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Monmouth Class armoured cruisers of the Royal Navy. Cruisers in the class were HMS Monmouth, HMS Bedford, HMS Berwick, HMS Cornwall, HMS Cumberland, HMS Donegal, HMS Essex, HMS Kent, HMS Lancaster and HMS Suffolk.

In response to the number of amoured cruisers being built by Germany, France and The United States, The Royal navy ordered the 10 cruisers of the Monmouth class, over the naval programmes of 1898 / 1899 and 1900.  These ships were planned to have the same speed as th4e Drake Class, but be smaller and so be cheaper to Build, they also had the same armour arrangement as the Cressy class but the armour was of a reduced thickness. These differences made these ships inadequate to fulfill their functions and were considered by many to be second rate cruisers.   they were good steamers but due to the weight of their turrets pitched heavily in bad weather.  All the class served in Home waters except HMS Lancaster and HMS Monmouth which served in the Mediterranean. From 1906 all the ships were dispersed to overseas stations. 

Displacement: 9800 tons,  Speed: 23 knots.  Compliment: 678  Armament: Fourteen 6 inch Quick firing guns, , ten 12 pdr QF guns,  Three 3 pdr QF  and Two 18-nch torpedo tubes submerged. 

HMS Bedford 31st August 1901 Wrecked 21st August 1910.
HMS Berwick 20th September 1902 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.
HMS Cornwall 29th October 1902 Sold and broken up 7th June 1920.
HMS Cumberland 16th December 1902 Sold and broken up 9th May 1921.
HMS Donegal 4th September 1902 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.
HMS Essex 29th August 1901 Sold and broken up 8th November 1921.
HMS Kent 6th March 1901 Sold and broken up June 1920.
HMS Lancaster 22nd March 1902 Sold and broken up 3rd March 1920.
HMS Monmouth 13th November 1901 Sunk by gunfire on 1st November 1914
HMS Suffolk 15th January 1903 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.

HMS Bedford

HMS Bedford - Name History

The fifth “Bedford” was a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Govan in 1901.  She was of 9800 tons, 22,457 horsepower, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440 ft, 66ft, and 24ft. On August 21st, 1910, this ship while commanded by Captain Edward S. Fitzherbert ran ashore on Quelpart Island on the china Station, and became a total wreck, 18 lives being lost through the sudden flooding of the stokeholds.  The wreck was sold soon afterwards for £3000.  HMS Newcastle was sent out to the China Station to replace HMS Bedford.

HMS Bedford, 1909.

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HMS Bedford, 1910.

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Chinese workers on the wreck of HMS Bedford, 1910.

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The Wreck of HMS Bedford, 1910.

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HMS Bedford.

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HMS Bedford.

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HMS Bedford

HMS Bedford in 1902.

HMS Cornwall

HMS Cornwall at Swinemunder Harbour, Germany.  

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HMS Cornwall, 1909.

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HMS Cornwall.Contributed by email.

The quarter deck of HMS Cornwall.

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HMS Cornwall - Name History

The sixth “Cornwall” is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horse-power, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft., 66ft., and 24ft.  On August 6th, 1911 the “Cornwall,” while commanded by Captain James C. Ley, had the misfortune to run aground on Pinnacle Rock, off Cape Sable, while going to the assistance of H.M. Canadian ship “Niobe,” which had also run aground in the vicinity.  Both cruisers were soon afloat again.

HMS Cumberland

HMS Cumberland, 1909.

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HMS Cumberland, Venice.

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HMS Cumberland 

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HMS Cumberland ships company (rugby or football team)

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HMS Cumberland photographed on Coronation night.  

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HMS Cumberland.Contributed by email.

HMS Donegal

HMS Donegal, 1903.

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HMS Donegal, 1903.

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HMS Donegal

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HMS Donegal  

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HMS Donegal.

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HMS Donegal.Contributed by email.

HMS Donegal

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Crew of HMS Donegal, 1913.

Image not available for reproduction.  Contributed by Steve Whelan.

In the photo opposite of the crew of HMS Donegal, third from right, bottom row, as shown above is the grandfather of the contributor.

Image not available for reproduction.  Contributed by Steve Whelan.

HMS Donegal - Name History

The third “DONEGAL” is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser launched at Govan in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horse-power, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft., 66ft., and 24ft.

HMS Essex

HMS Essex, 1911.

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HMS Essex.  

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HMS Essex pictured c.1912. 

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HMS Essex.Contributed by email.

HMS Essex.

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HMS Kent

HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

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HMS Kent, 1912.

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HMS Kent at Hong Kong, c.1910.

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HMS Kent, 1914.

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HMS Kent, December 1914.

