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Ship Name Histories - Database of histories of ship names beginning with letter B.

HMS Bacchante

The fourth ?Bucchante? was a 16-gun screw corvette, launched at Portsmouth in 1876.  She was of 4130 tons, 5250 horsepower, and 15 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft, 45ft, and 23ft.   In 1879 and 1880 the ?Bucchante,? made a voyage around the world, taking with her as midshipman the two sons of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, who was later His Majesty King Edward the Seventh.  H.R.H Prince George of Wales, now his most gracious Majesty King George the Fifth, was borne on the books of this ship from July 25th, 1879, to August 31st, 1882, with the exception of the period between July 9th, 1881, and August 1st, 1881, when he was lent to the ?Inconstant.?  An admirable account of the voyage will be found in The Cruise of H.M.S. ?Bacchante,? 1879-82.  Compiled from the Private Journals, Letters, and notebooks of Prince Albert Victor and Prince George of Wales with additions to John N. Dalton.  In 1885 the ?Bacchante,? flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Frederick Richards, took part in the third Burmese War.  The men from the ship formed part of the naval brigade, which proceeded to the front on November 20th, under Commodore Charles James Barlow.  The ?Bacchante? having had to come to Burmah from Zanzibar, her men arrived very late.  In 1897 the ?Bacchante? was sold, and in 1898 she was broken up.  A model of a portion of the hull was made from her timbers, and presented to H.R.H. the Duke of York, now his Majesty King George V., as a souvenir of the time when he served in the ?Bacchante.?

HMS Banshee

The second ?Banshee? was a twin-screw torpedo-boat destroyer, launched at Laird?s Yard in 1894.  She was of 290 tons, 4400 horsepower, and 27 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 210ft, 19ft, and 7ft.   In 1912 the ?Banshee? was sold for ?1780.

HMS Barfleur

The third ?Barfleur? was a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Chatham in 1892.  She was of 10,500 tons, 13,163 horsepower, and 18.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 360ft, 70ft, and 25ft.  In 1897 the ?Barfleur,? commanded by Captain Reginald Neville Custance, was employed in the pacification of the Island of Crete, which led to the appointment of Prince Charles of Greece as High Commissioner, under the suzerainty of the Sultan of Turkey.  Captain Custance received the C.M.G. as a reward for his services.  In 1900 the ?Barfleur? commanded by Captain George Warrender, and flying the flag of rear Admiral James Andrew Bruce, took part in the third china War or boxer Rebellion.  On June 9th a detachment from the ?Barfleur? commanded by commander David Beatty, proceeded in a Naval Brigade nearly 2000 strong, and of mixed nationalities, under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, to the relief of Peking.  This expedition went through some very severe fighting, and before withdrawing suffered a loss of 2 officers and 63 men killed, and 20 officers and 210 men wounded.  Commander Beatty showed conspicuous gallantry, and was twice wounded on this and subsequent occasions.  A detachment from the ?Barfleur? on June 17th formed part of the naval brigade of mixed nationalities, consisting of 35 officers and 869 men under Commander Christopher Cradock of the ?Alacrity,? which attacked and captured the Taku Forts.  The British lost 1 killed and 13 wounded, the slain man being an ordinary seaman of the ?Barfleur.?  Commander Cradock mentioned Midshipmen Lionel Shore and Charles Dix as having distinguished themselves in this attack.  A detachment from the ?Barfleur? assisted in the relief, defence, and capture of Tientsin, and lost 2 officers and 7 men killed, and 8 officers and 48 men wounded.  During these operations Midshipman Basil John Guy of the ?Barfleur? coolly attended a wounded man under a very hot fire, and then helped to carry him into shelter, for which act he was subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross.  In August the ?Barfleur? contributed a number of officers and men to the British Naval Brigade which advanced to the final and satisfactory relief of Peking with 20,100 troops under Lieutenant-General sir Alfred Gaselee.  In 1910 this battleship was sold at Portsmouth for ?26,550.

