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HMS Devastation of the Devastation Class Battleships.  Photographs and history of HMS Devastation

HMS Devastation built at Portsmouth and launched 12th July 1871.  The idea of Sir E J Reed of the Admiralty as an improvement on the old Prince Albert design.  in 1881 Devastation was refitted with improvements in ventilation, and an overhaul of machinery. Devastation underwent modernization in 1890-92 and old guns were replaced with quick-firers and breechloaders. HMS Devastation was removed from the Navy List in 1907, being sold in May 1908.

Armament: four 29 ton guns, six 6 pounder guns and eight 3 pounder quick firers with a partial belt of armour from 12ins to10 ins.   Displacement: 9,330 tons.   I.H.P: 7,000.   Length: 285 ft.   Beam: 62ft 3 ins.   Max Draught: 27ft 6ins.   Speed: 14 knots (after modernisation).   Complement: 410.   

HMS  DEVASTATION 12TH JULY 1871 SOLD  MAY  1908

HMS Devastation in dock, 1873.

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HMS Devastation, 1873.

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HMS Devastation returning from her Gibraltar service c.1902.

The Devastation was one of the earliest ironclad vessels to be built in a public dockyard, and she excited considerable attention at the time. She was thought by many to be too heavy, with sarcastic jokes made about her weight. By 1902 she had served 31 years with the navy. Her Gibraltar station was taken over by HMS Irresistible.

HMS Devastation, 1873.

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HMS Devastation, July, 1894

HMS Devastation - Portguard Ship at Devonport

The Devastation was an iron second-class battleship and was completed for sea in 1873. She was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and engined by Messrs Maudsley, Son & Field. Commissioned at Portsmouth in December 1893 under Captain William M Lang of Fleet Reserve at Devonport.

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HMS Devastation was launched in 1871 and performed well on her first trials. She was originally designed to have two signal masts, one forward and one aft of the turrets but after completion she only had one mast on the superstructure.

The Company of the Devastation 1896

The complete seagoing complement of the Devastation was 410 of all ranks and ratings, but in ordinary conditions there was no need to keep so many men on board. At this time there were portguardships at Portsmouth, Chatham, Devonport, Pembroke, and Queenstown, all seagoing ships. There special duty was to join and act with the coastguard ships, which similarly comprised second-class ironclads and cruisers, as a Reserve Fleet and second line in support of the Channel Squadron. The port and coastguard ships were kept ready at all times to put to sea at short notice, and in cases of emergency would fill up their seagoing complements from the Naval Barracks and Marine Depots at each port, from the Coastguardsmen and Naval Reserve men living at home within clearly defined areas.

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Commander Stewart off Devonport Dockyard

This shows Commandeer Alexander E Stewart in a ships boat off the dockyard.

Devastation in the Hamoze

The Devastation is shown flying the flag of Admiral the Hon Sir Edmund Fremantle, who had just taken up the office of Commander-in-Chief in 1896 at Devonport. 

Petty Officers from the Devastation in 1896

The Chief and first and second class petty officers of the Devastation - all men of tried experience at sea, and specially selected for the Petty Officers rating on account of good character, intelligence and smartness.

Captain Burnard and N.C.O.s Marines 1896

Some of the Marines of the Devastation in 1896 both light infantry and artillerymen, among these is shown the ships postman with his leathern wallet.

The Devastation the Portguard ship at Devonport

The photograph shows Captain William Metcalfe Lang, the distinguished and able officer who organised the Chinese Fleet between the years 1886-1890 until compelled by a disgraceful mandarin intrigue to throw up his appointment - surrounded by the other officers of the ship.

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The following is an extract from the Naval and Military Gazette:

"We hesitated to give currency to reports which reached us during the cruise of the Devastation round the coast with the Channel Squadron, as we had good reason to believe that it was the intention of the Admiralty to pay her off, and berth her in Portsmouth harbour as a tender to the Excellent the advantage of so doing being that a very large number of men passing through the School of Gunnery would thus be enabled to become acquainted with the latest improvements in the turret system ... But since the arrival of the Admiralty of Rear Admiral Hornby, late in command of the Channel Squadron, who certainly should be able to form a correct estimate of the Devastions fitness in every respect for the sea service, it has been determined that she shall be ordered to Gibraltar, there probably to remain during the coming winter as a kind of guardo. A cruise across the bay in the month of November is not looked forward to by the present crew, who have had a little experience both of being stifled by being battened down and of being nearly blown out of their hammocks when efforts at ventilation are made by opening up every hatch. Her qualities as a sea boat have been fairly tested, and the present notion of filling her up with stores for six months further service, and then stowing her away at Gibraltar, leads to the conclusion that on this point at least the value of the counsel of the First Lords new Naval adviser is not altogether apparent."

