This Web Page is based partly on these reference books. Some are still obtainable.

Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships, 1906-1921 (UK)/(US supplier), Conway Maritime Press, 1985 - about the best reference books around, especially the navy introductions and the warship career summaries

Includes many excellent photographs, such as flotilla leader TIPPERARY (right) lost at the Battle of Jutland, 1st June 1916 in the North Sea. Leading the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Battle Fleet, British Grand Fleet, she was hit by secondary armament 5.9in (15cm) gunfire from dreadnought "Westfalen" of the the German 1st BS, 1st Division and other battleships. Out of a normal crew of 197, 185 men were killed

Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I (UK)
(US supplier)

 

FAIRY was a "C" class like this illustration (left). Escorting an East Coast convoy off Flamborough Head, Yorkshire when steamer "Blaydonian" sighted and rammed the German "UC.75". The damaged U-boat came to the surface and in a confused action, was rammed twice by "Fairy", on the second occasion sinking after being struck between her gun and conning tower. Two of the crew escaped by jumping onto "Fairy’s" forecastle. By this time, the old destroyer was so badly damaged she too foundered. The date was the 31st May 1918

Fleming, H M Le, (British) Warships of World War 1, 1970 - like all the Ian Allan books in this series, valuable reference books. Reprint please

March, Edgar J, British Destroyers, 1892-1953, 1966 - much interesting technical detail

Manning, T.D., The British Destroyer, 1961

Preston, Antony, "Destroyers, An Illustrated History", 1998 - a feast of photographs of all navies and periods

 
 

LOSSES BY YEAR and THEATRE (In date order within each year)

Note: (1) Europe includes British and Irish Atlantic coastal waters as well as North Sea and English Channel

 
Year Atlantic Europe (1) Mediterranean Totals
1914   Success - grounded   1
1915   Erne - grounded
Goldfinch - grounded
Recruit - German U-boat
Maori - mined
TB10, TB12 - Ger U-boat mine/torpedo
Lightning - mined
Lynx - mined
Velox - mined
Louis - grounded, Gallipoli 10
1916   TB13 - collision
TB11 - mined
Coquette - mined
Medusa - collision
Tipperary (leader), Ardent, Fortune, Nestor, Nomad, Shark, Sparrowhawk, Turbulent - B. of Jutland
Eden - collision
Lassoo - probably mined
Flirt - German destroyers
Hoste & Negro - collision and explosion
  17
1917 Contest - Ger U-boat
Wolverine - collision
Simoom - German destroyer
TB24 - grounded
Ghurka - mined
Pheasant - mined
Foyle - mined
Paragon - German destroyer
Laforey - mined
Myrmidon - mined?
Derwent - mined
Setter - collision
Cheerful - mined
Itchen - German U-boat
Ettrick - mined?
Recruit - mined
Mary Rose, Strongbow - Scandinavian convoys
Marmion - collision
Partridge - Scandinavian convoys
Surprise, Tornado, Torrent - same minefield

Staunch - Ger U-boat
Attack - Ger U-boat

25
1918   Racoon - grounded
Narbrough, Opal - grounded
Boxer - collision
Kale - mined
Falcon - collision
Bittern - collision
North Star - shore batteries, Zeebrugge Raid
Fairy - U-boat ramming
Pincher - grounded
Ariel, Vehement - mined
Ulleswater, Scott - Ger U-boat(s)
Nessus - collision
Ulysses - collision

Arno - collision
Phoenix
- A-H U-boat
Comet - Ger U-boat

19
Total 2 64 6 72
 
 
 
 
 

Early Destroyers

 
 
     

The two Yarrow 26-knotters, HMS Hornet on the left in 1894, HMS Havoc on the right in 1905. Both launched 1893, 275t, and both sold pre-WW1 - "Hornet" in 1909 and "Havoc" 1912

 

August 1914 Strength (221)
of which 42 serving with the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow

Old destroyers mostly served with patrol and local defence flotillas around the British Isles. "A" to "E" classes were organised as patrol flotillas, 6th (Dover), 7th (Humber), 8th (Forth), 9th (Tyne) and local defence flotillas at the Nore (Thames Estuary), Portsmouth, Devonport, Pembroke, and Queenstown, southern Ireland. In 1917-18, many were equipped with depth charges for anti-submarine convoy escort duty.

