Thursday, February 11, 1915

On Board H.M. Transport “Australind,” (Captain Sidney Angell)

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Embarked on transport direct from train; found a heavy artillery battery commanded by Major McDougall[sic]* already on board.  Ship very crowded.  Sailed late in the day, escorted by destroyers.” [1]

* Note:  The War Diary appears to be in error with this name; the Bn. history contains the correct name.

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “Marching through the blackness of a cool, fine night, the detachments of the 14th reached Amesbury and entrained without incident, or misadventure, the trains moving out slowly afterwards and reaching

Amesbury Dock early on the morning of February 11th.  At Avonmouth the Battalion embarked at once on the transport Australind, a captured German cargo and cattle steamer of some 4,000 tons, commanded by Captain Sidney Angell.  With the 14th on board was the 1st Canadian Heavy Battery, under the command of Major F.C. Magee [Frank Cormack Magee, of St. John, N.B., later Lt.-Col., DSO].  Accomodation on the Australind was distinctly limited, officers occupying the few cabins that existed and the men, in the words of one diary, being, “crowded into holds, hatchways, and empty horse stalls.”  “Gone,” continues this record, “are the palatial quarters of the Andania. Here there is a smell of horses; dust is plentiful, and rats promenade on the pipes above our heads; but things like that bother us very little these days.”   [2]

[1]    War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Feb 11, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089693.jpg
[2]    R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pp. 24-25.


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