Departure of SS Corinthic

(This post provides background information on the sailing of the SS Corinthic from Wellington Harbour and is written by the blog editor, John Hutton).

The 23rd Reinforcements, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, departed New Zealand on two troopships: Ruapehu (14 March 1917) and Corinthic (2 April 1917).  The ships were, respectively, the 79th and 80th troop ships to depart from New Zealand during World War One, out of 111 sailings.

The Corinthic carried the “left wing” of the reinforcements and was given the designation His Majesty’s New Zealand Transport (HMNZT) 80.

Lincoln Lee’s wartime account apparently commences on “Wednesday 5 April 1917″, which he describes as the ‘second day out’ from New Zealand.  This appears to be an error, and the date should have been Wednesday 4 April 1917”.

The following two photographs are from Lincoln’s private collection, held by his descendants.  The first is a blurred shot of the SS Corinthic and departing troops, taken from the wharf in Wellington.  Lincoln’s location in the crowd is marked with a “X” on the original photograph.  The second photograph is taken from Kelburn near the cable car, looking down on Wellington Harbour.  An “X” appears to mark the location of the troop ship.  We might assume that Lincoln’s first wife, Mary Catherine Lee, to whom he wrote his diary-like letters which this blog reproduces, was the photographer.

Departure of troopship SS Corinthic (HMNZT 80), 2 April 1917
View from Kelburn, Wellington, of SS Corinthic in Wellington Harbour, 2 April 1917

The next two images are sourced from websites dedicated to maritime matters:

SS Corinthic2
“New Zealanders leaving to fight for their country … April 3”
SSAthenic-Corinthic
“A rare colour White Star postcard of the SS Corinthic”

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