1. A class, "ex-27 knotters", 11 surviving ships, 2 lost - 265-320t, 1-12pdr/2-18in tt, launched 1894-95. Built as Armstrong, Doxford, Earle, Fairfield, Hanna Donald & Wilson, Hawthorn Leslie, Laird, Naval Construction & Armament, Palmer, Thames Iron Works, J&G Thompson, Thornycroft, White, Yarrow 27-knotters. In 1912, grouped as "A" class

BOXER, 8th February 1918, English Channel, off Sandown, Isle of Wight, S coast of England (50-38’N, 01-06’W) - collision with steamship "St Patrick". "Boxer" (Lt Cdr J K Chaplin) collided with ambulance transport ship "St Patrick" at 07.00hrs approximately 1.5 miles SE of Dunnose Point. She attempted to reach the shallows in Sandown Bay, but sank 2.5 miles offshore

LIGHTNING, 30th June 1915, southern North Sea, off the Thames Estuary, SE England near the Kentish Knock lightship - one German U-boat-laid mine. One of the old destroyers on patrol for German minelayers and raids, "Lightning" (Lt Cavendish) sank in a minefield laid by one of the new UC-type coastal minelayers. One source gives the date of loss as the 9th August 1915. Another gives the location as 51-04’N, 01-19’E, to0 far south to match the Kentish Knock location

2. B class, "4 funnelled, ex-30 knotters", 20 ships, 2 lost - 350-470t, 1-12pdr/2-18in tt, launched 1895-1900. Built as Cammell Laird, Doxford, Laird, Palmer, J&G Thompson 30-knotters. In 1912, grouped as "B" class

MYRMIDON, 26th March 1917, English Channel - probably mined. "Myrmidon" served with the Dover Patrol 6th Flotilla from August 1914. Most sources credit her loss to mines, presumably in or near the Strait of Dover. At least one source puts her loss down to collision with steamship "Hamborn"

SUCCESS, 27th December 1914, Scottish North Sea coast, off Fife Ness at northern entrance to Firth of Forth (56.15’N, 02.30’W) - ran aground and wrecked. Like many of the old, small destroyers, "Success" spent the first month's of the war on often solitary North Sea patrol, presumably serving with the Forth-based 8th Flotilla, on the lookout for German minelayers and raids on the British East Coast. She was the Royal Navy’s first destroyer loss of the Great War.

Thrasher sank "UC.39" on the 8th February 1917 off the English East Coast

3. C class, "3 funnelled, ex-30 knotters", 31 ships, 7 lost - 353-430t, 1-12pdr/2-18in tt, launched 1895-1900. Built as J Brown/J&G Thompson, Doxford, Earle, Fairfield, Hawthorn Leslie, Palmer, Thornycroft, Vickers 30-knotters. In 1912, grouped as "C" class

BITTERN, 4th April 1918, English Channel, off Portland Bill, Dorset, S coast of England (50-10’N, 03-08’W) - collision with steamship "Kenilworth". "Bittern" went down quickly in thick fog at 03.15hrs; complement around 60 men, lost with all hands

CHEERFUL, 30th June 1917, northern Scottish waters, 6 miles SSE of Lerwick, Mainland, Shetland Islands (c 60.00’N, 01.00’W) - mined once. "Cheerful" hit a mine, presumably German U-boat-laid, off Helli Ness, Cunningsburgh on the SE side of the main Shetland island. Her normal crew was 60, 18 men were saved

FAIRY, 31st May 1918, English North Sea coast off Flamborough Head, Yorkshire - foundered after ramming damage."Fairy" was escorting an East Coast convoy when steamer "Blaydonian" sighted and rammed the German "UC.75". The damaged U-boat came to the surface in the middle of the convoy and in an apparently confused action, was rammed twice by "Fairy", on the second occasion sinking after being struck between her gun and conning tower. Two of the crew escaped by jumping onto "Fairy’s" forecastle. By this time, the old destroyer was so badly damaged she foundered, possibly in the same location as "UC.57" (53-57’N, 00.09’E)

