RFA Maine (1)

 RFA Maine 1


Previous name:                     Swansea

Official Number:                    94303

Class:                                  Hospital Ship

Laid down:
Builder:                                William Gray & Company, West Hartlepool
Launched:                            8 June 1887

Into Service:                        1905
Out of service:                      17 June 1914

Fate:                                    Ran aground off the Isle of Mull and wrecked


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


8 June 1887 launched by Wm Gray & Co, West Hartlepool as Yard Nr: 322 named SWANSEA for Baltimore Storage & Lighterage Co Ltd, London

July 1887 completed as a cattle and cargo ship

7 January 1888 while on passage from Baltimore to London and off Start Point with a general cargo and some cattle was in collision with the trawler Nimble from Brixham which sank. The Skipper and three hands from the trawler were all drowned. The Swansea stopped, lowered two boats and rescued one other hand who was in an exhaused state

21 January 1888 the Times newspaper reported -


Times Law report 21 Jan 1888


25 March 1888 berthed at New York

4 August 1888 berthed at New York

17 November 1888 berthed at New York

1888 purchased by Maine Shipping Co (Williams, Torrey & Field Ltd, Managers) London and renamed MAINE

4 February 1889 arrived at Gravesend for Tilbury Docks from Baltimore

10 February 1889 sailed Gravesend from Tilbury Docks for Swansea

18 February 1889 sailed Swansea for Philadelphia

4 March 1889 docked at Philadelphia

2 October 1889 while on passage from London to Philadelphia passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west

17 October 1889 docked at Philadelphia

4 January 1890 arrived at Gravesend from Baltimore

13 March 1890  at Philadelphia in hospital Able Seaman Hy Potter discharged dead from Pneumonia

26 March 1890 at sea at 46.52N 62.24W Able Seaman George Ripley discharged dead from injuries sustained when he fell from aloft

3 January 1891 sailed Baltimore for London

17 March 1891 off Blackwell Point, River Thames while inbound from Baltimore to Deptford and Tilbury Dock was in collision with the steamer Glenorchy outward bound for Penang. The Glenorchy suffered damage to her anchor stock and guard rails. The Maine suffered damage to her port side underwater and was leaking slightly

16 May 1891 arrived from Baltimore passing Gravesend for Tilbury Dock

4 July 1891 in Lower Hope, River Thames in collision with the steamer Heinrich Cruse of Kiel, Germany outward bound. The Maine suffered damage to her stem and bows and the Heinrich Cruse was badly damaged on the starboard side abaft fore rigging. Source the Times newspaper of 6 July 1891

1892 registered owners now Atlantic Transport Co Ltd, London name unchanged

14 May 1892 passed Dover for London

7 October 1892 sailed Swansea for Philadelphia and Baltimore

18 October 1892 berthed at Philadelphia from Swansea

24 February 1893 sailed Gravesend for Swansea and Philadelphia

19 June 1893 arrived Philadelphia from Swansea

15 September 1893 passed Browhead while on passage from Swansea to Baltimore

30 October 1893 sailed Gravesend and passed Dover for Swansea and Philadelphia

8 February 1894 passed Prawle Point while on passage from Gravesend to Philadelphia

18 June 1899 off Beachy Head, English Channel 2nd Steward John Neil found missing believed drowned - discharged dead

11 October 1899 the Boer War broke out in South Africa and the Mr Barnard N Baker, President of the Atlantic Transport Co. Ltd. immediately offered the ship to the British Admiralty for use as a Hospital Ship, but because of the high costs involved in altering and fitting her out, the offer, although eagerly accepted, was not acted upon promptly

6 November 1899 at Liverpool the American Chamber of Commerce in that city voted to donate £100 towards the fund to equip and run the Maine as a Hospital Ship during the  Boer War

12 November 1899 three doctor and five nurses sailed from New York to London be part of the medical team on the Maine. They sailed on the Atlantic Transport Line ship Mesaba. The Doctors were Dr George E Dodge, Dr Harry H Rodman and Dr Charles H Weber. The nurses were Miss M E Hibbard, Miss Virginia Ludekens, Miss Jennie A Manly, Miss Sarah C McVean and Miss Margaret J McPherson. 

15 November 1899 Dr Julian Mayo Cabell, the Chief Surgeon of the American team sailed from New York for Liverpool on the RMS Oceanic. He had been granted six months leave of absence from the Columbia Hospital, Washington.

