RMS Orvieto miscellany
Chris Colton, an architecture student from Australia, emails to inform me that in the Melbourne suburb of Merlynston are two streets called Orvieto Street and Galeka Street. The Galeka was, like Orvieto, a troop-ship from the 1914-18 war. The founder of Merlynston, Donald Bain, who named the suburb after his daughter Merlyn, went to war on one of these ships, although he does not say which one.
Ivan Dominikovich from New Zealand, also emails to tell me that his father Steven Dominikovich joined the vessel in Naples as an emigrant from Dalmatia to New Zealand, calling at Suez, Colombo and Fremantle, arriving in Sydney on 14th January 1913 and later completing the journey aboard the Maheno, arriving in New Zealand on 11th January 1914. Also on that voyage, a child was born on 10th January 1913, and named William Baird Orvieto Wilson.
John Ryan from Porirua, New Zealand, also emails me to say that his great grandfather, Alfred John Hotton served on the "HM Australian Troopship Orvieto" which was part of the convoy from Australia to Suez, carrying the 5th Australian Infantry and other sundry units. "I have just completed the transcription of his diary about the voyage, 21st Oct - 3rd Dec 1914, written in pencil on tatty old paper that is 86 years old (loose sheets).", he says. John has kindly allowed me to reproduce his transcript here. See Diary of Alfred John Hotton.
On the family history web site of Brian Townsley, a list of Leeds absent voters during the 1914-18 war includes Signalman Maurice Shepherd RN, serial number T/Z10812, serving on HMS "Orvieto".
Mark Wagstaff has sent me a photograph of a certificate relating to the service of his great-grandfather, Ordinary Seaman Bertram Ewart Randle RN,, aboard HMS "Orvieto" between 15th March 1918 and 11th February 1919. See Bertram Ewart Randle.
Steve McArragher tells me that his grandfather Arthur Read was a steward aboard Orvieto and that he has his personal log for the troopship voyage from Australia in October 1914, which he has undertaken to type out and send to me, with permission to reproduce it here.
John and Barbara Pogson of Whitstable in Kent tell me they have come across a gold-nibbed fountain pen made by "M.M.Co.Ltd" (Mentmore Manufacturing Company perhaps?) bearing the name of R.M.S. Orvieto. The Mentmore Manufacturing Company made pens from the 1920's to the late 1940's, and the pen may well have been an item sold in the ship's on-board shop. They also sent photographs of the pen.
The bell of the SS Orvieto survives in a school playground in Stirling, Scotland. This photograph was sent by Kenneth Brown.
Peter Markham, an Australian antiques dealer, informed me that he had recently sold the brass maker's plate of the S.S.Orvieto.
Mike Peckham sent me a transcript of a letter written from the Orvieto by his great-grandfather Charles Peckham.
This picture of Alfred Slater, R.N., a 17-year old rating on H.M.S. Orvieto in 1917, was sent to me by his daughter-in-law Catherine.