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HMS Gannet (1878)

(Foreman of Sheerness Dockyard in charge of building was Henry Timothy Penney )

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HMS Gannet was a Royal Navy Osprey class screw sloop launched on August 31, 1878. The ship was classified as both a sloop of war and as a colonial cruiser. Designed by Sir Nathaniel Barnaby, and built at Sheerness Royal Dockyard, the ship displaced 1130 tons and was capable of attaining 12 knots under full steam or 15 knots under sail. She was armed with two 7" muzzle loading rifled guns on pivoting mounts, and four 64 pound guns (two on pivoting mounts, and two broadside), and had a crew complement of 140 men.

The primary purpose of ships of the Gannet's class was to maintain British naval dominance through trade protection, anti-slavery, and long term surveying. From the time of launching until 1883, the Gannet was assigned to the Pacific Ocean under Admiral De Horsey and spent much time shadowing the events of the War of the Pacific. In 1883 the ship returned to Sheerness and underwent a two year refit.

After the refit was complete, the Gannet was assigned to the Mediterranean as an anti-slaver. On September 11, 1888, she was ordered to relieve HMS Dolphin at the besieged port of Suakin, Sudan where she engaged anti-Anglo-Egyptian forces led by Osman Digna for nearly a month. After the battle, the Gannet was assigned to perform surveying work throughout the Mediterranean, and then hydrographic work in the Red Sea until she returned to Sheerness and was decommissioned on March 16, 1895.

After four months of being out of commission, in December 1895 the Gannet was transferred to harbour service in Chatham where she remained until 1900 when she was placed on the list of non-effective vessels. In the autumn of 1900, the Gannet-was leased to the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Company as a hulk vessel, to carry cargo from Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain.

In 1903 the Gannet was ordered to relieve HMS President, the Royal Naval Reserve drill ship, and underwent major alterations to convert her into a drill ship. Renamed HMS President, she took up her new duties as the Headquarters ship of the London Royal Naval Reserve in the South West India Docks in June 1903. In 1909 the ship was renamed President II and in the spring of 1911, was relieved by HMS Buzzard, again finding herself on the list of non-effective vessels.

In 1913 the Gannet was loaned to C. B. Fry, and was stationed in the River Hamble, and became a dormitory ship for the training school, Mercury, and was given the school's name. The school took young boys who otherwise might not have many options in life, and trained them to join the Royal Navy. The ship served in this capacity until 1968 when the school was closed. Reverting to Royal Navy stewardship, it was decided to turn the ship over to the Maritime Trust so she could be restored. In 1987 the Chatham Historic Dockyard chartered Gannet from the Maritime Trust and started a restoration program, with the goal of returning the ship to its 1888 appearance the only time she saw naval combat. In 1994 ownership of the vessel was passed to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, where she remains today on display as a museum ship.

External links

Historic Dockyard, Chatham ( Retrieved from "" Categories: Museum ships Royal Navy ships

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