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Troopship Crocodile

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Troopship Crocodile

Postby XDC103 » Mon May 13, 2013 8:39 pm

I am trying to add some background history to my Great Grandfather Richard Churchill
He attested into the 29th Infantry Brigade, whose training depot at Northampton, and was the home of the 48th [Northamptonshire] and 58th [Rutlandshire] Regiments of Foot. His service number 46, however he was under age and re-attested once reaching 15yrs. His army record shows that on 18 February 1876 he went to India returning to England on the 26 November 1880

The earliest mention of a troopship to India in the Times around the 19th Feb 1876 was 21 Feb that mentioned “The Crocodile Indian Troopship … left Portsmouth yesterday for Bombay, with a number of draughts amounting in aggregate to 72 officers, 645 men, 59 women and 67 children”; it mentioned among the officers “Lieut. M’Laughlin [sic] 48th Foot”. So it would seem reasonable to assume that was his transport to India.

From the Times of 29th November 1880 – “The Indian Troopship Euphrates … arrived at Portsmouth on Saturday Evening from Bombay, after having disembarked the 48th Regiment, consisting of 19 officers, 687 men, 45 women and 95 children, at Queenstown”, so that was his transport to Ireland his battalion/regiment's next posting.

My question is where would I find the ships logs for these two voyages? I am not expecting to find any mention of my Great Grandfather in these logs, but it would give me some insight into the conditions he had to endure
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Re: Troopship Crocodile

Postby junkers » Mon May 13, 2013 9:29 pm

You can find records of the Crocodile (ship musters) and Euphrates (Ship's Log) at The National Archives, Kew, in the Discovery database using the ADM series for Admiralty. The logs will also tell you the route and weather conditions.
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Re: Troopship Crocodile

Postby ritah » Fri May 17, 2013 2:57 pm

I don't know where you live but if you get the chance to visit Bristol make sure you pay a visit to the SS Great Britain. My great grandfather was in the Royal Artillery and travelled to India with his family at around the same time that your ancestor was going there. When I visited the SS Great Britain last year it really brought home to me the awful conditions that everyone on board had to endure on those long voyages. Cramped conditions, heat, no privacy, seasickness, they even give you smells as well to add to the atmosphere! The worst part for me however was the conditions in which the horses had to travel down in the hold of the ship, the noise and smells must have been terrible and as my relative was a sergeant farrier he would have been very hands on caring for the animals. There is nothing like getting close to a place to gain an insight into our ancestors real lives. Do go for a visit if you can.

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Re: Troopship Crocodile

Postby Susan Bryan-Terry » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:03 am

My Gt Gt grandfather also travelled on HMS Crocodile and there is information, including an image of the ship, on Wikipaedia which gives some details of it's history.
I'd love to hear any information you find about the ship. My 2x Gt Grandfather was in the Egyptian campaign as well as India.
Susan Bryan-Terry
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Re: Troopship Crocodile

Postby Joss » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:58 pm

As PR for the Families in British India Society (FIBIS), I sought the help of our Trustees and wanted to wait until all their comments were in before replying. I also have a personal interest as my own great x 2 grandfather and his family sailed to India on The Euphrates. I found a great deal of information in the Muster Books (WO 12 series), particularly about his ever-increasing family, and Embarkation Returns (WO 25), which give very similar information to what you found in The Times. Both series can be found at The National Archives.
As to ships’ logs, ADM 53/11084 at TNA covers The Crocodile from 6 December 1874 - 12 April 1876, while ADM 53/11448 covers The Euphrates from 16 September 1879 - 26 November 1880.
There are also records in the L/MIL series at The British Library which might have been promising as they contain references to vessels who took to India new recruits for the various British Army regiments. These were men who had undergone basic training at various depots in the UK and were then shipped out to India to join their various regiments who were already out there. This would of course only have been relevant for the outward journey.
One of our Trustees tried to access these records, L/MIL/15/42-46, but sadly those for 1874-79 proved to be “lost”.
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