Daily Event for February 4, 2010

February 4, 1904 was a busy day at the Portsmouth Dockyard in England. First observers and dignitaries including the Duke of Connaught, Lord Onslow, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Nowell Salmon, R.N. and Admiral Sir John Fisher, R.N. watched the launch of the largest warship built to date at the yard.

Before the launch the band played "God Defend New Zealand", this was followed by Lady Onslow naming the ship and cutting the ropes which launched her as the National Anthem was played. After she took to the water the band struck up "Rule Britannia", the battleship New Zealand had been successfully launched.

As soon as the hull was clear of the slipway keel plates were laid down for the next ship of the King Edward VII class, Britannia, there was no ceremony for this and most of the dignitaries had already departed the yard by then. A launch and a keel laying, as I said a busy day at Portsmouth.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock

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