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HMHS Karoa in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMHS Karoa during the Second World War -


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HMHS Karoa




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Those known to have sailed in

HMHS Karoa

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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

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Lt. Amy Evalyn Keats Hospital Ship Karoa

My mother joined the QA's [Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, now known as the QARANC ] and arrived in India 21st March 1944. After a time serving in on-shore hospitals she joined the Hospital Ship "Karoa" and participated in the evacuation of wounded soldiers from the Burma Campaigns. The "Karoa" would sail between Madras, Chittagong and Calcutta collecting the wounded out of Chittagong. She remembers spotting 2 periscopes of submarines in the Bay of Bengal but they never fired on the "Karoa" so perhaps it was the Allies or the enemy respecting the Geneva convention. She made good friends of two other Sisters on board the "Karoa"and each had charge of a level of the Ship. There were four levels: Officers on top deck; British Other Ranks on the next level down; Indian soldiers on the next level; West Africans on the next level and East Africans on the lowest level. My mother was Sister-in-charge of the Officers' Ward; her friend Jane, Sister-in-charge of the Indian Ward and Joyce, Sister-in-charge of the West African ward. They each remember the visit of Lord Louis Mountbatten and would pass the message on to each other to be ready as he descended to inspect the Wards! These three Sisters kept up a friendship all their lives. My mother married a British Officer at the end of the War and went to Australia. Joyce returned to Suffolk, England and Jane married and went to live in Canada. The three corresponded over all the years. Eventually Joyce came out to Australia to visit her son who was married and based in Sydney. She was intending to visit her WW2 friend Amy in Melbourne but unfortunately my mother died only a few days before they ever re-connected. Joyce met my father and asked if she could have something of my mother's, an ashtray in the form of a brass shoe. The story went that she and my mother had bought one each in a bazaar in India and had pledged to meet on the steps of St Paul's cathedral after the War with their brass shoes! Chance had dictated otherwise and so the story closes here.

Kathy Clarkson



Pte. Dennis Brown Royal Army Medical Corps

My grandfather Dennis Brown was originally trained as a sniper but due to a small problem with his one eye was transferred to be trained with the R.A.M.C. He spent some time at Seacroft Hospital, Leeds and also some time at a training camp at Glenridding, Ullswater.

He started his journey in 1943 when he sailed out from Southampton and eventually sailed on both the SS Karoa and the HMS Ranchi. He sailed to Durban were he watched Ms Salmon sing to the troops as they departed their ships. He safely went round the Cape of Good Hope. He also watched the captain of his ship check on a vessel he'd wrecked previously on one of the Nicobar islands. He spent a short time in Calcutta were he visited the Lighthouse cinema and Phirpoes restaurant before being transported out into the jungle to a small BMH hospital at Panitola, were he contracted malaria several times whilst he served there. I know he ended up going with a small group of other men to Hiroshima before he came home in 1947. Burma Star. If you know anything more about my grandfather please contact me as I'd love to hear from you.

Catherine Smith







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