HMAT Warilda

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Warilda
History
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] 15 Batt embarked Brisbane HMAT A69 Warilda same date[3]
  • 8 October 1915: 10th Reinforcements, 1st Infantry Battalion embarked from Sydney heading to Egypt.[4]
  • 8 November 1915: 10th Reinforcements, 1st Brigade of the AIF, embarked from Liverpool, NSW, Australia. The ship arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia on 15 October 1915, and reached Suez on 5 November, a Friday, where the troops were disembarked.[5]
  • 25 May 1916: Tunneling Companies, 2 Reinforcements embarked Melbourne.[6]
  • 1 June 1916: Tunneling Company 6, 3rd Tunneling Company embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia 1 June 1916. Disembarked Plymouth, England, 18 July 1916.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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. The Deputy Chief Controller of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corp, Mrs Violet Long, lost her life in this action.[10] Amongst the survivors was her commander, Captain Sim, who was later awarded the OBE by King George V.[11] Her wreck lies in the English Channel[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]