Displacement: 3400 Tons Speed: 20 knots, Crew:
273 Armament: Two 6 - inch Guns Six 4.7-inch QF
guns, Eight 6 pounder and One 3 pdr Quick Firing Guns.
Four machine Guns. Four 14-inch Torpedo Tubes
launched 13th December, 1890. Sunk as blockship 23
Queen's South Africa Medal with bar Natal named to J. M. Cavanagh, A.B. H.M.S. Thetis.,
170039 John Moran Cavanagh was born February 22nd, 1877 in Warrington Lancs. At the
time, he gave his occupation as a hammerman. He began his naval career as a boy 2cl aboard
HMS Impregnable, the day after his 16th birthday and was described as 5' 3 1/2 '' with a
fresh complexion and tattoos on both arms.
On 8 November 1899 a party of 2 officers and 51 men (26 of them seedies) landed at
Durban to man the guns at Bluff Fort, part of Durban's defences overlooking the harbour and
the roads from the west. On the same day 2 officers and 32 men landed to man an armoured
train. On 15 November an officer and a party of mainly marines landed to relieve the
armoured train detachment. Later in the day all the landed parties were recalled to the ship
which sailed two days later.
There's no way of telling who did what among those who landed. The roll shows 104 qualifying
for the Natal clasp.