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Ian Burns

HMS Grafton, 1915-1918

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Ian Burns

The old, 1892, 1st Class cruiser HMS Grafton was modified as a gunfire support ship in 1915. She served at Gallipoli and around the Syrian and Palestine coasts for the rest of the war.

 

Her hull was bulged to provide both stability and torpedo protection. She also grew a large number of boxes on the sides of her hull.

 

What purpose did these boxes serve?

25a. HMS Grafton w bulges ca.1915 (Author from original pc).jpeg

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seaJane

Additional armour-plating?

To deflect small-arms fire?

Mine-catcher gear? (cf log 11 Jul 1915)

https://naval-history.net/OWShips-WW1-05-HMS_Grafton.htm

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Ralph Currell
Posted (edited)

The boxes appear to be covering a number of swan-neck vents leading into the bulge.  The upper ends of the vents can be seen just above the top edge of the boxes.  I suppose the bulge needed some means of ventilation, though this particular arrangement is one I haven't seen before.

 

[edit] Similar vents, without the covers, can be seen on the monitor HMS Glatton in this photo:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/HMS_Glatton_in_drydock_IWM_SP_2083.jpg

 

Regards,

   Ralph

Edited by Ralph Currell

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58 Div Mule

Is that some sort of landing brow at the bow?

 

58DM

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MAW
Posted (edited)

An earlier photograph for comparison - without the hull bulge / boxes and bow extension.

 

Mark

 

HMS Grafton.jpg

Edited by MAW

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Malcolm12hl

I believe the structure on the bow is a gallows for mine-sweeping paravanes, and the box-like structures enclose the timber stiffeners fitted to the hull.

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Ian Burns

Thank you all for your replies.

Grafton, and her class leader Edgar, were both modified in the dockyard at Malta (I think) and have very similar boxes.

I suspect that Ralph has the correct solution and that seaJane also is correct in suggesting the boxes provided light armour around the vent pipes. A somewhat Heath Robinson arrangement but probably effective.

The heavy angle structure over the bows looks like overkill for paravanes. I wonder if is a support for anti-torpedo nets for when the ship was stationary during bombardments?

Grafton was torpedoed in 1917 but the bulges prevented serious damage and she was back at work along the Syrian coast a few weeks later.

 

Thanks again for your replies

Ian

 

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Ian Burns

My error.

I was incorrect about the work being carried out at Malta. I should have checked the link to the log books and other sources first. The conversion was carried out at Glasgow or Belfast in late 1914/early 1915.

She was paid off in Glasgow and re-commissioned in Belfast.

 

The torpedo repairs were carried out at Malta in June and July 1917.

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Malcolm12hl

Ian,

 

See Norman Friedman, British Cruisers of the Victorian Era, p.287: [EDGAR, ENDYMION, GRAFTON and THESEUS] "were given monitor-style bulges (the only cruisers thus modified), timber stiffening, and prominent bow gallows for paravanes."

 

There are no booms for torpedo nets, the need for which would in any case have been reduced by the installation of the more effective bulges.

 

Malcolm

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Ian Burns

One has but a finite space, and bank account, for books. That one I do not have.

 

So I am very grateful for the above.

 

I think all my questions and wonderings are now fully answered.

 

Cheers and Thanks

Ian

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MAW

Why would the hull bulges have needed vent pipes?

 

Mark

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horatio2

Perhaps to allow the inner, water-filled part of the bulge to vent upwards under pressure from a torpedo strike against the outer bulge, thus relieving pressure against the main, unarmoured hull.?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-torpedo_bulge

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