19 November 1899 sixteen male nurses, ten orderlies and two apothcaries under the charge of Dr Thomas W Hastings sailed from New York to London to join the crew of the Maine on the Atlantic Transport Line ship Manitou. The nurses were Charles S. Austin, Victor C. Bates, A. H. Chapman, Stephen Crick, George T. Cole, Ralph W. Ellsworth, Furman M. Green, Leon M. Howard,  W. C. Kuder, Charles Nast, John M. McClintock, John J. Reilly, W. B. Rust, Theodore V. Speer, A. Bunner Vallance and Archibald Gillies. The orderlies were Otto Ranstrom, W. D. Ross, Charles C Brien, Charles H Rudgreen, P. M. Rayner, Ernest Wynne, Dudley Vivian, J. H. Kase, Robert Lowndes and Henry Niderer. The two apothcaries were Albert Spotts and Herbert Haigh.

1899 fitted out as a Hospital Ship by Fletcher, Son & Fearnall at Limehouse Reach on the Thames. Her conversion cost more than £41,000. The five wards on the ship were named Columbia, Britannia, Whitelaw Reid, Baker and Committee

Surgeons on Maine 1

Surgeons from the Hospital Ship Maine

4 December 1899 the Officers, Medical Staff and crew were presented to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle



Members of the public were invited to purchase the above medal thus making funds to cover the ships operating costs

16 December 1899 at West India Docks, London HRH the Duke of Connaught presented HM The Queen's flag to Lady Randolph Churchill and the Committee for raising the money to convert the ship into a hospital ship. The flag - a Union Flag with a red cross in it's centre was raised by the Duke who was accompanied by HRH the Duchess of Connaught and the Princess Louise of Lorne. The ship was blessed by the Bishop of Islington. (Details from the New York Tribune of 17 December 1899)


Sur Lt Col Hensman Sisters on Maine

Surgeon Lt. Col Hensman and the Nursing Sisters from the Hospital Ship Maine 


17 December 1899 a fund raising banquet was held at Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall,  London in aid of the American Hospital Ship Fund. The Directors of the Hotel gave the banquet and the flowers with which the tables were decorated, and the entire suite of rooms on the ground floor was placed at the disposal of the ladies committee. The entertainment was arrnaged by Mrs Arthur Paget and Mme Von Andre, assisted by Mr Cesar Ritz, the Manager of the Hotel. A central table was reserved for  the HRH's Duke & Duchess of Connaught, and with their Royal Highnesses sat the Marquis of Lorne, Mr Choate (the American Ambassador) and Mrs Choate, Lady Randolph Churchill, Mrs Paget, Mrs Rolands, the Countess of Mar and Kellie, Mr & Mrs Blow, the Russian Ambassador, the Austrian Ambassador, Lord Chales Montague, Lord Algenon Gordon-Lennox, Lord Glenesk, and Mr Montague Guest. The company which numbered about 300, also included Prince Christrian, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and Princess Dolgorouki. The banquet realized £2,000 worth the equivalent of over £200,000 to-day (2012)

The banquet's menu -

 Carlton Hotel menu

Donated by & Copyright of UNLV Libraries, Special Collections.

19 December 1899 the Times Newspaper of this day reported on collections for the fitting out of the Hospital Ship Maine - some of those who made a donation were listed as - "Absent-minded Beggar" 5sh and "Prince" a Collie dog 3sh 3d

Donations for Maine 1

24 December 1899 sailed Gravesend for Cape Town, South Africa for service during the Boer War where she was chiefly used a the Base Hospital Ship at Durban

HMHAS Maine 1

6 January 1900 arrived at Las Palmas on way to the Cape sailing the next day

21 January 1900 arrived at Cape Town

29 January 1900 arrived Durban. Winston Churchill’s mother served as a nurse onboard and at one stage even treated her youngest son Jack Spencer Churchill there


Hospital Ship Maine at Cape Town, South Africa in 1900
donated by John Vitale. Photographer Charles F Austin

8 February 1900 a telegram from Durban reported that the ship now held 140 patients which included 69 injured - mostly from Colenso and Spion Kop - 16 cases of dysentry, 14 of rheumatism, 3 of enteric fever and 4 of ague

