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ANZACs, Troop Ship Convoys

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1 Nov 1914 to 1945
Location: Australiamap
Surnames/tags: ANZACs Great War, World War I
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His Majesty's Australian Transports [HMAT] Ships were a fleet of transport ships, leased by the Commonwealth government for the specific purpose of transporting the various AIF formations to their respective overseas destinations. When not committed to military transport, these ships were employed to carry various commodity exports to Britain and France. The fleet was made up from British ships and captured German vessels.[1]

The convoys which transported the yet to be, ANZAC troops to Egypt left in several convoys from Albany, Western Australia and, the WA members from Fremantle, Western Australia.

See Convoys to hell, Centenary of first convoy of troops leaving Albany, Albany gateway and Australian War Memorial.
Also visit Pages in category "Ships" The following 393 pages are in this category, from BirtwistleWiki - (June 2023 update = The Ships pages now number over 500 entries, and include 'US' ships - WW2)

A G Butler writing about conditions on the Troop ships says:

The navy did not have dozens of troopships on hand at the start of the war; the ships they used had been owned by steamship companies and the government paid to requisition and convert them for a wartime role. These hasty conversions meant the ships were often cramped and crowded, and in such conditions disease could spread rapidly. Influenza, meningitis, and pneumonia were the leading causes of death while at sea.[2]

1st Convoy

Sailed 1 November 1914 from Albany, arrived on 3 December in Alexandria, Egypt.

The heavy escort vessels were the British armoured cruiser HMS Minotaur, and the Australian light cruisers HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney. Two days after leaving the port of Albany, the convoy’s escort was strengthened by the arrival of the powerful Japanese battlecruiser Ibuki.


  1. Australian Military History
  2. A. G. Butler, “Sea transport of Australian soldiers”, in The Australian Army Medical Services in the war of 1914– 1918, vol. 3, p665

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