LONDON (Sep. 13)
With strife-torn Palestine as their destination, the first contingent of British troops left Aldershot barracks yesterday morning and embarked on the troopship Dorsetshire at Southampton. They will be followed at intervals by six other transports in the next ten days, making up an estimated 15,000 troops which will bring the armed forces in the Holy Land to approximately 30,000 effectives.
Yesterday’s contingent, numbering 1,500 officers and men, is composed of the Second Battalion, including the Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the twelfth and twenty-sixth companies of Royal Engineers.
The Havas News Agency said the general staff and the administrative services of the expeditionary force will sail tomorrow on the Laurentic. The Second Battalion of the North Staffordshire regiment will sail tomorrow on the steamer Nevasa.
At Portsmouth, gay banter lasted almost to sailing time as relatives and friends of the departing men gathered on the dock and vessel, Havas said. When trumpets sounded and guards began urging the visitors ashore, previously smiling women began to weep as they gave a last embrace to sons, husbands and sweethearts.
It was a scene reminiscent of the World War days, the Havas Agency added, with bagpipers of the Royal Irish Fusiliers playing Auld Lang Syne as the Dorsetshire took to sea. The refrain was taken up by soldiers massed along the rails, who waved a final farewell to the crowd on the docks.