Nurses remember the sinking of the Marquette
Three New Zealand nurses - Elizabeth Young, Mary Gould and Jeanne Peek (née Sinclair) - recount their experiences of the sinking of the troopship S.S. Marquette on 23 October 1915. The nurses were part of the New Zealand No. 1 Stationary Hospital unit, which was sailing on the troop transport from Alexandria, Egypt, to Salonika (Thessaloniki) in Greece, when their ship was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat.
Who was to blame for the sinking of the Marquette?
Thirty-two New Zealand medical staff, including ten nurses, were killed when the troop transport ship SS Marquette was sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat on 23 October 1915. The Marquette was en route from Alexandria to Salonika, carrying troops of the British 29th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery, along with their equipment and animals. The medical personnel, equipment and stores of the New Zealand No. 1 Stationary Hospital were also on board. Questions were later asked about why a hospital unit was travelling with an ammunition column, which made the ship a legitimate military target.
In this 1965 recording two survivors, Herbert Hyde and Alexander Prentice of the New Zealand Medical Corps, recall the shipwreck and their impressions of why the disaster happened.
Australian artillery on the Salonika Front
The camera operator is unusually close to the artillery action in this British-made newsreel. It shows an Australian gun crew operating their weapon gun beneath a canvas shelter in the Greek port town of Salonika (now Thessaloniki). Opposing them are Bulgarian forces who, together with Germans, had forced the Serbian Army from the port. This Australian artillery crew seems comparatively relaxed in comparison to the usual grim scenes of battlefront action from this period.