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H.M.S. CAMBRIDGE AND H.M.S. CALCUTTA GUNNERY SHIPS

Researched & Copyright © martin Edwards 2008

Left is HMS Cambridge, to her right is the Calcutta connected by a bridge. Amazingly HMS Cambridge fired inland over a mudflat using cloth targets on wooden struts stuck in the mud. The gunnery school was moved ashore to HMS Drake in 1907, so this picture obviously predates that.
Left is HMS Cambridge, to her right is the Calcutta connected by a bridge. Amazingly HMS Cambridge fired inland over a mudflat using cloth targets on wooden struts stuck in the mud. The gunnery school was moved ashore to HMS Drake in 1907, so this picture obviously predates that.

HMS Windsor Castle was a triple-decker, 116 gun first-rate Royal Navy ship of the line. She was renamed HMS Cambridge in 1866 or 1869, when she replaced a ship of the same name as gunnery ship off Plymouth. Laid down at Pembroke Dockyard as HMS Victoria, she was converted from sail to steam screw whilst on the stocks, renamed Windsor Castle on 6 January 1855 and launched 26 August 1858. 204 feet long, and of 4971 tons displacement, she had a crew of 930, but almost immediately entered the first-class steam reserve - The Times reported on 13 September 1860 reported her as among the "ships and gunboats in the first-class steam reserve which could be got ready for the pennant at a short notice". She was renamed HMS Cambridge in 1866 or 1869, when she replaced a ship of the same name as gunnery ship off Plymouth. She was later joined by HMS Calcutta as her tender, with a wooden bridge between the bow of HMS Cambridge and the stern of the Calcutta. Other of her tenders included HMS Gorgon, Plucky and Sabrina (around 1877) and HMS Bonetta, Bulldog, Cuckoo, Hecate, Plucky, Sabrina and Snap (around 1890). In 1890, some of her officers were listed as bound for Foudroyant and Perseus. She was towed on October 30th 1907 to No. 5 Basin of the Royal Dockyard to enable the gunnery school to move ashore into the Naval Barracks, paid off on November 4th that year and sold to Cox on 24 June 1908 for breaking up at Falmouth. [Source: Wikipedia HMS Windsor Castle]

HMS Calcutta was an 84-gun second-rate ship-of-the-line of the Royal Navy, built in teak to a draught by Sir Robert Seppings and launched on 14 March 1831 in Bombay. She was the only ship ever built to her draught. She carried her complement of smooth-bore, muzzle-loading guns on two gundecks. Her complement was 720 men (38 officers, 69 petty officers, 403 seamen, 60 boys and 150 marines). In 1855 the ship had been in reserve, but was recommissioned for the war between Russia and Britain and sailed for the Baltic. After two months she was sent home again, as being useless for modern naval actions. She saw action in the Second Opium War as the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, under the command of Captain William King-Hall. In 1858 Calcutta visited Nagasaki where she stayed for one week, becoming the first ship-of-the-line to visit Japan. In 1865, she was converted to a gunnery ship, moored at Devonport, Devon, with HMS Cambridge.[4] She was sold to breakers in 1908. Her figurehead was acquired by Admiral Lord Fisher, then First Sea Lord, as she had been his first seagoing ship. [Source: Wikipedia HMS Calcutta]

Last updated 11 October, 2008

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