Previous name:                              HMS Victorious
Subsequent name:                         HMS Indus ii                                                              
Laid down:                                     28 May 1894 
Builder:                                          HM Dockyard, Chatham
Launched:                                     19 October 1895
Pennant No:                                   D.48 (1914), P.65 (9.15), P.3C (1.19)
Into Service:                                   22 February 1916
Out of service:                                March 1920
Fate:                                             Sold for scrap 9 April 1923


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


1893 - 4 ordered under Naval Estimates and became one of a Class of nine similar ships. Her sister ships were (in their order of being built)  HMS's MAGNIFICENT, MAJESTIC, HANNIBAL, PRINCE GEORGE, JUPITER, MARS, CAESAR & ILLUSTRIOUS. These nine ships formed the MAJESTIC Class of Battle Ships

28 May 1894 laid down

19 October 1895 launched by H.M. Dockyard, Chatham as Yard Nr:      named HMS VICTORIOUS from Number 7 slip. A member of the crew was killed as the ship was launched. The ship was launched by Mrs Goschen wife of the First Lord of the Admiralty

28 August 1896 began her sea trials - Captain A B Jenkings Royal Navy was in command

31 August 1896 sailed Sheerness on sea trials

6 September 1896 berthed at Sheerness having completed 30 hours of coal consumption trials

9 September 1896 sailed Sheerness for gun mounting trials 

11 September 1896 returned to Chatham on completion of trials

19 October 1896 the Manchester Courier & Lancashire General Advertiser reported -

Man Courier Press Cutting 19 Oct 1896

4 November 1896 completed at a cost of £955,312 and commissioned for service in the Reserve Fleet at Chatham Dockyard

8 June 1897 commissioned at Chatham for service in the Channel Fleet. Captain Edmund S Poe Royal Navy in command

26 June 1897 took part in the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead

January 1898 was transferred to the Mediterranean Station

14 February 1898 whilst on passage for the China Station she ran aground near Port Said but was re-floated after coal was removed from her and served on the China Station until 1900

1900 refitted at Malta

16 May 1900 re-commissioned at Malta for the Mediterranean Station

8 August 1903 returned to Chatham to pay off and refit

2 February 1904 became 2nd Flagship for the Channel Fleet and re-commissioned at Devonport

14 July 1904 was rammed by HMS TB 113 whilst in the Hamoaze, Devonport and sustained damage to her side plating

1 January 1905 under a reorganisation, the Channel Fleet became the new Atlantic Fleet

31 December 1906 her Atlantic Fleet service ended and she paid off at Devonport

1 January 1907 re-commissioned as a unit of the Nore Division of the Home Fleet

1908 was refitted at Chatham during which she was converted for oil fuel burning and had her main battery fire control and radio fitted

April 1909 was reduced to a nucleus crew, in commission in reserve

5 June 1910 suffered an internal explosion caused by spontaneous ignition of coal

January 1911 transferred to the Devonport Division Home Fleet

August 1911 entered 3rd Reserve Fleet

14 July 1912 in collision with her sister HMS MAJESTIC during an exercise in fog and damaged her stern walk

December 1913 commenced a short refit at Chatham

27 July 1914 as a precautionary mobilisation along with her sisters HM ships HANNIBAL MAGNIFICENT and MARS she formed the 9th Battle Squadron, based on Grimsby, to defend the East Coast

7 August 1914 9th Battle Squadron was disbanded but VICTORIOUS remained on station as guard ship

December 1914 transferred to the Tyne to act as Guard Ship there

1 January 1915 decision taken to remove her armament for use on the new Monitor designs

4 January 1915 arrived Elswick, Tyne and Wear so that her 12” guns could be removed and  transferred to HMS PRINCE RUPERT and HMS GENERAL WOLFE

February 1915 to September 1915 laid up on the River Tyne

September 1915 to February 1916 re-commissioned at Jarrow and she proceeded to Scapa Flow to replace RFA CARIBBEAN (q.v.) as the Repair Ship for the Grand Fleet

22 February 1916 taken over by the RFA as a repair ship for the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow

22 April 1916 Quartermaster George Weaver MMR discharged dead. He is buried in Lyness Naval Cemetery, Scapa Flow in grave B20



22 April 1918 Chief Petty Officer Edward Robinson RFR discharged dead. He is buried in Lyness Naval Cemetery, Scapa Flow in grave D42




October 1918 to March 1919 her sister, the Destroyer Depot Ship HMS PRINCE GEORGE, was allocated to her renamed HMS VICTORIOUS 11

24 November 1919 Trimmer James Sabiston RNR discharged dead. He is buried in Hoy Old Churchyard, Hoy and Graemsay, Orkney.

23 December 1919 Carpenter Christopher Lock MMR discharged dead. He is buried in Fulford Cemetery, Yorkshire

March 1920 repair ship service ended renamed HMS Indus ll

28 March 1920 arrived at Devonport for refit

14 April 1920 paid off into a Care and Maintenance status while she awaited the beginning of her refit. These plans were cancelled and it was then proposed to fit her out as a Harbour Depot Ship at a cost of  £6,000

April 1922 this conversion was cancelled before completion and she was placed on the Disposal List

19 December 1922 sold for demolition to A.J. Purves of Channel Shipbreaking Co

1 March 1923 above sale cancelled

9 April 1923 sold for scrap and towed from Devonport for breaking up at Dover by Stanlee Shipbreaking Co



Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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