Astraea Class

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Royal naval second class cruiser of the Astraea Class. HMS Astraea, HMS Bonaventure, HMS Cambrian, HMS Charybdis, HMS Flora, HMS Forte, HMS Fox and HMS Hermione. These second class cruisers were built in the early 1890's at Devonport, Pembroke, Sheerness and Chatham dockyards.

HMS Bonaventure was built at Devonport Dockyard and launched 2nd December 1892 and completed 5th July 1894  served  in the Pacific Squadron, returning in |May 1906 to Devonport to be paid off.  Went to Haulbowline Dockyard, Cork, Ireland to be converted into a depot ship for submarines. this work was completed in April 1907. and serve din World war One as a submarine depot ship,. after the war was finally scrapped in 1920

HMS Astrea was built at Devonport Dockyard and launched 17th March 1893 and completed 5th November  Served in the China Station in 1906 and went to Colombo in September 1908 and 1901. returning the the Uk in 1911. re commissioned in the 3rd Fleet at the Nore in June 1912. re commissioned for cape of Good Hope  and West Africa station in April 1913. Bombed Dar-es-Salaam on the 8th August 1914 and blockaded the German Cruiser Konigsburg in the Rufiji Delta. served returning to the UK after the war to be paid off in July 1919 scrapped in Germany 1920

HMS Cambrian. was built at Pembroke Dockyard and launched 30th January 1893. served in the Australian station  just after the turn of the century and re commissioned at Colombo in October 1907. again in September 1909 and in 1911 on the 19th September, becoming flagship in 1913. At the beginning of 1914 she was to be paid of back in the UK, but with the outbreak of war she was  reinstated and went to refit to become a training ship at Devonport for Stokers in March 1916. renamed HMS Harlech. finally scrapped in 1923

Displacement: 4,360 tons.    I.H.P: 7,500    Length: 320 feet.    Beam: 49 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 19 ft.    Speed: 18 - 19.5 knots.     Complement: 318.   Armament: Two 6 in quick firing guns, eight 4.7 in quick firing guns, ten 6 pdr quick firers, one 3pdr quick firer and four 18 in torpedo tubes.

HMS Astraea 17th March 1893 Sold to breakers 1920.
HMS Bonaventure 2nd December 1892 Sold to breakers 1920.
HMS Cambrian 30th January 1893 Sold to breakers 1923.
HMS Charybdis 15th June 1893 Sold to breakers 1922.
HMS Flora 21st November 1893 Sold to breakers 1922.
HMS Forte 9th December 1893 Sold to breakers 1914.
HMS Fox 15th June 1893 Sold to breakers 1920.
HMS Hermione 7th November 1893 Sold in 1922 became TS Warspite until 1940.
HMS Flora

Displacement: 4,360 tons.    I.H.P: 7,500    Length: 320 feet.    Beam: 49 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 19 ft.    Speed: 18 - 19.5 knots.     Complement: 318.   Armament: Two 6 in quick firing guns, eight 4.7 in quick firing guns, ten 6 pdr quick firers, one 3pdr quick firer and four 18 in torpedo tubes.

HMS Flora in Dry Dock c.1901.  Esquimalt, British Columbia.  

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History of the name HMS Flora.

The ninth ?FLORA? was a 36-gun frigate, launched at Plymouth in 1844.  She was of 1634 tons, and carried a crew of 360 men.  Her length, beam and draught were 160ft., 49ft., and 17ft.  In 1879, while acting as a guardship at Simons Bay, the ?Flora? contributed two officers, but no men, to join the Naval Brigade which took part in the Zulu War and first Boer War.  Surgeon Mahon greatly distinguished himself by his courage and devotion to the wounded in the disaster at Majuba Hill.  From 1874 to 1889 this vessel acted as a receiving ship, and in 1890-1891 she acted as a storeship, being sold in 1889.

The tenth ?FLORA? was a small coastguard cruiser of 40 tons, which had been launched in 1863, and taken over by the Navy in 1869 on the abolition of the Coastguard Department.  In 1885 she was sold.

The eleventh ?FLORA? was a 60-ton coastguard cruiser, launched as the ?King George? in 1863.  This vessel also taken over from the Coastguard Department in 1869, and renamed ?Flora? in 1885.  In 1885 she was renamed ?Flora,? and on November 12th, 1901, she was wrecked and lost at Kingstown, the wreck being sold in the following month.

The twelfth ?FLORA? is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1893.  She is of 4360 tons, 9000 horse-power, and 19.5 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught are 320ft., 49ft., and 19ft. 

HMS Forte

Displacement: 4,360 tons.    I.H.P: 7,500    Length: 320 feet.    Beam: 49 ft 6 ins.   Depth: 19 ft.    Speed: 18 - 19.5 knots.     Complement: 318.   Armament: Two 6 in quick firing guns, eight 4.7 in quick firing guns, ten 6 pdr quick firers, one 3pdr quick firer and four 18 in torpedo tubes.

HMS Forte.

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Under the Hot Suns of Africa

Captain Sparkes CMG, and the Officers of the Cruiser Forte.

Left to right:- Back row: Sub-Lt Maryatt, Asst Engineer Begg. 2nd Row: Clerk Brown, Torpedo Gunner Holland, Carpenter Deacon, Gunner Oliver, Lt P Johnson, Asst Paymaster Charles, Rev Tod, Lt J M Steel. 3rd Row: Surgeon Bunton, Lt Massy Dawson Lt G P Hunt, Capt R C Sparkes, Chief Engineer Affs, Lt Barber, Paymaster Petch. Front row: Boatswain Steel, Engineer Brown and Surgeon Bean.

Officers of HMS Forte. 

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Captain Randolf F Foote with officers of the second class cruiser HMS Forte. Captain Foote is shown seated in the centre. Photograph taken in 1897.

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HMS Fox

HMS Fox.

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Possibly one of the Astrea Class Ships near Sydney.

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