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Eclipse class masted cruisers of the Royal Navy launched from 1875-77. Ships in the class were HMS Eclipse, HMS Diana, HMS Dido, HMS Doris, HMS Isis, HMS Juno, HMS Minerva, HMS Talbot and HMS Venus.  ordered under the Spencer naval programme of 1893. These second class cruisers had a larger displacement than previous 2nd class cruisers and also a heavier calibre of armament.

HMS Diana was built at Fairfields and laid down on the 13th August 1894, being launched 5th December 1895. completed for service 15th June 1897.  She serve din the Mediterranean until 1913 and transferred back the the UK to the 3rd Fleet at Devonport. At the outbreak of war HMS Diana joined the The Cruiser Force G in the English Channel. and on the 6tyh August captured A German Schooner. In February 1915  she joined the 12th cruiser squadron and was transferred in November 1915 to the China Station until August 1917, moving to the red Sea and Indian Ocean until the end of the war. In June 1919 she was paid off at Queenstown and scrapped in 1920

HMS Dido was built at London and Glasgow and laid down on the 30th August 1894, being launched 20th March 1896. completed for service 10th May 1898. In 1907 HMS Dido joined the the Channel Fleet then in 1909  joined the Home Fleet at the Nore. 1sr battle squadron in 1909 - 1910 and then went to Chatham for refit. In September 1911 joined the Home fleet at the Nore again

HMS Doris was built at Barrow by Naval Construction and Armaments Company and laid down on the 29th August 1894, being launched 3rd March 1896. completed for service 18th November 1897.

HMS Juno was built at Barrow by Naval Construction and Armaments Company and laid down on the 22nd June 1894, being launched 16th November 1895. completed for service 16th June 1897.

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Diana 5th December 1895 Sold for scrap in 1920.
HMS Dido 20th March 1896 Sold for scrap in 1926.
HMS Doris 3rd March 1896 Sold for scrap in 1919.
HMS Eclipse 19th July 1894 Sold in 1921.
HMS Isis 27th June 1896 Sold for scrap in 1920.
HMS Juno 16th November 1895 Sold for scrap in 1920.
HMS Minerva 23rd September 1895 Sold in 1920.
HMS Venus 5th September 1895 Sold in 1921.
HMS Talbot 25th April 1895 Sold for scrap in 1921.
HMS Diana

HMS Diana was built at Fairfields and laid down on the 13th August 1894, being launched 5th December 1895. completed for service 15th June 1897.  She serve din the Mediterranean until 1913 and transferred back the the UK to the 3rd Fleet at Devonport. At the outbreak of war HMS Diana joined the The Cruiser Force G in the English Channel. and on the 6tyh August captured A German Schooner. In February 1915  she joined the 12th cruiser squadron and was transferred in November 1915 to the China Station until August 1917, moving to the red Sea and Indian Ocean until the end of the war. In June 1919 she was paid off at Queenstown and scrapped in 1920

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Diana.

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Not available for reproduction.

HMS Diana.

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HMS Diana anchored in Malta's Grand Harbour in 1919.

Commander Halsey's Navy Eight from HMS Diana - winners of the United Service Challenge Cup in 1902.

HMS Diana - Name History

The eleventh “DIANA” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser launched at Govan in 1895.  She is of 5600 tons, 9600 horse-power, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 21ft. 

HMS Dido

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Dido

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HMS Dido at speed

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HMS Dido

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HMS Dido, 1907.

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Officers of HMS Dido, c.1910.

Surnames; back row from left: Wright, Egerton, Weller, Birch, Shore, Blake, Bateman, Lyon, De Pass, Boyd, Finnis, Mackay

Front Row from left: Bradbury, Comdr Wrightson, Captn Sandeman, Eng Comdr Gastes, St Surg Jones.

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HMS Dido - Name History

The fifth “DIDO” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser launched at Glasgow in 1896.  She is of 5600 tons, 9600 horse-power, and 19.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 21ft. At her launch on March 17th an unusual accident occurred.  As the ship was moving into the water the ground under the ways suddenly sank, and the ship was thrown out of the cradle, sustaining serious damage.  She lay half in and half out of the water for three days before she was finally floated.  In 1900 the “Dido,” commanded by Captain Philip Francis Tillard, played a minor part in the third China War or Boxer Riots.  

HMS Doris

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Doris.

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HMS Doris.

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HMS Doris.

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HMS Doris.

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HMS Doris

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A Piper pictured on HMS Doris c.1904

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HMS Doris

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Memorial to those lost from HMS Doris during the Boer War, erected at Devonport.

The text from the central panel reads as follows:  This gun, captured from the Boers during the South African War 1899-1902 has been erected here by the officers and men of HMS Doris in memory of their shipmates who lost their lives in that campaign.

