Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Hospital Ship Rohilla 1914


Jarvis

Recommended Posts

I spent yesterday afternoon trawling the 1914 archives of our local newspaper and I have discovered some wonderful stories and accompanying photographs. One such is the following :

Teesdale Mercury - Wednesday Novemeber 18th 1914

W H Bryan, a sailor hero who swam out through a raging sea and rescued nine persons who had jumped overboard from the wrecked Hospital Ship Rohilla at Whitby. Bryan, who was at home on leave, was on HMS Hogue when she was sunk by a German submarine.

post-15884-1172293582.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hospital Ship Rohilla (continued)

Alexander Corpse of HMS Queen who rescued from the wreck sixteen people, three of whom died later. By a remarkable coincidence, one of those whom he carried ashore was the nurse who had nursed him in hospital in Gillingham.

post-15884-1172293825.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 30th October 1914 the Hospital ship Rohilla, 7891 grt, hit coastal rocks in storm S from Whitby, North Sea. There were 28 casualties.

Best wishes

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
On 30th October 1914 the Hospital ship Rohilla, 7891 grt, hit coastal rocks in storm S from Whitby, North Sea. There were 28 casualties.

Best wishes

David

Hello Dave,

I wonder if you could contact me with regards to this thread if you are still foloowing it. I would like to exchange e-mails as I have a keen interest in the Rohilla. The total casualties from the loss of the hospital vessel was 85/84 depending on the accuracy of the many casualty lists that were posted.

Kind regards

Colin Brittain

Whitby Welcome Portal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 2 entries in HANSARD referring to the Rohilla.

WRECK OF STEAMSHIP "ROHILLA" (COMPENSATION).HC Deb 19 May 1915 vol 71 cc2302-3 2302

§ 4. Mr. HOGGE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty has admitted liability for compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act in respect of the death of the seamen drowned in the wreck of the "Rohilla"; if so, what is the cause of the delay in settling it; and whether he is aware that the delay in settling is causing great distress and inconvenience to a number of poor people who are dependants of those seamen and are entitled to compensation, and when the compensation is likely to be paid?

§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara) I regret the delay no less than my hon. Friend, but the case has presented great difficulties owing to the many questions of principle which have arisen affecting the decision as to liability for compensation. Arrangements have, however, now been 2303 made for the payment due under the Workmen's Compensation Act to be proceeded with, without prejudice to the final decision as to liability. The question as to supplementary awards under the Injuries in War Compensation Scheme is also proceeding. As regards the latter part of the question, I understand that the owners of the ship, who have been in touch with the dependants since the loss, have been making temporary advances to meet cases of distress.

HC Deb 05 May 1920 vol 128 cc2047-9

26. Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that in the case of the "Robella," lost during the early part of the War, most of the sick-berth staff on board were drowned; and whether, notwithstanding anything contained in Admiralty Order No. 1230a of 21st April, 1920, he will consider the possibility of members of the sick-berth staff who served in hospital ships, and were subject at all times to the menace of mines and submarines, participating in the Naval Prize Fund?

29. Colonel BURN asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will consider the claim of the sick-berth stewards in the Royal Navy to participate in the division of the prize money?

§ Sir J. CRAIG I presume that the ship mentioned by my hon. Friend in Question 26 refers to the hospital ship "Rohilla." The qualification for participation in prize money is service in a seagoing offensively armed ship of war. In these circumstances only sick-berth staff serving in such ships are entitled to share, and it is not, therefore, possible to admit claims based on Hospital Ship Service.

Colonel BURN Does the hon. Gentleman not consider that these men had as hard a time as men on other ships, and had to serve in all sorts of climates and were exposed to the same dangers as ether men taking part in the War?

§ Sir J. CRAIG No, Sir; not quite. I think if the hon. Gentleman cares to study the whole question, he will see that a differentiation must be made somewhere and that the widest possible latitude has been given.

§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY Is it not the fact that men on hospital ships got a special War gratuity for service which is not granted to ordinary naval ratings?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

QUOTE (historydavid @ Feb 25 2007, 02:55 AM) On 30th October 1914 the Hospital ship Rohilla, 7891 grt, hit coastal rocks in storm S from Whitby, North Sea. There were 28 casualties.

