The Cottage on a Cook's Tour; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS

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QUESTION We're thinking of moving, but would like to take our house with us. Is there a company in the country that has done such a thing or could do it?

FURTHER to earlier answers, while in Melbourne I stumbled across the birthplace of the discoverer of Australia, Captain James Cook, originally a stone cottage located in Great Ayton in North Yorkshire.

The cottage was built by Cook's parents, James and Grace, in 1755, and stood in England until 1933, when it was bought by Sir Russell Grimwade as a centenary gift to the people and state of Victoria.

It was taken down, stone by stone, and transported to Melbourne, where it was reassembled, and is now one of the major attractions in the city's Fitzroy Gardens.

The cottage is surrounded by a garden that includes flowers, trees and herbs that would have been seen in a typical North Yorkshire garden in the 1700s.

Trevor Skeggs, Beccles, Suffolk.

QUESTION My father's family came from Bordighera, in Liguria, Italy. He told me of an Allied troopship sunk by a U-boat in World War I, despite being escorted by a Japanese ship. Which ship was it and what was the role of the Japanese in that war?

AN ANGLO- JAPANESE alliance having been signed in 1902, when Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, it took Japan just 19 days to follow suit.

In September 1914, a joint force of Japanese, plus 5,000 British troops, supported by the battleship HMS Triumph, captured the German treaty port of Tsingtao in Northern China.

To release Royal Navy ships for duty nearer home, the Japanese helped escort troop ships from Australia and New Zealand to the Middle East, guarding them against the threat of German surface raiders. After 1917, a flotilla of Japanese destroyers was based in the Mediterranean, assisting the Allies in escorting convoys.

The Anglo- Japanese alliance was renewable every five years, but after World War I relations between the two countries became strained as Japan set about dominating China.

Italy, which began the war as a neutral state, declared war on Austria-Hungary on May 22, 1915, and against Germany on August 27, 1916.

Dave Wright, Burwell, Cambs.

THIS troopship was probably the P&O Steam Navigation Co's Mooltan, a 9,600-ton vessel built by Laird & Co Ltd at Greenock in 1905.

According to Lloyds Registrar of Shipping Dictionary Of Disasters At Sea, Mooltan was steaming through the Med in convoy between Malta and Marseilles on July 26, 1917, escorted by two Japanese destroyers, when she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UC27, 53 miles north-west of Cape Serrat.

Mooltan was carrying 554 people and, by her own efforts and those of her escorts, saved all but two of her company before she sank. …