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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.

Year:1914

Location:Port Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

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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.


Year: 1914

Length: 04:55

Production Company: Pathe Home Cinematograph

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 9396


Location: Port Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Tags: Soldiers, Light Horse, Departures, Transport Ship, HMAT A20 Hororata

Subject: Soldiers, Light Horse, Departures, Transport Ship, HMAT A20 Hororata


The convoy of Australian troopships was mainly made up of refitted British cargo steamers and a few captured enemy ships. Each requisitioned vessel was given a transport number with the prefix ‘A’ to denote Australian service. The A20 Hororata, designed originally to carry emigrants from Britain to New Zealand, was owned by the NZ Shipping Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until September 1917. By the end of October 1914, 17 troopships had left Victorian shores carrying troops, nurses, technicians, horses, supplies and weaponry. The Hororata and all other troopships departing from Port Melbourne assembled with the remainder of the first Convoy at King George’s Sound (now King George Sound), Albany, WA, prior to departure for Egypt on 1 November 1914.

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A troopship departs for Albany, 1914

  • Port Melbourne, Australia

  • 0:00

    Intertitle: Departure of the Australian Expeditionary Force

  • 0:03

    Intertitle: TO WHOM IN MAY CONCERN.....................

  • 0:18

    Troops assembling on dock. Supplies being loaded onto HMAT Hororata A20 transport ship

  • 0:36

    Troops assembling on dock. Supplies being loaded onto HMAT Hororata A20 transport ship

  • 1:27

    Horses being led along the dock. Soldiers resting

  • 1:41

    Horse embarking. Pan of transport ship showing horse stalls

  • 2:36

    Soldiers resting on the dock

  • 2:43

    Soldiers embarking with saddles

  • 3:12

    Soldiers waving from the ship

  • 3:42

    Tugboat leading the ship away. Men waving from deck

  • 4:48

    A20 departs with several yachts following