HMS Gladiator

The Ship

Sold for Scrap 1908

Length 320 feet pp 342 feet overall, beam 57 feet 6 inches, draught 20 feet, displacement 5,750 tons load.

2 shaft TE engines, 10,000 ihp, 19kts

4.5in gun shields, 3-1.5in decks

4 x 6in QF (4 x 1), 6 x 4.7in (6 x 1), 8 x 12 pounder QF (8 x 1), 3 x 3 pounder QF (3 x 1), 3 x 18in TT

They were rearmed in 1903-1904 with 10 6 inch guns replaced the previous mix of 6 and 4.7 inch guns. Crew 480.

HMS Gladiator 2nd Class Cruiser
HMS Gladiator was built at Portsmouth Dock Yard, launched 18th December 1896 and completed in April 1899. She was built as part of the 1895 Naval programme and was intended to be used with the fleet and to use "ramming tactics" during action as the ram was heavier and more pronounced than other second rate cruisers. The Arrogant Class were the first second rate cruisers to be fitted with water tube boilers, with six Belleville boilers mounted in each of the three Boiler rooms. In 1903 to 1904 the class were re armed with ten 6 -inch Guns. She joined the Home Fleet on completion.

On the afternoon of the 25th, April 1908 , when the second class cruiser HMS Gladiator was off Yarmouth, Isle of White, she came into collision, during a blinding snowstorm, with the liner St Paul, outward bound for New York. The bow of the liner struck the starboard side of HMS Gladiator nearly amidships, and just aloft the first funnel. The liner went astern and the cruiser immediately began to fill, taking a heavy list to starboard, but there was just time to beach her near Black Rock buoy, about 400 yards from the shore, under Fort Victoria.

This accident resulted in the loss of one officer and 127 men.

HMS Gladiator was raised later that year and towed to Portsmouth, where she was berthed in dry dock. Examination of the ship showed that she was unfit for further service and she was sold for scrap for around 5,000. (The original cost of building was 287,604 plus costs of 60,000 to raise and re-float her.)

My Postcards

Postally used 2 May 1908.


Postally used 18 September 1908. The writer says to his good pal Stan "This is the ship they are salving, I expect you have seen the photo in the Mirror of her".


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