HMS Montagu

The Ship

Wrecked 30 May 1906

HMS Montagu,built by Devonport Dockyard, was launched 5/3/1901. She was wrecked on Lundy Island, Bristol Channel, 30/5/1906.

HMS Montagu, a Duncan Class battleship, went out to the Mediterranean for a couple of years, came back and was part of the Channel fleet. In 1905 she was based at Portland and in 1906 she was testing new wireless equipment. The Royal Navy was keen to exploit this relatively new invention and sent the ship to the Bristol Channel: part of the exercise was to sail up and down broadcasting to a receiving station at Land's End.

The Montagu moored just off Lundy Island on 29 May. The weather seemed fine so they steamed off at about eight in the evening, but fog closed in at about midnight and the decision was made to return to the anchorage. However, they did not quite make a reciprocal course and instead of mooring about two miles out they went straight into Shutter Point at about two in the morning. The ship could not be moved and she became a total loss.

Her captain and navigating officer, who may have been concentrating on the wireless equipment rather than the ship, believed she had gone ashore at Hartland Point on the mainland. They were held responsible for the incident and were court-martialled. Very costly attempts were made to refloat the ship but without success and she became a well-known wreck.

Sorry, no postcards for this ship.

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