Hi team
A few more recollections from a century ago when New Zealand was committed to doing all she could to support Great Britain and her Empire during the years of WW1. King George V was the monarch during the Great War and also Emperor of India. The King was a Navy man after joining the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth when he was only 12 years of age. His father, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, had endorsed George's naval life by saying 'the Navy was the very best possible training for any boy'. So who could disagree with that when we look back at our own early lives?
Regards
Peter Hogg
RNZNA South Canterbury N.Z.

"peterhogg222@gmail.com"



THIS MONTH IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY




03 December 1917 SS Tahiti departs Britain for New Zealand with the first men demobilised from England after the armistice.
(RMS Tahiti was a 7,585 ton ocean liner operated by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand. Built in 1904 on Clydebank by the shipbuilders Alexander Stephen and Sons, she was named RMS Port Kingston until 1911. Taken up as a troop ship during World War I; she was subjected to an outbreak of Spanish influenza in 1918 with exceptionally high mortality amongst the troops on board. After being returned to her owners, in 1927 she was in collision with a ferry in Sydney Harbour; known as the Greycliffe disaster, it resulted in the deaths of 40 ferry passengers. Tahiti finally sank in the South Pacific Ocean due to flooding caused by a broken propeller shaft in 1930.)


RMS Tahiti


Source: RMS Tahiti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Updated: 2015-09-24T03:47Z

RMS Port Kingston in 1905; she was renamed Tahitiin 1911
Career
Name: RMS Tahiti
Owner: Union Steamship Company of New Zealand
Port of registry: New Zealand
Route: Sydney to San Francisco via Wellington
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Clydebank
Yard number: 403
Launched: 1904
Christened: Originally RMS Port Kingston
Acquired: 1911
Maiden voyage: 11 December 1911
Fate: Sank without loss due to flooding, 400 miles off Raratonga on 17 August 1930
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 7,585 gross
Length: 460 ft (140 m)
Beam: 55 ft (17 m)
Depth: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Installed power: Two steam triple expansion engines, 1443 nhp
Propulsion: Two propellers
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Capacity: 515 passengers (as built)
Crew: 135
RMS Tahiti was a 7,585 ton ocean lineroperated by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand. Built in 1904 on Clydebank by the shipbuilders Alexander Stephen and Sons, she was named RMS Port Kingston until 1911. Taken up as a troop ship during World War I; she was subjected to an outbreak of Spanish influenza in 1918 with exceptionally high mortality amongst the troops on board. After being returned to her owners, in 1927 she was in collision with a ferry in Sydney Harbour; known as the Greycliffe disaster, it resulted in the deaths of 40 ferry passengers. Tahitifinally sank in the South Pacific Oceandue to flooding caused by a broken propeller shaft in 1930.
Contents

1 Early career
2 To New Zealand
3 World War I
4 The 1918 influenza pandemic
5 The Greycliffe disaster
6 Sinking
7 References
Early career

Originally named RMS Port Kingston, she was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons of Govan on the River Clyde. She had been ordered by the Imperial Direct West Mail Company of Bristol, who were a subsidiary of Elder Dempster Shipping Limited. She was intended for the Bristol to Kingston, Jamaica route, which she was able to cover in ten and a half days.[1] She had accommodation for 277 first class, 97-second and 141 third class passengers on four decks and had a crew of 135. Besides carrying mail, she had a hold for a cargo of fruit. Port Kingston survived the 1907 Kingston earthquake and although beached, was successfully refloated. She was laid-up in 1910.[2]
To New Zealand

In 1911, she was purchased by the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, refitted at Bristol and renamed Tahiti. She was intended for the route Sydney to San Francisco via Wellington, Rarotonga and Tahiti; she made her first voyage on 11 December 1911.
World War I

On the outbreak of war in 1914, the Tahiti was requisitioned to serve as a troopship and became HMNZT ("His Majesty's New Zealand Transport") Tahiti. She was part of the convoy transporting the First Detachment of the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces, which left King George's Sound, Albany, Western Australia on 1 November 1914. On 11 September 1915, she arrived in Wellington with the first casualties from the Gallipoli campaign.[3]
The 1918 influenza pandemic

