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HMHS Mille de Liege in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMHS Mille de Liege during the Great War -

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HMHS Mille de Liege

1st August 1914 Hospital ship  

HS Ville de Liege

The Ville de Liege build by Cockerill yards with yard number 531. She had a total lenght of 95,40 meter and 11,74 width. Originally she had a 13000 HP engine and reached a speed of 21 knots with her 1365 tonnage.

During the first world war this smaller vessel participated in an important role of carrying wounded between Calais and Cherbourg.

At the outbreak of the war on the 1st of August 1914 the ship was given the order to lay standby in the local Ostend-Bruges canal and wait for eventual further instructions.

On the 20th August the government confiscated the five turbine ships. Amongst them the Ville de Liege. On the 22nd she left for Antwerp where the Belgian government was staying and was given the mission to bring the money reserves from the national bank to Ostend.

It was one of the vessels which, due to their speed, had performed an important role in the evacuation of the government, diplomats, civil servants and population.

When the Germans arrived in Ostende on the 17th October, the city was empty. On that date the Ville de Liege was handed over to the English Ministry of War.

During the battle of the Ijzer the vessel was performing a mission in front of the Belgian and French coast transporting wounded and material to the West corner of Flanders. There was an ammunition factory at Havre where the vessel could load. This until the 31st of March after which the wounded were transported by train.

On the 2nd September the vessel left for Dover to be converted to an hospital ship by the Ministry of War.

  • Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport Service during WW1.
  • Medical Staff strength.
  • Officers:4
  • Nurses:
  • Other:30
  • Accommodation capacity.
  • Officers:7
  • Cots:27
  • Berths:139
  • Period of Service as Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport.
  • Date From:13th June 1917
  • Date To:30th December 1918
  • Ships Crew details:

Between the period when the vessel become under the command of the Ministry of War on the 21 Juni 1917 and the 31st December 1918, the vessel had performed 252 trips and transported 77194 wounded and 36356 soldiers.

After the war it was renamed London Istanbul and after running aground at Dover in 1929 was given a new lease of life continuing as a cross channel car ferry until eventually being scrapped in 1950.

Due to the important share and service given by this vessel and its crew to the population and its country in a period of agression and war, it deserves a special respect and high honour.

John Doran

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  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 Mille de Liege

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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