SS Khedive Ismail

The SS Khedive Ismail was a steamship sunk with great loss of life in 1944. On 6 February 1944 Convoy KR-8 sailed from Kilindini Harbour at Mombasa, Kenya to Colombo, Ceylon. The convoy consisted of five troop transports (Khedive Ismail, City of Paris, Varsova, Ekma & Ellenga), escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins and the destroyers HMS Petard and HMS Paladin.

In the early afternoon of Saturday 12 February 1944, a Japanese submarine sank the Khedive Ismail with two torpedoes. No fewer than 1,297 people, including 77 women, lost their lives in the two minutes it took for the Khedive Ismail to sink. Only 208 men and 6 women survived. The sinking was the third worst Allied shipping disaster of World War II and the single worst loss of female service personnel in the history of the Commonwealth of Nations. The nurses that died are commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial.