This film is part of Free

Launch of H.M.S. Albion at Blackwall

Fine images of a mighty ship's launch - but missing a crucial bit of the story...

Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent


Shot by EP Prestwich, this is the better preserved of two surviving films shot at the launch of the battleship Albion at Thames Iron Works on the River Lea, 21 June 1898. From its high position, it takes in the whole of the vast vessel as it glides down the slipway, and gives a strong impression of the huge crowds that turned out to see the spectacle. What it misses, though, is the disaster that followed, as the Albion struck a gantry, causing a gangway to collapse and plunge spectators into the water - several of whom were killed.

RW Paul's film of the events, Launch of HMS Albion, was shot from a boat and does capture something of the rescue operation.