From Our Contribution
|Builder/Built||1906 Caird & Co, Greenock|
|Type||passenger / cargo liner|
SS Devanha was built for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) to be used on the India/China route.
From 1915 the Devanha served as both a troop transport ship (HMT) and later hospital ship (HMHS). It was used during the landings at Gallipoli in 1915. All requisitioned vessels continued to be manned by their normal P&O staff of officers and their peacetime P&O crews.
On 25 April at 2pm The Devanha now also known as Troopship 3 sailed from Mudros Harbour and proceeded to the Island of Imbros, anchoring off Kephalos Harbour. Devanha was A5 in the convoy, Berth 4 of the Echelon landing force for Gallipoli. After the first wave of troops landed the Devanha steamed up the coast as a feint to draw enemy fire.
That evening the vessel evacuated her first load of casualties and began service as a hospital ship. As a hospital ship HMHS Devanha transported sick and wounded troops from the battle field to hospital bases.
Originally hospital ships were ordered to take serious cases while transports were to take the lightly wounded, but the confusion which resulted after the initial landing - and the large numbers of casualties - meant this system soon fell into disarray. The HMHS Devanha and other hospital ships provided emergency treatment while evacuating the troops directly to Egypt, from where some would be sent to Malta and England. Devanha continued with these duties until the end of the campaign, and the P & O history notes that the vessel was the last hospital ship to leave the Dardanelles.
A timber lifeboat from the P&O SS Devanha known as Troopship A3 at the time of the Gallipoli landing in 1915 is held in the AWM collection.