From Our Contribution
|Builder/Built||1908 Harland & Wolf, Belfast|
Built for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company as an 'A' class passenger liner servicing the Southampton - Buenos Aires route. In 1913 she was armed as a defensive merchant ship, but just prior tot he war commencing she was converted to a Hospital Ship capable of handling 896 patients primarily used on the France England run and in the Mediterranean where she also served the Gallipoli campaign. On one voyage she returned 2,400 sick and injured to England from Egypt.
The first time she was attacked by a German U Boat, was on 1 Feb 1915 when the torpedo struck her, but failed to explode. On 20 Mar 1917 after unloading 1,000 injured at Avonmouth, she sailed for Southampton, but off Start Point Devon, the German U-Boat U-66 torpedoed her. The Ship was able to be beached near Bolt Head. Victims numbered between 35 and 43. A month later she was refloated and taken to Plymouth where she was declared a total wreck. The Admiralty then used her as an ammunition hulk for the rest of the war. Commercially refitted after the war she was used as a cruise ship from 1923 until 1930 when she was sold to the Japanese for scrap.