There are some ship's names, like Ark
Royal for instance, which the Royal Navy will never
abandon. The current HMS Temeraire is a shore-based
Physical Training establishment in Portsmouth - a reminder of
the vessel which proudly sailed into the Battle of Trafalgar
behind the Victory and which was immortalised by
William Turner in his haunting painting of that historic ship
on its last journey to the breaker's yard.
In 1876, a new ship,
powered by both steam and sail, was launched with this
name. It was the Navy's first state-of-the art Barbette
Ironclad, capable of a speed of 14.7 knots and armed with four
11" and four 10" guns.
from an article in the Illustrated London News
"Another new Ironclad was launched
on Tuesday, but this time at Chatham Dockyard. The Temeraire
was floated out of the dock in which she had been built at
high water. Only the Lords of the Admiralty, with a small
party of their friends was present; Mrs. Ward Hunt christened
the ship. This new vessel is for sea-going purposes and is
built on what is called the "barbette" principle.
This system has been adopted for years in the French Navy, but
has not been viewed, till recently, with favour by the
Admiralty constructors. The Temeraire is therefore the first
of her class in the Royal Navy.
The Temeraire will carry her armament of
eight guns as follows: on the upper deck, two guns will be
placed, one on the stern of 18tons, and the other, on the bow,
of 25 tons. Each will have not only a commanding position, but
practically will be able to sweep the horizon and give an
all-round fire. On the main deck, the other guns will be
placed and will consist of two batteries, adjusted for
broadside use, three on each side.
As regards speed, it is expected that 14
knots will be easily attained, and her coal-carrying power is
largely in excess of the normal power of ships of her size;
but, being a sea-going vessel, she will have to depend greatly
on her sail-power."
then was the ship on which we find Stephen Stantiford* in the
1881 Census, at the age of 31. He must have been so proud to
have been picked as a crew-member on such an important vessel,
and he could have been forgiven for thinking that his
father, who had been a Royal Marine, would have been proud of
Caroline, his mother, was Irish and Stephen had an older
brother (John) and a twin brother called Maurice. Records of
his father's death have not yet been found but in 1854, the
mother and children had definitely fallen on hard times for
they were living in Totnes Union Workhouse where Stephen's
twin Maurice died
on May 21st, aged 4.
Stephen served on HMS Temeraire as Cox of the Cutter -
i.e. the shore-going boat which, in 1882, played a key role in
what is called the Egyptian War.
|Temeraire's powerful artillery was used
to overwhelm the fire power at Fort Mex, in Alexandria. She
went on to help attack Fort Pharos and Fort Moncrieff.
HMS Superb (Flagship), HMS Temeraire, HMS
Lord Nelson and HMS Agamemnon going up the Dardanelles in 1882
Sub-Lieutenant Bernard Currey (later
Admiral Currey) served on HMS Temeraire in 1882. He
landed (presumably using the cutter) with a Naval Brigade from the ship who successfully
took part in the decisive battle of Tel el Kebir.
Egypt was conquered and from this time
on, for nearly 75 years, was under English occupation and
was paid off in 1901 and Stephen may have had another
posting. Personal service records exist for all
sailors but they are difficult to obtain if you are not a
have been 64 when World War 1 began, (had he still been alive)
and certainly would not have seen service in the revamped
Temeraire which took part in the Battle of Jutland. After the
War, she became a cadet training ship before being scrapped in
at her refit in Devonport Dockyard - 1904
|*Stephen's surname can be found with a variety of spellings
to Issue 8