Well, I didn’t get to the Mitchell (State Rail doing track maintenance) but I did find a ship through the wonderful website AIF project. http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/index.html
Working between the AIF Project and the Australian War Memorial embarkation section http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/introduction.asp
I was able to find some details about the Hospital ship Kanowna. She departed Sydney on 25th September, 1917 and had nineteen doctors and six nurses on board. Definitely room for my character Miss Summerville to depart with them.
Now here is the new problem! After several days searching I was unable to determine that voyage’s ports of call or disembarkation. I couldn’t find anything on google, no shipboard diaries on Trove, the brilliant website of the National Library of Australia http://trove.nla.gov.au/ or the previous two websites. Peter Dennis of AIF had some suggestions regarding the NAA http://www.naa.gov.au/ and finally their ISS Department came up with the answers: a logbook of the Kanowna, a two page document detailing the 7th voyage of the Kanowna and a book entitled Sea Transport of the AIF – all available to view in Sydney. Yay! So I’ll be back down there again soon!
It sounds like you enjoy doing the research for your novel.
One of my ‘net friends is a historian and a writer. She is self-employed and, as amongst other things, undertakes historical research for writers.
I do enjoy the research but its just hard finding the time with a full time job. Your net friend must be very disciplined. I don’t know how I’d get my own writing done if I did research for others, lol. I’d get sidetracked.
Pingback: Navigating the Past | debbierobson