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Ship's Badge of HMS Black Prince
The ship's badge of HMS Black Prince, as used on the Second World War anti-aircraft cruiser. Picture provided by Damien Taylor, who inherited the badge from his grandfather.
10 Navy Ship Names That Might Raise Eyebrows
Can you guess how many ships have been called HMS Beaver?
More than 13,000 ships have served in the Royal Navy.
From HMS Vanquisher to HMS Onslaught, many have had names that matched their glorious pursuits.
Other names might, however, raise eyebrows by today's standards.
Cultural references change over time, meanings transform and take on new connotations that can be very different from their original intentions.
Let’s take a look at ten of our favourites.
From HMS Cockchafer to HMS Pansy: Why Would You Call A Ship That?!
We truly are a nation of animal lovers. From HMS Anaconda to HMS Zebra, more than 200 animals, insects, fish and birds have inspired the names of Royal Navy ships.
There have been 10 HMS Beavers in service to the Royal Navy, starting from a ketch in the Royalist navy which was captured by Parliamentary forces in 1656. A popular name throughout the ages, the last HMS Beaver was a 10 Type 22 missile frigate commissioned in the 80s and scrapped in 2001.
In 1777, HMS Beaver (the third one of its name) captured a privateer from Pennsylvania that was called Oliver Cromwell. The captured ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy under the new name of HMS Beaver Prize.
HMS Black Joke
This Brazilian ship went from being a slaver ship called Henrietta to a slave-chaser after she was captured by the Royal Navy in 1827.
The Royal Navy renamed her after an English song of the same name and signed her to the West Africa Squadron. She became the most famous ship that hunted slave ships and freed all of those enchained onboard.
Declared no longer fit for sail, she was decommissioned in 1832 because of her timber being rotten.
When the Admiralty ordered the famous slave chaser to be burned, Peter Leonard, a surgeon on HMS Dryard said of HMS Black Joke:
“[She] has done more towards putting an end to the vile traffic in slaves than all the ships of the station put together."
All that remains of the famous slave-chaser is an envelope full of her burned timbers in The National Archives.
HMS Queen Elizabeth And HMS Prince Of Wales: 12 Key Facts On Britain's Aircraft Carriers
[HMS] Happy Entrance
A middling ship from Tudor times before the official use of “His or Her Majesty’s ship.”
Happy Entrance was launched in 1619 and destroyed in a fire in 1658.
Not much is known about the ship apart from her classification as a third rate ship which at that time was defined as those ships having at least 200 but not more than 300 men.
The Tudor ship belonged to the last generation of ships that had their classification defined by the number of men and not guns.
By the 1660s third rate ships mounted between 48 and 60 guns. By the turn of the century, the criteria had grown and third rate carried more than 60 guns, with second rates having between 90 and 98 guns, while first rates had 100 guns or more.
Even though second and first rate ships were bigger and more powerful, third rate ships were often more successful due to being faster and easier to manoeuvre while still packing enough firepower to take down a first rater.
HMS Little Belt
Lillebælt was a Danish ship named after a strait that connects Denmark’s third-biggest island with the county’s continental part.
When the Danes surrendered the ship to the Royal Navy in 1807, the British kept the name.
As was the custom at the time, captured ships often retained their original names that were either anglicised or translated to English as with the case of Lillebælt becoming Little Belt.
In 1811, while Britain was at peace with the US, the American ship USS President fired on Little Belt, mistaking her for the French HMS Guerriere.
The shot was fired as retribution for Guerriere abducting an American sailor from USS Spitfire.
The entanglement became is known as ‘The Little Belt Affair.’
Seven ships have been called Sandwich, either after the historic seaside town in Kent or one of the holders of the title of which there have been many, including John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.
A cunning statesman and First Lord of the Admiralty during the American War of Independence, he is perhaps best known as the eponymous inventor of the sandwich.
Launched in 1943, HMS Wizard was a W-Class destroyer that was initially deployed to the Home Fleet before joining an escort group assigned to screen for aircraft carriers HMS Furious and HMS Searcher. Wizard saw the end of the war.
Wizard was adopted by the London borough of Wood Green as part of a national savings campaign that gave a civil community the opportunity to ‘adopt’ a Royal Navy ship.
Known as Warship weeks, their aim was to raise enough money to provide the cost of building and maintaining a particular ship. The north London borough did very well to have been able to afford a destroyer.
Cities strived to raise enough money to adopt a battleship or an aircraft carrier, while towns and villages set their aims on cruisers.
The number of warships adopted was more than 1,200.
The commanding officer of the ship exchanged a plaque with the community that raised the funds and would continue the relationship by sending photographs.
