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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

311 — The Admiralty to the Commander-in-Chief, China [Station]2

The Admiralty to the Commander-in-Chief, China [Station]2

18 August 1940

Repeated to the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board and the New Zealand Naval Board.

The Arawa3 is to provide the ocean escort as far as Freetown for a liner carrying the New Zealand Forestry Unit and a detachment of Australian troops to the United Kingdom. The liner first selected was the Orcades, due to sail in convoy US 4 from Fremantle on 1 September, it being the intention that the Arawa should escort her from Bombay. The position is no longer clear because of the present uncertainty as to the final date of sailing of US 4, and it is possible that the Arawa may be required to commence escort duty at Fremantle. She should therefore await further instructions at Singapore.

2 Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton, GBE, KCB, KCMG, DSO (then Vice-Admiral); C-in-C, China, 1940–42, Ceylon, 1942–45, Portsmouth, 1945–47.

3 RMS Arawa, Shaw Savill and Albion Company Ltd., 14,462 tons; converted to armed merchant cruiser.