A copy of the Cathedral Prayer Book was recently received, with the inscription:
“Church of England. Hospital Ship Marama, 1917”, and
“This Cathedral Prayer Book was used by the Anglican Chaplain on the Hospital Ship SS Marama during the Great War in 1917, and has been presented to S. Paul’s Cathedral by the Rev VG Bryan King, 1921, Oct 26”.
In September 1915, the Government announced that a second hospital ship, the SS Marama had been chartered to sail from New Zealand in December 1915. After many voyages from the battlegrounds to England with wounded soldiers, she then voyaged to New Zealand returning soldiers home. She departed New Zealand on March 22 1917, heading for Bombay and Suez, and then south to Durban, Capetown and Bristol, once again then returning to New Zealand with a ship packed with wounded New Zealand soldiers.
Anglican Chaplains known to have served on SS Marama, and therefore are likely to have used this prayer book, include Rev. William E Gillam, 1916-1917; Rev. Harry D Burton, possibly right through 1915-1918; Rev. McKenzie Gibson, 1915-1919, and Rev. Robert Franklin, 1918.
The New Zealand Hospital Ship, SS Marama. Original photographic prints and postcards from file print collection, Box 10. Ref: PAColl-6208-53. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22330215
Here is a fascinating collection of ephemera and photographs of the SS Marama, including its history before World War I and its post-War life as a cruise liner.