 
 

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Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 Spitfire L1000 (DW-R) of No.610 Sqn is terminally damaged by an Me109 over Dunkirk on 29th May 1940.  The Spitfire pilot, Flying Officer Gerald Kerr is listed is missing after this combat.

Kerrs Last Combat by Ivan Berryman. (P)
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 Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob is shown claiming his 5th victory – a Blenheim – 60km west of Rotterdam on 26th June 1940.  Bob went on to serve with JG.54, JG.51, JG.3, EJG2.2 and JV.44, scoring a total of 60 confirmed victories in the course of his Luftwaffe service.  The Blenheim claimed as his 5th victory is likely to have been R3776 of No.110 Squadron, which was the only Blenheim recorded to have been lost participating in Operation Soest on that day - while another returned to base damaged and crash landed.  The three crew of the Blenheim were all missing in action - P/O Cyril Ray Worboys, Sgt Gerald Patterson Gainsford and Sgt Kenneth Cooper.

Ltn. Hans-Ekkehard Bob of JG21 Becomes an Ace by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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Immelmanns Last Flight by Ivan Berryman.
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Red Arrows Break Left by Ivan Berryman.
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Spitfire F Mk21 by Ivan Berryman. (E)
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Dogfight over Asch, Belgium, 09.20 a.m., New Years Day, 1st January 1945 by David Pentland. (P)
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Launched in January 1915, the Revenge-class battleship HMS Resolution was to enjoy a 33 year career during which she served in the Atlantic, home and Eastern Fleets as well as serving repeated spells in the Mediterranean, being both bombed and torpedoed along the way. She is depicted off Gibraltar with HMS Wolverine, the destroyer perhaps best remembered for destroying the U-47 which sunk Resolutions sister ship Royal Oak in Scapa Flow.

HMS Resolution at Gibraltar by Ivan Berryman (P)
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The Battle of Copenhagen, 2nd April 1801 by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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HMS Ajax by Ivan Berryman.
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Titanic by Robert Barbour (AP)
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Fly Past by Randall Wilson.
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HMS Repulse by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 Troops of the 1st Hampshires assaulting Gold Beach during the Normandy Landings. Gold beach was one of the British beaches on D-Day. Gold beach was the western most beach of the British beaches, on D-Day. Gold beach was between two twenty metre high cliffs where German fortifications had been built. The beach had been protected by concrete casemates which took some time to break through. This happened with support form British tanks in the afternoon of D-day 6th June. The British tanks and reinforcements moved off the beaches towards Saint-Come-de-Fresene and Arromanches which were both liberated by 9pm.

D-Day Gold Beach, 6th June 1944 by Simon Smith.
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 Hill 112, Normandy, 28th June 1944.  Infantry of the 11th Armoured Division digging in during the battle for the strategically important Hill 112.  The division comprised of the 8th Motor Battalion Rifle Brigade, 4th King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 3rd Monmouthshires,1st Herefords, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, 2nd Fife & Forfarshire, Yeomanry and 23rd Hussars.

Digging In by David Pentland. (P)
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Saving the Guns at the Battle of Maiwand by Richard Caton Woodville (B)
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Sergeant 23rd Pennsylvania Infantry Zouaves 1863 by Jim Lancia.
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 Alfred was born in 849 at Wantage, Oxfordshire He was the youngest son of King Ethelwulf of Wessex, he became King of the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Wessex from 871 to 899. Alfred is known for his great defence of the Kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings. Eventually in 871 he made peace with the Vikings who agreed to a withdrawal out of his kingdom. It is likely a large payment of gold was made. Alfred was awarded the epithet The Great, and was the only king to be awarded this title. Alfred the Great was a learned man and improved the education and legal and military systems and structure. Alfred died on the 26th October 899.

Alfred The Great by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
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Thoroughbreds in the Paddock by Ray Goldsbrough.
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SPC5002. Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.

Jeremy Guscott by Robert Highton.
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 Ralf Schumacher winning the first Grand Prix of his career in the Williams FW23. Ralf dominated the San Marino Grand Prix from the first corner to the chequered flag giving Williams its first win since 1997. History was made when the Schumachers became the first brothers in Formula 1 to win a Grand Prix. Imola April 2001.

The Italian Job by Michael Thompson
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Bollocks by Chris Howells.
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 Carl Fogarty testing the new Foggy Petronas FP1 at Brands Hatch, 2003.
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