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  • A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia
  • A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia
  • A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia
  • A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia
  • A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia

Item: C3228

A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia

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A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia

A First War Memorial Group to Canadian lost aboard S.S. Ivernia - British War Medal (25965 PTE. W.G. SMALLMAN. CHES. R.); and Victory Medal (25965 PTE. W.G. SMALLMAN. CHES. R.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, edge nicks, light contact, better than very fine. Accompanied by his Memorial Plaque (WILLIAM GEORGE SMALLMAN), along with an original Letter from the War Office (dated January 26, 1917, informing his wife, Violet, that Private Smallman had been "believed drowned" as the result of "Sinking of His Majesty's Transport Ivernia on the 1st January 1917", on a thin kraft paper stock, 171 mm x 213 mm, fold marks, lightly soiled), copies of his Index Card (confirming his awarding of the British War Medal and the Victory Medal) and the Roll of Individuals entitled to the Victory Medal and the British War Medal, along with assorted research papers. Footnote: William George Smallman was born in 1883, the son of George Smallman, of Durham, Ontario, Canada. He later moved from Canada to England, marrying Violet E. Smallman, residing at 8, Lock Rd., Eastham Ferry, Eastham, Cheshire. Smallman enlisted as a Private with The Cheshire Regiment at Ludlow, Shropshire. About the same time, his younger brother, Frank Smallman, who was born in Toronto, Ontario in September 1895, enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Frank Smallman signed his Attestation Paper as a Private (9247) on September 22, 1914 at Valcartier Camp, at the age of 19, stating that he had one years' previous service with the Queen's Own Rifles, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Clerk. Following the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the British ocean liner S.S. Ivernia was hired by the British government as a troop transport and was placed under the command of Captain William Thomas Turner, himself made famous for being the captain of R.M.S. Lusitania at the time of her sinking. On January 1, 1917, the now H.M.T. Ivernia was carrying 2,084 British troops from Marseille, France to Alexandria, Egypt, along with a crew of 214, totalling 2,298, for projected service in Mesopotamia, when at 10:12 a.m., she was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-47 ninety-three kilometers south-east of Cape Matapan in Greece. Within one hour of the torpedoing, the ship sank. H.M.S. Rifleman rescued a number of the survivors, and armed trawlers towed the bulk, who had taken to lifeboats, to Suda Bay, Crete, saving 1,999 troops and 180 crew, totalling 2,179. However, 85 troops and 34 crew, totalling 119 perished, including Private William George Smallman, 1/8th Battalion, Territorial Force, The Cheshire Regiment, who was one of the troops aboard the ill-fated liner and was believed to be "drowned at sea", at the age of 33. He is remembered with honour on the Mikra Memorial, which is inside the Mikra British Cemetery, situated in the Municipality of Kalamaria, in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece. The Mikra Memorial commemorates almost 500 nurses, officers and men of the Commonwealth forces who died when troop transports and hospital ships were lost in the Mediterranean, and who have no grave but the sea. They are commemorated here because others who went down in the same vessels were washed ashore and identified, and are now buried at Thessalonika. Since Private Smallman was originally from Canada, he is commemorated on page 581 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. (C:36)    
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