The adoption plaque of HMS Wizard is on display in the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.
Eight ships in the Royal Navy have been named HMS Pickle.
The most famous one was a topsail schooner launched in 1799 that was the first ship to bring home the news of Nelson's victory in the Battle of The Trafalgar.
Although Pickle was too small to take part in the fighting herself, she saved many French lives during the battle.
Along with Entreprenante, Prince and Swiftsure, Pickle rescued the crew of the French ship Achille, which caught fire and exploded.
Two women and around 150 men were brought on board. The number of prisoners greatly outnumbered the crew.
The ship found herself in a pickle when the prisoners began to plot to take over the ship and take her to Cadiz. The crew kept a close watch over the prisoners. A violent uprising was averted and the news of victory was delivered safely to Great Britain.
There have been eight ships named Terrible in the service of the Royal Navy. The first one had 26 guns and was launched in 1694.
Back then the word had a different meaning than it does now. A ship that was terrible would arouse fear or terror in the eyes of the enemy.
The name hasn’t aged well. The definition still applies today but has morphed into being synonymous with anything that is awful, lousy or outright bad.
The name was particularly popular in the 18th century. During that period three ships have had the formidable name.
That wasn’t the only thing the ships had in common, they were all third rate ships bearing 74 guns. However, only one of them initially was a French navy ship named Le Terrible that was captured by the British fleet, under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke and became HMS Terrible in 1753.
There have been five vessels bearing the name of the cheekiest animal in the jungle. The first HMS Monkey was built in Rochester in 1801 and was wrecked in Brittany in 1806.
The second HMS Monkey followed a similar fate. Built in 1826, it was also wrecked only five years after it hit the waves. In that time, as part of the West Indies Squadron, Monkey captured three slavers' ships.
One of those ships, the 360-ton Spanish slaver ship Midas greatly outweighed the 75-ton Monkey. The British ship had one 12-pounder gun on a pivot while Midas had eight guns and double the crew.
It took Monkey 35 minutes of single-ship action to capture the slaver ship.
The last HMS Money was a water tank vessel that served in Malta during the Second World War until it was sunk by German bombers in 1942.
Displacing 1,397 tons, this D-Class destroyer was anything but dainty.
Costing £229,378 to manufacture, she was launched in 1932 and went on to have a career that spanned from the shores of the Mediterranean to China to West Africa.
She was sunk by German bombers in the Lybian port of Tobruk in February 1941, a month after the allies seized the port from Italian control.
Dainty and her classmates Defender, Duchess, Diana, Diamond, Duncan, Daring, Delight and Decoy were the last destroyers to carry guns and not missiles.
The life of a stoker in the Royal Navy
The focus of many histories of the First World War is on the great land battles of the Western Front. The Royal Navy often gets overlooked because the Battle of Jutland was a seemingly inconclusive sea battle and many other actions did not involve fleets of ships. A Culture volunteer on the Poole History Centre First World War project describes some experiences of Poole men who served as stokers in the Royal Navy.
John Matthews, formerly a goalkeeper of Longfleet St Mary’s FC and stroke with Poole Amateur Rowing Club, was on the HMS Armadale Coast which was off the German South West African coast. His letter of January 1915 said that they ‘have had a very trying time just lately’. He describes ‘coaling’. This involved working continuously day and night until 3,700 tons of coal had been transferred in sacks. His injury came about because he slipped and damaged a knee which he hoped ‘will not affect my knee in future’. His mates brought him oranges and apples while he was in hospital and he noted it was ‘the first rest’ he had had since leaving home. He was now on light duty but still in some pain. He hoped to be able to carry on playing football and rowing when he got back to Poole – so far it is not known whether he did.
Coaling at sea was a strenuous, difficult job. Sacks had to be filled on the coaling ship by shovel, winched across and then tipped into the bunkers. Everybody who was not assigned another role had to help. A midshipman would alternate between spending an hour holding sacks open for another rating to shovel coal into and then spending another hour winching across. Often they would work from 5.30 in the morning until 6pm in the evening. The stokers who manned the bunkers were covered in ‘indescribable clouds of dust’ that clogged their skin and lungs with the only light from a few Davy safety lamps. And when coaling was finished the ships had to be cleaned.
The shovelling of coal into the boilers was hard physical labour in very hot and dusty conditions. Stoking the boilers was also a highly skilled job. The ‘firebed’ in the boiler had to be even and any gaps filled with white hot coal. The stokers would wear blue-tinted glasses to protect their eyes from the intense glare whilst they were checking the ‘firebed’. Every time the ship’s gun fired the ship would lift, settle, and clouds of dust would fill the boiler room – the noise would also resound above the noise of the boilers. The men also worked in the knowledge that there was little chance of survival if the ship was hit. Watertight hatches were closed and there was a maze of routes to the upper decks. They rarely had time to do anything HM Transport Arcadian sank in just three minutes after being torpedoed.
