Researching WW1 Troopships

I came across two excellent resources while researching the story behind a soldier from Victoria, BC and I thought I’d share them with you.

My soldier was a member of the 67th Battalion (Western Scots) and sailed aboard the RMS Olympic in early April 1916. I found this excellent article by David R Gray published in PDF form by Canadian Military Heritage magazine in 2002. Entitled “Carrying Canadian Troops: The Story of RMS Olympic as a First World War Troopship” it provides some wonderful detail on the Olympic’s role during the First World War.

The photo above shows the RMS Olympic in early 1917 after it was painted in the Dazzle pattern. Earlier this year I tumbled a nice photo of the RMS Aquitania docked in Halifax and sporting its Dazzle camouflage.

Another excellent troopship reference: if you know the unit a Canadian soldier belonged to you can find out valuable information on their trans-Atlantic voyage by using the CEF Study Group Troopships page. Separate lists are provided for Infantry Battalions, Medical Units, Artillery Units, Mounted Units, Engineering and related Units, Canadian Army Service Corps, Other Units and there is a page for Repatriations too.

Categories: Researching

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4 replies

  1. Very interesting site. I wonder if you can help me in my search. I am trying to find out if there are any pictures anywhere of the troopship s.s. St. Cecilia. My Father, Sgt. Arthur Leonard Mann, was with the 6th Btn Dorsetshire Regiment who sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne on the s.s. St. Cecilia on the 13th July 1915. Many thanks.

    • Hi Beryl,

      Finding photos of smaller troopships such as those that crossed the English Channel has always been hit and miss in my experience. I’ve had good success in finding photos of the larger steamships that crossed the Atlantic but not with the smaller ships. If you’re lucky a Google search might turn a photo posted by ship enthusiasts but I couldn’t find anything on the St. Cecilia. If I do find any leads I will certainly let you know. Other visitors to my site may have other suggestions. Good luck! Steve.

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