City_of_Oxford

Kite Balloon Ship 'City of Oxford' at Dover

 

Previous name:                     HMS St Vincent
Subsequent name:

Official Number                     86679

Class:                                 Dummy Battleship / Kite Balloon Ship

Pennant No:                         Y4.50

Laid down:
Builder:                                Barclay Curle & Co., Whiteinch
Launched:                            13 June 1882
Into Service:                         1914
Out of service:                     1919
Fate:                                    Broken up October 1924

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  Some official lists, marked as  “Lists of RFA’s” show vessels which spent some time as RFA’s during the First World War. These records are extremely sketchy and some of these vessels were “Yard Craft”, partially or wholly Dockyard manned, partly by RNR or Reserve Fleet personnel. Some of the Depot Ships staffed by skilled civilian Dockyard workers were for a time White Ensign. The Director of Stores was understood to be concerned with their manning and operationally they remained under Admiralty control.

13 June 1882 launched by Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd, Whiteinch as Yard Nr: 307 named CITY OF OXFORD for City Line Ltd (George Smith & Sons, Managers) Glasgow

June 1882 completed

28 August 1882 sailed Tail of the Bank for Calcutta

6 October 1882 berthed at Calcutta

17 November 1882 arrived at Malta from Calcutta - she sailed the same day for the UK

26 November 1882 berthed at London

4 December 1882 sailed London for Glasgow and passed Dover

8 December 1882 arrived at Glasgow 

2 January 1883 while on passage from the Clyde to Calcutta arrived at Suez

22 January 1883 arrived at Calcutta from the Clyde

8 February 1883 sailed Calcutta for London

20 February 1883 arrived at Aden while on passage from Calcutta to London

4 April 1883 sailed the Clyde for Calcutta

14 April 1883 passed Malta while on passage to Calcutta

19 April 1883 arrived at Port Said

7 May 1883 arrived at Calcutta

24 May 1883 passenger Joseph Clegg discharged dead from a drug overdose

21 September 1884 at Gravesend Fireman & Trimmer William Murdock discharged dead from natural causes

12 January 1886 at Victoria Dock, London Able Seaman James McNaight fell into the dock and drowned

16 January 1886 the Lonon Evening Standard reported proceedings before West Ham Magistrates' Court -

Press Cutting London Evening Standard 16 1 1886

24 August 1886 in port at the Seamans Hospital at Malta Fireman & Trimmer William Moore discharged dead from enteritis

29 August 1886 at sea between Malta and Port Said Fireman & Trimmer James Brown discharged dead from natural causes

2 August 1887 at sea between Malta and London Able Seaman P McAffie discharged dead - missing

9 December 1887 at sea 2nd Mate Thomas Winn discharged dead from cancer of the liver

14 December 1889 while on passage from Calcutta to London grounded on the bank at Chalouf section of the Suez Canal. Assistance given and cargo being discharged

19 January 1890 at Glasgow 2nd Mate James Thompson discharged dead from natural causes

18 July 1890 arrived at Perim

24 July 1890 arrived at Suez later sailing from Port Said

2 August 1890 passed Sagres

5 August 1890 while on passage from Calcutta to Royal Albert Dock, London passed Deal

7 August 1890 while on passage from Calcutta to Royal Albert Dock, London passed Gravesend

24 August 1890 arrived at Glasgow from London

13 September 1890 the Scotsman newspaper reported -

Press report 13 9 1890 City of Oxford

30 April 1891 at 7.42N 72.38E passenger Chaplain John Henry Taylor discharged dead from hydrophobia having been bitten by a mad cat some three months previously

