HMT Arcadian 1899-1917

Troop Ship

The Ship

Torpedoed and sunk 15 April 1917

Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.; 1899; Vickers, Sons & Maxim;
8,939 tons; 500x55-3x33-7; 506n.h.p.; 15 knots; tripleexpansion

The liner Arcadian, Capt. C. L. Willats, was taken over from the
R.M.S.P. Co. during the First World War and converted into a
transport. On April 15th, 1917, the ship with a company of 1,335
troops and crew was proceeding from Salonika to Alexandria, and
was in the southern Aegean, 26 miles N.E. of Milo. The troops had
just completed boat-drill when a submarine approached unseen and
discharged a torpedo which inflicted such extensive damage that the
vessel sank in six minutes. Fortunately the men's recent exercise at
the boats imparted steadiness and confidence and 1,058 were
rescued, either through their own efforts or by the escorting
The number drowned was 277 and, had it not been for the sudden
capsizing of the vessel, many more would have been saved. Those
lost included 19 army officers and 214 other ranks, as well as ten
naval ratings and 34 members of the crew. A considerable amount
of wreckage and spars was sucked down and this, coming to the
surface with great force, killed many who were swimming in the

This was the ship that a few years before my Grandfather sailed on to Salonika.

Sorry, no postcards for this ship.

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