HMS Magnificent

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HMS Magnificent of the Majestic Class battleships shown in old photographs leaving Chatham dockyard to serve in Channel Squadron. HMS Magnificent was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Alington, photographs collected from the Army & Navy Gazette of 1896. HMS Magnificent 12 inch turrets were used for the Monitors General Craufurd and Prince Eugene, she was used as a troop transport in September 1915 and an ammunitions store in 1918. She was finally scrapped in June 1921.

HMS Magnificent 1902

Armament: four 12 inch guns, twelve 6 inch guns, sixteen 12 pdr guns, twelve 3 pdr guns, 2 maxims, two 2pdr boat guns and five torpedo tubes.   Displacement: 14,900 tons.   Speed: 16.5 knots.   Complement: 757.

HMS MAGNIFICENT 19TH DECEMBER 1894 SOLD FOR B/U 9TH MAY 1921

HMS Magnificent.

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The Magnificent photographed at the Royal Review of 1902. She was the flagship of the Honourable A G Curzon-Howe, who was second in command of the Channel Squadron at this time. 

HMS Magnificent.

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HMS Magnificent.

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HMS Magnificent.

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HMS Magnificent, 1895.

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HMS Magnificent, 1895.

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HMS Magnificent.

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HMS Magnificent in dock at Chatham 1896.

The photograph shows HMS magnificent leaving the dock at Chatham where she was finally completed for commission. The Photo was taken just before the dock was filled and the gates opened for the Magnificent to pass out into the basin and thence into the Medway for her passing round to Devonport which was going to be her future port as senior ship of the second or western Division of the Channel squadron.

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HMS Magnificent Leaving Chatham 1896.  The Magnificent left Chatham for Devonport, her new port from 1896 onwards. Five days after she hoisted the pennant under conditions of special eclat. Most of the official heads of the Dockyard, from Admiral Superintendent downwards, were present as she passed through the gates of the outer basin into the fairway of the Medway, to give her a parting cheer and wish the  grand battleship God Speed. Those on board the Magnificent of course returned the compliment with the usual ceremony on these occasions. The Marines presenting arms to a parting salute and the band playing.  This photograph from the Navy and army Illustrated of Jan 31st 1896 shows the scene on the quarter deck of the battleship.

From Right Aft, Looking at After Barbette of HMS Magnificent.  Photo taken from the barbette of the Magnificent from a position right aft, directly at the muzzles of the guns in the after Barbette of the ship. One can see now at a glance how the armoured steel "hood" closes over and protects the two heavy guns and the more or less intricate mechanism of their breech loading apparatus, at the same time that it adequately shelters the men who are handling the guns. This method of protection designed particularly against the quick-firing guns of an enemy. has until now been applied only in the Barfleur and Centurion among our ships on the active list.

The Men of HMS Magnificent 1896.   These are some of the crew who serve don HMS Magnificent while in the Channel Squadron (1896).  The ships company was at the time approx 750 men. These comprise of Seamen, stokers, marines, marine artillerymen, and officers of all grades, petty, warrant and commissioned. from Midshipmen (some of whom are shown on the right side of the photograph) to the Rear Admiral, second in command of the Squadron, whose flagship the Magnificent is. 

The Commander of the Lion - 1896.

When this photograph was taken, Commander Thomas Young  Greet was in the Magnificent.  As Commander he was responsible to the Captain for the proper working and carrying on of the routine duties and the general interior economy of the ship, with general supervision of discipline among all ranks junior to him on board.  Commander Greet has since relinquished this appointment, and is now in charge of the Lion training ship for boys at Devonport.

The Captain of the Magnificent - 1896.

Captain Charles James Barlow, D.S.O., commissioned the Magnificent on her completion for sea on the 12th of last December.  He has a distinguished record, for his services as Lieutenant of the Inflexible at Alexandria, and in the later shore operations of July 1882; and for services with a Naval Brigade in Burmah, while holding the post of Commander of the Bacchante, then British flagship in the East Indies.  In the Channel Squadron, as Captain he has commanded both the Endymion and the Empress of India.

Admirals Cabin aboard HMS Magnificent 1896.

Rear Admiral Alingtons cabin on board his flagship. A most comfortable an apartment as can be found on board a Battleship at the time. The Dog on the rug was the Admirals Special pet,  "Bow"

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In the Ward Room of HMS Magnificent 1896.

In the Centre of the table, which is shown laid for dinner, is one of the few pieces of plate that the officers of HMS magnificent have brought over with them from their previous ship HMS Empress of India. it is the cup that rear Admiral Dale, Admiral Alington's predecessor as second in command of the Channel Squadron, presented, on striking his flag in the spring of 1895, to the Officers of his Flagship HMS Empress of India.

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Mr Edward Braithwaite B.A The Naval instructor for HMS Magnificent. with a group of "young Gentlemen" These naval cadets are placed under his supervision to continue their naval studies.  (1896 )  He joined HMS Magnificent from HMS Empress of India

 

Rear Admiral A.H Alington  with  Flag Lieutenant William George Elmhurst Ruck-Keene pictured on board HMS Magnificent January 1896.

Rear Admiral A H Alington. entered the navy in 1852 and had seen service during the Russian War 1854-1855. he joisted his flag on board HMS Empress of India in April 1895, as second in command in the Channel, and on the 12th December turned over into HMS Magnificent  while being commissioned.  Flag Lieutenant William George Elmhurst Ruck Keene entered the Royal navy in 1880 and as a naval cadet saw service in the Egyptian War. Both Officers have been awarded medals for saving Life.