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HMS Kent at Vladivostock  1918

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HMS Kent 

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HMS Kent.

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HMS Kent. Contributed by email. John Franks

HMS Kent.Contributed by email.

The launch of the armoured cruiser HMS Kent on 6th March 1901 at Portsmouth Dockyard.

HMS Kent, China Station c.1910.

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HMS Kent, China Station, c.1910.

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HMS Kent, China Station, c.1910.

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HMS Kent, China Station c.1910.

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HMS Kent c.1910.

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Gun Drills, China Station, c.1910.

The Crew of HMS Kent / HMS Minotaur performing gun drills.

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Gun Drills, China Station, c.1910.

The crew of HMS Kent / HMS Minotaur performing gun drills.  Both ships are just visible in the background of this photo.

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Gun Drills, China Station, c.1910.

Crew of HMS Kent / HMS Minotaur performing gun drills.

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Gun Drills, China Station c.1910.

Crews of HMS Kent / HMS Minotaur prepare for the exercise.

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Officers, HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Crew members, HMS Kent, c.1910.

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A Commander on HMS Kent, at Malta, c.1910.

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A Commander on HMS Kent, at Malta, c.1910.

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Coaling HMS Kent at Malta, c.1910.

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HMS Kent Coaling at Malta, c.1910.

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Crew members of HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Crew in the sick bay of HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Crew of HMS Kent, 1910.

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Crew of HMS Kent.

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Crew of HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Crew member, HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

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Vice Admiral, HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

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Crew member, HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

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Crew member, HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

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Crew members of HMS Kent, 1910, China Station.

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Crew of HMS Kent, China Station, 1910.

Sub-Lieutenant and two Lieutenants.

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Lieutenant of HMS Kent in full dress, 1910.

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Crew member (marines?), HMS Kent, 1910, China Station.

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Lt Ian Cowan, HMS Kent, 18th December 1912.

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Crew members, HMS Kent, China Station c.1910.

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Shooting from HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Hunting Party, China Station c.1910.

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Hunting Party, China Station, c.1910.

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Hunting Party, China Station, c.1910.

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Hunting dogs of HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Displaying the catch of the hunting party on HMS Kent, c.1910.

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The catch of the hunting party, HMS Kent, 1910.

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Officers of HMS Kent, c.1910.

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Crew of HMS Kent. 

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Rugby Team of HMS Kent 1909 - 1910.

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Artist's Impression of HMS Kent sinking Nurnberg off the Falkland Islands, December 8th 1914.

Sent in by John Valentine, whose father served during this battle;

My father, Frederick Valentine, served as a sub-lieutenant on board HMS Kent during the Falklands navel battle. I am at present scanning his photographs of these events and attempting to restore the images, many of which are in very poor condition.  I would be interested in identifying some of the ships and, who knows, finding relatives of the other men who served with my father under Captain Allen.  I have a copy of the "Daily Colonist" a Vancouver newspaper dated June 6th 1915. This is where the Kent was refitted after suffering considerable damage in her battle with the Nuremberg. There is a photograph of the Kent's officers with their names. My father was listed as "midshipman" as he was serving as an RNVR, having spent several years in sail on The Mersey, running between England and Australia. He was trained on HMS Conway. Also included are photographs of the ships company and Captain Allen.  Also in the paper, printed across the top of two inside pages (see above), is an artists impression of the Nuremberg going down with the Kent standing off at a distance my father described as "unrealistically close in naval terms". The detail is such that I imagine the engraver used photographs as his source.  The paper had been triple-folded  and squashed into the back of the album for nearly ninety years, so it is rather delicate.  

If you know of anyone who has a relative who served on the Kent at this time, I would be interested in making contact. The album had been hidden away in a cupboard since my father's death in 1968, but it has recently come into my possession. I want it to be shared by all who may be interested. The originals are not of course for sale under any circumstances.

 

Deeds That Thrill The Empire. Page 305. Volume II

A Stokers Triumph: How The “Kent” Caught And Sank The “Nurnberg”

            In nearly every action which the Navy has fought the officers and men in the engine rooms and stokeholds have won the special praise of their commanding officers, and never was such praise more worthily earned than when the Kent, commanded by Captain John D. Allen, was a vessel of 9,800 tons, designed for a speed of twenty-three knots, and on the morning when the German fleet, under Admiral von Spee, walked into the trap that had been prepared for it at the Falkland Islands, she was doing the duty of guard ship at the entrance to the harbour.  Many of the ships inside filled up with coal the day before, but the Kent was one of those detailed to fill her bunkers on the 8th, so that she was none too well provided with fuel.

