Ministry of Defence
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Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


HMS Roberts, built by Swan Hunter, launched 15th April 1915. Arrived at Preston for breaking up, 19th September 1936.

Abercrombie Class Monitors. Soon after the outbreak of World war One the president of the Bethlehem Steel company contacted Winston Churchill the First Lord of the admiralty on the 3rd November 1914. and offered for sale Four Twin Turrets armed with two 14-inch Guns in each. (This guns were originally for the Greek Naval ship Salamis, but would never get their destination due to the British Blockade. ) Winston Churchill saw the possibility. The Royal navy were in need of shallow draft ships with the armament for heavy shore bombardment. The Admiralty purchased the guns and set to work in investigating the potential of producing Four monitors. The final design was rushed through without thorough testing including tank tests. the final ships were unwieldy and slow.

Initially they were called the Styx class but soon were allocated M1 - to M4. These names remained until February 1915, when it was arranged to give them American names to acknowledge the guns US Origins. M! was to be Admiral Farragut, M2 General Grant, M3 was to be Robert E Lee M4 was to be Stonewall Jackson. But because the guns were sold to Britain, which was a flagrant breach of US Neutrality they were horridly renamed. M1 was to be HMS Abercrombie, M2 HMS Havelock, M3 was to be called Lord Raglan but the name was shortened to HMS Raglan, M4 was to be called Earl Roberts but again shortened to HMS Roberts. These four ships had been designed to carry seaplanes but did not carry them for very long as it was found that land based aircraft called do naval sea spotting more efficiently, also the aircraft which were fitted on top of the turret, had to be hoisted off and over the side, while the ships guns were used to protect the aircraft against blast damage. In September 1917 HMS Abercrombie experimented with a Sopwith Schneider, and HMS Ragland on two occasions carried seaplanes. In October 1916 a Short166 and In September 1917 a Short 184, HMS Roberts also carried a Short 166 in September 1915 for a few weeks.

Last updated 15 August, 2008

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