HMHS Gloucester Castle

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HMHS Gloucester Castle
HMHS Gloucester Castle.jpg
HMHS Gloucester Castle 1.jpg
Hospital ship Gloucester Castle after being torpedoed by U-boat UB-32 off the Isle of Wight
Name HMHS Gloucester Castle
Owner UThe Union-Castle Mail Steam Ship Co. Ltd, London
Builder Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., Govan
Yard number 478
Launched 13 May 1911
Completed August 1911
In service 1911
Out of service 1942
Fate Sunk by auxiliary cruiser Michel on 15 July 1942
General characteristics
Type Passenger Liner
Tonnage 7,999 tons
Length 452.7 ft (138.0 m)
Beam 56.2 ft (17.1 m)
Depth 30.7 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion twin screw
Speed 13 knots (25.08 km/h)
Capacity 412 passengers, 410 bed hospital


Built for the Union-Castle Line, and requisitioned for use as a Hospital Ship. She was torpedoed by U-Boat UB-32 on 31 Mar 1917 off the Isle of Wright, but able to be salvaged. Three died during the transfer of crew and wounded. Towed back to port after two weeks. On 9 Sep 1919 returned to civilian service and served on the round Africa service.

In the Second World War she remained in civilian service as a passenger and general cargo liner. On 15 Jul 1942, off the coast of Angola, she was intercepted by the German auxiliary cruiser Michel. Michel's commander chose to attack after dark without warning. The first shells from Michel destroyed the bridge and radio room and, consequently, no S.O.S. was transmitted. The ship sank with 93 killed, including six woman passengers, and two children. The remaining 61 survivors were picked up by the Michel and interned at Yokohama, Japan until the end of the war. Two of the survivors died in captivity.

Soldiers carried

Anzac Cove to Alexandria 4 -9 May 1915

Mudross to Malta 11 - 20 July 1915

Mudros to Alexandria 7-10 August 1915

Anzac Cove to Alexandria 30 Aug - 2 Sep 1915

Anzac Cove to Mudros 26 September 1915

France to England 21 Jan 1917

France to England 10 March 1917

France to England 16 March 1917

France to England 2 August 1918

France to England 5 October 1918

France to England 28 October 1918