Which Hospital Ship was used at the beginning of Operation Dynamo?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by researchingreg, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. researchingreg

    researchingreg Well-Known Member

    Operation Dynamo started on the evening of 26th May and I would like to know the name of the Hospital Ship used that evening.

    I know that the British Steamers, 'Maid of Orleans', 'Canterbury' and 'Mona's Queen' left Dunkirk early on the 27th evacuating soldiers and were escorted by the Destroyer Wild Swan. However these ships could not be described as Hospital Ships.

    The reason for my question is that in my Father-in-Law's Unit's War Diary it says that he was invalided out on a Hospital Ship on 26/27th May. In his service record it shows that he arrived back in England on 27th May and was admitted to a Hospital in Preston on the same day. So he must have got back to England fairly early on the 27th to go that far.

    Also do any ships that evacuated wounded or soldiers in general have information on the units they evacuated or names of soldiers?
  2. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    26/5 'The hospital carriers Isle of Guernsey and Worthig were already alongside each other in Dunkirk harbour awaiting casualties, in accordance with a routine established during the previous day that two such ships would sail daily from Dunkirk to Newhaven' John de S. Winser

    Does that answer the query?


  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tuesday, z8th May.
    12. By 0100/28 a large number of craft was
    approaching the Belgian-French coast, while
    two Personnel Carriers were crossing to Dover
    with 1,400 troops. Two other carriers, whose
    entry into Dunkirk had been stopped as a result
    of S.N.O., Dunkirk's signals 2005/27 and
    1958/27, were unable to make the beaches and
    one, the MAID OF ORLEANS was damaged
    by enemy bombing and another, the QUEEN
    OF THE CHANNEL was sunk. During the
    preceding afternoon the (Hospital Carrier* ISLE
    OF THANET was shelled and damaged by the
    Calais 'Battery (ie on the afternoon of 27th may 1940)

    Admiralty footnote: Hospital Carriers were
    manned almost wholly by members of the Merchant
    Navy and Fishing Fleets.


    link http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/LondonGazette/38017.pdf
  4. researchingreg

    researchingreg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. I have read an account by a ships engineer on the Hospital Carrier 'Isle of Thanet' and he mentions being shelled from Calais and being tied up alongside a destroyer in Dunkirk Harbour and being attacked by Aircraft. However due to the time of day; the evening of the 26th May. I think he (my father-in-law) must have been on one the Hospital Carriers 'Isle of Guernsey' or the 'Worthing' as posted by Roy Martin.
  5. cverity

    cverity New Member

  6. cverity

    cverity New Member

    Hi I think my grandfather William Albert Crawford may have been on the same hospital ship. He left Dunkirk after sustaining a bullet wound to his cheek and arrived at Whittingham Emergency Hospital in Preston on 27th May 1940. Have you managed to find anything further out? I am trying to find out more information for my mother. It has always mystified us why the boat docked in Newhaven but then he ended up in a hospital in Preston. If you have any details I woyld be grateful. My grandfather passed away over 20 years ago and we never got to find this out whilst he was alive.

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