HMS Druid

For general discussions on the Royal Navy, including specific ships and bases, during Queen Victoria's reign.

HMS Druid

Postby andy5880 » 14 Jun 2015 21:41

Druid.jpg
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HMS Druid, a wooden screw corvette of 1800 tons was built at Deptford, the last ship to be built there, she was launched in 1869 and scrapped in 1886. With a crew of 220, she was Charles Lawrence's 3rd ship, joining this as a Boy 1st Class in South Africa on 17th May 1872 after serving on HMS Seringapatam. The Captain was Maurice Horatio Nelson, nephew of Admiral Lord Nelson. The ships log for HMS Druid is in the National Archive, hopefully to be read and possibly copied this summer. The ship saw action in the Anglo-Ashanti war, flattening the town of Aquidah on 28th August 1873. Two 7 inch guns and eight 6.3 inch 64 pounder guns were available for this. Men from HMS Druid formed No. 2 Coy of the Naval Brigade ashore, and were involve in the actions at Amoaful and Coomassie, or crossed the River Prah, and so had the Coomassie clasp for the Ashanti campaign medal, but Charles was not among their number. The fort at Elmina was also garrisoned by men from HMS Druid. The Ashanti campaign was notable for successful trials of the Gatling gun, the use of which was recommended in 1871 and was subsequently brought into service with the Royal Navy in 1875 for use by the Naval Brigades ashore. A variation of this weapon also formed part of the ships defences from 1875, and variations of this weapon still provide close protection in the modern Navy. Apart from the Gatling gun, it would appear that the Naval Brigade did not land any field guns, as there was artillery with the army that also fought in this campaign, although the navy apparently regularly exercised the landing of field guns, which of course was to pay off in subsequent campaigns. Charles was rated Able Seaman during his draft to Druid, and left it to join HMS Excellent on returning to Britain in 1876, when Druid went into refit and was re-armed.
HMS Druid.jpg
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Ashantee Medal.jpg
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naval brigade.jpg
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coomassie.jpg
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