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SS WARILDA

Date: 1912 - 1918
Medium: Photograph
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transfer from the Australian War Memorial
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: ANMS0047[471]

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    Description
    A photogrpah of SS WARILDA docked at a wharf. There are a number of passengers on the deck and the ship looks to be departing from an unknown wharf.
    SignificanceThe SS WARILDA had a long association with the Australian coastal trade and her loss in WWI as a hospital ship became well known for the courage displayed by crew and the medical team in evacuating the wounded patients, many of who were blind and immobile. In particular were the efforts of Mrs Violet King who died in the sinking and had been a principal founder of the Womens Corps.
    HistorySS WARILDA was owned by the Adelaide Steamship Company and designed for the East-West Australian coastal service.She was requisitioned by the Commonwealth in August 1915 and fitted up as a troop transport. As well as transporting troops the WARILDA was also used as a hospital ship transporting patients across the English Channel. Between late 1916 and August 1918 she made over 180 trips from Le Havre to Southampton, carrying approximately 80,000 patients.

    Despite bearing the red cross of a hospital ship, the WARILDA was torpedoed and sunk 3 August 1918 in the English Channel by a German submarine who claimed she was carrying armanments. The WARILDA had been returning from Le Harve in France to England with 700 wounded troops on board and 123 lives were lost in the sinking.

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