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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

The St Elizabeth hospital ship


Ann Yarwood
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Ann

Had no luck on several databases,including NA. Suggest that you get to see a copy of the book Hospital Ships and Ambulance Trains by Plumridge,it might show a bit about the ship there.

Sotonmate

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Ann

I have the book, and there's no mention of any vessel named St. Elizabeth, but there is one named 'Princess Elizabeth.' It was in service from 8th November 1916 till 3rd September 1919, and was very unusual as its bed capacity is given as just thirty. This seems to suggest that it was a yacht or launch of some kind, possibly owned and run privately, but that sort of vessel might fit with working in the Aegean. There is no other information about the vessel in the book. These small boats were usually used to transport sick officers, rather than the average soldier.

Sue

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Thank you so much for that, Sue. That sounds very plausible.

I submitted a query here a while ago about the same man this is in reference to now, my great uncle. Family legend had it that his ship, the SS Alston, had been torpedoed during WW1 and he'd died (his name appears on the war memorial in Plymouth, so it seemed likely). But you guys set me straight on that one - the SS Alston wasn't torpedoed in WW1! - and I knew you'd help now. So I'm still trying to figure out what happend to him.

This time I'm trying to verify information I've just recieved from a distant cousin (a grandson of the man in question) who assures me that my great uncle was transferred to the hospital ship, "St Elizabeth" in the Aegean after he became ill "after drinking contaminated water" on board the SS Alston (he was in the RNR's). And it was on the hospital ship he died, and from which he was "buried at sea" in 1918. Just to be sure, does that version of the story sound more likely?

My cousin has also been told, off the record of couse, that the records for this ship/the location of his burial were destroyed because they were taking up too much room. That just sounds so callous, could it be true?

Thanks again, Ann

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Ann/Sue

That's better ! Princess Elizabeth gives a hit on a War Diary at Kew for a Hospital Ship of that name,WO95/4147 from Dec 1916 to Nov 1918,shown as allocated to Lines Of Communication France,Flanders and Germany,BUT,the War Diary numbers beginning with 4 invariably show service in the Mid East.

Sotonmate

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