HMAS Geranium

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Geranium.
HMAS Geranium
HMAS Geranium
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Geranium
Builder: Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Company, Scotland
Laid down: August 1915
Launched: 8 November 1915
Fate: Transferred to Australia, 1919
Career (Australia)
Name: Geranium
Acquired: 18 October 1919
Commissioned: 17 January 1920
Decommissioned: 10 November 1927
Nickname: Gerger
Fate: Dismantled, June 1932
Sunk as a hulk, 24 April 1935
General characteristics
Class & type: Arabis-class sloop
Displacement: 1,250 tons
Length: 255 ft 3 in (77.80 m) p/p
267 ft 9 in (81.61 m) o/a
Beam: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught: 11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)
Propulsion: 1 × 4-cylinder triple expansion engine
2 × cylindrical boilers
1 screw
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) with max. 250 tons of coal
Complement: 77 (RN)
113 (RAN)
Aircraft carried: 1 × Fairey IIID seaplane (RAN)

HMAS Geranium (formerly HMS Geranium) was an Arabis-class sloop built in Scotland and launched in 1915. The ship was operated by the Royal Navy as a minesweeper from 1915 until 1919, when she was transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for use as a survey ship between 1919 and 1927. The ship was decommissioned in 1927 and scrapped during 1932, with the remains scuttled in 1935.

Design and construction[edit]

Main article: Arabis class sloop

Geranium was one of 56 Arabis class sloops built for the Royal Navy during World War I.[1] The sloops-of-war were intended for minesweeping duties in European waters.[1]

Geranium had a displacement of 1,250 tons.[1] She was 255 feet 3 inches (77.80 m) long between perpendiculars, 267 feet 9 inches (81.61 m) in length overall, had a beam of 33 feet 6 inches (10.21 m), and a draught of 11 feet 9 inches (3.58 m).[citation needed] The propulsion system consisted of two coal-fired cylindrical boilers supplying steam to a four-cylinder triple expansion engine, connected to a single propeller shaft.[citation needed] Maximum speed was 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph),[1] and the ship could achieve a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 km; 2,300 mi).[citation needed] Up to 250 tons of coal could be carried.[2]

Geranium was laid down for the Royal Navy by the Greenock & Grangemouth Dockyard Company, Greenock, Scotland, in August 1915 and launched on 8 November 1915.[citation needed]

Operational history[edit]

After World War I, Geranium and two sister ships (Mallow and Marguerite) were sent to Australia to clear mines deployed by the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Wolf.[1] Despite hard work in rough seas, the ships only found one mine.[1]

Geranium and the other two ships were transferred to the Royal Australian Navy on 18 October 1919.[1] The ships' minesweeper design made them suitable for handling survey equipment,[1] and Geranium was commissioned on 17 January 1920 as the first RAN survey ship.[citation needed] The ship was poorly designed for survey duties in tropical Australian waters: she was designed for the North Sea Climate, and was required to carry a ship's company of 113, 36 more than the intended ship's company of 77.[1] In 1923, the sloop ran aground on an uncharted reef off Vanderlin Island in the Gulf of Carpenteria.[3] The ship's company were able to refloat the ship and patch the damage, and after repairs in Sydney, the ship resumed northern survey operations.[4] In October, Geranium rescued the civilian steamship Montoro after she struck Young Reef.[4]

In early 1924, the ship ran aground again in the MacArthur River.[4] The ship was refloated and repaired.[4] Later that year, Geranium was fitted to carry a Fairey IIID seaplane: the first RAN survey vessel to carry an aircraft.[5] In May 1927, the survey ship assisted the steamship Tasman, which had hit a reef off Clarke Island.[clarification needed][5]

Decommissioning and fate[edit]

Geranium paid off on 10 November 1927.[citation needed] The ship was broken up for scrap at Cockatoo Island during 1932, and the stripped hulk was sunk outside Sydney Heads on 24 April 1935.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Frame & Baker, Mutiny!, p. 114
  2. ^ Frame & Baker, Mutiny!, p. 115
  3. ^ Frame & Baker, Mutiny!, pp. 118-9
  4. ^ a b c d Frame & Baker, Mutiny!, p. 119
  5. ^ a b c Frame & Baker, Mutiny!, p. 120


  • Frame, Tom; Baker, Kevin (2000). Mutiny! Naval Insurrections in Australia and New Zealand. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-351-8. OCLC 46882022.