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HMHS / SS Drina query


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After a long period of illness including two periods in hospital I have a list of queries still awaiting answers.

One is the, alleged, sinking of HMHS Drina when three Royal Naval Nursing Sisters were killed. However, further research on the sinking I find an S.S. Drina that was sunk on 1st March 1917 two miles north of Stockholm. A further statement suggested that Drina was the first transport ship to be equipped as a hospital ship and later reconverted to a transport ship. An underwater survey of the wreck of S.S. Drina in 1991 found no record or evidence that the sand ballast, loaded for stabilisation as a hospital ship had been removed.

My query therefore is – were HMHS Drina and S.S. Drina two separate ships or was the hospital ship salvaged and re-entered service as a transport ship ?

Most grateful for any advice

Tony

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DRINA served as a hospital ship 4/8/1914 to 10/2/1916 [Dittmar & Colledge] so must have been otherwise employed when sunk.

Thanks horatio

So it appears that she was probably not 'sunk' as a hospital ship but contined life as a transport ship ?

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Tony,

You're making it too complicated. There was only one Drina, and she was sunk on March 1, 1917. Drina most certainly was not sunk while acting as a hospital ship — on that point British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18, the official loss list, is quite clear. Instead she sank on a voyage from Buenos Aires for Liverpool with passengers and general cargo 2 miles west of Skokham Island (not Stockholm) after hitting a mine with the loss of 15 lives.

See also: http://uboat.net/wwi/ships_hit/1717.html

Best wishes,

Michael

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Michael

‘Complicated’ it was but when I found three R.N. Nursing Sisters recorded by CWGC as serving on HMHS Drina as died on 30th December 1915 I committed the mortal sin of assuming they were lost on their ship.

My further research now solves that problem with the sinking of HMS Natal that was sunk by an internal explosion

On 30 December 1915, Natal was lying in the Cromarty Firth with her squadron, under the command of Captain Eric Back. The captain was hosting a film party aboard and had invited the wives and children of his officers, one civilian friend and his family, and nurses from the nearby hospital ship Drina to attend. A total of seven women, one civilian male, and three children were in attendance that afternoon.

So I hope that I am forgiven!

Tony

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  • 1 month later...

HMHS Drina was returned to commercial use as there was a shortage of shipping that was fitted out with refrigeration facilities such as she had .The Drina could carry a large quantity of cargo, having holds insulated for the conveyance of chilled or frozen meat. “Capable of conveying 75,000 quarters of beef” and was also compartments insulated for dairy produce and fruit. “She was fitted with bilge keels for steadiness, ​and the water ballast consists of 2440 tons in 12 tanks.”

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  • 2 years later...
  • 7 months later...

Also on board the Drina was Archibald Jack, his wife, Gertrude and their three year old son, another Archibald.  The father became Brigadier General Jack CB, CMG, CBE who was head of the British Railway Mission in Siberia 1918-19.  The son was parachuted into Yugoslavia in September 1943 to assist the Royalist Chetnik leader General Mihailovic and earned the MC for his work disrupting the German Army.  

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Just to let you know as part of our ongoing project with the Royal Commision (see thread on 'multibeam sonar surveys in Welsh waters'), SS Drina is one of the vessels in welsh waters we will be looking to survey with multibeam sonar next year.  I'll keep you posted.

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  • 3 months later...
On ‎26‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 07:27, Michael James Roberts said:

Just to let you know as part of our ongoing project with the Royal Commision (see thread on 'multibeam sonar surveys in Welsh waters'), SS Drina is one of the vessels in welsh waters we will be looking to survey with multibeam sonar next year.  I'll keep you posted.

I too am working on the 1914-1918 U-Boat Project in the Pembrokeshire area looking at the wreck stories and the local community with regards to Pembrokeshire born Great War submariners such Captain Francis Cromie.

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