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Remembered Today:

HMS Terrible


JulianB
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Dear Pals.

I have recently uncovered a wooden letter opener which has the inscription;

'From the teak of HMS Terrible whose guns relieved Ladysmith'

This may be a little before 1914-1918 (or not), but I wonder if anyone can tell me anything about this ship. Would I be right in thinking the said letter opener would come from its final demolition / breaking - whenever that was. ??

thank you

Julian

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Guest Northumberland

HMS Terrible served as a troopship in 1915 so was involved in WW1 and the Boer War

From the National Maritime Museum website:

HMS Terrible was a cruiser built by J. G. Thomson and launched at Glasgow in May 1895 and a sister ship to HMS Powerful. In 1899 she was sent to South Africa where she supplied some of her 6-inch and 12-pounder guns for land use. Captain Percy Scott designed mountings to make the guns mobile and they were transported to Ladysmith in HMS Powerful. She also landed a number of her crew in the Naval Brigade.

When the Boxer Rebellion broke out in 1900, HMS Terrible re-embarked her crew and guns and went to China. She arrived at the Taku Forts from Hong Kong in June 1900. She carried 300 of the Second Battalion of Royal Welsh Fusiliers commanded by Major Morris, and 40 Royal Engineers. This force was sent to Tientsin on June 21st. A 12-pounder gun from HMS Terrible was hauled to Tientsin by 100 men of the Wei-hai-Wei Chinese Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Bower. The gun was used in the attack on the Peiyang Arsenal on the 27 June 1900. Four of Terrible's 12-pounder quick-firing guns were used in the successful attack on the town on Tientsin which began on July 13 1900. After refits in 1902-4, she spent most of her time in reserve. She was employed as a troop ship in 1915 and then served as a accomodation ship until 1920 when she became TS Fisguard III. She was broken up in 1932.

Boxes and other souvenirs were frequently made from the wood and metal of famous ships when they were broken up, salvaged or undergoing a major refit. The museum has in its collection a napkin ring with a brass plaque inscribed "From the teak of HMS Terrible whose guns relieved Ladysmith".

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You'd be safer in a Pub with a HMS Terrible cap tally than with HMS Pansy or HMS Queen!

The AWM has this picture of the searchlight from HMS Terrible which was mounted on an armoured train and used to flash messages to the beleagured town of Ladysmith. The photo is supposed to have been taken at Durban.

The RAN's first Carrier,HMAS Sydney, was launched as HMS Terrible & flogged off to us post war.

ooRoo

Pat

post-24-1095724823.jpg

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My grandfather sailed aboard HMS Terrible, from Marseilles on 13 November 1915, via Alexandria (18th) Port Said (21st), and disembarking at Salonika on the 26th November. She was then commanded by Captain Hughes Onslow. "The ship was not built to carry passengers" says the 7th Ox & Bucks LI battalion history, "and there were nearly 2,000 more men on board than she was ever intended to hold. The crew was not up to full strength, and we had to provide stoking parties...In addition, our Lewis Gunners helped to man the 6" guns, and many of us spent long dreary hours on one or other of the many anti-submarine guards".

She coaled at Port Said, after which the battalion scoured the ship, dressed in loin-cloths (there is a photo). Capt Onslow arranged a diversion later in the voyage. A flag was attached to a barrel and thrown overboard. The ship cruised around it, allowing the Lewis Gunners some useful target practice with the 6" guns. While Terrible was thus engaged, a French destroyer, alerted by gunfire and what looked like a submerged U-boat, came racing over full tilt to deal with the enemy. Close to, she realised it was nothing more dangerous than an old barrel, and was cheered back to her escort duties by all aboard HMS Terible.

My grandfather had been on a Lewis Gun course before proceeding abroad on active service in 1915, and was likely one of the men firing Terrible's guns.

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It is to be hoped that they were far enough away from Gallipoli to prevent any jealous artillerymen from exeeding their daily limit of shells. ;)

There doesn't appear too much training corelation betweeen a Lewis and a 6'' Naval Gun.

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Bonza,

I'm glad you homed in on that. As you can tell, guns are not my specialist subject. I know what a Lewis gun looks like, and thinking about it, a 6" gun must look more like a canon - yes? The actual quote from the 7 Ox & Bucks history reads:

"He (Capt Onslow) fixed a flag in the top of a barrel, and had the barrel thrown overboard. We then cruised round it while our amateur gunners tried their skill with the 6" guns. They made very good shooting, but they had to have the assistance of the submarine guard, armed with rifles, before the flag could be carried away. Meanwhile, some little distance away a French destroyer was acting as escort for another ship bound for Salonika. She heard the guns, and her lookout probably saw the tub, giving a tolerable imitation of a bold submarine. Up came the destroyer full tilt, and she circled round the tub, almost touching it, like a dog nosing a strange animal. You could almost read contempt in the lines of the ship, when she realised what it was that had called her out of her course. We signalled her an explanation, and our men gave her a cheer as she passed close to us on her return to duty".

Northumberland - thanks for posting the picture.

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Julian,

You are not the only one with a relic from this historic ship which clearly had enough teak in place to fashion souveniers of the day during the inter-war years. Beats plastic any day!!

Peter

post-24-1095767410.jpg

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Kate.

I have a tendency to think Australian.

