You are not logged in.
HMHS Karapara in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- HMHS Karapara during the Great War -

Great War>Ships
skip to content

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    Great War


    Add Stories & Photos


    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    The Royal Navy

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served


    Civilian Service

    Women at War

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers' Navy


    World War Two


    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule


    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page




    Contact us

    Great War Books


Research your Family History.

World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

HMHS Karapara

1st August 1914 Hospital ship  

HMHS Karapara

The Karapara was built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle in 1914 for the British India Steam Navigation Co. She was a 7,117 gross ton ship, length 425ft x beam 55.6ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 15.5 knots. Originally ordered as the Karunga, she was registered on 21st August 1915 and entered service as Naval Hospital Ship No. 17, with 341 beds and 200 medical staff. p>

  • Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport Service during WW1.
  • Medical Staff strength.
  • Officers:9
  • Nurses:11
  • Other:40
  • Accommodation capacity.
  • Officers:23
  • Cots:318
  • Berths:
  • Period of Service as Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport.
  • Date From:27th August 1915
  • Date To:20th February 1916
  • Ships Crew details:

On 26 August 1915 she sailed for Gallipoli and operated in the Eastern Mediterranean, based at Alexandria. On 26th May 1917 she rescued 270 survivors from the hospital ship Dover Castle and took them to Gibraltar. In 1919 she provided medical facilities at Istanbul during an exceptionally hot summer.

Delivered to British India Steam Navigation Co in 1920, she commenced sailings to East African ports as the Karapara. In the 1930's she transferred to the Straits (Malaya) route and also did some sailings to Port Sudan.

Requisitioned for World War 2 duty and reconverted to hospital ship (No. 36) in October 1940 with 338 beds and 123 medical staff in 1940, she served between the Red Sea and India. In April 1941, off Perim Island, Red Sea, en route to India, she was diverted to Aden to offload her patients, and then ordered to Tobruk to replace the hospital ship Vita which had been damaged by dive bombers. On her first voyage out of Tobruk, she was attacked by aircraft but escaped damage. However, on her second journey, 5th May 1941, she was deliberately bombed and damaged by at least nine enemy aircraft at Mersa, Tobruk; she was towed back into port, repaired and successfully sailed to Alexandria.

She returned to commercial service in January 1947 on Calcutta/Singapore routes and was eventually sold to the Steel Corporation of Bombay for scrapping on 18th March 1950. [Merchant Fleets, Vol.11, British India Steam Navigation Co by Duncan Haws]

John Doran

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Want to know more about HMHS Karapara?

There are:1 articles tagged HMHS Karapara available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.

Those known to have served in

HMHS Karapara

during the Great War 1914-1918.

    This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

Looking for help with Family History Research?   

Please see Family History FAQ's

We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet

Can you help?

The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

    This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.

Aug 2017

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 233877 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

Want to know more about HMHS Karapara?

There are:1 articles tagged HMHS Karapara available in our Library

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

Items from the Home Front Archive

Do you have any photos, postcards, documents or memorabilia relating to this unit? Please add to this archive.


    Suggest a link

    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved