HMS Ganges

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Ganges, 1821
Type: 2nd rate ; Armament 84
Launched : 10 Nov 1821 ; Disposal date or year : 1929
BM: 2285 tons ; Displacement: 3594 tons

1 Jan 1820 building or ordered to be built, with a circular stern at Bombay.

1 Jan 1820 building of teak.

2 Jun 1821 [Liverpool] had gone to Bombay to repair, and to fit out the Ganges, a new ship, of 84 guns, lately launched there, which the crew of the Liverpool were to bring to England.

16 Jan 1826 in the Portsmouth harbour.

27 Sep 1826 arrived Teneriffe

6 Jan 1827 on the South America Station.

20 Jun 1827 at Rio de Janeiro.

1 Aug 1827 departed Rio Janeiro for Bahia and Pernambuco.

11 Apr 1828 at Rio de Janeiro.

1830 at Portsmouth.

22 Jan 1831 in harbour at Portsmouth.

16 Feb 1831 went out to Spithead.

9 Mar 1831 departed Portsmouth, for Plymouth, Capt. Burdett, in command.

12 Mar 1831 arrived Plymouth from Portsmouth, with the Depot of the 35th regiment of Foot, and a detachment of the 23d Fusiliers, which have landed, here and are stationed in the garrison.

18 Mar 1831 departed Plymouth with the Kent for the Mediterranean.

31 Mar 1831 arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth, and departed 4 Apr for Malta.

2 May 1831 departed Malta on a cruise, Capt. G. Burdett, in command.

14 May 1831 departed Gibraltar on a cruise.

20 Nov 1831 the squadron under the command of Sir Henry Hotham, consisting of the St. Vincent, Ganges, Alfred, and Philomel, were cruising off Sicily.

5 Mar 1832 arrived Spithead from the Mediterranean, Capt. Burdett, with the 18th Royal Irish Regt., which was landed on the 7th and marched round to Haslar Barracks.

9 Mar 1832 came into Portsmouth harbour to be paid off and re-commissioned.

23 Mar 1832 paid off.

27 Dec 1832 taken into Dock to make good repairs.

14 Dec 1833 Is being brought out of ordinary at Portsmouth and is to be rigged etc. in readiness to go to sea, should circumstances dictate.

2 Jan 1834 To be taken into Portsmouth basin to be rigged.

9 Feb 1839 departed Portsmouth Sunday last for Lisbon and the Mediterranean, but following an accident whilst catting an anchor, in which 14 men were injured, remained at Spithead overnight, and departed on the Monday. 4 of the injured were admitted to RN Hospital Haslar.

Feb 1839 Malta The Ganges, Powerful, and Daphne, were expected from England.

9 Jul 1839 Gibraltar The Ganges and Implacable passed here with a fair wind for the coast of Syria ; the Implacable was under all sail, while the Ganges had only her top-sails set.

Sep 1939 at Besika Bay.

13 Oct 1839 Malta it is reported that a malignant fever had appeared among the crews of both fleets at Besika Bay, but with most intensity on board the French vessels.

18 Oct 1839 Beshika Bay, The Ganges. Powerful, Vanguard. and Implacable which have been cruising off Smyrna, have joined the Admiral at Beshika Bay.

4 Nov 1839 Malta is reported to have departed Besika Bay 23 Oct for a winter anchorage at Vourla.

16 Nov 1839 the Powerful and Ganges are reported to have gone to Smyrna.

4 Dec 1839 Malta, two seamen court martialled for desertion : they were found on board an American merchant vessel.

11 Jan 1840 at Malta. Mr. Spry, of the Ganges, appointed to be clerk of the Powerful.

4 Mar 1840 Malta sails for Vourla tomorrow.

14 Mar 1840 Mate W.E. Fisher, appointed from the Vanguard

27 Mar 1840 departed for Malta.

5 April 1840 Malta, the Benbow arrived Thursday from Vourla, Rear-Admiral Sir John Louis having transferred his flag.

24 Jun 1840 flag ship of Sir John Louis' squadron, beating up the Tenedos passage, en route for Vourla.

18 Jul 1840 departed from Smyrna for Vourla.

3 Aug 1840 arrived Eriseos, Mytelene.

7 Aug 1840 departed round to Mytelene, and from there departed for Beyrout, via Rhodes, with the Thunderer.

12 Aug 1840 arrived off Beyrout.

14 Aug 1840 Beyrout The Ganges and Thunderer anchored off the Egyptian camp, ready for action.

11 Sep 1840 Beyrout, the Cyclops opened fire on troops in the south part of the bay.

12 Sep 1840 Beyrout, Gorgon, Hydra, Cyclops and Phoenix landed marines and Turkish troops at nearby Jouna and the Princess Charlotte, Ganges, Benbow, Edinburgh and Revenge bombarded General Soliman's troops ashore.

