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Illustration of HMS Temeraire.

HMS Temeraire

By Collections blog

This Postcard of HMS Temeraire is one of the many WW1 postcards we have of battleships. If you would like to know more information about other battleships check our website.


HMS Temeraire was one of three Bellerophon-class dreadnaught battleships built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She spent almost her whole career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during World War One generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.


Temeraire was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in October 1918 and she supported allied forces in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea after the War ended in November. The ship was deemed obsolete and was reduced to reserve when she returned home early in 1919 and was then used as a training ship. Temeraire was sold for scrap in 1921 and broken up the following year.

Postcard of HMS Iron Duke and Admiral Jellicok.

HMS Iron Duke

By Collections blog

This postcard from WW1 shows HMS Iron Duke and Admiral Jellicoe. Admiral of the fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl of Jellicoe was a Royal Navy Officer. He fought in the Anglo-Egyptian War and the Boxer Rebellion and commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 during the First World War. His handling of the fleet at that battle was controversial. Jellicoe made no serious mistakes and the German High Seas Fleet retreated to port, at a time when defeat would have been catastrophic to Britain, but the public was disappointed that the Royal Navy had not won a more dramatic victory given that they outnumbered the enemy.


HMS Iron Duke served as the flagship of the Grand Fleet during the First World War, including at the Battle of Jutland. There, she inflicted serious damage on the German Battleship SMS König early in the main fleet action. In January 1917, she was relieved as fleet flagship. After the War, Iron Duke operated in the Mediterranean as the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. She participated in both the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War in the Black Sea and the Greco-Turkish War. She also assisted in the evacuation of refugees from Smyrna. In 1926, she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, where she served as a training ship.

Iron Duke remained on active duty for only a few more years; in 1930, the London Naval Treaty specified that four Iron Duke-class battleships be scrapped or otherwise demilitarised. Iron Duke was therefore converted into a gunnery training ship; her armour and much of her armament was removed to render her unfit for combat. She served in this capacity until the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, when she was moored in Scapa Flow as a harbour defence ship. In October, she was badly damaged by German bombers and was run aground to avoid sinking. She continued to serve an anti-aircraft platform for the duration of the war, and was eventually refloated and broken up for scrap in the late 1940’s.

Postcard of HMS Bulwark and its vice admiral.

HMS Bulwark

By Collections blog

This postcard shows HMS Bulwark with Vice Admiral Lord Charles Beresford. Beresford was the second son of John Beresford, 4th Marquess of Waterford, thus despite his courtesy title as the younger son of a Marquess, he was still eligible to join the House of Commons. He combined the two careers of the Navy and Member of Parliament, making a reputation as a hero in battle and champion of the navy in the House of Commons. He was a well know and popular figure who courted publicity, widely known to the British public as “Charlie B”.


HMS Bulwark was one of five London-class pre-dreadnaught battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. The Londons were a sub-class of the Formidable-class pre-dreadnaughts. Completed in 1902 she was initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet as its flagship. The ship then served with the Channel and Home fleets from 1907-1910, usually as a flagship. From 1910-14, she was a reserve in the Home Fleet.

Following the start of the First World War in August 1914, Bulwark along with the rest of the squadron, was attached to the reformed Channel Fleet to protect the British Expeditionary Force as it moved across the English Channel to France. On 26 November 1914 she was destroyed by a large internal explosion with the loss of 741 men near Sheerness; only a dozen men survived the detonation. It was probably caused by the overheating of cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler-room bulkhead. Little of the ship survived to be salvaged and her remains were designated a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

Postcard of a ship, HMS Neptune.

HMS Indomitable & HMS Neptune

By Collections blog

In the Museums store we have postcards with images of these two WW1 Warships and thought we would do some research about them to see what impact they had in the First World War.

HMS Indomitable was one of three invincible-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy before World War One and had and active career during the war. She tried to hunt down the German ships Goeben and Breslau in the Mediterranean when war broke out and bombarded Turkish fortifications protecting the Dardenelles even before the British declared war on Turkey. She helped sink the German armoured battlecruiser Blücher during the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915 and towed the damaged HMS Lion to safety after the battle. She damaged the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Derfflinger during the Battle of Jutland in mid 1916 and watched her sister ship HMS Invincible explode. She was then deemed obsolete after the war and was sold for scrap in 1921.

HMS Neptune was a dreadnaught Battleship built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the twentieth century, the sole ship of her class. She was the first British Battleship to be built with superfiring guns. Shortly after her completion in 1911, she carried out trials of an experimental fire control director and then became flagship of the Home Fleet. Neptune became a private ship in 1914 and was assigned to the 1st Battle Squadron.


The ship became part of the Grand Fleet when it was formed shortly after the beginning of the First World War in August 1914. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, and the inconclusive Action of 19 August several months later, her service during the war generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. Neptune was deemed obsolete after the war and was reduced to reserve before being sold for scrap in 1922 and subsequently broken up.

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