FALCON, 1st April 1918, North Sea - collision with armed naval trawler "John Fitzgerald"

FLIRT, 27th October 1916, English Channel in Strait of Dover - German destroyers. On the night of the 26th/27th "Flirt" (Lt R Kellett with a crew of about 80) left Dover around 20.00hrs and two hours later heard gunfire from the drifter line guarding the Dover anti-U-boat net and mine barrage. A German destroyer raid was in progress, part of a force of two and a half flotillas attacking the drifters, patrolling destroyers and any other Allied shipping . "Flirt" came across drifter "Waveney II" on fire and lowered a boat to render assistance. In the early hours of the 27th, on a very dark, overcast night, enemy destroyers appeared, and opened fire sinking her with all hands, except for the boat’s crew who survived. Some sources credit "Flirt’s" loss to a torpedo. A total of six drifters were sunk and destroyer "Nubian" torpedoed and damaged that night.

Gipsy was involved in the destruction of "U.48" on the 24th November 1917 after she had run aground on Goodwin Sands in the English Channel

RECRUIT, 1st May 1915, southern North Sea, near Galloper Light Vessel off the Thames Estuary, SE England - torpedoed, probably by German "U.6" or "UB.6". "Recruit" and sister-ship "Brazen" were on patrol off Galloper when "Recruit" was torpedoed by "U.6" of the newly formed Flanders Flotilla based at Zeebrugge, Belgium. She was cut in two and sank around 11.20hrs. "Brazen" attacked the U-boat without success. Some 35 men were lost, but a Dutch steamship saved four officers and twenty two ratings. Sources vary on the identity of the attacker and include "U.6", "U.66", "UB.6" and "UB.16". Only "U.6" and "UB.6" were in commission by this date

VELOX, 25th October 1915, English Channel, 1.5miles E of Bembridge, Isle of Wight (50-41N, 01-02W) - mined. One of the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla destroyers out on patrol when she struck a German contact mine off the Nab Light Vessel. Casualties are not known

4. D class, "2 funnelled, ex-30 knotters", 8 ships, 1 lost - 310t, 1-12pdr/2-18in tt, launched 1896-99. Built as Thornycroft 30-knotters. Also ex-Chinese prize "Taku". In 1912, grouped as "D" class

HMS Fame, probably pre-WW1

COQUETTE, 7th March 1916, English North Sea coast - mined. "Coquette" (Lt Vere Seymour) was on North Sea patrol, when she was mined and sank rapidly. Lt Seymour and 21 ratings were lost, approximately 40 men survived. "Cricket" class "TB.11" (below) is believed to have been sunk nearby at the same time

5. E class, ex-Rivers, 32 ships, 6 lost - 550-590t, 4-12pdr/2-18in tt, launched 1903-05. Built as Hawthorn Leslie, Laird, Palmer, Thorneycroft, White. Yarrow, "Rivers". In 1912, all grouped as "E" class

DERWENT, 2nd May 1917, English Channel off Le Havre, northern France, 2 cables N of Whistle Bouy (c 49.30’N, 00.00’) - mined. Sunk presumably by a German U-boat-laid mine, "Derwent" lost 52 men killed of her normal crew of 70

EDEN, 18th June 1916, English Channel - collision with steamship "France". Lost at night, "Eden" (Lt A C N Farquhar) went down with the loss of her captain and half her crew, normal complement 70. One source dates her loss on the night of the 16th June

ERNE, 6th February 1915, Scottish North Sea coast, on Rattray Head, NE Aberdeenshire (c 57.40’N, 01.50’W) - aground and wrecked. A severe easterly gale drove "Erne" (and two other vessels) ashore in this area; reportedly there was no loss of life from her approximate crew of 70

ETTRICK, 7th July 1917 - according to most sources she was mined, lost her bows, and finally sold for breaking up in 1919. Another source shows her sunk on the same day by "UC-61" 15 miles S by W of Beachy Head in the English Channel.

