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HMS Alexandra built by Chatham Dockyard and launched 7th April 1875. Sold for breaking up 6th October 1908.

HMS Alexandra was the last British battleship to carry her main armament wholly below decks; she was one of only two British ships to mount guns of 11-inch (280 mm) calibre, the other being HMS Temeraire.

She was the first British warship to be powered by vertical compound engines, carrying cylindrical high-pressure boilers with a working pressure of 60 pounds-force per square inch, as compared to rectangular boilers working at 30 lbf/inch pressure mounted in earlier ships.

It had been intended to call the ship HMS Superb, but the name was changed at her launching, which was undertaken by Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, who was later Queen Alexandra. She was the first British ironclad to be launched by a member of the Royal Family; the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Teck and the Duke of Cambridge were also present.

She was commissioned at Chatham on 2nd January 1877 as flagship, Mediterranean Fleet, and held this position continuously until 1889. She was the flagship of Admiral Hornby in his passage through the Dardanelles during the Russian war scare of 1878. She ran aground in bad weather at the narrowest part of the straight; she was towed off by HMS Sultan in time to lead the squadron to Constaninople.

She was present at the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882; in this action the Admiral's flag was shifted to HMS Invincible, as she was of shallower draught and could sail closer to shore. In 1886, the Duke of Edinburgh hoisted his flag on board, and the Prince of Wales, later King George V, joined as a lieutenant. She paid off in 1889 for modernisation. In 1891, she was flagship of the reserve at Portland, and remained so until 1901. Her last sea-time was as flagship of the "B" fleet in the manoevres of 1900. In 1903 she became a mechanical training ship, and she was sold in 1908.

Last updated 15 August, 2008

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