HMS Negro (1916)

HMS Negro (1916) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet during 1916, but was sunk after colliding with HMS Hoste during exercises on 21 December.

The Negro was ordered as part of the Second War Programme of early November 1914. She was laid down at Palmers in January 1915, launched on 8 March 1916 and completed in May 1916.

From June 1916 until she sank on 21 December 1916 the Negro served with the 13th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet.

On the eve of Jutland the Negro was with the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla that was with the battlecruiser fleet at Rosyth, but she was in dockside hands.

On 18 August the Grand Fleet sailed in response to another sortie by the High Seas Fleet, but this time the two fleets didn’t meet. However during the return voyage the cruiser Falmouth was torpedoed by U-66. The Negro, Pasley and Pelican came to her aid, and were eventually joined by four more destroyers. This force attempted to tow the cruiser to safety but without success. A tug finally arrived at 5am on 20 August, but at noon, while the Falmouth was still 45 miles from the Humber U-63 got through her escort and torpedoed her twice more. She stayed afloat for a considerable time after this, but despite the use of four tugs was still 25 miles from safety when she finally sank at 8.10am on 21 August.

On 21 December 1916 the Negro collided with the flotilla leader HMS Hoste in the North Sea, after the Hoste’s rudder jammed during Grand Fleet exercises. Things got worse when the Hoste’s depth charges fell off and exploded, flooding the Negro’s engine room. An attempt was made to take her in tow, but her damaged bulkheads collapsed and she sank suddenly just after 4am. Only 34 of her crew were rescued, and 51 died. In contrast only four men died on the Hoste, because she stayed afloat for much longer once it was clear she was in a sinking condition.  

Service Record
June 1916-21 December 1916: 13th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet

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

23 December 1914


8 March 1916


May 1916

Sunk in collision

21 December 1916

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 (27 September 2023), HMS Negro (1916) ,

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