HMS Nomad (1915)

HMS Nomad (1915) was a repeat M class destroyer that joined the Grand Fleet just in time to be sunk at the battle of Jutland.

The Nomad was ordered as part of the Third War Programme of late November 1914. She was laid down at Stephens and launched on 7 February 1916. She was completed by Beardmore on April 1916.


The Nomad joined the 13th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet in May 1916, just in time to take part in the battle of Jutland. The flotilla contained ten Repeat M class destroyers at Jutland.

The flotilla was part of Admiral Beatty’s battle cruiser fleet at Rosyth. That fleet put to sea late on 30 May, and moved towards a rendezvous position about seventy miles to the south of the main Grand Fleet.

During the advance east across the North Sea the destroyers were used to guard the flanks of the battle cruiser fleet, while the light cruisers advanced ahead of the fleet. At 2.25pm on 31 May, just after the first contact between Beatty’s cruisers and the German cruisers, the destroyers were ordered to form an anti-submarine screen heading S.S.E. He then followed with his capital ships, in the hope of cutting off the retreat of the German cruisers that had been spotted. The German battlecruisers turned south, and retreated towards the main High Seas Fleet.

At about 4pm, during the chase south, Beatty signalled to the Thirteenth Flotilla that ‘it seemed a good opportunity to attack’. The flotilla turned east, and attempted to get into position to fire its torpedoes. While this was happening, the first of the British battlecruisers was lost, when HMS Indefatigable exploded and sank after being hit by the Von der Tann.

The flotilla commander, in the cruiser Champion, gave the order to attack at 4.15. The first five destroyers (Nestor, Nomad, Nicator, Pelican and Narborough) were able to pass in front of the British line at about 4.20 and turned towards the Germans. They were joined by Turbulent, Termagant, Morris and Moorsom from the Ninth and Tenth Flotillas. German destroyers came out at the same time, originally with the aim of attacking the fast battleships of the British Fifth Battle Squadron. The result was a rather confused melee, in which the German destroyers V-27 and V-29 were sunk. However the Nomad was hit by a shell in the boiler rooms that left her disabled.

This destroyer battle ended at 4.43 when Admiral Beatty recalled the destroyers after the German battleships of the High Seas Fleet were sighted to the south. Beatty was forced to turn north and begin his own retreat back towards Jellicoe and the Grand Fleet. This left the Nomad and Nestor crippled in the way of the German battleships. Both destroyers fired their last torpedoes before being sunk, and their crews then took to their boats. They were rescued by a German destroyer. Her casualties were surprisingly light, with 1 officer and 7 men killed but 4 officers and 75 men captured by the Germans.

The Nomad was awarded a battle honour for Jutland.

-May/ June 1916-: Lt Commander P. Whitfield

Service Record
May 1916-31 May 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 Babcock & Wilcox 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



7 February 1916


April 1916.


31 May 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 (15 November 2023), HMS Nomad (1915) ,

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