HMS Lowestoft

HMS Lowestoft was a Birmingham class light cruiser. She took part in the battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank, before being posted to the Mediterranean before Jutland. 

At the outbreak of the First World War, Lowestoft was part of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron. In August 1914 she sank the German merchantman Fernbellin. With her sister ship Nottingham she formed Division 2 of the Light Cruiser Squadron at the battle of Heligoland Bight. They were dispatched to help the destroyers, and spent part of the morning chasing German destroyers in the mist, before getting lost. An attempt to find the battlecruisers failed as those ships had already moved from their initial position.

Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt (1870-1951)
Reginald Tyrwhitt

After the battle Lowestoft served at Commodore Tyrwhitt’s flagship due to damage suffered by the Arethusa . She was thus in the south during the period of the Race to the Sea, when the navy played a part in the fighting on the coast, and was close by when the three Cressy class cruisers were sunk by a German U-boat. She was present at the battle of Dogger Bank with the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, before being posted to the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron as flagship (1915-1916).

In 1916 she was sent to the Mediterranean as flagship of the 8th Light Cruiser Squadron, remaining there until 1919. At the start of 1918 she was based at Mudros. In January 1918 the German ships Breslau and Goeben made their first sortie into the Mediterranean since 1914. Lowestoft and the other ships at Mudros were unable to reach the scene before the raid was over. Goeben escaped back into the Dardanelles, but Breslau struck a mine and sank.

After the war Lowestoft searched with the 6th Light Cruiser Squadron on the African Station, as flagship from 1921 until 1924.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



4,140 nautical miles at 16kts

Armour – deck

1 ½in over steering gear
3/4in over machinery
3/8in elsewhere

 - belt

2in armour on 1in plate

 - conning tower





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

Crew complement



28 April 1913


April 1914

Sold for break up

January 1931


T. W. B. Kennedy (1914, 1915, 1916)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 October 2007), HMS Lowestoft ,

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