Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:32 PM
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]