The sinking of HMS 'Vanguard', 1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from the 'Illustrated London News' (September 1875), showing the sinking of the Royal Navy warship HMS 'Vanguard' as sketched by one of her officers. The Vanguard was a 6000-ton ironclad battleship built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead and commisioned in 1871. In 1875, on a mision to sail around Ireland and 'show the flag' at various ports, the Vanguard was involved in a collision with another Royal Navy battleship, HMS Iron Duke, in thick fog off Bray Head, County Dublin. The Iron Duke struck Vanguard amidships as Vanguard slowed down to avoid colliding with a sailing ship. Vanguard sank 70 minutes later, fortunately without the los of any of her crew. Her captain, Richard Dawkins was court-martialled, ending his naval career.