           As soon as the Germans were sighted, Admiral Sturdee ordered the Kent to weigh anchor and keep in touch with the enemy while the remainder of our ships were getting up steam.  The cruiser stood out to sea at once, and it will always remain a problem why the heavy German ships, with their long range 8.2-inch guns, did not there and then open fire on the isolated British vessel, for they were well within range, and altogether outmatched the Kent, with her 6-inch weapons.  These onboard expected that the attack would be made, but much to their surprise, the enemy sheered off instead to the east, leaving the Kent to shadow them without interference.

             Presently the rest of the British squadron headed out of harbour at a rapidly increasing speed, and the ships quickly disposed themselves into battle formation, the Dreadnought cruisers Invincible and Inflexible leading the line.  In the course of a few hours the action had resolved itself into three distinct phases.  The heavy armoured ships fought out their battle alone; the Glasgow and Cornwall devoted themselves to the Leipzig; while Captain Allen, the junior of the cruiser captains was entrusted with the task of accounting for the Nurnberg.  It was, perhaps a curious selection, for not only was the Glasgow two knots faster than the Kent, but the latter was, on paper, actually half a knot slower than the German she was sent to chase.  The Nurnberg was in fact a faster ship than the Leipzig, to which the Glasgow and Cornwall were devoting themselves; and, as we have already seen, the Kent had not had the chance of completing with coal, and so was not particularly well placed for carrying out a long chase.  

             However, if her bunkers had been loaded to their full capacity, the added weight would have reduced her speed and probably put the possibility of a chase out of the question altogether.  It was a chance either way, and the men of the Kent rose magnificently to the one before them.

            If they were to catch the enemy at all they would have to do it quickly, otherwise the cruiser would be left in mid ocean without fuel, helpless.  In a few brief words Captain Allen told the engineers and the stokers how they stood, and appealed to them to get their utmost out of the ship.  Seamen and others who could be spared were sent down below to help in the blistering business of feeding the furnaces and rushing up the coal from the bunker.  The engineers, with a careful eye on the vanishing fuel, tightened up a valve here and opened out a steam pipe there, coaxing the 22,000 horsepower engines as a jockey coaxes a racehorse.  As one of the stokers put it afterwards,  “It was a case of either getting the Nurnberg or busting up in trying to.”

            Little by little the Kent increased her pace.  Her record speed in ten years of service was a shade over twenty-four knots, but before long Engineer Commander Andrew and his perspiring band of artificers and stokers had her doing well over twenty-five an achievement which can, perhaps, only be adequately appreciated by an engineer.  All the time the voracious furnaces were eating up the coal at an enormous rate, and although the Nurnberg was being gradually overhauled, it was becoming doubtful whether the Kent would have sufficient fuel to complete the business when she got within range, to say nothing of getting back to her at the Falklands afterwards.

            It was therefore decided to eke out the coal with anything combustible that could be found onboard.  Wooden boats were taken out of their cradles, broken up, and taken below to feed the furnaces.  Wooden spars, companionways and ladders shared similar fate, and even the wooden planking of the decks was torn up and passed down to the stokeholds.

              Shortly after four o’clock the Kent passed within range of the Leipzig, giving her thee broadsides as she went, and in less than an hour afterwards the grimy stokers down below gave a great shout as they heard one of the 6-inch guns in the forward turret out its 100-lb message.  They well knew what that bow-chaser meant.  The enemy was within range at last.

            Like the other German ships in this action, the Nurnberg fought exceedingly well.  The Kent had opened at eleven thousand yards-nearly six and a half miles-and in a few minutes the full speed fight was in full swing.  Both vessels made good shooting, and by the combination of fine marksmanship and good luck one of the earliest of the Kent’s shells struck the Nurnberg square in the stern, disabling the after guns and seriously affecting the enemy’s speed and manoeuvring power.  The German weapons fired more rapidly than ours, and the shells fell thickly around the British cruiser.  The silk ensign presented to the ship by the people of Kent was shot to ribbons, the foretopmast was carried away, and many shells and fragments penetrated the funnels.

            One hit came perilously near ending the Kent’s career forever.  A shell from the Nurnberg entered a casemate by the gun port-a most remarkable chance-and burst inside, killing or wounding the whole of the gun’s crew.  A fire was started among the cordite charges lying about, and a flash of flame shot down the ammunition hoist and into the passages below.  A sergeant of Marine, Charles Mayes, dashed through the flames and threw the burning charges and sacks away so that the fire would not spread, and then, seizing a hose, flooded the compartment and extinguished the fire.  In the woods of the commander-in-chief, “the extinction of this fire saved a disaster which might have led to the loss of the ship”-and there was some seven hundred souls onboard.

