HMS Niobe (1897)
|Builder:||Vickers Limited, Barrow-in-Furness|
|Launched:||20 February 1897|
|Out of service:||Transferred to Royal Canadian Navy on 6 September 1910|
|Commissioned:||6 September 1910|
|Out of service:||6 September 1915 to depot ship|
|Fate:||Broken up in 1922|
|Class & type:||Diadem-class cruiser|
|Length:||435 ft (133 m) (462 ft 6 in (140.97 m) o/a)|
|Beam:||69 ft (21 m)|
|Draught:||25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 shaft triple expansion engines
16.500 - 18,000 hp
|Speed:||20 - 20.5 knots|
|Armament:||18-inch (450-mm) torpedo tubes|
|Armour:||6 inch casemates
4.5-2 inch decks
HMS Niobe was a ship of the Diadem-class of protected cruiser in the Royal Navy. She served in the Boer War and was then given to Canada as the first ship of the then newly created Royal Canadian Navy as HMCS Niobe. After patrol duties at the beginning of the First World War, she became a depot ship in Halifax. Damaged in the 1917 Halifax Explosion, she was scrapped in the 1920s.
She was part of the Channel Squadron at the outbreak of the Boer War (1899–1900), and was sent to Gibraltar to escort troop transports ferrying reinforcements to the Cape. On 4 December 1899, Niobe and HMS Doris rescued troops from the SS Ismore, which had run aground. She saw further action in the Boer War and the Queen's South Africa Medal was subsequently awarded to the crew.
In March 1901 she was one of two cruisers to escort HMS Ophir, commissioned as royal yacht for the world tour of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George and Queen Mary), from Spithead to Gibraltar, and in September the same year she again escorted the royal yacht from St. Vincent to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
She and HMS Rainbow were given to the Dominion of Canada to seed the new Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). She was transferred to the RCN on 6 September 1910, commissioning at Devonport Dockyard and reaching Halifax on 21 October that year. She ran aground off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, on the night of 30–31 July 1911. Repairs took 18 months and she had a permanently reduced maximum speed as a result.
With the outbreak of the First World War she joined the Royal Navy's 4th Cruiser Squadron on the North America and West Indies Station. She was engaged in intercepting German ships along the American coast for a year until as a result of being worn out, she was paid off on 6 September 1915 to become a depot ship in Halifax.
The Halifax Explosion of 1917 caused serious damage to upper works, and the deaths of several of her crew. However she remained in use as a depot ship until disposed of in 1920, decommissioned and sold for scrap. She was broken up in 1922 in Philadelphia.
As the first large ship in the Royal Canadian Navy, Niobe′s name has considerable symbolic importance in the Canadian navy, being used among other things as the title of a series of scholarly papers. Models and collections of artefacts of Niobe can be found at several Canadian museums including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Maritime Command Museum in Halifax. The latter devotes a room to Niobe which includes her original ship's bell.
- Captain John Denison, RN in 1901
- Commander W. B. MacDonald RN 6 September 1910 - ?
- Lt Commander C. E. Aglionby RN 20 June 1913 - ?
- Captain R. G. Corbett RN 15 August 1914 - 1 September 1915
- A(Acting)/Commander P. F. Newcombe RN 16 October 1916 - ?
- Commander H. E. Holme RCN 22 December 1917 - 1 June 1920
- http://www.nhcra-online.org/20c/german.htm%7CDiary of a seaman on Niobe[dead link]
- "The Duke of Cornwall´s visit to the colonies" The Times (London). Thursday, 14 March 1901. (36402), p. 6.
- MacMillan-Murphy, Jim. "Esquimalt Remembers" Esquimalt Heritage Advisory Committee. Retrieved 20 July 2013
- CBC Halifax Explosion Site
- Canadian Navy Heritage accessed 6th April 2008
- "Naval and Military intelligence" The Times (London). Friday, 22 February 1901. (36385), p. 10.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Macpherson, Kenneth R.; and Burgess, John. (1982) (Second Printing) The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910-1981. Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-216856-1
- Diadem class at worldwar1.co.uk
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