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HMS Formidable 

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HMS Formidable.   Royal Naval battleship of the Formidable Class.  HMS Formidable served in the Mediterranean Fleet up to April 1908 when she was transferred to the Channel Fleet. She went to Chatham dockyard for refit from August 1909 to April 1909 joining the Home Fleet after refit and then the Atlantic Fleet until May 1912. Reduced to Nucleus crew with the 2nd Fleet at the Nore. Served between 1912-14 with the 5th Battle Squadron and was serving with this squadron at the outbreak of World War I. She was sunk on 1st January 1915 while on Channel patrol off Portland Hill by torpedoes of German U-Boat U-24, losing 547 men from her complement of 780. The ship had sunk quickly during bad weather which caused such a high loss of life.

The Squadron were participating in gunnery exercises off Portland. supported by the cruisers HMS Topaze and HMS Diamond. on the night of 31st December after the gunnery exercises the fleet remained at sea, although the activity of submarines int he area would have been expected. but with the wind increasing and making rough sea which would make submarine attacks difficulty.  The next day the squadron  steaming at 10 Knots and just 20 miles from Star Point, HMS Formidable steaming at the rear of the squadron. at 0220.  she is struck by a torpedo on the starboard side, which gave her a list of 20 degress.  HMS Formidable is struck again by another torpedo 45 minutes later. the Pinnace and launch along with two other boats get away. (one of the boats capsizes soon after) The two light cruisers manage to pick up 80 men.  The formidable remains afloat for two hours until 0445. the ship goes down quickly. it is seen that Captain Loxley is seen on the bridge along with his fox terrier. Near Berry head a Brixham Trawler the Provident , under captain W Piller. pick up the men form the launch before in rough seas it sink. saving 71 men.

In total the loss of life of HMS Formidable totls 35 Officers and 512 men.

Armament: four 12inch guns, twelve 6 inch guns, sixteen 12 pdr guns, two 12 pdr guns, six 3 pdr guns, 2 maxims and four torpedo tubes.    Displacement: 15,000 tons.   Speed: 18 knots.    Complement: 780 (flagship 810).

HMS Formidable at Portsmouth, ready for armour plating.

Reproduction of original photograph published 1895  Price 25.  Click here to order.  ORDER CODE 13V96C

HMS Formidable, 1901.

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  XMP216

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP216

HMS Formidable, 1901.

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  XMP217

Original republished MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price 5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP217

HMS Formidable.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PH560

HMS Formidable in 1902

HMS Formidable during World War One

HMS Formidable pictured 1906 - 1907.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PH58 

HMS Formidable Colour Scheme of 1903.

Postcard Picture of HMS Formidable

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PH56 

HMS Formidable Pictured Circa 1908    

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PH57

 

Crew of HMS Formidable after coaling c.1900.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  Walker Archive. Order Code  PH624

HMS Formidable.  Sister ships of the Formidable Class.

HMS IRRESISTIBLE 15TH DECEMBER 1898 MINED 18TH MARCH 1915
HMS IMPLACABLE 3RD MARCH  1899 SOLD FOR B/U 8TH NOVEMBER 1921
 

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W J BEESLEY..  Trying to find any information on a W J Beesley who first served on the HMS Blanche and then on to the HMS Formidable.  Did the Formidable ever come to New Zealand?  If not, how would his medal for "long serviced & good conduct" with HMS Formidable engraved on the edge get to this side of the world?  Was he one of the survivors of the Formidable after she was torpedoed, and then die one year later in battle?  Are there any known living descendants of this man, I think he was married to an Annie Elizabeth Beesley of Oundle, Peterborough.  Any information regarding this man would be greatly appreciated.  Contact here. 

 

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