             When the range had closed down to 7,500 yards and the two ships were running broadside to broadside, the Kent started firing lyddite.  After that, the end was not long in coming.  The Nurnberg’s upper deck was already a mass of twisted and battered scrap iron, and her sides were peppered with holes.  A great fire now burst out in the fore part of the ship, and her guns became silent; but when the Kent also ceased fire and closed down to 3,000 yards, the enemy’s colours were seen to be still flying at the masthead.  Another five minutes hammering however, brought them down with a run, and the action was over at 6.57, having lasted almost exactly two hours from the firing of the first shot.

             The Kent now devoted her self to the task of saving life.  Nearly all her wooden boats had been burnt, and the enemy’s fire had been so heavy that all those left had several holes knocked in them.  These had to be patched up before the boats could be launched into the rising sea-for a stiff breeze, with, rain had sprung up during the afternoon-and it was half an hour before the first could be got away.  By that time the Nurnberg had disappeared, showing how great was the damage she received before giving in.  As she went down a group of men could be seen on her quarterdeck, waving the German flag as they went under.  Only about a score were picked up, and although everything possible was done for them, many died of exposure.  The German loss was about 350 officers and men, while the sunken cruiser was a vessel of 3,400 tons, armed with ten 4.1-inch gun, and less than seven years old.

            The Kent had been hit altogether thirty-six times, without counting the holes made by splinters.  Her loss in men was five killed and eleven wounded, of whom three succumbed to their injuries.  If it is possible to apportion credit for the victory, then the greatest measure must be accorded to the men down below.  They saw nothing of the fight; but if it had not been for their magnificent efforts, giving their ship a speed more than two knots above that for which she was built, the gunners up above would never had got within striking distance of the enemy.  The Kent had sailed so close to the wind-or, in its modern equivalent, steamed so nearly to the limit of her capacity-that when she got back to the Falklands little more than the sweepings of coal remained in her bunkers.  Only one of her engine room staff, however, was accorded any recognition, Stoker Petty Officer G.S. Brewer receiving the Distinguished Service Medal.

             Captain J. D. Allen was ultimately made a C.B., while Sergeant Mayes, for virtually saving the ship from destruction, was awarded the Conspicious Gallantry Medal. 

HMS Lancaster

HMS Lancaster, 1907.

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HMS Lancaster, 1908.

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HMS Lancaster.

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HMS Lancaster c.1910 

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The Lancaster being towed to dock to be finished.

Crew of HMS Lancaster with Montana Liz.  A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code  PHC138

 

The Captain of HMS Lancaster with Montana Liz.  

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Some of the crew of HMS Lancaster.

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HMS Lancaster's Variety Troop, 1905.

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The Launch of HMS Lancaster in 1902.

Sir William White designed the ship and Messrs Hawthorn, Leslie and Co. made the machinery. The christening of the vessel was performed by Mrs Douglas, wife of Vice-Admiral Douglas.

HMS Lancaster.  Contributed by email.

HMS Monmouth

HMS Monmouth, 1912.

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Crew members possibly from the cruiser HMS Monmouth at Wei Hai Wei in September 1913. 

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HMS Monmouth 

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HMS Monmouth.

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HMS Monmouth.

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HMS Monmouth which was sunk by the German Navy near the coast of Chili during world war one.

HMS Monmouth.Contributed by email.

Crew members of HMS Monmouth with families? c.1904.

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HMS Suffolk

HMS Suffolk, 1906.

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HMS Suffolk

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HMS Suffolk at Vladivostock c.1912   

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HMS Suffolk at Malta c.1910 

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HMS Suffolk.

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HMS Suffolk.Contributed by email.

HMS Suffolk.

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Cruisers shown at Wei Bai River c.1912.  Three funneled cruisers from left to right : Bedford, King Alfred, Kent, Monmouth.  Earlier cruisers Astrea and Alacrity are also pictured.  Thanks to Roger Young for the Photograph and information.

 

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HMS DONEGAL

DANIEL GEORGE JARMAIN..  The Donegal was the last ship my great grandfather served on before he was dishonorably discharged and I was wondering if anybody had any information about him as according to his record he used to get very good for his behaviour and I would like to know what could have caused him to apparently change, however, any information would be welcome.  Contact Here 

HMS KENT...  HMS Kent County Class Heavy Cruiser.  I am looking for any photo's, drawings or information on this ship please as my Great Grand Father William Harry Hope served on her as either a P.O or C.P.O please contact Laurence@nuneaton81.freeserve.co.uk

Fred Corey after joining Cumberland. Fred Corey after promotion.
FREDERICK COREY.. Does anyone have any record of Frederick James Burrell Corey (pictured above) served on HMS Cumberland between 1902-1930. He joined up after 1901 and he was born in 1882. Contact me at MGoffin@aol.com if you can help.