HMS Musketeer (1915)

HMS Musketeer (1915) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from January 1916 to April 1918 then on the Coast of Ireland Station for the rest of the war.

HMS Musketeer was a Yarrow special repeat M class destroyer that was ordered as part of the Second War Programme of early November 1914. She was laid down on 18 October 1914, launched on 12 November 1915 when she must have been almost complete, and completed in December 1915.


The Musketeer served with the Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from January 1916 to April 1918

In January 1916 she was one of fifteen repeat M class destroyers that formed the Eleventh Flotilla at Cromarty, along with the flotilla leader Kempenfelt and the light cruiser Castor.

HMS Musketeer, 1919 HMS Musketeer, 1919

On 6 January 1916 the pre-dreadnought battleship King Edward VII ran into a mine off Cape Wrath while on her way from Scapa Flow to Belfast. After nine hours it was clear that she couldn’t be saved, and the Musketeer, Marne, Fortune and Nessus came alongside and rescued the entire crew. The abandoned battleship sank four hours later. The mine turned out to have been laid by the surface raider Moewe on the night of 1-2 January. The Musketeer suffered significant damage while colliding with fittings along the sides of King Edward VII and two of her crew were drowned during the rescue operations.

On the eve of Jutland the Musketeer was one of twelve Repeat M class destroyers from the Eleventh Destroyer Flotila which were at Invergordon (a smaller part of the flotilla was at Scapa Flow). However she was in dockyard hands. 

On 13 July a German submarine fired two torpedoes at the armed boarding steamer Duke of Cornwall, nine miles to the south east of the Pentland Skerries. The Musketeer rushed to the spot and dropped depth charges. Both sides were sure they had sunk their targets, and both sides were wrong.

On 19 December 1916 the Musketeer and Strongbow collided.


In January 1917 Commodore Tyrwhitt at Harwich was ordered to send eight of his destroyer to Dunkirk to help protect against any German raids. To replace them the Grenville and eight destroyers from the Grand Fleet (Morning Star, Moon, Musketeer, Mandate, Opal, Nonsuch, Napier and Strongbow) were sent to Harwich arriving on 19 January. They almost immediately took part in a large minesweeping operation on the Swarte Bank (to the north-east of Lowestoft). After this operation Tyrwhitt was told he could keep the destroyers for the time being.

In June 1917 she was based at Queenstown, in the south of Ireland.  


In January 1918 she was with the Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet, but was at Dundee.

From May 1918 to December 1918 the Musketeer served with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the Northern Division of the Coast of Ireland Station, based at Buncrana. The main duties of this flotilla were anti-submarine patrols and escort duties.

On 24 March the Musketeer and Campbell collided at Port Edgar, just to the west of Edinburgh.

In November 1919 she was in the hands of a care and maintenance party in the Devonport reserve. She was sold for scrap in November 1921.

Service Record
January 1916-April 1918: 11th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
May 1918-December 1918: 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Northern Division Coast of Ireland, Buncrana

Displacement (standard)

895t (Yarrow)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

35 knots at 23,000shp


2-shaft turbines




270ft 6in (Yarrow)


24ft 7.5in (Yarrow)


Three 4in/ 45cal QF Mk IV
Two 1-pounder pom pom
One 2-pounder pom pom
Four 21-in torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Laid down

18 October 1914


12 November 1915


December 1915

Sold for break up

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 (21 August 2023), HMS Musketeer (1915) ,

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