HMS Basilisk

The eighth ?Basilisk? was an 8-gun twin-screw sloop, launched at Sheerness in 1889.  She was of 1170 tons, 200 horsepower, and 14 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 208ft, 30ft, and 13ft.  In 1905 the ?Basilisk? was sold

HMS Bedford

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 Bellerophon

The third ?Bellerophon? was a 15-gun broadside battleship, launched at Chatham in 1865.  She was of 7550 tons, 6520 horsepower, and 14-knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 300ft, 56ft, and 27ft.  At a subsequent date this vessel?s name was changed to ?Indus? and she served as a workshop at Devonport.

The fourth ?Bellerophon? is a 26-gun turbine battleship, launched at Portsmouth in 1907.  She is of 18,6000 tons, 23,000 horsepower, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 490ft, 82ft, and 27ft.

HMS Bellona

The sixteenth ?Bellona? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Hepburn in 1890.  She was 1830 tons, 4700 horsepower, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, beam , and draught were 280ft, 35ft, and 13ft. In 1906 the ?Bellona? was sold.

The Seventeenth ?Bellona? is a 12-gun turbine cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1909.  She is of 3350 tons, 18,000 horsepower and 25 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 385ft, 41ft, and 13ft.  During the 1912 Naval Manoeuvres the ship rolled her mainmast overboard.

HMS Benbow

The second ?Benbow? was a 12-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Blackwall in 1885.  She was of 10,600 tons, 11,500 horsepower, and carried a crew of 525 men.  She was of 17.5 knots speed, and her length, beam, and draft were 330ft, 68 ? ft, and 28ft.  She was a noteworthy ship, in that although of the ?Admiral? class, she differed to them by carrying two 16.25? III-ton guns.  In 1909, after some year?s service at port guard ship at Greenock, this battleship was sold for ?21,200.

HMS Berwick

The eighth ?Berwick? is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Beardmore?s Yard in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horsepower, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft, 66ft, and 24ft.  On April 2nd, 1908, the ?Berwick? commanded by Captain W.C.M. Nicholson, collided with and sank the destroyer ?Tiger? off the Isle of Wight, during night manoeuvres.  Unhappily the lives of Lieutenant and Commander Middleton, and thirty-four others, were lost in this unfortunate accident.

HMS Bittern

The fourth ?Bittern? commanded by Commander the Hon. Archibald St. Clair, undertook active operations against the piratical natives of Corisco and Elobey Islands, and succeeded in capturing Coomba, the Chief of the Corsican tribe, which had pillaged the wrecked mail steamer ?McGregor Laird.?   In March 1872 the ?Bittern? was engaged in the mouth of the Congo River in protecting the Banana Creek Factories from native attack.   In 1873 the ?Bittern? commanded by commander Prescot William Stephans, took part in the Ahantee war.  In October 1873, 34 men from the ?Bittern? formed part of a Naval Brigade 300 strong which, under Captain the Hon. Edmund Fremantle, advanced towards Assayboo with the object of breaking up an Ashantee force which was believed to be assembling there, but the Naval Brigade took little part in the fighting on this occasion.   In November the Naval Brigade marched inland to the relief of Abrakrampa, which was sorely pressed by the Ashantees.  The enemy got into a panic and retired hastily, abandoning almost all their stores.  In 1882 the ?Bittern? commanded by Commander the Hon. Thomas Brand, was engaged in the bombardment of Alexandria in a fleet of 14 ships commanded by Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour, with his flag in ?Alexandra."   At 7 a.m. on July 11th the ?Alexandra? fired the first shot of the bombardment.  Owing to the flag ship?s draught of water the Commander-in-Chief temporarily hoisted his flag in ?Invincible.?  All ships were cleared for action with topgallant masts struck and bowsprits rigged in.  By 7.10 a.m. all ships were engaged, and such forts that could bring their guns to bear replied with vigour.  By 5 p.m. all guns ashore had been silenced, and the fleet ceased bombarding at 5.30 p.m.  The British casualties were 5 killed and 28 wounded.  The Egyptian loss has never been properly ascertained, but it is believed to have been about 150 killed and 400 wounded, out of two thousand men engaged in working the forts.  During the operations a party of men from the ?Bittern? among other ships, landed through the swell and breaking surf, spiked six smooth bores and disabled two 10-inch guns without casualty except the loss of the ?Bittern?s? dinghy.  The ?Bittern? also assisted the ?Condor? in the attack on fort Marabout, anchoring so close in that the enemy?s guns could not be sufficiently depressed to reach her.  The ?Bittern? was sequent seint in with Flag-Lieutenant the Hon. Hedworth Lambton to receive the surrender of the town, and although the governor refused to give in, the town was abandoned on the following day.  On July 13th the ?Bitern? and other ships steamed into the harbour, and contributed to a brigade of 150 seamen and 450 marines which, under the command of Captain Lord Charles Beresford, policed Alexandria and kept the turbulent mixed population in order.   In 1887 the ?Bittern? was sold.

