HMS Norman (1916)

HMS Norman (1916) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet from July 1916 to the end of the First World War, taking part in experiments with kite balloons in 1917 as well as spending some time detached with the Harwich Force.

The Norman was ordered as part of the Third War Programme of late November 1914. She was laid down at Palmers in January 1915, launched on 20 March 1916 and completed in August 1916.


The Norman served with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from July 1916 to December 1918.


On 13 January 1917 the Norman and Ophelia collided at Invergordon.

HMS Norman, 1919 HMS Norman, 1919

On 5-9 July 1917 the Maenad, Morning Star, Moon, Patriot and Anzac took part in Operation CC, an experimental attempt to hunt submarines using destroyers equipped with kite balloons. The five destroyers (along with HMS Norman without a balloon) were sent to patrol an area with a radius of 40-50 miles on the route the U-boats were believed to be using to return home. Visibility was excellent, and the Shetlands could be seen at a range of 80 miles from the balloons. A number of possible submarines were sighted from the balloons, but couldn’t be found by the surface ships. Early in the operation the Norman was temporarily detached to reinforce the Salmon, which was escorting a convoy of 20 merchant vessels from Norway to Lerwick.

The operation was repeated a few days later with more success. On 12 July Patriot, Maenad and Moon were towing balloons while Anzac and Norman were in support. At 5.37am the Patriot’s balloon spotted a submarine 28 miles to the east. The Patriot headed towards it and after a two hour search dropped two depth charges on the spot where it was last seen. Four hours later there was a massive explosion underwater, felt on all of the destroyers. At about the same time U-69 was lost in the same area, and was probably destroyed by damage caused by the attack. At the time of the explosion the Norman was fourteen miles from its location.

On 26 July the Norman and Peregrine were in the south, escorting the converted cruiser-minelayer Ariadne as she moved south from the Downs on her way to Plymouth. At 2.22pm the Ariadne was torpedoed by UC-65. She stayed afloat for some time, while the two destroyers attempted without success to find the destroyer. At 3.12pm the Ariadne was hit by a second torpedo, and soon sank.

When the Germans attacked a Scandinavian convoy in October 1917, sinking the Mary Rose and the Strongbow, the Norman was on detached duty with the Harwich Force. This force was patrolling the southern North Sea, but was unable to intercept the German raiding force as it returned home.

At some point in 1917 the Norman salvaged the Norwegian sailing vessel Sandvigen.


On 13 June 1918 a whaler from the Norman was lost in Scapa Flow.

The 14th Flotilla took part in the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 21 November 1918.

In December 1919 she was in the charge of a Care and Maintenance Party at Portsmouth.

She was sold for scrap in May 1921.

Service Record
July 1916-December 1918: 14th 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

January 1915


20 March 1916


August 1916

Sold for break up

May 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 (11 December 2023), HMS Norman (1916) ,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy