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Pelorus Class 

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Royal Navy third class cruisers of the Pelorus Class. Ships in the class were HMS Pyramus, HMS Pelorus, HMS Pandora, HMS Pegasus, HMS Perseus, HMS Pactolus, HMS Pioneer, HMS Prometheus, HMS Proserpine, HMS Psyche and HMS Pomone

Apart from HMS Pandora, Perseus, and Prometheus, the cruisers of the class served in overseas stations at the time of the outbreak of world war one.

 HMS Pomone had been used for harbour service and as a training ship at Dartmouth in January 1910 and later sold to scrap in 1922. 

HMS Pactulus had been converted to a submarine depot ship in September 1912  and during 1914 to 1918  served at Ardrossan, Scotland with the 9th Submarine Flotilla during the war and sold to scrap in May 1921.  

HMS Pelorus at the outbreak of world war one had been on patrol in the Bristol Channel, and was sent to the Mediterranean station. In 1916 

HMS Pelorus was converted to a depot ship and after the war was scrapped in may 1920. 

HMS Pegasus at the outbreak of world war one was at The Cape of Good Hope Station and was immediately sent to Eats Africa. an don the 20th September 1914 ay Zanzibar she was sunk by Gunfire from the German Light Cruiser Konigsburg.

HMS Pyramus at the outbreak of world war one was serving in New Zealand and was sent in February 1915 to the Persian Gulf and then transferred to the Eats Indies. After the war was finally scrapped in January 1920 

HMS Psyche at the outbreak of world war one was serving in New Zealand and was transferred to the New Zealand Navy and sent to China in July 1915 after the war HMS Pyramus was scrapped at Melbourne Australia in June 1922.

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Pandora 17th January 1900 Sold for scrap in July 1913.
HMS Pelorus 15th December 1896 Served as a depot ship in 1916 before being sold for scrap on 6th May 1920.
HMS Pegasus 4th March 1897 Sunk by gunfire on 20th September 1914.from the German Light Cruiser Konigsburg
HMS Perseus 15th July 1897 Sold for scrap on 26th May 1914.
HMS Pactolus 21st December 1896 Served as a depot ship in September 1912 before being sold for scrap on 25th October 1921.
HMS Pioneer 28th June 1899 Served with the Australian Navy from 1st July 1915 and sold in 1924. She was scuttled on 19th February 1931.
HMS Pomone 25th November 1897 Used for harbour service from January 1910 until scrapped in June 1922.
HMS Prometheus 20th October 1898 Sold for scrap on 28th May 1914.
HMS Proserpine 5th December 1896 Sold for scrap on 30th November 1919.
HMS Psyche 19th July 1898 Served with the Australian Navy from 1st July 1915 until sold for scrap in June 1922.

HMS Pyramus

15th May 1897

Sold for scrap on 21st April 1920.
HMS Pandora

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Pandora, 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  XMP1105

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1105

HMS Pandora c.1900

This photograph was taken as the Pandora steamed past the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. She was one of a class of 11 ships, The Pandora was the last of this class to be built while Pelorus was the first.

HMS Pelorus

HMS Pelorus at the outbreak of world war one had been on patrol in the Bristol Channel, and was sent to the Mediterranean station. In 1916 HMS Pelorus was converted to a depot ship and after the war was scrapped in may 1920

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Pelorus, 1897.

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  XMP1106

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1106

HMS Pelorus. Contributed by email.

HMS Pelorus, June 25th, 1896

HMS Pelorus.

HMS Pegasus

HMS Pegasus.

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  XMP1107

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Deeds That Thrill The Empire. Page 369. Volume II

The Hopeless Fight Of The Little “Pegasus” With The “Konigsberg”

            Some of the noblest deeds of heroism in British history have been performed in the face not only of heavy odds, but also of certain defeat; and not the least of these was the plucky but hopeless fight which the little Pegasus put up against the German cruiser Konigsburg.

            The Pegasus was a third class cruiser, of 2,125 tons, launched in 1897, during the opening weeks of the war she had done much good service on the East Coast of Africa, destroying the German port of Dar-es-Salaam, and sinking a gunboat and a floating dock in the harbour.  She had, too, made a special point of searching for the Konigsberg, a German vessel of 3,350 tons, launched in 1905, and carrying ten 4.1-inch 35 ½-pounder guns against the eight 4-inch 25-pounder of the Pegasus.  While out at sea the two vessels had often been in wireless touch, and the Pegasus had urged the enemy to come and make a square fight of it; but to no purpose.  The Kongisberg preferred to keep her distance.

            Then, the Pegasus being an old ship, with machinery that had always been troublesome, there came a time-only a few weeks after the outbreak of war-when she had to go into harbour to pull herself together.  In the middle of September 1914, she steamed into Zanzibar and came to anchor.  All the fires were allowed to die out, for the boilers were sadly in need of cleaning, while the engines stood in need of many minor repairs.

            There is good authority for the statement that the Pegasus had no sooner come to anchor than the owner of a native dhow, bribed with a gift of two hundred rupees, left the port to convoy the intelligence to the German cruiser.  However that may be, at daybreak on Sunday, September 20th 1914, the Konigsberg appeared off the entrance to the port of Zanzibar, and, quickly settling the account of a little tug boat that was employed as a patrol, opened her broadside on the Pegasus from a distance of nine thousand yards.

