Military Wiki
HMS Riviera
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: SS Riviera (1911-14)
HMS Riviera (1914-20)
SS Riviera (1920-32)
SS Laird's Isle (1932-57)
Port of registry: United Kingdom London (1911-14)
United Kingdom Royal Navy (1914-20)
United Kingdom London (1920-32)
United Kingdom Glasgow (1932-57)
Builder: William Denny and Brothers Dumbarton
Laid down: 1910
Launched: 1 April 1911
Acquired: 11 August 1914
Decommissioned: 21 May 1919
Fate: Returned to civilian service 1919
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,850 tons
Length: 316 ft (96 m) overall
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: 6 Babcock and Wilcox water-tube, coal-fired boiler for propulsion, plus one for auxiliary use. 3 sets of Parsons direct-drive turbines, 3 shafts 11,000 shaft horsepower
Speed: 20.5 knots ( km per hour)
Range: 860 nautical miles (1,590 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 250
Armament: 2 x 4in (10.2 cm), 1 x 6pdr (57 mm)
Aircraft carried: 1914 - Short S.74 & 2 Short S.135 (for the Cuxhaven Raid).1915 - 4 Short S.184 (for the Ems Reconnaissance). 1917 - Sopwith Babies.

HMS Riviera was built as a fast Cross-Channel steamer for the South East and Chatham Railway Co. The ship was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 11 August 1914 and converted by Chatham Dockyard to operate four seaplanes.

Based at Harwich along with HMS Engadine and Empress, aircraft from all three ships took part in the Cuxhaven Raid on hangars housing Zeppelin airships on Christmas Day 1914. A notable member of her crew was Robert Erskine Childers whose knowledge of the east German coast was considered very important in the raid. HMS Riviera later saw service in the Dover Patrol, prior to moving to the Mediterranean in June 1918.

In 1919 the ship returned to civilian use under her original name of RTMS Lairds Isle. She once again entered military service on 28 August 1939 as HMS Laird's Isle, an Armed Boarding Vessel and carried landing craft and tanks on D-Day.

She returned to civil use again in 1946.


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