HMS Trafalgar

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HMS Trafalgar, steel armoured battleship of the Hamilton Programme. Launched 20th September 1887, at Portsmouth Dockyard and completed for sea in 1890. HMS Trafalgar cost about ?900,000 to build and was modernised internally in 1905. She went into reserve fleet at Devonport from March 1907-09 and served as a turret and torpedo drill ship and then joined the 4th Division of Home Fleet, finally scrapped 9th April 1911.

Displacement: 11,940.    Horse power: 12,000.    Length: 345ft.    Beam: 73ft.    Draught: 27' 6".    Speed 16.7 knots.    Armament: four 67 ton guns, two armoured turrets, partial belt of armour 20" thick.

The Trafalgar was a steel armoured battleship of the early Hamilton Programme and was completed for sea in 1890. She was built at Portsmouth Dockyard and engined by Messrs Humphrys & Tennant. Trafalgar was commissioned as the flagship of the second in command in the Mediterranean and flew the flag of Rear-Admiral Compton E Domvile.

HMS Trafalgar, 1890.

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HMS Trafalgar, 1890

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HMS Trafalgar.

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Removing the Guns of HMS Trafalgar

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The Battleship Trafalgar Taking in Coal

The photograph was taken form on board the battleship HMS Trafalgar of the Mediterranean Fleet, and shows the process of coaling the ship from a collier (the Westbrook), lying alongside. The place of coaling on this occasion was off Alexandretta, on the coast of Syria, near where the detached Levant Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet (in which the Trafalgar was then flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Compton Domvile), was at this time cruising, the date being 24th January 1895.

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The Trafalgar at Malta 1896

This photograph shows the operation of hoisting a big gun into position inside one of the turrets on board the first-class battleship Trafalgar of 1896. The largest crane at Malta Dockyard had to be used on the occasion, as might well happen with so heavy a mass to deal with as a gun weighing 67 tons. The Trafalgar carried four of these weapons, two in the fore turret and two in the after turret, the operation we see in the photograph was to replace a worn out gun with a new one.

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Officers of the Trafalgar After Coaling

This photograph of a group of officers on board the Trafalgar, taken after coaling, comprises a group of officers, including Flag-Captain Milne, and the Chief Engineers, with others who had been superintending the operation, as their more or less grimy appearance shows. Rapidity of coaling was not only a test of smartness but also a matter of the highest importance and there was great emulation to create a record over the operation among the ships in the Mediterranean. The Trafalgar's schedule of time taken over the work, as exhibited on the board, had a particular interest, for its shows that she topped the line at that moment. This photograph was from W J Kilpatrick RN HMS Trafalgar and was used in Army and Navy Illustrated in 1896.

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The Quarter-deck of HMS Trafalgar 1896

The raison d'etre of the name Trafalgar among the warships of the British Navy needs no explanation. This third Trafalgar bore the name when both predecessor were still in existence. The first Trafalgar, a three-decker first rate laid down in the year after Nelson's battle and completed in 1820, became a coal hulk named Pitt at Portsmouth during the 1890's. She was renamed Camperdown in 1825 and then renamed again as Pitt. The second Trafalgar, launched in 1841 was renamed Boscawen and used as a boys training ship at Portland when the third Trafalgar was in service. The third Trafalgar was launched in September 1887 until being sold and broken up in 1911. Every 21st of October the great event from which the Trafalgar took her name was specially observed, usually by a smoking concert to which the officers of other ships were invited. The photograph shows the quarter-deck of the Trafalgar of the 1890's prepared for such an event. This photograph was originally from W J Kilpatrick.

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Hoisting out one of the Trafalgars 67-Ton Guns, 1896

The disembarkation of a battleships guns was a proceeding that took place in all men of war at varying intervals for the purpose of replacing worn or damaged pieces by new. After a limited number of rounds guns would start to lose accuracy through the effect of corrosion caused by the powder gases, and they required re-lining or re-fitting with a fresh inner tube. A 67-ton gun, such as the one shown above  being hoisted out of the after turret of HMS Trafalgar in Malta Dockyard, had a life of 120 rounds with full charges, or of 400 rounds with half charges and of 200 rounds with three-quarter charges. After firing this number of rounds the gun would go back to the arsenal for inspection and, if necessary, renewal. In regulations at the time of this photograph, in peace practice half charges would be used, with an occasional three-quarter charge to test the proper workings of the gun mountings; the full charge was reserved for war.

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The port engine room of HMS Trafalgar.

showing the Steam, pressure, and vacuum gauges as well as electric bells and voice pipes.  There can also be seen instruments for transmitting orders of the engine rooms, Conning tower and  bridge

The Hydraulic Engine room of HMS Trafalgar

The Debris deck of HMS Trafalgar

This shows the upper portions of the engine rooms and the Cylinders. Showing them situated below the armored deck which can be seen in the photograph. as well as ventilation trunking