HMHS Glenart Castle

On 26th February 1918 HMHS Glenart Castle was torpedoed near Lundy in the Bristol Channel.

Wilhelm Kiesewetter the captain of UC56 wrote in his log :

February 26, 1918
3 o’clock of the morning

Wind – West 2 Sea State 2 Westerly swell Visibility – very good
On port side a passenger steamship was sighted that had mis-placed lights – the side lights were swapped over, definitely in order to confuse the onlooker as to which course it was taking. Steam ship is heading on the 230 degree course. We engage in the presetting manoeuvre in order to attack from underwater.
Fired from torpedo tube 1. G… torpedo. Hit at the stern. Straight afterwards a second detonation. Steam ship was heavily loaded, definitely had ammunition on board. 150 in length. Size 7000 tons. To the stern end the passenger deck was protected. The steam ship sank after 5 minutes.

UC56 captain's diary of torpedoing HMS Glenart Castle
UC 56

The vessel that Kiesewetter had attacked was, in fact, the hospital ship HMHS Glenart Castle, outbound to pick up wounded from the battles of Flanders. On board were RAMC personnel and nurses as well as the crew. 162 people, including Capt Bernard Burt and ship’s matron Katy Beaufoy, were killed.

Please use the top menu above to view the full story of HMHS Glenart Castle, her history, the story of her sinking, the stories of her Captain and her Matron and information about the memorial erected at Hartland Point by relatives of those lost, and the diving community of the South West UK.