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The Evacuation of the Troopship SS 'Tyndareus', Which Struck a Mine off Cape Agulhas, South Africa, on 6 February 1917

Photo credit: National Army Museum

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During its passage from Devonport to Hong Kong during the First World War (1914–1918), the troopship SS 'Tyndareus' was due to put in at Table Bay, South Africa, for fuel and fresh provisions. However, on 6 February 1917 while rounding Cape Agulhas, some 108 miles (173 km) south-east of Cape Town, the 11,000-ton troopship struck a mine laid by the German raider 'Wolf', with a terrific explosion. The ship rapidly began to fill with water and started going down by the head.

The painting illustrates the moments on deck when, instead of panicking, all the men of 25th (Garrison) Battalion Middlesex Regiment obeyed the command of the CO, Lieutenant-Colonel John Ward MP, to draw up on parade. This orderly response enabled boats to be lowered without mishap and, with other assistance, all those on board were saved.

National Army Museum



The Evacuation of the Troopship SS 'Tyndareus', Which Struck a Mine off Cape Agulhas, South Africa, on 6 February 1917




oil on board


H 54.2 x W 34.3 cm (E)

Accession number

NAM. 2001-07-31

Acquisition method

purchased from David Cohen Fine Art Ltd, 2001

Work type



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National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London, Greater London SW3 4HT England

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