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Naval history of the Torpedo Boat Destroyers including HMS Sturgeon, HMS Daring, HMS Ardent and the unique Torpedo Boat Depot Ship HMS Vulcan.

Click below to view galleries:

Vulcan ] HMS Sturgeon ] HMS Polyphemus ]

PL198 -  A Royal Navy Motor Launch  strangely numbered PL198 and not the normal ML198.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX296

HMS Turbinia built by C A Parsons she was a prototype of the torpedo boat destroyers. She is pictured on the Seine in front of the building which was devoted to the the Land and Sea Armaments of the Paris Exhibition c.1900.

A second-class torpedo boat such as was carried by the large ships of the Royal Navy in the early 1900's.

Crew of a Torpedo Boat

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX297

Torpedo Boats on the Thames.  Sent in by Alan Loose

A torpedo boat destroyer in the early 1900's.

Torpedo Boat c. 1904. 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX298

Torpedo Boat No 110 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX299

HMS Kestrel a torpedo boat in Vancouver Harbour, British Columbia.  

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX300

HMS Albacore.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX494

The wreck of the coastal Motor Boat CMB33A, 13th April 1918. The Motor Torpedo Boat was damaged by shore batteries at Eylau during an attack on Ostende. the crew were drowned after abandoning the wreck. and it drifted ashore and fell into German hands.  (thanks to Fred Cory for the info)

The Motor Launch ML481. Launched sometime in 1915/16. Transferred to the French Navy. 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX301

The Motor Launch ML473. Launched sometime in 1915/16. Transferred to the French Navy.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX302

Torpedo Boat 6

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX303

Many of the Torpedo Boat destroyers listed below are also listed under  destroyers as the early years they were classed the same 
Ships Name Launch Date Fate
HMS Havock 12th August 1893  Sold 1911 and Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hornet 23rd December 1893 Broken up in 1909.

Daring Class.   Built by Thornycroft,             View Class

HMS Daring 25th November 1893 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Decoy 2nd February 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1904.

Ardent Class  Built by Thornycroft                 View Class

HMS Ardent 16th October 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Boxer 28th November 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1918.
HMS Bruiser 27th February 1895 Broken up in 1914.

Charger Class                         View Class

HMS Charger 15th September 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Dasher 28th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hasty 16th June 1894 Broken up in 1912.

Haughty Class               View Class

HMS Hardy 16th December 1895 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Haughty 18th September 1895 Broken up in 1911.

Janus Class

HMS Janus 12th March 1895 Broken up in 1914.
HMS Lightning 10th April 1895 Mined in 1915.
HMS Porcupine 19th September 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Snapper Class
HMS Salmon 15th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Snapper 30th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
Banshee Class                 View Class
HMS Banshee 17th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Contest 1st December 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Dragon 15th December 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Ferret  1893 Sold and Broken up 1911
HMS Lynz 1894 Sold and Broken up 1912
Fervent Class                 View Class
HMS Fervent 20th March 1895 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Zephyr 10th May 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Conflict Class                       View Class
HMS Conflict 13th December 1894 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Teazer 9th February 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Wizard 26th February 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Cricket Class Coastal Destroyers
HMS Cricket 23rd January 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Dragonfly 11th March 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Firefly 1st September 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Sandfly 30th October 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

             

Two photos of a beached torpedo boat, suspected to be HMS Sandfly.  

HMS Spider 15th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Gadfly 24th June 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

HMS Gadfly.

Contributed by Trevor Piper.  © Vosper Thornycroft

HMS Glowworm 20th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
HMS Gnat 1st December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
HMS Grasshopper 18th March 1907 Sunk in a collision with another vessel.

HMS Grasshopper - Name History

The sixth “Grasshopper” was a turbine coastel destroyer, launched at Thorneycroft’s Yard in 1907.  She was of 215 tons, 3750 horse- power, and 26 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 166ft., 17ft., and 6ft.  Before completion this vessel was given a number, and called torpedo boat No.9.

