Five embarkations all on the Hospital Ship "Marama"
Ruth Gilmer trained in Wellington.
During the war served both on "Marama" and at the Miramar Convalescent Home
"The first commission of "Marama" took the ship to Alexandria, Southampton, - Alexandria, Marseilles. Salonika to Stavros where she was used as a base hospital in the Balkan war. Then on to Malta and Southampton. From this time both "Maheno" and "Marama" were part of the White Fleet which carried the wounded from the battle of the Somme to England". The final voyage of the "Marama" on 28 February 1919 to England transporting patients to various ports.
All the above information is from "New Zealand Military Nursing: A History of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps Boer War to Present Day by Kendall & Corbett. The following is from The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War 1914-1918 regarding the voyage of the Hospital Ship Marama on 22 September 1917. "Under the command of Lt. Col Percy Cook, N.Z.M.C. , the master being Captain McLean - the "Marama" sailed from New Zealand on 22 September 1917, reaching Albany (Australia) on 3 October 1917 and called at Capetown on the 20th where 18 officers, 2 Q.U.A.I.M.N.S. and 480 O.R., British sick and wounded were embarked for English ports. The medical staff on board consisted of 6 officers; 1 adjutant and quartermaster; a dental officer; and 76 O.R., N.Z.M.C. Leaving the Cape on the 24 October 1917, Avonmouth was reached without mishap on the 11 November 1917. Disembarkation was completed in some 4 and a half hours which was considered to be slow.Ten days later the NZ patients were coming on board: 23 officers, 2. N.Z.A.N.S., 522 O.R.; the ship sailing at 10pm on the same day.Colon was sighted on the 5 December 1917; here representatives of the American Red Cross Society, officers of the Civil and Military Departments and sympathetic friends visited the shipand made arrangements for the entertainment of such of the patients as were fit to go ashore.Many gifts were distributed to the cot cases remaining and the most generous and enthusiastic hospitality was dispensed by the U.S.colony.At Balboa the British Ambassador with officials of the Panamanian Republic and the Canal Zone visited the ship.The up patients were motored to the Soldiers Club at Panama. Laden with gifts of all kinds the "Marama" then steamed out into the Pacific and calling at lonely Pitcairn Island, finally reached Auckland Harbour 28 Decmber 1917. It was at this time customary for hospital ships and transports to anchor off Rangitoto for some hours prior to disembarkation at the wharf of Auckland. During this interval important administrative arrangements were completed. A medical board, including a representative of the Director of Military Hospitals, examined all the patients, the process taking some six hours to complete, during which time the Base Records, Pay Department, and the Returned Soldiers Information Department dealt with each patient in turn. The next-of-kin of the more serious cases had, in every instance, received railway passes from their homes to the port and were in attendance to welcome their relatives on arrival. A fleet of motor ambulances and cars owned by private citizens , conveyed the disembarking patients to their homes, the hospital or the ambulance train in waiting. The "Marama" then left Auckland and went on to Wellington, Lyttelton and finally to Port Chalmers on the 1 January 1918".(Source: The New Zealand medical Service in the Great War 1914-1918 by A.D. Carberry, pages 375-376) AWMM