FOYLE, 15th March 1917, English Channel, off Dover in the Strait of Dover (51-07’N, 01-27’E) - one German U-boat-laid mine. According to one source "Foyle" broke in half with her forward part sinking in the above position. Her stern was then taken in tow and sank elsewhere

Garry took part in the sinking of "U.18" on the 23rd November 1914 off Scapa Flow, and "UB.110" on the 19th July 1918 off the Yorkshire North Sea coast

ITCHEN, 6th July 1917, northern North Sea, 70 miles E of the Pentland Firth off NE tip of Scotland - torpedoed by German "U.99 "

KALE, 27th March 1918, North Sea - mined. One source dates her loss on the 27th April 1918

Ouse sank "UC.70" on the 28th August 1918 off the Yorkshire North Sea coast, and shared with "C" class "Star" the sinking of "UB.115" on the 29th September 1918 further north off Sunderland

6. F class, ex-Tribal’s, 12 ships, 3 lost - 855-1,090t, 32 knots, 2-4in or 3-12pdr/2-18in tt, 68 crew, launched 1907-09. In 1912, redesignated as "F" class.

Formed the 6th Flotilla of the Dover Patrol

GHURKA, 8th February 1917, English Channel, off Dungeness, Kent, SE coast of England (50-51’N, 00-53’E) - mined. "Ghurka" blew up on a German-laid mine at 19.45hrs, 4 miles SW (SE according to one source) from Dungeness Bouy. Many of the crew were killed outright, and the survivors rescued with great difficulty in rough seas. Armed trawler "Highlander" managed to pick up at least 10.

MAORI, 7th May 1915, southern North Sea, off the Wielingen Light Vessel, near Zeebrugge, Belgium - mined. "Maori" (Cdr B W Barron) and sister-ship "Crusader" were spotting for German batteries near Dunkirk, when "Maori" was mined and started sinking. Her crew abandoned ship and "Crusader" lowered her boats to go to the rescue. The German shore battery fire was so hot, "Cusader" was forced further off shore and after an hour and a half, had to leave the scene, leaving at least some of her boats behind. "Maori’s" 95 officers and crew and some of "Crusader’s" boats crew were captured by the Germans and taken to Zeebrugge as pow’s.

Nubian, damaged night of the 26th/27th October 1916, English Channel off Folkestone - torpedoed by German destroyer. Took part in the night action against German destroyers raiding the Dover Barrage patrol drifters when "C" class "Flirt" was sunk. Trying to ram one of the attackers, "Nubian’s" bows were blown off and she had to be run ashore on the coast at South Foreland

Zulu, damaged 8th November 1916, English Channel off Dunkirk, France (51°04’N, 2°04’E) - mined. "Zulu’s" stern was wrecked. In possibly a unique operation, at least for warships, her fore part was joined to the after part of "Nubian", and the impishly-named "Zubian" was born, commissioned in June 1917.

Zubian repaid her "surgeon’s" when she sank "UC.50" on the 4th February 1918

7. Cricket class coastal destroyers, 36 ships, 5 lost - 225-255t, 26 knots, 2-12pdr/3-18in tt, 35 crew, launched 1906-09. First twelve down-rated to 1st class torpedo boats in 1906 and renamed TB.1-12; remaining 24 named TB.13-36.

All served with the North Sea Patrol Flotillas or Nore Local Defence Flotilla

TB.10 (ex-"Greenfly"), 10th June 1915, North Sea - mined or torpedoed by German U-boat (sources vary). Believed on patrol with "TB.12" (also sunk) at the time

TB.11 (ex-"Mayfly"), 7th March 1916, English North Sea coast - mined. "TB.11" went down with three officers and 20 ratings. "Coquette" (above) on North Sea patrol was also mined and sunk, probably nearby at the same time

TB.12 (ex-"Moth"), 10th June 1915, North Sea - mined or torpedoed by German U-boat (sources vary). See "TB.10" above

TB.13, 26th January 1916, North Sea - collision

TB.24, 28th January 1917, English Channel, on Dover breakwater (51-07’N, 01-21’E) - wrecked. She is believed to have wrecked herself on the breakwater; some sources suggest whe was lost in collision off the breakwater