13 February 1900 a tea dance in New York raised over $6,000 for the fund to maintain and run the ship

8 March 1900 a Ball was organised in aid of funds for the Hospital Ship Maine at the Grand Hotel, Rome. Some 400 guests were attended

Maine Wounded at Durban

Wounded and sick Officers on the Hospital Ship Maine at Durban

17 March 1900 sailed from Durban for Cape Town arriving 21 March 1900

29 March 1900 the Lord Mayor of London donated £2,000 for the fund to maintain and run the ship

4 April 1900 a concert in aid of the finances to run the Maine took place at the Crystal Palace

15 April 1900 arrived at Maderia while on passage to Southampton. While at Maderia a soldier - J Grantham of the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers discharged dead - he was buried in Maderia with full military honours

23 April 1900 berthed at Southampton with 12 Officers and 151 wounded men on board

3 May 1900 William Benjamin Toulman, a labourer, pleaded Guilty at Southampton Borough Police Court to the larcency of various items valued together at 9sh 8d from the Maine while at Southampton. Toulman was working on the ship at the time.and was stopped at the Dock gate with the items hidden on his person. He was sentenced to two months hard labour

  Press report - Maine 1

Press report from the Hampshire Advertiser of 5 May 1900

3 May 1900 sailed Southampton for a second trip to Durban, South Africa. During the period she was berthed at Southampton the ship was dry docked and improvements to the facilities were undertaken these included the provision of a mortuary on the main deck

21 May 1900 at 11.12S 1.42W Hospital Orderly Otto C Raustrom discharged dead from meningitis

29 May 1900 arrived at Table Bay

9 June 1900 sailed Table Bay for Southampton with 11 officers and 149 men as patients. Lieut -Colonel Hensman, Royal Army Medical Corp was in command of the medical team onboard

12 June 1900 the Shields Daily News reported -

Maine Shields Daily News 12 6 1900

26 June 1900 arrived at Funchal, Maderia and sailed the same day for Southampton

2 July 1900 passed Ushant

9 July 1900 the Executive Committee placed the ship at the disposal of the Admiralty for service in China as it was belived she would be of greater use in Chinese waters rather than at South Africa. This offer was made as the South African War was coming to a close and Maine had successfully fulfilled her mission there.  

12 July 1900 sailed Southampton for Taku (China) for service during the Boxer Rebellion under the command of Captain F S Stone

17 July 1900 passed Gibraltar

21 July 1900 passed Malta

25 July 1900 arrived at Port Said

6 August 1900 it was reported in the Times newspaper that a series of further donations for the Executive Committee running the Maine had been received. This included a further grant from the Lord Mayor of London for £1,000 numerous smaller donations and one £1 from Miss Janotha's black cat for 'Good Luck'

10 August 1900 sailed from Colombo, Ceylon

14 August 1900 the St James's Gazette reported -

Press Cutting St James Gazette 14 8 1900


18 August 1900 passed Singapore

25 August 1900 berthed at Hong Kong

29 August 1900 the Principal Medical Officer onboard reported that at Hong Kong they were loading stores and provisions for 3 months service away from the Colony. Doctors Shine and MacWhirter joined the Medical staff

31 August 1900 sailed Hong Kong for Wei-hai-wei

18 September 1900 arrived at Wei-hai-wei, China. Two further US surgeons joined the ship

26 September 1900 sailed Wei-hai-wei, China for Taku to collect invalids

10 October 1900 arrived at Wei-hai-wei, China from Taku with invalids comprising of 8 officers and 28 non commissioned officers and men of the British Forces and 2 officers and 69 non commissioned officers and men of the American Expeditionary Force on board. Sailed to Nagasaki

16 October 1900 was at Nagasaki shortly to sail to Yokohama with invalids from the Taku Forts

20 October 1900 arrived at Yokohama

3 November 1900 sailed from Yokohama

7 November 1900 arrived at Wei-hei-wei, China

9 November 1900 sailed from Wei-hei-wei

10 November 1900 arrived at Taku

18 November 1900 sailed from Taku

20 November 1900 arrived at Wei-hei-wei, China after calling at Chefoo for bunkers

21 November 1900 reported by telegram from Wei-hai-wei that a further group of invalids had been received on board comprising 6 officers and 66 non commissioned officers and men of the British Forces and 3 men of the American Expeditionary Force