Coal was a serious business and anything that disrupted it could have devastating consequences. Poor quality coal could lead to the ship not maintaining speed at critical times. HMS Pathfinder was sunk because the lack of coal meant it could only maintain a speed of 5 knots. The German SMS Dresden had a rendezvous with a collier off the South American coast. It was spotted by HMS Kent before coaling took place and the Dresden had no option but to enter a river estuary where she was eventually scuttled.
Several Poole men served as stokers in the Royal Navy. Some had joined the navy before the war and were either in the reserve or were still sailors, others enlisted or were conscripted.
Fred G. Trowbridge was a Stoker on the battleship HMS Iron Duke. In December 1914 he sent a letter to his mother, who lived at 19 Market Street, to say he was well and enclosed a photograph of what he called the ‘Dorset Brigade’ who were on board. Trowbridge had joined the Royal Navy in 1912 and served on HMS Iron Duke from February 1914 until 1918. After the war ended, he stayed in the Royal Navy on various vessels and in shore-based installations before retiring in 1934.
Stoker Augustus Albert Ball, of Hamworthy, died when the battlecruiser HMS Invincible was sunk at the Battle of Jutland on May 31st 1916. It is believed that she was hit on one of her turrets and the flash fire went into the magazines. The explosion tore the ship in half and over a thousand men lost their lives. Six men survived – one of them recorded that he ‘remembered nothing about the explosion until he found himself in the water’. Ball’s first ship was the paddle steamer Brodick Castle which was part of a fleet of ships that sailed along the Dorset coast catering for the holiday trade. He joined as a fireman at a weekly wage of £1 8s 2d (£1.41), on July 3rd 1901 at the age of 20. He left on October 5th 1901 when the summer season ended.
Sidney James, of Newtown, Poole, was employed as a golf caddie before he joined the Royal Navy in 1909 as a Stoker 2nd Class. In 1910 he was promoted to Stoker 1st Class when he was on HMS Essex in 1910. He then served on many other ships until he joined the cruiser HMS Black Prince on April 21st 1914 as Stoker 1st Class. He was promoted to Leading Stoker in February 1916. He died when HMS Black Prince was sunk during the Battle of Jutland on May 31st 1916. It is believed that the German fleet was mistaken for the British fleet and they were only half a mile apart when the error was realised – the crew of HMS Black Prince stood no chance.
Thomas Foot of Poole worked in a wood factory before he joined the Royal Navy in 1906 as Stoker 2nd Class when he signed up for 5 years. He left the navy in 1911 as Stoker 1st Class and was transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve. With the threat of war looming he was recalled to the navy and joined HMS Good Hope on July 31st 1914. He died when the ship was sunk at the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on November 1st 1914.
William Bradley of Poole (born 1896) worked as a greengrocer’s porter before joining the Royal Navy in 1914. He worked as a Stoker on several ships during the First World War and continued in the navy serving through the Second World War. In contrast, William Hedgecock, a general labourer from Poole, joined the Royal Navy on December 28th 1916. He was posted as Stoker 2nd Class to HMS Ariadne on March 21st 1917 and was killed only a few months later when the ship was torpedoed on July 26th 1917.
The Poole and East Dorset Herald reported in November 1914 that Mr Alfred Woodland of Hamworthy had five sons involved in the conflict. Albert Edward Woodland was a labourer from Hamworthy and had signed on with the Royal Navy for 12 years, initially as a Stoker 2nd class. He served on several ships and was promoted to Stoker 1st class while he was on HMS Dreadnought. In August 1914 he joined HMS Hermione which he left in March 1915. He had a spell on HMS Excellent before joining HMS Canada on which he served until March 1919 where he rose to first becoming a Leading Stoker and then Stoker Petty Officer. A few months after leaving HMS Canada he married Minnie Cox in Hamworthy. He survived the First World War. He served during the Second World War as Stoker Petty Officer on HMS Claverhouse, but died in August 1942 at the Royal Naval Hospital, South Queensferry from a kidney infection. He is buried in Hamworthy.
The local newspaper also reported that four of his brothers were serving in the Royal Marines. It said that John Woodland was a prisoner of war in October 1914 but says he was a Lance-Corporal – other records have him as a Private. It is believed he also survived the war and stayed in the Royal Marines dying of natural causes during the Second World War. Charles Woodland was a dental assistant at the RM base in Deal and also survived the First World War. Sadly, two other brothers died during the First World War. Sidney served in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (RMLI), but was drowned in a boating accident in Poole Harbour in 1915. Another brother, William, died during the Battle of Jutland while on HMS Southampton. It is possible that another brother, Frederick, also served in the RMLI but this not clear.