2 July 1891 arrived at Liverpool from Glasgow

8 July 1891 sailed Liverpool for Calcutta

19 July 1891 while on passage to Calcutta arrived at Port Said from Liverpool and Glasgow

16 September 1891 while on passage from Calcutta sailed Port Said for London

19 September 1891 while on passage from Calcutta sailed Malta for London

27 September 1891 arrived at the Port of London from Calcutta

6 November 1891 sailed Glasgow for Liverpool and then to Calcutta

14 December 1891 arrived at Calcutta from Glasgow and Liverpool

19 April 1892 at Calcutta Fireman James Black discharged dead from Cholera

28 June 1897 at the Suez Canal passenger Henry Allies discharged dead from natural causes

10 February 1900 at Malta when on passage from Calcutta to London

7 September 1900 at Suez when on passage from Calcutta to London

7 June 1901 sailed Calcutta for the Clyde

August 1901 acquired by Ellerman Lines Ltd, London name unchanged

8 August 1901 sailed Greenock for Calcutta via London

25 September 1901 sailed Calcutta for the Clyde

5 December 1901 sailed Liverpool for Calcutta

19 December 1901 arrived Malta while on passage from the Clyde to Calcutta

21 December 1901 sailed Malta with troops for Colombo

31 January 1902 sailed Colombo

14 February 1902 at Malta while on passage from Calcutta to London

12 April 1902 passed Perim when on passage from Liverpool to Calcutta

17 July 1902 sailed Liverpool for Calcutta

17 August 1902 arrived Calcutta from the UK

3 April 1903 at sea at 19.32N 87.26E passenger Baganeet (no first name - a native servant) discharged dead - sun stroke

25 April 1903 arrived at Malta

21 September 1903 sailed Calcutta

24 November 1903 at Port Said - on passage from Liverpool to Bombay

7 December 1903 arrived at Bombay from Liverpool

1903 transferred to Ellerman Papayani’s Alexandria service

3 January 1904 at Suez - on passage from Karachi to Genoa

25 January 1904 arrived at Liverpool from Karachi

22 February 1904 at Malta while on passage Liverpool to Karachi

26 March 1904 sailed Karachi to Genoa and LIverpool

13 May 1904 sailed Liverpool to Bombay

6 June 1904 at sea at 17.52N 65.01E Fireman Abdoorman Sk Alley discharged dead from natural causes

7 June 1904 arrived at Bombay from Liverpool

15 July 1904 arrived at Marseilles while on passage from Bombay to Liverpool

27 October 1904 at Port Said while on passage from Liverpool to Bombay

17 November 1904 arrived at Karachi while on passage from Liverpool to Bombay

17 December 1904 arrived at Gibraltar while on passage from Karachi to Liverpool

27 May 1905 sailed Alexandria to Liverpool

9 June 1905 arrived Liverpool from Alexandria

5 September 1905 arrived at Gibraltar while on passage from Alexandria to Liverpool

10 September 1905 arrived at Liverpool from Alexandria

13 March 1907 sailed Liverpool for Constantinople

18 May 1907 arrived at Liverpool from Odessa

4 June 1907 sailed Liverpool to Constantinople

6 February 1909 sailed Liverpool to Tangiers

17 March 1910 at Liverpool Magistrates' Court Ellerman Lines Ltd were fined £25 for a breach of the Factory & Workshops Act after a fatal accident onboard the ship. The Sunderland Daily Echo reported that -

Sunderland Daily Echo 17 3 1910

 

28 May 1910 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

5 August 1910 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

14 February 1911 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

26 June 1911 the crew walked off the ship at Liverpool during a widescale seamans strike - dockers also walked out in sympathy from the port

11 January 1912 in No 8 Dock at Manchester

24 January 1912 sailed Liverpool for Alexandria

12 July 1912 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

3 December 1912 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

2 February 1913 arrived at Liverpool

28 June 1913 sailed Liverpool to Alexandria

22 March 1914 arrived at Alexandria from Liverpool

28 October 1914 purchased by the Admiralty and converted into a dummy battleship HMS St. Vincent.

January 1915 was based at Scapa Flow and patrolled the North Atlantic

25 February 1915 at Belfast with Lieutenant J Brown RNR as Master

20 April 1915 at Liverpool

17 July 1915 commissioned at a Kite Balloon ship

5 August 1915 at Belfast and with Engineer Lieutenant James Kirkpatrick RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

14 November 1915 at Belfast

12 April 1916 1st class Air Mechanic George Saunders F/10461 Royal Naval Air Service discharged dead. He died at the Royal Marine Infirmary, Deal of pneunomia after an operation and is buried in St Mary's Cemetery, Dover

 

SaundersG

 

City_of_Oxford_xxx

Entertainment  on board

 

27 September 1916 Firemen Frederick Heatley, William Hanley and Thomas Henry appeared before a court martial charge with (a) using threatening and insulting behavious to their superior officer (b) behaving with contempt to their superior officer and (c) wilful disobedience of a lawful command when ordered to come back to the Quarter Deck. Pleaded Guilty to the charges (a) and (b) charge (c) was adjudged not to be proved. Firemen Heatly and Hanley adjudged to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for the term of 18 calendar months and Fireman Henry adjudged to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for the term of 1 year. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were pleased to reduce the sentences to 6 months imprisonment with hard labour each in the cases of Heatley and Hanley and to 4 months imprisonment with hard labour in the case of Henry