Sick Wounder on Maine 1900

Sick and wounded on the Hospital Ship Maine


26 November 1900 arrived at Hong Kong

1 December 1900 sailed Hong Kong for Southampton with 108 sick and wounded onboard

27 December 1900 the South Wales Daily News carried an advertisment from Colemans & Company Ltd., Norwich concerning one of their products -

South Wales Daily News 27 12 1900

31 December 1900 sailed Port Said for Southampton

13 January 1901 returned to Southampton with 4 officer and 138 others ranks patients all of whom had come from China with the exception of 34 patients who had been admitted onboard at Malta. The patients were all discharged and admitted to Netley Hospital.  After her China Station service it was planned that she would be laid up

5 April 1901 arrived at Gibraltar sailing later for Malta to join the Mediterrean Squadron as a Hospital Ship

13 May 1901 berthed at Portsmouth from Malta with 66 patients from the Mediterranean Fleet

29 June 1901 formally presented to the Admiralty and renamed HMHS MAINE

2 July 1901 at Marlborough House H. M. The King received Mrs George Cornwallis West, the Dutchess of Marlborough and other American ladies who formed the Committee which had managed the Hospital Ship Maine during the South African War

21 November 1901 at Larnaca, Cyprus together with HMS GLADIATOR

6 December 1901 arrived at Malta from Platea

22 December 1901 sailed Malta for Corfu

HMHS Maine 1 1902

HMHS Maine

14 January 1902 arrived at Malta

20 February 1902 at Alexandria

21 March 1902 sailed Malta for the UK with invalids and time expired men onboard

29 March 1902 the Magazine Navy and Army Illustrated published three images of the Hospital Ship Maine -

HMHS Maine 1 upper deck aft 1

HMHS Maine - the Upper Deck facing aft

Maine 1 Op Theatre

HMHS Maine - the Operating Theatre

Ward Maine 1

HMHS Maine - one of the wards

6 April 1902 sailed Portsmouth to Southampton

22 May 1902 sailed Malta with 89 patients on board for Portsmouth

6 June 1902 sailed Portsmouth for the Mediterranean

17 June 1902 vide the London Gazette of this date on page 3965 & 3967 in a despatch dated 1 March 1902 from Field Marshal Earl Robert KG GCB VC Etc reported to the Secretary of State for War, the War Office that the following from HMHS Maine should be recognised

Major J Meek MD Royal Army Medical CorpsG E Dodge Esq BS MD Civil Surgeon
T W Hastings Esq BA Civil Surgeon                                                                     Mrs George Cornwallis-West                                                                            Miss Eleanor Charlotte WarrenderStaff-Sergeant (now Sergeant Major) S J How, Royal Army Medical Corps
Mr J J Reilly Male Nurse
Mr W B Ruth Male Nurse

24 June 1902 vide the London Gazette of this date on page 4193 Superintentdent Miss E M Chadwick, Army Nursing Service and Mrs George Cornwallis-West (Lady Randolph Churchill) both shown as serving on the HMHS Maine were awarded the Royal Red Cross

6 December 1902 arrived at Plymouth with one officer and eighteen men from a Military Hospital at Malta who had been invalided home

February 1903 nine officers were awarded the Sea Transport Medal with either the South Africa 1899 - 1902 bar,  the China bar or both bars


Sea Transport Medal 


Those who received the medal were -

Captain F Stone  -  both bars. Chief Officer W Johnston  -  both bars. 2nd Officer B W Griffiths  -  both bars. 3rd Officer A P Cooke   -   both bars. Chief Engineer Officer T G Richardson  -  both bars. 2nd Engineer Officer J Barrett  -  both bars, 3rd Engineer Officer J N Cairns  -  both bars, 3rd Engineer Officer J W Anderson  -  South Africa bar only. Purser J G Whyman - both bars

19 March 1903 a question was raised in the House of Commons by Mr Harold Tennant, MP for Berwickshire to the Government as to why the South African War Medal was issued to male American orderlies and nurses but was refused for the five female certified nurses in charge. The Government stated they had issued the instructions

29 April 1903 the China War Medal 1900 was awarded to male American Nurses who had joined the ship prior to her depature to South Africa in 1899 and remained onboard when she deployed to provide medical assistance at the Taku Forts, China during the Boxer Rebellion. Those who received the medal were  J. J. Reilly, W. B. Ruth, J. F. McClintock, Victor Bates, L M Howard, Charles Austin and Archibald Gillies (details from the New York Tribune)

