Trying to find out info on my great great grandfather who was in the first world war. His name was Andrew Anderson and lived in Railton Tasmania when he signed up. He was fighting in heavy fighting in Galipolli and was injured when the ship called the Southland was torpedoed. I have tried a name search with no luck, can someone help me or point me in the right direction please. Regards Andy

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Saw you details on needing help with family military research.

Thought I would do a quick search to try and help, below are the details of the ship Southlander sinking like you said, but it also list the AIF BAttalions and divistions on the ship at that time. Look up the name roll for these divisions and hopefully your Great great grandfathers name will pop up. This will lead you to more details of enlistment records and places that he was in through out the War and also details of his medical reports through this time. I have found even in my own research that there enrolment medical describes them in great detail.

Use this with what you know on to search for personal records and family history,

I hope this start you off.... I find this family and historical researching addictive.

There was also a book listed in the info. provided. Maybe your Gr. grate  grandfathers listed in there too?





The Southland was later used in the Mediterranean to carry troops of the 6th Essex regiment and two companies of l/7th Essex, transported from Devonport to Gallipoli from 4 July 1915 to 11 August 1915,[3] and later from Alexandria, the Australian 22nd Battalion[4] (6th Brigade) 2nd Division AIF with some troops from the Australian 23rd Battalion, General Legge and staff and 2nd Division Signals Company.[5] During its sail from Egypt to Gallipoli on the 2 September 1915 at 9:45am it was torpedoed at right forward[4] by the German submarine UB-14 30 nautical miles (56 km) from Lemnos in the Aegean Sea. The ship did not sink immediately, and was eventually beached on Lemnos, and all but 40 of 1400 men were able to leave in lifeboats and were picked up by other transports and HT Neuralia, although mostly by HMS Ben-my-Chree by about midday though some troops spent up to 4 hours in the water. During the subsequent rescue operations Ben-my-Chree took on board 649 troops and 121 crew from 21 boats and rafts and provided medical attention as required until all were transferred to the troopship SS Transylvania in Mudros harbour. Southland eventually limped back to Mudros assisted by HMS Racoon and was repaired.

The sinking was reported as

"A Splendid story is told of the sinking of the transport Southland in the Mediterranean Sea. When the torpedo struck the vessel relled and the order was given to abandon the ship. There was never a cry or sign of fear. The Australian soldiers merely came briskly on deck singing 'Australia will be there.' The troops all went to their stations and lowered the boats in an orderly manner. The subalterns searched the interior of the ship for wounded and finally came on deck to find only the general staff on board. They helped to lower the last boats and got into a half swamped one themselves. Fourteen persons were killed by the explosion and twenty two were drowned including Brigadier General Linton."[6][7]

Survivors of HMT Southland after torpedo hit September 1915

A record of this event is recorded in the war diary of Captain Herbert Franklin Curnow Thursday 2 September Up 6am. Drew 120 rounds of ammunition and iron and landing rations. Pulled into Lemnos and dropped anchor about 10am. The Military Landing Officer came on board, got my disembarkation return and meantime informed us that the “Southland” having on board 2 Aus Div H.Q 6th Inf Bge HQ., 21 Bt 1 Coy 23rd Btn. some A.S.C. A.M.C. & Signalling details had been torpedoed behind us. Later ascertained about 25 lives lost including Col Linton, Brigadier. Turned in soon after dinner.

However, a member of Australian unit reported one crew shot for behaving improperly.[4] The remaining men and ship's crew were able to got to the Allied vessels later the same day. HMT Southland carried James Martin whose experiences, and those of his friend Cecil Hogan, were described in a book by Anthony Hill.

The sinking was depicted in the painting Sinking of the Southland[8] by Fred Leist, who was appointed an official war artist in September 1917, and attached to the 5th Division AIF.

Hi Andy,

There is this chap whose sister Agnes Euphemia was living in Railton:

(click on "view digital copy" on right hand side of the page).

His family were actually from Victoria and this Andrew enlisted there.  The details on his service record seem to match those given in the letter he wrote to his sister (news article about being torpedoed and his time in a Cairo hospital.

Interesting to see on page 1 of his service record that his sister Agnes was masquerading as his mother, giving him permission to enlist.  As far as I can see, his mother was actually Catherine McGRATH.

The WW1 Nominal Roll is online here

I just searched for his name then used the service numbers to look at each record here on Recordsearch as there were a few with that name.


Hi Debra, just got in from work and seen your email and i just wanted to say thank you very much for your help and they are certainly his records. Thanks again Andy

Sorry I keep forgetting that the link is not permanent :(

Search for Andrew Anderson 784.  There is also an allotment file which has been digitised.



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