1 October 1916 this days pink list showed the ship to be a kite baloon ship attached to the Grand Fleet

Late 1916 converted to carry sea planes

 City of Oxford with canvas hangars 1918

HMS City of Oxford with canvas hangers for her sea planes

1 January 1917 this days pink list showed the ship to be a kite baloon ship based at Rosyth

9 August 1917 at Port Said 5 Petty Officer mechanics and 6 Air mechanics transferred from HMS RAVEN II

13 September 1917 Storekeeper Thomas Oswald Monkley MMR 486748 discharged dead. He is buried in the Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt - he died of enteric fever

 

Monkley_C

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

30 October 1917 arrived at the mouth of the Hesi being guarded by the destroyers HMS's COMET and STAUNCH. Her seaplane spotted for the Monitor HMS RAGLAN firing at Turkish positions ashore. In the evening sailed seaward

2 November 1917 HMS EMPRESS while on passage from Port Said to Haifa met City of Oxford - stopped and City of Oxford sent over additional pilots

4 November 1917 at Port Said

7 November 1917 off the Palestine coast near Wadi Hesi with HMS ENTERPRISE attacked by two enemy aircraft - 2 bombs dropped - landed close to the City of Oxford. HMS ENTERPRISE opened fire driving the aircraft off

11 November 1917 Fireman R Lynch MMR 781115 discharged dead. He is buried in Belfast City Cemetery, Northern Ireland in grave H3 822. He is also remembered with pride on the World War 1 Roll of Honour of Charles Church, Plymouth

Lynch R

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

4 December 1917 at Port Said berthed alongside HMS RAVEN II. Temporary Acting Lieutenant Francis L Yeomans RNR - officer of the day on HMS RAVEN II reported as having absented himself without permission - during the time he was absent he was on HMS CITY of OXFORD

2 January 1918 this days pink list showed the ship to be a kite baloon ship based at Port Said

1 March 1918 at anchor at Loheiya

13 March 1918 while still at anchor at Loheiya received naval stores from HMS CLIO

24 May 1918 Sub-Lieutenant Peter McGwigan RNR appeared before a court martial charge with (a) drunk on board ship and (b) act to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline in using obscene language on board ship. Pleaded Guilty to both charges and was adjudged to forfeit six months seniority, to be dismissed his ship and to be severely reprimanded.

30 June 1918 this days pink list showed the ship to be a kite baloon ship based at Egypy and the Red Sea

2/3 July 1918 Junior Engineer Settimo L Peters MMR appeared before a court martial charge with (a) Act to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline in creating a serious disturbance on shore and (b) drunk on shore. The first charge was found proved. The second charge was found not proved. The accused was adjudged  to be dismissed his ship and to be reprimanded. The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were pleased to annul the sentence on the ground that it was not proved that the act which formed the subject of the first charge was an act to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline

24 July 1918 at anchor at Port Said

28 August 1918 off Port Said sighted by HMS SUVA

9 September 1918 berthed at Port Said

14 September 1918 sailed Port Said for Alexandria

22 October 1918 anchored off Milford Haven

11 November 1918 ship paid off at Cardiff - Kite Balloon Ship service ended

1919 resold to Ellerman & Bucknall Steamship Co Ltd, London

28 January 1920 arrived Liverpool from Alexandria

21 February 1920 sailed Liverpool to Smyran and Constantinople

3 March 1920 at Gibraltar

28 August 1920 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

17 December 1920 sailed Liverpool for Alexandria

13 March 1921 arrived at Gibraltar while on passage from Malta to Liverpool

11 April 1921 passed Peniche while on passage from Liverpool to Alexandria

2 July 1921 arrived at Liverpool from Alexandria

11 August 1921 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

24 August 1921 arrived Gibraltar while on passage from Liverpool to Malta

2 November 1921 arrived Gibraltar while on passage from Liverpool to Malta

9 April 1922 sailed Liverpool for Alexandria and Constantinople

12 April 1922 at Devonport 750 men who had previously served in the Royal Irish Constabulary Auxilary Force embarked for passage to Palestine as the main part of the Palestine Gendarmerie

25 April 1922 arrived at Malta

13 June 1922 at 32.40N 28.50E a passenger Vladimir Boorsinisky, a clerk, died having committed suicide

17 July 1922 at Malta a passenger Soldier William Thompson died from Pulmonary Tuberculosis

22 December 1922 sailed Liverpool for Malta, Alexandria 

24 February 1923 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

22 May 1923 sailed Alexandria for Liverpool

20 July 1923 arrived at Malta from Alexandria

5 September 1923 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

19 January 1924 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

21 June 1924 sailed Liverpool for Malta and Alexandria

October 1924 purchased for £11,000 for demolition by Cantieri Olivio S.A, at La Spezia

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website, by continuing to use the site you agree to cookies being used. More info.