Much happened during October but not of the least was the two inoculations that all troops were to receive.  Given the upcoming health issues to be suffered by all these inoculations appeared to be somewhat placebic in retrospect. 

After an anxious wait, on the 14th of October the H.M.S. Minotaur and H.I.J.M.S Ibuki, the escort that they were anxiously waiting arrived in Wellington.

Wasting no time, on the 15th of October the Star of India and Wiamana escorted by the HMS Philomel arrived in Wellington.  Now, with all ten transport ships assembled they quickly went about fuelling and embarking troops and horses in anticipation of imminent sailing. 

The fleet now complete and complimented by a full naval escort sailed from Wellington at 06:00 on the 16th of October 1914 witnessed by a crowd of early-risers.

After 6 days at sea the flotilla arrived at Hobart where they received a rousing welcome from the Tasmanians and even enjoyed a moment marching through the city.  Departing Hobart their next stop was Albany, Western Australia.  It was at Albany where the remainder of the flotilla congregated. 

By the time the flotilla congregated in King George Sound, Albany, Western Australia the flotilla consisted of the following ships:

First Convoy - 1st November 1914

New Zealand Transports:

  • HMNZT 3 Maunganui
  • HMNZT 4 Tahiti
  • HMNZT 5 Ruapehu
  • HMNZT 6 Orar
  • HMNZT 7 Limerick
  • HMNZT 8 Star of India
  • HMNZT 9 Hawkes Bay
  • HMNZT 10 Arawa
  • HMNZT 11 Athenic
  • HMNZT 12 Waimate

Australian Transports:

  • A1 Hymettus
  • A2 Geelong
  • A3 Orvieto
  • A4 Pera
  • A5 Omrah
  • A6 Clan McCorquodale
  • A7 Medic
  • A8 Argyllshire
  • A9 Shropshire
  • A10 Karroo
  • A11 Ascanius
  • A12 Saldana
  • A13 Katuna
  • A14 Euripides
  • A15 Star of England
  • A16 Star of Victoria
  • A17 Port Lincoln
  • A18 Wiltshire
  • A19 Afric
  • A20 Hororata
  • A21 Marere
  • A22 Rangatira
  • A23 Suffolk
  • A24 Benalla
  • A25 Anglo Egyptian
  • A26 Armadale
  • A27 Southern
  • A28 Miltiades


  • HMS Minotaur
  • HMAS Sydney
  • HMAS Melbourne, and
  • Japanese battle cruiser Ibuki

There was now a total of 33 troop and supply ships in the company of 4 warships.  The journey across the Indian Ocean was peppered with the occasional interaction by the guarding warships of the flotilla. These interactions, whilst not directly involving the troop ships did however serve to increase the anxiety of those onboard especially in light of their purpose and destination.  What was ahead of them was not in any way reflected in the passive involvement from the occasional indiscretion from foreign warships along the route.




NZEF Troops boarding ships in Wellington -15 October 1914











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