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Remembered Today:

H.M.T.’s used as temporary Hospital Ships, Gallipoli 1915.


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Timelines for H.M.T. Alaunia and a few details of His Majesty’s Transport Ships that were used as hospital ships in an emergency measure to treat the large numbers of wounded soldiers following the landings on the beaches of Gallipoli. It appears nurses only served on these ships for a brief period, most often during late August and September 1915. They are very elusive to find and details in the records are scanty or absent. (this is only my understanding so additions / corrections wellcome)


H.M.T. Alaunia

Thanks to the diary of Florence OPPENHEIMER many of the H.M.T. Alaunia nurses are known and were photographed. Excepts from her diary are here: 



(this site appears to have been amended since I made the list of the photographed Alaunia nurses)

The NA embarkation roll copied by Alan was also very helpful for finishing the list of Alaunia nursing staff. If you read this Alan - my understanding is that Basilian was renamed Hunslet. On your posting 25.11.22. ‘Basilian – Emb. Liverpool 27/07/15; 1 Matron, 1 Sister and 3 Staff Nurses’, they may have be staff serving on board. Also the last entry for ‘HS Hunslet, Emb. Liverpool 6 staff nurses’. They may have been serving rather than ‘in transit’. Are you able to post these lists? - thanks.


It’s quite difficult to work out which ships the nurses posted to or if they were just in transit to Malta or Alexandria – the file of Ellen Constance DALGLEISH nee´ FRANKLIN (WO 399/1993) has a few clues.

Ellen left Devonport on HMT Northland 19.07.15 & disembarked Imbros 09.08.15., Northland was also carrying troops^^ who stayed on board and landed at Suvla Bay on the 10th. Ellen then appears to have served on H.M.T. Alaunia from 10.08.15 to 12.09.15 though this is not mentioned in her file. Her record has her embarking Galeka for transit at Imbros on 13.09.15 which matches other records and finally disembarking at Alexandria on 26.09.15.

I think the above may also apply to Marion Margaret MURPHY (WO 399/6084) (along with several of the other Alaunia nurses), though her record implies she was on board Northland for all the period 19.07.15 to 25.09.15. 

There is a photo of Ellen Franklin/Dalgleish here: https://wellcomecollection.org/works/k64w65bc/items?canvas=122

When I posted the Dongola timeline she was unidentified. Her period of service on Dongola was from 15.04.16 to 24.06.16 when she disembarked due to ‘exhaustion & cardiac irregularity’.

^^ http://plattmemorialhall.org/warmemorial/world-war-one/lewis-william-hayes-1897-1918/

* * * * *


The line of ships requisitioned by the H.M. Government were re-named in accordance of an Admiralty decision to perpetuate their German origin. The seven original ‘H’ Line ships as notified in newspapers 14th August 1915 (not all present at Gallipoli)

SS Hungerford - formerly Lauterfels; SS Huntly - formerly Ophelia; SS Hunsdon - formerly Arnfried; SS Hunstanton - formerly Werdenfels; SS Huntress - formerly Frisia; SS Hunsgate - formerly Altair; SS Huntsend - formerly Lützow

Two more were notified on 10th September 1915. SS Huntsgreen - formerly Derfflinger; SS Hunsbridge - formerly Haidar Pascha

Details for this line of ships in Lloyd's Register of Shipping 1918: https://archive.org/details/HECROS1918ST/page/n471/mode/2up?view=theater

For more info on Huntsgreen & related H.M.T. topics - Great war forum:




I assume there were nurses on board H.M.T. Arcadian treating the wounded but they are unknown at present.

Magaret J. KEYS MIC states 06.08.15 HMT Albania – is this an error? (Google finds SS Albania launched 1920)

Regards ZeZe


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Hello ZeZe,

  The short term hospital transports are difficult to research regarding nursing staff. In some cases 2 nurses may be the total complement.

 The 'Caledonia' war diary, WO 95/4143/1, shows 8 nursing sisters;-

Matron L.M. PAYNE





Sister M. GRIGOR



  The nursing ranks are clearly wrong for some of these. All 8 served from 04/08/15 to 14/08/15, and then from 18/08/15 to 01/09/15, when they disembarked at Devonport {'Sister' LUDLUM as a patient}. Sister CAMPBELL was Australian. Parts of her diary are included in 'Women in the War Zone' by Anne Powell.


Alf McM


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Hi Alf,

Thanks for the info.

