HMS Squirrel (1904)

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History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Squirrel
Builder: Workman, Clark & Co Ltd[1]
Launched: 21 December 1904[1][2]
Commissioned: 1905[1]
Fate: Sold, 16 November 1921 and renamed Vedra[2]
General characteristics
Displacement: 230 t (250 short tons)[2]
Length: 103 ft (31 m)[2]
Beam: 21 ft (6.4 m)[2]
Propulsion: 300 ihp steam engine[3]
Speed: 10 knots[3]
Armament: 2 × 3 pdr guns[2]

HMS Squirrel was built for the Royal Navy as a coast guard vessel, commissioned in 1905 to replace the previous HMS Squirrel.[1] She was built at Belfast by Workman, Clark and Company as yard number 215, launched on 21 December 1904 and completed early in 1905. The displacement of Squirrel was 230 t (250 short tons), her dimensions 103 ft (31 m) length overall and 21 ft (6.4 m) beam,[2] and she was fitted with a 300 ihp steam engine giving her a speed of 10 knots.[3] She was armed with two 3-pounder guns.[2][3]

From 1905 to 1912 Squirrel was nominally tender for HMS President and possibly HMS Halcyon, and in October 1906 she was recorded as being under the command of Chief Officer C H Coleman.[1] From 1914 to 1917 she was a tender to HMS Vivid, and in February 1914 she was under the command of Chief Officer James B Newman.[1] The coastguard role continued until 1917, when she became a cable vessel.[1][2]

Surplus to requirements, Squirrel was sold on 16 November 1921 to the Sunderland Pilotage Authority for conversion to the pilot tender Vedra.[2][4] Registered in 1923 at Sunderland with Official Number 146924, she was measured as 158 GRT and 52 NRT.[5] In the mid-1930s several attempts were made to sell Vedra, and in 1936 Thomas Young & Sons (Shipbreakers) Ltd purchased her for local demolition.[4] However, she was resold to Captain Vernon Sewell for use during the making of the Michael Powell film The Edge of the World in Scotland during 1937.[6] Thereafter Vedra was sold to foreign owners and renamed, but again became a British ship in 1938 as the yacht Sea-Serpent, registered at Famagusta, Cyprus, then a British colony.[7] Sea-Serpent was reported sunk on 22 April 1941 by German aircraft between Syros and Souda.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NMM, vessel ID 376279" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol x. National Maritime Museum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colledge, James (2010). Ships of the Royal Navy: the Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present. Casemate. p. 382. ISBN 9781935149071. 
  3. ^ a b c d Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I (Facsimile 2001 ed.). Jane's Publishing Company. 1919. p. 93. ISBN 1 85170 378 0. 
  4. ^ a b "Vedra sailed to edge of world". Sunderland Echo. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Mercantile Navy List. London: Eyre & Spottiswood. 1930. p. 567. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Powell, Michael (1938). 200,000 Feet: The Edge of the World. New York: E P Dutton & Company. p. 206. 
  7. ^ Mercantile Navy List. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. 1940. p. 346. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  8. ^ Halaris, Dimitris (1997). Τα Κατοχικά (The holder) (in Greek). Athens: S. Vogiatzis & Co OE. p. 278. ISBN 960-7364-16-3.