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Episodes & Studies Volume 2


page 31


First Leander

Built 1780. Fourth rate of 1000 tons and 50 guns. In 1782 took part in reduction of Accra and other Dutch forts on Gold Coast, West Africa.

In 1783, while on convoy duty in the West Indies, the Leander sighted and engaged the French ship of the line Pluton, 74 guns. After a fierce action lasting two hours, though reduced to a wreck, three times set on fire, and repeatedly attacked by boarders, she put the Frenchman to flight.

In 1797, when Nelson made his ill-fated attack on Santa Cruz (and lost his arm), the Leander was one of his squadron.

In 1798 the Leander fought in the Battle of the Nile. A fortnight later she fought her famous action with the French ship of the line Genereux, 80 guns, by whom she was taken.

In 1799 the Leander was taken from the French by a Russian and Turkish force at the capture of Corfu and was restored to Britain by the Russian Emperor.

In 1805 the Leander captured the French 48-gun ship Ville de Milan, together with the latter's prize, the British 38-gun Cleopatra, taken a week previously.

In 1817 the Leander was sold out of the service for £2100.

Second Leander

Built 1814. Frigate of 1600 tons and 60 guns. In 1816 the Leander took part in the expedition under Lord Exmouth against the Dey of Algiers, whose pirates were a constant menace to shipping in the Mediterranean. The defences of Algiers were formidable. The garrison numbered 40,000 and the batteries mounted 1000 guns. In this fierce action the Leander's casualties were heavy, more than a quarter of her ship's company of 500 being killed or wounded. As a result of the bombardment more than a thousand Christian slaves were set free and the Dey was made to pay a heavy indemnity.

Third Leander

Built 1848. Fourth rate of 2000 tons and 50 guns. Took part in the Crimean War. At the time of the famous charge at Balaklava, the Leander was stationed at Eupatoria to prevent the Russians landing reinforcements. The ship was converted to steam in 1861.

Fourth Leander

Built 1882. Second class cruiser of 4000 tons, mounting ten 6-inch guns and four torpedo-tubes. In 1900 she did good work during a revolution in Panama in protecting the lives and property of foreign residents. In 1904 she was converted into a destroyer depot ship and in that capacity served at Scapa Flow during the First World War.

Fifth Leander

Light cruiser of 7270 tons displacement and 72,000 horse-power, mounting eight 6-inch and eight 4-inch guns and eight torpedo-tubes tubes. Built at Devonport Dockyard and engined by Vickers-Armstrong Ltd. Launched in 1931 and completed in 1933. Name ship of a class of five light cruisers, the others being Achilles, Ajax, Neptune, and Orion. The Leander served as a New Zealand ship from 30 April 1937 till 8 May 1944.

Crest and Motto

The ship's motto is Qui Patitur Vincit (Who Suffers Conquers). The crest consists of ‘An arm in armour holding a lance proper between two lotus flowers argent on wavelets or and vert’.