F.A. Bennett is probably Frances Agnes Bennett (WO 399/564) – already have her file for 'Mauretania' & 'Aquitania'. She was first paid from 01.06.15.

N. MacDonald is probably Nina MacDonald (WO 399/537) – already have her file for 'Galeka'. She was first paid from 18.05.15.

Both Australian, but as expected no mention in either file of a short spell on 'Caledonia'.

Regards ZeZe

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21 hours ago, ZeZe said:

Are you able to post these lists? - thanks.

A number of officers and nurses appear on both returns, so you could be right about the renaming of the ship.



For reference, my photographs of the embarkation returns at Kew.

Basilan 01.jpg

Hunslett 01.jpg

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Hi Alan,

Thanks for uploading the two embarkation records. If the nurse is on both sheets she was probably serving on board. I’ll do some digging next week.

* * *

A/Matron on H.M.T. Caledonia is Lucy Mary Paine (WO 399/6421).

She may have her posting date incorrect as in a letter she writes ...“14th July 1915 on Transport Duty to the Dardanelles”... but her transfer date matches the War Diary - ...“I reported with my staff at the War Office London, Sept 2nd 1915, having brought home 970 sick & wounded, this being our second journey in the Caledonia”…

Regards ZeZe

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@ZeZe  and @alf mcm

I noticed that a nurse Oppenheimer ex Alaunia with others is listed on the attached. Names cover three sheets thus I've cropped the first sheet to give context and the name of the ship.

I thought this maybe of interest.





Galeka 01.jpg

Galeka 02.jpg

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On the Alaunia timeline the only R.A.M.C. Medical Officer found was a Captain SUHR who I couldn’t identify. I now believe this person to be Lt Col. Robert Strickland Hannay FUHR D.S.O., Officer Commanding “M” Reinforcements (M for Medical?), who is assigning the Medical Officers to various ships, recorded in the Caledonia diary.

HMT Caledoniaimage.jpeg.8811202baf32a31c015dcf045da418fa.jpeg

The medical staff received orders to join Caledonia at Mudros Bay on the 4th August 1915. After taking wounded troops from Mudros to Alexandra, Dr David Anderson FARQUHARSON and the eight nurses disembarked (14th) to allow for over 1400 troops to be transported to Gallipoli. The nurses spent the next four days on board Devanha before returning to Imbros on Caledonia. She then departed from Mudros Bay on the 22nd, sailing via Gibraltar, docked at Devonport on the 1st September 1915.

Dr Farquharson was paid £1.00 per day – details recorded on his MIC state the 1914/15 Star was ineligible, presumably because he was a civilian during this period.

Best match I’ve found for F. LUDLUM/LUDLAM is a B.R.C. Nurse - Frances Ludlam/Ludlaw 

* * *

HMT Hunsletimage.jpeg.a1ff53dadaf4d0e9b215680352cb4b23.jpeg

It appears from the embarkation rolls and nurses records that HMT Hunslet had medical staff on board from 27th July 1915 to at least the middle of February 1916. Perhaps the medical staff were not constantly on board, Nellie CAXTON, who is listed on the 27th July embarkation roll afterwards served for a spell of temporary duty at The Lord Derby Hospital, Warrington before rejoining the ship for the sailing on the 28th September.

In Mary Leonora GOLDSTONE’s file there are letters dated 12.01.16 signed by Captain James MARTIN & A/Matron Mary POTTS asking for Goldstone, ‘who is not a good sailor, appears to be discontented and is constantly grumbling’, to be taken off the ship. She was given a new posting in February.

HMT Hunslet is recorded once by the Embarkation Officer at Mudros as arriving from England on 10.12.15.

A letters of thanks from Matron Potts to the British Red Cross & Baulkham Hills Patriotic League:



Dr Muller mentioned:


Does anyone have any more info on the dates & ports of call for HMT Hunslet? 

Hi Alan,

Your last post – under the Alaunia list is another list for Nurses ex Demosthenes – HMAT A64. That’s a new addition. I have files for Katherine LOWE (HMHS Letitia), Louise Le BROCQ (no clue in her file where she served in 1915) & Carry LUCKES (HS Mauretania). The other names are new to me. Thanks.

Regards ZeZe

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These A.A.N.S. nurses are six of the nine detailed to return on H.M.T. Euripides with wounded Australian soldiers for a voyage from Suez to Sydney, NSW.

Alicia Mary KELLY [aka CHIPPER] - Detailed for transport S.S. “Euripides” 28.08.15.

