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HMVS Victoria 1884


HMVS-Victoria
Victoria at Portsmouth in 1884 before sailing to Australia

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HMVS Victoria (1884)was a gunboat that served with the Victorian Naval Forces and Western Australia before being sold into private use.

This class was built to a type D flat-iron gunboat design from builders Armstrong Mitchell and Co. She diplaced 530 tons, was 145 ft (44 m) long, and 27 ft (8.2 m) across the beam Her propulsion was peovided by an Expansion steam engines delivering a speed of 12 knots Her armament originally consisted of one BL 10-inch (254.0 mm) gun (that was replaced by a BL 8-inch (203.2 mm) Mk VII gun); plus one BL 6-inch (152.4 mm) Mk I 80-pounder gun, and two 12 Pdr 1-inch Nordenfelt guns.

HMVSVictoria a1
As depicted in Brassey's naval annual 1888-1889

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In late February 1884, Victoria was in Malta on her delivery voyage to Australia with the gunboat Albert and the torpedo boat Childers when news of General Charles Gordon's death at Khartoum reached the British Empire. The three ships were immediately offered for service in the Sudan Campaign. The offer was accepted and the smaller less seaworthy Childers was sent ahead. By the time the two larger gunboats reached their destination on 19 March at Suakin, the conflict had moved too far inland for warships to be of any assistance. The vessels all departed three days later to continue their voyage to the colony. They arrived in Melbourne on 26 June after travelling via Aden, Colombo, the Dutch East Indies and Torres Strait.

Due to the depression of the 1890's Victoria was decommissioned in 1893 and sold. She was subsequently purchased by the West Australian government in 1896; and she was purchased again in 1902 by the Sydney based tug company Fenwicks, who used her as a towing vessel. She was scrapped in 1920 after 18 years of service on Sydney Harbour.