For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

Hospital Ship LADY NELSON (1943)

Former S.S. LADY NELSON (1928)

Then S.S. LADY NELSON (1946)

Then Egyptian Vessel GUMHURYAT MISR (1953)

Then Egyptian Vessel ALWADI (1960)

CNSS Lady Neslon

Photo taken from HMCS Suderoy V

Source: Wikipedia


Completed: 1928

Acquired by RCN: 1939

Returned to owner:

Re-acquired by RCN: 1942

Entered service: 22 Apr 1943 as Hospital Ship Lady Nelson

Paid off: 1946 - returned to previous owner

Sold: 1953 to Egypt, renamed Gumhuryat Misr

Renamed: 1960 as Alwadi

Fate: Broken up in Egypt in 1968 


Lady Nelson was a Royal Canadian Navy hospital ship during the Second World War. On 22 Mar 1942 Lady Nelson was torpedoed by U-161 while alongside at Castries, St. Lucia. Lady Nelson sank immediately and 15 passengers were killed and three crewmen died. The ship was re-floated and repaired. In Apr 1943, Lady Nelsonís conversion to a Canadian hospital ship. Lady Nelson carried 515 beds and completed 30 voyages by Feb. 1946, bringing home 25,000 wounded men.


At 04.49 hours on 10 Mar 1942, U-161 fired two torpedoes into the harbour of Port Castries, St. Lucia. The first torpedo hit the Lady Nelson, which caught fire and sank by the stern in shallow waters. The second torpedo struck the Umtata, which sank by the stern. However, both vessels were later salvaged and repaired. Three crew members and 15 passengers of the 116 crew members, 110 passengers and two gunners aboard Lady Nelson and seven dock workers were lost. On 16 Apr, the ship was salvaged, temporarily repaired and left for Mobile on 11 May. Later converted to a hospital ship for 518 patients and commissioned on 22 Apr 1943.


Commanding Officers

Captain Morris O'Hara - 1942 - until after WW 2



     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten


Buffett, Leslie







Hanes, Robert







Murphy, David R.







Varner, Loran Keith







Former Crew Members

Etter, Phillip

van Audenhove, Julien J.



Photos and Documents



The Memory Project - Phillip Etter

The Memory Project - Julien J. van Audenhove