Holland 1 (or HM submarine Torpedo Boat
No 1) 1901
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Holland 1 (or HM submarine Torpedo Boat No 1)
Holland 1 (HM submarine Torpedo Boat No 1) was the first submarine commissioned by the Royal Navy, the first of six-boats of the Holland-class submarine class.
In 1901 she was ordered from John Philip Holland and built at Barrow-in-Furness. The keel was laid down 4 February 1901.
In order to keep the boat’s construction secret, she was assembled in a building labelled "Yacht Shed".
The parts that had to be fabricated in the general yard were marked for "pontoon no 1".
She was launched on 2 October 1901 and dived for the first time (in an enclosed basin) on 20 March 1902.
Sea trials began in April 1902.
In September 1902 she arrived at Portsmouth with the other completed Holland boats.
Along with HMS Hazard (their tender) they made up the "First Submarine Flotilla".
This Flotilla was commanded by Captain Reginald Bacon.
On 3 March 1903 Holland 1 suffered an explosion that caused four injuries.
On 24 October 1904, with the rest of the Holland fleet and three A-class boats, Holland 1 sailed from Portsmouth to attack a Russian fleet.
This fleet had mistakenly sunk a number of British fishing vessels in the North Sea in the Dogger Bank incident.
The boats were recalled before any attack could take place.
The submarine was decommissioned and sold in 1913 to Thos W Ward for £410.
By the time the submarine was sold she was considered so obsolete that she was sold with all fittings intact.
The only requirement put on the purchaser was that the torpedo tube be put out of action.
She was lost in 1913 while under tow to the scrapyard following decommissioning.
While being towed to the scrapyard Holland 1 encountered very severe weather and sank about a mile and a half off Eddystone Lighthouse.
No one was on board the submarine at the time, and, since the submarine had been seen to be sinking earlier in the journey.
The crew of the tug were ready to release the tow rope, preventing any damage to the tug.
She was recovered in 1982, and was put on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport.
Her battery bank found in the boat was discovered to be functional after being cleaned and recharged.
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