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British Industrial History

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HMS Valerian

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HMS Valerian was an Arabis-class sloop built by Charles Rennoldson and Co and launched 21 February 1916.[1]

1915-1916 The Valerian was one of 72 sloops built under the war emergency programme for the purpose of mine sweeping, guarding convoys and other duties. After the war about twenty of these vessels were retained in the Navy. The Valerian and vessels of her class were single-screw ships, with a displacement of about 1500 tons. The HMS Valerian had a length of 267ft, and a speed of 16.5 knots, and carried two 4in guns, four three-pounders for defence against aircraft, and two pom-poms. Like all the other war-time sloops, the Valerian followed mercantile practice, and was built under Lloyd's Survey by a firm which, up to the outbreak of war, had not been in the habit of constructing war vessels. The class comprised vessels that were recognised as not being very handy, but it was believed that they could stand up to any weather.[2]

1926 On Friday, October 22nd, HMS Valerian was on her way from the Bahamas to Bermuda, when at about 7.30am, she was overtaken by a hurricane of great violence, the wind reaching a speed of 136 mph. At 8.30am she reported that she was hove-to five miles off Bermuda. No further reports were received from her, and she failed to answer her wireless telegraphy call. HMS Curlew which was also approaching Bermuda at the same time, was ordered to search for her, and at dawn the next day HMS Cape Town was sent to assist in the search. The Cape Town succeeded in picking up nineteen survivors, who reported that the Valerian had sunk at 1pm on the 22nd. The search was continued until nightfall on the 23rd, and was then abandoned. The official list of those lost contains the names of four officers and eighty-one other ranks.[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Engineer 1926/10/29
  3. The Engineer 1926/10/29