When the British troopship The Marquette sank in the Aegean Sea, killing 32 New Zealanders in World War One, it caused outrage in Aotearoa. Their deaths — mainly nurses and medical orderlies — could have been avoided if they had been on a hospital ship, which gave more protection from attack. Instead 167 people died on 23 October 1915 when a German torpedo slammed into their vessel. This Great War Stories episode interviews actor Antonia Prebble about her role in Australian TV series Anzac Girls, playing Marquette survivor nurse Hilda Steele.
We were going along quite smoothly and contented, when we were electrified into action by a terrific explosion, and the ship tremored like a first class New Zealand earthquake.– Kiwi soldier Bernard Bell on the sinking of The Marquette, The Evening Post, 13 December 1915
Made with funding from NZ On Air