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Author Topic: Princess Irene.  (Read 34496 times)

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Offline conan

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2016, 00:28:02 »
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Offline Trikeman

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #53 on: January 14, 2016, 21:47:12 »
I found some original WW1 newspaper cuttings in a scrapbook that my Wife's Great Uncle kept as a child.
Interestingly there were reports and fairly graphic eyewitness reports of the terrible Princess Irene explosion.
The cuttings are brown and creased but so much more personal and horribly real when discovered for the first time
Trikeman
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Offline conan

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Offline grandarog

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2015, 16:50:24 »
Excellent 2 page spread article in the Sittingbourne News Extra, May 27th. Lot more detail than the on line version. :)

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2015, 07:06:30 »
From Kent Online today . The 100th anniversary of the loss of HMS Princess Irene .

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sheerness/news/explosion-on-board-hms-37420/
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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2015, 22:15:03 »
The two ships were virtually identical. The Princess Margaret was the first to be launched, with all due ceremony, on the 24 June 1914. The Princess Irene was launched on the 20 October 1914. With the war underway there was much less pomp and ceremony and it seems that no photos exist of the launch or subsequent trials. The two ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty on the 26 December 1914 (Margaret) and the 20 January 1915 (Irene).
Nice photo whichever ship it is.
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Offline conan

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2015, 07:51:02 »
Thanks for the correction Herb Collector. Were they fairly identical ''twins'' or were there major differences?
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2015, 20:30:39 »
In the interests of accuracy I should point out that, despite the caption, the ship in the photo is the Princess Margaret, sister ship of the Princess Irene. The photo was probably taken during her trials in the Firth of Clyde.

From the start, my efforts at unearthing material concerning a ship which served for only the briefest of periods proved difficult and in spite of contacting all possible likely photographic sources in Britain and Canada, the Princess Irene appears to have been a ship that was remarkably camera-shy. Even contemporary reports relating to the explosion which ended her tragically short career used photographs of her sister ship. In the circumstances, I too have had to resort to using views of the Princess Margaret although three rare pictures of the 'Irene' were fortunately located.

From Blown to Eternity! the Princess Irene story. John Hendy. IBSN 1-871947-61-8. Ferry Publications 2001.

A most informative little book, well worth getting. All three photos of the Princess Irene are in the book.
I Wish It Would Rain The Temptations

Offline conan

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2015, 11:35:14 »
I thought I'd repost this photo as it has disappeared from my post of Dec.2010



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Offline grandarog

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2015, 06:35:29 »
Messenger was certainly a Thames sailing barge.
A 67 Tonner  Registry No 94348   London.   She was built at Limehouse in 1888.
Last recorded as being owned by Arthur Sales of Arsenal Wharf, Woolwich.

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2015, 21:44:03 »
Thank you for the latest information, as always I am grateful for the time and trouble members go in helping.  I have recently spoken to relations of two from the vessel Messenger.  I think it was a sailing barge.  One step forward in research then two backwards.  It's a funny game.


Thank you again
Mike
Mike Gunnill

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Offline scoop

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2014, 18:57:49 »
One of a few if not the only victim of the disaster interred on the island of Sheerness.  Sidney Lionel Flinn Cole (b 14 Jul 1888 Sheerness) an Assistant Paymaster Royal Naval Reserve died as a result of the Princess Irene explosion having been aboard at the time.  The only child of William George Cole (b 1859 Pembroke) and Emma Elizabeth Flinn (b 1866 Sheerness),  Sidney had joined the service after the outbreak of war.  As well as losing his only son,  William George Cole was in charge of the naval department at Sheerness that some 76 dockyard workers that perished on the Princess Irene were members of. 

William George Cole was awarded an OBE 1 Jan 1918 whilst Chief Constructor at the Sheerness Dockyard.  William and his wife Emma were interred in the same grave as their son in Halfway cemetery following their deaths at Wallington, Surrey in 1949 and 1950 respectively.

This picture of the headstone is from 2011 when it had fallen over and was partially obscured by undergrowth.  I do not know if it has since been re-erected or removed.

   

Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2012, 22:34:51 »
We visited Halfway Cemetery recently to take pictures of the Primroses there, whilst having a walk around we came across a couple of burials of Mineral water company owners. Whilst looking at Thomas Grout of Sheerness' memorial stone I noticed that a son was killed in the Princess Irene explosion. Here is his memorial inscription...


martinrogers

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2012, 18:45:09 »
16th January, 1963

Dear Botton,

Please refer to your letter of 7th January, 1963 about the wreckage of H.M.S. PRINCESS IRENE at Chatham.

We are not at all sure about the presence of any moral obligation for the Admiralty to facilitate the movements of commercial shipping where the advent of deeper draft ships has made what was hitherto a satisfactory clearance now unsatisfactory.  However, the presence of the naval salvage vessel and the fact that the investigations and possible work which you propose are of negligible cost makes it entirely sensible that it should be done.

In the absence of any legal liability, however, we would not be prepared to agree to any substantive expenditure for the benefit of commercial shipping, other than on full repayment.

I convey Treasury sanction to the work proposed in paragraph 6 of your letter.

