H.M.S. Commonwealth (1903)

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H.M.S. Commonwealth (1903)
Pendant Number: 31 (1914)
44 (Jan 1918)
31 (Apr 1918)
N.88 (Jun 1918)[1]
Builder: Fairfield[2]
Ordered: 1901-02 Programme[3]
Laid down: 17 Jun, 1902[4]
Launched: 13 May, 1903[5]
Completed: Mar, 1905[6]
Commissioned: Mar, 1905[7]
Sold: 18 Nov, 1921[8]
Fate: Scrapped in Germany[9]

H.M.S. Commonwealth was one of eight King Edward VII class battleships. She entered service in 1905 and spent most of her service in the Great War with a shifting roster of her sisters in the Third Battle Squadron.

Service

Then part of the Channel Fleet, Commonwealth started a refit in Devonport on 22 May 1908.[10]

Commonwealth reduced to Nucleus Crew under the command of Oswald William Ormsby at Devonport on 7 December, 1910.[11]

Commonwealth completed to full crew at Sheerness on 14 May, 1912.[12] and was immediately assigned to the Third Battle Squadron upon its creation, remaining with the Squadron until January, 1918 when she was detached for miscellaneous duties "in Home Waters or on detached service".[13]

She was paid off in March, 1918,[14] returning to commission in April,[15] and assigned to the Northern Patrol in May.[16]

She left the Northern Patrol for "Miscellaneous Service" in December, 1918.[17] This nebulous assignment continued until July, 1919, when she was made a gunnery training ship at Invergordon.[18]

Alterations

Directors were ordered only for Commonwealth and her sister Zealandia on 23 July, 1917 for use in bombardment. Commonwealth's director was installed in May 1918, but Zealandia's installation was not completed.[19] It appears that Commonwealth was the only pre-dreadnought to ever be fitted with a director system for regular service.

Radio

By the end of 1913, she and the rest of the Third Battle Squadron were all equipped with Battleship Auxiliary W/T sets.[20]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 31.
  2. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 31.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 38.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 38.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 31.
  6. Burt. British Battleships: 1889-1904. p. 267.
  7. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 38.
  8. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 31.
  9. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 31.
  10. Report from Charles Beresford dated 10 April 1908 in Naval Policy - Strategy - Tactics: Miscellaneous papers from Private Office received by record office at The National Archives. ADM 116/942, unnumbered folio halfway within series.
  11. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 295.
  12. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 297.
  13. See Third Battle Squadron (Royal Navy) for details on her service in 3BS.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 19.
  15. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 19.
  16. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1918). p. 13.
  17. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 19.
  18. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1919). p. 14.
  19. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 15.
  20. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. W/T Appendix, p. 13.
  21. Startin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 502.
  22. Startin Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 502.
  23. Peirse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 1026.
  24. Peirse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 1026.
  25. Browning Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 124.
  26. Mundy Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 189.
  27. Mundy Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. f. 189.
  28. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 294.
  29. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  30. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  31. Ballard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 65.
  32. Ballard Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 65.
  33. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 292.
  34. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  35. Benwell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/200. f. 215.
  36. The Navy List. (July, 1913). p. 294.
  37. Lewes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 300.
  38. Lewes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 300.
  39. Woollcombe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 504.
  40. Woolcombe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 504.
  41. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 393e.
  42. Richmond Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 288.
  43. Richmond Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 288.
  44. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 305.
  45. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 305.
  46. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 305.
  47. Smith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 305.
  48. The Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 762.
  49. Blount Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 428.
  50. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 749.
  51. Ellison Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 516.

Bibliography

  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.
  • Gray, Randal (editor) (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1918). Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. C.B. 1456. Copy No. 10 at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
  • Admiralty, Technical History Section (1919). The Technical History and Index: Fire Control in H.M. Ships. Vol. 3, Part 23. C.B. 1515 (23) now O.U. 6171/14. At The National Archives. ADM 275/19.


King Edward VII Class Pre-dreadnought
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