HMHS Essequibo

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HMHS Essequibo
HMHS Essequibo 1.jpg
HMHS Essequibo Naples 1916
HMHS Essequibo 2.jpg
U-Boat U54
Name HMHS Essequibo
Owner Royal Mail Steam Packet Co
Builder Workman, Clark and Company, Belfast
Launched 1915
General characteristics
Type Ocean Liner / Mail ship
Tonnage 8,489 tons
Length 142.47 m (467.4 ft)
Beam 17.0 m (55.8 ft)
Depth 6.85 m (22.5 ft)
Speed twin screw
Capacity 42 Officers, 249 Cots, 298 Berths; crew 160


Built for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, she served as a Hospital Ship during the war. Carried 11 Medical Officers, 16 Nurses and 76 other medical staff, she could cater for 42 Officer casualties, 249 in cots, and 298 in Berths. Operating from 2 Sep 1915 following her completion until 12 Sep 1919.

The Essequibo was a British hospital ship loaned to the Canadian Government in 1917 as one of the five Canadian hospital ships for WW1 for the transatlantic run. On 15 Mar 1917 the Essequibo was stopped (after two warming shots) and searched by U-Boat U54 off Ireland. Confirmed as a Hospital Ship, she was sent on her way.

Essequibo was made an ambulance transport in December 1918 when transferred to Canadian control. She made five trips to Portland, Maine, before she was transferred back to the British Admiralty. Upon landing in North America, the patients were transported by Canadian hospital train to hospitals near their point of enlistment.

In 1922 ownership was transferred to Pacific Steam Navigation Company who in turn sold her to the USSR who renamed her Neva.

List of soldiers carried

France to England 7 September 1917

France to England 29 April 1918

France to England 12 June 1918

Rouen to Portsmouth 16 August 1918

France to England 23 August 1918

Rouen to England 26 August 1918

Rouen to England 21 September 1918

Rouen to England 25 October 1918