HMS Fury (1911)

HMS Fury (1911) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Grand Fleet in 1914-15 and at Devonport in 1915, then with the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean in 1916-18.

HMS Fury was laid down by Inglis on the Clyde on 3 March 1910, launched on 25 April 1911 and completed in February 1912.

From 1911-14 the Fury, along with the entire Acorn class and the Laferoy class destroyer HMS Lark formed the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, a fully manned flotilla that was part of the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet until 1912, then part of the First Fleet from 1912-1914. At the outbreak of war in 1914 the First Fleet became the Grand Fleet.

On 15 September 1913 First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill carried out a tour of inspection of the Fury during an official visit to Greenock.

In July 1914 she was one of twenty destroyers in the Second Flotilla, part of the First Fleet of the Home Fleet, which contained the most modern battleships. The Second Flotilla contained the entire Acorn or H class of destroyers.

Wartime Record

After the outbreak of war in August 1915 the Fury and the entire class formed the Second Flotilla of the Grand Fleet. By November 1914 they had been joined by the flotilla leader Broke. On 19 February 1915 her sister ship Goldfinch was wrecked, leaving the nineteen survivors in the flotilla. By June 1915 the flotilla contained all nineteen of the Acorn class boats and the M class destroyer HMS Moon.

HMS Fury from the left HMS Fury from the left

On 27 October 1914 the battleship HMS Audacious hit a mine that had recently been laid off the coast of Northern Ireland, where the Grand Fleet was sheltering while the defences of Scapa Flow were being improved. The Audacious eventually sank, although only after a great deal of effort had been made to save her. One of these saw the Fury carry a tow line from the Olympic (sister ship to the Titanic) to the Audacious, which allowed the liner to tow the battleship some way towards the shore before the line snapped.

On 1 July 1915 the Armed Merchant Cruiser Patuca attempted to intercept the Swedish blockade runner SS Oscar II, but during the encounter the two ships collided. The Patuca was able to return to the Clyde, while two tugs and the destroyers Fury and Staunch were sent out to try and get the Oscar II to port. However after two days the damaged merchant ship sank.

The Fury was the second member of the class to leave the Grand Fleet. The first had been Hope, which moved to Harwich in July 1915. By August Hope and Fury were listed as being on detached service in home waters (probably at Devonport), and by September they were two of the seven members of the class (Acorn, Comet, Fury, Hope, Redpole, Sheldrake and Staunch) that had moved to Devonport. This is one of those occasions on which the Navy List is somewhat obscure – these ships were still listed with the 2nd Flotilla of the Grand Fleet, but as being on detached service as ‘tenders to Vivid’, the shore base at Devonport.

In August 1915 she was one of six destroyers sent from Devonport to take part in a hunt for U-boats off Fastnet, in the seas to the south-west of Ireland. Although at least one U-boat did pass through the search area, it was on the day after the patrol ended.

On 13 November 1915 Comet, Fury, Redpole and Staunch left Devonport, heading for the Mediterranean. The Fury and the Comet had been allocated to a force that was being gathered in case war broke out with Greece

In January 1916 she was one of three H class destroyers under the command of the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Eastern Mediterranean. For the rest of the war she was part of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean.

On 8-9 January 1916 the Staunch and the Fury took part in the evacuation of troops from Helles Beach at Gallipoli. Their role was to pick people up from one of the hulks connected to the shore by a bridge, but by the time the two destroyers arrived the bridge was out of use and the troops had to be ferried out in small boats. 

In October 1916 she was one of four H class destroyers with the main part of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet, while another four were posted at Malta.

In January 1917 she was one of four H class destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In June 1917 she was one of six H class destroyers at Malta, but one (Comet) was there for repairs.

In January 1918 she was one of six H class destroyers that were assigned to the Mediterranean, but she was undergoing repairs in the Humber.

By July 1918 the ships in the Malta Flotilla had joined the Fifth Flotilla, which was based at Brindisi. In addition they had finally been joined by the Brisk, which had disappeared from Ireland in June, and arrived in the Mediterranean in July. This was the first time since June 1915, when the first ships left the Grand Fleet to move to Devonport, that all of the surviving Acorn class ships still in British service had been gathered in the same formation. It didn’t last for long, as by August 1918 Lyra had been moved to Gibraltar.

In November 1918 she was one of fourteen H class destroyers in the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, now at Mudros, having moved to the Aegean at some point since July.

In the February 1919 Navy List she was part of the destroyer flotilla at Malta.

In November 1919 she was one of seven H class destroyers in the hands of care and maintenance parties in the Devonport reserve.

The Fury received one battle honour, for the Dardanelles 1915-16.

Wartime Career
-August 1914-July 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
August 1915: Detached service in home waters
September 1915-13 November 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
December 1915-June 1918: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean
July 1918-August 1918-: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Brindisi
-December 1918-February 1919-: Aegean Squadron, Mudros

Commanders
Lt Commander Charles G. C. Sumner: 29 October 1912-October 1914-

Displacement (standard)

772t

Displacement (loaded)

970t

Top Speed

27 knots

Engine

3-shaft Parsons turbines (most in class)
4 Yarrow boilers (most in class)
13,500shp

Range

 

Length

246ft oa

Width

25ft 3in to 25ft 5.5in

Armaments

Two 4in BL Mk VIII guns
Two 12-pounder/ 12cwt guns
Two 21in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

72

Laid down

3 March 1910

Launched

25 April 1911

Completed

February 1912

Sold

November 1921

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 (18 February 2021), HMS Fury (1911) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Fury_1911.html

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