How times have changed since HMS Leviathan days
today I have included photographs taken by Petty Officer Albert Symonds while serving in HMS Leviathan in 1906.
They show a navy in transition a century after Trafalgar and 110 years ago.
The difference between the three dates is vast.
From sail to cola burning ships, to the integrated electronic system engines of the modern Class 45 destroyers.
In the first photograph we see HMS Leviathan when she was on speed trials from the Scapa Flow, Orkney Isles to Swanage.
She is running at three-quarter full speed but look at the amount of pollution! Cough-cough.
With the coal burning engines ‘chucking it out’, as they used to say, she is doing about 17 knots (20mph).
Battle practice has always been part and parcel of naval training but in the days of the Leviathan it was somewhat different to today.
A target was placed some miles away and the ship fired her guns.
It was usually a case of one salvo over, one under and the third on target.
Being hit by a shell from a 9in gun would not have been all that fun I shouldn’t have thought.
Below we see HMS Leviathan towing HMS Suffolk for whatever reason.
Not being of the seaman branch I would not know what the two white flags being held by the sailors meant, but I am sure the navigating officer of Suffolk did!