Margaret McKILLOP - Sailed 29.08.15. from Suez per “Euripides” and 01.10.15. Disembarked’

Florence Laura LEWIS - 25.08.15 Detailed for duty on Transport “Euripides”. Returned “Euripides” 01.10.15. Transport Duty.

Lilian RIDGE - Detailed for transport duty 25.08.15.

Euphemia Weir Huntley SCOTT - Returned “Euripides” 01.10.15. Transport Duty.

Ilma May TIMMINS - Detailed for transport S.S. “Euripides” 28.08.15. There were 4 Doctors, 9 Sisters and 20 Orderlies in the boat all of whom, with the exception of myself, are going back at once.’

TIMMINS letter: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/111680393?searchTerm=EURIPIDES%20nurse

Source of other names: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/115276931?searchTerm=EURIPIDES%20nurse

I’m sure Emily Backhouse (WO 399/9545) would have mentioned a voyage to Australia, she writes ‘..left England in July 1915 and was on the Troopship “Euripides” bringing down wounded to Alexandria from Imbros, afterwards on Hospital Ships from time to time..’ therefore it's likely that the British nurses disembarked “Euripides” before 28.08.15.

Regards ZeZe


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The other 3 AANS nurses who returned with the wounded on the Euripides disembarked in Melbourne.

Two of the CURTAIN sisters, Harriette Honora and Louisa Marcella, accompanied the SA soldiers via train to Adelaide. [both detailed for transport duty 25/8/1915]



While Muriel Edith Lucy THOMPSON accompanied the Tas soldiers home. [detached for duty 28/8/1915 on Euripides]



Cheers, Frev

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On 18/02/2023 at 20:39, ZeZe said:

N. MacDonald is probably Nina MacDonald (WO 399/537) – already have her file for 'Galeka'. She was first paid from 18.05.15.

Both Australian, but as expected no mention in either file of a short spell on 'Caledonia'.



Zeze - Nina MacDonald's service record has her as posted To Caledonia for temporary duty 1/9/1915...


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Hi Frev,

Thanks for the links which confirm the three other Euripides nurses – I thought you would know who they were.

H.M.T. Caledonia

Nina MacDonald’s ‘to Caledonia’ – I was looking for the War Diary date of boarding on 04.08.15. & missed it. Her service record doesn’t agree with the War Diary, and as the service record is all in the same handwriting, perhaps it was completed at a later date and could be incorrect. According to the War Diary, N. MacDonald joined Caledonia on 04.08.15 & disembarked on 01.09.15 (evidence of the nurses date of disembarkation is also in Lucy Paines letter). It appears to me, Nina may have served on Galeka from 16.07.15 to 04.08.15 & Caledonia from 04.08.15. to at least 01.09.15. What do you think? Did she return to Egypt from the UK on Caledonia in early September? 

E Campbell could be Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. Staff Nurse Effie Elizabeth JORDAN nee´ CAMPBELL (WO 399/4446), she states in letter ‘….having served in Egypt and Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia...’. Effie arrived in Egypt from Australia on 15.06.15. so was in the right place at the right time.

Regards ZeZe

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Zeze - my thoughts on above:


HMT Caledonia:

Effie Elizabeth CAMPBELL – I last looked at Effie many years ago, and as is often the case with my files, it needs updating quite a lot.  Rechecking the details supplied in Women in the War Zone – the chapter on Sister E Campbell is definitely Effie.

According to Sister E. Campbell’s diary in the above book, the Galeka left Egypt 14/7/1915 and arrived Lemnos 16/7/1915.

Sat 24th July: “Came on board RMS Ionian at 4 pm.” “The Galeka went out on Sunday morning, 25th, laden with wounded from Dardanelles going back to Alexandria.”

30th July: [in Mudros Harbour, on Ionian?? – a bit confusing as no entries listed b/w 24th & 30th & 3rd]

3rd Aug: “8 Sisters are staying on this boat and 8 going on to the Caledonia (Miss Payne, Bennill [sic], Ludlum, Chapman, Macdonald, Grigor, Blackie and self).”

4th Aug: “Helped with patients on Ionian all day.  Went over to Caledonia at 7pm. Had dinner and got our cabins.”

6th Aug: “Mac and I on night duty tonight.” [Think this would be Nina, as the nurses often referred to each other by some form of their surname]

14th Aug:[transferred to Devanha]

16th Aug: “Back to Caledonia.”

