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HMS Warspite 1884 

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HMS Warspite and her sister ship HMS Imperieuse made up the class of heavily armoured cruisers. HMS Warspite was built at Chatham Dockyard and engined by Penn. and Launched 29th January 1884, while her sister ship HMS Imperious was built at Portsmouth Dockyard 1883 and engined by Maudslay. Both ships were completed in 1886 at a total cost of about 630,000 each. Imperieuse served as flagship on the China Station from 1889-94, and then the Pacific Station 1896-99. She was then renamed Sapphire II and was used as a destroyer depot ship but reverted back to Imperieuse in 1909. Warspite also served as flagship on the Pacific Station from 1890-93 and was then portguard ship at Queenstown from 1893-96.

They were copper sheathed, and (like the Inflexible) originally were to carry a heavy brig-rig. this was removed at a early stage, and a single military mast between the funnels substituted.  Both ships proved faster than expected, but the coming of the quick firer placed them in the semi - obsolete category almost as son as they were launched.  HMS  Warspite (shown left) was commissioned in 1890 as flagship in the Pacific and on her return home, in 1893, she was selected to carry the flag of the senior naval officer on the Irish coast. She was placed on the sale list in 1904 and scrapped before 1906.  HMS Imperieuse served on and in 1912 was a Depot ship for destroyers.

HMS Warspite preparing torpedo nets.

Displacement 8,400 tons,  Length. 315 feet.  beam 62 feet.  Draught 27.33 feet.   Horsepower 10,000 giving 16.75 knots

Armament. Four 9.2 inch guns,  six 6-inch guns. and six 14-inch torpedo Tubes.    Armour.  Belt amidships 10 inches. with 9 -inch Bulkheads. 8 inch Barbettes, No armour on Lesser Guns. 3 inch protective deck for and aft and on top of belt. 9 inch Conning tower.

HMS Warspite, April, 1895

HMS Warspite - Portguard Ship at Queenstown

The Warspite was a copper-sheathed first-class cruiser, completed for sea in 1888. She was built at Chatham Dockyard and engined by Messrs Penn. During her service at Queenstown (1888-89) she carried as her armament four 22 ton guns, ten 6 in guns, four 6 pounder guns and nine 3 pounder quick firing guns. At this time she carried the flag of Rear-Admiral Claude E Buckle. Her sister ship was about to be commissioned as flagship on the Pacific Station, in relief of the Royal Arthur.

At Drill with a 22-ton Chaser Gun on board HMS Warspite.

A gun detachment of bluejackets handling one of the 22 ton chase guns carried by the first-class cruiser Warspite. The Warspite carried four 22 ton heavy breech-loaders, one training forward, one aft, and one on each broadside. The gun parties are all protected by shields and screens of thick steel, while the guns have the advantage of being rapidly worked by hand in case the hydraulic power, their primary motive power, should fail.

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Rear-Admiral Claude E Buckle and the Officers of HMS Warspite, Queenstown.

This photograph shows (in centre of group) Rear-Admiral Claude Buckle, Commander-in-Chief at Queenstown, who had his flag in the Warspite at the time, with (on the Admiral's right), Captain F R Boardman C.B., and on the Admiral's left, Commander J.M. Stokes. The reason why so few other officers are seen is because at this time Warspite was just a First Reserve ship and only half the seagoing compliment were on board.

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In the Sick Bay of the Cruiser Warspite

The sick bay, the general hospital quarters on board ship are always in a carefully selected place, as far forward as convenient space for comfort and airiness can be got, away from the noise and vibration of the ship's engines and propelling machinery. Here we see the accommodation for the sick on board the first-class cruiser Warspite, of the First Reserve Squadron, stationed as guardship at Queenstown. Though a ship of the 1880's and perhaps in some ways hardly as roomy as later first-class cruisers, such as the ships of the Royal Arthur and Gibraltar class, the Sick Bay on board the Warspite is all the same, a sufficiently comfortable and healthy apartment, and fitted completely with up-to-date appliances of every kind to ensure rest and quietude to its occupants from first admission to final convalescence and discharge to duty.

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The British Station in the Far West 1902

HMS Warspite shown on left, the flagship of the station with HMS Icarus and Amphibian naval sloops and the ill-fated HMS Condor.




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