Best wishes

David

Hello Dave,

I wonder if you could contact me with regards to this thread if you are still foloowing it. I would like to exchange e-mails as I have a keen interest in the Rohilla. The total casualties from the loss of the hospital vessel was 85/84 depending on the accuracy of the many casualty lists that were posted.

Kind regards

Colin Brittain

Whitby Welcome Portal

Hi

I've only just come across this discussion - I'm doing some work on the 99 names on my local war memorial in Tayport, Fife, Scotland and two of them went down with the Rohilla - William Dawson and James Cowie - both were firemen but neither was identifed amogst the casualties although one body had a WD tattoes on his arm. Dawson had origonally been reported as safe.

Jill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Hospital Ship Rohilla (continued)

Alexander Corpse of HMS Queen who rescued from the wreck sixteen people, three of whom died later. By a remarkable coincidence, one of those whom he carried ashore was the nurse who had nursed him in hospital in Gillingham.

post-15884-1172293825.jpg

Hello - I see that you mention Alexander Corpse assisting with the rescue of the Rohilla. Could you possibly tell me if the photograph that is attached is that of Alexander? The reason I ask is that this was my grandfather and unfortunatly he died when my mother was only 3 years old and there are no photographs or any information about him at all.

kind regards

Shorthouse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colin

Wrote a book about the Rohilla and it was published by Tempus Publishers a few years ago, however he is quite an expert on the ship and rescue and has acquired a lot of extra info on it

Cheers Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Sunday saw the anniversary of the running aground of the Rohilla - see my blog for some information on it

http://electric-edwardians.blogspot.com/2011/10/wreck-of-ss-rohilla-1914.html

And one of the RNLI Lifeboats that was involved in the rescue is still surviving;

http://electric-edwardians.blogspot.com/2011/10/william-riley-of-birmingham-leamington.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

I just spotted this post. I don't want to appear irreverent or disrespectful I just thought I would mention that I have clear memories of childhood holidays at Whitby in the 1950s and standing at low tide on what I always understood to be the hospital ship 'Rohilla'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...
On 01/08/2010 at 15:16, JLewis said:

Hi

I've only just come across this discussion - I'm doing some work on the 99 names on my local war memorial in Tayport, Fife, Scotland and two of them went down with the Rohilla - William Dawson and James Cowie - both were firemen but neither was identifed amogst the casualties although one body had a WD tattoes on his arm. Dawson had origonally been reported as safe.

Jill

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William Dawson and James Cowie. Basic details held in Dundee Seaman's Roll of Honour. Books held in City Churches and City Chambers and online.

 

Work is ongoing to expand the stories.  Here is what we have so far.  If you find out more please let me know.

 

William Dawson was the son of Mr William and Mrs Joanna Dawson of 29 Dalgleish Street, Tayport. The Hospital Ship Rohilla was on passage from Scapa Flow to Dunkirk and, earlier had put into Aberdeen to land Midshipman Prince Albert, the future King George VI, for an operation to remove his appendix.  It is reported that she called at South Queensferry and then Tynemouth and was wrecked off Whitby on the night of 30 October 1914.  Despite desperate efforts from those ashore and lifeboat crews the ship broke up and, of the 229 men and women onboard, only 146 were saved. Five local men were lost. William Dawson is not commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial or by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, probably because the loss was accidental and not caused by enemy action.  He is listed on the Whitby Rohilla Memorial. Dundee Royal Naval Reserve records show that he applied to join RNR in April 1914 but was rejected because of skin disease. A note was made in the Peoples Journal in February 1917.

 

James Cowie lived at 25 Dalgleish Street, Tayport.   The Hospital Ship Rohilla was on passage from Scapa Flow to Dunkirk and, earlier had put into Aberdeen to land Midshipman Prince Albert, the future King George VI, for an operation to remove his appendix.  It is reported that she called at South Queensferry and then Tynemouth and was wrecked off Whitby on the night of 30 October 1914.  Despite desperate efforts from those ashore and lifeboat crews the ship broke up and, of the 229 men and women onboard, only 146 were saved. James Cowie is not commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial or by the Commonwealth War Graves Commision, probablybecause it was accidental and not caused by direct enemy action.  He is listed on Tayport War Memorial and, on the Whitby Rohilla Memorial, he is listed as J G Cowie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wallace2

 

Thanks for the information, much appreciated.

