In 1914, H.M.S. Pembroke was an old gunboat.

Formerly H.M.S. Trent, the small ship had been obsolete for years and was fit only for light duties around the harbour.

Officially, this was the ship on which all 23,000 served.

It is doubtful whether most of them ever even saw it.



The Barnoldswick men were given rudimentary training and the inevitable drill parades. They were later posted to the S.S. Rohilla, then being converted from a British India Passenger Liner into hospital ship No. 2.

They left Chatham Barracks after twelve days and joined their ship at Southampton on 16 August. The work of adapting the passenger accommodation into wards, operating theatres and medical staff quarters had been going on day and night for the previous two weeks and was nearing completion

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Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981