8. SWIFT flotilla leader, 1 ship - 2,170t, 35 knots, 4-4in/2-18in tt, 125 crew, launched 1907

Swift served with the Grand Fleet from August 1914, but joined 6th DF, Dover Patrol in mid 1915. Re-armed with a 6in forward, she took part in the famous action with the "Broke":

Swift, damaged 20th/21st April 1917, English Channel in Dover Straits - in action with German destroyers. Battle of Dover Strait - In their last raid on the Dover Straits for another ten months, twelve German destroyers of the Flanders Flotillas, in two groups, sailed to bombard Dover and Calais and attack any warships patrolling the Dover Barrage. Only British destroyer leaders "Broke" and "Swift" on the British side were on patrol, although "Sabreur" is listed as present. Calais was bombarded, followed by Dover just before midnight on the 20th. The six Dover attackers were then engaged by the two British destroyers. In a typically confusing night action using guns and torpedoes, "Swift" torpedoed "G-85", and "Broke" rammed "G-42". Locked together, "Broke's" sailors had to repel German boarders in hand-to-hand fighting. Both "G-42" & "G-85" were sunk at 51°09N, 01°37E near the Goodwin Sands. The badly damaged "Broke" was towed home, the equally damaged "Swift" made her own way. "Broke's" captain, Cdr Edward Evans was feted in the British press as "Evans of the "Broke", and both destroyers were awarded the Battle Honour Dover 21st April 1917. One source quotes "G-85" torpedoed by "Broke".

9. Palmer-built modified "30 knotters", ALBACORE, BONETTA, 2 ships - 440t, 26 knots, 3-12pdr/2-18in, 64 crew, 1907. Allocated to "B" class in 1913

"Albacore" served with Scapa Flow Local Patrol Flotilla; "Bonetta" as submarine tender in the Clyde and later Tyne Rivers

10. Repeat "River" class, STOUR, TEST, 2 ships - 550t, 25 knots, 1-12pdr/5-6pdr/2-18in tt, 70 crew, 1909. Allocated to "E" class.

Served with Patrol Flotillas

11. G class, ex-Beagle’s, 16 ships, 3 lost - 945t,27 knots, 1-4in/ 3-12pdr/2-21in tt, 96 crew,1910. In 1913, redesignated as "G" class.

With some short-term exceptions, all spent most of the war in the Mediterranean, and then recalled to Home Waters in late 1917

PINCHER, 24th July 1918, English Channel, on the Seven Stones rocks off the Scilly Islands, SW tip of England (50-00’N, 06.00’W) - ran aground and wrecked. Believed sailing from Devonport at the time, reportedly at high speed in fog

RACOON, 9th January 1918, Irish waters on the NW coast of Ireland - ran aground and wrecked. "Racoon" (Lt George Napier) ran aground in a snowstorm around 02.00hrs. With a wartime crew of 100, nine men had been left behind at her previous port of call, but not one of those aboard survived

Scorpion and Grampus took part in the various attempts to destroy submarine "E.15" which ran aground in the Dardanelles on the 17th April 1915. Over the next two days, these ranged from submarine attack, to seaplane bombing, battleship gunfire, and finally and successfully, torpedoing by a battleship picket boat. The two destroyers, "Scorpion" commanded by the future Adm A B Cunningham, failed to find the stranded boat when their turn came

WOLVERINE, 12th December 1917, North Atlantic, off the NW coast of Ireland - collision with "Arabis" class fleet sweeping sloop "Rosemary"

12. H class, ex-Acorn’s, 20 ships, 3 lost - 770t, 27 knots, 2-4in/2-12pdr/2-21in tt, 72 crew, 1910-12. In 1913, redesignated as "H" class

Served as the 2nd DF, Grand Fleet, August 1914-Spring 1916, then to Devonport. Six to Mediterranean in 1915, five more in 1916 and by 1918, all survivors there, now armed with depth charges. In 1917, two of the Mediterranean ships, "Minstrel" and "Nemesis" were transferred to the Japanese to add to their destroyers already serving as convoy escorts

HMS Goldfinch in 1910, lost 1915

COMET, 6th August 1918, Mediterranean - torpedoed by U-boat. Now serving as convoy escort. Casualties not known, normal complement 72 officers and men

