HMS Bulwark

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Royal Navy battleship HMS Bulwark was commissioned at Devonport, Plymouth on 18th March 1907. She was intended to become the flagship for the Mediterranean Fleet but due to a long refit she became the flagship to the Home Fleet instead. In October 1907 she became grounded and received some damage requiring repairs. In August 1908, she joined the Channel Fleet and then Home Fleet, reduced to the Reserve in March 1910 but was recommissioned in 1912 to join the 5th Battle Squadron. From the outbreak of World War I she carried out Channel patrol duty and on the 26th November 1914 while loading ammunition at Sheerness, she was destroyed by a huge explosion, probably caused by black powder charges being mishandled, only 12 men survived.

Armament:  four 12 inch guns in pairs, twelve 6 inch guns singles, sixteen 12 pdr guns, two 12 pdr guns, six 3 pdr guns, two maxims and four torpedo tubes.    Length: 400ft    Displacement: 15,000 tons.   Speed: 18 knots.   Complement: 750 (789 as flagship).

HMS Bulwark, 1902.

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HMS Bulwark, 1902.

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HMS Bulwark

HMS Bulwark.

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HMS Bulwark

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HMS Bulwark

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HMS Bulwark.

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HMS Bulwark.

HMS Bulwark Flagship of the Mediterranean flying the flag of Sir Compton Domville in 1902.

Her heavy guns weighed 50 tons each and could throw a shell weighing 850lb to hit a ship at 6,000 yards.

Ian Marsh has sent us this picture and information:

My great uncle, Reginald Leonard Heath, who was one of the men lost when the vessel was destroyed. His rank was described as 'Shipt.2nd' and his number - 345674(Po) - and his date of birth 23/10/1888. This information was from his death certificate.

Admiral Sir Compton Domville KCB, and Officers of the Bulwark in 1902.

Left to right: Back - Ferraro, Gorges, Angus, Carpenter Porter, Coleman, Ahern.

2nd row - Jenkins, Kennedy, Howard, Franklin, Grieve, Croker, Innes, Moss, Pearson, the Honerable Bingham, Southard.

3rd row - Bramble, Crowley, Francis, Hamilton (Captain), Sir Domville, Philpotts, Piele, Frost, Krabbe.

Front row - Foote, Gill, Darke, Maconochie, Heath, Lobb, Mock.

The 4 photographs below were kindly sent in by Tim Labett whose grandfather Frederick Labett, served on HMS Bulwark from 1903-1907.

Tim Labett's picture of the Bulwark.

HMS Bulwark

The Bulwark blew up and sank from an accidental internal magazine explosion in 1914, while moored at Sheerness in Kent. There were only 15 survivors out of over 700 officers and men.

Frederick Labett joined the HMS Bulwark of the Mediterranean Fleet, on 21 July 1903. He left to join the Bulwarks' sister ship the Prince of Wales in December 1904. He was also attached to the Bulwark between January 1905 and January 1907

Photographs below kindly sent in by Linda Rayment

My grandmother's youngest brother Reginald Claude Flowers died on HMS Bulwark at the age of 20. He is on the bottom rhs on this group photo.

Reginald Claude Flowers who served on HMS Bulwark in 1914.

 

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Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

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