On The Waterfront: Wartime gunboats built in Sunderland launched from beach
In 1915, two Admiralty gunboats were launched at South Docks in unusual circumstances. Built by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co, they were probably the only ships to be launched directly into the open sea at Sunderland and the last to enter the water broadsides.
They were the Insect-Class river gunboats HMS Moth and HMS Mantis, which were launched in 1915. A dozen were built during World War One by various UK shipbuilders.
All were identical in design, being 237 feet six inches in length by 36 feet beam.
The others were named HMS Aphis, Bee, Cicala, Cockchafer, Cricket, Glowworm, Gnat, Ladybird,... read more
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