GOLDFINCH, 19th February 1915, North Sea, on Sandoy Island in the Orkneys - ran aground. Serving with the Grand Fleet. Ran ashore in fog and wrecked; casualties not known, normal complement 72 officers and men

STAUNCH, night of 11th November 1917, Eastern Mediterranean, off Gaza, Palestine - torpedoed by German coastal minelayer "UC.38". Part of the British bombardment force off Gaza during the Allied attack. Three to four German U-boats were diverted to give assistance to the Turkish Army, and coastal minelayer "UC-38" (Lt Hans Wednlandt) managed to evade the trawler patrol guarding the net defences at Deirel-Belah. Once inside she sank both "Staunch" and monitor "M-15", and escaped undamaged

13. I class, ex-Acheron’s, 29 ships, 3 lost - 780t, 28-32 knots, 2-4in/2-12pdr/2-21in tt, 70 crew, 1911-12. Six were built for the Australian Navy; in 1913, all British ships redesignated as "I" class.

Served as 1st DF, Grand Fleet, August 1914 to Spring 1916, then with 3rd BS. Transferred to Portsmouth in Spring 1917 and then most of the class went out to the Mediterranean. Three converted to minelayers in 1917

Acheron, Ariel, Attack, Badger, Defender (damaged - see below), Goshawk, Hydra, Lapwing, Lizard, led by light cruiser "Fearless" constituted the 1st DF, Battlecruiser Fleet in the Battle of Jutland

Ariel in company with sister ships "Attack" and "Acheron" sank "U.12" on the 10th March 1915 off the Scottish North Sea coast

ARIEL, 2nd August 1918, southern North Sea in Heligoland Bight - mined. Converted to a minelayer with 40 mines and serving with the 20th Flotilla, "Ariel" operated out of Immingham. One of the new "V" class, minelayer "Vehement" also went down with her at the same time

ATTACK, 30th December 1917, Eastern Mediterranean off Alexandria, Egypt - sunk by German coastal submarine "UC.34". "Attack" with most of ther class was now in the Mediterranean as transport and convoy escorts. Although the Allied convoy sytem had been introduced it still lacked effectiveness and U-boats were taking a heavy toll. On the 30th, "UC.34" torpedoed and sank troopship "Aragon" . As "Attack" rescued survivors, she either hit a mine laid by "UC.34" or was torpedoed. Casualties were heavy with 610 soldiers and sailors killed

Defender, damaged 31st May/1st June 1916 - German heavy gunfire. With 1st DF, Battlecruiser Fleet during Battle of Jutland. Hit by 1-12in shell from the 3rd German Battle Squadron; one man killed

Lizard and Tigress shadowed German-Turkish battlecruiser "Goeben" and light cruiser "Breslau" (shortly mined and sunk) after they broke out of the Dardanelles on the 20th January 1918 and sank monitors "Lord Raglan" and "M.28". Both were present during the mining and loss of "Breslau"

PHOENIX, 14th May 1918, southern Adriatic in the Strait of Otranto - torpedoed by Austrian submarine "U-27". "Phoenix" was now also out in the Mediterranean, possibly on patrol along the Otranto Barrage aimed at stopping the passage of U-boats into the Mediterranean. She was the first British destroyer lost on the Barrage

14. K class, ex-Acasta’s, 20 ships, 7 lost including 4 at Battle of Jutland - 1,070t, 29 knots, 3-4in/2-21in tt, 73 crew, 1912-14. In 1913, redesignated as "K" class

Served as 4th DF, Grand Fleet initially with "Swift" as Leader from August 1914 to late Summer 1916, thus present at Battle of Jutland but now with Leader "Tipperary". Flotilla moved to Humber, and then to Portsmouth at end of 1916. Some ships joined the 6th DF, others the Dover Patrol, and in Spring 1917 the remainder transferred to Devonport.

