Name Histories A

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Ship Name Histories - Database of histories of ship names beginning with letter A.

HMS Aboukir

The third ?Aboukir? was a 90-gun ship launched at Plymouth in 1848.  She was of 3083 tons, and carried a crew of 830 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 204ft., 60ft., and 19ft.  This vessel was fitted with a screw and engines of 400-horse power.  From 1863 to 1877 she acted a receiving ship at Jamaica, and in 1877 she was sold.

HMS Acheron

The fifth ?Acheron? was a 28 gun screw vessel, launched at Millwall in 1865 as the ?Northumberland.?  She was of 10,780 tons, 4000 horsepower, and 14 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 400 ft., 59ft., and 28ft.   For many years this vessel acted as a stokers training ship at Chatham, and she was subsequently converted into a floating coal depot.

HMS Achilles

           The seventh ?Achilles? was a 50-gun screw ship, launched at Chatham in 1861.  She was of 9820 tons, 5720 horsepower, and 14 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 380ft., 58ft., and 27ft.   In 1879 the ?Achilles? commanded by Captain Sir William Hewett, was one of a squadron of six ships under Vice-Admiral Hornby, with his flag in ?Alexandra,? which cleared for action and proceeded through the Dardanelles to Constantinople to protect British interests during the conflict between Russia and Turkey.  The Turks did not obstruct the passage of the ships, and no fighting took place.  The ?Achilles,? if fighting had occurred, was to have silenced Namasghia.  Admiral Geoffrey Hornby was deservedly rewarded with a K.C.B. for his tactful management of the situation.   In 1882 the ?Achilles? commanded by Captain Edward Kelly, arrived to late to take part in the bombardment of Alexandria, but she assisted in the occupation of the town, and Captain Edward Kelly became the head of the transport service.  The ?Achilles? eventually went to Malta to act as depot ship, and her name was changed to ?Hibernia.?  This vessel?s name was again changed, this time to ?Egmont? in 1904, when a first class battleship was laid down as the ?Hibernia.?

HMS Actaeon

The seventh ?Actaeon? is a 26-gun screw frigate, launched as the ?Ariadne? at Deptford in 1859.  She is of 4538 tons, 3350 horsepower, and carried a crew of 250 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft., 51ft., and 16ft.  In 1905 this vessel became the Torpedo School at Sheerness.

HMS Adventure

The thirteenth ?Adventure? was a 2-gun screw troop ship, launched at Birkenhead as the ?Resolute? in 1855.  She was of 1793 tons, 400-horse power, and 11 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 283ft., 36ft., and 20ft.  In 1857 this vessel was re-named ?Adventure,? and was used as a troop-ship.   In 1858 the ?Adventure? was engaged in the second China war.  In August of this year she landed a brigade, whom, co-operating with 6 ships, attacked and captured the town of Namtao near Hong Kong.  Two brass guns were brought off, and the place was pillaged and partially burnt.  In 1860 some officers and men from the ?Adventure? assisted in the attack and capture of the Taku Forts.    In 1877 the ?Adventure? was broken up at Chatham.

The fifteenth ?Adventure? is a twin-screw scout, launched at Elswick in1904.  She is of 2670 tons, 15,920 horsepower, and 25 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught are 374ft., 38ft., and 14ft.  This vessel?s original name was ?Eddystone,? but it was changed to ?Adventure? before launching.

HMS Agamemnon

The second ?Agamemnon? was a 91-gun vessel, launched at Woolwich in 1852.  She owned the distinction of being the first screw line of battleship actually built as such.  She was of 3102 tons, and carried a crew of 850 men.  With 600 horsepower she had a speed of 11 knots.  Her length, beam and draught were 230ft., 55ft., and 24ft.  In 1854 the ?Agamemnon,? flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, and commanded by Captain Thomas M.C. Symonds, was on the Bulgarian coast in order to be of assistance to the Turks, when Great Britain formally declared war against Russia on March 27th.  On May 19th the ?Agamemnon? was one of an Anglo-French squadron, which bombarded and drove the Russians out of Redout Kaleh, an operation that enabled the Turks to take possession of the place.  On September 26th the ?Agamemnon? was one of a squadron, which took possession of Balaclava, and then contributed 200 seamen to a large Naval Brigade, which was being landed to assist the army in the attack upon Sebastopol from the landward side.   On October 17th the ?Agamemnon? commanded by Captain Wm. Robert Mends, and flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, was one of a combined Anglo-French and Turkish fleet of 54 vessels under Vice-Admiral Dundas, with his flag in ?Britannia,? which took part in the first bombardment of Sebastopol.  The attack from the landside began soon after daybreak.  There being no wind the steam vessels towed the sailing ships into their place of action, the fleet being led in by the ?Agameemnon? which took a place about 1000 yards from the fort Constantine.  The fleet bombarded from 6 p.m., and then withdrew having lost 44 killed and 266 wounded.  The French lost 212 killed and wounded, but the Russians in Sebastopol admitted a loss of 1100 killed and wounded, though the real number was believed to be much nearer 5000.  The British ships suffered severely in the masts, yards, and rigging, but very little serious damage was done to the Russian batteries.  The ?Agamemnon? twice caught fire, had 4 killed and 25 wounded, and owing to her nearness to the forts suffered very severely.  She was almost a wreck, and had been hit no less than 280 times.  At one time the ?Agamemnon? was nearly overpowered, but remarking ?I?m damned if I leave this,? Sir Edmund Lyions signalled to the ?bellerophon? to relieve the fire, which she did.   On May 22nd, 1855, the ?Agamemnon? was one of a British fleet of 33 vessels co-operating with French, Turkish, and Sardinian forces, under Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, who flew his flag in ?Royal Albert,? which sailed from Kamiesh Bay.  On May 24th they reached Kertch and landed troops.  The Russians blew up their fortifications, abandoned hundred guns, and retired, after having destroyed 3 steamers, several other heavily armed vessels, as well as large quantities of provisions, ammunition, and stores. These results were affected without loss to the Allies, who captured 12,000 tons of coal.  The general handiness of the ?Agamemnon? during these operations was much commented on.  Sir Edmund Lyons used her with such constancy for small ship work that she was nicknamed ?Lyon?s brougham.?   On October 7th, 1855, the ?Agamemnon? sailed from Sebastopol in an Anglo-French fleet of about 90 vessels, with nearly 10,000 troops, under Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, with his flag in ?Royal Albert.?  They were to attack the fortress of Kinburn, and so harass the communications and rear of the large Russian army in the Crimea.  They arrived off Kinburn on the 14th and landed the troops.  The ships anchored with only 2 feet of water under their keels, and began a tremendous bombardment at 9.30 a.m. on October 17th, while the troops threatened from the landward side.  After a few hours the Russians surrendered, and were permitted to march out with the honours of war, having only lost 45 killed and 130 wounded.  The British had but 2 people hurt, and their injuries were due to a bursting of a gun in the ?Arrow.?  The employment of 3 French armoured vessels makes this action noteworthy, as well as the fact that only steam vessels were employed. In 1857 the ?Agamemnon? commanded by Master Cornelius Thomas Nodal, made an attempt, in co-operation with an American Frigate, to lay the first Atlantic telegraph cable.  When 355 miles of cable had been paid out, it unfortunately parted, and the operations perforce ceased.  In July 1858 the ?Agamemnon? commanded by Captain George William Preedy, successfully laid the first Atlantic submarine cable from Queenstown to Newfoundland.  On one occasion a whale fouled the cable but fortunately no damage was done.  The American frigate ?Niagara,? which laid the Western half.

The third ?Agamemnon? was a twin-screw 4-gun turret ship, launched at Chatham in1879.  She was of 8490 tons, 6000 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft., 66ft., and 24ft. This ship was one of a type specially built to allow of their passage through the Suez Canal.  On going through in 1885, however, she ran aground many times and held up the traffic for several days.  She eventually got through to China, and under the command of Captain Samuel Long, she shadowed the Russian flagship ?Vladimir Monomach? at a time of national crisis.  In 1888 the ?Agamemnon? commanded by Captain Charles Searle Cardale, was one of a fleet in ?Boadicea,? which took part in the blockade of the Zanzibar Littoral .  This was undertaken in the interests of the suppression of the slavery, and partly in consequence of the revolt of the several of the coast towns against German authority.  Apart from the capture of the slave dhows, the incident of the blockade was of an uninteresting nature. In 1903 the ?Agamemnon? was sold.

HMS Alacrity

The fifth ?Alacrity? was a twin-screw despatch vessel, launched at Palmers Yard.  Jarrow-on-Tyne, in 1885.  She was of 1700 tons, 300-horse power, and 18 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 250ft, 32ft, and 14ft. In 1900 the ?Alacrity,? commanded by commander Christopher George F. M. Cradock, took part in the third Chinese war or Boxer riots.  On June the 16th commander Cradock landed at the head of a combined Anglo-German-Russian-Japanese-Italian-Austrian brigade of 35 officers and 869 men, and co-operated with the allied ships on the attack on the Taku Forts.  After the ships had effectively bombarded the forts, the allied brigade advanced to the attack, but finding the Chinese still needed further punishment, they took shelter in the cover afforded by a bend in the river.  At 4.30 a.m. on the 17th the allies advanced, and captured all the forts on the north side of the river.  The British and Japanese scaled the parapet together, the Japanese commander being the first man up.  Having assisted commander Cradock up the wall the Japanese officer was killed.  The British casualties were 1 killed and 13 wounded.  Commander Cradock mentioned Lieutenant Eric Charrington, of the ?Alacrity? as having distinguished himself, and commanded Surgeon Robley Browne of the same ship for his attention to the wounded.  On June 22nd Commander Cradock commanded a column of 760 men of mixed nationalities, which arrived at Tientsin in spite of a vigorous opposition and assisted in the international defence of that place, and in the capture of Pieyang Arsenal.  During these Chinese operations the navy landed 167 officers and 2040 men.  They suffered 7 officers and 83 men killed, and 13 officers and 256 men wounded. During 1913 this vessel was ordered home to pay off, probably for the last time.

HMS Albacore

The sixth ?Albacore? was a 4-gun screw gunboat, launched at Birkenhead in 1883.  She was of 560 tons, 770 horsepower, and 11 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 135, 26ft., and 11ft. In 1884 the ?Albacore,? commanded by Lieutenant Palmer Smythies, took part in the Egyptian campaign, and assisted in the defence of Suakin against the Mahdists.  In 1906 the ?Albacore? was sold.

The seventh ?Albacore? is a turbine torpedo-boat destroyer, purchased in 1909 from Messrs. Palmer of Jarrow, who had built her on the chance of her being required.  She is of 440 tons, 8000 horsepower, and 30 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 221ft, 21ft, and 8ft. 
HMS Albatross
The seventh ?Albatross? is a twin-screw torpedo-boat destroyer, launched at Chiswick in 1898.  She is of 430 tons, 7500 horsepower, and 32 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 228ft, 21ft, and 9ft.
HMS Alberta

The ?Alberta? was a Royal paddle yacht, launched at Pembroke in 1863.  She was of 370 tons, 1200 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 160ft, 22ft, and 8ft.   In 1912 this Royal yacht was broken up at Portsmouth.

HMS Albion

The sixth ?Albion? is a 14-gun twin-screw battleship, built at Blackwall in 1898.  She is of 12,950 tons, 13,500 horsepower, and 18 knots speed.  Her length, draught, and beam were 390ft, 74ft, and 26ft.  An unfortunate accident took place when she was launched on June 21st.  A wave caused by her displacement ran up a side creek, and brought about the collapse of a staging upon which 200 people were standing.  Although every available means of rescue were used, 34 persons were drowned, the unhappy victims, with few exceptions, being women and children.

HMS Alert

The seventeenth ?Alert? is a 6-gun screw sloop launched at Sheerness in 1894.  She is of 960 tons, 1400 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 180ft, 32ft, and 12ft.  In December 1902 the ?Alert?, commanded by commander John B. Eustace, was one of a combined Anglo-German fleet under Commodore R. A. J. Montgomerie, with his broad pennant in ?Charybdis,? which established a blockade of the Venezuelan coast.  These retaliatory measures were taken on account of outrages on British ships, for which no satisfaction could be obtained. The boats of the fleet took nine Venezuelan gunboats or small craft; the ?alert? seized the ?Zumbador? in the gulf of Paria, and two were taken to sea and sunk.  President Castro immediately imprisoned all the British and German subjects in Venezuela, but he was forced to release them by the American consul.  A British merchantman was seized by the mob at Puerto Cabello, but two ships at once went there, and having released the vessel, bombarded the fort.  After eight weeks blockade in which the British and German vessels divided the coast between them, the Venezuelans consented to arrangements, which brought the blockade to a conclusion.  A small Italian force also assisted in the blockade.   Although at one time dismantled and laid up at Bermuda, she was brought forward for service, and in 1910 and later years the ?Alert? under various commanding officers, was employed in the suppression of the gun-running traffic in the Persian Gulf.

HMS Algerine

The fifth ?Algerine? was a 3-gun screw gun vessel, built at Belfast in 1880.  She was of 774 tons, 750 horsepower, and 10 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 157ft, 29-? ft, and 11-? ftIn 1888 the ?Algerine,? commanded by Commander William Forsyth, was one of a squadron of one German and seven English ships under Rear-Admiral the Hon. Edmund Fremantle, with his flag in ?Boadicea,? which took part in the blockade of the Zanzibar Littoral.  This was undertaken in the interests of the suppression of slavery, and partly in consequence of the revolt of several of the coast towns against German authority.  Apart from the capture of slave dhows the incidents of the blockade were of an uninteresting nature.  In 1892 the ?Algerine? the ?Algerine? was sold.

The sixth ?Algerine? is a 6-gun twin-screw gunboat, launched at Devonport in 1895.  She is of 1050 tons, 1400 horsepower, and 13 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 185ft, 32ft, and 12ft.   In 1900 the ?Algerine? commanded by commander Robert Johnston Stewart took part in the third China war or boxer riots.   On June 17th the ?Algerine? was one of a fleet of 8 ships and several torpedo boats of various nationalities, which took part in the attack on the Taku forts under Captain Dobrolovski in the Russian gunboat ?Bobr.?  The Chinese having received their ultimatum, opened fire soon after midnight, the ships replying with vigour.  Simultaneously a landing party of 35 officers and 869 men, of mixed nationalities, under commander Christopher Cradock of the ?Alacrity? attacked from the landward side with great gallantry.  The ?Algerine? had a steam cutter hulled at the davits, some rigging cut away, and 6 men wounded.  At 7.10 a.m. the engagement ceased, Commander Cradock having captured and occupied the forts against heavy odds.  The ?Algerine? subsequently landed a 4-in gun, which did good work in the operations resulting in the capture of Tientsin and elsewhere.

HMS Apollo

The sixth ?Apollo? is an 8-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Devonport in 1891.  She is of 3400 tons, 9000 horsepower, and 20 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 300ft, 43ft, and 17ft. For some years the ?Apollo? has acted as a special mine-laying vessel.

HMS Aquarius

The ?Aquarius? is a screw repair ship built at Sunderland in 1902 as the ?Hampstead.?  She is of 2800 tons, 1100 horsepower, and 10 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 268ft, 38ft, and 16ft. This vessel acts as a distilling vessel and oil tank, in addition to her repair duties.

HMS Arab

The tenth ?Arab? was a 4-gun screw gunboat, launched at Glasgow in 1874.  She was of 720 tons, 660 horsepower, and 10.4 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 150ft, 28ft, and 14ft.  In 1884 the ?Arab? commanded by commander R. W. Stopford, was engaged in the operations in the Eastern Soudan, and assisted in the defence of Suakin.  In 1889 the ?Arab? was sold.

HMS Argonaut

The fourth ?Argonaut? is a 16-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Govan in 1898.  She is of 11,000 tons, 18,000 horsepower, and 20.8 knots speed.  Her length, bema, and draught were 435ft, 69ft, and 25ft.  This vessel eventually became a training ship for stokers at Portsmouth.

HMS Argyll

The second ?Argyll? is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Greenock in 1904.  She is of 10,850 tons, 21,190 horsepower, and 22.4 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 450ft, 68ft, and 25ft.  From November 1911 to February 1912, the ?Argyll,? commanded by Captain Michael Culme Seymour, had the honour of acting as one of the escort to H.M.S. ?Medina.?  The ?Medina,? flying The Royal Standard, was conveying the King-Emperor, His Majesty King George the Fifth to India, where her Majesty?s coronation Durbar was held at Delhi on December 12th, 1911.

HMS Ariadne

The fifth ?Ariadne? was a 26-gun screw frigate, launched at Deptford in 1859.  She was of 4538 tons, 3350 horsepower, 13 knots speed, and carried a crew of 250 men.  Her length, beam, and draught were 280ft, 51ft, and 16ft.  In 1860 the ?Ariadne,? commanded by Captain Edward Vanisttart, formed one of the escort to H.M.S. ?Hero,? which vessel conveyed His Royal highness the Prince of Wales, afterwards His Majesty King Edward the Seventh, on his memorable visit to Canada and the United States of America.   At a subsequent date this vessel?s name was changed to ?Actaeon,? and she became the Torpedo School Ship at sheerness.

The sixth ?Ariadne? is a 16-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Clydebank in 1898.  She is of 11,000 tons, 18,000 horsepower, and 21 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 435ft, 69ft, and 25ft.  In 1902 the ?Ariadne,? commanded by Captain Montagu E. Browning, and flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir A.L. Douglas, controlled the arrangements of the blockade of the mostly at Trinidad, the active work of the blockade being entrusted to Commodore R. A. J. Montgomerie, with his broad pennant in ?Charybdis.?

HMS Arrogant

The ninth ?Arrogant? is a 10-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Devonport in 1896.  She is of 5750 tons and 10,000 horsepower.  Her length, beam, and draught were 355ft, 56ft, and 21ft.  For some years this vessel has acted as a depot ship for submarine boats.

HMS Arun

The Arun is a twin-screw torpedo-boat destroyer, launched at Birkenhead in 1903.  She is of 550 tons, 7000 horsepower, and 27 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 225ft, 23ft, and 10ft.  On August 13th, 1904, the ?Arun? while commanded by commander Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt, collided with the torpedo-boat destroyer ?Decoy? off the Scilly Island.  The ?Decoy? sank and was never recovered, but no lives were lost.

HMS Assistance

The ninth ?Assistance? was a 2-gun screw troopship, launched at Blackwall in 1874.  She was of 2307 tons, 1300 horsepower, and 12 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 250ft, 38ft, and 17ft.  In 1897 the ?Assistance? was sold

HMS Avon

The fourth ?Avon? was a 4-gun twin-screw gunboat, launched at Portsmouth in 1867.  She was of 603 tons, 530 horsepower, and 10 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 155ft, 25ft, and 10ft.  In 1873 the ?Avon,? commanded by Commander John C. Paterson, was engaged in the suppression of piracy on the coast of Perak.  On December 11th of that year she came across three trading craft at a moment when six boats full of piratical cutthroats were attacking them.  The ?Avon? drove them off with loss, but did not succeed in capturing any of them, though the subsequently destroyed some stockades at the mouth of the Jugra River, in which they were supposed to have taken shelter.  In May 1874 the ?Avon,? commanded by commander Armand T. Powlett, in company with two other vessels, proceeded up the Lingie River, near Malacca, which was a centre of piratical activity.  Some stockades were burned at Bukit Tiga, and the River Lingie was re-opened to the trade, with the rich tin mines in the interior. In 1876 the ?Avon,? commanded by Commander Leicester Chantrey Keppel, was one of a fleet of 12 ships under Commodore Sir William Hewett, with his broad pennant in ?Active,? which engaged in the blockade of Dahomey on the Nigerian Coast.  The blockade lasted for eleven months in a pestilential climate, and at the end of that time King Gelele entered onto negotiations, and the blockade was raised.  In January 1877 the ?Avon? proceeded up the Congo River, and burned five villages, as a punitive measure in reply to the natives having pillaged the American trading schooner ?Joseph Nickerson.?  In August 1877 the ?Avon? proceeded up the River Niger in company with two other vessels upon a punitive expedition.  They burned the town of Emblana, and assisted to Chastise some anti-British natives, who had refused to release some British prisoners.  During the advance the ?Avon? ran on to a sandbank, and delayed the attack for some hours.  The ships left the river on August 28th, having had only 3 men wounded.   In 1890 this vessel was sold.