3 August 2018 – 100 Days until the Centenary of the Armistice

Today, 3 August 2018, marks 100 days until the centenary of the end of the First World War – the Armistice – declared on 11 November 1918.

100 years ago today the Hospital Ship Warilda, loaded with hospital patients and other personnel, was sunk off Le Havre by a German Navy submarine.

The Warilda had been requisitioned by the Australian Government as a troop and cargo ship in August 1915 before being converted to a hospital ship.

Between late 1916 and August 1918 she made over 180 trips from Le Havre to Southampton, carrying approximately 80,000 patients.

In a last-ditch effort to win the war, the German High Command determined to sink any ships in the English Channel. Having survived earlier disasters, the Warilda was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine on 3 August 1918.

Of the 801 souls on board, 123 lost their lives. They were classed as walking wounded and were billeted for the journey on the lower deck when the torpedo struck. Three were South Australians:

  • Lieutenant Alfred Hubert Moss from Smithfield who served with the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column
  • Private Ernest Wilkins from Glanville who served with the 32nd Battalion
  • Private Viktor Hugo Pike from Magill who served with the 5th Pioneer Battalion

Planning for commemorative events to mark 100 years since the end of the war has commenced and the commemorative program will commence with a Remembrance Breakfast hosted by the Returned and Services League – South Australia on 1 November.

Other events already planned are listed in the Events section of the Veterans SA website at http://anzaccentenary.sa.gov.au/events/community-events/upcoming/

Other events and activities will be added as they develop.