Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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HMS Majestic 1895

Battle Ship HMS Majestic 1895

From a local report on 28 September 1895, it was stated that HMS Majestic, a splendid ship, was off Ryde on Monday for her torpedo trials, and attracted a good deal of interest there.

She seemed to have been rather unfortunate.  At her trial she ran aground at the Horse Shoe shoal, and her condenser tubes imbibed a considerable quantity of sand, which had to be carefully ejected.  The operation appeared to have been successfully performed.  At the termination of her draught trials the contractors were not satisfied with the state of her condensers, and, instead of starting on the consumption trial on Thursday, postponed the run till Friday.  At first all went well, but when Portland was reached it was found that the condensers were leaking so badly that it was useless to continue the trial, and she returned to Spithead on Friday night.   It is said that when she stuck on the sand bank the engines were put full speed astern before they had been worked up to even half speed, and this may have overheated the tubes; but it was more probable that damage was done in clearing the tubes of sand.  At all events Commander Noel, who was serving as navigating officer when the ship ran aground, had been suspended, his place being taken by Commander W. Fawkner.

HMS Majestic was a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy.  Commissioned in 1895, she was the largest pre-dreadnought launched at the time.  She served with the Channel Fleet until 1904, following which she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet.  In 1907, she was part of the Home Fleet, firstly assigned to the Nore Division and then with the Devonport Division.  From 1912, she was part of the 7th Battle Squadron.

When World War 1 broke out Majestic, together with the rest of the squadron, was attached to the Channel Fleet during the early stages of the war before being detached for escort duties with Canadian troop convoys.  She then had spells as a guard ship at the Nore and the Humber.  In early 1915, she was dispatched to the Mediterranean for service in the Dardanelles Campaign.  She participated in bombardments of Turkish forts and supported the Allied landings at Gallipoli.  On 27 May 1915, she was torpedoed by a U-boat at Cape Helles, sinking with the loss of 49 men.

Sources: IW Observer & RSHG Archive
Image: Wikipedia
Article: Ann Barrett