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The Mascot of HMS Magnificent.   The bear is shown being fed a can of condensed milk on board HMS Magnificent. The Bear was first obtained as a cub three months old by Admiral Heneage when on board HMS Swiftsure was on the Pacific Station, from Juno Island Alaska. On the Swiftsure paying off it was presented to the ships company of HMS Anson who took it with them when they transferred to HMS Empress of India. The ships company of Empress of India were turned over  in December 1895 to HMS Magnificent and the bear accompanied them.

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The first pay day on board the Magnificent (1896).

Our illustration records the first pay day on board the Magnificent, after she was commissioned in December at Chatham.  The leading figure of the group of officers is Fleet Paymaster W B Autridge, and with him Lieutenant C H Dundas, the First Lieutenant of the Magnificent Mr James Murray, Assistant Paymaster, Arthur R Martin, Chief Writer, and (with the book, calling over the men's names) Master-at-Arms, James Foster, the Chief of the Police on board.

The Admirals Stern-Walk on Board the Magnificent

The view of the stern of the battleship Magnificent shows the stern-walk of the Admiral's cabin. In this balcony the Admiral can at any time watch the vessels of his fleet or squadron, without being obliged to come on deck, and his presence there in no way interferes with the general work of the ship. An Admiral, as a fact, is by way of being only a passenger in his own flagship, and his appearance on deck is more or less a matter of ceremonial, not differing greatly from that which was observed in a ship of war on the Admiral coming over the side. "The stern-walk" also, as an old Admiral - Sir Robert Stopford, in his youth one of Nelson's Captains - used to say, " is an Admiral's best place for health and recreation."

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Morning Prayers on Board the Magnificent

Every morning on board ship after the general daily muster of the company for inspection, the men assemble aft on the quarter-deck or the most spacious open space on board, for prayers. After the order "Off Caps", on which everyone uncovers, the chaplain reads the morning service, the men repeating the responses in a reverent and decorous manner. It is a very ancient custom, dating from the earliest days of the Royal Navy in Elizabeth's time, when it was also the usage of the sea to sing hymns and psalms at the changing of every watch. This usage of hymn and psalm singing lasted in the Navy till after the Restoration. In the 19th century prayers were often read before going into action.

The Search Light on the Bridge of the Magnificent - 1896

Everybody, since the Naval Exhibition of five years ago, knows something about the search light - what it is for, and how it is used.  The Magnificent is very efficiently equipped with no fewer than six search light projectors, distributed at all points of the ship.  They are very powerful, and are worked by three dynamos, each of 600 amperes.  One of these search light projectors, with the men to work it, forms the subject of our illustration.  The hostile torpedo boat that on a dark night was brought into view by its rays would stand a poor chance against the hail of projectiles which would be poured upon her.

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On the After Barbette of the Magnificent, looking Aft - 1896

From our point of vantage we may get something of an idea of the wide sweep and command of fire of the Magnificents big fifty ton guns.  We can, furthermore, see at close quarters something of the novel feature of the mounting designed for the protection of the breech of the guns and of the men forming the gun detachment.  This, in the Magnificent and the ships of her class, takes the form of "hoods" of thick steel, revolving with the guns on a turntable within each barbette.  On deck aft, men of the ship's company are being told off for work.

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Rear-Admiral Alington and the Officers of the Magnificent

In this photograph we see Rear-Admiral Alington, the officer second in command of the Channel Squadron on board the battleship Magnificent, surrounded by the officers of the executive and civil branches of the flagship. The Rear-Admiral is distinguishable by the broad band of gold lace on his sleeve, the mark of a flag officer, with above it a narrow ring of lace to note his grade as Rear-Admiral. Vice-Admirals wear two rings above the broad band, Admirals three, Admirals of the fleet, four. The Flag-Captain of the Magnificent wears four rings of lace on his sleeve and no wide band, and the two commanders of the ship three. Officers wearing aiguillettes denote that they belong to a flag-officers staff. Seated on the deck are shown the Midshipmen and Naval Cadets of the Magnificent.

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A Message for the Captain of the Magnificent

The two officers shown her are the captain and commander of the battleship Magnificent during 1896, Captain Charles James Barlow, DSO, flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Alington, second in command of the Channel Squadron, and Commander Frederick Edward Errington Brock. They are shown discussing a message written down on a signal-slate as received by signal from another ship, and brought to Captain Barlow on the quarter-deck by one of the signal men, who is seen standing nearby waiting to return to the bridge with the slate and the captain's answer. The noting down of messages on a slate on board ship in the 1890's was by then common usage in the Royal Navy. In this way Nelson's famous message at Trafalgar was noted down by Signal-Lieutenant Pasco of the Victory from the Admiral's own lips, and as received on board the different ships, the words were written on each ship's signal slate in the first place and taken to the captain as the ships were going into action - so letters written by officers after the battle relate.

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  The Magnificent c.1900

Admiral Jenkins, Captain Ferris and other officers

HMS Magnificent

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Clearing for Action on Board the Magnificent 1896

Once a week on every Friday morning every British ship of war in commission during 1896 rehearses as a matter of drill, all the operations and incidents of a ship-to-ship battle; as if in the immediate presence of an enemy. On the bugle sounding the call for action the guns' crew run to their guns and clear them of all encumbrances and everything in the way of straight shooting; the magazines are opened and dummy cartridges are passed up to the guns; the torpedo men make ready their torpedoes; the surgeon and assistants prepare and lay everything out ready for the wounded; watertight compartments are closed and all doors shut; and so on. All being ready, another bugle sounds and an imaginary battle begins, the gun batteries drilling, imaginary outbreaks of fire and damage received from hostile shots being attended to, and all contingencies that can be thought of dealt with as though the ship were actually under fire. The photograph shows the men getting the boats' davits and other obstacles out of the way, so as to give a clear range of fire for the two 50 ton guns in the after barbettes.

HMS Magnificent

 

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