HMS St. Vincent (1908)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS St Vincent.
HMS St Vincent at the Coronation Review, Spithead, 24 June 1911
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: Saint Vincent
Ordered: 1907
Laid down: 30 December 1907
Launched: 10 September 1908
Commissioned: 3 May 1910
Decommissioned: March 1921
Fate: Sold for scrap, 1 December 1921
General characteristics
Class & type: St. Vincent-class dreadnought battleship
Displacement: 19,488 tons
Length: 536 ft (163 m)
Beam: 84 ft (26 m)
Draught: 28 ft 11 in (9 m)
Propulsion: 4 shaft Parsons turbines; 24,500 shp (18,270 kW)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h)
Range: 4,690 nautical miles (8,690 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) (coal only)
Complement: 756

HMS St. Vincent was the lead ship of the St. Vincent class of battleships of the British Royal Navy.

She was commissioned on 3 May 1910 as 2nd flagship of 1st Division Home Fleet at Portsmouth. She was commanded by Capt. Douglas Nicholson and was flagship of Rear-Admiral Richard Peirse, M.V.O., Home Fleet, at the Coronation Spithead Review of 24 June 1911.

In April 1914, she became flagship of the Second-in-Command, 1st Battle Squadron Home Fleet, which she remained until November 1915, when she became a private ship. She was in the 5th Division of the battlefleet at the Battle of Jutland, 20th in the line of battle, and engaged a German battleship believed to have been of the König class.

In June 1916, she was transferred to the 4th Battle Squadron. In March 1919, she was reduced to reserve and became a gunnery training ship, which she remained until placed on the Disposal list in March 1921. Her captain had been Harold Briggs. She was sold for scrap in 1921.

A previous HMS St. Vincent, (a 'wooden wall' 'first rate' of 120 guns and launched in 1815) remained in Portsmouth harbour, moored on the Gosport side adjacent to what is now Haslar Creek. The vessel was utilised as a 'Boys' training vessel until 1927, when the training moved to what was Forton Barracks (the home of the Royal Marine Light Infantry). The RMLI moved to their new purposely built barracks at Eastney and left Forton Barracks empty when the RMLI and Royal Marine Artillery merged to become the Royal Marines. The Admiralty decided to move the training of ‘Boys’ ashore, rather like that of the successful ‘experiment’ of HMS Ganges, the ‘Boys’ shore training establishment at Shotley Point, near Ipswich after it moved ashore. The 'new' HMS St. Vincent trained 'boy' entrants (those of 15 years of age) continued until 1968, when it was closed, given to the local authorities by the Admiralty. Most of the buildings were demolished to make way for typical ‘seventies’ buildings to form the newly established St. Vincent College. 'Boys' who trained at HMS St. Vincent still meet at the College for their Annual General Meeting of the HMS St. Vincent Association. The College very kindly allowed the Association to host a museum within the old Gatehouse and this is open a various times of the year for the public. (See


  • Dittmar F.J & Colledge J. J. British Warships 1914–1919, Ian Allan, London 1972. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7

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