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The record of the HMTS Alaunia at Gallipol

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John P Sheehan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 18:08
Hello Folks!

I'm doing research on the Gallipoli Campaign for an historical novel and have been looking into the wartime service record of the HMTS Alaunia after the ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy as a troop transport during WWI.

I'm familiar with the Alaunia's initial voyage to Canada and back ferrying Canadian troops across the Atlantic.

She next appears in service transporting troops for the Gallipoli Campaign. In various sources, primarily composed of Regimental Histories, I have found her whereabouts as follows:

March 15th, 1915 the Alaunia departs Avonmouth with the 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers and the 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers of the 29th Division, arriving at Alexandria, Egypt on March 28th.

Following the April 25th landings, she is first mentioned again as taking on casualties as a "Hospital Ship" on the 1st and 2nd of May, 1915.

From here I can find no record of her movements from 3rd of May to July 9th ???

On July 10th, 1915 she departs Devonport with the 6th and 7th Battalions Royal Dublin Fusiliers of the 30th Division.

On August 6th she was still in the harbor at Mitylene.

On August 16th she departs Alexandria for Lemnos and on August 19th arrives Lemnos.

I have accurate records of her movements through the remainder of the campaign. Does anyone have additional information regarding the Alaunia's movements from the 3rd of May to the 9th of July?

Obviously to be in Devonport to pick units of the 30th Div on the 10th, she would have had to steam back to England several days before. Did the Alaunia remain in theater during these "missing dates" as a Hospital Ship or did she return to pick up additional troops in England?

Thank you one and all for any information you may be able to contribute.

Warmest regards,

John
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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 18:19
John,

Welcome to the forum.

Just a slight correction for your records.

The 6th & 7th Bn RDF were part of 30th Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division, NOT 30th Division.

Regards

Mal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2014 at 18:25
On 26th May 1915 she is recorded as dropping casualties at Alexandria in Egypt.

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John P Sheehan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John P Sheehan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2014 at 02:54
Thank you Mal,

Simply a brain fart on my part! I pulled the wrong number from the back of my mind while trying to get my dates straight for the questions regarding the Alaunia.

You are of course correct. I transposed numbers. The 7th was part of the 30th Brigade, which in turn was in the 10th Division.

Please feel free to give me a good old fashion Irish boot to the backside when I screw up!

Thank you as well for the additional date for the Alaunia. I'm trying to determine if she made a run to and from England before returning to pick up the 6th & 7th Bat. RDF ??? or if she remained in theater?

Warmest regards,

John
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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2014 at 08:37
Not a bother John. As for the boots I only take them out now for walks in the countryside.

You could check with the British National Archives in Kee to see so they have a copy of her log book. Otherwise it is a case of finding mention of her in letters or other documents.

It is possible that she was still being utilised for casevac in the missing period. There cases of ships with casualties onboard moving from place to place in the Med as Hospitals were overloaded and could not take any more troops.
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John P Sheehan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John P Sheehan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 2014 at 02:30
Hi Mal,

I pulled out my marked up 1914 calendar and came up with the following:

When you look at it backward from the departure of the Alaunia from Devonport with the 6th & 7th RDF on the 10th of July, figure at least one week transit time plus refueling, she would have most likely have had to depart from the Gallipoli TO on or around July 1st.

You've accounted for her being in Alexandria on May 26th.

Now I just have to find a single reference for her whereabouts in June??? We've pretty much narrowed it down to a month.

Appreciate the help!

Warmest regards,

John
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