Chatham Class

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Chatham Class Light Cruisers of the Royal Navy. Ships in the class were HMS Chatham, HMS Dublin, HMS Southampton, HMS Sydney, HMS Melbourne and HMS Brisbane. Naval history of these ships shows much active service in Jutland, Dogger Bank, Heligoland Bight and the Dardanelles.

HMS Chatham 9th November 1911 Sold for scrapping July 1926.
HMS Dublin 9th November 1911 Sold for scrapping July 1926.
HMS Southampton 16th May 1912 Sold for scrapping July 1926.
HMS Sydney 29th August 1912 Broken up in 1929/30.
HMS Melbourne 30th May 1912 Sold for scrapping December 1928.
HMS Brisbane 30th September 1915 Sold for scrapping June 1936.

HMS Chatham

HMS Chatham served with the 2nd Battle Squadron once commissioned and then moved to the 1st Light Cruiser Fleet in July 1913. She then moved to the 2nd light cruiser squadron in the Mediterranean from 1913-1914. At the outbreak of world war 1 she was despatched to the Red Sea and was the first ship to detect the K?igsberg and trap her in the Rufigi delta. She also managed to capture a German merchant ship called Prasident in 1914. In 1915 she was sent to the Dardanelles and in 1916 became the flagship of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet until 1918. After repairs at Chatham due to a mine she went into reserve until recommissioned with the Royal New Zealand Navy on 11th September 1920. She served with the 4th light cruiser squadron in the East Indies from 1924-25 until being sold in 1926.

HMS Chatham. 

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HMS Chatham in 1917 at Scapa Flow

HMS Chatham.

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HMS Chatham in 1915 during the Dardanelles campaign

 

HMS Chatham in 1912.

HMS Chatham and Captain Sidney R Drury-Lowe.

"After the the whereabouts of the Koenigsberg was indicated by the attack on the Pegasus on September 19th, a concentration of fast cruisers was arranged by the Admiralty in East African waters, and a thorough and prolonged search by vessels in combination was made. This search resulted, on October 30th, in the Koenigsberg being discovered by HMS Chatham (Captain Sidney R Drury-Lowe) hiding in shoal water about six miles up the Rufigi River, opposite Mafia Island. Owing to her greater draught the Chatham could not reach the Koenigsberg which is probably aground except at high water.

Part of the crew of the Koenigsberg is landed and entrenched on the banks of the river. Both the entrenchments and the Koenigsberg have been bombarded by the Chatham, but owing to the dense palm groves amid which the ship lies, it is not possible to estimate the damage.

Pending operations for her capture or destruction, effective steps have been taken to block the Koenigsberg in by sinking colliers in the only navigable channel, and she is now imprisoned and unable to do any further harm. The fast vessels which had been searching for her are thus released for other service."

Taken from Army & Navy Illustrated paper in 1914.

HMS Dublin

HMS Dublin - Name History

The fifth ?DUBLIN? is an 8-gun turbine cruiser, launched at Dalmuir in 1912.  She is of 5400 tons, 25,000 horse-power, and 25 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 430ft., 50ft., and 17ft.

HMS Dublin served with the 1st battle squadron once commissioned and transferred to the 1st light cruiser squadron in the Mediterranean in July 1913. By September 1913 she was with the 2nd light cruiser squadron. In February 1915 she was sent to the Dardanelles and later Brindisi. She was damaged by an Austrian u-boat in June the same year but was repaired and returned to serve with the 2nd squadron of the Grand Fleet from 1916-18. During this time she saw action at Jutland being hit a number of times in the night action. She was then commissioned for the 6th squadron at the Africa Station from January 1920 until 1924, though she served for a short time in April with the 3rd squadron in the Med. She was then sent into reserve before being sold in 1926, she ran aground while going to the breakers but was refloated in July 1927.

HMS Dublin at Malta

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HMS Dublin at Cape Town

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HMS Southampton

HMS Southampton served with the 1st battle squadron from February 1913, she then became flagship to the Commodore of the 1st light cruiser squadron of the Home Fleet in July 1913 until 1915. She then fought at Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank before leading the 2nd cruiser sqn from February 1915 until 1917 taking part in Jutland where she sank the torpedo boat S35 and the cruiser Frauenlob whilst also taking damage herself. She transferred to the 8th cruiser sqn from 1917-1919 becoming flagship to the 7th cruiser sqn sat South America from May 1919-1920. After a refit at Cape in 1920/21 she joined the 4th cruiser sqn in the East Indies from September 1921-24. After this she was put into reserve and later in 1926 she was sold.

HMS Southampton.

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HMS Southampton

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Two crew members from HMS Southampton 

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This is believed to be the crew of HMS Southampton at an amphitheatre in Pompei c.1913. 

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HMS Southampton, 1920.

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HMS Southampton.

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HMS Sydney

HMS Sydney also served with the Pacific Fleet from 1913-14, taking part in the expedition to New Guinea in September 1914. She was escorting the Anzac convoy when she heard of the Emden's attack at Cocos Island. She was immediately diverted and engaged Emden, sinking her on 9th November 1914 while taking only light damage herself. After this she was sent to the North American and West Indies station until 1916, transferring to the 2nd cruiser sqn of the Grand Fleet until the Armistice. She was then sent to Australia in March 1919 and was given a refit at Cockatoo Island dockyard in 1923. She became the flagship to the Royal Australian Navy from September 1924 until 1927. She was broken up at Cockatoo Island in 1929 but her foremast was preserved as a memorial in Sydney.

HMS Sydney. 

HMS Melbourne

HMS Melbourne served in the Pacific from 1913-1914 and then transferred to North America and the West Indies form August 1914-1916. She joined the 2nd cruiser sqn of the Grand Fleet in 1916 until the Armistice was signed. She replaced HMS Sydney as the Royal Australian Navy flagship in October 1927 until February 1928 when she returned to the UK. She was sold later in 1928.

HMS Brisbane

HMS Brisbane served in the Pacific from 1916-1917 transferring to the East Indies in 1917. She was put on convoy escort duties in 1918 and escorted convoys from Australia to Britain before transferring in November that year to the Aegean sqn. She became a training ship in 1928 before being paid off and sold in 1935/6.

HMAS Brisbane

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This ship is the same class as HMAS Sydney but her actual name is unknown. e-mail us if you can help identify this ship.

Alan Huxtable believes this is a Weymouth class ship. The position of the gun to the side of nos. 3 and 4 funnel seems to be relevant, a photo of HMAS Sydney (the 1st World war ship that sunk the Emden) shows that gun in the same position as in your photo.

Ronald Mar, believes the above photo is of a Chatham class Cruiser, as the Weymouth class had ram bows and pole mast where this ship has Clipper bows and a tripod mast.

Carl Proctor agrees with Mr Mar that this is a Chatham Class cruiser.