HMS Greenfly 15th February 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
HMS Mayfly 29th January 1907 Mined and dunk on 7th March 19016.
HMS Moth 15th March 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
TB13 10th July 1907 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 26th January 1916.
TB14 26th September 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB15 19th November 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB16 23rd December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB17 21st December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB18 15th February 1908 Paid off in Gibraltar and sold in 1920. She ended her days as a boat running eggs between Morocco and Gibraltar. (Information from Mike Reeve)
My grandfather Arthur Reeve was an Engine Room artificer on TB18 'sub hunting in the Adriatic'. I know that she was at the fire in Salonica as my grandfather says the engineers went ashore to help restore services. He was present when LZ85 was destroyed and had a piece of it as a souvenir. He claimed it had been brought down by TB18's guns but that HMS Agammenon signalled to hold back on the claim and effectively took the credit. I'd like to find out more about this. After she was sold off, the crew got home on a leaky tug which was in great danger of sinking. If you know about the LZ85 story contact me at reeve.mjr@lineone.net 

Thanks to Mike Reeve for this story.

TB19 7th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB20 21st January 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo Boat 20.  Submitted by email

TB21 20th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB22 1st February 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB23 5th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo boat No.23 in 1902. She measured 113 ft in length with a displacement of 67 tons and a speed of 19 knots.

TB24 19th March 1908 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 28th January 1917.
TB25 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB26 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB27 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB28 29th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB29 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB30 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB31 10th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB32 23rd November 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB33 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB34 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.

Crew of Torpedo Boat TB34.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX304

TB35 19th April 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB36 6th May 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo Boat No.83 pictured pre 1896.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX305

HMTB No.72

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX372

 
 

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AVIATION PRINTS

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

 En route to the dams of the Ruhr Valley, the first wave of three specially adapted Avro Lancasters roar across the Dutch wetlands on the night of 16 -17th May 1943 led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, their mission to breach the Mohne and Eder dams, thus robbing the German war machine of valuable hydro-electric power and disrupting the water supply to the entire area. Carrying their unique, Barnes Wallis designed 'Bouncing Bomb' and flying at just 30m above the ground to avoid radar detection, 617 Squadron's Lancasters forged their way into the enemy territories, following the canals of the Netherlands and flying through forest fire traps below treetop height to their targets. Gibson's aircraft ('G'-George) is nearest with 'M'-Mother of Fl/Lt Hopgood off his port wing and 'P'-Peter (Popsie) of Fl/Lt Martin in the distance.

Dambusters - The First Wave by Ivan Berryman. (C)
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 Flying his last mission with his old mount, Hawker Tempest EJ762, fresh from repair after being damaged by flak, David Fairbanks found himself embroiled in a fierce battle with Messerschmitt Bf109s on 17th December 1944.  In the course of the combat, Fairbanks shot down two of the enemy aircraft and damaged another before returning safely.

Foob Fairbanks - The Terror of the Rhine by Ivan Berryman. (AP)
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 German ace Lt. Fritz Roth of Jasta 23, flying an Albatross D.Va scores his first of three balloons in one days action. By the wars end he had accounted for 20 balloons and 8 Allied Aircraft.

Balloon Buster, 25th January 1918 by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £35.00
Magdeburg, Germany, 10th April 1945.  Attacking from behind and above, ObLt.Walter Schuck, Staffelkapitain of 3./JG7, ripped through the massed boxes of 8th Airforce B17s, downing four in a single high speed pass.

Deadly Pass by David Pentland. (P)
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 The Vulcan B2 of 50 Squadron heads to Ascension Island from its base at Waddington, where it had been completely overhauled, including the fitting of a refuelling probe, which had to be found from various stores at Catterick, Goosebay in Labrador, Canada, and Wright-Patterson Airfield in Ohio, USA. The Vulcan would take part in the seven planned bombing missions during the Falklands campaign codenamed Operation Black Buck. Each mission would require a solo Vulcan Bomber (plus an airborne reserve Vulcan in case of problems with the first) to fly and bomb the Argentinean airfield at Port Stanley, requiring the support of 12 Handley Page Victor K2 tankers of 55 and 57 squadron on the outward journey and 2 Victors and a Nimrod on the return journey.

Vulcan B.2, 50 Sqn, Waddington by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
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 With their twin Merlins singing at full power, Mk FBV1 Mosquitos of 464 Squadron RAAF present a menacing picture as they set out on a precision low level mission, their streamlined, shark-like shapes silhouetted against the evening glow. Below, the tranquillity of a snow covered English coastal village is briefly disturbed as the Mosquito crews head into the night.

