HMS Gloucester

HMS Gloucester was a Bristol class light cruiser. During the First World War she took part in the early hunts for German commerce raiders and was present at the battle of Jutland. Like the rest of the Bristol class cruisers she spent most of her active career on overseas stations.

HMS Gloucester from the right
HMS Gloucester from the right

On completion she joined the 1st Battle Squadron, part of the Home Fleet. In January 1913 she joined the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, then based in the Mediterranean. At the outbreak of the First World War she took part in the search for the Goeben and the Breslau, two German cruisers that made up their Mediterranean Squadron. Those ships successfully evaded the British hunt, reaching Constantinople, where they were officially given to the Turks.

She then took part in the hunt for the commerce raider SMS Emden (November 1914) and then for the AMC Kronprinz Wilhelm, a second commerce raider believed to be off the African coast. The Kronprinz Wilhelm, a converted passenger liner, captured 15 ships before a shortage of coal forced her to seek internment in the United States (26 April 1915).

In February 1915 the Gloucester joined the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron in home waters. In April 1916 she took part in the suppression of the Easter Uprising in Ireland, shelling Galway.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Light Cruiser Squadrons were all part of the Battlecruiser fleet during the battle of Jutland. While two of that fleet’s battlecruisers were lost, the light cruisers survived intact.

The Gloucester spend the rest of the war in the Adriatic with the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron (December 1916-November 1918). She was put into the reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1921.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



5,070 nautical miles at 16kts

Deck Armour

2in- ¾in




Two 6in guns, one aft and one forward.
Ten 4in guns, five on each side
Four 3pdrs.
Two 18 submerged torpedo tubes (beam)


28 October 1909


November 1910



Sold for break up

Sold for break up May 1921

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 September 2007), HMS Gloucester ,

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