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HMS Canopus - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Canopus

Name : HMS Canopus
Laid Down : 4th January 1897
Launched : 13th October 1897
Completed : December 1899
Type : Battleship
Class : Canopus
Builder : Portsmouth
Country : UK
Pennants :
Fate : Scrapped 18th February 1920.

HMS Canopus. Built at Portsmouth Dockyard and laid down on the 4th January 1897, launched 21st June 1898 and completed December 1899, at a cost of 783,721. Only one of the class to serve in the Mediterranean fleet instead of the China station until returning to the Channel fleet in 1906 and in that year went into refit, to receive dire control. Further refitting was done while with the reserve at Portsmouth with reduced crew in 1908 - 09, on returning to the fleet she served as the parent ship for the 4th Division at the Nore and with the home fleet from May 1912 and again refitted at Chatham dockyard In 1913. HMS Canopus was stationed at Pembroke and at the outbreak of the great war joined the 8th battle squadron of the Channel fleet, under Admiral Stoddart on the Cape Verde Station and acted as guardship at St Vincent, and then to Abrolhos Rocks a coaling Station in the South Atlantic. Soon after she was sent to the Falkland Islands When HMS Canopus arrived at Port Stanley in bad condition and needing repairs. Admiral Cradock was concerned with the poor sailing speed of the Canopus. The Canpus was separated from the main fleet and was ordered to sail with two colliers to sail to the Island of St. Felix where they were to await the fleet. But the fleet never arrived as they were decimated by the German squadron. The Canopus returned to Porrt Stanley where she became berthed in the mud at the entrance of the port, under captain Heathcoat Grant. With the German squadron expected to attack, HMS Canopus guarded the entrance with her 12-inch guns, as well as the outer entrance was mined and also there were three batteries of twelve pounders. HMS Canopus was the only ship at Port Stanley when Von Spee's ships appeared. Canopus opened fire with the first shot in the battle of the Falkland Islands. Due to this fire and also seeing the tripod masts of the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible, Von Spee withdrew his ships. If he has attacked Port Stanley he certainly would have inflicted major damage. After the destruction of Von Spees squadron, HMS Canopus returned to Abrolhos Rocks. From February 1915 she was sent to the Mediterranean to support the Dardanelles expedition. While there she had a narrow escape from a torpedo from a German submarine, the same night her sister ship HMS Ocean was sunk. HMS Canopus was also damaged by Turkish gunfire on 28th April and 2nd May 1915, and was involved in grounding off Gaba Tepe. In October 1915 she transported troops to Salonika. She returned to Chatham docks on Tuesday 2nd May 1916. On returning back to Britain she became the guard ship on the East Coast until 1918 when she was sent to Devonport, where she became a accommodation ship until being sold to the breakers in 1920.

Displacement: 12,950 tons. Length: 410 ft. Beam: 74 ft. Draught: 26.5 ft. Complement: 750. Armament: four 12 ins guns, twelve 6 ins guns, ten 3 ins guns, six 3 pounder guns and two maxims with four torpedo tubes.

The crew of HMS Canapus on commissioned was Officers: Executive Officers 27, Civil Branch officers 16 and Warrant Officers 6. All Ratings (Seaman Class) 356. Signalmen 11 Engine Room Staff 142 Artisans 28 Sick Berth Staff 3 Accounting Staff 5 Naval Police, Cooks, Bandsman 41 Royal Marines Royal Marine Artillery 50 Royal marines (Royal marine Light Infantry)

HMS Canopus Photos for Sale
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Completing HMS Canopus at Portsmouth.


HMS Canopus, 1899


HMS Canopus, 1915.


HMS Canopus

Photos Submitted Through Our Directory



Completing HMS Canopus at Portsmouth.

Other images featuring this ship :





HMS Albion being towed by HMS Canopus, May 1915.

Timeline Entries :


January 1897 - Laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard
12th October 1897 - Launched
5th December 1899 - Commissioned
1900 - Mediterranean and Red Sea Fleet
1901 - Mediterranean and Red Sea Fleet
23rd January 1901 - At Malta
22nd October 1901 - At Malta
1902 - Mediterranean and Red Sea Fleet
December 1902 - Mediterranean Fleet
1903 - Mediterranean and Red Sea Fleet
1906 - Channel Fleet
June 1906 - Captain Douglas A. Gamble, MVO in Command
June 1906 - Channel Fleet
20th September 1906 - At Portsmouth with defects
20th September 1906 - Capt. D.A. Gamble in Command
1907 - Channel Fleet
3rd August 1907 - Fleet review Spithead
6th August 1907 - On Home Fleet Exercises
1908 - Assisted in the Messina earthquake
1909 - Mediterranean Fleet
8th August 1914 - 7th Battle Squadron in Reserve at Devonport
August 1915 - At Gallipoli
28th January 1920 - Sold For Break Up

HMS Canopus Artwork Collection
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The Canopus off Gibraltar by Charles Dixon.

The Canopus opening fire on Admiral Graf Von Spees Fleet from behind a tongue of land at the Falklands Islands.

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Database Currently Holds : 6273 ships and 6288 crew!

Last edited : 17:21, August 7, 2012
By : kc


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