HMS Black Prince

The eighth ?Prince? was a 28-gun screw frigate ?Black Prince? launched at Glasgow in 1861.  She was 9210 tons, 5770 horsepower, and 13.6 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 380ft, 58ft, and 27ft.  In 1878 the ?Black Prince? commanded by Captain His Royal Highness the duke of Edinburgh, K.G. was one of a squadron of seven ships which occupied the island if Cyprus under Vice-Admiral Lord John Hay, with his flag in ?Minotaur.?   In 1900 this vessel proceeded to Queenstown and became the training ship for Irish boys.   In 1903 her name was changed to ?Emerald.?   She eventually became ?Impregnable III.,? and acted as part of the boys Training Establishment at Devonport.

HMS Blake

The third ?Blake? is a 12-gun twin screw cruiser, launched at Chatham in 1889.  She is of 1900 tons, 20,000 horsepower, and 22 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 375ft, 65ft, and 25ft.  In 1889 the ?Blake? commanded by Captain Alfred Leigh Winsloe, proceeded to Sierra Leone, and assumed the duties of senior naval officer during the suppression of the Sierra Leone Rebellion.  Six separate columns of troops crushed the rising, and the navy had a little share in the operations.  But had the Navy not been ready at hand, and extremely active at the beginning of the disorders, terrible atrocities might have resulted.  The ?Blake? was eventually converted into a seagoing depot for torpedo-boat destroyers.

HMS Blanche

The eighth ?Blanche? was a 6-gun screw sloop, launched at Chatham in 1867.  She was of 1755 tons, 2158 horsepower, and 13.5 knots speed.  Hr length, beam and draught were 212ft, 36ft, and 16ft.  In September 1868 the ?Blanche? Captain john E. Montgomerie, shelled one or two villages as a punitive measure at Rodora Bay, in the Solomon Islands.  In 1886 this vessel was sold for ?3600.

The ninth ?Blanche? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 17 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft,, and 14ft.  In August 1893 the ?Blanche? commanded by Captain George R Lindley, with the ?Swallow ? and ?Sparrow? in company, proceeded to the Inkonumbi Estuary, and contributed to a Naval Brigade, which, accompanied by 70 native troops, marched into the densely wooded country, led by Captain G.R. Lindley.  She proceeded to punish Fumo Omari, the new sultan of Witu, who had been committing outrages.  After some brisk fighting, Pumwani was taken on August 7th and Jongeni on august 13th, both places being destroyed.  The British loss was 1 stoker killed, and Lieutenant Maurice S. Fitzmaurice, of the ?Blanche? and one other officer wounded.  Captain G.R. Lindley was given the C.B. for his services.  In August 1893 the ?Blanche? temporarily commanded by Lieutenant Price V. Lewes, arrived at Kismayu from Zanzibar on account of the mutiny of some local levies who had murdered one of their officers, and seized Turkey Hill Fort, on the right bank of the Juba River.  Captain Lindley had been left at Zanzibar in hospital, and lieutenant john de M. Hutchison, the first lieutenant, was laid up on board; but Lieutenant Lewes landed with forty volunteers from the cruiser and, joined by a body of fifty loyal Keribotos, made a night march and recaptured Turkey Hill fort by surprise.  The expedition then proceeded up the River Juba, accomplished the relief of two Englishmen in the British East African s.s. ?Kenia? who wee supposed to be in the greatest danger, and repairing the boiler under fire, they steamed up the river, and shelled and destroyed the hostile town of Magerada.  They then landed, captured Hajualli after an hour?s fighting, and crossing the stream, and subsequently captured the village of Hajowen.  This small force carried out its work in the face of 150 riflemen and 600 spearmen, and Lieutenant Lewes received the D.S.O. for his services.  In October 1893 the ?Blanche? in company with the ?Racoon? and ?Swallow? contributed to a small Naval Brigade, which took part in the Lamu forest expedition.  Fumo Omari, sultan of Witu, had grown restless and dangerous, and as he had re-fortified Pumwani in defiance of his engagements, the expedition marched inland, and captured and destroyed that town.  In 1901 the ?Blanche? commanded by Commander Murray Thomas Parkes, played a minor part in the second Boer war.   In 1905 the ?blanche? was sold.

