HMS Magnificent

HMS Magnificent was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship that was later used as a troop ship during the Gallipoli campaign. In the pre-war period she had performed a number of duties, including spells as a sea-going gunnery training ship. From July 1913 she was part of Third Fleet, in reserve at Devonport.

Plans of Majestic Class Battleships
Plans of
Majestic Class Battleships

At the start of the war it had been intended to combine the Majestic class ships in the 7th battle squadron, but instead four of them, including the Magnificent were detached to the Humber, to form the 9th battle squadron. HMS Magnificent moved again in early August, accompanying Rear-Admiral F. S. Miller to Scapa Flow when he was appointed to command the new fleet base.

In February 1915 HMS Magnificent was one of four members of the class disarmed to provide 12in guns for the new Lord Clive class monitors. The guns from the Magnificent were used to arm HMS General Craufurd and HMS Prince Eugene.

In September 1915 she was sent to the Mediterranean as a troop transport (with her sister ships Mars and Magnificent). She was used to land troops at Sulva Bay in September and then at the end of the year took part in the evacuation of Gallipoli. She then returned to Britain, where she performed a number of support duties, ending the war as an ammunition ship.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

16kts natural draught
17kts forced draught

Armour – belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - gun houses


 - casemates


 - conning tower


 - deck





Four 12in guns
Twelve 6in quick firing guns
Sixteen 12pdr quick firing guns
Twelve 2pdr quick firing guns
Five 18in torpedo tubes, four submerged

Crew complement



19 December 1894


December 1895

Sold for break up



Captain F. A. Whitehead (1914)
Captain Warleigh

British Battleships 1889-1904 New Revised Edition, R A Burt. Magnificent study of the Royal Navy's pre-dreadnought battleships, amongst the most powerful ships in the world when built, but seen as obsolete by the outbreak of war in 1914. Traces the development of the 'classic' pre-dreadnought design and the slow increase in the power of the secondary armament, leading up to the all-big gun ships that followed. [read full review]
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 October 2007), HMS Magnificent,

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