Lord Clive class monitors

The eight monitors of the Lord Clive class were virtual repeats of the Abercrombie class monitors, but armed with British 12in guns instead of the 14in American guns used on the earlier ships. Their guns were taken from the Majestic class battleships, then the oldest pre-dreadnought battleships still in service. Like the earlier Abercrombie class the Lord Clive class ships were underpowered, with a top speed in service of 6.5kts, but this was not a class of ship that greatly benefited from high speeds.

HMS Earl of Peterborough and HMS Sir Thomas Picton were the only members of this class to see service overseas. In November 1915 they arrived at Mudros, and took part in the final stages of the Gallipoli campaign.

At the end of that campaign, HMS Earl of Peterborough remained in the Aegean, with the Mytilene Squadron (February 1916). She took part in the takeover of the Greek Fleet of August 1916, before being transferred to the Adriatic Squadron (November 1916). There she took part in the 11th battle of the Isonzo, providing artillery support close to the coast.

HMS Sir Thomas Picton went to Port Said in February 1916, guarding the Suez Canal. She later returned to the Aegean, and like the Earl of Peterborough supported the Italian army during the 11th battle of the Isonzo.

The remaining six ships of the class served with the Dover Squadron for all or most of the war. In that role they carried out repeated heavy bombardments of German positions on the Belgian coast. Two of these ships, HMS General Wolfe and HMS Lord Clive had their twin 12in guns replaced by a single massive 18in gun during 1918, but firing tests on the General Wolfe did not begin until August 1918. Amongst the operations supported by the Dover monitors was the mission to block Zeebrugge and Ostend (1918).  

Only Lord Clive remained in service for any length of time after the First World War – the other seven members of the class had all been sold off by 1923 and even the Lord Clive was paid off in 1921.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbette


 - turret faces



335ft 6in


Two 12in Mk VIII guns
Two 12pdr quick firing guns
One 3pdr anti-aircraft gun
One 2pdr anti-aircraft gun

Crew complement






Ships in class

HMS Sir John Moore (M 5)
HMS Lord Clive (M 6)
HMS General Craufurd (M 7)
HMS Earl of Peterborough (M 8)
HMS General Wolfe (M 9)
HMS Prince Rupert (M 10)
HMS Prince Eugene (M 11)
HMS Sir Thomas Picton (M 12)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 October 2007), Lord Clive class monitors, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lord_clive_class_monitors.html

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