The tenth ?Blanche? is a 10-gun turbine cruiser, launched at Pembroke?s in 1910.  She is of 3350 tons, 18,000 horsepower, and 27 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught are 390ft, 41ft, and 13ft. 

HMS Blenheim

The fourth ?Blenheim? is a 12-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Blackwall in 1890.  She is of 9000 tons, 21,400 horsepower, and 22 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 375ft, 65ft, and 26ft.  In 1896 the ?Blenheim,? commanded by Captain Edmund S. Poe, brought home to England from the Canary Islands the body of the late colonel His Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg, K.G,. Who died while on active service.  Her Majesty Queen Victoria appointed Captain Poe to the fourth Class of the Royal Victorian Order as a specal mark of appreciation for this service. For some years the ?Blenheim? has acted as seagoing depot ship for torpedo-boat destroyers.

HMS Blonde

The tenth ?Blonde? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 16 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft, and 14ft.  In August 1895 the ?blonde? commanded by Commander Henry M. Festing , was one of a squadron of five ships under Rear-Admiral H.H. Rawson, with his flag in ?St George,? which took part in the punitive expedition against M?Buruk bin Rashid, Chief of M?Wele, who had failed to comply with an ultimatum on the subject of obedience.  On august 12th a Naval Brigade, 400 strong, started inland from Mombassa, accompanied by about 1000 porters and Soudanese troops, and commanded by the Rear Admiral in person.  After some resistance the British force rushed the British stockades, and though M?Buruk escaped, two of his sons were killed.  The British lost 3 killed and 11 wounded.  In 1896 the ?Blonde? commanded by commander Peyton Hoskyns, brought from Cape Coast Castle to the Canary Islands the body of Colonel his Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg, K.G., who had died while on active service.  Her Majesty Queen Victoria appointed Commander Hoskyns to the fourth class of the Royal Victorian Order as a special mark of appreciation for this service.  In 1898 the ?Blonde? commanded by Commander Hoskyns took part in the suppressing the Sierra Leone Rebellion.  The ?Blonde? proceeded to the Sherboro River to keep in check the rebels that were located in the neighbourhood of Bouthe and Imperri.  She performed most useful service, and saved and district of Sherboro from being over whelmed by the Mendi natives.  Boat expeditions destroyed Gambia on the Bum Kittam, and on May 4th pushed up the Jong River as far as Bogo, where dreadful massacres had been committed.  The rising was finally crushed by the troops, but in the later operations the Navy had little share.  Commander Hoskyns was rewarded with the C.M.G. and was promoted to Captain for his services.  In 1905 the ?Blonde? was sold. 

