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Remembered Today:

Sea routes from India to Mesopotamia

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Hello there,


Does anyone know where I can find out details about the sea routes and ships that would have been taken to transport Indian labourers from India to Mesopotamia?


In particular I'd like to find out which ports they embarked from and docked at; how long the crossing would have taken; how many men would have been in a convoy; would they have carried labourers and officers together, and how / where would they have been accommodated whilst on board?


Any information appreciated!



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The principal or main entry port for the Mesopotamia Campaign was Basra, it was captured early, at the end of November 1914 and the port facilities and built up throughout the campaign.  Initially disembarkation facilities were limited and Maquil was also used. 


The usual sea route from India was Bombay - Basra and return; troops also embarked from Karachi.


You may find this article of interest 



There is a list of troopships https://web.archive.org/web/20140726104656/http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/Troopships.html

The Egra is frequently mentioned in the literature.

The journey time obviously depended on the speed of the ship but there are examples on this page which indicate it was about 7 days, note they would have to moor offshore before being piloted to the port.


The fibwiki page has many sources which may also help



As to your other questions the officers would have embarked with their troops if posted as a cohesive unit, though no doubt they would be accomodated differently.  Reinforcements/replacements would I suggest have simply embarked and been accommodated on board, once again according to the ship.  Probably many would spend the voyage on deck, generally sleeping arrangements were hammocks.  I can't be specific about the Indian Labour Corps but whlst British troops wrote many accounts of their voyage and their wonderment at the voyage, there were still military 'parades' and discipline maintained on board.


The two-way traffic meant the wounded and sick were evacuated to India.

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