H.M.S. Abercrombie (1915)

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H.M.S. Abercrombie (1915)
Pendant Number: M.01 (1914)
M.00 (Jan 1918)[1]
Builder: Harland & Wolff, Belfast[2]
Ordered: 21 Nov, 1914
Laid down: 12 Dec, 1914[3]
Launched: 15 Apr, 1915[4]
Commissioned: 12 May, 1915
Sold: 25 Jun, 1927[5]
Fate: Scrapped
H.M.S. Abercrombie was an Abercrombie Class monitor of the Royal Navy.

Formerly the M 1, formerly the Farragut, formerly the Admiral Farragut; her main armament was composed of 14-in guns and mounting purchased and constructed in the U.S. for the Greek ship Salamis (ex-Vasilefs Georgios) which at the outbreak of war had been building in Germany. The plethora of names indicated the heritage of her guns, and as such she was actually launched as Admiral Farragut, but due to U.S. Neutrality laws it was deemed imprudent to recognise the source of the guns. Therefore on 31 May the Admiralty passed a directive (which affected the other members of her class) that Admiral Farragut would become M 1. On 19 June, King George V sanctioned the use of the name Abercrombie for the monitor, after Major-General Ralph Abercromby of the Napoleonic Wars.


The ship was laid down in December, 1914 as hull 472 at the Queen's Island yard of Harland & Wolff and was launched in April of the following year. She was built in berth no. 2 along with H.M.S. Havelock - the same slipway upon which the White Star Liners Olympic and Britannic had been constructed. By June she was ready for active duty. She was the first of 40 monitors to be built for the Royal Navy over the next 30 years, commissioning on 12 May, 1915 under the command of Captain H. M. Doughty.[6]


After completion she took part in the Gallipoli campaign performing ground bombardment duties. On 16 May, 1917 Captain Robert A. Rice was appointed in command.[7]

In September, 1917 she carried a Sopwith Schneider floatplane and then saw service in the Eastern Mediterranean. In May, 1918 she was refitted and had her two 14-in American-made guns replaced with Woolwich-constructed weapons.

H.M.S. Abercrombie (Ch.)
As of December, 1918.[8]
Rank Name Appointed
Captain Robert Alexander Rice (Acting) 16 May, 1917
Lieutenant John Willington Clarence Orby Shelton 1 May, 1917
Lieutenant (G) Percy Victor Natali 20 July, 1918
Lieutenant, R.N.R. (N) Percy Benjamin Park 25 March, 1918
Lieutenant, R.N.R. Edward James Carew Flint 17 May, 1918
Temporary Engineer Lieutenant John Buchanan, D.S.M. 7 September, 1918
Temporary Surgeon Lieutenant Charles Hart Gimlette 14 January, 1917
Mate John Henry Pipe (Acting) 3 May, 1918
Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant, R.N.R. Sydney H. Sargent 21 January, 1918
Gunner (T) Frederick Dart 2 July, 1917
Lieutenant, R.N.R. George W. Jackson 1 August, 1918
Lieutenant, R.N.R. George Grimshaw Rose, D.S.C. 1 August, 1918
Gunner Oscar Nelson Augustus Smith 26 April, 1918
Warrant Shipwright James Robert Brightmore (Acting) 24 April, 1918
Paymaster Midshipman Bernard Oliver Selwyn Savage
(Clerk to S.N.O.)
5 September, 1918


Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also


  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 102.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 43.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 43.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 43.
  5. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 102.
  6. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 391.
  7. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 721.
  8. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 721.
  9. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 391.
  10. Doughty Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 50.
  11. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 391.
  12. The Navy List. (June, 1919). p. 721.


  • Buxton, Ian L. (1978). Big Gun Monitors: The History of the Design, Construction and Operation of the Royal Navy's Monitors. Tynemouth: World Ship Society. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Moss, Michael; Hume, John R. (1986). Shipbuilders to the World: 125 Years of Harland & Wolff, Belfast 1861-1986. Belfast: The Blackstaff Press.

Abercrombie Class Monitor
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