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Devonshire Class 

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Naval histories of the Devonshire Class cruisers of the Royal Navy. Cruisers in this class included HMS Argyll built at Greenock, HMS Antrim built at Clydebank, HMS Carnarvon built at Beardsmore, HMS Devonshire built at Chatham, HMS Roxburgh built at London and Glasgow and HMS Hampshire built at Elswick. 

Displacement: 10,700 tons.   Speed: 22.25 knots.   Complement: 655.   Length: 450 ft.   Beam: 68.5 ft.   Draught: 25.5 ft.   Armament: four 7.5 in guns, six 6 in guns, two 2 pounder guns, twenty-two 3 pounder guns and two maxims plus two torpedo tubes.

HMS Antrim 8th October 1903 Sold and broken up 19th December 1922.
HMS Argyll 3rd April 1904 Wrecked on 28th October 1915.
HMS Carnarvon 7th October 1903 Sold and broken up 8th November 1921.
HMS Devonshire 30th April 1904 Sold and broken up 9th May 1921.
HMS Hampshire 4th September 1903 Mined 5th June 1916.
HMS Roxburgh 19th January 1904 Sold 8th November 1921.
HMS Antrim

HMS Antrim at Anvers, July 1906.

Inset is Edward VII.

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HMS Antrim. 

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HMS Antrim, 1909.

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HMS Antrim, 1910.

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HMS Antrim.

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HMS Antrim 

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She started her service with the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Channel Fleet but moved to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in March 1907. In September the next year HMS Antrim joined the Atlantic Fleet and then served with the Home Fleet in the 3rd Division at Nore in April 1909. In December 1912 she became flagship to the Rear-Admiral in the 3rd Cruiser Squadron before joining the Grand Fleet in August 1914 and capturing a German merchant ship that same month. She survived a u-boat attack on 9th October and two years later in June she was sent to Archangel before being sent to the American and West Indies Station. HMS Antrim was put into reserve at the Nore in 1919 but was refitted as a wireless and Asdic trials ship and recommissioned in March 1920. She was then used as a Cadet Training Ship in 1922 before being sold for breaking in December 1922.

HMS Argyll

HMS Argyll - Name History

The second “Argyll” is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Greenock in 1904.  She is of 10,850 tons, 21,190 horsepower, and 22.4 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 450ft, 68ft, and 25ft.  From November 1911 to February 1912, the “Argyll,” commanded by Captain Michael Culme Seymour, had the honour of acting as one of the escort to H.M.S. “Medina.”  The “Medina,” flying The Royal Standard, was conveying the King-Emperor, His Majesty King George the Fifth to India, where her Majesty’s coronation Durbar was held at Delhi on December 12th, 1911.

HMS Argyll at Port Said, 1912.

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HMS Argyll.

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HMS Argyll.

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HMS Argyll   © Walker Archive. 

HMS Argyll

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HMS Argyll pictured c.1910. 

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The launch of HMS Argyll at Scott's, Greenock, 3rd March 1904.

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HMS Argyll pictured c.1909

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HMS Argyll was commissioned for the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet in 1906 but joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1909. HMS Argyll was detached from this squadron in order to carry out escort duties to the Royal Yacht SS Medina in 1911. In March 1912, she joined the 3rd Cruiser Squadron but was later damaged by running aground in Plymouth Sound in December of that year. In August 1914 she joined the Grand Fleet and managed to capture a German merchant ship on the 6th. The crew of HMS Argyll survived when she was wrecked on the Bell Rock near Dundee on the 28th October 1915.

The crew of HMS Argyll c.1908.

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HMS Carnarvon
HMS Carnarvon

HMS Carnarvon served with the Mediterranean Fleet in the 3rd Cruiser Squadron until March 1907 three months after this she was recommissioned and joined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic Fleet. She then moved to the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet in April 1909 and in March 1912 she transferred again to the 2nd Fleet at Devonport and became the flagship of the 5th Cruiser Squadron until the outbreak of the first world war. HMS Carnarvon captured a German merchant ship on the 24th of August 1914 after moving to Cape Verde at the beginning of that month. She moved to Montevideo in October 1914 and later led cruisers at the Battle of the Falklands on 12th December 1914. In March 1915, after repairs were completed at Rio de Janeiro for tears to her plating in February 1916, she continued to serve on the North American and West Indies Station until November 1918. In 1919 she served as a cadets training ship until sold in March 1921.

HMS Carnarvon, May 1915.

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HMS Carnarvon.  

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HMS Carnarvon.Contributed by email.