As the main armament of HMAS Sydney, one of only 3 Naval Escorts to the 1st Anzac Contingent, was only 8 of these 6" guns, there just does not seem to be any comparison between the weapons mentioned. Sydney managed to destroy the Emden, which undoubtedly would have laughed at a couple of hundred Lewis Guns.

:rolleyes:

It's a bit hard seeing the actual guns from the picture of the Terrible, but here's one from Sydney. It would be 6 inch.

Regards

PS

Have just re-read the transcript, and must be barking up wrong tree. If target barrel was finished off by rifle fire, the 6" gunners could not have been in any way accurate. One near miss would have vapourised the target. A rifle & a main Naval gun would not normally operate at the same range. As brave as our French collegues were, they would be a little foolhardy to sniff around a target being bombarded. There is probably a simple explanation in that the calibre of the weapon may have been in millimetres [reasonable comparison would be pounds ]or sumfin else.

post-24-1095768657.jpg

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Thank you everyone, especially Northumberland.

It is interesting (but not surprising) to note that there are other souvenirs about, and Peter, the interesting thing about your piece is that the little metal inscription is EXACTLY the same as that on my paper knife - so someone had quite an industry going.

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Julian,

Certainly was quite a demand. I have another piece from HMS Iron Duke. If anyone would like to open a new thread on this ship I'd be pleased to add a pic.

Peter

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You'd be safer in a Pub with a HMS Terrible cap tally than with HMS Pansy or HMS Queen!

Actually, HMS Queen was a contemporary battleship and therefore had a bigger crew. I think I'd go for a Queen cap tally.

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Okay!

Please insert "alone" in above quote.

Reminds me of the day HMS Marigold tied up in Hong Kong in the shadow of USS Enterprise. "How are things in the world's 2nd biggest Navy?" wafted down from the Flight Deck. "Not too bad, mate!, and in the 2nd best?"

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You'd be safer in a Pub with a HMS Terrible cap tally than with HMS Pansy or HMS Queen!

Actually, HMS Queen was a contemporary battleship and therefore had a bigger crew. I think I'd go for a Queen cap tally.

Actually, HMS Terrible had a larger crew than HMS Queen. The big protected and armoured cruisers are of roughly the same size as contemporary battleships. Terrible displaced 14,2000 tons, Queen 14,500 tons. While the big cruisers needed smaller gun crews than did battleships, the cruisers were faster and thus need larger engine room crews. Depending on exactly how big the cruiser was, this might well be a wash.

Terrible and Powerful were extremely large ships for their time (mid 1890s) and the mchinery was still a bit primative as compared to that available only a few years later. As a result, the manpower requirements of the two ships was large indeed -- Conway's lists 894 -- and higher than battleships of the day. Conway's has the Pre-Dreadnought with crews of anywhere from 672 to 800 depending on class; the London class including Queen is listed at 714. As a result of their large crew size -- and resulting high cost to operate -- Powerful and Terrible spent a lot of time in reserve in the years leading up to World War One

Best wishes,

Michael

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Wrong again! Twice in a day!!

I knew I should not stick my nose into Naval business.

To be truthful, HMS Terrible is a big favourite of mine, with her strong connection with 2RWF. So, happy if the crew win a punch-up with the Queens.

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Wrong again! Twice in a day!!

Noticed that Langley!

Presume the other was your YESSSS to a windfall win at tiddleywinks.

The upside to your observation is that a naval expert may tell us what armament Terrible was sporting in 1915 to enable Kate's grandpa to take a few shots AT the barrell.

And thanks for the warning about the next trip down under, I'll look out for a bit of fun in the entry halls.

ALL in good fun. :D

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Thanks again Bonza. I see the problem now - you can't get pinpoint accuracy with one of those! I think Terrible's log and the 7th Ox & Bucks diary will be on the shopping list next time I go to Kew.

Cheers

Kate

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Kate

The Terrible's armament is listed @ www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk as are a few pics.

She did have 12 X 6" guns, along with 2 x 9.2" , 16 x 12lb Quick firing, and 12 x 3 lb QF. My money would be on the 3 pounder, quick firing which would be "ball park" with a Lewis.

The spiel sez she was troop ship in 1915, then accommodation ship. That MAY INDICATE that the heavy guns would have been removed before grandpa's cruise

Now for a bit of Quid pro Quo, how would I activate the www. ......... as a link

[have just seen your "previous thread here" info ]

Pat

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On the subject of which ship it would be ebst to be the crew of - Terrible or Queen, it was the general practice for different ships to 'adopt' a bar or pub near the dockyard. Heaven help anyone who went into the wrong one! Civilians were OK, of course. But never in uniform.

Destroyers or smaller ships would adopt by flotilla or similar, depending on how the men felt at the time.

You can still sometimes see relics from the different ships that had adopted them in the old pubs around the dockyards (and former dockyards).

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Thanks for that Pat, very useful.

Now (fingers crossed) for the quid pro quo.

Press here to reach the battleships site.

To do it yourself:

Go to the site and copy the web address from the address bar.

Return here, and start posting. When you reach the point where you wish to place

http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/, press the grey http button near the top left corner of the window, paste there and press OK. Now you can do something fancy.

Instead of showing plain old http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/, you can replace the My Webpage offered with Bonza's Best Battleship link

Have fun!!

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