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wingrove

HMS Pegasus, Zanzibar 20th September 1914

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wingrove

Missed this 100 year anniversary on the 20th.

H.M.S. Pegasus was one of eleven Pelorus Class cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the late 19th century. After an uneventful career in the Mediterranean and Australia, the ship was re commissioned in 1913 for the Cape Squadron at Simonstown, South Africa. The squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral King-Hall consisted of three elderly cruisers, H.M.S. Astraea, Hyacinth and Pegasus. At the outbreak ofthe First World War, Astraea and Pegasus were based at Zanzibar and patrolled the coast until the former was called away for escort duty.

Continuous steaming for weeks on end searching for the Königsberg had reduced Pegasus’ performance and she required maintenance at Zanzibar on 19 September. In the meantime Königsberg was less than two hundred miles away in the Rufiji Delta having taken on seve n hundred tons of coal. Looff received news of Pegasus’ whereabouts and arrived off Zanzibar at sunrise the following morning and opened fire. Out gunned and outranged Pegasus was disabled within eight minutes, and the ship reduced to a shambles with thirty-eight killed and fifty-five wounded. Commander Ingles ordered the striking of the colours and the raising of a white flag. Looff ceased fire and departed having fired over two hundred and fifty shells.

Attempts to beach the ship with a tug failed and she sank that afternoon in thirty feet leaving the masts above the surface.Ingles organized the recovery of six of the 4 inch guns, which were fitted with carriages in the railway workshops and tested in the grounds of the Marahubi Palace ruins. Two guns were mounted on the Zanzibar seafron t as part of the town’s defences, while two others were used in the land campaign against von Lettow-Vorbeck. Of the remaining two, one was mounted on the lake steamer Winifred and the other used for the defence of Mombasa.By 1916 the German threat of attack was over and the land campaign guns and Winifred gun were returned to Simonstown and scrapped. After the war the two Zanzibar guns were kept on the sea front as a memorial, but have since disappeared, while the Mombasa gun is preserved outside Fort Jesus, where it can be seen today.

Ref. used: Kevin Patience, Shipwrecks And Salvage On The East African Coast.


While living in Dar es Salaam I visited Zanzibar and the island where these graves are situated. These photographs are the graves from the HMS Pegasus.

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michaeldr

re your - Ref. used: Kevin Patience, Shipwrecks And Salvage On The East African Coast.

Another of Mr Patience's books ZANZIBAR AND THE LOSS OF HMS PEGASUS also covers this action:

see Rear Admiral J. A. L. Myres' review here http://www.naval-review.com/issues/1990s/1996-3.pdf#Page=96&View=Fit

The Naval Review also carried an earlier article on the action which may be of interest

see http://www.naval-review.com/issues/1960s/1967-2.pdf#Page=45&View=Fit

and correspondence as a result of the above

http://www.naval-review.com/issues/1960s/1967-4.pdf#Page=101&View=Fit

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PJS

 

Bit of an old post but I recently came across these three photos taken by my grandfather in 1916 at Grave Island and thought they may be of interest to someone.

 

Grave-Island.JPG.4592c9a82ba0407a210ccd8fba33a5d0.JPG

 

Grave-Island-II.JPG.c4eca4f026a9737347604a64083dafc3.JPG

 

Grave-Island-III.JPG.ad6efbfd3a07fb0b3394e7225ed44dd1.JPG

 

Peter

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corisande

Wish I had come across this article a month ago, as I have just been in Zanzibar, and would have liked to have seen the graves

 

The Maharubi Palace is no longer in ruins and has been restored as a museum

 

But like so much of post colonial Africa, this story has either been rubbed out of history, or has just been forgotten

 

The only story that seems to remain about the British navy is their bombardment of the palace in the 1890s during the 30 minute war against the Sultan. It was this bombardment that left the Palace in ruins

 

I would guess that the Koenigsberg's sinking of the Pegasus is considered by locals, quite correctly, as part of a colonial conflict that had nothing to do with them

 

Similarly  the British actions in Ww2 at Dakar and Madagascar are not noted locally

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DavidOwen

A search for Pegasus on TNA site brings up quite a few interesting documents, sadly not digitised but a number of telegrams are listed. One particular item caught my eye in that on 27th September 1914 Commander Ingles reported to the Admitralty that "the service pattern boxes supplied for signal boxes will not sink when thrown overboard full of books. HMS Pegasus box was found floating 11/2 miles from ship and recovered".http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10763632

 

Telegrams relating to her sinking http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C10763631

 

 

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PJS

Just to round this out. Below is a photo taken by my grandfather in 1916 of the Königsberg taken from the Harbour Mouth. I also have a view from the shore but that appears to be a postcard rather than an original photograph.

 

663491515_Knigsberg-1916-from-Harbour-Mouth.PNG.4212a49219e6a5f75b7f2810f78b1656.PNG

 

Peter

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corisande

I would not claim to be a naval expert, but that photo is presumably the Pagasus if taken in Zanzibar.

 

i think the Koenigsberg was later sunk in the Rufiji Delta

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SteveE
2 hours ago, PJS said:

a photo taken by my grandfather in 1916 of the Königsberg taken from the Harbour Mouth.

Peter

 

Rather than this being a photo of the Konigsberg, or the Pegasus come to that, I believe the vessel shown is actually the S.S. Koenig which was sunk in the entrance to Dar-Es-Salaam harbour.

 

Steve

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PJS
6 minutes ago, SteveE said:

Peter

 

Rather than this being a photo of the Konigsberg, or the Pegasus come to that, I believe the vessel shown is actually the S.S. Koenig which was sunk in the entrance to Dar-Es-Salaam harbour.

 

Steve

 

Yes, I believe you are correct. The caption in the photo album actually says ""SMS König Dar-es-Salam, G.E.A. 1916".  If you pop that into Google you get a page full of SMS Königsberg references and a link to this photo which appears to match the postcard from the album (see below). So, I "assumed" that it was the SMS Königsberg.

 

1974237046_Knigsberg-1916-from-Shore.PNG.6bb9d926a1c24953fafbc5e3253da5f3.PNG

 

The reply from Corisande made me think that something was incorrect and I had just stumbled across this postcard when you posted.

 

Sorry for the mistake and apologies to the OP for inadvertently polluting his thread with some misinformation.

 

Peter

 

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corisande

Does any have a photo of the Pegasus sunk in Zanzibar

 

I can find lots of photos of the German ships that were sunk. But the British seemed to draw the line at photos of sunken British Ships

 

The National Maritime Museum has this sketch, and says they are working at getting something better - I assume that something better does not exist

 

pegusus.jpg.ea52a44e214a4adc2260635be18df6fc.jpg

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corisande

And I came across this sketch of the action, it is difficult to know how accurate it is

pegasus-3.jpg.dad6e4c82a79c51e37a157bf842630e8.jpg

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