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Hermes Class light cruisers built before World War I. Ships in the class were HMS Hermes, HMS Highflyer, HMS Hyacinth, HMS Challenger and HMS Encounter.

HMS Hermes 7th April 1898 Converted to take seaplanes in 1912.
HMS Highflyer 4th June 1898 Sold for scrapping in June 1921.
HMS Hyacinth 27th October 1898 Sold for scrapping in November 1923.
HMS Challenger 27th May 1902 Sold for scrapping on 31st May 1920.
HMS Encounter 18th June 1902 Loaned to the New Zealand Navy in July 1912 and then transferred permanently in December 1919. She was scuttled in September 1923.

HMS Hermes

HMS Hermes, 1899.

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HMS Hermes, 1899.

A large image size 10" x 7" approx, is available.  Reproduced from the original negative / photo under license from MPL, the copyright holder.  A signed numbered certificate is supplied. Price £25.   Order photograph here.  Order Code  XMP1037

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HMS Hermes.

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HMS Hermes, 1913.

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HMS Hermes in 1914 before she was sunk

HMS Hermes before she was torpedoed by U27 on31st October 1914. 

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Channel Fleet : Dismounting 6-in. Gun for Examination (HMS Hermes)

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HMS Hermes.

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HMS Hermes.

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HMS Highflyer

HMS Highflyer - Name History

The fourth “HIGHFLYER” is an 8-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Govan in 1898.  She is of 5600 tons, 10,000 horse-power, and 20 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 20ft.  From November 1902 to March 1903 the “Highflyer,” commanded by Captain Arthur H. Christian flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Drury, was at the head of the squadron of six ships which took part in the Somaliland campaign in various coastal capacities.  The ships assisted in landing troops and stores, in transport work, and in the prevention of delivery of munitions of war to the enemy.  Three officers attached to the “Highflyer” were landed, and assisted the progress of the campaign with a wireless telegraphy apparatus.  In August 1914 the “Highflyer,” commanded by Captain Henry T. Buller, was employed on the north -west African coast protecting British trade.  On August 27 she met the German armed ship “Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse” off the Oro River, and after a short engagement in which the “Highflyer” lost one man killed and about six wounded, the German ship was sunk.

HMS Highflyer, with HMS Narcissus, 1905.

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HMS Highflyer with SS Marmora, 1916.

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HMS Highflyer, 1900.

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HMS Highflyer, in dock, 1900.

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HMS Highflyer, 1913.   

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HMS Highflyer.  Photo published 1915.

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HMS Highflyer.

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HMS Highflyer.

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HMS Highflyer.

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HMS Highflyer in Muscat of Oman. Picture sent in by Damien Handslip.

HMS Highflyer in Calcutta. Picture sent in by Damien Handslip

HMS Highflyer

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HMS Highflyer.Contributed by email.

HMS Hyacinth

HMS Hyacinth - Name History

The fifth “HYACINTH” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Glasgow in 1898.  She is of 5600 tons, 10,000 horse-power, and 20 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 350ft., 54ft., and 20ft.  In 1904 the “Hyacinth,” commanded by Captain the Hon. Horace Hood, and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral George Atkinson-Willes, was at the head of a squadron of three ships which took part in the Somaliland campaign.  On April 20th the “Hyacinth,” and “Fox” arrived off the Gulluli River after dark, and on the following day a small landing party went ashore under Flag-Captain Hood.  One hundred and twenty-five men of the Hampshire Regiment accompanied the sailors.  The brigade advanced upon Fort Illig in face from a brisk fire from rifles, and two old fashioned cannon loaded with mixed iron, and finally carried the place at the point of the bayonet.  The “Hyacinths’” subsequently cleared the village and some caves at the bottom of the cliffs.  The enemy left between 60 and 70 dead, and the British re-embarked with a loss of 3 killed and 11 wounded.  Fort Illig was then reduced, and the British ships withdrew.  At various dates the “Hyacinth,” while commanded by Captain J.D Dick and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.W. Slade, was employed in the prevention of the gun-running traffic in the Persian Gulf.  760 rifles were captured off the Jagin River  on one occasion.

HMS Hyacinth

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HMS Astrea with HMS Hyacinth in the background.    

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HMS Hyacinth pictured with Rear Admiral Edmund Samuel Poe CVO inset.

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HMS Hyacinth

HMS Challenger

The Old Challenger was famous for a voyage of exploration round the world and was used as a police boat in 1902. She was first commissioned in 1872, and left Portsmouth that December. She called at Madeira and then went down the coast of Africa and on to Cape Town. She then went on to the Antarctic regions and back to Melbourne on 17th March 1874. She left for New Zealand, China and Japan in April then crossed the Pacific to South America. Passing through the Straits of Magellen, and calling at Monte Video, she completed her voyage on May 24th 1876.

HMS Challenger.

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HMS Challenger, 1914.

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HMS Challenger as she slides down the slipway at her launch in 1902. She was a second class cruiser of 5,800 tons. The first keel plate was laid at Chatham on December 1st 1900 by Mrs Atkinson. She was floated out of dock on May 27th being christened by Mrs Holland, wife of the Admiral Superintendent of the dockyard.

Some crew from HMS Challenger possibly taken in Hong Kong. 

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HMS Encounter

HMS Encounter, 1914.

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Crew of HMS Encounter at Russell, North Island, New Zealand 1912 

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HMS Encounter

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HMS Encounter on the slips before her launch in July 1902.

The Encounter afloat for the first time in 1902.

HMS Encounter - Name History

The fourth “ENCOUNTER” is an 11-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Devonport in 1903.  She is of 5880 tons, 12,500 horse-power, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 355ft., 56ft., and 21ft. In 1912 this ship was temporarily lent to the Australian government.

 

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A Boat Setting Out From HMS Highflyer with Surgical And Medical Aid For The Enemys Wounded


A Boat Setting Out From HMS Highflyer with Surgical And Medical Aid For The Enemys Wounded

As the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was sinking three boatloads of men were seen to leave her and make for the shore. The Highflyer at once signalled that the enemy might abandon their ship without interference, and as the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse had ceased fire, the Highflyer ceased also. Two boats were then dispatched from the Highflyer with surgeons, sick berth attendants, and medical store to assist the enemys wounded. Shortly afterwards the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse heeled over and sank in about fifty feet of water.
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