The names on the memorial we can make out are: Francis Coleman, A.B.; Matthew Wise, A.B.; William Lockett, Storer; W I Phillips; Lewis Wells.  There are 9 other names that are indecipherable.  Is the monument still there?  Can you help us with the remaining names?

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HMS Doris - Name History

The fourth ”DORIS” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser launched at Barrow in 1896.  She is of 5600 tons, 9600 horse-power, and 19.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 21ft.  In 1899 and 1900 the “Doris,” commanded by Captain Reginald C. Prothero, and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Harris, played an important part in the second Boer War.  On November 19th the “Doris” contributed to a Naval Brigade of 350 men, commanded by Captain Reginald C. Prothero, which proceeded to the front, and three days later joined General Lord Methuen at Belmont.  On November 25th the Naval Brigade fought at the battle of graspan.  The men paraded at 5a.m. and after the kopje had been shelled the seamen and marines, led by the flag Captain, advanced on the enemy’s position.  The Boers opened a heavy fire at 600 yards and soon supplemented it with a cross fire.  Nevertheless the brigade advanced steadily by rushes, and in spite of a loss of 15 killed and 79 wounded gained the summit of the kopje, driving the Boers thence in full retreat.  So many officers had been killed and wounded, among the latter Flag Captain Prothero, that the command of the Naval Brigade developed upon Captain Alfred Edmund Marchant, R. M. L. I., who was once promoted to the rank of major.  Thus, for the first time for many years, a Naval Brigade, composed of both Bluejackets and marines, had the honour of being commanded by an officer of the Royal Marines.  A feature of the attack was the bravery of Midshipman Cymbeline Huddart of the “Doris,” who, though twice hit, courageously pressed forward until mortally wounded.  Her Majesty the late Queen Victoria was pleased to honour the Naval Brigade by telegraphing her congratulations on its gallantry, and Lord Methuen paid it a special visit and complimented it on its splendid behaviour.  On December 14th the Naval guns were in action bombarding the Boer positions at Modder River, and a Naval searchlight worked by Midshipman James Menzies of the “Doris” got into communication with the beleagured town of Kimberley.  In February two 4.7-guns proceeded to the front under Commander William Lowther Grant of the “Doris,” and subsequently took part in the battle of Paardeberg and the capture of General Cronje.  This party assisted in the capture of Bloemfontein, and suffered very severely indeed from enteric fever, no fewer than 89 officers and men being taken ill there.  They assisted in the capture of Johannesburg and of Pretoria, and in the subsequent minor operations, turning the guns over to the Royal Artillery, and arriving back on board the “Doris” on October 7th, 1900.  After the battle of Paardeberg General Piet Cronje, his wife, grandson, aide-de-camp, and adjutant were held onboard the flagship “Doris” for about six weeks, previous to their transportation to the Island of St. Helena.  They lived in the Commander-in-Chief’s suite of cabins.  The dress worn by Mrs. Cronje on arrival was badly stained with picric acid, from the bursting of lyddite shell over the trenches, in which she had lain with a noteworthy gallantry. 

HMS Eclipse

HMS Eclipse.

HMS Eclipse.

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HMS Eclipse, 1897.

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HMS Eclipse, 1909.

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Crew of HMS Eclipse on the China Station in 1902.

Contributed by Roger Jones.

HMS Eclipse - Name History

The seventh “ECLIPSE” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Portsmouth in 1894.  She is of 5600 tons, 9600 horse-power, and 19.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 53ft., and 20ft.  This vessel became a sea-going training ship for Naval cadets.

HMS Juno

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Juno - Name History

The eighth “JUNO” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Barrow in 1895.  She is of 5600 tons, 9600 horse-power, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 21ft.  In 1901 the “Juno,” commanded by Captain H.O. Routh, was employed as escort to H.M.S. “Ophir” during the tour of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (now their Majesties King George V. and Queen Mary) to the colonies.  In 1912 and 1913 the “Juno” acted as a parent ship of two of the torpedo-boat destroyer flotillas at Harwich.

HMS Juno. 

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HMS Juno.

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HMS Juno.

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HMS Juno.

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Captain G H Cherry ad the officers of HMS Juno c.1900. Captain Cherry was replaced by Captain H P Routh later in this year.

Crew of HMS Juno.  Photograph taken during the First World War.

Sent in by Michael Hearn, whose grandfather served on the ship.

HMS Minerva

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Minerva, January 1915.

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HMS Minerva with HMS Rainbow and HMS Hyacinth behind her at the Royal Review in 1902.

HMS Minerva pictured c.1908. 

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HMS Minerva c.1902

Captain F O Pike and the officers of the Minerva. Some of these officers were transferred from HMS Champion.

