HMS Boyne (1904)

HMS Boyne (1904) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914-15, as an escort ship based at Plymouth in 1915 and with the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla for the rest of the war.

The original River class boats carried their forward 6-pdr guns on sponsons on either side of the forecastle, but this made them too low and rather wet in some circumstances. From the 1902/3 batch onwards the forward guns were thus moved to a higher position alongside the 12-pdr gun.

The Boyne was one of three River class destroyers ordered from Hawthorn Leslie in the 1903/04 batch. They both had two funnels.

Brassey’s Naval Annual of 1906 published the results of her four hour speed trial. She averaged 25.72 knots at 7,467ihp.

By 1912 Brassey’s listed her as being armed with four 12-pounders, after the 6-pounders were replaced because they were ineffective.

Pre-War Career

The Boyne arrived at Devonport in mid May 1905 and was commissioned into the Reserve Squadron on Tuesday 23 May 1905.

In 1906-1907 the Boyne was one of six River class destroyers in the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Channel Fleet, at that time the main battleship force of the Royal Navy.

HMS Boyne from the right
HMS Boyne from the right

In 1907-1909 the Boyne was part of either the 2nd or 4th Destroyer Flotillas, part of the Home Fleet, which was becoming the main battleship force.

In 1909-1911 the Boyne was one of six River class destroyers (although the Blackwater was lost in 1909) in the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, which supported the 1st Division of the Home Fleet. All of these destroyers were fully manned.

In the summer of 1910 the Boyne was part of a flotilla of destroyers that took part in a cruise up the East Coast of England and Scotland, starting from Portland (Chelmire, Moy, Erne, Liffey, Boyne and Thelmer). In August they were at Dundee

In October 1910 the Boyne and the Pincher collided in Portland Harbour. The Boyne suffered damage to her bows, but nobody was injured.

In 1911-12 the Boynewas part of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, which was made up of twenty-three River class destroyers and was part of the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. This contained the older battleships and the destroyers were all partly manned.

In 1912-14 the Boyne was one of twenty five River class destroyers that formed the 9th Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, one of the new Patrol Flotillas.

In July 1914 she was one of eight destroyers attached to the First Fleet Battleship Squadrons, part of the Home Fleet.

First World War

In August 1914 she was one of four destroyers attached to the Second Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, and was at Scapa.

In November 1914 she was one of eighteen destroyers attached to Admiral Jellicoe in his role as C-in-C of the Grand Fleet.

HMS Boyne in drydock
HMS Boyne in drydock

In January 1915 she was attached to the Grand Fleet.

The Exe, Teviot, Ure, Boyne and Foyle left Scapa Flow heading for Dover and Devonport on 27 February 1915, to begin escort duties.

The Naval Staff Monographs report that in April 1915 the Boyne and Foyle were based at Plymouth, and their main task was to escort transports leaving Devonport heading for India or the Mediterranean. On 2 April, when a U-boat sank the collier Lockwood they were already at sea hunting for a U-boat that had been reported off Plymouth Sound.

After the sinking of the Lusitania on 7 May the plans for protecting military convoys were changed. The first one to sail after the sinking was to take two artillery brigades and reinforcements to the Mediterranean. It was originally to sail from Avonmouth, but instead it left from Devonport, with a strong escort of six destroyers, Lawford, Legion, Lucifer and Linnet from the Harwich force and the Boyne and Foyle. By mid-May the Boyne and Foyle had been permanently attached to Devonport to escort single transports, and they escorted ships through the south-west approaches on 16, 17 and 18 May.

In June 1915 she was one of six destroyers in the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla, which contained two River class boats and four 30-knotters.

In January 1916 she was one of six destroyers in the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla.

In October 1916 she was one of six destroyers in the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla.

In January 1917 she was one of six destroyers in the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla

In June 1917 she was one of four active destroyers in the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla, the other three all being older 30-knotters.

By October 1917 the Navy List placed her in the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

In January 1918 she was one of twenty seven destroyers in the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, based on the Humber.

In June 1918 she was one of twenty five destroyers in the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, a mix of River class and 30-knotters.

In November 1918 she was one of twenty seven destroyers serving with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, which included ten River Class destroyers that were part of the flotilla and two borrowed from Portsmouth.

The Boyne was broken up in 1919.

Commanders
Artif Eng. Thomas M. Davidson: -March-April 1913-:
Lt. Commander Robert Makin: 11 December 1913-January 1915-
Lt. Commander William B. Clementson: 11 July 1917-December 1918
Lt John Glen: -February 1919-

Displacement (standard)

545t

Displacement (loaded)

615t

Top Speed

25.5kts

Engine

7,000ihp

Range

 

Length

225.5ft oa
220ft pp

Width

23ft 7in

Armaments

One 12-pounder gun
Five 6-pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

70

Laid down

 16 February 1904

Launched

12 September 1904

Completed

May 1905

Broken Up

1919

British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman. A very detailed look at the design of British destroyers from their earliest roots as torpedo boat destroyers, though the First World War and up to the start of the Second World War, supported by vast numbers of plans and well chosen photographs [read full review]
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 February 2020), HMS Boyne (1904) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Boyne_1904.html

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