Built in Dumbarton by W. Denny & Brothers for the London & North-Western Railway Co. in 1900, the Anglia was 1862 tons with a 424hp triple expansion engine and 2 props, giving her a top speed of 21 knots. She measured 329ft x 39ft x 16ft.
She was taken over as an auxiliary hospital ship in WW1 and as she was crossing the Channel from France on November 17, 1915, with a large number of victims of trench warfare on their way home, she struck a mine (laid by UC-5) and sank one mile east of Folkestone Gate. The steamship struck the mine on the port side, forward of the bridge, the violence of the explosion blowing the Master, Capt Manning, from his position on the bridge to the deck below. Fortunately he was not seriously injured and at once ordered the lifeboats to be swung out, the first of which got away safely with about 50 survivors. The ship initially sank bow first with her propellers spinning as the stern rose above the water before righting herself after this the ship took a heavy list and sank within ten minutes. The total number of wounded on board was 13 officers and 372 other ranks, in addition were the usual medical staff and ship’s company. Most of the seriously wounded soldiers were located near where the mine exploded and none survived, in total 129 soldiers and crew were lost. The disaster occurred at about 12:30pm and was seen from the collier Lusitania (voyaging from London to Lisbon), which steamed to the Anglia’s assistance and lowered two boats. These had set off when the Lusitania herself struck a mine (again laid by UC-5) and began to sink, Lusitania’s boats quickly returned and took off the remainder of her company, with no loss of life.
Diving: The ship was wire swept in 1961 and has unusual vented portholes. Note that she is a war grave and should not be interfered with or have items removed. Today the wreck lies in around 30m water on a sandy seabed and although much broken is still an interesting dive; but must be treated with respect.