HMS Black Prince
Figure 1: HMS Black Prince at anchor with a steam launch alongside, circa the 1880s. Note the sheet anchor amidships, just below the forward funnel, and this ship's distinctive 15-foot figurehead. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2: HMS Black Prince at anchor with a steam launch alongside, circa the 1880s. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3: Line engraving of HMS Black Prince published in Harper's Weekly, 1866. US Naval Historical Center Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 7: HMS Black Prince when she was used as a training ship in Queenstown Harbor, Ireland, 1898. Royal Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 8: Officers of HMS Black Prince in 1898. Royal Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 9: The crew of HMS Black Prince in 1898. Royal Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 10: Sail instruction on board HMS Black Prince when she was used as a training ship, circa 1898. Royal Navy photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.
Built by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow, Scotland, the 9,200-ton HMS Black Prince was an ironclad frigate that was completed on 27 September 1862. She was the third ship in the Royal Navy to bear that name and was the second ocean-going, iron-hulled, armored warship, following her sister ship, HMS Warrior. For a brief period in naval history, the two Warrior class ironclads were the most powerful warships in the world, their armor being nearly impregnable to the naval guns that existed at that time. Black Prince was approximately 420 feet long and 58 feet wide and had a crew of 707 officers and men. The ship was armed with 26 smoothbore muzzle-loading 68-pounder guns, 10 rifled breech-loading 110-pounder guns, and four rifled breech loading 40-pounder guns. Black Prince was equipped with sails and one two-cylinder steam engine that produced 5,772 horsepower, giving the ship a top speed of 13.6 knots under steam power alone. Both Black Prince and Warrior were also rigged with 48,400 square feet of sail. Black Prince, though, could only do 11 knots under sail, two knots slower than Warrior.
After entering service, Black Prince was assigned to the Royal Navy’s English Channel Fleet until 1866, then spent a year as flagship off the coast of Ireland. The ship was overhauled and re-armed from 1867 to 1868 and then became the guard ship on the Clyde River. The routine of that duty was interrupted in 1869, when she and her sister ship, HMS Warrior, towed a large floating dry dock from the Azores to Bermuda.
Black Prince was again overhauled from 1874 to 1875 and then rejoined the Channel Fleet as the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir John Dalrymple-Hay, second-in-command of the Royal Navy. In 1878, Captain H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh took command of Black Prince and the ship crossed the Atlantic to participate in the installation of a new Governor General of Canada. After returning to England, Black Prince was placed in reserve at Devonport and re-classified as an armored cruiser. The ship was re-activated periodically to participate in annual fleet exercises.
Unfortunately, rapid advances in naval armament and technology, as well as the manufacture of new steel warships, soon made ironclads like Black Prince and Warrior obsolete. No longer capable of confronting steel battleships, Black Prince became a harbor training ship in 1896, stationed at Queenstown, Ireland. She was re-named Emerald in 1903. In 1910, the ship was taken to Plymouth for use as a training ship and was re-named Impregnable III. The old ship was eventually sold for scrapping in 1923, after a career spanning an amazing 61 years.
Ships like Black Prince and Warrior bridged the gap between wooden warships and the new steel battleships that were built towards the end of the nineteenth century. For a limited period in naval history, ironclads were the most powerful warships in the world.
Ship's Badge of HMS Black Prince - History
No one survived the sinking of HMS Black Prince and no one saw her sink yet there are many accounts of sightings just before she met her end in pitch darkness in the middle of the night - sightings made possible by the fact that she was ablaze from end to end and drifting helplessly in close proximity to other ships.
There have been many conjectures about what really happened to Black Prince on the night of May 31st. At the time, many relatives of the lost crew were angry and a story was circulated that after the ship was hit, the Captain was ordered to return home. He, however, had wanted to stay and fight but in her crippled state, Black Prince soon became an easy target for the German Fleet and was easily destroyed with the loss of all hands.
Position of Arthburthonot's Cruiser Squadron
at about 6.15 pm 31 May 1916
During the battle which followed their arrival on the scene, Black Prince seems to have lost contact with the remaining British Fleet she was last heard of at 8.48 when she sent off a signal to say there had been a submarine sighting. It was beginning to get dark by now and so much was happening that other British ships had no time to look out for her.
So we look to the German account which says that just before midnight, the Black Prince approached the German lines, possibly thinking their outlines were those of British vessels. At some point, the Captain seems to have realised his mistake and ordered his crew to turn Black Prince round but by that time he had been spotted from the German battleship Thüringen which immediately switched on its powerful spotlights and opened fire. There were five more German ships all within a range of 1000 yards and all of them joined in the bombardment.
