Diameter: 7.5cm (3in)
A 1915 state of the art commissioning presentation piece comprising a section of main cable through which the battleship’s electric lighting and power was supplied. Contained in a silver plated collar inscribed ‘Ring main cable of H.M.S. Warspite, launched at Devonport 1913, commissioned by Captain Philpotts, 1915.
Queen Elizabeth class battleship Warspite (Captain E.W. Phillpotts, R.N.) joined the Grand Fleet from completion, and, on 31 May 1916, fought at Jutland, earning the first of her many battle honours. During the Second World War, she served in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940 and was transferred to the Mediterranean later that year where the ship participated in fleet actions against the Royal Italian Navy (Regia Marina) while also escorting convoys and bombarding shore positions. She was damaged by German aircraft during the Battle of Crete in mid-1941 and required six months of repairs in the United States. On completion she joined the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean in early 1942. Warspite returned home in mid-1943 to conduct naval gunfire support as part of Force H during the Italian campaign. She was badly damaged by German radio-controlled glider bombs during the Salerno landings and spent most of the next year under repair. The ship bombarded German positions during the Normandy landings and on Walcheren Island in 1944, despite not being fully repaired. These actions earned her the most battle honours ever awarded to an individual ship in the Royal Navy. Decommissioned in 1945, Warspite ran aground under tow in 1947 on rocks near Prussia Cove, Cornwall, and was broken up nearby.
Warspite bombarding defensive positions off Normandy, 6 June 1944
Admiral Edward Montgomery Phillpotts, C.B., R.N. (1871-1952), the son of the Reverend H. J. Phillpotts of Lamerton Vicarage, Tavistock, was commissioned in 1892. and rose steadily within the Service to become Naval Assistant to the Second Sea Lord on the eve of the Great War. Phillpotts ran Warspite aground on 17 September, 1915 in what the Admiralty regarded as a severe error in judgement on his part, earning him their ‘severe displeasure’. A year later Philpotts was tried by Court Martial after Warspite collided with H.M.S. Valiant during a night firing exercise. Phillpotts escaped blame when it was argued that the ultimate responsibility lay with the Rear-Admiral He survived to serve as Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord, Sir John Jellicoe from December, 1916 to October, 1917.