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The wounded return home to Australia

More than 150 sick and wounded men return to Australia on the S.S Karoola which was fitted as a hospital ship in England. Soldiers suffering severe injuries are transported from the ship to waiting vehicles. They disembark on stretchers and, rather unconventionally, by piggy-back.

When sick and wounded soldiers left the battlefield they were out of immediate danger, but were not entirely safe until they reached their final destination. It was not uncommon for hospital ships to be attacked, whether because of mistaken identity or intentionally. The Australian hospital ship HMAT Warilda was sunk on 3 August 1918 with the loss of 123 lives. The greatest disaster of this kind was in February 1916 when a German U-boat torpedoed the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle, with the loss of 234 lives. After the war the U-boat’s captain and two of his lieutenants were charged with war crimes.

Year:6 December 1915

Location:Woolloomooloo Bay; Sydney, Australia

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The wounded return home to Australia

More than 150 sick and wounded men return to Australia on the S.S Karoola which was fitted as a hospital ship in England. Soldiers suffering severe injuries are transported from the ship to waiting vehicles. They disembark on stretchers and, rather unconventionally, by piggy-back.

When sick and wounded soldiers left the battlefield they were out of immediate danger, but were not entirely safe until they reached their final destination. It was not uncommon for hospital ships to be attacked, whether because of mistaken identity or intentionally. The Australian hospital ship HMAT Warilda was sunk on 3 August 1918 with the loss of 123 lives. The greatest disaster of this kind was in February 1916 when a German U-boat torpedoed the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle, with the loss of 234 lives. After the war the U-boat’s captain and two of his lieutenants were charged with war crimes.


Year: 6 December 1915

Length: 01:07

Production Company: Australasian Films

Credits: Australasian Films

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title 42317


Location: Woolloomooloo Bay; Sydney, Australia

Tags: wounded, hospital ships, Karoola


When sick and wounded soldiers left the battlefield they were out of immediate danger, but were not entirely safe until they reached their final destination. It was not uncommon for hospital ships to be attacked, whether because of mistaken identity or intentionally.  

The Australian hospital ship HMAT Warilda was sunk on 3 August 1918 with the loss of 123 lives. The greatest disaster of this kind was in February 1916 when a German U-boat torpedoed the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle, with the loss of 234 lives. After the war the U-boat’s captain and two of his lieutenants were charged with war crimes.

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The wounded return home to Australia

  • Woolloomooloo Bay; Sydney, Australia

  • 0:00

    Intertitle: Sydney. The Hospital Ship “Karoola” arrives with Wounded from England

  • 0:04

    Wounded soldier is stretchered off the ship

  • 0:18

    Wounded soldier is ‘piggy-backed’ off the ship

  • 0:26

    Wounded soldiers are stretchered off the ship

  • 0:36

    Wounded soldier assisted off the ship

  • 0:39

    Wounded soldier lying on stretcher on the dock

  • 0:47

    Wounded soldiers lying on stretchers on the dock

  • 0:55

    Nurse attending to wounded soldier in stretcher on the dock

  • 1:00

    Wounded soldier on stretcher loaded into ambulance