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Post Info TOPIC: Rolls Royce Armoured Cars on the HMS Caradoc?


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Rolls Royce Armoured Cars on the HMS Caradoc?


In surfing the net just now I stumbled across a photo on EBay (here) of a Rolls Royce armoured car. (I have no ties to the seller.) This photo is new to me and I'd like to find out more.

RRAC on deck of HMS Caradoc

The seller dates the image to WWI. Based on the lack of armoured vent louvers in the plates protecting the radiator and the vision slits being at the same level, I'd tend to agree and say that it is a 1914 Admiralty Pattern - but given the low resolution of the scan it is hard to be certain.

The Rolls has had its turret removed and a tiny bit of the interior rear wall of the fighting compartment can be glimpsed. One can see that the inside faces of the doors are painted a dark color, presumably the same as the car's exterior, while the remainder of the interior is quite a bit lighter, presumably white. There appears to be something painted on the side, possibly the car's name or number. The car is also without fenders and spare tires - it was probably standard practice to remove and stow separately the loose bits that could wash overboard in heavy seas.

Acording to the caption on the photo, it was taken on board the HMS Caradoc. A brief history of her service is online here, but so far I've found no mention of when and where these cars were being transported and for what purposes. In brief, this ship entered service in June of 1917 operating in the North Sea and in 1918 moved to the Baltic where she saw action against the Bolshevics. It would be interesting indeed if this Rolls served in Russia.

Could anyone fill in the gaps and tell us the history surrounding the event depicted in this photo?



PS - I do not intend to bid on this photo, so please feel free to do so if you are so inclined. With the current exchange rates the cost is a little too rich for my blood. If you do bid on it and win, please share a higer resolution scan with us!

-- Edited by MarkV at 17:35, 2008-04-04

-- Edited by MarkV at 22:47, 2008-04-04


Commander in Chief

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Posts: 671
RE: Rolls Royce Armoured Cars on the HMS Caradoc

just quickly, the date of launching for HMS Caradoc (Dec 1916) is after Rolls Royces had been sent to German South West Africa. So its not bound for Africa!

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.


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My first thought on viewing the photo was "German South West Africa" as well, but as you point out, this doesn't fit with the HMS Caradoc's record. 

My recently-purchased copy of "The Czar's British Squadron" is being shipped to me as we speak, so for the moment I am operating off of bits and pieces of information gleaned from numerous online sources - but didn't Locker Lampson's RNAS armoured car unit arrive in Russia in January of 1916?  This would be too early to mesh with the HMS Caradoc's record, unless the armoured car in this photo is the second Rolls Royce car that was subsequently delivered to the unit.  Did Locker Lampson's RNAS armoured car squadron receive its second Rolls Royce during or after June of 1917?  Alternately, did Locker Lampson's Squadron withdraw from Russia with its Rolls Royces?

The HMS Caradoc's first assignment in June of 1917 appears to have been as part of the "North Russia Relief Force".  I seem to recall hearing that the British forces operating around Archangel may have had an armoured car.  Could this be it?

As far as "post-war" WWI possibilities go, I found an entry on the Great War forum which states that in December 1918 the HMS Caradoc supported anti-Bolshevik forces in the Baltic Sea.  These activities included the landing of arms and equipment for the Estonian forces.  In April of 1919 she aided in the evacuation of soldiers and equipment from Odessa on the Black Sea (photo below). Could she have picked up (or dropped off) the armoured cars on one of these voyages?

