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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:



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During September 1913, my grandfather, Stoker William Sewell, was transferred for two days from the cruiser HMS DONEGAL, shich was attached to the 5th Cruiser Squadron, Mid Atlantic, to another cruiser, HMS CARNARVON. Does anyone have a good reason why such a transfer would take place and, does anyone have a picture of the Carnarvon ?


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Jack and Tom,

The photo which Tom mentions of Carnarvon is the same one as can be found in Bennett but there it is beautifully clear. Bennett's illustration acknowledgements are: Captain A D Duckworth RN, The Imperial War Museum, The National Maritime Museum, and Suddeutscher Verlag, Munich. NMM or IWM would be best bet for original.

And there is a different, but not so clear, photo in Jane's Fighting Ships 1906-7.



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CARNARVON (Oct., 1903), ANTRIM (Oct., 1903), DEVONSHIRE (April, 1901).

Displacement, 10,850 tons.

Complement, 653.

Length (over all), 473.5 feet. Beam, 68.5 feet. Maximum draught, 25.5 feet.

Guns (2 - 11 inch anti-submarine howitzers may still be mounted in some ships): 4 - 7.5 inch, 6 - 6 inch VII, 8 - 3 pdr., 5 machine, (1 landing).

Torpedo tubes (18 inch): 2 submerged.

Armour (Krupp): 6" - 4.33" Belt (amidships), 2 5/8" Belt (forward), 2" Deck (aft), 4.5" Bulkheads (aft), 6" Barbettes, 7.5 - 4.5 Hoods to these, 6" Casemates, 10" Conning tower (fore).

Machinery : 2 sets vertical triple expansion. 2 screws.

Boilers, various : 17 - 15 water-tube and 6 cylindrical.

Designed H.P. 20,500 (n.d.) 21,000 (f.d.) = 22.25 kts.

Coal: normal 800 tons; maximum 1,750 tons (Carnarvon + 250 tons oil).

Name. Carnarvon

Built at Beardmore

Laid down Oct., '02

Completed May, '05

(Engines by builders, except for Devonshire, which are by Thames Ironworks.)

General Notes.-Cost, per ship, about £850,000. Built under 1901 Estimates. Argyll and Hampshire of this class lost during the war. 1919: Devonshire in Reserve; Antrim for Signals and W/T, experiments. Some of these three ships partially dismantled. Carnarvon, sea-going Training Ship for Cadets. Roxburgh for sale.

HMS Carnarvon served with the Mediterranean Fleet in the 3rd Cruiser Squadron until March 1907 three months after this she was recommissioned and joined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in the Atlantic Fleet. She then moved to the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet in April 1909 and in March 1912 she transferred again to the 2nd Fleet at Devonport and became the flagship of the 5th Cruiser Squadron until the outbreak of the first world war. HMS Carnarvon captured a German merchant ship on the 24th of August 1914 after moving to Cape Verde at the beginning of that month. She moved to Montevideo in October 1914 and later led cruisers at the Battle of the Falklands on 12th December 1914. In March 1915, after repairs were completed at Rio de Janeiro for tears to her plating in February 1916, she continued to serve on the North American and West Indies Station until November 1918. In 1919 she served as a cadets training ship until sold in March 1921.

Pic not too good but.........


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Hi Jack,

Here's a nice picture of Carnarvon. The Devonshire class were fine looking ships. As to your question about your Grandfather's transfer, I'm afraid I can't help. I suppose it could have been for any number of reasons,but for two days it hardly seems worth the bother.




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The photo in Bennett shows the port side but is of no better quality than the one Rich has shared with us. I wonder where he found it?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings Jack

There's another picture of Carnavon in Barrie Pitt's 'Coronel and Falkland' (Crown Copyright Photography, Imperial War Museum). It's not fantastically good quality, but it does show an interesting variation on camouflage.


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