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Salta Hospital Ship


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Any more info to put further detail to thise lady?

Among those who lost their lives on board the hospital ship ‘Salta’ which was mined in the English Channel on April 10 was Miss Evelyn Maud Dawson, who worked for eight years at St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cawnpore.

On the outbreak of war, being home in Ballymena on leave, she was called up at once as a member of the Imperial Nursing Service Reserve. For two years and eight months she nursed the sick and wounded, first at Aldershot and later on board hospital ships, mostly in the Mediterranean.

At the time of her death, she was matron on board the ‘Salta’. Her name was retained on the list of missionaries of the SPG and it was her intention to return to Cawnpore after the war. She loved her profession and when in India she endeared herself to the nurses and patients of thehospital. From ‘The Mission Field’

Nurse Dawson was a daughter of the late Mr. Albert Dawson, Ballymena.

Ballymena Observer June 13, 1917

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Desmond

I have looked at the service record of this lady in the past, and have some further information, including photocopies of documents outlining the circumstances of her death and burial. If you let me have an email address off list I'll send them.

Regards - Sue

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Sue - many thanks. I'll keep an eye out for any other references.

Des

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  • 3 years later...

Does anyone have any further information about HMHS Salta other than that she was sunk by a mine on 10th April 1917 with 52 personnel being drowned?

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Dave,

Thanks for that. And a bit more found out since: She was built in 1912 for the Compagnie de Navigation France-Amerique, 7500 tons displacement.

Bill

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Bill

if you pass the details over to me I will do it for you as Im the keeper of the master data base for Roll of Honour Medical database

chris

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Michael Lowrey

Salta was a 7,284 grt passenger steamer built by Forges & Chant. de la Méditerranée, La Seyne (yard nyumber 1048) for Soc. Générale de Transports Maritimes à Vapeur, Marseille. She was launched in July 1911. The steamer was 449.4 feet long with a beam of 53.3 feet and a speed of 15 knots. In 1915, The Admiralty acquired the ship, which was operated on their behalf by Union-Castle Mail SS. Co., Ltd. (Official number: 136744).

Salta was mined and sunk on 10 April 1917, ½ mile north of Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, while on a voyage from Southampton for Le Havre with medical stores. The mine had been laid the previous day by teh German minelaying submarine UC 26. A wreck in 138 meters of water at 49°32'08N 00°02'18W is believed to be the Salta.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Chris,

Will do. I will extract them from my various spreadsheets or, more sensibly, just send you one with them all in it.

Bill

Bill

sounds good to me - I will pm you with my e mail

Chris

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Bill and Chris,

I have 79 Mercantile Marine crew names and 1 RN name of people lost on the Salta. If you are interested let me have your email address.

Best wishes

David

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Chris and Bill

The information I have is that the Salta served from 3rd December 1914 - 10th April 1917 - 9 QAIMNS sisters, 5 RAMC Officers and 43 O/Rs drowned.

Looking at the National Roll Database, I noticed 42 names listed. I don't know how many Bill has passed over but I have 48 names, one which is believed to have been on the Salta and now buried in Holland. Let me know if you do not have them all and I can pass over my list.

Barbara

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Bill and Chris,

I have 79 Mercantile Marine crew names and 1 RN name of people lost on the Salta. If you are interested let me have your email address.

Best wishes

David

David

thanks for the offer, but Im only after the medical staff

Chris

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Stockport's Saltas:-

Pte John William Gould, 61574, RAMC

CSM Mark Kinder, 17553, RAMC

Pte Frederick Hodkinson, 44363, RAMC

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Chris and Bill

The information I have is that the Salta served from 3rd December 1914 - 10th April 1917 - 9 QAIMNS sisters, 5 RAMC Officers and 43 O/Rs drowned.

Looking at the National Roll Database, I noticed 42 names listed. I don't know how many Bill has passed over but I have 48 names, one which is believed to have been on the Salta and now buried in Holland. Let me know if you do not have them all and I can pass over my list.

Barbara

Thank you very much for the offer - I have 9 QAIMNS listed - 3 officers - 31 ors - as long as they are medical staff I would be very grateful for the list - would be nice to able to finish the Salta off

Chris

Stockport's Saltas:-

Pte John William Gould, 61574, RAMC

CSM Mark Kinder, 17553, RAMC

Pte Frederick Hodkinson, 44363, RAMC

Nice One John my thanks

Chris

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John

Kinder was new to me my thanks - I have put a link into your site if thats OK

Chris

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Lt Joseph Naylor RAMC was a 54yr old Tipton GP and Factory Surgeon, lost on HMHS Salta. I found the following detail on a French site - translation is approximate. The numbers lost don't seem to tie up with other numbers mentioned above "Of 205 passengers and crew, 9 nurses, 42 wounded and 79 crew perished."

Andy

HMS Salta

Salta was chartered by the English Admiralty in February 1915 from the French Talabot Company and converted to a hospital ship (H.M.H.S. according to the nomenclature in force in the Royal Navy - His Majesty' s Hospital

Ship). In accordance with the Hague Convention of 1894, the steamer was painted white with a broad horizontal green band with red crosses, theoretically protecting it from attack.

