HMS Tamar (1863)

HMS Tamar (1863)

HMS "Tamar" was a Royal Navy troopship built by the Samuda Brothers at Poplar, London, and launched in Britain in 1863. She would serve as a supply ship from 1897 to 1941, and gave her name to the HMS "Tamar" shore station in Hong Kong (1897 to 1997).


The 1863 incarnation of the HMS "Tamar" was the fourth to bear that name, which is derived from the River Tamar, in Cornwall, and the ship's crest is based on its coat of arms. Built in Cubitt Town in East London, she was launched in June 1863, and began her maiden voyage on 12 January 1864 as a troopship to the Cape and ChinaEric Cavaliero, [ Harbour bed holds memories] , The Standard, November 13, 1997] .

"Tamar" was dual-powered with masts and a steam engine, giving a speed of 12 knots. She originally had two funnels, but she was re-equipped with a more advanced boiler and reduced to one funnel.

In 1874, she formed part of the Naval Brigade that helped to defeat the Ashanti in West Africa, during the Ashanti War. "Tamar" took part in the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882.

, after the ship.

The "Tamar" had been towed out to a buoy on December 8 during the Battle of Hong Kong during World War II. Amidst a curfew of darkness and bombardment by the Japanese forces, the orders came at 2100 hours on December 11 to scuttle her. She was scuttled at the buoy on 12 December 1941 once it was clear that the advance could not be arrested, to avoid being used by the invading Japanese Imperial forces. As the ship's superstructure became airlocked, the ship refused to sink for some time, until the Royal Artillery was called in to administer the "coup de grâce".

A mast from this ship has been erected outside Murray House in Stanley, Hong Kong.




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