HMS Camperdown

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Pre Dreadnaught Battleship HMS Camperdown part of the admiral class of Barbette ship.  HMS Camperdown was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and launched on the 24th November 1885. Due to the delay in the production of her main armament guns she was not commissioned until July 1889. The Camperdown was flagship in the Channel Squadron in 1891.  Involved in collision with HMS Victoria on June 22nd 1893.  After being rammed HMS Victoria sunk with heavy loss of Life. Was used in 1908 at Harwich as a submarine depot ship. and finally sold in 1911 and scrapped 11th June 1911.

Displacement: 10,600 tons.     I.H.P: 11,500.     Length: 330 ft.     Beam: 68ft 6 in.     Speed: 16.9 knots.    Complement: 515.    Max draught: 27ft 3 in.   Armament: four 67 ton guns, four 6 in guns, twelve 6 pounder guns and ten 3 pounder quick-firers.  Partial belt of 18 in composite armour.

HMS Camperdown, 1889.

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HMS Camperdown, 1889.

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HMS Camperdown just after the collision with the Victoria in 1893. She can be seen listing heavily. Picture provided by Ian Burr.

HMS Camperdown.

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HMS Camperdown

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HMS Camperdown.

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HMS Camperdown with submarines C7, C8, C9 and three others in front.

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HMS Camperdown.

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HMS Camperdown with HMS Illustrious, c.1898.

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HMS Camperdown, landing 13.5inch guns at Malta.

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Royal Marines Sunday Inspection - HMS Camperdown.

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The Spar Deck Battery HMS Camperdown 1896

The photograph shows some of the Royal Marines of the Camperdown at their stations ready for action- prepared either for battle with another vessel or to repel advancing torpedo boats. The guns shown are 6 pdr quick-firers, and their station on the upper deck was in a part of the ship which would undoubtedly have proved one of the "warmest corners" in action. Other men of the Royal MArines were quartered at the 6 ins breech loaders in the main deck battery of the Camperdown, and others again would assist at the magazine and ammunition hoists. On some ships the Marines would also work the barbette and turret guns together with the seamen gunners. As a rule in battleships at this time, the Marine detachment is composed of Marine Artillery and Light Infantry in nearly equal numbers. The officer of Royal Marine Artillery shown in the photograph was Major R H Alexander.

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Some Stokers of the Camperdown. (1896)

This picture of a party of stokers on board the Camperdown may recall to mind the sad fate of the stokers of the battleship Victoria, who perished under such terribly appalling circumstances when that ship sank after collision with the Camperdown.  down below the waterline work the stokers, with little of the stirring excitement of the fight to cheer or inspirit their trying labours.  Safe it is true, in all but the extraordinary circumstance of a sudden catastrophe by ram or torpedo, but then pretty certain to go down with the ship and meet their death under distressing conditions.

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Drill with a Light Gun on Board HMS Camperdown 1891. 

Every battleship and cruiser in commission in the 1880's carried on board a number of light guns for use in her boats or as field funs on shore with a landing party should occasion arise. the number varies with the size of the ship. HMS Camperdown carries two. (The first Class Cruiser of the day HMS St George used her two guns during Operations on the Zanzibar Coast during the early 1880's). Shown here are a squad of Blue Jackets in white working rig at drill. The Captain of the gun being in the act of pulling the tube lanyard which fires the piece.

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A Diver in the Camperdown Ready to Go Down

A diver belonging to the battleship Camperdown  in his divers dress, and complete in all the paraphernalia of his calling, about to make a descent overboard. Every ship in commission during 1890s carried a diving establishment of trained men, all of whom had qualified in the instruction classes maintained all year round at the great naval ports of Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth, in connection with the educational institutions located there - the Gunnery and Torpedo Schools. The men had to pass a stringent medical examination before entering the training course, and the training was very tough.

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Signalling by Semaphore on Board HMS Camperdown. (1895)

The scene is on the bridge of the Camprdown, where the signalmen on duty are communicating by semaphore with another ship.  All our ships use the semaphore for, so to say, "conversational" signalling and inter-communication within short distances.  Our photograph was taken in 1891, when the Camperdown was flagship in the Channel.  It was by semaphore on board this ship, in the Mediterranean in 1893, that Rear Admiral Markham expressed to Admiral Sir George Tryon his inability to comprehend the evolution the execution of which proved so disastrous in its results to the Victoria.

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The Captain and Officers of the Camperdown

Captain Robert W Craigie with the officers of the first-class battleship Camperdown in the Mediterranean Fleet during 1896. At this time she was on her second commission with the Mediterranean Fleet after being recommissioned in October 1895. The first commission was memorable for the terrible Victoria disaster in connection with which the Camperdown - then temporarily acting as flagship of the Second in Command - took so prominent a part. Before this, while  serving in the Channel, the Camperdown was flagship to the then Senior officer in command of the Channel Squadron. The Camperdown was one of the largest and most powerful of the Admiral Class ships. This photograph was taken in Malta in 1896.

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HMS Camperdown - Sister ships of the Admiral Class

HMS COLLINGWOOD 22ND NOVEMBER 1882 SOLD FOR B/U 11TH MAY 1909
HMS ANSON 17TH FEBRUARY 1886 SOLD FOR B/U 13TH JULY 1909
HMS HOWE 28TH APRIL 1885 SOLD FOR B/U 10TH NOVEMBER 1910
HMS RODNEY 8TH OCTOBER 1884 SOLD FOR B/U 16TH JUNE 1909
HMS BENBOW 15TH JUNE 1885 SOLD FOR B/U 13TH JULY 1909