1915 SIR THOMAS PICTON eight ships of the Lord Clive class of coastal monitors, the largest group of the type ever constructed for the Royal Navy which saw service during the First World War.


The (very hasty) construction of four Abercrombie-class monitors during the first half of 1915 and their effectiveness during the Gallipoli campaign inspired the Admiralty to construct other similar ships. The Clives were the first, each of them mounting two of the 12in (305mm) guns from the obsolete Majestic class battleships of the 1890s, long rendered obsolete by HMS Dreadnought. HMS Sir Thomas Picton (M 12) was constructed by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, and equipped with guns from HMS Mars. Laid down on 16 January 1915, she was launched on 30 September and completed on 15 November. Constructed for only the one purpose, she had no post-war career, and was sold for breaking up in November 1921.


In order to construct the monitors so quickly, it was necessary to employ such components as were readily to hand, and they thus received low-powered machinery destined for merchant ships, which was pushed to propel them at seven knots. They had a substantial belt of armour down most of their length, turrets and barbettes were also armoured, and so were bulkheads and decks, and they were thus relatively safe from counter-battery fire. In addition to their main guns they carried a variety of smaller pieces including anti-aircraft guns.


Type: Coastal monitor

Machinery: 2-shaft vertical triple-expansion developing 2310Oihp

Dimensions (overall): Length, 1 02.3m (335.5ft); beam, 26.6m (87ft)

Displacement: 6150t deep load

Draught: 2.9m (9.5ft) deep load

Complement: 194

Speed: 6.5 knots (12km/h)