HMS Moy (1904)

HMS Moy (1904) was a River class destroyer that served with the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla in 1914-15, taking part in the defence of Hartlepool then with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla from 1915 to the end 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 Moy was one of three River class destroyers ordered from Laird in the 1903/4 batch. They all had two funnels.

The Moy was launched on Friday 11 November 1904.

Brassey’s Naval Annual of 1906 published the results of her four hour speed trial. She averaged 25.60 knots at 7,388iph.

By 1912 Brassey’s Naval Annual listed her as being armed with four 12-pounders, after the 6-pounders were replaced across the River class as they were no longer felt to be effective

Pre-World War

In 1906-1907 the Moy was one of six River class destroyers in the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Channel Fleet, which then contained the main battleship force.

In 1907-1909 the Moy was one of fourteen River class destroyers in the 1st or 3rd Destroyer Flotillas of the Channel Fleet, which was now becoming less important. As a result its destroyers only had nucleus crews.

HMS Moy from the left
HMS Moy from the left

In October 1907 the Moy took part in naval exercises in the Channel, but she had to enter the Admiralty Harbour at Dover suffering from problems with her machinery.

In September 1908 the Moy was taking part in torpedo exercises in Torbay. The idea was to track the course of the torpedoes so they could be retrieved and reused, but on this occasion two torpedoes disappeared soon after being fired. The Admiralty offered a reward of £10 for their return.

On Monday 21 December 1908 the Moy was part of a powerful fleet under Admiral Beresford that put to sea from Weymouth to carry out night exercises. The Moy went ashore at Portland Bill while operating without lights, suffered damage to her bows and flooded forward. However she was able to get off under her own power and returned to Portland with assistance.

In 1909-11 the Moy was one of thirteen River Class destroyers in the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, part of the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. This contained the older battleships and its destroyers were partly manned.

On Thursday 18 November 1909 the Moy’s former engineering officer, Engineer-Lieutenant Frank Guyer was court-martialed for failing to submit the store accounts for his time on the Moy , which had ended on 4 April. He claimed that he had been ill will flu between ships and then too busy on his new ship, but he was found guilty, severely reprimanded, lost one years seniority and dismissed from his new ship.

In February 1910 the Moy and the Dee collided near Portland. The Deesuffered damage to how bows, but the Moy was largely unaffected. Both ships returned to Portland, and the Dee was then sent to Portsmouth for repairs.

In the summer of 1910 the Moy 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 1911-12 the Moy was 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 Moy was one of twenty five River class destroyers that formed the 9th Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, one of the new Patrol Flotillas.

On 31 March 1913 Henry Elliot her chief stocker, was injured in an explosion while she was anchored at Dundee. Elliot opened the door to one of the coal bunkers, letting out coal gas that has accumulated in the bunker. This was ignited by the lamp he was carrying, and he suffered burns around the face, neck and hands.

In July 1914 she was one of sixteen River class destroyers in the Ninth Flotilla at Chatham.

First World War

In August 1914 she was one of six destroyers from the Ninth Flotilla that were reported to be at sea at the outbreak of war.

In November 1914 she was part of the Ninth Flotilla on the Tyne. She had been away from the flotilla, but was expected to rejoin on 31 November.

The Moy took part in the clash with German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Moltke and the heavy cruiser Blucher during the Hartlepool raid of 16 December 1914. She was one of four destroyers that were detached to Hartlepool (Waveney, Doon, Test and Moy), and were already at sea when the Germans appeared off the town

In January 1915 she was part of the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla, a patrol flotilla

HMS Moy in convoy
HMS Moy in convoy

This flotilla consisted of the Pathfinder class scout cruiser Patrol and twelve destroyers, and was normally split into four divisions. One would be at Immingham in the Humber, having their boilers cleaned. The other three, each of three destroyers, were based on the Tyne and Tees, with the task of patrolling the area between St Abb’s Head in the north and Flamborough Head in the south. In March this force had to cope with the appearance of German U-boats off the east coast.

On 8 June 1915 the Moy was helping to protect the Dogger Bank fishery when she sighted a submarine that was moving to attack a tramp steamer. The Moy was able to approach unseen, and actually managed to ram the submarine, but appears to have only damaged her periscope. This was probably U-25, which was known to have been in the area at the time, and returned to base on 10 June. In the meantime the Moy had dropped a buoy on the spot where the submarine had submerged, and for three days a force of minesweepers, destroyers and armed trawlers attempted to find her.

In June 1915 she was one of ten River class destroyers in the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla on the Tyne.

In January 1916 she was one of eight destroyers from the Seventh Flotilla that were based on the Tyne, north of the Flotilla’s main base on the Humber. She was undergoing repairs with an uncertain completion date.

In October 1916 she was one of nineteen destroyers in the Seventh Flotilla, a mix of River class boats and older 30-knotters.

In January 1917 she was one of eighteen destroyers in the Seventh Flotilla.

In June 1917 she was one of twenty three destroyers in a new formation, East Coast Convoys, Humber, that was formed around the Seventh Flotilla to help run the new convoy system.

When the Germans put to sea to attack the Scandinavian Convoy on 11-12 December 1917, the Rother and Moy were at sea escorting a convoy heading for the east coast ports from Lerwick.

In January 1918 she wasn’t listed in the Pink List.

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 wasn’t listed in the Pink List but the December 1918 entry of the Navy List placed her with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla.

She was broken up in 1919.

Lt & Commander Herbert R K. Edwards: 14 November 1912-January 1914-
Lt in Command James C Collie: 5 November 1917-December 1918-
Gunner Edward Beaumont: - February 1919-

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed







226.75ft oa
220ft pp




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

Crew complement


Laid down

22 March 1904


10 November 1904


June 1905

Broken Up


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 (24 March 2020), HMS Moy (1904) ,

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