Monmouth Class

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Monmouth Class armoured cruisers of the Royal Navy. Cruisers in the class were HMS Monmouth, HMS Bedford, HMS Berwick, HMS Cornwall, HMS Cumberland, HMS Donegal, HMS Essex, HMS Kent, HMS Lancaster and HMS Suffolk.

In response to the number of amoured cruisers being built by Germany, France and The United States, The Royal navy ordered the 10 cruisers of the Monmouth class, over the naval programmes of 1898 / 1899 and 1900.  These ships were planned to have the same speed as th4e Drake Class, but be smaller and so be cheaper to Build, they also had the same armour arrangement as the Cressy class but the armour was of a reduced thickness. These differences made these ships inadequate to fulfill their functions and were considered by many to be second rate cruisers.   they were good steamers but due to the weight of their turrets pitched heavily in bad weather.  All the class served in Home waters except HMS Lancaster and HMS Monmouth which served in the Mediterranean. From 1906 all the ships were dispersed to overseas stations. 

Displacement: 9800 tons,  Speed: 23 knots.  Compliment: 678  Armament: Fourteen 6 inch Quick firing guns, , ten 12 pdr QF guns,  Three 3 pdr QF  and Two 18-nch torpedo tubes submerged. 

HMS Bedford 31st August 1901 Wrecked 21st August 1910.
HMS Berwick 20th September 1902 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.
HMS Cornwall 29th October 1902 Sold and broken up 7th June 1920.
HMS Cumberland 16th December 1902 Sold and broken up 9th May 1921.
HMS Donegal 4th September 1902 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.
HMS Essex 29th August 1901 Sold and broken up 8th November 1921.
HMS Kent 6th March 1901 Sold and broken up June 1920.
HMS Lancaster 22nd March 1902 Sold and broken up 3rd March 1920.
HMS Monmouth 13th November 1901 Sunk by gunfire on 1st November 1914
HMS Suffolk 15th January 1903 Sold and broken up 1st July 1920.

HMS Bedford

HMS Bedford - Name History

The fifth ?Bedford? was a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Govan in 1901.  She was of 9800 tons, 22,457 horsepower, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440 ft, 66ft, and 24ft. On August 21st, 1910, this ship while commanded by Captain Edward S. Fitzherbert ran ashore on Quelpart Island on the china Station, and became a total wreck, 18 lives being lost through the sudden flooding of the stokeholds.  The wreck was sold soon afterwards for ?3000.

HMS Bedford.

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HMS Bedford.

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HMS Bedford

HMS Bedford in 1902.

HMS Cornwall

HMS Cornwall at Swinemunder Harbour, Germany.  

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The quarter deck of HMS Cornwall.

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HMS Cornwall.

HMS Cornwall - Name History

The sixth ?Cornwall? is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horse-power, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft., 66ft., and 24ft.  On August 6th, 1911 the ?Cornwall,? while commanded by Captain James C. Ley, had the misfortune to run aground on Pinnacle Rock, off Cape Sable, while going to the assistance of H.M. Canadian ship ?Niobe,? which had also run aground in the vicinity.  Both cruisers were soon afloat again.

HMS Cumberland

HMS Cumberland 

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HMS Cumberland ships company (rugby or football team)

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HMS Cumberland photographed on Coronation night. 

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HMS Cumberland.

HMS Donegal

HMS Donegal

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HMS Donegal 

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HMS Donegal.

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HMS Donegal.

HMS Donegal

Crew of HMS Donegal, 1913.

Image not available for reproduction.  Contributed by Steve Whelan.

In the photo opposite of the crew of HMS Donegal, third from right, bottom row, as shown above is the grandfather of the contributor.

Image not available for reproduction.  Contributed by Steve Whelan.

HMS Donegal - Name History

The third ?DONEGAL? is a 14-gun twin-screw cruiser launched at Govan in 1902.  She is of 9800 tons, 22,000 horse-power, and 23 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 440ft., 66ft., and 24ft.

HMS Essex

HMS Essex.  

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HMS Essex. 

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HMS Essex.

HMS Essex.

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HMS Kent

HMS Kent at Vladivostock  1918

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HMS Kent 

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HMS Kent.

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HMS Kent. 

HMS Kent.

The launch of the armoured cruiser HMS Kent on 6th March 1901 at Portsmouth Dockyard.

Artist's Impression of HMS Kent sinking Nurnberg off the Falkland Islands, December 8th 1914.

Sent in by John Valentine, whose father served during this battle;

My father, Frederick Valentine, served as a sub-lieutenant on board HMS Kent during the Falklands navel battle. I am at present scanning his photographs of these events and attempting to restore the images, many of which are in very poor condition.  I would be interested in identifying some of the ships and, who knows, finding relatives of the other men who served with my father under Captain Allen.  I have a copy of the "Daily Colonist" a Vancouver newspaper dated June 6th 1915. This is where the Kent was refitted after suffering considerable damage in her battle with the Nuremberg. There is a photograph of the Kent's officers with their names. My father was listed as "midshipman" as he was serving as an RNVR, having spent several years in sail on The Mersey, running between England and Australia. He was trained on HMS Conway. Also included are photographs of the ships company and Captain Allen.  Also in the paper, printed across the top of two inside pages (see above), is an artists impression of the Nuremberg going down with the Kent standing off at a distance my father described as "unrealistically close in naval terms". The detail is such that I imagine the engraver used photographs as his source.  The paper had been triple-folded  and squashed into the back of the album for nearly ninety years, so it is rather delicate.  

If you know of anyone who has a relative who served on the Kent at this time, I would be interested in making contact. The album had been hidden away in a cupboard since my father's death in 1968, but it has recently come into my possession. I want it to be shared by all who may be interested. The originals are not of course for sale under any circumstances.

HMS Lancaster

HMS Lancaster.

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HMS Lancaster c.1910 

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The Lancaster being towed to dock to be finished.

Crew of HMS Lancaster with Montana Liz.

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The Captain of HMS Lancaster with Montana Liz.  

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Some of the crew of HMS Lancaster.

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The Launch of HMS Lancaster in 1902.

Sir William White designed the ship and Messrs Hawthorn, Leslie and Co. made the machinery. The christening of the vessel was performed by Mrs Douglas, wife of Vice-Admiral Douglas.

HMS Lancaster.

HMS Monmouth

Crew members possibly from the cruiser HMS Monmouth at Wei Hai Wei in September 1913. 

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HMS Monmouth 

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HMS Monmouth.

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HMS Monmouth.

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HMS Monmouth which was sunk by the German Navy near the coast of Chili during world war one.

HMS Monmouth.

HMS Suffolk

HMS Suffolk

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HMS Suffolk at Vladivostock c.1912   

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HMS Suffolk at Malta c.1910 

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HMS Suffolk.

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HMS Suffolk.

HMS Suffolk.

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Cruisers shown at Wei Bai River c.1912.  Three funneled cruisers from left to right : Bedford, King Alfred, Kent, Monmouth.  Earlier cruisers Astrea and Alacrity are also pictured.  Thanks to Roger Young for the Photograph and information.