H.M.S. Queen Mary (1912)

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H.M.S. Queen Mary (1912)
Pendant Number: 14 (1914)[1]
Builder: Palmer[2]
Ordered: 1910 Programme[3]
Laid down: 6 Mar, 1911[4]
Launched: 20 Mar, 1912[5]
Commissioned: Aug, 1913[6]
Sunk: 31 May, 1916[7]
Fate: at Battle of Jutland

H.M.S. Queen Mary was a battlecruiser of the Lion class in the Royal Navy, although she differed somewhat from her two sisters.

Built on Tyneside by Palmers and engined by John Brown, she was the fastest capital ship in the fleet until H.M.S. Tiger, the last of the so-called "Big Cats" to be launched. She took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight in late August 1914, and the Action of 16 December, 1914, before being destroyed at the Battle of Jutland in mid 1916.

Construction

One battlecruiser was provided for in the 1910-1911 naval estimates as part of the 1910-1911 Programme. On Thursday, 13 January, 1911, it was announced that the new ship would be constructed by Palmers at their Jarrow dockyard, with the turbine machinery built by John Brown and Company. The keel was laid on 6 March, the same day that it was announced in The Times that the name of the ship would be Queen Mary, in honour of the consort of King George V. The naming was confirmed by the builders on 20 March.

Queen Mary was launched on 20 March, 1912. A public holiday was declared in Jarrow so as to allow as many people as possible to view the spectacle. The ship was launched at 15:45 by Lady Allendale, with Lord Allendale in attendance as well as many other shipyard and political dignitaries. The Queen sent a message to Lady Allendale, to wit:[8]

I am most grateful to you for so kindly representing me at the launch of his Majesty's ship Queen Mary and I sincerely hope that all prosperity may follow the ship which has been named after me.[9]

While construction was underway, a coalminers' strike took place, which affected both the social climate and affected the delivery of goods due to decreased traffic consequent to a lack of coal supplies. Unlike most shipyards, Palmers was not duly affected by the situation, as a large amount of materiel had already been stocked. However, on 9 December, 1912, two hundred platers went on strike over a pay dispute related to odd jobs.[10]

Radio

Sometime before 1913, she may have had a Type 3 Battleship Auxiliary set, but it was to be replaced by a Type 10 Cruiser Auxiliary set.[11]

Service

Captain W. Reginald Hall was appointed to Victory for command of Queen Mary on 1 July, 1913.[12] She commissioned at Portsmouth on 4 September,[13] and completed to full crew on 15 September for service in the First Battle Cruiser Squadron.[14] Shortly after she commissioned, Captain Hall received a telegram from Queen Mary:

On the occasion of your hoisting your pennant on board the Queen Mary I offer you, your officers, and men my hearty good wishes for a happy and prosperous commission.[15]

Hall had been asked by the Admiralty if he would commission Queen Mary without a Master-at-Arms and Ship's Police as part of a trial.[16] On his own initative he organised the ship's company into three watches (Red, White and Blue) as opposed to the usual Port and Starboard watches. A bookstall was installed on board. Thanks to a friend Hall was able to obtain a "cinematograph" for the benefit of the crew. For the benefit of the petty officers a laundry was installed.[17] A permanent church (the first in a British warship)[18] was constructed which did away with the need for "rigging church" and "unrigging church." Instead of falling in for inspection when wanting to go ashore, boards were provided so that liberty men only had to put a peg in next to their number when they left, and took it out when they returned.[19]

From 11 February to 17 February, 1914, Queen Mary and the rest of the First Battle Cruiser Squadron visited the French port of Brest.[20] The Squadron then sailed for Vigo, Spain, arriving there on the 19th,[21] then Pontevedra on the 27th.[22] Next stop was the roadstead at Arosa Bay, which the Squadron arrived at on 6 March.[23] Following Fleet exercises,[24] she left Villagarcia in company with Lion on 21 March,[25] and arrived at Spithead on the 25th.[26] On 20 July Queen Mary was visited by King George V at Spithead during the naval review.[27]

Great War

Queen Mary took part in the Battle of Heligoland Bight on 28 August, 1914, less than a month into the war. She fired 78 13.5-inch shells and incurred no casualties during the action.[28]

Captain Cecil I. Prowse was appointed in command of Queen Mary on 13 October, 1914.[29] Captain Rudolf W. Bentinck, Chief of the Staff to Vice-Admiral Sir George J. S. Warrender, Bart. (commanding the Second Battle Squadron), was "Appointed in Cd of 'Queen Mary' tempy [temporarily] by CinC 13·10·14."[30] This is borne out by the memoirs of the Commander, William M. James, who noted in his memoirs that Bentinck was "with us for a few weeks."[31]

In December she was present in the confusion following the German bombardment of Scarborough and Whitby.[32] From January to February, 1915, she was under refit at Portsmouth,[33] and therefore missed the Battle of Dogger Bank. Commander James later wrote "We were plunged in gloom when we heard that our squadron mates had been heavily engaged with the German battle-cruisers."[34]

Jutland

Main article: H.M.S. Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland

Queen Mary was lost to a magazine explosion during the Run to the South, killing nearly everybody on board.

Her torpedo officer was Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Lyall Clayton, originally appointed to her on 1 February, 1913.