14 Sep 1840 Beyrout, The bombardment continued and the allied troops fortified their positions.

15 Oct 1540 is reported to be blockading Alexandria.

22 Oct 1840 off Alexandria.

Aug - Nov 1840 Capture of Acre and operations on the coast of Syria. Turkish Medals awarded to the Officers and Men employed during the Campaign. 16 Oct 1844 those onboard between 9 Sep - 10 Oct 1840, and at the bombardment of St. Jean D’Acre, on the 3 Nov 1840, will be paid their respective proportions of the grant voted by Parliament for the said services.

21 Nov 1840 a part of the squadron off Alexandria.

Early Dec 1840, stood off the coast following receipt of a signal reporting Peace with Egypt : on the 2 Dec it came on to blow and the squadron experienced a heavy gale in which some vessels off the Syrian coast went ashore, the Zebra being lost in the bay of Khaifa and the Pique and Bellerophon being nearly lost.

8 Dec 1840 the squadron arrived in Marmorice Bay.

28 Jan 1841 Malta, arrived from the Levant.

12 Feb 1841 at Malta.

19 Feb 1841 Mate Thomas Davies, appointed from the Ganges, to the Excellent.

14 Mar 1841 Malta, departed for Syracuse, to water, and return here.

10 Apr 1841 Mate _____ Maryatt, from Ganges appointed to Edinburgh ;

31 May 1841 arrived at Malta from Corfu.

25 Jun 1841 at Malta.

4 Jul 1841 departed Malta for Mahon, to observe the French manoeuvres.

15 Aug 1841 is reported to have called at Palermo and was understood to have departed Messina for Corfu on the 13th inst.

17 Aug 1841 departed from Corfu for Candia.

17 Sep 1841 reported to be at Tunis.

15 Oct 1841 is reported at Malta to be at Port Farine, on the coast of Tunis. Volunteers 1st Class A. French and J. Lloyd, appointed.

24 Oct 1841 Malta, arrived from Tunis, but will not be admitted to pratique until Monday next

15 Nov 1841 due to depart Malta Wednesday with sealed orders. Volunteer First Class W. S. Jordon, appointed.

20 Nov 1841 Purser George Thorne, appointed, vice Tuckfield, invalided home.

5 Dec 1841 at Malta.

17 Dec 1841 Mate M. Bourchier, has been promoted to Lieutenant and is appointed.

29 Dec 1841, in port at Malta.

10 Jan 1842 Valetta, Malta experienced severe weather conditions, with a thunder storm, along with large hailstones, and winds which heeled the ship over by 5°, causing the lower deck guns to run themselves out, and heavy seas rolled in on her weather ports. In addition some of the men's hammocks were thrown overboard or were damaged by the hail, the ensign and jack being carried away some distance.

12 Jan 1842, Valetta was reported to have experienced a severe storm that caught the Ganges, and caused her to heel over by 5 degrees, her lower deck guns running themselves out ; a number of hammocks being blown overboard, whilst others were reportedly damaged by the hail.

16 Feb 1842, was towed out of harbour and departed Malta for England with a good wind.

29 Mar 1842 arrived Spithead from the Mediterranean ; Malta (19 Feb) ; Gib (12th inst.).

1 Apr 1842 departed Spithead for Sheerness to be paid off.

6 Apr 1842 arrived Sheerness and is preparing for being paid off.

19 Apr 1842 paid off at Sheerness.

1 Jan 1848 Sheerness, in Ordinary (reserve) - to be commissioned as a seagoing ship with full armament on Saturday

20 Dec 1848 Particular Service

Jan 1850 at Salamis Bay. For loss of officer and ten seamen from boat's crew see below.

27 Jul 1851 Portsmouth, The Trafalgar, 120, will sail Wednesday for the Mediterranean. On her arrival at Malta the Ganges, 84, Captain Smith, will come home to be paid off.

30 Aug 1851 Ordered home from the Mediterranean

1860 Flag Ship Pacific

1865 Training Ship

1870 Falmouth, Training Ship for Boys

3 Apr 1871 departed Plymouth Sound for Falmouth, under the tow of HMS Medusa, having undergone a major refit and overhaul.