Mosquitos at Dusk by Nicolas Trudgian. (Y)
Half Price! - £105.00
 With a final 47 victories to his credit, Robert Alexander Little was one of the highest-scoring British aces of World War 1, beginning his career with the famous No 8 (Naval) Squadron in 1916, flying Sopwith Pup N5182, as shown here. On 21st April 1917, he was attacked and shot down by six aircraft of Jasta Boelke, Little being thrown from the cockpit of his Sopwith Camel on impact with the ground. As the German aircraft swooped in to rake the wreckage with machine gun fire, Little pulled his Webley from its holster and began returning fire before being assisted by British infantry with their Lewis guns. Such was the character of this great pilot who finally met his death whilst attacking Gotha bombers on the night of 27th May 1918.

Captain Robert Little by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
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Swordfish of 825 Sqn led by Lt-Cdr Esmonde begin their heroic attack on the battlescruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as they make their way up the English Channel from Brest during Operation Cerberus on 12th February 1942.  Although all the aircraft were lost and no significant damage was done to the German fleet, all the pilots were decorated for their bravery and Lt-Cdr Esmonde received the first Fleet Air Arm VC to be awarded, albeit posthumously.  The painting depicts the first wave of Swordfish attacking the Scharnhorst with Gneisenau taking avoiding action in the distance.  A German torpedo boat has turned to confront the attacking aircraft.

Attack on the Scharnhorst by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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NAVAL PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

B114AP. HMS Carmania sinking the German armed liner SS Cap Trafalgar off Ilha da Trindade, South Atlantic. 14th September 1914.  By Ivan Berryman.
HMS Carmania sinking the German armed liner SS Cap Trafalgar off Ilha da Trindade, South Atlantic. 14th September 1914. By Ivan Berryman. (AP)
Half Price! - £25.00
 Launched on Trafalgar Day, 1960, HMS Dreadnought was the Royal Navy's first nuclear powered submarine, entering service in 1963.  She is depicted here in the Firth of Forth with the iconic Forth Bridge in the background in December 1963 when she was docked at Rosyth for re-coating of her hull and a general examination.

HMS Dreadnought S101 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
Bismarck, now complete and newly painted in full Baltic camouflage, returns to Hamburg for the last time as the harsh winter of 1940/41 relents and the pride of the German Kriegsmarine prepares for real action.  In the distance, the pre-Dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein awaits her next commission, the old ship alternating between vital ice-breaker and air defence duties at this time.  The Bismarck would in May 1941 put to sea and engage and sink HMS Hood only to be caught by the British battleships Rodney and King George V.  Bismarck was pounded into a floating wreck, finally being sunk by the torpedoes of HMS Dorsetshire.  From her crew of 2300 only 110 would be rescued by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Maori.

Bismarck Entering Hamburg Harbour by Ivan Berryman
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 A splendid little war was how John Hay, ambassador to Britain, described the Spanish-American war of 1898. Though the war was small in scope it was large in consequences; it promoted the regeneration of the American Navy and the emergence of the United States as a major world power. Fought primarily at sea, the war created an American naval legend in its opening encounter between the pacific squadrons of Spain and the United States at Manila Bay on the 1st of May 1898. At sunrise Admiral Dewey, leading the American fleet in his flagship the USS Olympia, had caught the Spanish fleet, under Admiral Patricio Montojo, by surprise - still anchored off Sangley Point at Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands. Defeat for the Spanish was total and heralded the end of a once extensive Spanish empire in the Americas. Montojos flagship, Reina Cristina, is seen here under fire from the Olympia.

The Battle of Manila Bay by Anthony Saunders (Y)
Half Price! - £62.50

HMS Eagle and the commando carrier HMS Albion during the withdrawal from Aden in November 1967.  One of HMS Eagles Sea Vixen is passing overhead and RFA Stromness is at anchor in the distance.

HMS Eagle and HMS Albion by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Dreadnought passes Spice Island as she heads for the open sea escorted by a torpedo boat destroyer.

HMS Dreadnought at Portsmouth by Randall Wilson.
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 Spearheading the Falklands Task Force as it heads south in 1982, the carrier HMS Hermes is shown in company with two Type 21 frigates, HMS Arrow on the left and HMS Ardent in the near foreground.  In the far distance, HMS Glamorgan glints in the sun as Type 42 HMS Sheffield cuts across behind Hermes.

