Drawing of HMS Mariner before becoming an RFA

Previous name:                        HMS Mariner
Subsequent name:

Class:                                     MARINER CLASS Sloop (originally)

Pennant No:                            W35

Laid down:                              8 January 1883
Builder:                                   Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth
Launched:                               23 June 1884

Into Service:                           1916
Out of service:                        19 February 1929
Fate:                                      Sold for breaking up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   She was one of a Class of 6 gun vessels designed by Nathaniel Barnaby, the Royal Navy Director of Naval Construction, which were all re-rated as sloops before they entered service. The Class consisted of: HM ships ACORN, ICARUS, MARINER, MELITA, RACER and REINDEER, three of which were converted into Salvage Vessels. They were originally powered by a two cylinder horizontal compound  expansion steam engine produced by Hawthorn Leslie


23 June 1884 launched by HM Dockyard, Devonport as Yard Nr        as a gun vessel named HMS  MARINER

26 November 1884 re-rated as a sloop

9 March 1885 Engineer Aldred Palmer appointed

19 March 1885 commissioned for Particular Service. Hull cost £37,156 and her machinery £12,841

12 May 1885 sailed Devonport with HMS Racer (later to become RFA Racer), HMS Mercvury and HMS Conquest

14 May 1885 berthed at Queenstown harbour

22 May 1885 anchored at Bantry Bay

10 June 1885 joined the British Evolutionary Squadron formed to test the practical efficiency of the material of the Fleet

1 September 1885 proceeded to the Mediterranean then to the East Indies

25 September 1885 arrived at Suez and sailed the next day for Suakin. Commander John Durnford Royal Navy was in command

1 October 1885 arrived at Suakin and sailed the next day for Aden

20 May 1886 captured a slave dhow Kibibi and two slaves

4 August 1886 arrived at Mauritius with other RN ships including HMS Reinderr (later to become RFA Reindeer)

17 September 1886 berthed at Reunion with other RN ships sailing 21 September 1886

6 December 1886 arrived at Bombay with other RN ships

29 December 1886 arrived at Rangoon from Trincomalee

15 September 1887 arrived at Zanzibar from Madagascar with HMS Bacchante (flagship)

6 December 1887 the Admiralty paid prize money to the Commanding Officer, Officers and crew for the capture of the slaves and dhow Kibibi on 20 May 1886

8 December 1887 Commander Charles R Arbuthnot Royal Navy appointed in command inlieu of Commander John Durnford Royal Navy who was appointed in command of HMS Defiance on this day

1 May 1888 sailed Zanzibar for Aden

10 January 1889 recommissioned at Trincomalee and employed in the blockade of the East African coast

18 December 1889 arrived at Bombay

13 April 1891 captured a dhow Hannah Lake

1891 at the Cape of Good Hope and West Africa

29 November 1891 arrived at and sailed from Mombassa

12 January 1892 sailed Port Said

5 February 1892 sailed Malta

13 February 1892 due to heavy weather was forced to berth at Algiers to bunker and then continue her voyage to Gibraltar

16 February 1892 berthed at Gibraltar

20 February 1892 sailed Gibraltar for Devonport. Her departure had been delayed by bad weather

26 February 1892 arrived at Plymouth

21 March 1892 prize money paid by the Admiralty to the Commanding Officer, Officers and crew for the capture of the dhow Hannah Lake was paid this day

23 March 1892 paid off at Devonport

1892 to 1894 in reserve at Devonport

26 July 1901 hawsers strung between the ship and HMS REINDEER have become part of the defence at Devonport

November 1915 taken in hand by Hawthorn Leslie for conversion into a Salvage Vessel

28 August 1917 Chief Stoker William Merritt discharged dead. He is buried in Portsmouth's Kingston Cemetery in grave 10.13 1/2

Merritt 2

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

1 November 1917 Lieutenant John William Miskin RNR appointed in command. Discharged 4 December 1918 to HMS Victory

12 September 1918 Engineer Lieutenant Charles A Munro RNR appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

1 December 1918 Lieutenant William Pryce-Thomas RNR appointed in command

10 March 1919 Assistant Steward Elliott Egerton Whitehead MMR 976082 discharged dead. Buried at Birkinhead (Flaybrick Hill) Cemetery.

 Whitehead Eliot Egerton

Courtesy and © of The War Graves Photographic Project

1919 to 1921 under management of Liverpool Salvage Association

1922 to 1929 laid up

26 August 1924 berthed in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

14 October 1925 berthed in No: 3 Basin Portsmouth Harbour

31 July 1926 berthed in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

21 October 1926 berthed in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

8 December 1926 berthed in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

7 January 1927 berthed in No: 3 Basin, Portsmouth Harbour

1928 placed on the disposal list

19 February 1929 purchased by Hughes Bolckow & Co Ltd for demolition at Blyth

25 March 1929 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour



Ships of the same name

Mariner. A gun brig of 180 bm, 80 x 23 feet by Pitcher of Northfleet launched on the 4 April 1801.  Armed with 2 x 23 pdr carronade, 10 x 18 pdr.  Sold out of service on the 29 September 1814.


Mariner. A brig of 481 bm built by Pembroke Dock and launched on the 19 October 1846.  105 x 33.5 feet, armed with 4 x 32 pdr carronade, 12 x 32 pdr.  Sold on the 12 June 1865.


Mariner. An Algerine class minesweeper built at Port Arthur and launched on the 9 May 1944, she was sold to the Burmese Navy on the 18 April 1958 and renamed Yan Myo Aung.  Laid up and deleted in 1982.

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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