The third Euryalus was a screw cruiser (sometimes designated a corvette) built at Chatham and launched on 31 January 1877. Unlike her predecessor, a wooden sailing ship with an engine, she was a wooden-clad iron steamship with auxiliary masts and sails as can be seen from the image left. In1878, she became the flagship of the East Indies Station, based in Trincomalee, and in the following years, visited all parts of the station including the Persian Gulf, Madagascar, Mauritius and many parts of the Indian Empire which then encompassed present-day Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma. On the long passages required, she used her sails to preserve coal.
In July 1882, following British intervention in an Egyptian uprising, Euryalus flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir William Hewitt VC, and four other ships came west to Suez. On 2nd August, the flotilla disembarked several hundred Royal Marines at Suez to occupy the town. No resistance was offered, the Egyptian troops fleeing into the desert. On 8 August 1882, Lieutenant Harold Charrington of Euryalus, left Suez with two companions to negotiate with the Arabs for the supply of camels, but all three were murdered in the desert. By 20th August, Port Said was occupied by Mediterranean Fleet seamen and marines, and the canal began to be occupied by advances from both ends. At Suez, Euryalus, Seagull and Mosquito embarked 200 Highlanders who had arrived from India and sailed northwards under the command of Euryalus’ captain, Captain A.P. Hastings. At Chalouf, a mixed RN/RM/Army brigade landed from the ships to attack and defeat an Egyptian force of 600. Egyptian losses were 168 dead; the British, two seamen wounded and two Highlanders drowned while disembarking.
The British forces joined at Ismailia and after the usual short pause waiting for the main Army force to arrive, an advance was begun on Cairo. The Egyptians counter-attacked at Kassassin on 9th September, but Royal Marines and soldiers drove them back. Finally, after an overnight march, the Joint Force (which included 250 seamen), under the command of General Sir Garnet Wolseley, attacked and defeated the Egyptian Army at Tel el Kebir early on 13th September. Other incidents included Lieutenant Wyatt Rawson, dying heroically after navigating a division across the desert by the stars. The Egyptians were no pushover this time and the Royals' casualties were 13 killed and 47 wounded. Tel el Kebir was the decisive battle of the campaign, establishing British control in Egypt for many years.
Unrest in Egypt spread into the Sudan with a revolt by the Dervishes. A British officered Egyptian Army column was sent overland to relieve the garrison at Suakin on the Red Sea coast, under attack by the rebels. But this force was routed at El Teb and so in early 1884, Rear Admiral Hewett sailed to Suakin and landed a brigade of 150 seamen and Royal Marines from Euryalus, Ranger and Coquette, to hold the fort. Soon a larger British force arrived by sea from Port Said and India. Led by General Graham, a 3900 man column, including a Naval Brigade of about 600 men from Euryalus, Carysfort and 4 smaller ships, marched inland from the nearby port of Trinikat. On 29 February 1884, they attacked a Dervish army of nearly 10,000 at El Teb. After numerous brave attacks by the Arabs, many of whom died vainly rushing the machine guns and rifles of the British squares, the British took the town driving the remaining rebels off into the desert. Four Britons died in this battle.
The force re-embarked in the ships and moved along the coast to Suakin disembarking again to march inland to Sinkat. They were stopped at Khor Ghob on 12 March by a huge Dervish army and encamped for the night. During darkness Commander Rolfe, the Commander of Euryalus, crept out through the enemy lines to gather intelligence. This information enabled General Graham to launch a new attack against the Dervishes in the morning at Tamasi. In this battle over terrain divided by a nullah, the squares became separated and broken up. The force rallied into smaller squares, but the Naval Brigade advanced ahead of its machine gun ammunition, and was reduced to hand to hand fighting in retreat, during which sadly 10 men died. The British force regrouped however and, led by the Royal Marines, crossed the nullah to win the day. About 2000 Arabs and 109 Britons died – these included Lieutenant Montresor of Euryalus (whose memorial is in St Ann’s Church in Portsmouth). Mentioned in dispatches were Midshipmen Tyndale-Biscoe and Hewett of Euryalus who took over command when their Lieutenants were killed.
Euryalus’ ship’s company later took part in some further minor actions ashore in the war. In 1885 Hewitt hauled down his flag and Bacchante took over as station flagship. Euryalus returned to Britain and went into reserve at Chatham. She was sold for scrap for £4,736 in May 1897.
Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century Newspapers
Lieutenant Hughes Hallet MONTRESOR, R.N. H.M.S. "Euryalus"
|The third Euryalus was a screw cruiser.|
|Launched:||Launched at Chatham on 31 January 1877|
|Depth of hold:||16ft 9ins|
|Established armament:||14 x 7ins MLR guns
2 x 84 pounders