Wolseley's reinforcements

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Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 10 Nov 2016 15:56

From first entering the Suez how long did it take for the ships to sail up and join up with Wolseley? Would it be a days sailing, more or less?
As a side note the ships carrying soldiers from India and the ships carrying troops from England, would officers have still had good accommodation, would they still have dined like it was the mess etc?

Thanks in advance
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Re: Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby Redleg56 » 10 Nov 2016 19:41

Not sure of the sailing time for the reinforcements traveling the Nile.

But for the journey from the British Isles and India, the Officers would have had better accommodation than the OR's. It may have been a bit crowded for the Officer's, and if not up to luxury standards, was still not that bad, depending on the ship. The Officer's would have slept in cabins, shared for lower ranking Officers. The LTC commanding a battalion and the Majors would probably have their own cabins. OR's would have slept and eaten in the open areas below decks. Senior NCO's may have had more privacy, but I am not sure on that point. For messing purposes, the Officers would have tried to stay as close to possible to their routines back Home and in India, although on a less grander scale.

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Re: Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby A Waterston » 06 Dec 2016 23:02

I would recommend reading Bill Wright’s book “A Tidy Little War”, which is a good read and will provide much useful information.

From the UK the first Household Cavalry Troop Ship Holland departed on the afternoon of 1 August and did a detour via the Isle of White to enable the Queen, who was at Osborne, to wave to her troops at 10am on 2nd. They arrived in Alexandria, about 3200 nautical miles away on 14th August suggesting they averaged 10 Knots.

Port Said is 140 nautical miles west of Alexandria

The travel time for planning purposes in safety from Port Said, South to Ismailia which was Wolesley’s SPOD (sea port of disembarkation) was 10 hours (Wolesley originally thought it could be done in 6-7 hours). One problem was that Ferdinand De Lesseps, who ran the canal, and who was furious that the British had abused its neutrality, would not allow any of the canal pilots to be used. Several British ships ran aground at various points, holding others up and necessitated a slow navigation.

Sorry that I don’t have any information on the time it took to travel from India, but it is about 3000 nautical miles from Bombay to the entry to the canal, so at 10 knots would take 12-13 days.

I attach a picture from the Illustrated London News of the inside of the Troop ship Calabria, which is the second ship the Household Cavalry used. No pictures of the Officers accommodation I am afraid.
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IMG_2161.jpg
Inside of the Troop Ship Calabria as posted in the Illustrated London News Aug 12 1882
IMG_2161.jpg (171.75 KiB) Viewed 232 times
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Re: Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 08 Dec 2016 14:50

Cheers for the informative reply, some good interesting stuff in there.
Also those sketches do offer some insight into life on the ships, they may not be totally accurate but still gives me a good idea as to what the ships were like.

As a side note were some of the ships not powered by steam as well as masts?
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Re: Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby A Waterston » 09 Dec 2016 09:53

I do not have any definitive information but the following suggests all the troop ships were powered by both steam and sail. The sails being used to conserve coal.

All the Navy ships at the bombardment of Alexandria were powered by both steam and sail - even HMS Inflexible who was so heavy (11,400 tons) that her Captain wrote "the sails had so much effect upon her in a gale of wind as a fly would have on a hippopotamus in producing any movement"

10 knots is fast for a sailing ship. The fastest speed ever logged by the fastest clipper (Cutty Sark) was 17.5 knots
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Re: Wolseley's reinforcements

Postby HerbertKitch12 » 09 Dec 2016 13:35

A Waterston wrote:I do not have any definitive information but the following suggests all the troop ships were powered by both steam and sail. The sails being used to conserve coal.

All the Navy ships at the bombardment of Alexandria were powered by both steam and sail - even HMS Inflexible who was so heavy (11,400 tons) that her Captain wrote "the sails had so much effect upon her in a gale of wind as a fly would have on a hippopotamus in producing any movement"

10 knots is fast for a sailing ship. The fastest speed ever logged by the fastest clipper (Cutty Sark) was 17.5 knots


Thanks for the replies, apologies for the constant pestering :)
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