And now at last we can find an eyewitness account from a member of crew on board HMS Spitfire:
"We were just recovering from our ramming match with the German cruiser, and most of the ship's company were collected aft, when suddenly there was a cry from nearly a dozen people at once: "Look out!"
I looked up, and saw a few hundred yards away on our starboard quarter, what appeared to be a battle cruiser on fire, steering straight for our stern. To our intense relief, she missed our stern but just by a few feet so close was she to us that we were actually under her guns, which were trained out on her starboard beam, She tore past us with a roar, rather like a motor roaring up a hill in low gear, and the very crackling and heat of the flames could be heard and felt. She was a mass of fire from fore-mast to main-mast, on deck and between decks. Flames were issuing out of her from every corner.
At first sight she appeared to be a battle cruiser, as her funnels were so far apart but afterwards it transpired that she was the unfortunate Black Prince with her two centre funnels gone. Soon afterwards, soon after midnight, there came an explosion from the direction in which she had disappeared."
Historic Royal Navy vessels preserved in the UK
It is sometimes assumed that the historic naval ships in this country are limited to HMS Belfast and HMS Victory together with the few preserved ships at Portsmouth, when in fact there are many vessels open to the public in other cities and ports. Here are few that you might not be aware of as you start to plan summer holidays and weekends away.
(A quick TMT “government health warning”: it is recommended that you check the web for the latest updates on each ship before visiting as maintenance programmes and the like might mean that access is limited at certain times of the year.)
HMS Courageous. One of the two nuclear subs that worked around the Falkland’s in 1982. She was commissioned in 1971 and was taken out of service in 1992. In 2002 she was removed from mothballs and moved to No. 3 Dock where she was open to the public as a unique exhibit in the UK. Problems with the caisson, which seals the dock, necessitated her move back to 3 Basin in 2007 where she is currently once again open to the public. Visits to Courageous can be arranged by telephone on 01752 552389 or 552326.
There is an active Association which has a website at: http://www.hmscourageous.co.uk/index.html
Photo: Submarine Museum
HMS Alliance is a Royal Navy A-class, Amphion-class or Acheron-class submarine, laid down towards the end of the Second World War and completed in 1947. The submarine is the only surviving example of the class, having been a memorial and museum ship since 1981. The Amphion-class submarines were designed for use in the Far East, where the size of the Pacific Ocean made long range, high surface speed and relative comfort for the crew important features to allow for much larger patrol areas and longer periods at sea than British submarines operating in the Atlantic or Mediterranean had to contend with.
Alliance was transferred on permanent loan to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport, Hampshire in February 1978. She now stands, together with the Museum, as a memorial to the 4,334 British submariners who gave their lives in both world wars and to the 739 officers and men lost in peacetime submarine disasters.
HMS Cavalier. Cavalier is a retired C-class destroyer, laid down by J. Samuel White and Company at East Cowes on 28 March 1943, launched on 7 April 1944, and commissioned on 22 November 1944.
She served in World War II and in various commissions in the Far East until she was decommissioned in 1972. After decommissioning she was preserved as a museum ship and currently resides at Chatham Historic Dockyard.
There is an active association which has a website at: http://hmscavalier.org.uk/
HMS Gannet. HMS Gannet was a Royal Navy Doterel-class screw sloop launched on 31 August 1878. She was commissioned on 17 April 1879, and was classified as both a sloop of war and a colonial cruiser. She was capable of nearly 12 knots under full steam or 15 knots under sail. She became a training ship in the Thames in 1903, and was then lent as a training ship for boys in the Hamble from 1913.
The ship was turned over to the Maritime Trust in 1968 so that she could be restored. In 1987 the Chatham Historic Dockyard chartered Gannet from the Maritime Trust and started a restoration programme to return the ship to its 1888 appearance — the only time she saw naval combat. In 1994 ownership of the vessel was passed to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, where, listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, she remains today on display as a museum ship.
HMS Holland. Holland 1 (or HM submarine Torpedo Boat No 1) was the first submarine commissioned by the Royal Navy, the first in a six-boat batch of the Holland-class submarine. She was lost in 1913 while under tow to the scrapyard following decommissioning. Recovered in 1982, she was put on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport.