On the Tayport War Memorial there is a James Cowie and a James Cook Cowie and on the Whitby Memorial (pictured) there is a J C Cowie, which suggests James Cook Cowie, but he was supposedly lost on the SS Aparima. The Chatham Memorial has a James Cowie listed and not a James C Cowie.

One of these men died on the Rohilla and one on the Aparima but which one?

Would appreciate your views and thoughts.

Regards

Green Oak

 

J C Cowie - Whitby Memorial.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Green Oak,

 

Thanks for comment.  Apologies for not replying sooner.

 

I had a look into Benjidog's website and the Tower Hill Memorial Names and attach a link to the Aparina section.  No Cowie listed here.  

 

https://www.benjidog.co.uk/Tower Hill/WW1 Aparima to Arca.html

 

However, the Service Record of Leading Seaman James Cowie RNR C3753 in the the NA gives his full name but without any C name  and confirms his loss on the Aparina.

 

It is difficult to work out which Cowie is which and a definite answer may not be forthcoming!  Not sure where to go now but will have a think.

 

Cheers!

 

Wallace 2

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Wallace2

 

Thank you for checking, much appreciated. I have come across the "Seamen's Roll of Honour" copy of relevant section below, which opens things up again....or does it?

 

Thanks again for your help

 

GreenOak

 

1117116265_Tayport-Cowie.png.fc6af1e79cfbd39aae8d86ae5ccee3fe.png

seamensrollofhonour copy.jpg

seamensrollofhonour copy.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello GreenOak,

 

That is an extract from the 2017 Dundee Seamans Roll of Honour.  I was one of the two researchers so am very confident that Leading Seaman RNR James Cowie of the Aparima is accurate. The 1925 Dundee City Roll of Honour listed about 250 Naval and maritime WW1 losses and, by 2017, we had found over 400 more names to add to the list. Fireman and Greaser James Cook Cowie of Tayport is listed as a casualty of the Rohilla from a local newspaper report but those lost in shipwrecks are not classed as war losses and do not appear on CWGC or Tower Hill. 

 

I am presently researching and fact checking the back stories of everyone on the list.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Wallace2

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Wallace2

This helps a great deal - very much appreciated. 

I am more than likely wrong, but, if HMHS Rohilla was on her way to collect wounded soldiers from Dunkirk, she would be on 'War Service', therefore should be classed as a casualty of war? seems a bit harsh that the crew and those on board would not be recognised as war casualties by the CWGC.

Would those who lost their lives be eligible for any form of financial compensation?

I wish you well with your future research.

Green Oak

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

906624743_Rohilla-1(2).jpg.8743adb4ffc619e47a525f2c573b8a55.jpg

 

I came across these contemporaneous photos in The Illustrated War News, Nov. 4, 1914.

They were probably taken on the 1st or 2nd November.

 

Regards,

JMB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks JMB for sharing these photo's, so very sad as she was so close to shore, the weather must have been dreadful........very brave men to even attempt a rescue.

 

Thanks again

 

Much appreciated.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last photo.

 

2101274729_50.jpg.419d05dd3a7b3cde22e9ee3c3e613499.jpg

Edit: This photo shows what I believe to be the stern section, which had broken away, of the ship. It is much clearer and more obvious in the original photo.

Regards,

JMB

Edited by JMB1943
Add info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Years ago I bought an old book and this was in it as a page marker. :-

IMG_20200623_0001.jpg.1f0031436f751fffa499f91b9eab1a44.jpgIMG_20200623_0002.jpg.72656b5575e29f52294a141c5213c84a.jpg

 

They appear to be using a shermuly rocket or something similar.

 

Steve

Edited by hmsk212
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an amazing photo and to think it was used as a book mark.........just shows that historical documents or photo's can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

 

Very grateful to people like HMSK212 to save and share such important photo's.......Thank you .......much appreciated.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...