1917 - Hermione Angela Rogers VAD WW1

Hermione was the eldest daughter of Francis Edward Newman Rogers and Louisa Annie Rogers nee Jennings born in 1896 at Clifton, Bristol.  The family moved to Rainscombe Park, Oare in approx. 1900 when the property still belonged to his uncle, it passed to Francis on his death in 1910.

Hermione was educated in Southbourne on Sea in Hampshire and in Kensington, London.  On the 14th October 1914 she joined the Red Cross as a volunteer V.A.D. in the 14 V.A.D Wilts.  The detachments were at first intended for home service only, and they received no payment or salary so had to be in a position to give their services for free.   Hermione was given the job of kitchen maid at the Red Cross Hospital, Pewsey which probably included cleaning, helping with meals and washing something she would not have been used to with having domestic servants at home, at the same time she would have been training for her certificates in Nursing and First Aid and by the time her position was terminated on the 26th August 1916 she had completed 546 part-time nursing hours.  On the 6th September 1916 at the age of 21 still with the Red Cross she became a nurse at Sutton Veny Military Hospital, Warminster a hutted hospital built in 1916 with approximately 1200 beds and she remained there until transferring to Egypt on the 18th December 1917.

She embarked on the troopship H.M.T. Osmanieh, this was a steamship built in 1906 at the Swan Hunter and Wigham yard in Newcastle but owned by the Khedivial Mail Steamship and Graving Dock Co Ltd before it was hired by the British Royal Navy as a Troop Transport.  On December 31st 1917 with troops and medical personnel on board it was sunk by a mine from the German Submarine UC34(Horst Obermuller) at the entrance to the harbour at Alexandria.

The papers reported that Transport ship Aragon was torpedoed and sunk on December 30th and one of His Majesty’s destroyers whilst picking up survivors from Aragon was also torpedoed and sunk, the Osmanieh struck the mine and sank in approximately the same locality on 31st December 1917.

The death toll on the Osmanieh was:

Officers 3      including the Captain   Lieutenant Commander D.R. Mason RNR

Crew      21

Military Officer 1

Men       168

Female Nurses 8   including Hermione at just 22 years of age.

Her body was not recovered and she is commemorated on the Hadra War Memorial, Alexandria.

For more information about Hermione and the VAD including reference material and images click here.