ARDENT, 1st June 1916, North Sea - German naval gunfire. Battle of Jutland. Sunk by 5.9in shell hits from dreadnought "Westfalen" and other battleships; 78 men killed. (see Battle of Jutland destroyer summary)

CONTEST, 18th September 1917, North Atlantic in the South Western Approaches to the English Channel - torpedoed by German U-boat. Possibly one of the ships transferred to Devonport and on convoy escort or patrol duties. One source dates her loss on the 19th September. Her wartime crew was around 77. Fifty men were picked up

FORTUNE, 31st May 1916 , North Sea - German naval gunfire. Battle of Jutland. Sunk by 5.9in hits from dreadnought "Westfalen" and other battleships; 67 men killed. (see Battle of Jutland destroyer summary)

LYNX, 9th August 1915, northern North Sea off the Moray Firth, Scotland - German mine laid by raider "Meteor". "Lynx" (Cdr J F H Cole) was serving at the time with 4th DF, Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow. Many of the crew of approximately 70 men were lost including the CO; four officers and 22 men were saved

PARAGON, night of 17th/18th March 1917, English Channel, off Dover in the Strait of Dover (51-07’N, 01-27’E) - torpedoed by German destroyer. "Paragon" (Lt Bowyer) in company with "Laforey" class destroyers "Laertes", "Laforey" and "Llewellyn" was patrolling the Dover Straits anti-submarine barrage when a night raid aimed at breaking the barrage was launched by a German destroyer force (Cdr Tillessen). The 6th Flotilla (7 destroyers) and First Zeebrugge Half-flotilla (5) were to attack the barrage and the Second Zeebrugge Half-flotilla (4 destroyers) sink any shipping in the Downs. As the unknown warships approached, "Paragon" flashed a challenge only to receive a torpedo in reply. She blew up and sank immediately, taking down all but ten of her 77 crew. As "Llewellyn" picked up the survivors, she too was torpedoed but reached port, steaming stern first. The Germans also sank a steamer in the Downs and shelled Ramsgate and Broadstairs

SHARK, 31st May 1916, central North Sea - German gunfire and torpedo. With the 4th DF in the Battle of Jutland; sunk during the daylight action (Fuller account and award of Victoria Cross to her commanding officer in Jutland destroyer summary)

SPARROWHAWK, 1st June 1916, central North Sea - collision with destroyer "Broke". Serving with the 4th DF at the Battle of Jutland, "Sparrowhawk" (Lt Cdr S Hopkins) was disabled in collision with destroyer "Broke" and light cruiser "Contest" and scuttled by gunfire; 47 men reportedly killed. (see Battle of Jutland destroyer summary)

15. L class, ex-Laforey’s, 22 ships including around 2 after war started, 3 lost - c 980t, 29 knots, 3-4in/4-21in tt, 73 crew, launched 1913-15. In 1913, redesignated as "K" class

HMS Liberty 1914, presumably at full 29 knots

LAFOREY, 23rd March 1917, English Channel, 11 miles S by W of Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, S coast of England (50-39’N, 00.14’W) - mined. Detonated German-laid mine off Shoreham; casualties not known. Some sources date her loss on the 25th March

LASSOO, 13th August 1916, North Sea, off the Maas LV - probably mined. Believed lost on U-boat-laid mines, although she may have been torpedoed

LOUIS, 31st October 1915, Turkish Aegean coast, in Suvla Bay, Gallipoli - ran aground and wrecked. "Louis" (Lt Cdr A D A Hall) took part in the Gallipoli campaign in a support role. She was driven ashore in Suvla Bay by a fierce south-westerly gale which lasted for several days. Unable to get off because of the weather she became a total wreck. In some sources she was destroyed by Turkish shore batteries. In another the date is given as the 1st November 1915

Lance on 5th August 1914 probably fired the first shot of the naval war with her flotilla leader light cruiser "Amphion" and other destroyers. German auxiliary minelayer "Königen Luise" was sunk in the North Sea the day after war was declared

Lance, Lennox, Legion and Loyal with flotilla leader, light cruiser "Undaunted" sank German torpedo boats "S.115", "S.117", "S.118" and "S.119" on the 17th October 1914 off Texel

HMS Loyal in 1914

Lydiard (leader), Landrail, Laurel, Liberty took part in the 1916 Battle of Jutland as part of 9th/10th Flotilla, Battlecruiser Fleet

 

Wartime Additions - in Part 2

 
 

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