November 03, 2009
Subject: WW 1 Convoy
Hello again Mac, I am wondering if you know anything about the WW 1 convoy that left Albany in late 1914 for
I have found that it consisted of New Zealand vessels, battalions from Victoria & New South Wales & carried
troops, horses & supplies.
I have information of Victorian soldiers traveling on at least 3 different ships & wondered if anyone knows how
many there were & the names of them.
Can you help with this question?
I cannot track down all the transports names from that first AIF convoy ex Albany on November 1 1914.
Here are snippets associated with that group.
5th Battalion AIF (Victoria) [2nd Infantry Brigade]
Formed Victoria August 1914. Departed Melbourne Orvieto 21 October for Albany to join the first AIF convoy ex Albany on November 1 1914.
8th Battalion AIF (Victoria) [2nd Infantry Brigade]
Formed Victoria August 1914. Departed Melbourne Benalla 19 October for Albany to join the first AIF convoy ex Albany on November 1 1914. It was from Albany on November 1 1914, that the first
ANZAC convoy set sail for war.
On 1 November 1914 the first ANZAC convoy, comprising Melbourne, Sydney, HMS Minotaur, the Japanese battlecruiser Ibuki, and 38 transports sailed from Albany.
The Wiltshire was part of a convoy of 10 troop transports crossing the Tasman Sea escorted by the Japanese Cruiser H.I.J.M.S.Ibuki and H.M.S. Pyramus, to join the biggest convoy ever to leave Australia up until that time: 42 ships, 20,000 troops and 7,500 horses. (Japanese alliance with France and England was to 'forestall objections to Japan's moves on China'-Bergamini). The NZ and Australian convoys merged in King George Sound near the port of Albany on the extreme SW of Australia. (There are photos: contact the Albany Local Studies Librarian, at email@example.com to track them down). 'The ships anchored in the Sound and came into the Princess Royal Harbour in twos and threes, to take on water, coal and provisions. The men on board were transported to land for marches and training.'
November 1 1914, the first Australian and New Zealand contingent sails from Albany, Western Australia, bound for Egypt. Only one in three of those who sailed in the first convoy would return physically unscathed at the end of the First World War.
HMAT A3 Orvieto weighed 12,130 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the Orient SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 29 December 1914. It formed part of the first convoy of the AIF to the Egypt. The Orvieto became well known for its work during this convoy as it transported the prisoners captured from the beached German raider Emden. The German prisoners were take to Egypt by the Orvieto for imprisonment.
The AIF departed in a single convoy from Albany, Western Australia on November 1, 1914. During the journey, HMAS Sydney destroyed the German cruiser SMS Emden, at the Battle of Cocos, the first ship to ship action for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The AIF was sent initially to British-controlled Egypt, to preempt any attack by the Ottoman Empire, and with a view to opening another front against the Central Powers.
back to letters index