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1885 - Launch of CAMPERDOWN

24th November. The first class battleship Camperdown was launched from the Dockyard. She commissioned 18th July 1889 for the Home Fleet.

While in the Mediterranean on 22nd June 1893 the fleet were returning from Beirut to Tripoli and sailing in two columns when Vice- Admiral Sir Geo. Tyron ordered the two divisions to turn inwards believing there was sufficient sea-room for the ships to pass each other. The lead ship in the port column was the Camperdown which plunged into battleship Victoria, the lead ship of the starboard column making a hole 110 sq.ft some 18 ft below the water line. Within minutes Victoria took a great list and started to go down by the bows. There was no time to shut upper deck hatches or water-tight doors in bulkheads between decks and Victoria slowly heeled onto her side and rapidly turned upside down, finally plunging to the bottom almost vertically. Tragically Vice-Admiral Sir Geo. Tyron, 22 officers and 336 men went with her. For Portsmouth there was great sadness as many of the missing men came from the town. It was one of the greatest disasters in the annuls of the Victorian navy and one that caused much controversy.

As for the Camperdown she served on until October 1908 when she relegated to berthing ship at Harwich for submarines until she was sold on 11th July 1911 for £28,000.

1885 - Launch of CAMPERDOWN