H.M.T. Transylvania

 

H.M.T. Transylvania was built as a passenger liner for the Cunard Steamship Company of Liverpool by Scotts Greenock in Glasgow in 1914
 
She made her maiden voyage from Liverpool on 7th November 1914 and made two more voyages for Cunard before being transferred to the Anchor Line of Glasgow.
 
Transylvania was taken over for service as a troopship in May 1915. Her capacity was 200 officers and 2,860 men, in addition to the crew.  
 
On May 3 1917, the Transylvania sailed from Marseille to Alexandria with almost a full complement of troops, escorted by the Japanese destroyers Matsu and Sakaki
 
At 10 am the followinng day she was off Cape Vado near Savona, Italy when she was struck twice in the space of an hour by torpedoes from German submarine u-63. The second torpedo proved fatal and the Transylvania sank within ten minutes.
 
Twelve crew members, 29 army officers and 373 soldiers lost their lives. 
 
Many of the bodies of the victims were recovered from the sea and were buried in Italy, France, Monaco and Spain. Eighty-three were buried at Savona Town Cemetery, which also contains the Savona Memorial to the 275 victims whose have no grave.
 
For further details see wikipedia and wrecksite.eu
 
'Deaths at Sea' records the names of six other local man who died of illness or accidents whilst serving aboard the Transylvania during the war period but only one, Pierce Roberts, is commemorated by the cwgc. Merchant seaman were only eligible for commemoration if they died as the direct result of enemy action:
Trimmer Patrick Harris of 65 East Arden Street, Dublin was drowned at Alexandria, Egypt on the 13th June 1915.
Trimmer Joseph Currie of 35 Cleveland Street, Birkenhead was drowned at sea on the 7th July 1915.
2nd baker James McIntrye of 23 Garscadden Street, Glasgow died of a Haemorrhage whilst at sea on the 14th July 1915.
Trimmer Peter McCann of 11 Bridge Street, Birkenhead died of Cerebral congestion whilst at sea on the 16th July 1915.
Fireman Pierce Roberts of 48 Flamark Street, Birkenhead died of cardiac disease at Toulon on the 24th December 1916.
Fireman Patrick White of 31 Flamark Street, Birkenhead died of Apoplexy whilst at sea on the 8th February 1917.
 
A postcard of the Transylvania which was carried by a British soldier who travelled on the vessel when she was serving as a troop ship. [wikimedia]
 
2,708 passengers survived, including 60 Red Cross nurses who were able to disembark before the second torpedo struck. In addition to the lifeboats from the Japanese ships, many were saved by "Ligurian fisherman, who had seen the attack from the shore, also immediately jumped into their boats and braved strong winds to save as many lives as possible. With injured, bloody hands, they headed towards the harbours of Noli and Finale Ligure. . . . the Ligurian habitants opened their doors and welcomed in the English despite their poor financial conditions. The local monasteries also warmly welcomed victims. . .  Soon after the disaster, the surviving soldiers were transported to Marseille. Along the way, they were given a hearty welcome and were greeted at every passing train station, especially in Alassio and Bordighera." [Ref: Riviera Times 28th April 2012]
 
A local man who survived the sinking, Private Robert Owens, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Owens of 310 Beckwith Street, Birkenhead died in Palestine on the 13th November 1917 whilst serving with the Cheshire Regiment.
Local crewmen lost
OBIT RANK FORENAME SURNAME DATE OF DEATH BURIED or COMMEMORATED
view Fireman ALFRED FOULKES 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Trimmer BERNARD HUGHES 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Lieutenant SAMUEL BREUELL 05-May-17 [He was picked up alive but died in hospital] SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Assistant Steward GODFREY THEODORE EMANUEL KAYSER 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Stoker JOHN LOUIS REVELL 04-May-17 PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
Other crewmen lost
OBIT RANK FORENAME SURNAME DATE OF DEATH BURIED or COMMEMORATED
view Cook JOHN BIRCH 04-May-17 MAZARGUES WAR CEMETERY, MARSEILLES
view Seaman JACK CHAFE 04-May-17 BEAUMONT-HAMEL (NEWFOUNDLAND) MEMORIAL
view Barber THOMAS BONAR CHERRY alias AVERY 04-May-17 SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Stoker MICHAEL CULLEN 04-May-17 PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
view Third Officer RICHARD HAY 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Assistant Steward ALBERT GRANVILLE MORLEY 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
view Fireman MICHEL RUFF 04-May-17 TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
Local soldiers lost
OBIT RANK FORENAME SURNAME REGIMENT BURIED or COMMEMORATED
view Private Robert Tate BATEMAN The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Private Joseph BENYON Cheshire Regiment SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Second Lieutenant Frederick BOTTOMLEY Royal Welsh Fusiliers SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Sapper  George Griffith  EDWARDS  Royal Engineers  MAZARGUES WAR CEMETERY, MARSEILLES
view Private Joseph GREENWOOD   Royal Welsh Fusiliers MAZARGUES WAR CEMETERY, MARSEILLES
view Private Charles Russell HARRIS Cheshire Regiment SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Private Elliott HELLYER Royal Army Service Corps SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Second Lieutenant Guy Charles Dunlop HILL King's Shropshire Light Infantry SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Private George Frederick  HORTON  Royal Army Medical Corps MAZARGUES WAR CEMETERY, MARSEILLES
view Private Albert IRVING  Royal Army Medical Corps SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Private Peter JACKSON Royal Welsh Fusiliers SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Private Aloysius Peter RIGBY Royal Army Medical Corps SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Private John Percy MULLINEUX Royal Army Medical Corps SAVONA MEMORIAL
view Private John ROBERTS   Royal Welsh Fusiliers SAVONA TOWN CEMETERY
view Private JamesSMALLMAN   The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment PORQUEROLLES COMMUNAL CEMETERY
view Private Ernest STEVENS The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment ST. RAPHAEL COMMUNAL CEMETER
view Private HarryWALKER  Royal Army Service Corps RAMATUELLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY