Barracouta 3rd Class

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Barracouta 3rd Class Cruisers

Barracouta Class Cruisers.  The Barracouta Class cruisers were designed for service on distant stations.  Despite this they served mainly in home waters and in the Mediterranean.  HMS Barracouta, laid down 1888, launched 16th May 1889 and completed for service 1890.  HMS Barrosa, HMS Blanche, HMS Blonde, all laid down May 1888 and completed for service 1890, with launch dates below.

Displacement : 1580 tons.  Length : 233 ft.  Beam : 35ft.  Depth 15 ft.  I.H.P. 1750.  Speed : 15knts.  Armament : 6 - 4.7 in QF, 4 - 3 pdr QF, 2 MGs, 2 - 14in TT aw.  Complement : 160.

HMS Barracouta 16th May 1889 Sold in 1905.
HMS Barrosa 16th April 1889 Sold in 1905.
HMS Blanche 6th September 1889 Sold in 1905.
HMS Blonde 22nd October 1889 Sold in 1905.
HMS Barracouta

HMS Barracouta, February, 1897

HMS Barrosa

HMS Barrosa

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HMS Blanche

HMS Blanche - Name History

The ninth ?Blanche? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 17 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft,, and 14ft.  In August 1893 the ?Blanche? commanded by Captain George R Lindley, with the ?Swallow ? and ?Sparrow? in company, proceeded to the Inkonumbi Estuary, and contributed to a Naval Brigade, which, accompanied by 70 native troops, marched into the densely wooded country, led by Captain G.R. Lindley.  She proceeded to punish Fumo Omari, the new sultan of Witu, who had been committing outrages.  After some brisk fighting, Pumwani was taken on August 7th and Jongeni on august 13th, both places being destroyed.  The British loss was 1 stoker killed, and Lieutenant Maurice S. Fitzmaurice, of the ?Blanche? and one other officer wounded.  Captain G.R. Lindley was given the C.B. for his services.  In August 1893 the ?Blanche? temporarily commanded by Lieutenant Price V. Lewes, arrived at Kismayu from Zanzibar on account of the mutiny of some local levies who had murdered one of their officers, and seized Turkey Hill Fort, on the right bank of the Juba River.  Captain Lindley had been left at Zanzibar in hospital, and lieutenant john de M. Hutchison, the first lieutenant, was laid up on board; but Lieutenant Lewes landed with forty volunteers from the cruiser and, joined by a body of fifty loyal Keribotos, made a night march and recaptured Turkey Hill fort by surprise.  The expedition then proceeded up the River Juba, accomplished the relief of two Englishmen in the British East African s.s. ?Kenia? who wee supposed to be in the greatest danger, and repairing the boiler under fire, they steamed up the river, and shelled and destroyed the hostile town of Magerada.  They then landed, captured Hajualli after an hour?s fighting, and crossing the stream, and subsequently captured the village of Hajowen.  This small force carried out its work in the face of 150 riflemen and 600 spearmen, and Lieutenant Lewes received the D.S.O. for his services.  In October 1893 the ?Blanche? in company with the ?Racoon? and ?Swallow? contributed to a small Naval Brigade, which took part in the Lamu forest expedition.  Fumo Omari, sultan of Witu, had grown restless and dangerous, and as he had re-fortified Pumwani in defiance of his engagements, the expedition marched inland, and captured and destroyed that town.  In 1901 the ?Blanche? commanded by Commander Murray Thomas Parkes, played a minor part in the second Boer war.   In 1905 the ?blanche? was sold

HMS Blanche at breakers, July 1905.

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HMS Blonde

HMS Blonde.

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HMS Blonde - Name History

The tenth ?Blonde? was a 6-gun twin-screw cruiser, launched at Pembroke in 1889.  She was of 1580 tons, 3000 horsepower, and 16 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 220ft, 35ft, and 14ft.  In August 1895 the ?blonde? commanded by Commander Henry M. Festing , was one of a squadron of five ships under Rear-Admiral H.H. Rawson, with his flag in ?St George,? which took part in the punitive expedition against M?Buruk bin Rashid, Chief of M?Wele, who had failed to comply with an ultimatum on the subject of obedience.  On august 12th a Naval Brigade, 400 strong, started inland from Mombassa, accompanied by about 1000 porters and Soudanese troops, and commanded by the Rear Admiral in person.  After some resistance the British force rushed the British stockades, and though M?Buruk escaped, two of his sons were killed.  The British lost 3 killed and 11 wounded.  In 1896 the ?Blonde? commanded by commander Peyton Hoskyns, brought from Cape Coast Castle to the Canary Islands the body of Colonel his Royal Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg, K.G., who had died while on active service.  Her Majesty Queen Victoria appointed Commander Hoskyns to the fourth class of the Royal Victorian Order as a special mark of appreciation for this service.  In 1898 the ?Blonde? commanded by Commander Hoskyns took part in the suppressing the Sierra Leone Rebellion.  The ?Blonde? proceeded to the Sherboro River to keep in check the rebels that were located in the neighbourhood of Bouthe and Imperri.  She performed most useful service, and saved and district of Sherboro from being over whelmed by the Mendi natives.  Boat expeditions destroyed Gambia on the Bum Kittam, and on May 4th pushed up the Jong River as far as Bogo, where dreadful massacres had been committed.  The rising was finally crushed by the troops, but in the later operations the Navy had little share.  Commander Hoskyns was rewarded with the C.M.G. and was promoted to Captain for his services.  In 1905 the ?Blonde? was sold.