HMS Gladiator

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HMS Gladiator 2nd Class Cruiser

HMS Gladiator   was built at Portsmouth Dock Yard and laid down in January  1896, launched 18th December 1896 and completed in April 1899. HMS Gladiator was built as part of the 1895 Naval programme  and were intended to be used with the fleet and to use "ramming tactics during action. Their ram was heavier and more pronounced than other second rate cruisers.  The arrogant Class were the first second rate cruisers to be fitted with water tube boilers,  with six Belleville boilers mounted in each of the three Boiler rooms.  In 1903 to 1904 the class were re armed with ten 6 -inch Guns.   She joined the Home Fleet on completion. 

On the afternoon of the 25th, April 1908 , when the second class cruiser HMS Gladiator was off Yarmouth, isle of White, she came into collision, during a blinding snowstorm, with the liner St Paul outward bound for New York. the bow of the liner struck the starboard side of HMS Gladiator nearly amidships, and just aloft the first funnel. the liner went astern and the cruiser immediately began to fill, taking a heavy list to starboard, but there was fortunately, just time to beach her near Black Rock buoy, about 400 yards from the shore, under Fort Victoria. this accident resulted in the loss of one officer and 127 men. HMS Gladiator was raised later that year and towed to Portsmouth, where she was berthed in dry dock. Examination of the ship showed that she was unfit for further service and she would be sold for scrap.  she was sold for around ?5,000 for scrap. (The Original cost of building was ?287,604 plus it cost further ?60,000   in raising and re-floating her back to Portsmouth.)

Displacement: 5750 tons, Speed: 19 Knots.  Compliment 480  Armament: Four 6 inch Guns,  Six 4.7-inch QF guns , Eight 12 pdr  and Three 3 pdr QF, 5 machine Guns.  Three 18-inch Torpedo Tubes 

 

The Wreck of HMS Gladiator after collision with the SS St Paul during a snowstorm off Yarmouth, 25th April 1908.

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Another view of the wreck of HMS Gladiator

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HMS Gladiator entering dock at Portsmouth, 1908, after the collision with a liner.

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HMS Gladiator. 

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HMS Gladiator.

Captain Frederick O Pike and the officers of the second-class cruiser HMS Gladiator c.1900.

The Captain and Officers of HMS Gladiator c. 1898

The Crew of HMS Gladiator c.1898