After her sinking, a Memorial Service was held on Monday 12 June at St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge for Captain Prowse and the Officers and Men of Queen Mary killed at Jutland. The service ended with the singing of the National Anthem.[35]

Fire Control Systems

Dreyer Table

Queen Mary carried what was designated on 27 March, 1914, as a Mark III* Dreyer Table, but later designated a Mark II Dreyer Table.[36] Also on that date, she carried a Dreyer Turret Control Table in "B" turret.[37][38][39] This implies that "X" turret may also have eventually carried one, as it, too, was a control position.[Inference]

Rangefinders

Queen Mary was completed with a 9-foot[Inference] rangefinder in each turret and two in addition in the T.C.T. and G.C.T.. Her sisters had fewer but would be brought up to similar standard during the war.[40]

Alterations

Directors

In 1913, Queen Mary was slated as part of the twelve ship order to receive a director. However, she did not receive one until some point between May, 1915, and December, 1915.[41] The First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had minuted in late 1913:

It is surely not a good plan to pull the "Queen Mary" to pieces the moment she has been completed for sea. In any case she ought not to be out of action while the "Invincible" is re-arming. I am not convinced that there is any extreme urgency for fitting her with the director.[42]

Searchlights

In late 1913, one 24-in Automatic Motor Lamp manufactured by Messrs. Clarke, Chapman & Co. Ltd., a model which had recently been trialled in Vernon, were to be installed in the ship at Portsmouth Royal Dockyard for a three-month trial.[43]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 35.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 35.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 31.
  7. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 35.
  8. "H.M.S. Queen Mary Launched" (News). The Times. Thursday, 21 March, 1912. Issue 39852, col F, p. 13.
  9. "H.M.S. Queen Mary Launched" (News). The Times. Thursday, 21 March, 1912. Issue 39852, col F, p. 13.
  10. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 10 December, 1912. Issue 40078, col C, p. 6.
  11. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. W/T Appendix, p. 13.
  12. Hall Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 78.
  13. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 364.
  14. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 4 September, 1913. Issue 40308, col F, p. 3.
  15. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 19 September, 1913. Issue 40321, col D, p. 2.
  16. James. The Eyes of the Navy. p. 14.
  17. James. The Eyes of the Navy. pp. 14-17.
  18. James. The Eyes of the Navy. p. 15.
  19. "New Naval Discipline" (News). The Times. Thursday, 2 April, 1914. Issue 40487, col B, p. 5.
  20. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 12 February, 1914. Issue 40445, col E, p. 4.
  21. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 21 February, 1914. Issue 40453, col F, p. 4.
  22. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 5 March, 1914. Issue 40463, col A, p. 13.
  23. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 9 March, 1914. Issue 40466, col D, p. 12.
  24. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 26 March, 1914. Issue 40481, col C, p. 5.
  25. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 24 March, 1914. Issue 40479, col C, p. 16.
  26. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 26 March, 1914. Issue 40481, col C, p. 5.
  27. "Naval Spectacle at Spithead" (News). The Times. Monday, 20 July, 1914. Issue 40580, col A, p. 10.
  28. Monograph 11. pp. 165-166.
  29. Prowse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 423.
  30. Bentinck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 47.
  31. James. The Sky was Always Blue. p. 86.
  32. Monograph 8. p. 177.
  33. Roberts. p. 123.
  34. James. The Sky was Always Blue. p. 91.
  35. "The Loss of the Queen Mary" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 13 June, 1916. Issue 41192, col E, p. 8.
  36. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 972 of 27 Mar, 1914.
  37. Brooks. Dreadnought Gunnery. pp. 8, 166.
  38. In Defence of Naval Supremacy. p. 252.
  39. Admiralty Weekly Orders. "972.—Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control System—Various Types to be known as stated." N.S. 14083/14.—27.3.1914. The National Archives. ADM 182/5. Thanks to Mark Harris for bringing this reference to the editors' attention.
  40. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 32, 33.
  41. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 9-11.
  42. Churchill to Singer. Minute of 10 October, [1913]. Churchill Papers. Churchill Archives Centre. CHAR 13/6A/219.
  43. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 702 of 5 Dec, 1913.
  44. Hall Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 78.
  45. Hall Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 40/78.
  46. Bentinck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 47.
  47. James. The Sky was Always Blue. p. 86.
  48. Prowse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 423. In fact, he assumed command after a few weeks under Bentinck, ref: James. The Sky was Always Blue. p. 86.
  49. Prowse Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 423.

Bibliography

  • 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.
  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1917). The Director Firing Handbook. O.U. 6125 (late C.B. 1259). Copy No. 322 at The National Archives. ADM 186/227.
  • 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.
  • Brooks, John (2005). Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland: The Question of Fire Control. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 0714657026. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.
  • James, Admiral Sir William (1951). The Sky was Always Blue. London: Methuen & Co..
  • James, Admiral Sir William (1956). The Eyes of the Navy: A Biographical Study of Admiral Sir Reginald Hall. London: Methuen & Co..
  • Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division (1921). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical). Fleet Issue. Volume III. Monograph 6.—Passage of the British Expeditionary Force, August, 1914. Monograph 7.—The Patrol Flotillas at the Commencement of the War. Monograph 11.—The Battle of Heligoland Bight, August 28th, 1914. Monograph 8.—Naval Operations Connected with the Raid on the North-East Coast, December 16th, 1914. Monograph 12:—The Action of Dogger Bank, January 24th, 1915. O.U. 6181 (late C.B. 1585.). Copy No. 127 at The National Archives. ADM 186/610.
  • Roberts, John (1997). Battlecruisers. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 186176006X. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1557500681. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Sumida, Jon Tetsuro (1989). In Defence of Naval Supremacy: Finance, Technology and British Naval Policy, 1889-1914. Winchester, Mass.: Unwin Hyman, Inc.. ISBN 0044451040. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Williams, M W (1996). "The Loss of HMS Queen Mary at Jutland". In Preston, Antony; McLean, David. Warship 1996. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 085177685X.


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