            On board the Pegasus everyone was at his war station in a minute; but it would have taken hours to get up steam from her cold boilers and unlighted furnaces, and she had to do her best as and where she stood.  She was absolutely outclassed from the start.  Her guns, though almost equal in calibre to those of the German cruiser, were obsolete by comparison, and the Konigsberg was able to shell her from a distance, which her 4-inch guns could not cover.  For twenty-five minutes the Konigsberg poured in her relentless broadside, steaming slowly in until she had reduced the range from nine thousand to seven thousand yards; and still the shells of the Pegasus failed to reach her.  The shot fell harmlessly into the water hundreds of yards short of the enemy cruiser.

            The poor little Pegasus was in a bad way from the start.  The enemy’s shooting was not good, but with the advantage of range they were able to take their own time, and the British ship soon began to suffer severely.  One of the first to be hit was the gunnery officer, Lieutenant Richard Turner, whose legs were shattered by a shell.  As he lay stricken and bleeding to death his thoughts were all for the honour of his ship and his service “Keep it up, lads,” he said to his men.  “We’re outclassed and done for; but d--- them, and keep it up!”

            So, having asked for brandy and a cigarette, Lieutenant Turner died; but the men “kept it up.”  In fifteen minutes all the guns of the Pegasus had been silenced and not one of their shells had reached the enemy, whose guns had a range greater by two thousand yards.  The cruiser’s flag was shot away from its staff.  Instantly a Marine ran forward, seized the flag, and waved it aloft; and when he was struck down another came and took his place.  The flag flew until the end.

            There was no braver man that day than the medical officer of the Pegasus, Staff-Surgeon Alfred J. Hewitt.  Nearly all the casualties occurred on deck, and there he was from the start to the finish, giving what help he could to the wounded men.  On one occasion he was holding a ruptured artery in the neck of one man, and, with his other hand, stanching the flow of blood in the leg of another, while his assistants went for bandages.  He could do nothing to help in the fighting, but there was certainly no braver man in the ship.

            When she had fired about two hundred shells, the Konigsberg withdrew, leaving the Pegasus a battered and fast sinking wreck.  At the beginning of the action there were 234 officers and men on board the British vessel, and of these 35 were killed and 53 wounded.  The proportion of casualties was high; but it would have been greater if the Konigsberg had had sufficient pluck to stay and carry on with her work.  She left it half finished, apparently fearing the approach of British vessels from the seaward.

            No officer or man was rewarded for the fight the Pegasus made; but it will be admitted that those who stand up unflinchingly to odds in this manner are at least equally worthy of recognition with, let us say, those who approach an unsuspecting enemy in an invisible submarine.  Sir Richard Grenville was beaten when he fought his great fight of the “one against fifty-three; “but the story of his defeat is one of the proudest in our naval history.  The Pegasus, like Grenville’s Revenge, was lost, but she was lost in glory.

HMS Perseus

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Perseus of the Pelorus Class. 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code  PHC020

HMS Pioneer

HMS Pioneer.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code  PHC761

HMS Pomone

HMS Pomone, 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  XMP1109

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1109

HMS Proserpine

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

HMS Proserpine, 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  XMP1111

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1111

Original Photograph.  Published by P A Vicary c.1970  Price £18.  Click here to order.  Order Code  PHC010

HMS Psyche

HMS Psyche at the outbreak of world war one was serving in New Zealand and was transferred to the New Zealand Navy and sent to China in July 1915 after the war HMS Pyramus was scrapped at Melbourne Australia in June 1922.

Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

The stern of HMS Psyche in 1916, after transfer to the Australian Navy in 1915.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code  PHC546

HMS Psyche, 1900.

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  XMP1112

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1112

HMS Pyramus

HMS Pyramus at the outbreak of world war one was serving in New Zealand and was sent in February 1915 to the Persian Gulf and then transferred to the Eats Indies. After the war was finally scrapped in January 1920

 Displacement: 2135 tons   Speed: 20 knots.  Crew 224  Armament: Eight 4 inch guns,  Eight 3 pdr,  3 machine guns  and Two 18-inch Torpedo Tubes

The third class cruiser HMS Pyramus which served in both the Australian and New Zealand navies during the first world war.

HMS Pyramus, 1900.

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  XMP1113

Original republished © MPL Photograph (Postcard Size).  Price £5 Click here to order.  Order Code  MP1113

 

Our message board system has now been upgraded to a discussion forum at worldnavalships.com.  Any messages on this page are now archive messages kept here to service those who left the messages originally.   Click Here to go to the new Forum

Naval Historians, Crew & Family Noticeboard

MESSAGES

HMS PACTOLUS

ARTHUR REEVE.. My grandfather was on Pactolus from 27th June 1899 to 16th January 1900. It was his first naval tour of duty in the engine room. Any photographs or information of this period featuring Pactolus would be appreaciated. Contact me at reeve.mjr@lineone.net 

HMS PROSERPINE

My grandfather served as a stoker on the Proserpine during WWI. He was K27319 A BAMBRIDGE. He was awarded the War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Long Service Medal. I would like to know if he qualified for any other medals. Also I am looking for a good picture of HMS Proserpine. Contact Mike Barnes at Barnesfamily01@aol.com 

HMS PYRAMUS

JOHN (JACK) MAY.. My grandfather John (Jack) May ran away to sea at 15. Initially serving on the Pioneer, but during W.W.I he spent most of the period on H.M.S. Pyramus. I have been trying to follow the movements of the Pyramus using the information left to me as clues - from the Pacific to East Africa and Turkey - troop ship escort - hunting German raiders - punitive shore parties, etc. If anyone comes across this message and has any information on these ships and their movements, I would love to hear from you. email here

 

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