Tragedy at Sea: The Llandovery Castle

During WWI Canadian nurses were vital in providing medical support to soldiers, navy and airmen on both land and at sea. Their role as medical personnel was both dangerous and rewarding. The risks were enormous and such was the case when twelve nurses drowned at sea off the coast of Ireland on Llandovery Castle, a hospital ship returning from Canada en route to Europe. What happened to Llandovery Castle? Who were those women?

In this lesson, students will learn about the tragedy of Llandovery Castle. Students will explore by article analysis the confusion at sea and in particular the war crimes of the Germans who attacked and killed hundreds which later set a precedence in war crime tribunals.

  1. Teacher to show the presentation on Llandovery Castle. Students to answer 5 questions on the purpose of the vessel, its crew and the events of June 27, 1918. See student handout.
  2. Teacher to distribute the New York Times article from 1918

Students to answer the questions relating to the analysis of this primary document and first person accounts. Continuation of student handout: Part II. The article offers different accounts of what happened the night of the attack on June 27, 1918.

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