0

Insight: When The Bahamas Sailed Off To War

The departure of the gallant Bahamians in 1915 on the sloop Varuna.

The departure of the gallant Bahamians in 1915 on the sloop Varuna.

photo

THE 1st Draft for the  Bahamas Unit, sailed August 5, 1916. Pictured from left, first row (bottom) -  George Tinker, Jos. McBain Johnson, Clarence White, Arthur H. Lightbourn, Alfred Etienne Dupuch, Paul Bethel, Albert A Lloyd. Second row: George H Ingraham, Othaniel Cooper, Jephtha Hunter, Wilfred McKenzie, John Dean, Robert Sands, Maurice Rolle, Sylvester Ferguson, Arnold Williams, William Thompson, Vandruft Bunch, Jonathan Baker, Ferris Pearce, Ormond S. Fernander, John Smith, Jas. Edward Holmes, RH Crawford Esq. Third row: James A Payne, James Wallace, Edwin Rodenwalt, Louis Capron, James Davis, Abrah. Lafleur, Campbell Balfour, Chas. Evans, Jos Albury, Geo Rolle, Geo Saunders, James A Rose, Harold B Bowe, Arthur Sandford, Jaris Johnson. Fourth row: Obadiah Cambridge, William Thompson, Ivanhoe Brown, Francis M. Johnson, Saml A Smith, Clarence Peters, Ernest Kemp, Hugh L Cash, Edmund Hanna, Victor Toote, William Bevans, Harold Turnquest. Fifth row: Richard George Cooper, Geo. Higgs, Harry Thompson, Leander Smith, Elijah Johnson, Albert Hall, James Wood, Hudon Hulen Moss. Sixth row: Reginald Petty, Nathaniel Symonette, Alfred Clark, Harold Peterson, Alex Pinder, James Newman, William B Carey, Benjamin E Roberts, Herbert Miller, Edmund Hanna, Alfred Sweeting, Hezekiah Stuart, Herbert Alex. Hart, Lorenzo Bannister, Alfred Pitt.

photo

THE Second Draft for the Bahamas Unit. Pictured from left, first row: F Russell, A Taylor, RA Brice, AW Hall, T Roxborough, H Higgins, Sgt Harrison, R Seymour, F Larrimore, H Longley, R Morrison, C Ferguson. LJ Johnson. Second row: N Major, J Taylor, WN Hall, L Saunders, WG Saunders, D Penn, F Knowles. Third row: G Berry, SU Rolle, A Wells, JA Evans, A Williams, C Morris, L Barr, E Higgs, A Gay, WT Saunders, Theo Roker. Fourth row: N Robinson, F Sair, HC Sweeting, R Saunders, JW Moultrie, T Lightbourne, JH Johnson, G Dames, T Roker. Fifth row: H Morris, R Sweeting, WL Roberts. CH Tinker, T Smith, G Marshall, J Munro.

photo

The Third draft of the Bahamas Unit. Pictured from left, first row (sitting): Alfred Cargill, Jas GW Bullard, Saml O Ambrose, Israel Mccartney, Jas Lloyd, Donald Ingraham, Jas Davis, Gabriel Brown. Second row: Jos Young, Jas Boyd, Wm W Thompson, Geo A Thompson, Dan Sweeting, Wm Evans, Asa Kemp, Alaric Saunders. Thos A Johnson, Benjamin Hamilton, Stephen H Saunders, Robt Taylor. Third row: Wm RA Bethel, Sol S Roker, Albert Barry, Soloman Davis, Jas W Hall, John Whylly, Albert Bizzard, Jas A Young, David Rolle, Ernest R Gibson, Chas A Bethel, Vincent Carey. Fourth row: Geo Fisher, John Turnquest, Sam Brown, Robt Green, Ed M Rolle, Jas Baptiste, Daniel Sweeting, Nathl Gordon, Horace Johnson, Howard Roberts, Wm A Thompson, Clarence Coakley, Gus Peterson. Fifth row: Octavius Dean, Edward Smith, Leon Albury, Fred Kerr, Robert W Sawyer, Allan A Thompson, Thad Evans, Anderson Seymour, Malvin Ingraham, Lees Hall, Henry Brennan, Geo L Sweeting.  Six row: L. Cpl Hilary Gibson, L. Cpl Wm. T. Culmer, Granville Johnson, Edwin Rolle, Jas. Rolle, Manasseh Rolle, Zac Fernander, John C. Leare, L. Cpl Wm. R.C.Mcphee, L. Cpl, Joseph Gordon. Seventh row: E. Frank Hanna, Geo. L. Sands, Sgt Clarence L. Moss, Sgt Chas. S. Sparkman, Cpl Felix R. Turnquest, Cpl Wm. P.B. Cooper Very back: R.H.C. Crawford , Commandant of Police.

On November 11 this year, heads will bow around the globe to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

That bloody conflict from 1914 to 1918 claimed millions of lives - many of whom, to this day, have no known grave.

As the stalemate on the Western Front claimed more and more lives through the horrors of battles like, Ypres, The Somme and Verdun, Britain looked to its then-colonies to find more men to shore up its bloodied forces.

All over the Empire men volunteered to fight for “King and country”, boarding troop ships from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa - anywhere that saluted the Union Flag.

In the Caribbean, the call came too and here in The Bahamas local men from all walks of life signed up and sailed off to war.

On November 9, The Tribune will be publishing a special tribute to mark the contribution of the Bahamian contingent who sailed from Nassau to ‘do their bit’ - whatever the price. We’ll also examine the work done here in The Bahamas to help Britain’s war effort.

Today we publish the original photographs and all the names of the men of the three Bahamian contingents who took part in their conflict.

If, in your own family history, you recognise one of your relatives and have stories or photographs that have been passed down through the years, we’d love to hear from you.

You can get in touch by emailing getresults@felicityingraham.com.

Comments

Godson 2 months, 1 week ago

My father, Joseph McBain Johnson, was on that boat first boat.

0

Axumite 2 months, 1 week ago

Please contact the email provided in the article so that he can be featured in the upcoming supplement.

0

Godson 2 months, 1 week ago

My father, Joseph McBain Johnson, was on that first boat.

0

juju 2 months, 1 week ago

How many actually returned home?

0

Godson 2 months, 1 week ago

Well my father returned because that is how I became to be. He, Joseph McBain Johnson, was also the writer for the theme song of the PLP that was song at the rallies during their their campaigns in the days leading up Majority Rule.

0

Godson 2 months, 1 week ago

Well... my father returned because that is how I became to be. He, Joseph McBain Johnson, was also the writer for the theme song of the PLP that was sung at their rallies during the campaigns leading up to Majority Rule.

0

Sign in to comment