Colossus class battleship - HMS Colossus

20th March 2008, 10:22
Discussion thread for Colossus class battleship - HMS Colossus ( class battleship - HMS Colossus). If you would like to add a comment, click the New Reply button

Bill Forster
6th May 2008, 10:54
My kid brother bought a pencil box on e-bay inscribed:

C H Garner - HMS Colossus

and asked me to find out about its former owner.

He was easy to find in the Naval List from 1912 when first commissioned until about 1920 when his name disappears. His full name was Charles Henry Garner, which sounded distinctly officer class, and he was a gunner on Colossus at Jutland.

Geoff was inspired to assemble postcards of all the ships on both sides and books in both English and German about the Battle of Jutland. The pencil box is on his boat in which he is now traveling the waterways of France.

I was unable to find Garner's service record as an officer but to my surprise, a quick 30 second search on the National Archives SITE SEARCH at:

located the service record of CHARLES HENRY GARNER from joining the navy as a "boy sailor" in 1898 to being promoted in 1912 to Gunner, a warrant officer rank. The actual record could be ordered and downloaded online. It even gave his former occupation ("errand boy") and described his tatooes!

My brother may have been a little disappointed at the humble origin of the previous owner of his pencil box but I think he did rather well to advance that far.

Does anybody else have relatives who served on Colossus or artifacts relating to the ship?

Bill Forster

6th February 2010, 09:46
Dear Bill

Charles Henry Garner was my grandfather, so I would be very interested in getting hold of his pencil box if possible. I have just finished having his memoirs typed up so could let you have copies of the HMS Colosus section, if it would be of interest

I look forward to hearing from you

Rob Garner

15th October 2011, 22:50
An interesting note about Jutland. When Jellicoe deployed to port and eventually had the HSF in the T, Colossus was hit by two heavy shells. The five casualties on Colossus were the only Grand Fleet casualties in the battle. Which doesn't mean to say that the Grand Fleet was not well employed at the battle (as the myth would have it).

The firing of elements of the Grand Fleet was not only concentrated twice in the “T”, it was also significantly more accurate and telling than the Battle Cruiser Fleet. Campbell (An Analysis of the Fighting) estimated that the 1st and 2nd BCS ammunition expenditure of 1469 shells only yielded 1.43% hits while that of the 5th BCS 2.64% success ratio and that of the 2nd, 4th and 1st BD 3.7%. The best shooting, by far and ironically, was that of Horace Hood’s 3rd BCS. Though only expending about a third as much ammunition as that of the 1st and 2nd BCS, a full 4.29% of the 373 shells hit target.

Hope this is useful.

6th October 2017, 18:16
The crew list for HMS Colossus at the Battle of Jutland is still being built so any notifications of names not identified would be most welcome.