HMS Raleigh (1919)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Raleigh.
HMS Raleigh at Pier D Vancouver 1921.jpg
HMS Raleigh visiting Vancouver in 1921.
United Kingdom
Name: Raleigh
Namesake: Sir Walter Raleigh
Ordered: 12 December 1915
Builder: William Beardmore & Company, Dalmuir
Laid down: 9 December 1915
Launched: 28 August 1919
Commissioned: 1921
Struck: 1926
Fate: Wrecked off Point Amour, Strait of Belle Isle, Labrador, 8 August 1922
General characteristics
Class and type: Hawkins-class heavy cruiser
  • 9,750 long tons (9,910 t) (standard)
  • 12,190 long tons (12,390 t) (full load)
  • 565 ft (172 m) (p.p.)
  • 605 ft (184 m) (o/a)[1]
Beam: 58 ft (18 m) (65 ft (20 m) across bulges)
Draught: 17.25 ft (5.26 m) (20 ft 6 in (6.25 m) full load)
Installed power: 70,000 shp (52,000 kW)
Speed: 31 kn (36 mph; 57 km/h)
Range: 5,400 nmi (10,000 km) at 14 kn (16 mph; 26 km/h)[1]
Capacity: 2,186 tons oil fuel
Complement: 690 (standard),[1] 800+ (wartime)
  • Belt: 1.5–2.5 in (3.8–6.4 cm) (lower, forward); 3 in (7.6 cm) (lower, amidships); 1.5–2.25 in (3.8–5.7 cm) (lower, aft); 1.5 in (3.8 cm) (upper, forward); 2 in (5.1 cm) (upper, amidships)
  • Deck: 1–1.5 in (2.5–3.8 cm) (upper, over boilers); 1–1.5 in (2.5–3.8 cm) (lower, over engines); 1 in (2.5 cm) (lower, over steering gear)
  • Turrets: 2 in (5.1 cm) (face); 1 in (2.5 cm) (crown); 1 in (2.5 cm) (sides)

HMS Raleigh was a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was commissioned as part of the British North Atlantic squadron in 1921. Within in a year of commissioning the ship was paid off after having run aground off Labrador. The vessel was eventually destroyed with explosives in 1926.


She had a full load displacement of 12,000 long tons (12,000 t) (light, 9,700 long tons (9,900 t)), an overall length of 605 ft (184 m), and carried a complement of 700 officers and men. She was the only ship of the Hawkins-class to be completed with 70,000 shp (52,000 kW) machinery; on trials off Isle of Arran from 7–9 September 1920, she reached her designed speed of 31 kn (36 mph; 57 km/h) at full power of 71,350 shp (53,210 kW). At half power, 35,000 shp (26,000 kW), she still managed to make 28 kn (32 mph; 52 km/h).[2] After trials the ship proceeded to Devonport for completion as a flagship.

Raleigh aground.

Service history[edit]

In April 1922, Sir William Christopher Pakenham was Admiral of the Royal Navy's North America and West Indies Station and he designated Raleigh as his flagship. Sir Arthur Bromley was the captain of Raleigh and it was through his negligence that the ship was lost.[3] On 8 August 1922, Captain Bromley sped the flagship through thick fog and ran her aground at L'Anse Amour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Eleven sailors were drowned in the shipwreck.

The ship remained hard aground and upright for four years. During this period, she was paid off and stripped of all salvageable items and was then destroyed with explosives by HMS Durban in September 1926.[4]

The residents of L'Anse Amour conduct an annual re-enactment of the event on the anniversary of the disaster.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Whitley 1995 p.77
  2. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Cruisers of World War Two (London: Arms & Armour Press, 1980), p. 60, note the 31 knot full speed but state that the other details of the trials are not known. In fact the trials were written-up in detail in Engineering, issue of 24 September 1920.
  3. ^ Bromley and his navigating officer, Commander L.C. Bott were both court martialled and found negligent in their duty; they were subsequently reprimanded and discharged. See Rohmer. See also: UK National Archives
  4. ^ M. J. Whitley, Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia (London: Arms & Armour Press, 1995), p. 80 states that Raleigh was blown up in July 1928 by a party from HMS Calcutta.
  5. ^ "HMS Raleigh Re-enactment"


  • Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two. Great Britain: Brockhampton Press. ISBN 1-86019-874-0. 
  • Rohmer, Richard (2003). 'Raleigh' on the Rocks: The Shipwreck of HMS 'Raleigh'. St. John's: Creative Publishing. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]