Monday, April 26, 2010

H.M.S. Fox

The Stamp above is of H.M.S. Fox of Sierra Leone .Its SG 832B as per Stanley Gibbon's catalog.
Built as a second class protected cruiser by the Portsmouth Dockyard for the Royal Navy,15 June 1893 launched as HMS FOX one of the Astraea class.

Displacement 4.360 ton full load, dim. 98 x 15.1 x 5.8m. (draught).
Powered by two 3-cyl. triple expansion steam engines, 7.500 ihp, twin shafts, speed 18 knots. Maximum power 9.500 ihp.
Bunker capacity 1.000 tons of coal
Armament 2 – QF 6 inch, 8 – QF 4.7 inch, 10 – 6 QF 6pdrs.and 1 – QF 3 pdr. 4 – 18 inch torpedo tubes.
Range 7.000 mile by a speed of 10 knots.
Crew 318.
14 April 1896 completed.

She was sheated with copper to make her suitable for service in tropical waters. Designed for overseas duty where they was unlikely to encounter first class opposition. She was useful for showing the flag, suppressing piracy, escorting convoys during war time, supporting colonial governments, and generally intimidating minor powers.
1898 Was she at Sierra Leone to suppress the upraising led by Chief Bai Bureh against the British rule in the country for a “Hut Tax”.

By 1906 she was serving on the East Indies Station, but was paid off in January 1907 and sent to the reserve fleet.
May 1908 recommissioned for service in the Home Fleet.
June 1908 send to the East Indies.
HMS Fox was recommissioned at Aden in July 1912. At the start of the war she was part of the East Indies Station, under Rear-Admiral Sir R. H. Pierse. This was a small squadron, containing the battleship SWIFTSURE, the FOX and the cruiser DARTMOUTH. Its job was to protect the trade routes between Aden and Singapore, a vast area. It was believed that the forces on the China station and in the Australian fleet would prevent the German East Asian cruisers reaching this area.
In August 1914 the FOX was ordered to Colombo, to guard against the perceived threat from armed liners. While there she captured the Deutsch-Australische steam AUSTRALIA (10 August) and the Hansa liner MOTKEFELS (11 August), in the period before news of the war had reached every ships captain
On 3 and 4 November 1914 she supported the British troops during the attack on the port of Tanga in German East Africa.

Then took she part in the hunt for the German light cruiser SMS KÖNINGSBERG and took part in the raid on Dar-es-Salaam where she bombarded the city.
In January 1915 FOX was part of the force which occupied Mafia Island.
In January 1917 she was based at Port Sudan. By March she was on escort duties between Aden, Colombo and Bombay. By November, during the cruiser of the German commerce raider WOLF, she was at Aden, and was part of the Red Sea Patrol, remaining there until the end of the war.

In 1918 the FOX played a critical role while in the Red Sea in supporting the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, flying the flag of Commander William Boyle, 12th Earl of Cork. 

14 July 1920 sold to Cardif Marine Stores and broken up in the autumn of 1923 in Watchet Harbour, Bristol Channel.

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