HMAT Warilda

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Warilda
Career
Name: Warilda
Operator: Adelaide Steamship Company
Builder: William Beardmore and Company, Glasgow
Yard number: 505
Launched: 5 December 1911
Maiden voyage: 1912
Fate: Torpedoed by German U-boat UC-49 on 3 August 1918.
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7713 tons gross
HMAT Warilda - World War I - b36884.jpg
HMAT Warilda - World War I - side view.jpg

HMAT Warilda (His Majesty's Australian Transport) was a 7713 ton vessel, built by William Beardmore and Company in Glasgow as the SS Warilda for the Adelaide Steamship Company.[1] She was designed for the East-West Australian coastal service, but following the start of the First World War, she was converted into a troopship and later, in 1916, she was converted into a hospital ship.

Her identical sister ships, also built by William Beardmore and Company, were SS Wandilla (1912) and SS Willochra (1913).

Time as a troopship[edit]

  • 5 October 1915: 10th Reinforcements, 9th Battalion embarked from Brisbane heading to Egypt.[2]
  • 8 October 1915: 10th Reinforcements, 1st Infantry Battalion embarked from Sydney heading to Egypt.[3]
  • 25 May 1916: Tunneling Companies, 2 Reinforcements embarked Melbourne.[5]
  • 1 June 1916: Tunneling Company 6, 3rd Tunneling Company embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia 1 June 1916. Disembarked Plymouth, England, 18 July 1916.[6]

Sinking[edit]

On 3 August 1918, she was transporting wounded soldiers from Le Havre, France to Southampton when she was torpedoed by the German submarine UC-49.[7] This was despite being marked clearly with the Red Cross; as with a number of other hospital ships torpedoed during the war, Germany claimed the ships were also carrying arms.[8]

The ship sank in about two hours, and of the 801 persons on board, exactly 123 people were sent to their deaths when the Warilda sank to the sea floor.[9] Amongst the survivors was her commander, Captain Sim, who was later awarded the OBE by King George V.[10] Her wreck lies in the English Channel [11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]