HMS Halcyon (1894)

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HMS Halcyon
Halcyon
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Halcyon
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Laid down: 2 January 1893[1]
Launched: 6 April 1894
Commissioned: 16 May 1895[1]
Fate: Sold for breaking on 6 November 1919
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Dryad-class torpedo gunboat
Displacement: 1,070 tons
Length: 262 ft 6 in (80.0 m)
Beam: 30 ft 6 in (9.3 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Installed power: 6,000 ihp (4,500 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × 3-cylinder vertical triple-expansion steam engines
  • Locomotive boilers
  • Twin screws
Speed: 19 kn (35 km/h)
Complement: 120
Armament:

The third HMS Halcyon was a Dryad-class torpedo gunboat[1] of the Royal Navy. Once described as "perhaps the smallest and least formidable vessel that ever crept into the 'Navy List,' ",[2] she was launched in 1894 and was put up for sale before World War I. She was recommissioned in 1913, was converted to a minesweeper and served under the orders of the Admiral Commanding Coast Guard and Reserves. She was sold for breaking in 1919.

Design[edit]

Ordered under the Naval Defence Act of 1889, which established the "Two-Power Standard", the class was contemporary with the first torpedo boat destroyers. With a length overall of 262 ft 6 in (80.01 m),[1] a beam of 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)[1] and a displacement of 1,070 tons,[1] these torpedo gunboats were not small ships by the standard of the time; they were larger than the majority of World War I destroyers. Halcyon was engined by Hawthorn Leslie and Company[1] with two sets of vertical triple-expansion steam engines, two locomotive-type boilers, and twin screws. Halcyon produced 6,000 indicated horsepower (4,500 kW),[1] nearly twice the power of the rest of her class. She was capable of 19[3] or 20 knots (37 km/h).[1] She carried between 100 and 160 tons of coal and was manned by 120 sailors and officers.[1]

Armament[edit]

The armament when built comprised two QF 4.7-inch (12 cm) guns, four 6-pounder guns and a single 5-barrelled Nordenfelt machine gun. Her primary weapon was five 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes,[Note 1] with two reloads.[1] On conversion to a minesweeper in 1914 two of the five torpedoes were removed.[1]

Construction[edit]

Halcyon was laid down at Devonport Dockyard on 2 January 1893[1] and launched on 6 April 1894.[4]

Operational history[edit]

Naval review of 1897[edit]

On 26 June 1897 Halcyon was present at the Fleet Review at Spithead in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.[3]

Mediterranean station[edit]

HMS Halcyon was commissioned to serve at the Mediterranean Station by Commander Scott W. A. Hamilton Gray in March 1898. She was stationed at Souda Bay in early March 1900,[5] but later the same month left for Port Said to temporary relieve HMS Rupert as coast defence ship.[6] In May 1901 she left the Mediterranean and paid off at Devonport, to be placed in the Fleet Reserve for refitting.[7]

Pre-war service[edit]

Although being offered for sale,[3] she was recommissioned at Sheerness on 5 July 1913.[3]

World War I service[edit]

In August 1914 she became the ship of the Senior Naval Officer North Sea Fisheries, serving under the orders of the Admiral Commanding Coast Guard and Reserves.[3] Located at Yarmouth, she was involved in the Raid on Yarmouth.

On 29 July 1917, Halcyon spotted a periscope near the Smiths Knoll buoy east of Yarmouth, and carried out a ramming attack, followed by dropping two depth charges. Halcyon was credited with sinking the submarine, UB-27.[8]

Disposal[edit]

She was sold to J H Lee of Dover for breaking on 6 November 1919.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ British "18 inch" torpedoes were 17.72 inches (45.0 cm) in diameter

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Winfield (2004), p.306
  2. ^ "The Navy in Battle" (1918), Arthur Hungerford Pollen, p.250
  3. ^ a b c d e "HMS Halcyon at NavalHistory.net". Retrieved 24 February 2009.
  4. ^ The Times (London), Saturday, 7 April 1894, p.12
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36078). London. 1 March 1900. p. 6.
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36089). London. 14 March 1900. p. 7.
  7. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36449). London. 8 May 1901. p. 9.
  8. ^ Grant 1964, p. 62.