Tahiti left New Zealand on 10 July 1918 with 1,117 troops onboard and 100 crew members, bound for England. When she met the rest of her convoy at Freetown in Sierra Leone, reports of disease ashore led to a quarantine order for the ships. However, the ships were resupplied by local workers, and officers attended a conference onboard HMS Mantua, an armed merchant cruiser, which had experienced an influenza outbreak three weeks previously. The first soldiers suffering from Spanish influenza began reporting to the hospital on Tahiti on 26 August, the day that she left Freetown. By the time she arrived at Devonport on 10 September 68 men had died and a further nine died afterwards, an overall mortality rate of 68.9 persons per 1,000 population. It is estimated that more than 1,000 of those on board had been infected with the disease. A later enquiry found that mortality was worst in those over 40 years and that those over 25 had a higher mortality than those under 25. Mortality was also higher in those sleeping in bunk beds rather than in hammocks. The conclusion of the enquiry was that overcrowding and poor ventilation had contributed to the exceptionally high infection rate and death toll.[4] It was one of the worst outbreaks worldwide for the 1918/19 pandemic in terms of both morbidity and mortality.[5]
The Greycliffe disaster

Main article: Greycliffe disaster
In 1919, the Tahiti was returned to her owners and her boilers were converted from coal firing to oil. In 1920, she made her first post-war voyage to Vancouver and reverted to the San Francisco route in the following year.[6] On 3 November 1927, Tahiti collided with the Watsons Bay ferry Greycliffe off Bradleys Head in Sydney Harbour. The crowded ferry was split in two and sank within three minutes.[7] Of 120 passengers on the ferry, 40 were killed.[8]
Sinking

On 17 August 1930, when the Tahiti was 400 miles off Raratonga, one of the propeller shafts broke opening a large hole in her stern. The passengers and crew were rescued by the American ship SS Ventura, together with the ships papers and bullion. She sank two days later.[9]


08 December 1917 SS Ruahine departs Britain for New Zealand, as an ambulance transport.



21 December 1917Kapitšnleutnant Count Felix Von Luckner, formerly of the German Raider SMS Seeadler, is recaptured by the HM Cable Ship IRIS after escaping from a POW Camp on Motuihe Island, New Zealand.

Marauder of the Sea, German Armed Merchant Raider During World War I

SMS Seeadler

Seeadler
This vessel was the only sailing ship to be used as an Armed Merchant Raider, she carried a great deal of mystique that could be owed to her flamboyant Commanding Officer, Felix Graf von Luckner, also known as The Sea Devil. Should you enter into a discussion of this era with anyone with but a passing knowledge of these Raiders, it will always be von Luckner, who is remembered, and spoken about.

A proud ship, and one that well-served its masters into the 20th Century. It was something of a pleasant-looking anachronism as World War I began... a ship of sail in a world of Dreadnaughts and armoured cruisers.

The Cable Ship IRIS was launched Wednesday, 20/08/1902 at David J Dunlop Port Glasgow and completed 1902.

Her dimensions were a length of 295.0 feet, and a tonnage of 2253 grt.

HMCS IRIS


21 December 1914 The Australian Imperial Force and the main body of the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force arrive in Cairo



Plans for the formation began in November 1914 while the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops were still in convoy bound for, as they thought, Europe. However, following the experiences of the Canadian Expeditionary Force encamped on Salisbury Plain, it was decided not to subject the Australians and New Zealanders to the English winter and so they were diverted to Egypt for training before moving on to the Western Front in France.

The British Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener, appointed General William Birdwood, an officer of the British Indian Army, to the command of the corps and he furnished most of the corps staff from the Indian Army as well. Birdwood arrived in Cairo on 21 December 1914 to assume command of the corps.

It was originally intended to name the corps the Australasian Army Corps, this title being used in the unit diary, following the common practice of the time, which often saw New Zealanders and Australians compete together as Australasia in sporting events.
However, protests from New Zealand led to adoption of the name Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
The administration clerks found the title too cumbersome so quickly adopted the abbreviation A. & N.Z.A.C. or simply ANZAC. Shortly afterwards it was officially adopted as the codename for the corps but it did not enter common usage amongst the troops until after the Gallipoli landings.

At the outset, the corps comprised two divisions; the Australian Division, composed of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Infantry Brigades and the New Zealand and Australian Division, composed of the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade and 4th Australian Infantry Brigade. The 2nd and 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigades were assigned as corps level troops, belonging to neither division.

Despite being synonymous with Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC was a multi-national body. In addition to the many British officers in the corps and division staffs, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps contained, at various points, the 7th Brigade of the Indian Mountain Artillery, Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps troops, the Zion Mule Corps, four battalions from the Royal Naval Division, the British 13th (Western) Division, one brigade of the British 10th (Irish) Division and the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade.

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

It was formed in Egypt in 1915, and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli.

General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the First Australian Imperial Force and 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force. The corps disbanded in 1916, following the Allied evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula and the formation of I Anzac Corps and II Anzac Corps.