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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

HMNZT 81 aka TS Devon?


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This is the Federal Steam Navigation Co. ship Devon of 1915 as NZT Ship No.64, she made a later voyage under the number 81.  I assume you wanted her in grey during her time as a transport but there are better photos in Federal SN Co, or British India SN Co colours if you want.

Image purchased many years ago in NZ for my collection but it is a very well published photo in the public domain and can be found online.


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Much apppreciated, shipwreck.  This image will suit me as all I'm trying to do is illustrate the miltary life of the relative of a friend.  I put images and text together to illustrate ther military career in WW1. Very amateurishly!

A supplemetary question; does the number, 64 or 81, reflect the troop movement it was undertaking rather than the identification of the ship like a pennant number e.g. S27?

Edited by SunDodginDoc
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It does reflect an individual troop movement in each case on this occasion, but when Merchant Ships were taken up for service with the Admiralty or the Army they were issued with an individual identification number which was usually, but not always displayed on the bridge front as in the photo.  If the ship remained on permanent charter then the same number was usually maintained throughout that time.  If it was just voyage charters now and again returning to Merchant Service in between, then a new number would usually be issued, some ships having two or three, the DEVON also served as an Expeditionary Force Transport under F186 during 1916 & 17.  The NZ and Australian Governments taking up ships tended to follow this scheme as in the case of the DEVON.

Only certain numerals were used  to aid identification at distance and avoid confusion so numbers were not consecutive, though all letters of the alphabet were used as necessary.  Colliers only had numerals, some numbers were used by more than one ship at different times.


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