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HMT Arcadian


mmm45
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Hi

Can anyone help am researching a casualty who went down with HMT Arcadian.Can anyone give me any more details on this troopship sinking? (April 1917)

thanks

Ady :)

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Ady,

Arcadian, SS (da), built 1899, 8,939 grt, torpedoed & sunk 15th April 1917 by UC 74, 26 miles NE from Milos Island, Aegean Sea, whilst transporting troops from Salonika to France, owned by Royal Mail Steam Packet Co-London. 35 members of the crew were lost. I don't have any info on the troops carried or their casualties.

Best wishes

David

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Ady,

Arcadian was torpedoed and sunk on April 15, 1917 26 miles NE of Milos Island by the German submarine UC74. 277 lost.

Best wishes,

michael

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There is an account of the sinking by a survivor in 'True World War 1 Stories', introduction by Lewis J. E. and published by Robinson, London 1999 . The story/article is called 'Torpedoed in the Aegean' by an East Riding Yeomanry trooper enroute for Egypt (she was sailing from Salonika to Alexandria at the time). I have a list of the 19 East Ridings who perished if you are interested.

Neil.

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There is an account of the sinking by a survivor in 'True World War 1 Stories', introduction by Lewis J. E. and published by Robinson, London 1999 . The story/article is called 'Torpedoed in the Aegean' by an East Riding Yeomanry trooper enroute for Egypt (she was sailing from Salonika to Alexandria at the time). I have a list of the 19 East Ridings who perished if you are interested.

Neil.

Thanks everone for your help.

My casualty is T4/216022 LUCAS ASC he was lost at sea in the sinking commemerated on the Mikra memorial.

Ady :D

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  • 5 months later...

Ady

2Lt Herbert Lane Thacker MM ASC; one of the first tank drivers, was also drowned as a result of the sinking of the Arcadian.

Stephen

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  • 2 months later...

Slightly confused; I undertsood that Arcadian was on her way to Eqypt; do we know when she left Salonika?

Stephen

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Hello Ady

ARCADIAN

Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.; 1899; Vickers, Sons & Maxim;

8,939 tons; 500x55-3x33-7; 506n.h.p.; 15 knots; tripleexpansion

engines.

The liner Arcadian, Capt. C. L. Willats, was taken over from the

R.M.S.P. Co. during the First World War and converted into a

transport. On April 15th, 1917, the ship with a company of 1,335

troops and crew was proceeding from Salonika to Alexandria, and

was in the southern Aegean, 26 miles N.E. of Milo. The troops had

just completed boat-drill when a submarine approached unseen and

discharged a torpedo which inflicted such extensive damage that the

vessel sank in six minutes. Fortunately the men's recent exercise at

the boats imparted steadiness and confidence and 1,058 were

rescued, either through their own efforts or by the escorting

destroyer.

The number drowned was 277 and, had it not been for the sudden

capsizing of the vessel, many more would have been saved. Those

lost included 19 army officers and 214 other ranks, as well as ten

naval ratings and 34 members of the crew. A considerable amount

of wreckage and spars was sucked down and this, coming to the

surface with great force, killed many who were swimming in the

water.

Regards

John

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John , Adt

Looking at the names on the memorial quite a few were ASC.

Did the tranposrt's voyage start at Salonika or was it en route from Great Britain. If so was Salonika often used as a stopping port?

Stephen

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Thanks David - that helps me considerably :)

Do you know if she started at Salonika or originally from the UK; my reason for asking is to try to identify whether Herbert Thacker left for Eqypt from the UK

or if he was serving in Salonika and was re=deployed

Stephen

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superb - thanx Neil

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  • 10 years later...

I do not believe he was the ARCADIAN's Master in peace time as at the beginning of the War Captain Willats was Master of the Royal Mail SP Co's PEMBROKESHIRE on which he served throughout 1914 & 1915.  Prior to that he served as Chief Officer of the ARLANZA during the years 1912 and 1913.

 

He served with the Royal Mail SP Co for most of his career at sea, completing 21 years service when he applied for a copy of his Certificate of Competency which was lost when the RADNORSHIRE, on which he was serving as Master, was sunk by the raider MOEWE off Brazil on 7 Jan 1917.  He appears to have survived the war and was Master of the CHAUDIERE in 1918 & 1919. He was still making trips to sea at the age of 78 describing himself on the passenger list as a Captain RNR retired!

Attached picture of ARCADIAN as a Government Transport 

TH

Arcadian-18.jpg

Edited by MerchantOldSalt
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There is an ARCADIAN  movement into Southampton from New York on 16 May 1914 in file BT26/599/30 at the NA. Not digital, though there is a suggestion on the index page of Discovery that it can be obtained from AUK ( which seems to indicate with a worldwide subscription). That may be the last civil voyage prior to Govt use and the papers will show the Captain's name.

 

A Captain Charles Lane Willets had an exciting last few years at sea, as he also shipwrecked the PEMBROKESHIRE on 16.11.1915 off the Canaries and took the blame for being too close inshore and failing to deploy his lead soundings to confirm his course.

 

Edit: now see MoSs post, so not him on the May 1914 arrival.

Edited by sotonmate
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