HMS Hermes by Ivan Berryman (AP)
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Hawker Sea Furies buzz the stern of HMAS Sydney during fleet exercises off Jervis Bay 1956.

Fly Past by Randall Wilson.
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MILITARY PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 The Mark IV Tank of Lt. F. MItchell MC, 1st battalion Tank Corps engages A7V tanks at Villers-Bretonneux, 24th April 1918.

The First Tank versus Tank Action by David Rowlands. (GL)
Half Price! - £280.00
A vehicle checkpoint set up by the British army in co-operation with the RUC while operating in Northern Ireland.

VCP, Northern Ireland by Anthony Wynne Hopkins (P)
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 Showing Napoleons position at the La belle Alliance, during the Battle of Waterloo, in the distance you can see Wellington.

The Battle of Waterloo by Sir William Allen (B)
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 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00

 US Air Force F15 Eagle over flys British Challenger Tank during the Gulf War.
Gulf Buddies by Geoff Lea.
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 Wearing patched white trousers and gaiters made of mattress ticking. In the mid distance, officers of the Polish Lancers and the Guard. Napoleon stands on the distant cliff. To the right a ship flies a tricolour. The Elba battalion was Napoleons bodyguard in exile, comprising six companies of Guardsmen, 100 artillery men and a crew of 21 seamen, They formed the nucleus of the Imperial Guard in 1815.

A Grenadier of the Guard at Elba by Horace Vernet. (Y)
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 On 27th November 1950, thousands of Chinese troops swarmed over the frozen Yalu river on the North Korean /Chinese border, cutting off US Marines in the Chosin Reservoir area. Over the next ten days the marines with air support from both the Navy and Marine Air Wings fought their way out of the trap to Hungnam and safety.

Frozen Chosin, Korea, December 1950 by David Pentland. (GL)
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 Panzer v Ausf. D Panthers of SS Panther Division Das Reich make their debut during the initial stages of the German summer offensive for Kursk. This unit with others of the SS Panzer Korps made the deepest advances into the well-prepared Soviet lines. Complete success however, was to elude them when outrunning their supporting divisions at Prokhorovka they were forced to halt for six days.

Operation Zitadelle by David Pentland. (GS)
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SPORT PRINTS

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

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

 Neil Hodgson celebrates winning the World Superbike Championship at Assen, September 2003.
No.1 by Dave Foord. (Y)
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 Following the success of several French imports to Highbury, Arsene Wenger again turned to his home country in search of another midfield maestro.  Robert Pires was duly signed from Marseille in July 2000 in a £6 million deal.  Robert Pires has adjusted quickly to the English game.  Pires and his love affair with English football comes from the intensity of the game teamed with the passion from the Highbury fans.  On describing the fans' reaction when he scores, he said, <i>It's an unbelievablesensation to be standing on the pitch when the whole crowd erupts.</i>  For a man who played in a European championship final, and who won the World Cup, these words must sound sweet to the Highbury faithful.  Robert Pires received the recognition his talent deserved on winning the Football Writer's Player of the Year Award in the 2001/02 season.

Robert Pires by Gary Brandham.
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 Celebrating Englands 1980 Five Nations Grand Slam. After the 70s had been dominated by the Welsh, England battled through an exceptionally tough campaign to win their first Grand Slam in 23 years.

1980 Grand Slam by James Owen. (Y)
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FAR695.  Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.

Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.
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 Jimmys total of 516 league appearances produced an amazing 357 goals.

Greavsie by Gary Keane.
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 Kentucky - born Steve Cauthen was just 12 years old when his father Tex finally agreed to help the single-minded young man realise a burning ambition to become a jockey provided he didnt let success make him big-headed.  No parental proviso was ever more faithfully fulfilled.  In the year of his seventeenth birthday the kid rode 487 winners of 6 million dollars, including the U.S. Triple Crown on Affirmed.  He went on to captivate British hearts two years later.  By 1984 he was champion. But better was to come. No wonder the fairytale ingredients of 1985 have fired the imagination and talent of Peter Deighan to such compelling effect.

The Golden Boy by Peter Deighan.
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Race horses gallop to the finish shown in this racing painting by Mark Churms.

The Finish by Mark Churms.
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 Twickenham, March 16th 1996.  England return to the running game to clinch victory in style over Ireland and retain the Five Nations Championship.

In Full Flight by Keith Fearon.
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Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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