HMS Ocelot. HMS Ocelot was laid down by Chatham Dockyard on 17 November 1960, and launched on 5 May 1962. The boat was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 31 January 1964. Ocelot was the last submarine built for the Royal Navy at Chatham Dockyard, although three more Oberons Ojibwa, Onondaga and Okanagan—were built for the Royal Canadian Navy
HMS Ocelot was paid off in August 1991 as the conventional submarine fleet of the RN began to decline, making way for the nuclear fleet. She was sold in 1992 and preserved as a fully “tourable” museum in Chatham Historic Dockyard. In November 2013 the interior of HMS Ocelot was added to Google Street View.
HMS Wellington. HMS Wellington (launched Devonport, 1934) is a Grimsby-class sloop, formerly of the Royal Navy. During the Second World War, she served as a convoy escort ship in the North Atlantic. The Grimsby-class anti-submarine sloops of 1933-36 were the predecessors of the Black Swan class of 1939.
Photo: Shipspotting.com & Barry Graham
Wellington is now moored alongside the Victoria Embankment, at Temple Pier, on the River Thames in London, England, as the headquarters ship of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, where she is known as HQS Wellington.
HMS Warrior. HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate[Note 1] built for the Royal Navy in 1859–61. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France’s launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. She was placed in reserve in 1875, and was “paid off” – decommissioned – in 1883.
The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987.
HMS Unicorn. HMS Unicorn is a surviving sailing frigate of the successful Leda class, although the original design had been modified by the time that the Unicorn was built, to incorporate a circular stern and “small-timber” system of construction.
Unicorn was built in peacetime at Chatham Dockyard, Kent and launched in 1824. A superstructure was built over her main deck and she was laid up “in ordinary”, serving as a hulk and a depot ship for most of the next 140 years. In fact, she only went to sea for the voyage from Chatham to Dundee, during which she was under tow. Her lack of active duty left her timbers well preserved, and in the 1960s steps were initiated to convert her to a museum ship.
Though steps were taken to restore Unicorn to a similar condition as her sister ship HMS Trincomalee, this was changed when it was discovered that the ship was the only example of a wooden frigate of her type existing in ordinary, and as a result the intention is now to preserve her in her current condition. It is thought the roof that covers her upper deck has never been replaced.
Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Unicorn is now a museum ship in Dundee. http://www.frigateunicorn.org/
HMS Trincomalee. HMS Trincomalee is a Royal Navy Leda-class sailing frigate built shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. After being ordered on 30 October 1812, Trincomalee was built in Bombay, in teak, due to oak shortages in Britain as a result of shipbuilding drives for the Napoleonic Wars.
With a construction cost of £23,000, Trincomalee was launched on 12 October 1817 and sailed for Portsmouth Dockyard where she arrived on 30 April 1819. During the maiden voyage the ship arrived at Saint Helena on 24 January 1819 where she stayed for 6 days, leaving with an additional passenger, a surgeon who had attended Napoleon at Longwood House on the island.
After being fitted out at a further cost of £2,400, Trincomalee was placed in reserve until 1845, when she was re-armed with fewer guns giving greater firepower, had her stern reshaped and was reclassified as a sixth-rate spar-decked corvette.
She is now restored as a museum ship in Hartlepool. The ship’s website is: http://www.hms-trincomalee.co.uk/
HMS Caroline. HMS Caroline is a decommissioned C-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy that saw combat service in the First World War and served as an administrative centre in the Second World War. Caroline was launched and commissioned in 1914. At the time of her decommissioning in 2011 she was the second-oldest ship in Royal Navy service, after HMS Victory. She served as a static headquarters and training ship for the Royal Naval Reserve, based in Alexandra Dock, Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the later stages of her career. She was converted into a museum ship. From October 2016 she underwent inspection and repairs to her hull at Harland and Wolff and opened to the public on 1st July 2017 at Alexandra Dock in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.
Caroline was the last remaining British First World War light cruiser in service, and she is the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland still afloat. She is also one of only three surviving Royal Navy warships of the First World War, along with the 1915 Monitor HMS M33 (in Portsmouth dockyard), and the Flower-class sloop HMS President (1918), (formerly HMS Saxifrage) usually moored on the Thames at Blackfriars but as from February 2016, in Number 3 Basin, Chatham.
The website address is: https://www.nmrn.org.uk/exhibitions-projects/hms-caroline-belfast-tourist-attraction
Good Luck and do let us have any good photos of the ships that you take and that we can publish.
Queen&rsquos South Africa Medal, China Medal 1900, 1914-15 Star Trio, Naval L.S. and G.C., Chief Engine Room Artificer Thomas Dyer, Royal Navy, Killed in Action on HMS Black Prince on 31st May 1916, Battle of Jutland.
