Gem Class Cruisers from First World War

Topaze Engager
27th November 2008, 22:24
Hi Everyone
Just started here!
My grandfather was on ship HMS Topaze in First World War. I know basic info about it but nothing about what it actually did. Has anyone a photo?
Yours hopefully
Topaze Engager

K urgess
27th November 2008, 22:26
Welcome aboard from East Yorkshre.
I'm sure the resident Naval experts in our crew will be able to help you when they see your post.
Meanwhile have a look around the ship and enjoy the voyage.

27th November 2008, 22:28
Welcome aboard Topaze
Best I can offer is: Attached to the 5th Battle Squadron 1914-15, Mediterranean 1915-17, Red Sea 1917-18.
There are three photographs of her on

27th November 2008, 22:34
Welcome aboard from the Philippines. Enjoy all this great site has to offer

27th November 2008, 22:46

A warm welcome to the site from the Isle of Anglesey!
I hope you thoroughly enjoy the SN experience and get many happy hours entertainment from your membership. (Thumb)

Steve Woodward
28th November 2008, 01:40
Topaze Engager,
Welcome to SN from Suffolk, I can see you have had some answers already, I only have a few notes on the class with me at the moment but can add a little in a couple of days.
The Gem class were built at a time ( 1902-4) when the idea of light cruisers had lost favour in the Admiralty and the new Idea was the larger Armoured cruiser, in reality Britain with it's huge far flung empire needed lots of smaller cruisers to police that empire, it was just not cost effective to use a larger ship with it's bigger crew and higher fuel bill for such duties, plus small cruisers were cheaper to build and there was less of a risk in loosing one.
The Gem class followed the earlier Pearl class which were just a little too small at just under 280 feet long. The Gem class of 3rd class cruisers were larger and better armed and they guns were in better positions. There was an intent to built eight of the Gem class but the switch to the larger armoured cruiser resulted in four being cancelled leaving Amethyst, Diamond, Saphire and Topaz as the four built.
The last of the class to complete, the Amethyst, was the first ship in the RN other than a destroyer to be fitted with steam turbines and as such was the fast of the four by a knot or two.
Early in Topaze's career she was out on a training mission in the English channel with as part of the 5th battle Squadrom comprising mainly old battleships, the old Formidable class pre-dreanought class battleship Formidable when was torpedoed by a german submarine, Topaze picked up the survivors, If I remember it was only 45 or so men out of 600 rescued.
Following this she was assigned to the Mediterranean with the Italian fleet in 1917 she was on the East Indies station and finally back in the Med and Red seas she did little post war and was scrapped in 1921

Topaze was built by Lairds of Birkenhead 1902-4
L 373'09" B 40'01" Draft 14'08" Disp circa 3,000 tons
machinery : twin screws, Tripple expansion steam engines,10 Laird normand coal fired boilers, power 9.800 ihp 21.5 knots on forced draft
750 tons of coal gave a range of 7,000 miles at 10 knots cruising speed and 2,000 miles at 20 knots.
Armament : twelve 4" QF guns, one fwd and aft and five on either beam, eight 3 pounder qf guns, four machine guns, and two 18" above water torpedo tubes
Crew 295-300
Armour : none on hull 2" decks over machinery and magazines, 1" on the gun shields
Sometimes Information on the class is hard to find as it is sometimes referred to as the Topaze class as she was the first ship to be built

28th November 2008, 10:56
Welcome Topaze to SN. Bon voyage.

28th November 2008, 11:16
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage

Bruce Carson
28th November 2008, 13:59
TE, from Michigan, a warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia.
Good to have you onboard.
There's not many questions that stump our crew.(Thumb)


28th November 2008, 23:31
Welcome from Lancashire.
I hope you will enjoy the site.