Author Topic: MV CARONIA - May 1917  (Read 2206 times)

Offline Bob.NB

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MV CARONIA - May 1917
« on: June 18, 2018, 03:18:46 PM »
A friend of mine who has an interest in the Warwickshire Regiment has “come across” the MV CARONIA incident where, on 20 May 1917, a serious fire started in the coal bunkers while the ship was en route from Cape Town to India, having possibly embarked from Canada.
Volunteers were called for from the 3,000 troops on board, 25% of whom were subsequently injured and three may have been killed. The fire was eventually put out by flooding the bunkers, a very dangerous action. Thirty-one Sea Gallantry Medals (SGM) were awarded - 19 to soldiers and 12 to the crew.
It is believed that only a total of 36 SGMs was awarded to the Army, all George V. The ship’s log for the period of the fire is missing, but it might be with some enquiry records somewhere.
Cpl H. BENNELL and Ptes A.W. ANDREW and J. BIRD of the Manchester Regiment were awarded the SGM for this incident.
Does anyone have any information on this incident and the troops who were being transported?
Any comments gratefully received.
Many thanks.
Bob

sphinx

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 05:37:27 PM »
Bob,

Found this but no mention of the incident.
Interested to learn more.

During the war, Caronia was used as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 8 August 1914 and during her first week in this role, Caronia captured the German ship Odessa which was carrying a cargo of nitrate.

Caronia was later allocated to patrol the seas near the Ambrose lighthouse at the entrance to New York Harbour.

On 14 April 1915, Caronia collided with the schooner Edward B. Winslow while operating as an armed cruiser. There were no casualties and with minimal damage, the ship was able to continue on this role until May 1915 when she returned to Liverpool for a mechanical refurbishment.

Caronia returned to America and performed contraband patrols off New York before again returning to Liverpool, this time to be released from British Naval service. She returned to Cunard on 7 August 1916 and after a refit, she was unexpectedly requisitioned by the British government this time to carry out trooping duties between Halifax and Liverpool.

Caronia continued in this role until the end of the war, at which time she assisted in the repatriation of Canadian troops.

sphinx

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 05:43:31 PM »
Found this in Sgt. Bennells service record.

regard
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 06:04:56 PM by sphinx »

Offline charlie

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 05:52:54 PM »
Sphinx, the attachment hasn‘t uploaded
Charlie

sphinx

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 06:13:28 PM »
Charlie,

try now

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 08:21:31 AM »
Thanks Guys,
All a bit of a mystery.
Sorry I've taken so long to get back to the Forum but I haven't been able to login for the last week.
Thanks again and best wishes.
Bob B

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: MV CARONIA - May 1917
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 09:34:40 AM »
Just one more small piece of the jigsaw.
Thanks again to everyone.
Bob B