Remembered Today:

trajan

Hospital ship 'Wandilo'

31 posts in this topic

Having just discovered that one granddad was transferred back to England from Alexandria in June 1918 on the Hospital Ship 'Wandilo' (self inflicted wound of a sexual nature!), I wondered if anyone has any photographs of the ship or any knowledge of its history / service? I'd be glad to received anything of either!

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Trajan

She seems to have been Australian http://straskye.tripod.com/11fdambsite/history.html

sJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snap!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be completely wrong (almost certainly!) but was there actually a ship of that name? There was certainly a Wandilla and a Warilda.

Sue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...but was there actually a ship of that name?...

The entry on that granddad's records is pretty clear - Wandilo - but I'll check again tomorrow.

Seajane, Gunnersdad, thanks for the posts. Seems that owing to his 'wound', that grandad only had about 2 months maximum for REALLY active military service in Egypt / Palestine...!!! EDIT: even so, he did get his Mutt and his Jeff!

Thanks,

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that Sue may be right and it sounds as if your grandfather's record probably has the name written down incorrectly.

Wikipedia has a small page on the Wandilla but it may be a useful starting point: http://en.wikipedia....i/HMAT_Wandilla This also looks interesting: http://www.wrecksite...eck.aspx?143237

The UK National Archives do not appear to have very much, although they do have one file worth checking out (WO 95/4152), which seems to cover the period from January 1917 to January 1919.

S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link Simon! I double-checked naughty granddad's records and it does read "Wandilo", but Wandilla would clearly fit.

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to have been of service. It sounds as if both of our grandfather's may have been "characters"...

If you need it then here is the UK National Archives Link: Wandilla

S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... It sounds as if both of our grandfather's may have been "characters"...

Sadly in my case it was just the poxy one: t'other was a Primitive Methodist who later converted to become a Christian Sciencetist - apparently after experiencing a revelation while on his way to or from the toilet...!!!

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Trajan

I agree with Sue & Simon that the Wandilla is more likely the ship your grandad returned to England on.

At that stage in 1918 she was travelling between England & Egypt, carrying Australian soldiers from English hospitals & transferring them to the HS Kanowna (which then brought them back to Aus), and returning to England with Imperial patients.

There definitely weren’t any Australian ships called Wandilo. Although it's interesting to note that the 11th Field Ambulance website has made the same error – Wandilo for Wandilla – it was actually the A62 HMAT Wandilla that embarked members of the 11th Fld Amb on the 6/6/1916.

The following is what the Australian Official History has to say about her time as a hospital ship:

Official Histories – The Australian Navy (p.427-428):

“As a hospital ship she travelled far and wide. She steamed in all 112,241 miles, and carried 26,425 invalides – British from all the three kingdoms and Australia. West Africans, East Africans, and Portuguese – with a death-record of forty-two in three years. In the United Kingdom she visited Liverpool, Southampton, Avonmouth, Cardiff, Plymouth, Newport, and Dublin. She saw Le Havre, and Brest, and Lisbon; in the Mediterranean Gibraltar, Marseilles, Malta, Port Said, Alexandria, Mudros, Salonica, Stavros, Limasol, Suda Bay, Beirut, Alexandretta, Haifa, and Tripoli in Syria; in Africa Mombasa, Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, Kilwa, Cape Town, Lagos, Accra, and Sierra Leone. Of actual adventures during this period she had few; but in January 1917, she picked up the crew of the Danish steamer Viking, which a submarine had destroyed by gun-fire in the Wandilla’s presence; in February she rescued the seven survivors (out of 1,100) of an Italian troopship, the Minas, torpedoed two days before; and in May, 1918, she was held up in the Mediterranean by an enemy submarine, and thoroughly examined, but was so unmistakably a hospital ship that she was allowed to proceed.”

[Note: The Wikipedia entry in regard to her being unsuccessfully torpedoed in Feb 1918 actually refers to her sister ship the Warilda, which was later sunk in the August]

Cheers, Frev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Frev! Now I just need to get a postcard of the ship to frame with a copy of granpa's medical certiciate! It'll give my two boys a laugh when they get older!!!

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly in my case it was just the poxy one...

Trajan

For my grandfather it just seemed to be a continual (but very entertaining) list of mini-misdemeanours and a string of field punishments to go with it. The highlight of his career seems to have been a FGCM for using threatening language to his superior officer, but later in the war he seemed to show enough promise to be sent on various signalling courses before being made a gunner.

S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My poxy grandpa was made a L/Cpl. but lost that grade when he left the territorials for a regular battalion - have to check exactly when and why. That apart his only other claim to fame (apart from his "self-inflicted" wound at Folkestone - getting the clap) was that he did achieve the status of a master bomber! Funny, though, the things our forebears got up to --- and which were glossed over in the later renditions of the family story! E.g., "Ah, yes, your Grandpa fought in Palestine and he had the medals to prove it!'.... Hmmmm!!!!

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, at least I now know why my grandfather never used to talk about the war... :whistle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...Well, at least I now know why my grandfather never used to talk about the war... :whistle:...

And I can now understand the probable reason why my grandma divorced grandpa after he got back - a rare accomplishment for a woman to win a divorce in those days! Wonder if the divorce papers will be on Ancestry...!!! :blink:

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wandilla

post-11859-0-31790600-1338563424_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of conditions other than STDs were classed as SIW as the war progressed. For example on the WF trench foot became an SIW once rubber boots, spare socks. oils etc together with education on care of the feet became widely available. Indeed almost anything where it could be argued that the soldier had failed to take reasonable precautions or take care of himself became an SIW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...Wandilla...

Thank you so much! I'd like to print it off and frame it if that's ok?

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much! I'd like to print it off and frame it if that's ok?

Trajan

No problem thats the best picture I have.

Mick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many "souls" would She have typically carried? I ask this because she carries Ten Lifeboats and a couple of smaller boats(behind the Bridge)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many "souls" would She have typically carried? I ask this because she carries Ten Lifeboats and a couple of smaller boats(behind the Bridge)

In her early days as a troopship - 1915/16 - she mostly carried between 1300 & 1400 Australian troops per voyage - plus crew.

No doubt she would probably have carried a lot less when converted to a hospital ship.

Cheers, Frev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trajan - The photo in post #17 isn't what she looked like whilst being used as a hospital ship.

Though not as clear a photo - you'll find her in this link: http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P02198.008

Cheers, Frev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... you'll find her in this link: http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P02198.008...

Thanks Frev! That is exactly what was needed!

Trajan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many "souls" would She have typically carried? I ask this because she carries Ten Lifeboats and a couple of smaller boats(behind the Bridge)

Plumridge lists her as carrying 549 as a hospital ship. Doc

Share this post


Link to post
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