I saw in the letters page of the News last Tuesday week (Feb 8) a Mr Stephen Fisher had a difference of opinion as to how HMS Gladiator was brought back into Portsmouth after being rammed in the Solent in 1908.
I am sorry Mr Fisher but I suppose it is all down to what records you read and three official records I have tell me that the ship was brought into the dockyard hull up.
She was then turned right-ways up, then taken into dock. This is a dockyard report with many dockyardmen told to remain on duty in case they were needed.
I will however concede that the pier shown is most probably off Fort Victoria.
One item of the report I cannot figure out however is how did the Gladiator get rammed on her starboard side?
If she was coming up from Portland she would have her port side to Southampton Water where the S.S. St Paul was approaching from. To collide with the Gladiator on her starboard (or right) side would have meant the Gladiator turning 90 degrees to port to face up Southampton Water and the St Paul to come about and turn 90 degrees or more to Starboard to hit the Gladiator on the starboard side.
Any naval navigators out there who can put me right I would be obliged.