HMS Dart (1882)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Dart.
Picturesque New Guinea Plate XLVI - The Voyage Homeward on board HMS Dart.jpg
The crew of Dart in 1885
Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Dart
Acquired: March 1882
Fate: Lent to New South Wales Government in April 1904
General characteristics
Type: Screw schooner
Displacement: 470 ton
Length: 133 ft (41 m)
Beam: 25.2 ft (7.7 m)
Depth: 13 12 ft (4.1 m)
Propulsion: 2 cylinder steam engine 16" & 32"-24"
Notes: Iron frame planked. Designer St Clare Byrne. Sails by Lapthorn and Ramseys

HMS Dart was a schooner of the Royal Navy, built by the Barrow Shipbuilding Company, Barrow and launched in 1877 as Cruiser for Lord Eglinton. She was subsequently purchased by the Colonial Office for the use of Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon as governor of the Fiji Islands. On his appointment to New Zealand Cruiser was purchased by the Royal Navy as a tender for the training ship Britannia and the name changed to Dart in March 1882.[1] [2]

Hydrographic survey work[edit]

Requisitioned as a yacht for the Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station, she instead was fitted out for survey duties of the Australia Station.[1] She commenced service on the Australia Station in 1883 undertaking hydrographic surveys around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific;[1] including survey work in the waters of Fiji, Gilbert and Ellice Islands Marshall Islands and New Britain Island, from May to September, 1884.[3]

In 1883 Dart became involved with an action in the New Hebrides under the command of Lieutenant-Commander W W Moore. This followed the murder of Captain Belbin of the Borough Belle. A party was landed from Dart and in the engagement that followed, 8 natives and one crew man were killed with another wounded. Punishment in the form of confiscation of weapons and burning of villages took place after the incident.[4]

Later activities[edit]

In 1885 she became the first command of Arthur Mostyn Field.[5] She was reported as potentially lost on Wednesday 26 June 1889 after a whaleboat was found near North Cape, Auckland, but she later sailed into Sydney. Lieutenant Charles Edward Monro was appointed in command on 1 March 1900,[6] followed by Lieutenant Frederick Claude Coote Pasco appointed in command in January 1902,[7] when she served as a surveying vessel on the Australia station. She visited Nouméa and the Solomon Islands in June 1902.[8]

She was paid off in 1904 and lent as a training ship to the New South Wales Government.[1] She was sold for £1010 at Sydney on 9 May 1912 to the Victorian Government for use as a tender to the training ship John Murray.[1][9] In 1919, she was sold for £1500 to Mr J. Harrison, of the Shipping and Trading Agency. She was again reported lost in July 1919 after wreckage was found near St Helens, Tasmania, but she turned up safely in Hobart. She was sold in 1920 to French owners based in Nouméa.[10] She was known as Jeanne Elisabeth and later Athalai.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bastock, p.92.
  2. ^ "Yacht Notes and News - Portsmouth and Gosport". Hampshire Telegraph. 8 April 1882. 
  3. ^ Erskine, James Elphinstone; Moore, W. Usborne (1884). Reports of proceedings of HMS Dart, in the Fiji, Ellice, Gilbert, Marshall, New Britain &c, Groups, from May to September, 1884. Great Britain. High Commission for Western Pacific Islands, (Sydney : Govt. Printer). 
  4. ^ "H.M.S. Dart at the New Hebrides.". The Evening News. Sydney: National Library of Australia. 7 September 1883. p. 3. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Admiral Sir Arthur Mostyn Field (1855-1950) from
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36064). London. 13 February 1900. p. 12. 
  7. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36666). London. 16 January 1902. p. 7. 
  8. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36776). London. 24 May 1902. p. 8. 
  9. ^ "New South Wales, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Monday 27 May 1912, p.10.". Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Shipping, The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania), Tuesday 30 March 1920, p.4.". Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Cruiser/Dart/Jeanne Elisabeth/Athalai". plimsollshipdata. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 


  • Bastock, John (1988), Ships on the Australia Station, Child & Associates Publishing Pty Ltd; Frenchs Forest, Australia. ISBN 0-86777-348-0

External links[edit]