Between 27th July 1875 and 9 October 1875, my 4x great-uncle James North (1848 – 1885) was assigned to the ship HMS Iron Duke, the ship was only five years old. His stay on-board Iron Duke was short-lived and he would have been present when the ship collided with her sister, Vanguard and sinking her off Kish Bank, in Dublin Bay.
The accident happened on the 1st September 1875, when Iron Duke was en route with three other ironclads between Dublin and Queenstown (now Cobh). In a thick fog, when the ship accidentally rammed her sister. Iron Duke had her bowsprit wrecked, but was otherwise little damaged. Her ram, however, had torn a 9-by-3-foot (2.74 by 0.91 m) hole in Vanguard‘s side. The ram also damaged the watertight bulkhead between Vanguard‘s engine and boiler rooms which flooded both compartments and prevented her crew from using her steam-powered pumps. The ship sunk in a little over an hour after all of the crew abandoned ship.
Iron Duke was named after the nickname for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, she cost £208,763 to build was 280 ft in length and weighed an impressive 3,774 tons, she only survived for 36 years until she was sold for scrap in 1906.