27 May 1904 off Cap de Gatt patient Stoker Dan Gear from Naval Store Ship Aquarius (later to be come RFA Aquarius) discharged dead - tumor on the brain

1 August 1904 sailed Malta for Beirut

16 August 1904 while at sea a patient, Midshipman Roland G A Saunders Royal Navy from HMS VENERABLE discharged dead from Enteric Fever

17 August 1904 together with HMS MONTAGU and three destroyers sailed from Cyprus

30 September 1904 sailed Cephalonia for Malta

20 March 1905 sailed Malta

11 May 1905 sailed Malta for Gibraltar and Portsmouth with 70 naval and 40 military invalids onboard

17 May 1905 in the House of Commons the Government's Ships Bill was debated and it was explained that the Bill was needed due to the existence of the Hospital Ship Maine, the distilling ship Aquarius and other Fleet Auxiliaries as well as ships owned by other Government Departments which did not form part of Her Magesty's Navy. The Bill enabled the King by order in Council to make regulations bringing these vessels under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 and Naval Discipline Act

19 May 1905 berthed at Portsmouth with naval invalids being sent to the Royal Naval Hospital at Haslar. The military invalids were sent to the Netley military hospital

19 June 1905 Surgeon Algernon C Bean Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

20 July 1905 arrived at Plymouth

1 August 1905 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

1905 taken over as an RFA when the service was formed and renamed RFA Maine (1)

15 August 1905 Fleet Surgeon Daniel J P McNabb Royal Navy appointed i/c of Royal Naval detachment on board

4 September 1905 arrived at Malta

5 October 1905 sailed Malta

8 October 1905 berthed at Gibraltar

10 October 1905 sailed Gibraltar for Devonport

14 October 1905 berthed at Devonport sailing for Portsmouth the same day

15 October 1905 berthed at Portsmouth

25 October 1905 sailed Portsmouth for Malta

3 November 1905 arrived at Malta

9 December 1905 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

30 November 1905 Staff Surgeon Walter H O Garde Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

14 December 1905 berthed at Gibraltar sailing the same day for Plymouth

19 December 1905 arrived at Plymouth sailing the same day for Portsmouth

20 December 1905 berthed at Portsmouth

27 December 1905 berthed on North Slip Jetty, Portsmouth 

2 January 1906 moored on No: 5 buoy in Portsmouth Harbour

6 January 1906 sailed Portsmouth for Gibraltar

11 January 1906 berthed at Gibraltar leaving the same day for Malta

16 January 1906 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

31 January 1906 sailed from Malta with Vice Admiral Sir J T Grenfell and invalids onboard for Gibraltar and Portsmouth

6 February 1906 berthed at Marseilles and landed Vice Admiral Sir J T Grenfell, second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet

21 March 1906 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

27 March 1906 sailed Gibraltar for Devonport and Portsmouth

1 April 1906 berthed at Portsmouth

14 April 1906 sailed Portsmouth for Gibraltar

24 April 1906 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

22 May 1906 sailed Portsmouth for Gibraltar and Malta

31 May 1906 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

12 June 1906 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

16 June 1906 berthed at Gibraltar and sailed the same day for Plymouth

21 June 1906 arrived Plymouth from Gibraltar

22 June 1906 berthed at Portsmouth

3 July 1906 sailed Portsmouth for Gibraltar

14 July 1906 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

18 July 1906 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

24 August 1906 arrived at Malta from Gibraltar

24 September 1906 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

5 October 1906 Staff Surgeon Ernest S Reid MB appointed to the ship which was berthed on South Railway Jetty, Portsmouth Harbour

20 October 1906 berthed at Malta from Gibraltar

3 November 1906 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

13 November 1906 arrived at Portsmouth Harbour and berthed on South Railway Jetty

19 November 1906 entered the large basin at Portsmouth Dockyard for a refit

27 November 1906 in No: 12 dry dock at Portsmouth Harbour

29 December 1906 still in No: 12 dry dock at Portsmouth

8 January 1907 moved from No: 12 dry dock to No: 5 basin

20 January 1907 arrived Gibraltar

7 February 1907 Surgeon Charles T Baxter appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

11 February 1907 at Hampshire Assizes before His Honour Mr Justice Grantham two young men appeared on an indictment charging them with robbery with violence of a silver watch valued at £2 the property of Donkeyman Michaeal Warburton a member of the crew of RFA MAINE at Portsea in November 1906. They both pleaded not guilty. After hearing the evidence the jury found both men guilty of simple robbery. They admitted to having previous convictions. One was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour the other was sentenced to 18 months in a Borstal institution