Yours sincerely
V.R. Dubery



MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Old Admiralty Building, Whitehall, LONDON S.W.1
2 September, 1964

Dear Truman,

1.   Please refer to Dubery’s reply to Botton on 16th January, 1963 about the wreckage of HMS PRINCESS IRENE.
2.   I am writing to let you know that the work on this wreck at carious periods amounted in all to about seven weeks and, largely because of the fuel consumption (about £2,000), the expenditure assessed on an extra cost basis amounts to £2,825 including £792 on the work which Botton mentioned in paragraph 2 of his letter of 7th January 1963 to Dubery.  This total expenditure is clearly more than Botton envisaged at the time.
3.   Divers found the wreckage in an area approximately 150 feet by 60 feet and the main obstruction. Which consists of heavily distorted ship’s main frame and shell plating, is 20 feet in diameter at ground level and rises to a pinnacle 10 feet above ground.  In the surround numerous pieces of wreckage are projecting above ground level.  Wire strops were secured to the main obstruction and part of the wreckage was torn away.  The pinnacle was reduced by some 4 feet and this produced clearance of 27 feet.  Divers reported complete lack of visibility underwater and, due to the strong tidal currents, diving time was restricted to 3 hours each day.
4.   The BP Refinery (Kent) Limited and the Harbour Master, Medway Conservancy are not satisfied with what has been achieved and it is possible they may seek to being political pressure on the Government to do more.  We, on the other hand, whilst not too happy about our position morally, have been re-assured by Treasury Solicitor that, by virtue of Section 3 of the Medway Conservancy Act 1881 and Section 741 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the Ministry of Defence is not liable for either the removal or for payment for the removal of the wreck and out answer to BP and Medway would be that, whilst we might undertake to do more work on this wreck when RFA SWIN can be spared, this would be only on a full repayment basis.  From the experience gained it is reckoned the task of producing thirty feet clear below chart datum might take 6 months or more, so the operation could be most expensive.
5.   Botton mentioned in the first paragraph of his letter of 7th January 1963 arrangements under repayment terms for the authorities at Chatham to help the Medway Board investigate the cause of the parted towing wires.  The agreement was that we supplied a diver and supporting unit to identify the obstruction.  The account on a repayment basis amounted to £38 11s 0d but unfortunately, in the difficult circumstances surrounding the whole business, this was not presented locally and the claim is now a very stale one.  We should like your authority to write this small item off.  As it transpired that the cause of the trouble was one of our wrecks, which perhaps ought to have been appreciated in the first instance, and, as we are refusing to do anything more about it hereafter except on full repayment terms, there is some risk that substantial public controversy might be touched off if we present this bill belatedly to the Conservancy Board.  We therefore consider that it would be reasonable to avoid the risk b writing off the £38 11s 0d.  I hope that against the policy background you will feel able to agree to this.
Yours Sincerely
D. R. Taylor



323 September, 1964

Dear Taylor,

We spoke on the telephone about your letter of 3rd September, 1964 concerning the wreckage of H.M.S. Princess Irene.

We were sorry to learn that the cost of work on this wreck to date has amounted to considerably more than was originally envisaged.  However, we observe that it is not the intention of your Department to carry on any more work of this nature save on a full repayment basis.

You stated that in view of the lapse of time, you think that it would be reasonable to write off £38 11s 0d which was the cost of supplying a diver and supporting unit to identify the obstruction.  Whilst, of course, this sum is within your delegated authority, we assume that you have considered whether such a write-off could possibly be used but the Medway conservancy Board as a further lever in their endeavours to make your Department remove some more of this wreck free of charge.  From what you say about the Treasury Solicitor’s advice, we presume that your legal position is sufficiently strong to resist any further pressure from the Conservancy Board or indeed BP.

Yours sincerely,
D. A. Truman

martinrogers

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Re: Princess Irene.
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2012, 17:55:16 »
Mr. Dubery,
As we hang in the middle of Estimate I have only had time to have a cursory look at this.
My first impression is that if the wreckage does indeed cause damage to Shipping it would no doubt be economical to let the Admiralty salvage vessel, which is in the area, carry out the necessary investigations.
I certainly take your point about any future substantial expenditure falling a Navy votes but providing the present work is carried out subject to the provisions of 9 of the Admiralty’s letter, this can perhaps be discussed later if necessary.
11.1.63

Mr. Dubery
The discussion whether to go about with this is of course a policy one.  But one of the points to consider is where, if anywhere, legal liability lies.  If it does lie anywhere, or if the need to cleat the wreck clearly rests on certain concerns, eg BP Jenkins Ltd., against when a claim could and should be made, then a decision as to c claim would mean a claim abandoned.  Otherwise it can be located as ordinary expenditure.
R. Lockar
14/1/63


1915 Wreck at Chatham
If the wreck has not in fact shifted upwards it would appear that there is no more danger now than there has been for 48 years.  The danger appears to have come into being because what might be said by now to be the local natural conditions do not suit the larger ships which the firms using the sire (at Admiralty pleasure) have decided to use.  In the absence of a wreck there would presumably be no moral obligation on the Admiralty to dredge to the depth required by a change in commercial ships simply because the Admiralty has the prior right to the use of the waters.  It would be interesting to know what would be the position if, having cut down permanencies, after the further passage of years even larger vessels with to enter.  The commercial users might argue that the greater costs of dredging due to the presence of buries wreckage is an Admiralty obligation.  It would also be interesting to know whether there was any technical or legal difference between wrecks actually on the bottom hitherto leaving adequate clearance and those entirely buried in the bottom where a deeper bottom is needed.
V. R. Dubery
16th January, 1963

 

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