Q.S.A. impressed: &ldquoT. Dyer. E.R.A. 4. CL., H.M.S. TERRIBLE.&rdquo
China impressed: &ldquoT. Dyer. E.R.A. 3. CL. H.M.S. TERRIBLE.&rdquo
1914-15 Star Trio impressed: &ldquo269017 T. Dyer. C.E.R.A. 1. R.N.&rdquo
Naval LSGC impressed: &ldquo269017 Thomas Dyer. C.E.R.A. 1CL. HMS Topaze.&rdquo
Thomas Dyer was born on 2nd September 1874 in Alverstoke, Hants. He was working as a Fitter and Turner when he joined the Royal Navy on 27th April 1897 at HMS Victory II.
He joined his first Ship, HMS Terrible as Engine Room Artificer 4th Class on 7th July 1898. Being promoted to E.R.A. 3rd Class on 27th April 1900.
He served onboard the ship until 24th October 1902, during which time he was on board and took part in both the Second Boer War and the Third China War, the Boxer Rebellion.
Continuing his Naval career he served on HMS Firequeen (1904-5), HMS Erebus, HMS Vulcan (1905-7), HMS Orion (1907), HMS Aboukir (1907), HMS Egmont (1907), HMS Vernon (1907-9), HMS Hindustan (1909-12), HMS Hecla (1912), HMS Topaze II (1912), HMS Minerva II (1912-13), HMS Attentive (1914), HMS Fisgard (22/03/1914-20/04/1914).
During this time he had advanced to Acting Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class (HMS Drake) on 1st October 1903, Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class (HMS Firequeen) on 1st October 1904.
Finally becoming Chief Engine Room Artificer 1st Class (HMS Victory II), 29th September 1909.
Before WW1 broke out he had joined the crew of HMS Black Prince on 21st April 1914, he would served with the ship until it was sunk.
During this period as one of the 4 armoured cruisers of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, they participated in the pursuit of the Goeben and Breslau, when Black Prince captured German Ocean Liners Sudmark and Istria.
Then after a refit in March 1916 they took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916.
For many years after the battle, the circumstances of the sinking of the Black Prince was somewhat of a mystery, as a member of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, the ships were sent out as part of a screening force several miles out ahead of the Grand Fleet, but Black Prince lost contact with the rest of the Squadron as it came into contact with German Forces, at about 17:42, soon afterwards, 2 more members of the 1st Cruiser Squadron, HMS Defence and HMS Warrior, were heavily engaged by German Battleships and battle cruisers, with Defence blowing up and Warrior receiving heavy damage, later causing her to sink.
The German&rsquos made their own account as they witnessed the sinking. HMS Black Prince briefly engaged the German Battleship Rehinland at about 23:35 GMT, scoring 2 hits with 6-inch shells. They were far separated from the rest of the British fleet, Black Prince approached the German lines shortly after midnight. She turned away from the German battleships, but it was too late. Then German battleship Thuringen fixed Black Prince in her searchlights and opened fire. Up to 5 other German Ships joined the attack, including Nassau, Ostfriesland, Friedrich der Grosse starting a massive bombardment, with any return fire from Black Prince being ineffective. Most of the German ships were between 750 and 1500 yards of the Black Prince, which was considered effectively point blank range for contemporary naval.
As a result the Black Prince was a sitting duck and was hit by at least 12 heavy shells and several smaller ones, she sank within 15 minutes. There were 0 survivors, all 857 of her crew were killed in action.
during the Great War 1914-1918.
- Abbott William. Able Seaman (d.31 May 1916)
- Alborn Walter Cecil. Engine Room Artificer 4th (d.31 May 1916)
- Algeo John. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Allen Henry. Boy 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Allen William. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Allsop Frederick Stanley. Boy 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Ambler Arthur William. Armourer (d.31 May 1916)
- Anderson Alfred George. Officers Steward 3rd Clas (d.31 May 1916)
- Anderson John. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Ansted Alfred Charles. Able Seaman (d.31 May 1916)
- Applin Henry Cecil. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Archdeacon . Petty Officer (d.31 May 1916)
- Armitage George. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Armstrong Alfred James. Private (d.31 May 1916)
- Arnell William Arthur. Able Seaman (d.31 May 1916)
- Ash Joseph. Boy 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Aspinall Frederick Stewart. Private (d.31 May 1916)
- Atkin William Herbert. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Atkinson William George. Stoker 1st Class (d.31 May 1916)
- Austin Frank. Petty Officer Stoker (d.31 May 1916)
- Ayling Alfred John. Private (d.31 May 1916)
- Chichester Robert Charles. Lt. (d.31st May 1916)
- Coombs Harry. Chief Stkr (d.31st May 1916)
- Dash Herbert. Gunner. (d.31st May 1916)
- Hellyer Henry. PO.Stkr. (d.31st May 1916)
- Kemp Norman Parkhurst. Able Sea. (d.31st May 1916)
- MacCormac John Sides Davies. Surgn.-Lt. (d.31st May 1916)
- Pitt George. Stoker. (d.31st May 1916)
- Quintrell Alfred Leslie. Wireman. (d.31st May 1916)
- Russell Fred. Stoker. (d.31st May 1916)
- Stainer Sidney Herbert. Able Sea. (d.31st May 1916)
- Waddell George Edward. AbleSea. (d.31st May 1916)
- Wills Thomas Percy. Able Sea. (d.31st May 1916)
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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The battleship known as The Billy Ruffian was used on Canadian currency
Bellerophon was at Jutland as part of Admiral Doveton Sturdee’s 4th Battle Division. She left the battle undamaged and had fired around 62 heavy shells.
