New Zealand seamen welcomed home in 1917

New Zealand seamen welcomed home in 1917

New Zealand ‘Jack tars’ – seamen who had served on the cruiser HMS Philomel – attend a civic luncheon in their honour in Wellington in March 1917.

The return of the vessel, on which many New Zealand crewmen had served in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Middle East, aroused great public interest. Crowds gathered along the men’s route to the reception at the Town Hall. Politicians, including Defence Minister Allen, sang the praises of the British navy and its sailors.

This special welcome was possible only because when Philomel docked for maintenance in Bombay (Mumbai) in January 1917, major repairs to its deck and hull were found to be needed. Rather than undertake this expensive work, the Royal Navy sent the ship back to New Zealand. For the remainder of the war it sat off the Wellington suburb of Thorndon as a stationary base or depot ship. 

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about New Zealand seamen welcomed home in 1917

What do you know?