SS St Patrick

A few early views of the St Patrick  – the GWR’s cross channel steamer. This ship was built in 1906 and operated out of Fishguard Harbour alongside her sister vessels, SS St David and SS St George.

During the First World War the St Patrick, together with her sister ships, the St David and St George, were requisitioned by the British Government as hospital ships. The GWR took just three weeks to convert them for military use and provided approximately 180 places for stretchers and 250 place for sitting wounded. They were in operation by August 1914 and worked in very dangerous  circumstances as Hospital Carriers caring and transporting wounded personnel.                                                                                                                                During this time the St Patrick was renamed No.3a – the image of her in her military colours is reproduced by kind permission of the National Museum of Wales

The GWR claimed that the St Patrick alone made 758 trips to France bringing back over 125,000 sick and wounded men.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   St Patrick returned to duty at Fishguard after the war but suffered a serious fire while moored at the harbour in April 1929. The fire was so severe the ship was scrapped the following year.

There were two further vessels serving Fishguard to Rosslare route named St Patrick – the next was built in 1930 but was sunk by the Luftwaffe in 1941 (see Bombing of St Patrick ) and the third built in 1947.


An early postcard of the SS St Patrick
St Patrick
In war time livery
National Museum of Wales

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