H.M.H.S. Araguaya

Hospital Ship Araguaya

Brief History

“H.M.H.S. “Araguaya”, a handsome and commodious vessel, owned by the Royal Mail Packet Co., sailed from Liverpool on the 11th day of June, 1917, with her first load of Canadian Sick and Wounded, for Canada. On the voyage the hospital staff was provided by the R.A.M.C.. In September 1917 the Araguaya was permanently allocated to the Canadian Authorities by the admiralty and on the 14th of September, 1917, she started on her second trip to Canada with 759 patients all ranks on board. The staff was now drawn from the C.A.M.C and was under the command of Lt.-Col. David Donald.”

The HMHS Llandovery Castle was the 13th allied hospital ship lost due to enemy activity. As a result, most Allied hospital ships had their commissions revoked and were painted troop ship grey. They traveled in a convoy whenever possible. Their titles were changed to His Majesty’s Ambulance Transport (HMAT). After the change to ambulance transports only one ship was lost to enemy activity. HMAT ARAGUAYA made 11 voyages as an ambulance transport. Due to damage from the Halifax Explosion on 6 December 1917 and the volume of returning troops from February, 1919, the ambulance transports landed their patients at Portland, Maine.

“The Araguaya made twenty trips to Canada all told (9 as H.M.H.S. Araguaya and 11 as H.M.A.T. Araguaya), and carried the following number of patients, sick and wounded Officer, 638, Nursing Sisters – 95, Other ranks – 14,591. Grand total – 15324.”

“There were 17 wards, with a total Bed Capacity of 819.”

The ship was in service until October 1919.

Read the Record of Service: