HMS Resolution

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HMS Resolution, Royal Navy Pre-Dreadnought steel armoured battleship of the Royal Sovereign Class, built by Palmer and Jarrow, part of the Naval Defence Act Programme of 1890. Launched 28th May 1892. Commissioned at Portsmouth in December in 1893 and served in the Channel Squadron. In her last years she served in home waters 1911-1913 and was eventually scrapped on 2nd April 1914.

Displacement: 14,150 tons.    Horse power: 13,000.    Length: 380 ft.    Beam: 75ft.    Draught: 27' 6".    Armament: four 67 ton in two armoured barbettes. Partial belt of 18 inch thick armour.    Speed 17.9 knots.

The First Class Battleship Resolution

If General Monk, who commanded on board the first Resolution as one of Cromwell's 'General's at Sea' could come to life again, he would hardly recognise as a battleship the Resolution of the Channel Squadron which we see in the picture, lying alongside the dockyard at Portsmouth, just astern of her sister ship the Royal Sovereign. The Resolution was one of the Naval Defence Act battleships, and served in the Channel from April 1894. Few people would forget the story of her first cruise and the adventures she met with in a storm in the Bay of Biscay; encountered when she was going out to Gibraltar.

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HMS Resolution of the Channel Squadron. - 1896.

The Resolution is a steel-armoured battleship of the Naval Defence Act Programme, and was completed for sea in 1893. She was built by contract at the yard of Messrs. Palmer at Jarrow, and engined by the same firm. her displacement is 14,150 tons; I.H.P. 13,000. Length 380ft. Beam 75ft. Maximum draught 27ft 6ins.  She carries as her principal armament four 67 tons guns in two armoured barbettes, and has a partial belt of armour of 18 ins. maximum thickness.  Her speed is 17.9 knots.  The Resolution was commissioned at Portsmouth in December 1893, as one of the ships of the Channel Squadron. She was commanded in 1896 by Captain Andrew K Bickford C.M.G.

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HMS Resolution.

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HMS Resolution, December, 1894

HMS Resolution.

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Captain W Wilson of the Resolution and his officers c.1900.

The Company of the Resolution

The photograph shows a muster of the company of the first-class battleship Resolution, (commanded by Captain A K Bickford, C.M.G) serving in the Channel Squadron during 1896. The men have been paraded on the quarter-deck of their ship for the purposes of the photograph. All ratings - warrant and petty officers, seamen an stokers, marines and marine artillerymen - are shown, with on the extreme left of the picture, Commander Henry B Anson, the executive officer of the vessel. Upwards of 650 men all told, form the company of the Resolution.

Cutlass Drill on Board the Resolution 1896

Cutlass or sword drill was one of the items of a sailors education in 1896 to which attention was regularly paid. Once every week, generally on a Wednesday afternoon after dinner, the men were mustered for instruction and put through an hours cutlass exercise, as is shown in the photograph. For hand to hand fighting purposes and cutting out operations an acquaintance with the cuts and guards, points and parries, and so forth was deemed useful at this time.

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In the Gun-Room of the Resolution

The gun-room in the ships of war of the 1890s was where the midshipmen and other subordinate officers mess and pass their time when off duty. In the Resolution upwards of a score of juniors of the executive and civil departments on board, found accommodation here; midshipmen, naval cadets, assistant paymasters, clerks and assistant engineers. The name Gun-Room is a story in itself. It used to be the living room of the junior officers, and was at the same time placed specially under the care of the gunner, under whose charge, to some extent, the junior officers were. What the gunners daughter was, and the fate of erring midshipmen in connection therewith need not be retold.

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The Barber on Board Ship 1896

The barber was by no means an unimportant functionary  on board ship in the 1890s when officers and men would adopt one of three fashions as regards facial hair. They could shave clean, wear beards or moustaches - a fashion which was said to be due to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg (Duke of Edinburgh) - or have side whiskers. In the early days down to the Napoleonic War, hair on the face was unknown in the navy; then came a period when whiskers, some bushy, some mutton chop, were in vogue. The marines of the 1890s preferred to wear. 

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In the Engine Room of HMS Resolution

Deep down in the vessel, safely placed and as far as possible out of the reach of an enemys shot and shell and below the waterline, are situated a battleships engines. In the engine room of the Resolution taken in 1896 we see some of the principal appliances for handling the ship in the 1890s. Here, for instance is the telegraph signal apparatus, communicating with both the navigating bridge and the conning tower, which conveys the orders of the officers in charge of the ship to those in charge of the engines; the various boiler gauges for giving information to the entire engine room staff as to the steam pressure and the amount of water in the boilers; voice pipes communicating with the deck or other part of the ship. An engineer officer -distinguishable from the officers of the combatant branch by the absence of the curl or loop on the ring of lace on his sleeve, an artificer, and a leading stoker are also seen in this photograph.

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The Steam Steering Gear of the Resolution

The steam steering gear and the compartment in which it lies was situated below the water line. The steering wheel in the background was meant to be used in emergency cases only. In ordinary conditions and for service in time of peace it was kept as it were in reserve, the ship being steered from the navigating bridge situated before the funnels above the upper deck. There was, in addition, for steering the ship when in action, a special wheel inside the conning tower. Both of these wheels were directly connected with the mechanism and gear and the reserve wheel shown in the photograph, the care of which was one of the many responsibilities of the engineer department.

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The Stokers On Board the Battleship Resolution

The stoker on board a ship of war had a very busy time in the 1890s, he worked in a hot stokehold shovelling coal into a fiery furnace or trimming coal from some pocket or coal box situated under the armoured deck. He would also do a turn as an oiler in the hot atmosphere of the engine room or become half smothered in dirt while sweeping the sooty boiler tubes, cleaning out the accumulation at the backs of the furnaces which glowed with heat; scaling boilers; cleansing the bilges, or wiping up slush by the bucketful. After being mustered and reported clean, he could then turn in, sleep or go on deck for a breath of fresh air.

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At Drill with a 6 inch Quick-Firing Gun on Board the Resolution 1896

The quick-firing gun, seen here in a drill by crew of the Resolution in1896, was originally designed against torpedo boat attack. The original light breech-loading gun was found to be too slow in its action to be able to keep up an efficient fire on so rapidly moving an object as the torpedo boat, too much time being lost in loading and training between each discharge. The quick-firing gun of this picture used metallic cases, simplifying to the utmost degree the operations of loading. The weapon can be fired as fast as the charge and projectile can be slipped into the breech, the mechanism of which worked automatically, and finally ejects the fired cases - at the simple movement of a lever. The 6-inch 100 pound quick-firer, with which the Resolutions men were drilling was the heaviest quick-firer used in the British Service at the time and formed the secondary armament in the first-class battleships of the 1890s.

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Cleaning Guns on Board the Resolution in 1896

One of the most constant cares was keeping clean the weapons of precision on which a ship relied for fulfillment of her purpose. It was carried out as a matter of routine twice a day, when each man would go to his gun and polish and clean some part of its machinery and gear for 20 minutes or so. Every Saturday part of the morning would be given up to cleaning to guns. the photograph shows some of the men at work in the forward barbette of HMS Resolution.

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  HMS Resolution - Relieving the Watch

Two lieutenants of the battleship Resolution photographed in the act of transferring the charge of the ship from one to the other. The officer coming on duty (wearing the twisted lace on his sleeve) is a lieutenant of the Royal Navy Reserve. He is receiving information on the course the ship is steering, her speed, and other special matters in regard to the ship.


The Captain of the Resolution and his ADC

The two officers shown in the photo are Captain Andrew K Bickford C.M.G., in command of the Resolution of the Channel Squadron in 1896, and a naval cadet of the Resolution who is specially acting as Aide-de-Camp to the Captain. It can be assumed that the ADC is making a report. The photo was taken just outside the battery door on the quarterdeck.

The Captains Cabin, 1896

The Gun Room

The Ward Room