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15th April 1917 - The Great War, Day by Day - The Wartime Memories Project

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The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day



15th April 1917

On this day:


  • Relocations   236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report Major W Cooper OC. A236 Battery returned from special leave.

  • Australian Troop Transports   

    HMAT A47 Mashobra

    The HMAT A47 Mashobra weighed 8,174 tons with an average cruise speed of 12.5 knots or 23.15 kmph. It was owned by the British India SN Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 21 December 1916. The Mashobra was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean, 15 April 1917.

  • British Troopship   

    HMT Arcadian

    SS Arcadian was a Barrow-in-Furness built passenger liner constructed in 1899 by Vickers, Sons & Maxim Ltd for the Pacific Steam Navigation Company as SS Ortona. During World War I she served with the Royal Navy and was sunk by a U-boat in 1917.

    Pacific Steam Navigation Company service, 1899-1906

    SS Ortona was the last ship that Pacific Steam built for the London to Australia route. Launched on 10 July 1899 and registered in Liverpool on 26 October, she left London on her maiden voyage was on 24 November in a joint service with the Orient Steam Navigation Company. She carried 140 first class, 180 second class and 300 third class passengers, a total of 620. In December 1902, Ortona was used to return troops to the UK after the end of the Second Boer War.

    Royal Mail Steam Packet Company service, 1906-1915.

    On 8 May 1906, Ortona was sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, who used her in a joint operation with the Orient line to Australia. In April 1909, she was transferred to the Royal Mail West Indies service.

    In 1910, she was sent to the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast for conversion into a 320-capacity cruise ship with a new gross tonnage of 8,939. She was renamed Arcadian on 21 September 1910 and registered at Belfast in September of the following year. She started her first world cruise in January 1912, the largest dedicated cruise ship in the world at that time. It was on the first leg of this voyage that Olave St Claire Soames met Lieutenant General Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout Movement, leading to their marriage in October of that year.

    In February 1915, near the start of the First World War, Arcadian was taken-up by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. On 7 April 1915 at Alexandria, General Sir Ian Hamilton came aboard and used Arcadian, together with the battleship Queen Elizabeth, as his headquarters ship during opening phase of the Gallipoli Campaign. Once Hamilton's staff had transferred to a shore base at Imbros, Arcadian was employed as a troop ship in the Mediterranean.

    On 15 April 1917 Arcadian was en route from Salonika to Alexandria with a company of 1,335 troops and crew and escorted by a Japanese Navy destroyer. Shortly after completing a boat drill, while 26 miles north east of the Greek island of Milos, Arcadian was hit by a single torpedo from the German submarine UC-74 and sank within six minutes with the loss of 279 lives. A contemporary newspaper article described how four of Arcadian's overcrowded lifeboats were successfully lowered before it sank. Many of the dead were cooks and stokers who were working below decks. The escorting destroyer had two torpedoes launched at her while she was attempting to rescue men from the water; survivors reported that she had lowered three of her own boats while going "at full speed". More survivors, who had been clinging to a raft, were rescued at midnight by the Q-ship, HMS Redbreast. Among the dead was the eminent bacteriologist, Sir Marc Armand Ruffer, who was returning to Alexandria after advising on the control of an epidemic among troops based at Thessaloniki.

  • 15th April 1917 Bathing and training

  • 15th April 1917 Dismounted Party returns

  • 15th Apr 1917 Moving Out

  • 15th Apr 1917 Relieved

  • 15th Apr 1917 Into the Trenches

  •    CAUCOURT

    15 -19 April. Training at CAUCOURT. The weather mostly very wet and cold.

  • 15th Apr 1917 Praise for Battalion Work

  • 15th April 1917 





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There are:11 articles tagged with this date available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.




Remembering those who died this day.

  • Pte. Cecil William James Bell. Royal Army Medical Corps Read their Story.
  • 2nd Lt. Henry Whitby Briscoe. Royal Irish Fusiliers 3rd Garrison Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Davidson Ross Burns. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment) 2nd/4th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Rfm. Frederick Thomas Edward Crawford. London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles) 16th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William Buntin Henderson. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. William Buntin Henderson. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) 2nd Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Philip Hurson. Northumberland Fusiliers 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Joseph Collis Lee. Lancashire Fusiliers 18th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Joseph Parker. East Lancashire Regiment 1st Btn. Read their Story.
  • Pte. Albert Patchett. Royal Scots Fusiliers 1/4th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Thomas Greville Peacock. West Yorkshire Regiment 2/7th Btn. Read their Story.
  • Lt. Charles Pope. VC. 11th Battalion
  • Lt. Charles Pope. VC. 11th Btn. Read their Story.
  • L/Cpl. Robert Price. Army Service Corps K Supply Coy. Read their Story.
  • Pte. A Redford. 20th Battalion Read their Story.
  • Pte. Ellis Smith. Border Regiment 11th Btn. Read their Story.

    Add a name to this list.


  • Items from the Home Front Archive


    Do you have any letters, photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia from the Great War? We would love to include copies. Please use this form to submit diary entries and letters or photographs for this new Section: add to this archive.





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