HMS Dublin

HMS Dublin was a Chatham class light cruiser that took part in the search for the Goeben and the Breslau in 1914, the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign and the battle of Jutland. She entered service in 1913 and was attached to the 1st Battle Squadron. In 1913 she was sent to the Mediterranean, and at the start of the First World War was part of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet.

In that capacity she took part in the hunt for the German cruisers Goeben and Breslau in the confused days of early August. On 4 August, before Britain and Germany were at war, the British battlecruiser squadron in the Mediterranean found the German ships, but only the Dublin and the Gloucester) were able to keep up with them. The ships were captained by brothers – Captain John D Kelly on the Dublin and Captain (Sir) William Archibald Howard Kelly on the Gloucester. On 7 August the two cruisers came close to catching the two German ships but just failed to make contact. This was probably for the best – at the start of the war the British assumed that an inferior force could inflict significant damage on more powerful ships before being defeated. The battles of Coronel and of the Falklands soon disproved this idea – in 1914 an apparently minor advantage could produce a very one-sided battle.

HMS Dublin from the left
HMS Dublin from the left

In mid-August the main British cruiser force was sent to the Dardanelles under Admiral Troubridge. The Dublinremained further west, under the command of the French Admiral de Lapeyrère, and based at Malta. Her initial duty was to guard the sea route between the Suez Canal and Malta, but that route was not yet under attack. Dublinwas detached from this duty in late August to protect Russian citizens trapped at Jaffa on the Syria coast, before rejoining Troubridge.

At the end of September the Dublin was part of the squadron under Admiral Carden watching the Dardanelles. While the majority of British ships were soon replaced with French ships, the Dublin (along with the battlecruiser Indefatigable and three submarines) remained off the Dardanelles at the end of 1914.

Dublin took part in the bombardments of the Dardanelles forts. During the bombardment of 25 February 1915 she acted as a spotter for the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, taking up a position close to the shore, where she came under heavy fire from Turkish guns. The next day she helped to protect the first landings on the Dardanelles, a demolition raid on the forts. She remained off the Dardenalles for long enough to take part in the initial landings at Gallipoli.

In May 1915 the Dublin was posted to Brindisi, in the east of Italy, as part of the deal that brought Italy into the war. While operating from Brindisi she was damaged by an Austrian U-boat (9 June 1915).

In 1916 Dublin was posted to the Grand Fleet, as part of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron. She was present at the battle of Jutland, where she was hit by eighteen smaller shells during the night action. Three men were dead and twenty four were wounded. Amongst the dead was the navigator. All of his maps were destroyed and for some time the ship was lost.

HMS Dublin from the right
HMS Dublin from the right

The Dublin was repaired by 17 June, in time to take part in the next fleet sortie, on 18-19 August. This time no battle followed, but the British suffered several losses to submarines, amongst them HMS Nottingham, lost after the Dublin spotted but failed to identify U 52.

After the war the Dublin served with the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron on the African Station (1920-1924), with a short break in April 1920 when she was posted to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean. She was paid off in 1924 and sold in 1926.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



4,500 nautical miles at 16kts

Armour – deck

1.5in – 3/8in

 - belt

2in on 1in plate

 - conning tower





Eight 6in guns
Four 3pdr guns
Two 21in submerged torpedo tubes (beam)

Crew complement



9 November 1911


March 1913

Sold for break up



Captain John Kelly (1914, 1915, 1916)
Captain Scott (1916)

The Coward? The Rise and Fall of the Silver King, Steve R. Dunn. A look at the life and mistakes of Admiral Ernest Troubridge, a British admiral best known for his failure to intercept the Goeben in the Mediterranean at the start of the First World War. The aim is to try and work out why Troubridge acted as he did in 1914, examining the late Victorian and Edwardian navy, his own career and decisions he made elsewhere in his life to try and work out what made him tick [read full review]
cover cover cover

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (18 October 2007), HMS Dublin ,

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