HMS Glory

HMS Glory was a Canopus class pre-dreadnought battleship that helped escort the first Canadian troop convoy across the Atlantic in 1914, before spending most of the First World War at Murmansk and Archangel. At the outbreak of the war the six Canopus class ships were formed into the 8th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet, helping to guard the BEF as it crossed the channel.

HMS Glory was the first to be detached from that duty. Early in August Rear-Admiral R. S. Phipps Hornby had been sent to command the North American Squadron. The Glory was soon sent across the Atlantic to act as his flagship, arriving at Halifax on 17 August. One of her first duties was to guard the first Canadian troop convoy on the first part of its journey across the Atlantic. She joined up with that convoy on 5 October, and remained with it until 8 October, by which time the convoy was close to her next escorts, HMS Majestic and the modern battlecruiser HMS Princess Royal.

By the start of November the Glory was back off the coast of North America. A new threat then developed, in the shape of Admiral von Spee’s cruiser squadron, recently victorious at the battle of Coronel. At one point HMS Glory was ordered to guard the eastern exit from the Panama Canal, in case von Spee chose to reach the Atlantic by that route. In the event repairs to other ships meant that she could not be spared from northern waters.

In June 1915 she arrived in the Mediterranean, with Admiral Hornby. There she helped to guard the Suez Canal, initially against raiders but then against the possibility of a Turkish invasion of Egypt. In 1916 she was posted to Russia, to act as a guardship at Archangel and Murmansk, the two ports being used to get urgently needed supplies to the Russians. While there she had a number of her 6in guns removed to provide accommodation for marines, whose presence was needed after the Russian Revolution. The Bolshevik revolution greatly complicated the British position in northern Russia. For a brief period the British fleet cooperated with the Bolsheviks against the Finns and their German allies, helping to move reinforcements and equipment to exposed parts of the Murmansk Railway, but by the time the Glory returned home the period of cooperation was over. In 1919 HMS Glory returned to Britain, acting as a depot ship under the name HMS Crescent.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - gun houses


 - casemates


 - conning tower


 - deck



421ft 6in


Four 12in guns
Twelve 6in quick firing guns
Ten 12pdr quick firing guns
Six 3pdr guns
Four 18in torpedo tubes, four submerged

Crew complement



11 March 1899


October 1900


C. F. Corbett

Sold for break up


British Battleships 1889-1904 New Revised Edition, R A Burt. Magnificent study of the Royal Navy's pre-dreadnought battleships, amongst the most powerful ships in the world when built, but seen as obsolete by the outbreak of war in 1914. Traces the development of the 'classic' pre-dreadnought design and the slow increase in the power of the secondary armament, leading up to the all-big gun ships that followed. [read full review]
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 October 2007), HMS Glory ,

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