The Centenary celebrations

Henry Bell & Comet
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THE Comet Centenary celebrations took place in glorious weather from August 29-31 1912.

According to draught and tonnage, ships of all types anchored in lines from Greenock to Helensburgh.

The arrival of the Fleet was a noble tribute by My Lords of the Admiralty to the man they had scorned when he was alive.

Comet-Centenary-book_thumb_medium105_176The Fleet was led by HMS Hercules, Flagship of Sir John R.Jellicoe KCB KCVO; followed by Orion, Flagship of Rear-Admiral Herbert G.King-Hall CVO, CB, DSO; Agamemnon, Colossus and Monarch, battleships; and two cruisers and four torpedo boat destroyers, commanded by the Right Honourable Viscount Kelburn.

Helensburgh was a focal point to witness this marvellous display. Schoolchildren were conveyed through the lines.

The opening ceremony took place in the Hermitage park when a eulogism on Henry Bell was delivered. The Obelisk on the Esplanade was decorated. The age and death of Mrs Henry Bell was inscribed on his monument in Rhu Kirkyard and on the Obelisk.

Saturday was a public holiday and crowds filled the town. In the evening there was a fireworks display as the ships left.

We may never see the like again in August, 1962, the 150th anniversary.

  • From 'Helensburgh and the Three Lochs', published by Macneur & Bryden Ltd. of Helensburgh in 1957.