HMAS Grantala

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SS Grantala
SS Grantala
Career
Name: Grantala (1903–1915)
Figuig (1915–1934)[1]
Namesake: Grantala – Aboriginal word for Big
Operator: Adelaide Steamship Company (1903–1915)
Red Funnel Shipping Co Ltd (1915–1920)
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (1920–1934)
Launched: 1903
Fate: Broken up in Italy in 1934.
Career (Australia)
Name: Grantala
Acquired: 7 August 1914
Decommissioned: 22 December 1914
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
Rabaul 1914
Fate: returned to Adelaide Steamship Company
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,714 gross tonnage[2]
Length: 350 ft (107 m)[2]
Beam: 45.2 ft (14 m)[2]
Depth: 27.2 ft (8 m)[2]

HMAS Grantala was a hospital ship operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War I. She was launched in 1903 by Armstrong Whitworth Company, Newcastle upon Tyne as Grantala for the Adelaide Steamship Company.[2] The ship operated in Australian waters from 1904, and was requisitioned by the RAN on 7 August 1914. She was returned to her owners in 1915, sold and renamed Figuig and was later scrapped in 1934.[3]

Operational history[edit]

Built by Armstrong Whitworth Company, Newcastle upon Tyne for the Adelaide Steamship Company, launched in 1903 and named Grantala. She was used a passenger steamship on the Australian coastal runs capable of carrying 225 passengers. She arrived in Sydney from London on Thursday 10 March 1904.[3]

She was requistioned by the RAN on 7 August 1914 and became Australia's first hospital ship and the only RAN hospital ship of the First World War.[3] HMAS Grantala was fitted out at Cookatoo Island Dockyard and Garden Island Naval Base.[4] The ship's conversion took just 17 days, and upon completion she had the capacity to carry between 250 to 300 patients, tended to by a staff of 59.[5] During her short RAN service, she supported the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landing at Rabaul, which was later recognised with the battle honour "Rabaul 1914".[3][6][7]

Grantala was returned to her owners in 1915 and sold to Red Funnell Shipping Company Ltd, before being sold to Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1920, used on the passenger run between Marseilles and Algiers. She was sold for breaking up and was broken up in Italy in 1934.[3][8]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Details of the Ship". Plimsoll ShipData. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Llyods Reigister". Plimsoll ShipData. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Wilson, p.50.
  4. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 29 August 1914, p.14.". Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Goyne, Rohan (March 2014). "HMAS Grantala – Australia's First Hospital Ship". Sabretache (Garran, Australian Capital Territory: Military Historical Society of Australia). Volume LV (No. 1): pp. 28–31. ISSN 0048-8933. 
  6. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "The West Australian, Saturday 14 July 1934, p.14.". Retrieved 11 September 2010. 

References[edit]

  • Wilson, Michael. Royal Australian Navy 21st Century Warships, Naval auxiliaries 1911 to 1999 including Defence Maritime Services, Profile No. 4 (Revised Edition ed.). Marrickville, New South Wales: Topmill. ISBN 978-1-876270-72-8. 
  • Hospital ship No. VIII