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Imperieuse HMS

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Imperieuse HMS

Postby shipstamps » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:58 pm

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H.M.S. Imperious (according to the stamp), but there has never been a ship of this name in the Royal Navy, it should be Imperieuse, the first of the name being a captured French ship, taken off Spezia on October 10, 1793. The Imperieuse on the stamp was a visitor to the island in June 1888. On this occasion, Capt. H. W. May, R.N. landed at Flying Fish Cove and formally declared Christmas Island to be part of the British Empire. Capt. May's ship was an armoured cruiser, laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard on December 18 1883 and completed in 1886. Steel hulled and copper sheathed, she had a displacement of 8,400 tons. Length was 316 ft., beam 62 ft., and draft 27 ft. 4 in. She was engined by Maudslay. Originally the Imperieuse was armed with four 24-ton; ten 6-inch; four 6-pdr. quick firing; 10 machine guns and two light guns. Later this was changed to four 9.2 in., ten 6-in., and eight 6-pdr. guns. She was renamed Sapphire II in February 1905, when she became a depot ship, but was renamed Imperieuse in June 1905. She was sold to Thos. W. Ward Ltd., of Sheffield on September 24, 1913, for breaking up at Morecambe.
Christmas Is SG45 253
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