The first of three ships she was an improved Gaul Class ship with three masts and delivered for the Intermediate service.
She transferred to the Union-Castle fleet in March 1900 and in June 1905 was the first Union-Castle ship to call at the new port of Lobito in Angola which had a rail link to Elizabethville.
In 1910 she was moved to the East Africa service and in August 1914 went on the mail run when the larger ships were requisitioned for war service.
On 25th November of that year she was commissioned as a hospital ship with a capacity for 434 patients, her first task being to take the surviving wounded from Hms Pegasus, which had been sunk by the Koenigsburg on 20th September, back to Simonstown in South Africa.
During 1915 she served in the German East African campaign and spent the remainder of the war in that area. She returned to Union-Castle on 15th February 1920 and was immediately refurbished and put back into service.
In 1928 she was laid up in the East India Dock in London before being sold to Thomas W. Ward for scrapping.