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HMS Hampshire

The HMS Hampshire was a armoured cruiser of the Devonshire class built for the Royal Navy. She was constructed at the Chatham Dockyard in Kent and commissioned in 1905 at a cost of around 900,000.

Just returned from the Battle of Jutland she was directed to carry Lord Horatio Kitchener from Scapa Flow on a diplomatic mission to Russia. Sailing for Archangel in a gale she struck a mine at around 19.40 hrs on June 5, 1916 off Mainland Orkney between Brough of Birsay and Marwick Head. The ship sank very rapidly. Kitchener, his staff and most of the crew perished, only twelve men survived. The mine is believed to by one of those laid by U-75 on May 23.

The wreck was declared a war grave. She lies in around 65 metres of water at Lat. 59 7.03' and Long. 3 23.76'. In 1983 one propeller and part of a drive shaft were illegally salvaged. The prop was later given to Lyness museum, Orkney after protests.

Displacement: 10,850 tons. Length: 473 feet. Width: 68 feet. Draft: 24 feet. Speed: 22 Knots

Armament: four 7.5-inch guns; six 6-inch guns; two 12-pounders; eighteen 3-pounders; two 18-inch torpedo tubes.

Crew: 655 officers and men.

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