HMS Boadicea

The third ?Boadicea? was a 16-gun screw corvette, launched at Portsmouth in 1875.  She was of 4140 tons, 5290 horsepower and 14.9 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft, 45ft, and 24ft. In 1879 the ?Boadicea,? flying the broad pennant of Commodore Frederick W. Richards, proceeded to Cape Town to take part in the Zulu War.  In March the ?Boadicea? supplemented the Naval Brigade already at the front by 16 officers and 378 men under commodore Francis Romilly.  The naval brigade fought in the battle of Ginginhlovo, rendering excellent service with the guns, and holding the corners of the British Square, and it contributed greatly to the relief of Ekowe.  The conduct of the Naval Brigade was eulogised by Sir Garnet Wolseley, and the ?Boadiceas? were the last to re-embark on July 31st. In 1881 the ?Broadicea? flying the broad pennant of Commodore Frederick Richards, assisted in the first Boer war by the landing of the Naval Brigade.  On January 6th 128 officer and men, two machine guns, and a couple of rocket tubes proceeded to the front under Commodore Francis Romilly.  The Naval Brigade took part in the battle of Laing?s Nek, and the disaster at Majuba on February 27th.  In this latter affair the ?Boadicea? lost 1 officer and 10 men killed, Commander Romilly and 5 men mortally wounded and 10 severely wounded.  The Dido?s Naval Brigade lost in addition 3 killed and 3 wounded.  Surgeon Mahon displayed magnificent devotion and gallantry, and was specially promoted.  A peace was concluded soon afterwards, and the Naval Brigade returned to their ships.  In 1888 the ?Boadicea,? commanded by Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe, and flying the flag of Rear Admiral the Hon. Edmund Fremantle, was at the head of a fleet of seven English vessels and one German ship took part in the blockade of the Zanzibar Littoral.  This was undertaken in the interests of the suppression of slavery, and partly in consequence of the revolt of several of the coast towns against German authority.  The blockade was of an uninteresting nature.   On November 6th the ?Boadicea?s? pinnace, commanded by Lieutenant Walter Clifton Slater, captured a large slave dhow off Pemba, after a exciting chase of six hours.  The dhow had 41 slaves on board, and was not brought to until shots had been shot on both sides.   In September 1890 nine German traders were murdered in Vitu, a small state about 230 miles north of Zanzibar.  On October 24th the boats of the ?Boadicea? Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe, and those of two other ships, proceeded to Baltia and burnt the village.  On October 26th a Naval Brigade of 700 seamen and marines were landed under the personal command of Vice-Admiral the Hon. Edmund Femantle.  Meeting with some brisk resistance en route, the expedition captured the town of Vitu on October 27th, Gunner George Alfred Jenning, of the ?Boadicea? blowing up the town gate with gun cotton.  The town and the Sultan?s house were burned, and the brigade returned to their ships, having lost 12 men wounded and developed several cases of sunstroke.  Captain the Hon. Assheton Curzon Howe was made a C.B. for this service.  In 1905 the ?Boadicea? was  broken up.

HMS Bonaventure

The eighteenth ?Bonaventure? is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Devonport in 1892.  She is of 4360 tons, 9000 horsepower, and 19 knots speed.  Her length, speed, and draught were 320ft, 50ft, and 21ft.  In 1900 the ?Bonaventure? commanded by Captain Robert A Montgomerie, played a minor part in the third China war or ?Boxer Rising.? She was subsequently converted into a sea-going submarine depot.

HMS Bramble

The sixth ?Bramble? was a 6-gun screw gunboat, launched at Belfast in 1886. She was of 715 tons, 1000 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 165ft, 29ft, and 13ft. This vessel?s name was changed to Cockatrice? in 1896, and she served on the Danube for some years in accordance with the terms of the treaty of Berlin.  She was sold at Chatham in 1906 for ?3800.

HMS Britomart

The fifth ?Britomart? was a 2-gun screw gunboat, launched at Newcastle in 1860.  She was of 330tons, 200 horsepower, 8 knots speed, and carried a crew of 40 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 120ft, 22ft, and 8ft.  In 1865-67 the ?Britomart? commanded by Lieutenant Arthur H. Alington, was one of 13 ships under Captain Algeron de Horsey, in the ?Aurora,? which were employed in Canadian waters during the Fenian rising.  The issue of a medal in 1899, or over thirty years rewarded their services, which were principally of a preventive nature, afterwards.    In 1892 the ?Britomart? was sold, and is illustrated herein as being broken up.

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