When Bellerophon later crossed the area where Rear Admiral Horace Hood had been killed with almost his entire ship’s company, a 19 year old “snottie” (a term, I won’t say of endearment, used for midshipmen in the Royal Navy), commented on the terrible carnage.
“During the lull we came out of the turrets to get some fresh air and there, floating around us, was a whole mass of bodies and débris – some of our sailors were cheering because they thought they were Germans, but unfortunately they were from the Invincible. It was a terrible experience and my first experience of death.”
HMS Bellerophon was on the Royal Bank of Canada’s 1913 $10 note.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Trivia Quiz
- Built as part of the Royal Navy's expansion during the First World War, HMS M.33 launched in March 1915, two months after she had been ordered.
Designed as a Monitor ship the role of HMS M.33 was that of coastal bombardment, being fitted with two six inch naval guns. Her shallow draft of less than two metres meant that HMS M.33 could anchor close to shore, bombarding enemy positions. As a result, HMS M.33 first saw action in the fateful Dardanelle campaign, supporting troops during the Gallipoli landings.
However, HMS M.33's shallow draft meant that she faced a perilous voyage, having to be towed to where she was stationed during the Battle of Gallipoli. There HMS M.33 gained the reputation of being a "lucky" ship, suffering no casualties or serious damage.
After the failure of the Gallipoli landings, HMS M.33 served in the Mediterranean, and then in 1919, supporting the White Sea Fleet in the Baltic during the Russian Revolution, again suffering no serious casualties or damage despite being hit.
After the war, HMS M.33 became a mine laying training ship named HMS Minerva, later being used as an office, workshop, boom defence and tender. In 1943 her engines and boiler was removed, eventually being retired from service in 1984, sold off to the Hartlepool Ship Preservation Trust.
A few years later, HMS M.33 returned to Portsmouth after Hampshire County Council recognising the significance of the ship's past history during WW 1. Placed in Dry Dock No. 1 (close to HMS Victory), HMS M.33 was restored as to how she would have looked during her service with the White Sea Fleet, her upper decks refurbished and restored. Inside, evidence of HMS M.33s post WW 1 service can be found as it is largely bare and unrestored.
In addition, leaving the inside of the ships hull gives visitors a sense of living conditions on board HMS M.33 as it is boiling hot inside during the summer, yet freezing cold in winter. Even the senior ranks quarters on the deck were cramped. It is little wonder HMS M.33 was described as "a metal box, lacking comforts".
With the departure of the Roman forces, various Kings of England used Portsmouth as bases to assemble ships, but it was Henry VIII who invested heavily in Portsmouth's dockyard, laying the foundations for the Royal Navy's presence at Portsmouth.
During the wars with the French in the 18th and 19th centuries, French prisoners of war were employed to dredge the harbour and expand the docks.
Portsmouth's history expansion as a commercial port can be traced back to the late 12th century when a merchant named Jean de Gisors created a small town on Portsea Island - where much of Portsmouth is now located. The port grew with the export of grain and wool and importing such goods as wax, dyes and iron.
By the time of the Industrial Revolution, Portsmouth had grown significantly as a naval and commercial port - with ships also being built for the Royal Navy in Portsmouth. Today Portsmouth is home to a ferry terminal with boats sailing to France, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight. Also there is a commercial dock where over half the bananas that enter the UK are unloaded.
HMS Warrior was not the first ship to be driven by sail and steam. The Royal Navy and others had experimented with the same designs already. In addition, HMS Warrior was not the first ironclad ship either, as attempts to build such ships had already taken place including the French navy ship Glorie.
After she had been commissioned, HMS Warrior served the Royal Navy for 22 years before being decommissioned in 1883. By then, the arms race that HMS Warrior had fuelled had made her obsolete. Although decommissioned, HMS Warrior became a guard ship at various locations, a teaching ship, jetty and oil hulk, still serving the Royal Navy.