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HMHS Vasna in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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HMHS Vasna



1st August 1914 Hospital ship  

HMHS Vasna

HMHS Vasna was built by Alex, Stephen & Sons, Glasgow for the British India Steam Navigation Co. Her gross tonnage was 5,767 with engines that were twin screw, two triple expansion, 4, 700 IHP producing 16.03 Knots in trials, her service speed was 12.5 knots. She was designed to carry 29 First Class Passengers, 27 Second Class Passengers, 1, 605 Deck Passengers and 129 Crew.

She was taken over in 1917 while being built and completed as a hospital ship with 613 beds and 125 medical staff.

  • Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport Service during WW1.
  • Medical Staff strength.
  • Officers:20
  • Nurses:7
  • Other:55
  • Accommodation capacity.
  • Officers:41
  • Cots:57
  • Berths:460
  • Period of Service as Hospital Ship or Ambulance Transport.
  • Date From:29th May 1917
  • Date To:1919
  • Ships Crew details:

In 1919 she was released back to British India Steam Navigation Co and used on their Bombay to Basra route until September 1939 when she was again taken over.

Converted at Mazagon Dockyard, Bombay to "Naval Hospital Ship No. 4" with 278 beds and 73 medical staff, she was attached to the East Indies Squadron.

She was transferred to European waters in 1940 where she was based at Scapa Flow and took part in the evacuation from Norway, and in December 1940 was damaged by air attack while at Liverpool. In Spring 1941 she was based at Freetown with the South Atlantic Squadron for three months and then returned to Scapa and the Home Fleet. She transferred to the Eastern Fleet, based in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in Feb.1942 and was involved with the Madagascar landings. In June 1943 she went to the Mediterranean, then UK and back to the Mediterranean where she was seconded to Army service for the Sicily landings, based at Tripoli. Returned to the Eastern Fleet in 1944 and was at the Burma invasion and in 1945 was attached to the British Pacific Fleet.

She also carried Australian ex-prisoners of war from Okinawa to Sydney and in March 1946 was refitted for the BISN Co Persian Gulf service.
In February 1951 she was sold for breaking up and was scrapped at Blyth.

John Doran


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Those known to have served in

HMHS Vasna

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Aug 2017

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