HMAT A61 Kanowna

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HMAT A61 Kanowna
HMAT A61 Kanowna.jpg
HMAT A61 Kanowna in Hospital ship livery - Wikipedia
HMAT A61 Kanowna 1.jpg
Name HMAT A61 Kanowna
Owner Australian United Steam Navigation Company
Builder W Denny & Co of Dumbarton
Yard number 671
Launched 21 Oct 1902
Completed 1902
Out of service 19 Feb 1929
Fate Ran aground and sank, 19 Feb 1929
General characteristics
Type Troopship
Tonnage 6,993 tons
Length 415.6 ft (126.67m)
Beam 52.2 ft (15.91m)
Depth 28.5 ft (8.69m)
Propulsion twin screw
Speed 14 knots (25.93 kph)


Prior to being requisitioned, the Kanowna was operated by the Australian United Steam Navigation Company, and it served the Sydney to Fremantle route. Initially requisitioned by the Kennedy Regiment, which embarked on 8 Aug 1914 for Thursday Island and Torres Strait. She carried 1,000 troops to Port Moresby where she was to rendezvous with the rest of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force that was to capture German New Guinea. Mid voyage, however, the firemen aboard were said to have gone on strike, and thus the Kanowna was required to return to Townsville, stoked by the troops, most of whom then joined the AIF. The ship was returned to her owners.

Requisitioned again on 1 Jun 1915, from July 1915 she began to move 1,100 troops to Egypt, before in late 1915 sailing to England to be converted into a Hospital Ship capable of carrying approx. 450 patients.

She was then designated as No2 Australian Hospital Ship, and made 10 return journeys to Australia with wounded and sick troops. On one of her return journeys to England she carried the 1st Dermatological Hospital (Infectious Diseases). Later this unit became the Bulford Hospital. The Kanowna carried on as a Hospital Ship until as late as October 1919 before being returned to her owners on 29 Jul 1920.

In Feb 1929 the Kanowna ran aground near Wilson's Promontory without loss of life. The wreck was discovered in 2005 50 kilometers from the coast.

Soldiers carried

Egypt to Fremantle 21 October - 22 November 1915

From this point onwards the Kanowna operated as Hospital Ship No. 2

Medical Staff

Patients carried

Alexandria to England 13 August - ?? August 1916

England to Fremantle 9 September - 20 October 1916

England to Adelaide 23 December 1916 - 16 February 1917

England to Fremantle 30 June - 24 August 1918

England to Fremantle 5 January - 20 February 1919

England to Fremantle 28 August - 14 October 1919

Other Voyages

19 June 1915 from Sydney & 30 June 1915 from Fremantle
29 March 1916 from Sydney  1 April 1916 from Melbourne