Di­ary of the 1917 voy­age of HMA Troop ship TSS Ulysses from Aus­tralia to Great Bri­tain

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Ge­orge Kennedy

We left Mel­bourne on Sun­day May 6, 1917 at 12 noon by spe­cial train to Syd­ney for em­barka­tion, stop­ping en route at Sey­mour where din­ner was served and 1,000 troop re­in­force­ments were picked up.

Next stop Al­bury at 5.30pm for tea and change trains for Syd­ney. Stopped at Moss Vale NSW at 6am for break­fast after a pleas­ant night and ar­rived at Syd­ney at 10.30am Mon­day.

We pa­raded with bag­gage then got con­veyed by spe­cial trams to the Show­grounds Camp un­til trans­port was in or­der. At camp we were on soldiers’ tucker, draw­ing our ra­tions and mess­ing for beds. We had two blan­kets and a bag of straw and the Grand­stand was our bed­room. I may say it was very cold! But what is that in war time?

Dur­ing the day we were here we were free and had a good look around Syd­ney ad­mir­ing its hand­some build­ings and nar­row dirty streets, and [it] has a splen­did tram ser­vice con­trolled by the NSW Gov­ern­ment Rail­ways. Syd­ney has many at­trac­tions. Need­less to say we did not trou­ble our mess or­der­lies with din­ner or tea. We got break­fast and cleared out and made the most of our visit.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing, May 9, we were roused from our peace­ful slum­bers by bu­gle call at 4am and got break­fast and or­ders of em­barka­tion. We were con­veyed by spe­cial trams to the docks where we em­barked upon “our ship”. We then num­bered all told: 636 mu­ni­tions work­ers, 75 Queens­lan­ders, 175 Vic­to­ri­ans and 386 New South Welsh­men. Also on board was [sic] 66 nurs­ing sis­ters, four doc­tors and eight AAMC or­der­lies, and 50 ma­chine gun­ners re­in­force­ments.

We cleared off from the docks at 12 noon and an­chored in the har­bour. There we saw the boun­ties and bus­tle of “our har­bour”as the Syd­neyites call it. It is beau­ti­ful!

We set­tled down that night to what was to be our quar­ters for the voy­age. Good or bad.

More from Ge­orge Kennedy’s di­ary in next week’s edi­tion

06_a40Ge­orgeKennedyS­tory02

Ge­orge Kennedy pic­tured as a young man in the mid 1890s, sec­ond from left. In the pic­ture are his mother, left, sis­ters Min­nie (Jenny Speirs’ mum, born 1890) and An­nie with older brother James on the right.

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