The Collection

Your selection


Documents of Gilbert William Smith, steward onboard RMS vessel AVON renamed HMS AVOCA requisitioned during First World War.


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details The first rough copy diary covers the period 5 April 1916 to 7 January 1918. The second rough copy diary covers the period 7 January 1918 to 25 November 1918. The fine copy covers the period 5 April 1916 to February 1919 plus additional material not present in the rough copies/ The fine copy was written later. Smith chartered his voyages on a Royal Mail Steamship Packet map. The Avoca’s service history, as documented by Smith, appears to interweave with a number of significant historical events. As might be expected, the declaration of peace is recorded (as too is Smith’s demobilisation) but there is also a mention of the ship picking up White Russian refugees in 1918. In May 1916 the ship was anchored and coaling at the Falkland Islands when Shackleton arrived having recently made his famous voyage in the ‘James Caird’ – an arrival that is recorded in Smith’s journal. On-board the Avoca, Smith visited the Falklands and Rio, giving short descriptions of both places.
Description See item level records.
Date made 1916-04 - 1919-02

Finding Reference JOD/258
Catalogue section Manuscript volumes acquired singly by the Museum
Creator Smith, Gilbert William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 4 items
Help us

Do you know more about this?

Share your knowledge