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Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Australian Colonial Navies: Victoria

The ships used by the colonial navy of Victoria included:

Victoria (Steam sloop):

  • 880 tons; 53 crew + 42 Naval Brigade; 7 x 32 pdr Guns (never fully armed)
  • In service from 1855 until 1882. Rearmed with 1 x 64 pdr Gun and 4 x 12 pdr Howitzers in 1878. Used as a coastal survey ship by the Victorian government from 1865 to 1869 and again from 1873 to 1878. In 1882 she was sold to become an excursion steamer. Scrapped in 1895.
Pharos (Gunboat):
  • 156 tons; 2 x 12 pdr Howitzers (only to be armed in time of war)
  • In service from 1865 until 1881. Used mainly by the Victorian government as a tender for navigation lights and as a coastal survey vessel in 1865 and again from 1869 to 1872. Sold in 1881 to become a tug. By 1895 she was a coal hulk.
Nelson (Steam line-of-battleship):

  • 4096 tons; 37 crew + 94 Naval Brigade; 2 x 7-inch MLR Guns; 20 x 64 pdr Guns; 20 x 32 pdr Guns; 6 x 12 pdr Howitzers (Boat Guns)
  • Former Royal Navy ship that had been laid down in 1807, converted to steam power in 1859 to 1860, and never commissioned. She was transferred to Victoria in 1867. The ship saw no sea service and was used as a training ship. She was cut down and re-rated as a Frigate in 1878 armed with 2 x 7-inch MLR Guns, 19 x 64 pdr Guns, and 10 x 32 pdr Guns. This armament was further reduced in 1884 to 2 x 7-inch MLR Guns, 18 x 64 pdr Guns, 12 x 32 pdr Guns, and a Gatling Machine Gun. By 1884 all the 32 pdr Guns had been removed ashore, and by 1896 her armament was 14 x 64 pdr Guns, 2 x 12 pdr BL Guns, and 2 x 9 pdr BL Guns. She was sold in 1898 and cut down again so that she could be used as a coal lighter. She sank at her moorings in 1911, was raised in 1914, and sold in 1920. She was finally scrapped in 1928.
Cerebus (Breastwork monitor):

  • 3344 tons; 82 crew + 73 Naval Brigade; 4 x 10-inch MLR Guns
  • In service from 1870 until 1925. 4 x 1-inch Nordenfelt Guns were added in 1879 and two more in `885. By 1896 her armament was 4 x 10-inch MLR Guns and 2 x 6pdr QF Guns. An additional 4 x 14 pdr QF Guns and 4 four-barrelled Nordenfelt Guns had been added to her armament by 1900. She was partially dismantled in 1909 and in 1921 she was renamed Platypus II when she became a submarine depot ship. She was sold in 1924, and scuttled to as a breakwater in 1926. Her remains are still extant.
Miner (Coastal minelayer):
  • 36.5 tons; 4 crew
  • In service from 1879 until 1904, mainly to supply fresh water to the various forts. In 1904 she was returned to the Victorian government, and was scrapped in 1924.
Albert (ex-Melbourne) (Gunboat):

  • 370 tons; 55 crew; 1 x 8-inch BLR Gun; 1 x 6-inch BLR Gun; 2 x 9 pdr BLR Guns; 2 x 3 pdr Nordenfelt Guns
  • In service from 1884 until 1895, when she was put up for sale. Passed into government service in 1897 and used as a buoy tender. Was taken in hand during the First World War for conversion into a tug, but was actually converted into a lighter and sold in 1917.
Victoria (Gunboat):

  • 530 tons; 53 crew; 1 x 10-inch BLR Gun; 2 x 13 pdr BLR Guns; 2 x 3 pdr Nordenfelt Guns
  • In service from 1884 until 1895. Rearmed in 1888, when her 102 Gun (which had proven too heavy for her work as a coastal patrol gunboat) was replaced by 1 x 8-inch Gun and 1 x 6-inch Gun. In 1895 she was sold to Western Australia for use as an unarmed survey vessel, and was used as such until she was sold again in 1902 to become a tug. She was hulked in 1920 and scrapped in 1935.
Childers (First-class torpedo boat):

  • 60.5 tons; 18 crew; 2 x 15-inch Torpedo tubes; 1 x 1 pdr Hotchkiss QF Gun
  • In service from 1883 until 1918, when she was hulked. Four sets of 14-inch Torpedo dropping gear were fitted in 1888, and one of her bow Torpedo tubes was removed after being damaged in 1905.
Nepean (Second-class torpedo boat)

  • 10 tons; 7 crew; 2 x 14-inch Torpedo tubes
  • In service from 1884 until 1912, when she was scrapped. Torpedo dropping gear was fitted in 1886 and the bow Torpedo tubes were plated over in 1888.
Lonsdale (Second-class torpedo boat)

  • 10 tons; 7 crew; 2 x 14-inch Torpedo tubes
  • In service from 1884 until 1912, when she was scrapped. Torpedo dropping gear was fitted in 1886 and the bow Torpedo tubes were plated over in 1888.
Gordon (Torpedo pinnace):
  • 12 tons; 11 crew; 2 x Torpedo dropping gear; 3 x 1-inch Nordenfelt Guns
  • In service from 1885 until 1914, when she was scrapped after sunk after a collision with Picket. By 1888 her gun armament had been reduced to 1 x 1-inch Nordenfelt Gun.
Vulcan (Coastal minelayer):
  • 125 tons; 6 crew
  • In service from 1889 until 1918, when she was sold. She was scrapped in 1935.
Picket (Picket boat):
  • 5 crew
  • In service from 1891 until 1917, mainly as a fleet water lighter and fire tender. In 1917 she was leased to the Customs Department and scrapped after 1921.
Mars (Picket boat):
  • 5 crew
  • In service from 1891 until 1947, mainly as a water transport and target tower. Sold in 1947 for conversion into a fishing vessel. She was lost in 1957.
Countess of Hopetoun (First-class torpedo boat)

  • 80 tons; 19 crew; 3 x 14-inch Torpedo tubes; 4 x Torpedo dropping gear; 3 x 1-inch Nordenfelt Guns
  • In service from 1892 until 1924.

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