HMS Ouse (1905)

HMS Ouse (1905) was a River class destroyer that served with the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla in 1914-1915 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla in 1915-19, sinking UC-70 and helping to sink UB-115

HMS Ouse from the right
HMS Ouse from the right

The original River class boats carried their forward 6-pdr guns on sponsons on either side of the forecastle, but this made them too low and rather wet in some circumstances. From the 1902/3 batch onwards the forward guns were thus moved to a higher position alongside the 12-pdr gun.

The Ouse was one of three River class destroyers ordered from Laird in the 1903/4 batch. They all had two funnels.

The Ouse was launched on Saturday 7 January 1905 at Birkenhead.

Brassey’s Naval Annual of 1906 published the results of her four hour speed trial. She averaged 25.56 knots at 7,344 ihp.

By 1912 Brassey’s Naval Annual listed her as being armed with four 12-pounders, after the 6-pounders were replaced across the River class as they were no longer felt to be effective

Pre-War Career

In September 1905 the Ouse was commissioned with a nucleus crew for service in the Devonport reserve division.

In 1906-1907 the Ouse was one of six River class destroyers in the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Channel Fleet, which then contained the main battleship force.

In 1907-1909 the Ouse was one of fourteen River class destroyers in the 1st or 3rd Destroyer Flotillas of the Channel Fleet, which was now becoming less important. As a result its destroyers only had nucleus crews.

In 1909-11 the Ouse was one of thirteen River Class destroyers in the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, part of the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. This contained the older battleships and its destroyers were partly manned.

In 1911-12 the Ouse was part of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, which was made up of twenty-three River class destroyers and was part of the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. This contained the older battleships and the destroyers were all partly manned.

In 1912-14 the Ouse was one of twenty five River class destroyers that formed the 9th Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, one of the new Patrol Flotillas.

In October 1912 three men were put on trial at Pembroke charged with stealing a wide range of stores from the Ouse overnight while she was moored at Milford Haven.

In July 1914 she was one of sixteen River class destroyers in the Ninth Flotilla at Chatham.

First World War

In August 1914 she was one of seven River class destroyers from the Ninth Flotilla that were on the Tyne.

In November 1914 she was one of four destroyers in the 3rd Division of the 9th Flotilla on the Tyne.

In January 1915 she was part of the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla, a patrol flotilla

This flotilla consisted of the Pathfinder class scout cruiser Patrol and twelve destroyers, and was normally split into four divisions. One would be at Immingham in the Humber, having their boilers cleaned. The other three, each of three destroyers, were based on the Tyne and Tees, with the task of patrolling the area between St Abb’s Head in the north and Flamborough Head in the south. In March this force had to cope with the appearance of German U-boats off the east coast.

In June 1915 she was one of ten River class destroyers in the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla on the Tyne.

In November 1915 she was part of the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla.

In January 1916 she was one of eight destroyers from the Seventh Flotilla that were based on the Tyne, north of the Flotilla’s main base on the Humber.

In October 1916 she was one of nineteen destroyers in the Seventh Flotilla, a mix of River class boats and older 30-knotters.

In January 1917 she was one of eighteen destroyers in the Seventh Flotilla.

On 3 May 1917 the Ouse and the Bat opened fire on the British submarine C.10 off Blyth, killing one and wounded another. Blyth was a submarine base at the time, and the danger of friendly fire incidents was clearly high, for on 20 May the armed yacht Miranda II also fired on a British submarine in the same area.

In June 1917 she was one of seven destroyers that remained in the Seventh Flotilla after most joined a new East Coast Convoys formation.

The Ouse was at sea when the Germans carried out their second attack on the Scandinavian Convoys in December 1917. The Garry and the Ouse left Lerwick escorting the south-bound coastal convoy during the afternoon on 10 December. By noon on 11 December the German force was actually heading towards this convoy, which was roughly level with Aberdeen, but the Germans then found one of their stragglers, the Danish steamer Peter Willemoes, which they proceeded to sink. At this point the Ouse and Garry were only thirty miles to the south, with the rest of the convoy, but the Germans didn’t pick up any prisoners, and so didn’t realise that there was a major target nearby. Instead they headed north, missing their chance to destroy the coastal convoy.

In January 1918 she was one of twenty seven destroyers in the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, based on the Humber.

In June 1918 she was one of twenty five destroyers in the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, a mix of River class and 30-knotters.

On 20 August 1918 the Ouse sank UC-70 with depth charges off Whitby, with help from the patrol aircraft BK.9983 of No.246 Squadron, RAF.

On 29 September 1918 the Ouse and the Star depth charged and sank UB-115 off Sunderland.

In November 1918 she was one of twenty seven destroyers serving with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, which included ten River Class destroyers that were part of the flotilla and two borrowed from Portsmouth.

She was broken up in 1919.

Commanders
Lt & Commander Edmond A. T. de P. De la Poer: 5 December 1912-January 1914-
Lt Commander Walter T.A. Bird: 16 December 1917-February 1919-

Displacement (standard)

550t

Displacement (loaded)

625t

Top Speed

25.5kts

Engine

7,000ihp

Range

 

Length

226.75ft oa
220ft pp

Width

23.75ft

Armaments

One 12-pounder gun
Five 6-pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

70

Laid down

22 March 1904

Launched

7 January 1905

Completed

September 1905

Broken Up

1919

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 (26 March 2020), HMS Ouse (1905) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Ouse_1905.html

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