HMS Venus

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

HMS Venus pictured c.1908. 

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HMS Venus, 1902.

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HMS Talbot

Displacement: 5600 tons.    I.H.P: c.8,000    Length: 350 feet.    Beam: 53 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 20 ft 6 ins.    Speed: c.18.5 knots.     Complement: 450.

The second-class cruiser Talbot was commissioned for the North America and West Indies Station on September 15th by Captain Edward H Gamble who had previously commanded Raleigh, St George and Endymion. The Talbot was a new type of ship which was only 10 ft shorter than the first-class cruisers of the Edgar class and she was also one knot faster.

HMS Talbot, 1906.

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HMS Talbot pictured c.1908. 

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HMS Talbot 

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HMS Talbot, 1897

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HMS Talbot c.1915

HMS Talbot.

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HMS Talbot.

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Serving Out a Day's Fresh Meat Ration 1896

The photograph shows the butcher of the Talbot cutting up a day's provision of meat, while the ship's steward weighs a piece which is being carefully observed by that "cook of the mess" who is standing by with his tin dish ready to receive it. Close at hand is the officer of the day (Lieut Paton) who is on the spot to inspect the quality of the provisions. In harbour - the Talbot was at Devonport when this photograph was taken in 1896 - one pound of fresh meat was issued to each man every day. At sea, the meat rations were: every other day, one pound of salt pork; on one alternate day, one pound of salt beef; on the other alternate day, three-quarters of a pound of preserved meat.

The Company of the Talbot 1896

The company are grouped on the forecastle and the rigging. They numbered 412 all told, and was usual for ships going abroad for a three year commission, are mostly young men and therefore better suited to learn their work quickly and well.

Captain E H Gamble and Officers of the Talbot 1896

On the Captains right is Lieutenant J B Finlaison, R.M.L.I., who was in command of the Marine detachment on board, and on the Captain's left is Commander Lewis Bayly, the executive officer of the ship.

 

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Naval Historians and Enthusiasts Noticeboard

 

MESSAGES

Eclipse Class Cruiser.. I was hoping that someone might be able to identify the name of the ship (shown left). The crew are in white uniforms with straw hats and the aft crows nest has two quick firing guns. I would be grateful for any comments. Contact Terry Baldwin at Terry@baldwin3b.freeserve.co.uk

HMS DIDO

Can anyone help me? I am looking for information on HMS Dido during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 in China. If you can help contact Eric at chessmaster@ntlworld.com 

HMS DIANA

CAN ANYONE HELP:  Looking for photo's and Information of HMS Diana.  Please contact Charles Kitching at charleskitching@onetel.net.uk 

HMS DORIS

FREDERICK GEORGE DOVE... Could anyone help me please. I am trying to research the ships and station that my grandfather served upon during the period 10th June 1910 - 11th February 1922. He served on the following ships: Europa (March - April 1912), Doris/Monmouth (1912-1914), Talbot (Jan 1914), Argyle (1914-1915), Conqueror (1915-1919), Lord Nelson (1919), Pembroke/Egremont (1919-1920) and Crescent (1920-1922). Any information regarding these ships will be gratefully accepted. contact Joe Smitheringale at joseph@smitheringale5224.freeserve.co.uk 

HMS ECLIPSE

Looking for any info of crew on Eclipse on the China Station especially stokers, have a photo of stokers taken aboard, also any info on Capt R H S Stokes, CO of Eclipse.   Contact here 

HMS JUNO 

PHILLIP CHAPMAN..  Could anyone tell me what happened to HMS Jumno during WW1 on the 13th August 1915?  My uncle Phillip Chapman was killed on that day aged 21 and I would very much like to know how, if possible.  Contact here 

PHILIP CAINE: Petty Officer 2nd Class and leading Torpedo man on HMS Juno, Killed on 31st May 1904? If you have any information on HMS Juno at this time please contact Ian Faulds at faulds@mcb.net 

HMS TALBOT

PERCY SHARP.. I am in desperate search of a Percy or Percival Sharp who was with HMS Talbot. I would like to find out about him as my mother-in-law has always wanted to find out whatever happened to her Uncle. This is all the information I have. Please contact me with any information at kelly.parsloe@locsoft.com 

HMS VENUS

Looking for any information on HMS Venus, supposedly commissioned in Chatham dockyard in 1897. Contact me at Andrewranger1@aol.com 

HMS MINERVA

JOHN KERSLAKE.. I am looking for any info on this ship and how often her crew changed.  For example is it possible after 1901, John Kerslake remained with this ship until WWI?  Is this ship currently being restored in Portsmouth?  How do I find out whee crew members were transferred to?  John remained in the navy until after WWI at least.  Contact Here 

 

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