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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

SMMI expert provides advice on tidal prediction from 1918 prior to Memorial Service for HMHS Glenart Castle

Published: 20 March 2020
The memorial stone
The memorial stone, the ship lies 20 miles away where sea meets sky on a clear day

Known by the Romans as the Promontory of Hercules, the cliffs of Hartland Point rise 350 feet vertically from the ever restless and dangerous sea. It was in these same waters 102 years ago when on an errand of mercy, His Majesty Hospital Ship Glenart Castle was torpedoed at 4am on 26 February 1918 and sent to the bottom of the sea taking with her 150 people; 32 members of the ship’s company survived, but all of the female nursing staff were lost as was the ship’s stewardess.

Prior to the Memorial Service that took place on 26 February 2020, SMMI member Ivan Haigh used his invaluable expertise to compute the tides for this day in 1918. It is now known that at 4am on this morning, the tide was within 4 inches in height and moving up channel as it was 102 years ago.

A memorial plaque was dedicated on the 84th anniversary of the sinking, 26 February 2002 near to Hartland Point, with the inscription, "In proud and grateful memory of those who gave their lives in the hospital ship Glenart Castle. Please remember, Master Lt. Cmdr. Burt, Matron Katy Beaufoy, the ships officers, crew and medical staff who died when their ship was torpedoed by UC56 in the early hours of 26th Feb 1918”. The ship lies 20 miles WNW from this stone. 

Gathering for the Memorial Service were service personnel, relatives and friends of victims, survivors and the people of Hartland.  They are confident that come the time when the years prevent them from coming together, the ship and memory will be in safe hands.


For Those in Peril on The Sea


The wild seascape on 26 February 2020
The wild seascape on 26 February 2020
A shop window in Hartland given over to the memory of the ship
A shop window in Hartland given over to the memory of the ship

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