On the night of the 9th to 10th April 1917, Salta, accompanied by Lanfranc, Western Australia and an escort of destroyers, steamed from Southampton to the naval base of Le Havre. During the morning of the 10th April, a French

patrol craft had found mines drifting in the Le Havre approaches and all vessels entering the port were to be warned. The mines had been laid the previous day by the German mine-laying submarine UC 26.

At 11.20am, Salta approached the port entrance and stopped engines. A patrol craft instructed the Salta convoy to follow it towards the English drifter Diamond which checked the identity of each ship before opening the barrage

allowing entry into the port. Satisfied, the drifter gives its green light and Salta was authorised to continue.

Whilst following the buoyed channel into Le Havre, Salta's Captain Eastaway gave orders to alter course to the north. The commander of the Diamond relayed a frantic message that Salta was now approaching the zone where

mines had been seen that morning. One of the Salta's surviving officers reported that Eastaway was concerned about entering Le Havre without a pilot because of the bad weather and had wanted to let the other ships pass.

Realising that they were in grave danger, Eastaway tried to re-trace his course back to the buoyed channel. In poor weather conditions, Salta drifted across the mined zone and hit a mine at 11.43am. An enormous explosion

breached the hull near the engine room and hold number three. Water engulfed the disabled ship, which listed to starboard and sank in less than 10 minutes, ½ mile north of Whistle Buoy.

Despite help arriving rapidly, the state of the sea and the strong winds hampered the rescue operation and the human cost was appalling. Of 205 passengers and crew, 9 nurses, 42 wounded and 79 crew perished. In spite of extensive searches, only 13 bodies were initially recovered. There are now 24 burials from the sinking of the Salta in Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, and also a memorial to those who were not recovered.

The sinking of the Salta had another victim. The English patrol craft P-26 was involved in the rescue operations and hit another mine, the ship was split in two and sank.

Salta is believed to lie in 138 metres of water at 49°32'08N 00°02'18W.

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Andy,

Fascinating material. Thanks. The casualties numbers given in the piece must be an error I would have thought, especially the '42 wounded' as the ship was heading into Le Havre to pick wounded up not deliver them. Interesting about the P-26 too. What was a little footnote in the book is getting rather larger!

Bill

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Kinder was new to me my thanks - I have put a link into your site if thats OK

Chris

Glad to have been of help.

These men are still "current research" for me but I have some family information culled from newspaper obits if that is any use. PM/email me if you need it.

John

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Hi

Interesting and useful information on HMS Salta. I was confused about the numbers at first but they are starting to make sense to me. I have it that there were 86 drowned of which 57 were medical staff - that would make the 9 nurses, 5 RAMC officers and 43 RAMC O/Rs. Just a thought. I don't know anything about the wounded other than there were no casualties aboard.

Anyway, I have compared the two lists and crossed through the names provided on the thread and can add 6 more RAMC O/Rs -

88452 Pte BEATTIE Frank

6307 Pte CLARK Donald

65144 Pte HICKS Wilfred

18920 /Sgt JONES Ernest Newton

5327 Cpl WHITE Leonard

14994 Pte WRIGHT Thomas Henry

The fifth officer is believed to be Capt SMITH Harry Graham. He lies in Noordwijk General Cemetery, Holland. Sorry I do not know the story behind this, he just appears on my list, so you may not want to add him until more concrete evidence comes your way, but at least you are aware of him.

Still some O/Rs to find, if I come across them in my searches I'll let you know. I intend to add them all to my database, at some point, because I'd like to try and commemorate all RAMC personnel who served, died or survived. If it is ok with you though, I'd like to do a link to your 'HMS Salta' Roll of Honour. It just appears daft to double up when there was so many.

Barbara

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In addition to my post above.

24 were admitted to No 2 General Hosptial, Le Havre. Three were from the Destroyer P-26, two stokers and one unknown, the rest were from the hospital ship Salta. The medical staff were

Captain Godfrey Charles Browne HAWES

10901 Pte PROWSE Russel Bertram Miles

5215 Pte HERBERT William Anthony

54832 Sgt TAYLOR John George

Staff Nurse Agnes Greig MANN QAIMNS and a nurse 'Nedrett'.

There were also two 'unknowns' who may or may not have been medical staff.

Barbara

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And some more details of the living, rather than the dead. The diary of the Matron-in-Chief [bEF] gives the names of the three surviving nurses on several occasions as:

G. Young; B. J. Burnett [Barbara], and L. D. Nicholls [Lucy]. And this snippet comes from the British Journal of Nursing, which may be of interest to Barbara:

We are glad to learn that the King has conferred the decoration of the Albert Medal on Private Arnold Bodsworth, R.A.M.C. When the Salta was sunk, all the occupants of one of her swamped boats were rescued by the Druid, but a nursing Sister and Private Bodsworth. The Sister was too exhausted to hold the ropes thrown to her and eventually became unconscious. Refusing the chance of rescue, Private Bodsworth persisted in remaining with the Sister in the boat, and after she had fallen overboard, hauled her back again at considerable risk to himself, in a rough sea. Eventually he succeeded in placing a line round her body, by which she was hauled on board the Druid.

19 January 1918, BJN

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Many thanks for the above information Sue. I'm unable to trace his MIC, unless he was Samuel A Bodsworth and used his middle name.

Having read back through, I just want to clarify that the 24 admitted to No 2 Gen Hospital, on the list I have, are of those who died.

Barbara

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