HMS Centurion

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HMS Centurion. Pre Dreadnaught Battleship of the Royal Navy, built Portsmouth with Engines and Boilers produced at Greenock Foundry. Launched 3rd August 1892. Completed 1893.  Became flagship to the China Station in 1896. Stayed in Service until August 1905, then entered reserve at Portsmouth. In 1907 became a Special Service Ship. Joined the 4th Division of the Home Fleet in April 1909, until June 1909 when Centurion was towed to Motherbank and finally scrapped 12th July 1910.  

HMS Centurion - Name History

he eighth ?CENTURION? was a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Portsmouth in 1892.  She was of 10,500 tons, 13,214 horse-power, and 18 knot speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 360ft., 70ft., and 25ft.   In 1900 the ?Centurion,? commanded by Captain John R. Jellicoe, and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hobart Seymour, took part in the third China War or ?Boxer Riots.?   Sir Edward Seymour was the senior flag-officer of the Eight Nationalities assembled in the Far East, and as such presided over their Councils.  On June 9th a detachment from the ?Centurion? proceeded in a Naval Brigade of mixed nationalities, 2000 strong, with 19 guns, for the relief of Peking, under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour.  This expedition went through some very severe fighting, and suffered a loss of 2 officers and 63 men killed, and 20 officers and 210 men wounded before withdrawing.  Captain Beyts, R.M.A., of the ?Centurion,? was killed, and Captain John. R. Jellicoe, who behaved with great gallantry, and 4 other officers of the same ship were wounded.  From June 26th to July 11th, a detachment of officers and men from the ?Centurion? assisted in the capture and defence of Tientsin, and during this period lost 5 killed and 14 wounded.  In August the ?Centurion? contributed a number of officers and men to a 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 ?Centurion? was sold at Portsmouth for ?26,200

HMS Centurion

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HMS Centurion engine room staff at the China Station ? Christopher Swindlehurst

Original Cost for the ship ?620,000   Cost of reconstruction (fitting Casements) ?150,000

Displacement 11,000 tons,     Compliment 620    Length 360 feet,   Beam  70 feet,  draught 27 feet.   original maximum speed 18.7 knots.  after reconstruction the speed dropped to 16.4 knots

Armament.  Four  10 - inch Guns.   Ten  six inch guns (45 cal)    twelve 3 pounder  (two  9 pdr. boat)   2 Maxims   Torpedo Tubes.  One at Stern above water  and 2 submerged.

HMS Centurion, 1900.

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HMS Centurion, 1900.

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HMS Centurion, 1894.

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HMS Centurion, 1894.

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HMS Centurion, 1894.

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HMS Centurion, 1894.

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HMS Centurion, May 1894

The crew of HMS Centurion, May, 1894

HMS Centurion - The British Flagship on the China Station

The Centurion is one of the Naval Defence Act Battleships, and a sister to the Barfleur, the fastest battleships afloat in 1896, remarkably fine vessels each of 10,500 tons displacement, mounting 29 ton guns, and bearing armour of 12 inches maximum thickness. Barfleur was the first battleship in which electricity was used for training guns. The Centurion flies the flag of the Vice-Admiral A Buller, C.B. and represents the type of ship in favour with many naval officers at the time.

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Vice-Admiral Buller KCB, the Commander-in-Chief of the China Station in the 1890's, on the quarter-deck of his flagship first-class battleship Centurion, together with his flag lieutenant and suite, and Flag Captain Spencer H M Login, and the officers of Centurion. The Centurion was the only battleship in the China seas at this point and the only British battleship permanently stationed outside the Channel and Mediterranean Fleets, was commissioned for this service at Portsmouth in February 1894. Vice-Admiral Buller's predecessor on the station was Admiral Fremantle who flew his flag during the Chino-Japanese war and was relieved in the command in March 1896.

HMS Centurion - Name History

The seventh ?CENTURION? was an 80-gun ship, launched at Pembroke in 1844.  She was of 2590 tons, and carried a crew of 750 men.  Her length , beam, and draught were 190ft., 57ft., and 19ft.The ?Centurion? was fitted with a screw and engines of 400 horse-power in 1856. In 1870 the ?Centurion? was sold for ?8200.The eighth ?CENTURION? was a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, launched at Portsmouth in 1892.  She was of 10,500 tons, 13,214 horse-power, and 18 knot speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 360ft., 70ft., and 25ft.In 1900 the ?Centurion,? commanded by Captain John R. Jellicoe, and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hobart Seymour, took part in the third China War or ?Boxer Riots.?Sir Edward Seymour was the senior flag-officer of the Eight Nationalities assembled in the Far East, and as such presided over their Councils.On June 9th a detachment from the ?Centurion? proceeded in a Naval Brigade of mixed nationalities, 2000 strong, with 19 guns, for the relief of Peking, under Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Seymour.  This expedition went through some very severe fighting, and suffered a loss of 2 officers and 63 men killed, and 20 officers and 210 men wounded before withdrawing.  Captain Beyts, R.M.A., of the ?Centurion,? was killed, and Captain John. R. Jellicoe, who behaved with great gallantry, and 4 other officers of the same ship were wounded.From June 26th to July 11th, a detachment of officers and men from the ?Centurion? assisted in the capture and defence of Tientsin, and during this period lost 5 killed and 14 wounded.In August the ?Centurion? contributed a number of officers and men to a British Naval Brigade, which advanced to the final and satisfactory relief of Peking, with 20,100 troops under Lieutenant-General Sir Alfred Gaselee. In 1990 this ?Centurion? was sold at Portsmouth for ?26,200. The ninth ?CENTURION? is a 10-gun turbine battleship, launched at Devonport in 1911.  She is of 25,000 tons, 30,000 horse-power, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 555ft., 89ft., and 28ft.