We were recently asked about the sinking of the Hospital Ship HMHS Anglia, which was requisitioned and refitted for use as a hospital ship and put to use ferrying the injured from France to England.The HMHS Anglia was carrying 13 officers and 372 other ranks when, just after midday on the 17th November 1915 about a mile east of Folkestone Gate, it struck a mine that had been laid by the German U-boat, UC-5. The ship was holed on the port side forward of the bridge and immediately began to sink bow first.
The question we were asked was whether the 4 nurses mentioned in the accounts of the sinking were all that there were. Would this have been the normal number of nurses for this type of ship? We looked into all the accounts we could find. The contemporaneous nursing journals covered the story very well, and it was clear that indeed the 4 nurses mentioned: Staff Nurse Mary Rodwell of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service who was lost that day, and Matron Mrs Mitchell, Sister Alice Meldrum, and Miss E. A. Walton were the only nurses on board.
We will write up the story of these 4 nurses and the HMHS Anglia here on the site.