On 2nd July 1918, somewhere in Australian waters, Gilbert Alfred ABBS died of an illness whilst serving on the HMS Platypus.

He was the husband of Ada Polly nee STOKES and they had been married only months. They married in London

On 7th July 1919 Henry George HAGGIS died of the Flu at the Thursday Island (Australia) Quarantine Station. He was serving on the HMS Platypus at the time.

He was the husband of Jennie nee SCROGGS and they had been married for about 3 years. They married in London.

Gilbert, who was born in London, is the 3 x Great Nephew of Matthew BAYFIELD of Cromer. Henry, who was born in Essex, is a great grandson of Matthew PATTERSON of Great Yarmouth. Both Matthews are distantly related to John Henry Scott BAYFIELD of these pages

A small world indeed when 2 young men cross to the other side of the world ON THE SAME SHIP, to both die of an illness a year apart, unrelated to the war they were both fighting. Two men, who, even if they ever did meet, would never have known of the slender connection that existed between them. I do not yet know if they were on the ship at the same time.

The Australian depot ship HMAS Platypus which was built abroad for the Australian Navy. It was launched on 28 October 1916 and completed on 2 March 1917. On completion the ship was taken over by Imperial authorities and manned by British ratings for the duration of the war. (Donor Our Australian Navy through J.W.Ward) I believe she started life as a merchant ship, the Penguin, and was converted during WW1
In Williamstown in 1944. She was used as a submarine tender in both WW1 and WW2
Arial view of the Platypus in Darwin harbour October 1942