Departure of Reinforcements to the Front
Troops (seen from dock) wave from ship prior to departure. Numerous civilians hold streamers connected with occupants of ship, while other civilians wave handkerchiefs as the ship leaves the wharf. The HMAT A20 Hororata weighed 9,400 tons with an average cruise speed of 14 knots or 25.92 kmph. It was owned by the New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 11 September 1917.
A troopship departs for Albany, 1914
When Australia entered the First World War in support of Britain, ships were urgently needed to transport troops to the distant battlefields. The hastily refitted ships also had to carry the troops’ horses and military stores, plus wool, metals, meat, flour and other foodstuffs, mainly for the armies of Britain and France. This film shows the loading and departure of troops and horses aboard HMAT (His Majesty’s Australian Transport) A20 Hororata from Port Melbourne, Victoria on 18 October 1914. Troops move up the gangplanks of the transport ship while horses are taken up another gangplank. A tug then tows the Hororata out of port and it joins other ships in the convoy to head out to sea.