HMS Mystic (1915)

HMS Mystic (1915) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Eleventh then Third Destroyer flotillas of the Grand Fleet from November 1915 to April 1918 then on the Coast of Ireland station for the rest of the war.

HMS Mystic was an Admiralty type repeat M class destroyer that was ordered under the First War Programme of 1914. She was laid down on 27 October 1914, launched on 26 June 1915 and completed on 11 November 1915.

The Mystic served with the Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from November 1915 to February 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.

On the eve of Jutland the Mystic was one of twelve Repeat M class destroyers from the Eleventh Destroyer Flotila which were at Invergordon, Cromarty (a smaller part of the flotilla was at Scapa Flow).  The part of the flotilla at Scapa put to sea with Admiral Jellicoe and the main body of the Grand Fleet by 10.30pm on 30 May. The part of the flotilla at Cromarty was also soon at sea, and joined the main body of the fleet at 2pm on 31 May.

HMS Mystic and SS Oriana aground, Torcor HMS Mystic and SS Oriana aground, Torcor

The two main fleets finally came together at about 6.30pm on 31 May. By this point the battleships of the German High Seas Fleet were heading north, while the battleships of the Grand Fleet were forming a line running roughly east to west in front of them. For a few minutes the British were able to concentrate their fire on the leading ships of the German line, but the Germans then carried out their famous sixteen point turn, and within a few minutes were heading away south into the North Sea mist. However Admiral Scheer then mis-judged the British movements, and turned back east in the hope that he could pass behind the main British force. Just after 7pm the Germans found themselves steaming straight towards Jelicoe’s battleships, and by 7.15 the bulk of the Grand Fleet was finally able to open fire on the Germans. Once again Scheer was forced to reverse course. During this phase of the battle the destroyer flotillas struggled to keep up with the fast moving battleships and rather disappear from the narrative.

Jellicoe now couldn’t be sure which way the Germans had gone and struggled to make firm contact with Scheer during the night. However the fighting didn’t end. Part of the 11th flotilla was now on the port side of Jellicoe’s flagship, with the flotilla cruiser Castor. They spotted smoke to the W.N.W. and discovered twelve German destroyers apparently preparing to attack Beatty’s battlecruisers. The 11th Flotilla and the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron forced the German destroyers away, and the Grand Fleet made contact with the Germans for the third time. Once again the Germans turned away under heavy fire, and by 8.35pm had disappeared into the mist once again. 

Jellicoe was unwilling to risk a night battle, and at 9.17 ordered the fleet into its night cruising formation. The battleships formed up into lines in their divisions, with the destroyers following behind. The entire formation began to move south in an attempt to keep between the Germans and their home bases. By 10pm the destroyer flotillas were in line, with the 12th Flotilla at the eastern (left) end of the line, then the combined 9th and 10th Flotillas, 13th Flotilla, 4th Flotilla and finally the 11th Flotilla at the western (right) end of the line.

The fighting had ended with the Germans sailing south, just to the west of the Grand Fleet. Admiral Scheer’s plan was to try and turn east and cut behind the Grand Fleet, to reach Horn Reefs and a safe route home. His leading cruisers were sent ahead to try and find the British, and soon after 9.30 then ran into the 11th Flotilla, which was now at the back-right corner of the Grand Fleet. They weren’t at all sure who was approaching them, and so while some of the flotilla fired torpedoes, most of the destroyers believed these were British ships.

After Jutland

On 13 November 1916 collier Gracefield collided with the Mystic and the Oiler Mina Brea in the Cromarty Firth. On the same day the Mystic lost an anchor, although it isn’t clear if that was a result of the collision, or a cause of it.


The Mystic served with the Grand Fleet throughout 1917.


In March-April 1918 the Mystic was part of the newly formed Third Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet.

On 5 March 1918 the Mystic and Nimrod collided.

From May 1918 to December 1918 the Mystic served with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla of the Northern Division of the Coast of Ireland Station, based at Buncrana. Her new role was mainly anti-submarine patrols and escort duties.

On 17 May 1918 the Mystic and Martial ran aground off Tor Point, on the northern coast of Ireland, while escorting a convoy.

On 11 November 1918 the Marne, Medway, Michael, Mystic, Nicator and Pelican were all temporarily attached to the 15th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet.

The Mystic was awarded a battle honour for Jutland.


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
November 1915-February 1918: 11th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
March-April 1918: 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
May-December 1918: 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Northern Division Coast of Ireland, Buncrana


Displacement (standard)

1,025t (Admiralty design)
985t (Thornycroft)
895t (Yarrow)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

34 knots


3-shaft Brown-Curtis or Parsons turbines
3 Yarrow boilers




273ft 4in (Admiralty)
274ft 3in (Thornycroft)
270ft 6in (Yarrow)


26ft 8ft (Admiralty)
27ft 3in (Thornycroft)
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

27 October 1914


26 June 1915


11 November 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 (28 August 2023), HMS Mystic (1915) ,

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