19 August 1907 sailed Smyrna for Lemnos with HMS MINERVA

7 September 1907 sailed Constantinople with HMS HUSSAR to join the Mediterrean Fleet which was anchored at Lemnos

October 1907 Fleet Surgeon Frederick J A Dalton Royal Navy appointed i/c of Royal Naval detachment onboard

22 October 1907 deployed with units of the Royal Navy near Rosyth

27 October 1907 together with RFA AQUARIUS and some 47 units of the Royal Navy anchored both up stream and down stream of the Forth Rail Bridge

30 October 1907 berthed at Portsmouth

8 January 1908 sailed Malta for Gibraltar

12 January 1908 arrived at Gibraltar

13 January 1908 sailed Gibraltar for the UK

17 January 1908 arrived at Plymouth

18 January 1908 sailed Plymouth

19 January 1908 arrived at Portsmouth sailing on 28 January 1908

1 February 1908 arrived at Gibraltar sailing the same day

5 February 1908 arrived at Malta

15 February 1908 anchored in Hawich Harbour

31 March 1908 arrived at Aberdeen from Invergordon

3 April 1908 berthed at Provost Blaikie's Quay, Aberdeen loading 350 tons of bunker coal and provisions

4 April 1908 sailed Aberdeen to take up duties with the Channel Fleet

15 June 1908 Surgeon Richard Willan Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

1 July 1908 Captain Alfred C Dunn RFA (Commander RNR) appointed as Master

15 July 1908 anchored to the west of the Forth Bridge

6 April 1909 Staff Surgeon John R Muir MB Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

9 April 1909 anchored off Dalmore in the Moray Firth

3 May 1909 a sailor from HMS LORD NELSON received onboard following an accident where he had fallen astride a boom, sustained serious injuries and was requiring an operation

11 May 1909 berthed at Provost Blaike's Quay, Aberdeen to load naval stores

22 June 1909 arrived at Oban to join the Fleet

2 July 1909 arrived at Kirkwall

30 July 1909 Fleet Surgeon Herbert L Penny Royal Navy appointed i/c of Royal Naval detachment onboard

20 September 1909 berthed at Aberdeen for bunkers and boiler water

14 October 1909 sailed Cromarty for Queenstown, Sheerness and Portsmouth Harbour

10 November 1909 sailed Portsmouth Harbour for Malta for a crew change returning to the UK via Gibraltar

2 December 1909 arrived at Portsmouth Harbour landing patients for Haslar Naval Hospital

23 March 1910 sailed Sheerness for Malta

6 July 1910 in collision with the wooden topsail schooner Gordon in Portland Harbour. Both ships were damaged. At a subsequent hearing the Master of MAINE was held totally to blame

13 July 1910 at Berehaven with HMS CYCLOPS

16 July 1910 received four injured sailors from HMS SUTLEJ which suffered an 'on board' explosion off Berehaven

Press Cutting 1910 Wales Maine 1

25 July 1910 Surgeon Richard Connell MB BA appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

27 July 1910 participated in the Torbay Fleet Review by King George V as the Naval Hospital Ship of the Grand Fleet

1 August 1910 berthed at Portsmouth

16 October 1910 berthed at Aberdeen to load 500 tons of water

17 December 1910 arrived at Spithead from Gibraltar

24 December 1910 berthed on No:6 Buoy in Portsmouth Harbour

16 January 1911 sailed Stokes Bay to join the Fleet

15 February 1911 entered Portsmouth Harbour from Spithead

11 March 1911 in a hearing before the Admiralty Division of the High Court proceeding were taken against the Master of the Maine (Captain Alfred C Dunn RFA) by the owners of the schooner Gordon. The Captain of RFA Maine was held to be totally to blame

26 August 1911 at Invergordon

20 September 1911 arrived Aberdeen for bunkers, water and stores

29 September 1911 an explosion in a Portsmouth Dockyard work shed killed two workmen. The explosion was caused by a gas cylinder which came from the Maine which was under a gas pressure test. 