HMS Caradoc evacuating White Russian soldiers

The Great War forum had this excerpt from the HMS Caradoc's log:
Ships Log, HMS Caradoc, 28/2/19 to 14/2/20, ADM 53/37036:
28/2/19 Portsmouth
8/3/19 To Spithead
9/3/19 Spithead
10/3/19 To Malta
16/3/19 Malta
23/3/19 To Alexandria and Constantinople
28/3/19 Constantinople
3/4/19 To Odessa
5/4/19 Odessa
11/4/19 To Yalta
12/4/19 Yalta
16/4/19 To Novorossisk
17/4/19 Novorossisk
18/4/19 To Theodosia
19/4/19 Theodosia
22/4/19 Fired 53 rounds on village of Vladislavovka from 1417 to 1448 hrs, another 15 rounds 1813 to 1816 hrs.
24/4/19 1630 to 1643 hrs fired 26 rounds on Bolshevick detachment 150 strong advancing from village which retreated to village leaving about twelve dead.
25/4/19 Fired 34 rounds 0610-0654 and 50 rounds 0646-0710
26/4/19 1055-1110 hours - fired 13 rounds on hostile cavalry -
1 x 6" and 12 x 3". Fired rounds pm.
27/4/19 Fired am and pm.
28/4/19 Fired pm
29/4/19 Fired pm
30/4/19 Fired am and pm
1/5/19 Fired pm
2/5/19 Fired am and pm
4/5/19 To Constantinople
5/5/19 Constantinople
6/5/19 To Malta
8/5/19 Malta
27/5/19 To Constantinople
3O/5/19 Constantinople
4/6/19 To Novorossisk
6/6/19 To Constantinople
7/6/19 Constantinople
12/6/19 To Theodosia
13/6/19 To Kalpa Bay
14/6/19 Kalpa Bay
2O/6/19 At Theodosia
4/7/19 To Yalta
5/7/19 Yalta
18/7/19 At Sevastopol
24/7/19 Kherson Bay
26/7/19 To Sevastopol
27/7/19 Sevastopol
29/7/19 To Yalta
3O/7/19 Yalta
1/8/19 To Kherson Bay
2/8/19 Kherson Bay
4/8/19 To Sevastopol
5/8/19 Sevastopol
6/8/19 Yalta
12/8/19 To Kherson Bay
13/8/19 Kherson Bay
15/8/19 To Tendra Bay
16/8/19 Tendra Bay
17/8/19 To Sevastopol
19/8/19 Sevastopol
22/8/19 To Odessa
23/8/19 Sukuoi
24/8/19 Odessa
28/8/19 To Sevastopol
29/8/19 To Odessa
30/8/19 Odessa
5/9/19 To Nicolaw
6/9/19 To Odessa
7/9/19 Odessa
20/9/1 To Yalta
21/9/19 Yalta
27/9/19 To Odessa
29/9/19 Odessa
4/10/19 To Sevastopol
6/10/19 Sevastopol
7/10/19 To Odessa
9/10/19 Odessa
11/10/19 To Sevastopol
13/10/19 Sevastopol
14/10/19 To Hariapol
16/10/19 Hariapol
17/10/19 To Irsof
18/10/19 To Theodosia
2O/10/19 Theodosia
23/10/19 Sevastopol
27/10/19 To Odessa
29/10/19 To Sevastopol
31/10/19 Sevastopol
1/11/19 To Yalta and Novorossisk
3/11/19 To Sevastopol
5/11/19 Sevastopol
11/11/19 To Yalta
12/11/19 Yalta
13/11/19 To Novorossisk
15/11/19 Novorossisk
21/11/19 To Sevastopol
23/11/19 To Constantinople
25/11/19 Constantinople
26/11/19 To Malta
30/11/19 Malta
6/12/19 To Gibralter
10/12/19 Gibralter
28/1/20 To Malta
1/2/20 Malta
3/2/20 To Constantinople
7/2/20 Constantinople (to 14/2/20)

Items to ponder...




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RE: Rolls Royce Armoured Cars on the HMS Caradoc?

MarkV - Thanks for the tip off.  I have in my collection another photo to go with this, taken from the other end.  The Rolls Royce is sharing deck space with a Crossley - you can see one of its wings and head lamps in the first picture.  The caption on my card says: Armoured car & lorry transported by HMS Caradoc from Suez to Port Sudan.  Hope that helps.

Sorry, I don't yet have a scanner so can't provide a copy.



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Posts: 156


Thank you for the information.  I am trying to track down where (and when) these cars were sent via old photos and unit histories.

A trip from Suez to Port Sudan would seem to place the date for this photo sometime in either the 2/1920-1/1921 or the 3/1923-2/1926 period.  As the new 1920 Pattern was coming out, I wonder if this old 1914 Pattern car was being "disposed of" to a colonial unit?  If so then perhaps this very car is in one of the photos here.



Does your photo reveal any identifying numbers or names on the car? 

It is too bad that you don't have a scanner, I'd love to see your image of the Rolls in company with the Crosby.  - A quick photo with a digital camera would do in a pinch!

Thanks again,



Commander in Chief

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Posts: 671

I notice, MarkV, that HMS Caradoc was in the med in March 1919. Maybe dropping off a Rolls Royce was a covert mission and they didnt enter it in the log!

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
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