The History

HMS Hampshire was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion. After a refit she was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909 before going to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1911. She was transferred to the China Station in 1912 and remained there until the start of World War I in August 1914.

The ship hunted for German commerce raiders until she was transferred to the Grand Fleet at the end of 1914. She was assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron upon her return home. She was transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1916 and was present at the Battle of Jutland. Several days later she was sailing to Russia, carrying the Secretary of State for War, Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, when she is believed to have struck a mine laid by a German submarine. She sank with heavy loss of life, including Kitchener and his staff. Rumours later circulated of German spies and sabotage being involved in the sinking. Her wreck is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act, though part was later illegally salvaged.

Propeller from the Hampshire
Propeller from the Hampshire
Name: HMS Hampshire
Namesake: Hampshire
Builder: Armstrong Whitworth, Elswick
Laid down: 1 September 1902
Launched: 24 September 1903
Completed: 15 July 1905
Fate: Sunk by mine, 5 June 1916
Status: Protected war grave
General characteristics
Class and type: Devonshire-class armoured cruiser
Displacement: 10,850 long tons (11,020 t) (normal)
Length: 473 ft 6 in (144.3 m) (o/a)
Beam: 68 ft 6 in (20.9 m)
Draught: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Installed power:
  • 21,000 ihp (16,000 kW)
  • 17 Yarrow boilers; 6 cylindrical boilers
  • 2 × Shafts
  • 2 × 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)
Complement: 610
  • 4 × single BL 7.5-inch Mk I guns
  • 6 × single BL 6-inch Mk VII guns
  • 2 × single 12-pounder 8 cwt guns[Note 1]
  • 20 × single QF 3-pounder Hotchkiss guns
  • 2 × single 18-inch torpedo tubes
  • Belt: 2–6 in (51–152 mm)
  • Decks: .75–2 in (19–51 mm)
  • Barbettes: 6 in (152 mm)
  • Turrets: 5 in (130 mm)
  • Conning tower: 12 in (305 mm)
  • Bulkheads: 5 in (127 mm)