From Our Contribution

HMNZT Tofua.jpg
In Auckland Harbour
HMNZT Tofua 1.jpg
Name HMNZT Tofua
Builder William Denny & Bros, Dumbarton, Glasgow
Yard number 821
Launched 9 Dec 1907
Completed January 1908
In service 1908
Out of service 1934
Fate broken up
General characteristics
Type Passenger / refrigerated cargo
Tonnage 4,345 tons
Length 350.3 ft
Beam 48.2 ft
Depth 23.7 ft Draft 20.5 ft
Propulsion twin screw
Speed 13.5 knots


Owned by the Union Steam Ship Co of New Zealand. Completed 9 transport voyages for the New Zealand government four to Egypt and five to England. On occasion she carried Australians as well.

  • 14 Aug 1915, as HMNZT Tofua #28 she was placed in convoy with the Australian ship HMNZT Willochra 27, and they departed New Zealand with the 6th reinforcements, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, a total of 2,363 troops for Egypt, where the arrived on 19 Sep 1915.
  • 13 Nov 1915, as HMNZT Tofua #36 and in convoy once again with HMNZT Willochra 35 departed New Zealand with the 8th Reinforcement & 2nd Reinforcements Infantry to NZ Rifle Brigade, 2,585 troops for Egypt, where they arrived on 18 Dec 1915.
  • 4 Mar 1916, as HMNZT Tofua #48 and in convoy with HMNZT Willochra 47 departed New Zealand with 11th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force, 5th Reinforcements 1st, 2nd Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade, 2nd Reinforcements 3rd & 4th Battalion. NZ Rifle Brigade, a total of 2,222 troops that arrived in Egypt on 3 May 1916.
  • 27 Jun 1916 , as HMNZT Tofua #55 in convoy with HMNZT Willochra 54 departed New Zealand bound for Devonport the UK, with 13th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force, 7th Reinforcements to the 1st & 2nd Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade & 4th Reinforcements to the 3rd & 4th Battalion NZ Rifle Brigade, a total of 2,123 troops. Just several days out from Albany (Western Australia) the Willochra was diverted to Plymouth England, whilst the Tofua arrived at Devonport on 27 July 1916.
  • 11 Oct 1916, as HMNZT Tofua #67 departed New Zealand with part of the 18th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force the other part was carried by HMNZT Willochra 66 and the 9th Reinforcements Maori Contingent. They arrived at Plymouth England on 28 Dec 1916.
  • 26 Apr 1917, as HMNZT Tofua #83 in conjunction and convoy with HMNZT Turakina 84 departed New Zealand with the 25th Reinforcements New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Both ships arrived at Plymouth England on 19 Jul 1917.
  • 13 Nov 1917, as HMNZT Tofua #98 departed New Zealand with 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd & 34th Field Ambulance as well as the Mounted Rifles Brigade. A total of 810 men. The Tofua arrived at Suez, Egypt on 21 Dec 1917.
  • 2 Mar 1918, as HMNZT Tofua #101 departed New Zealand with the 35th Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force and the 27th Reinforcements Maori Contingent, a total of 932 troops. She arrived in England on 8 Apr 1918, having made calls at Suez, Marseilles and Le Havre.
  • 1 Aug 1918, as HMNZT Tofua #109 departed New Zealand with the 42nd Reinforcements NZ Expeditionary Force. There were a total of 856 troops, and the ship was bound for the UK. She arrived in London on 4 Oct 1918. #109 was her final troop transport duty, having transported countless of thousands Troops, Medical Staff, Military Bands and others to the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

She headed back to New Zealand where she was given a comprehensive refit, returning the ship to her pre war condition, as well as adding some fine new improvements. Upon completion, she recommenced her regular Pacific service in 1919. In 1934 she was retired and sold to Japanese company Miyachi K.K.K, & was scrapped in Osaka Japan.

Soldiers carried

Cape Town to Fremantle 20 May - 6 June 1918