1 Apr 1876 Recommissioned at Falmouth

1879 Falmouth, Training Ship for Boys

1879 Tender: Sealark

Apr 1886 Falmouth

1 Apr 1888 New Books opened.

1890 Falmouth, Training Ship for Boys

1906 Ganges renamed Tenedos III.

1910 Tenedos III renamed Indus V.

1922 Indus V renamed Impregnable III.

Accounts have been received from Greece announcing the most appalling deaths of Lieutenant Michael Breen and ten men of the Ganges, 84, at Salamis Bay. Lieutenant Breen (who was promoted from mate of the Dragon, steam-frigate, on the Queen's visit to Ireland) and sixteen men, were sent from the Ganges in the pinnace for water. It came on to blow hard, and the boat having shipped some seas, the sail was lowered to take in a reef, when if was supposed the pinnace was swamped.

The following is a narrative of the disastrous affair

The pinnace of the Ganges, in command of Lieutenant Breen, with Mr. Chatfield, midshipman, and sixteen men, had been sent ashore at the Piræus, and about four o'clock in the afternoon of January 31, she left the shore on her return to the ship, laden with water. Upon getting out of the harbour the breeze was found to be much stronger than they expected, and they shipped water at both bow and stern of the boat. Lieutenant Breen, under these circumstances, ordered the sail to be lowered. They attempted to reef the sail, intending to wear with the view of returning to the Piræus, but she rolled go much, and shipped such a quantity of water, whilst in the act of reefing, that eventually she filled and turned over about half past four o'clock, just half way between Her Majesty's ship Queen and the east point of the island of Lypso.

Lieutenant Breen, Mr. Chatfield, and two men, immediately struck out for the shore, and Mr. Chatfield has stated that he saw the remainder, except two, quit the boat at different periods to follow Lieutenant Breen and himself. Those who reached the small uninhabited island of Lypso were of course drenched to the skin, and passed the first night without shelter of any kind, the gale having increased, and the cold having become so intense as to freeze their clothes.

The next day the party assembled together was Lieutenant Breen, Mr. Chatfield, and ten of the men, but they were joined at day break by one of the men who was left clinging to the boat, and who had remained there for no less than twelve hours, supported by the vain hope that be would be picked up ; and, strange to say, notwithstanding his sufferings for this time in the water, and his subsequent privations ashore, he was in a better condition when found than any of his companions in misfortune. They could see the fleet from their position. and endeavoured to attract attention by hoisting signals of distress - namely, a pocket handkerchief and a shirt hoisted on an oar, but no relief came, the " look-out " on board the nearest ship not having descried the signals. They passed the day in alternate hope and despair, the cold increasing in intensity ; and during this time Lieutenant Breen, perceiving that one of the men appeared to suffer very much, nobly divested himself of his coat, and gave it to him to put on. It would appear that about seven o'clock Lieutenant Breen separated from the others, and was not seen after that time by any of the survivors, who took shelter in a cave, and were there at length discovered in an almost torpid condition.

Meanwhile on board the Ganges it was supposed that they had not ventured from the shore, the gale having increased to such a height that the ships had to strike their lower yards and topmasts ; but Captain Smith, finding from Lieutenant Dunbar, who returned late on the night of February 1, that the pinnace was not in the harbour, he sent that officer at daybreak of the 2nd February to ascertain what had become of her. Lieutenant Dunbar was passing the island of Lypso in his search, when he first discovered the boat on the rocks turned bottom up. A fearful apprehension of the fate of his shipmates then induced him to land, and the result was, as we have stated, the rescue of Mr. Chatfield and six seamen from the cave. Subsequently parties were despatched in all directions on the island, when they found the dead body of Lieutenant Breen on the upper part of the island, under a bush, and also the bodies of five other seamen who had likewise perished from hunger and cold.

The men are said to have behaved remarkably well under the trying circumstances, and would in all probability have contrived to reach one of the ships had not the gale continued for twenty-four hours. Mr. Chatfield and the survivors were doing well, and every one was astonished that they held out so long. Poor Lieutenant Breen and the gallant fellows who so miserably perished with him were buried on the ill-fated island.

The Commander-in-Chief was much affected with the horrible circumstances of the deaths of so many men, and has issued an imperative order against carrying too heavy a press of sail in ships' boats.