4 October 1911 at an inquest touching on the deaths of the two workmen (see above) held by the Portsmouth Borough Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death

10 October 1911 Staff Surgeon Charles G C Ross MB BA appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

19 October 1911 anchored in the River Forth above the Forth Bridge and off Queensferry

13 November 1911 Staff Surgeon Maurice T Male MB appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

29 February 1912 arrived at and berthed at Portsmouth Harbour

6 May 1912 undertook Basin trials of the machinery at Chatham Dockyard after a refit

7 May 1912 sailed Chatham for Sheerness to adjust compasses

10 June 1912 Fleet Surgeon Ernest C Lomas MB FRCS Ed. DSO Royal Navy appointed i/c of Royal Naval detachment onboard

20 June 1912 at Portsmouth Harbour on No: 1 buoy

26 June 1912 berthed on C1 Coaling Depot at Portsmouth Harbour

5 July 1912 sailed Portsmouth Harbour to Stokes Bay

6 July 1912 arrived at Spithead together with 1st., 2nd., 3rd., 4th. and 5th. Battle Squadrons numerous cruisers and destroyers

18 July 1912 anchored in the River Forth above the Forth Bridge and off Queensferry with HMS's BLAKE, CIRCE, SEAGULL and JASON

HMS Blake 1889



25 July 1912 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

15 October 1912 Assistant Paymaster W R Roe Royal Navy appointed

18 April 1913 Staff Surgeon T W Myles Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

19 April 1913 sailed Sheerness for Berehaven

27 May 1913 anchored at Lamlash

6 March 1913 arrived at and berthed at Portsmouth

4 July 1913 sailed Portsmouth Harbour for Spithead

9 July 1913 the Portsmouth Evening News carried as small adverisment for a Third Cook who was required 'at once' onboard

1 August 1913 berthed at Portsmouth

2 August 1913 sailed Portsmouth for Queensferry

September 1913  Captain Alexander M Tarver RFA was Master

13 October 1913 Staff Surgeon Duncan G Addison-Scott MB Royal Navy appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

22 October 1913 arrived at Sheerness from Scottish waters

23 October 1913 berthed at Portsmouth from Sheerness

3 December 1913 arrived at Spithead to allow the crew Christmas leave

14 January 1914 Staff Surgeon Arthur R Thomas FRCS Ed appointed to the Royal Naval detachment on board

17 January 1914 sailed Portland for Vigo

21 February 1914 various ships of the Home Fleet while returning to the UK from Arosa Bay suffered from the effects of very rough weather. One sailor was lost overboard and six were injured, two so seriously that they were transfered to the Maine for treatment 

24 April 1914 sailed Chatham Dockyard for Lamlash


17 June 1914 grounded in thick fog and was wrecked on the east of coast of the Isle of Mull on a small island named Eilean Straide Eun (Frank Lockwood's Island) about two miles north of the entrance to Loch Buie with serious damage forward. No casualties (From the Oban Times 20 June 1914)

18 June 1914 thirty five patients from the grounded Maine arrived at Campbeltown onboard HMS SWIFT

20 June 1914 salvage attempts were abandoned due to her age and potential salvage bill

 maine 1 ashore

RFA Maine (1) aground with her lifeboats lowered

22 June 1014 the Scotsman newspaper reported -


HMHS Maine Scotsman 22 Jun 1914


6 July 1914 wreck sold locally for scrap

23 September 1969 vessel found in deep water broken up and spread over a wide area. Of interest to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

3 June 2012 the ships steam cutter - RN Steam Cutter No 438 - sailed as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant on the River Thames with her crew dressed in the uniforms of the time

 Steam Cutter

 RN Steam Cutter No: 438 in 2012 - she served as RFA Maine's Steam Cutter prior to 1914
Copyright Portsmouth News acknowledged


1. Members of the St. John Ambulance Brigade served as orderlies on the  MAINE. After being used on the run from England to South Africa, the ship was used on a single journey to China to bring home wounded from the campaign against the “Boxers”. This qualified the crew for the China War Medal 1900 without clasp.

2. Only eleven members of the St. John Ambulance Brigade served on the MAINE as orderlies and received the China War Medal.  All had previously qualified for the Queen’s South Africa Medal, whether aboard MAINE or elsewhere.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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