Departure of HMAT A74 Marathon from Sydney

4th May 2016

On this day in 1916, the Kurrajong men who were part of the 33rd Battalion sailed from Sydney.  A Souvenir of the Voyage of the 33rd Battalion noted that Sydney residents lined the streets to farewell the men as they marched from the Showground for embarkation. At the wharf many coloured streamers were thrown to the men on board ship.

Corporal Roland White recorded this event in his diary as follows:-

‘Reveille went at 3 am and everybody has to march to the Quay where we were put aboard the Marathon … Yachts and launches are going around the ship all day crowded with Inverell people who had come down to see us off.  We started our long sail at 4 pm that day and it started to rain and blow like a son of a gun, and before we ever got outside the heads half the boys were sick … The sea was as rough as blazes and heave ho all the time.’

This ship, hired from Thompson’s Aberdeen line, sailed via Albany, Western Australia, then Durban, Cape Town, and Dakar, the voyage taking nine weeks to arrive at Plymouth, England.