The last ship to enter service for the Union Steam Ship Co. before the
merger which created Union-Castle in March 1900, Galeka was built by
Harland & Wolff, Belfast. She was delivered in December 1899 and
entered service early the next year.
Galeka served on Castle's, and then Union-Castle's intermediate service
to South Africa until World War I. She was then requisitioned by the
Admiralty, utilized for a time as a troop transport, and refitted
as a hospital ship with accommodations for 366 passengers. On 28
October 1916, entering Le Havre without patients on board, H.M.H.S.
Galeka struck a mine. 19 Royal Army Medical Corps personnel died as a
result. She was beached at Cap la Hogue, but was a total loss,
Union-Castle's first war casualty.