HMS Devonshire

HMS Devonshire

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HMS Devonshire.  Original photo book plate 6" x 4" published 1915 by Eveleigh Nash.  Price £10.  Order Code FW1527

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HMS Devonshire, c.1908.

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HMS Devonshire, 1910.

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Before transferring to the Atlantic Fleet in March 1907 HMS Devonshire served with the Channel Fleet in the 1st Cruiser Squadron. She then moved to the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet stationed at Devonport in August 1909 and continued there until 1912 when she moved to the 5th Cruiser Squadron. From 1913 until 1916 she served with the 3rd Cruiser Squadron. HMS Devonshire was then sent to Scapa Flow where on 6th August, like her sister ships, she captured a German merchant ship. She was given a refit at Cromarty in September 1914 and then served in Norwegian waters until April 1916. The Devonshire was then stationed at the Nore in 1916 later joining the 7th Cruiser Squadron in July 1919 before serving in the North America and West Indies Station from December 1916 until the end of 1918. She was then sold and scrapped in May 1921.

HMS Hampshire

HMS Hampshire, 1909.

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HMS Hampshire, 1912.

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HMS Hampshire 

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HMS Hampshire.

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The Hampshire served with the Channel Fleet in the 1st Cruiser Squadron until given a refit at Portsmouth in December 1908. She was then recommissioned into the Home Fleet, 3rd Division in August 1909 and then transferred to the 6th Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet in December 1911. HMS Hampshire was then moved to China until the beginning of world war one. On 11th August 1914 she too captured a German merchant ship and then took part in the hunt for the German ship Emden. At the end of 1914 she joined the Grand Fleet and, in January 1915, became part of the 7th Cruiser Squadron. HMS Hampshire was then given the job of protecting shipping in the White Sea during November 1915. When she took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, she was serving with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron. After taking Lord Kitchener and his staff on board she headed to North Russia but struck a mine off the Orkney Islands on 5th June 1916, losing all but 12 crew.   ** The graves of those men whose bodies were recovered are to be found at the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery on the isle of Hoy, Orkney, together with a memorial stone. - thanks to Joyce Wilson.

The officers of HMS Hampshire before she was mined. 

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Members of crew from HMS Hampshire.

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HMS Roxburgh

Until the end of 1908, HMS Roxburgh served with the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Channel Fleet. After a refit at Devonport she joined the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet in August 1909. She was then moved to the 5th Cruiser Squadron in June 1912. In December 1912 she was ordered to protect the stranded SS Ludgate off Morocco. HMS Roxburgh then joined the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in February 1913 before joining the Grand Fleet in August the next year. On 6th August that year she captured a German merchant ship along with HMS Argyll. After a refit in January 1915, she was hit by torpedoes from German u-boat U39 and sustained damage to her bow on 20th June 1915. Repaired in April 1916 she was sent to Norwegian waters and later on in September of that year she served on the North America and West Indies Station until the Armistice. She rammed and sank German u-boat U89 while escorting a convoy off the coast of Northern Ireland on 12th February 1918. In 1919 she went into reserve but then became a wireless trials ship before being sold in 1921.

HMS Roxburgh.

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HMS Roxburgh.

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HMS Roxburgh

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British cruiser at Kristiania in 1906.   

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Our message board system has now been upgraded to a discussion forum at worldnavalships.com.  Any messages on this page are now archive messages kept here to service those who left the messages originally.   Click Here to go to the new Forum

Naval Historians, Crew & Family Noticeboard

MESSAGES

HMS CARNARVON

GEORGE HUMPHREY..  My grandfather served on Carnarvon at the Falklands Battle.  He was a boy Gunner, and with the permission of the First Officer, kept a detailed Log of the battle and the Cruise of Carnarvon in 1914.  Detailing day to day life aboard one of His Majestys Ships in WW1.  The Imperial War Museum has expressed a keen interest in this log and at this moment have a copy they are studying with the intent to purchase.  I doubt that there are any ex sailors from Carnarvon around today, but if anyone is interested, my grandad was George Humphrey from Stepney, East London.  Contact Here 

HMS ROXBURGH

C STAPELS/STAPLES.. Picture of crewman from HMS Roxburgh (see hatband) during WWI. His name was  C. Stapels (or Staples) according to the message on the back. Possibly Charles Staples - a cousin of my grandmother. The picture was sent from HMS Venus and not Roxburgh - Was there a connection between the two vessels or was he simply transferred and hadn't acquired a new hatband yet? Any help or comments contact me at pete.bewers@lineone.net 

LANDON   My father served on HMS Roxburgh during the 1914-18 war and I am interested to find out about the history of the ship during this period and to see any photographs anyone may have. Please contact me Geoff Landon at geofflandon@yahoo.com 

 

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