Tues 31 Aug:

Wed [1st Sept]: “We left the boat at 1pm for London…”


Nina (Annie Christina) MacDONALD – I’ve downloaded the Caledonia diary (a very informative read!), and together with the above diary, believe as you do that the date of 1/9/1915 in Nina’s service record is incorrect, and is actually when she left the ship.


M. CHAPMAN is possibly Mary Sang CHAPMAN

Effie, Nina and Mary sailed together from Australia as part of a contingent to serve with the QAIMNSR, and small groups of these ladies were often kept together

Never found a QA service record for her, but papers noted that:

“She served on a hospital ship at Lemnos, Malta, and in England.”

And a Repat letter (1953) in her NAA file states she served on “Galeha” [sic] – though both the ships shown that she left & returned to Australia on, are incorrect!!


Caledonia Diary, Sept 1st 1915: Sister F. Ludlam (Whitlow) Transferred as patient to London.

Is Whitlow an alternative surname, place…?


Frances Agnes BENNETT


Scan down page for the following Note:

Frances Bennett served in the QAIMNS Reserve (QAIMNSR). She was known by the nickname Fanny. She went out on the RMS Maloja from Australia in April 1915. In addition to being sub matron on the Mauretania, Fanny also nursed on the hospital ship Caledonia which was part of the ferry service right up at Gallipoli in 1915.

Source: Dr Kirsty Harris


Re: HMT Hunslet – PARR could be Sister L. MARR (QAIMNSR) who I came across in the UK WW1 Service Medal & Award Rolls as qualified for 1914-15 Star from June 1915 on HS Hunslett – there is a QA SR for a Lizzie Marr.


Cheers, Frev


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Hi Frev,

You are correct – PARR is Lizzie MARR (WO 399/5624 – a long 200 page file). The only reference I can find is on p.135 ‘Post to Lower Southern Hospital, Dartford to join 9-9-15. Send orders to Millbank & ? to paymaster S.C. (Southampton Command?) transfer from Hp Ship Hunslet 8-9-15, A.M.D.4’

That agrees with the two embarkation rolls: Lizzie is mis-named on roll 28.07.15 and not present on the one dated 28.09.15.

re. Ludlam – I think ‘Whitlow’ is referring to an infection of a finger - the cause of her spell in hospital.

The Frances Agnes BENNETT link: found the letters written by Frances to Mary English on the death of her husband very moving.

* * *

H.M.T. Demosthenes


Which K. LOWE ? 

(i) Katherine LOWE (WO 399/5013) who served on “Letitia” was my initial match, but I have discounted her as she embarked for Egypt on 31.08.15 , almost certainly too late to have served on Demosthenes.

(ii) Kate LOWE, two files, WO 399/5012 Q.A.I.M.N.S.R & WO 399/12857 T.F.N.S. relate to the same person. Her MIC also has both branches of the nursing service noted which is confusing – I did think at first they were two different nurses but the signatures are the same in both files. 

Hospital Ship records in file WO 399/5012: HS Carisbrook Castle 20.11.14; A/Matron from April 1915; A/Matron HMHS Gascon to 07.08.17 followed by sick leave.

Hospital Ship records in file WO 399/12857: HMHS Asturias 27.09.14; transferred to Glengorm Castle; transferred to Carisbrook Castle; transferred to Gascon. Returned home in Guildford Castle 07.08.17.

Not sure if in the last record Glengorm Castle & Carisbrook Castle are in the right order but I think T.F.N.S. Sister Kate Lowe R.R.C. is the most likely match, the few weeks serving on Demosthenes either wasn’t recorded or has been lost.

(iii) Lastly Katherine Robertson LOWE (WO 399/12858) T.F.N.S. Staff Nurse. Served Home & France, not a match, but her record is worthy of mentioning. Katherine was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery following an air raid in the early hours of 23rd May 1918 at St Omer. The report in her file reads: “For gallantry and devotion to duty when during an air raid bombs destroyed a large portion of the ward in which she was on night duty, wounding and burying many of the patients. She continued to carry out her duties with great composure, and showed such resourcefulness in looking after the injured.”

Casualty figures noted later in the day were:

R.A.M.C. killed Officers 2; O/Ranks 6 (+1 ? in H/pl); wounded O/Ranks 9.

Patients: killed O/Ranks 9 (includes 1 R.A.M.C.); wounded O/Ranks 9.

No nursing sisters were touched.

10 Stationary Hospital War Diary 1918, pages 49/50: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/a1e4174df016439c9a93709cda361bff

Photo: http://greatwarnurses.blogspot.com/2010/11/military-medals.html

Regards ZeZe

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