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Emigration of Dockyard Workmen on the Crocodile, 1870
(From The Illustrated London News, May 1, 1870.)
The Illustration on our front page shows the scene at Portsmouth, on Monday week, at the embarkation of some of the discharged workmen of the Admiralty dockyards, with their wives and families, on board her Majesty's screw troop-ship Crocodile, Captain G.W. Watson, for conveyance to Canada. All the day, men from the Portsmouth dockyard, with their wives and children, were passing to and fro between the dockyard gates and the ship. At the gangway all embarkation papers were given up by the emigrants, who were then passed on board and numbered off into messing and sleeping berths, This being done, the cares of the emigrants, up to the moment of the ship starting on her voyage, were confined to the stowing away of their luggage in their berths and saying "goodby" to relatives and friends. At 2.40 p.m. a special train from Woolwich, consisting of six passenger-carriages and three luggage vans and brake belonging to the South-Eastern Railway Company, arrived in Portsmouth dockyard, via the Mid-Sussex and South Coast lines, with the intending emigrants from Woolwich and Deptford. The train drew up alongside the Warrior dock, where the engine which had drawn it down from Woolwich was detached, and one of Aveling and Porter's small traction-engines, belonging to the superintending engineering department of the yard, was substituted for it, and drew the train over the sharply-curved line of rails leading down to the jetty, alongside with the Crocodile was moored. The transfer of the people from the railway carriages to the troop-ship was easily managed, without the slightest trouble or confusion. The emigrants on board the ship were received by Mr. Murdoch and another gentleman from the Emigration Board, and by the Rev. E.P. Grant, the Vicar of Portsmouth, Rear-Admiral Chads, and other gentlemen who are members of the Emigrants' (Portsmouth) Relief Fund Committee; Captain Phipps, a member of the Emigrants' (Woolwich and Deptford) Relief Fund Committee, accompanied the train down from Woolwich and superintended the embarkation of the men, women, and children, with their effects. Vice-Admiral Sir George Hope, Port Admiral and Naval Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth; Rear-Admiral Mends, Admiralty Director of Transports; and Rear-Admiral George G. Wellesley, superintendent of Portsmouth Yard, were also present.
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