suggest.

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David26

Fred,

 

that certainly makes things a little trickier!  But you can commission either TNA or a private researcher to look this up for you once TNA re-opens.  The TNA site tells you how to ask them to do it.  It is though apparently usually cheaper to get a private researcher to do this.  You can find members of the Forum who are willing to recommend someone by searching for "researcher" on the Forum.

 

The embarkation returns name officers and give their regiments, but just give numbers of other ranks for each unit, so depending on your uncle's rank (or the story he spun the transportation officer at Alexandria) you might just be able to confirm the family story. 

 

There are also disembarkation returns in the WO25 series, and the one for travel "between stations abroad" for the second half of 1915 is WO25/3703.  I'm afraid I've never examined these so couldn't comment on what they contain.

 

All the best,

 

David

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Frederick

David, a little more detail in order to explain my strange requests about troopship names . My uncle looked after horses in a transport ship called (possibly) “Indian” off the coast of Gallipoli for three weeks from 26/4/15, then returned to Alexandria mid May. From his letters, he was bored witless after several months there. His last letter from there was dated 20th August when he spoke of there being a chance he could join the infantry. His next letter was from Gallipoli “in the trenches” and dated 9th September. Later that month on 21st September, a Court of Inquiry in Gallipoli found him guilty of being awol for 8 days from 31/8 to 7/9 and classified him as being a Deserter  but his punishment was merely forfeiture of pay and FP2. But how did he get to Gallipoli? We suspect he somehow got on to the Karroo which he mentions in his 9/9 letter as being in Mudros when he was there too. Or maybe he got on the Southland which carried the 21st Infantry (departing on the right date), and which was torpedoed en route, with surviving men being transferred to the Partridge, and arrived in Gallipoli on 7/9.

 

So this might just be one of those (what I believe to be unusual) cases of a soldier “deserting to the front”. I would love to prove it correct, as you will understand !

 

Fred

 

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David26

Fred,

 

yes, I can fully understand what you're trying to do.  Proving it may never be possible, but, as a I say, what you can do is give a researcher all of the details you want them to look for (range of dates of departures from Alexandria bound for Gallipoli, Lemnos or Imbros and range of dates for arrivals) and ask them to photograph every relevant page for you.  (TNA permits photographing documents for personal research purposes).   You could also specify your uncle's unit in case they spot a ship with one or more men from his unit aboard, though I'd guess that if he was 'deserting to the front' that he might have had to be rather more clandestine about who he was or how he got aboard.

 

I would offer to do this for you next time I visit TNA, but my current assumption is that that's unlikely to be this calendar year, I'm afraid.

 

David.

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Frederick

Thanks for your replies to my posting David, it is hugely appreciated. I take on board your advice about a private researcher at TNA, and if you are willing to do that for me, I would certainly not look elsewhere. It appears that TNA only closed on 13 May (surprising in itself given how much more conservative we have been here in Australia with libraries closed since late March) and they are talking about being closed until the end of June. So perhaps the timeline may be shorter than we estimated. My book is most unlikely to be ready for the publisher before then, and Len's small story is such an interesting part of it that I am prepared to wait and see in regard to TNA.

Cheers,

Fred

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