HMS Fame (1896)

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HMS Fame
Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Fame
Ordered: 10 May 1895[1]
Builder: John I Thornycroft, Chiswick
Cost: £54,724[1]
Yard number: 306
Laid down: 4 July 1895
Launched: 15 April 1896
Commissioned: June 1897
Out of service: Laid up in reserve 1919
Identification: Pennant number: D26
Honours and
China 1900
Fate: Sold for breaking at Hong Kong, 31 August 1921
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Two funnel, 30 knot destroyer
  • 272 t (268 long tons) standard
  • 352 t (346 long tons) full load
Length: 210 ft (64 m) o/a
Beam: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
Draught: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Installed power: 5,700 shp (4,300 kW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
  • 80 tons coal
  • 1,310 nmi (2,430 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 65 officers and men
Service record
Part of: China Station - 1897

HMS Fame was a two funnel, 30 knot destroyer of the Royal Navy, ordered under the 1894 – 1895 Naval Estimates. She was launched in 1896, served in Chinese waters for the whole of her life and was sold at Hong Kong in 1921.

Design and construction[edit]

HMS Fame was one of three "thirty-knotter" torpedo boat destroyers ordered for the Royal Navy from John I Thornycroft on 10 May 1895 under the 1894–1895 shipbuilding programme.[1][a] As with other early Royal Navy destroyers, the detailed design was left to the builder, with the Admiralty laying down only broad requirements.[2][3] These requirements included reaching a speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) during sea trials and an armament of a single QF 12 pounder 12 cwt (3 in (76 mm) calibre) gun, backed up by five 6-pounder guns, and two 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes. An arched turtleback[b] forecastle was to be fitted.[5][6]

Thornycroft's design had three water-tube boilers feeding two four-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, rated at 5,700 indicated horsepower (4,300 kW), and had two funnels.[1][7] The ship was 210 feet (64.01 m) long overall and 208 feet (63.40 m) at the waterline, with a beam of 19 feet 6 inches (5.94 m) and a draught of 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m). Displacement was 272 long tons (276 t) light and 352 long tons (358 t) full load,[1] while crew was 63 officers and men.[8]

Fame was laid down as yard number 306 on 4 July 1895 at Thornycroft's shipyard at Chiswick on the River Thames and was launched on 15 April 1896.[1] During sea trials Fame reached 30.021 knots (55.599 km/h; 34.548 mph) over the measured mile and 30.17 kilometres (18.75 mi) over a three-hour run.[9] She had her armament fitted at Portsmouth, was completed and was accepted by the Royal Navy in June 1897.


On 26 June 1897 she was present at the Royal Naval Review at Spithead in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.[10] In the second half of 1897 she was deployed to the China Station and remained there for the rest of her service life.[10]

On 17 June 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, she was involved in operations against the Taku forts and Chinese destroyers. The battle of the Taku Forts resulted in the capture of four Chinese destroyers including Hai Lung (later renamed HMS Taku).[10] She was awarded the battle honour "China 1900" for her participation in operations during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion.

Lieutenant Cyril Asser was appointed in command on 1 July 1902.[11] Her boilers were re-tubed in 1902, and she was docked in May 1904.[12]

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyer classes were to be designated by letters starting with the letter 'A'. As a two funneled destroyer with a contract speed of 30 knots, Fame was assigned to the D class after 30 September 1913.[13][14] and had the letter 'D' painted on the hull below the bridge area and on either the fore or aft funnel.[15]

First World War[edit]

In 1914 she was assigned to the Eastern Fleet in the China Squadron tendered to the battleship HMS Triumph. She remained on China Station for the duration of the First World War.[10]


In 1919 she was paid off and laid-up in reserve awaiting disposal. She was sold in Hong Kong on 31 August 1921 for breaking.[16]


  1. ^ The other two were Desperate and Foam. A fourth, Mallard was ordered on 30 May that year.[1]
  2. ^ A turtleback is an arched structure over the deck of a ship, normally at the ship's bow, to protect against reach seas.[4]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lyon (1996), p.45.
  2. ^ Chesneau and Kolesnik (1979), p. 87.
  3. ^ Manning (1961), p. 39.
  4. ^ "turtleback: Definitions". Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Lyon (1996), pp. 22–23.
  6. ^ Lyon (1996), pp. 98–99.
  7. ^ Friedman (2009), pp. 48–49.
  8. ^ Manning (1961), p. 40.
  9. ^ Lyon (1996), p. 47.
  10. ^ a b c d "HMS Fame at the Naval Database website". 
  11. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36790). London. 10 June 1902. p. 12. 
  12. ^ The Dreadnought Project.
  13. ^ Gardiner and Gray (1985), p. 18.
  14. ^ Manning (1961), pp. 17–18.
  15. ^ Manning (1961), p. 34.
  16. ^ ""Arrowsmith" List – Part 1 Destroyer Prototypes through "River" Class". Retrieved 1 Jun 2013. 
  • Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M, eds. (1979). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. 
  • Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1898]. Jane's All The Worlds Fighting Ships 1898. New York: first published by Sampson Low Marston, London 1898, Reprinted ARCO Publishing Company. 
  • Manning, T. D. (1961). The British Destroyer. London: Putnam & Co. Ltd. 
  • Moore, John (1990) [Content originally published by Jane's Publishing Company, 1914, 1919]. Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. London: Studio. ISBN 1-85170-378-0. 
  • David Lyon (1996). The First Destroyers. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-271-1. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 

External links[edit]