HMS Ranger (1895)

HMS Ranger was an A class destroyer that served with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla during the First World War, before being withdrawn from service in 1917.

The Ranger was one of three 27-knot destroyers ordered from Hawthorn Leslie as part of the 1893-4 programme. They were all sturdy three funnelled destroyers that survived the First World War.

The Hawthorn Leslie ships had eight Yarrow water-tube boilers organised in pairs. Each pairs had a shared uptake, and the uptakes from pairs 2 and 3 were trunked together to produce the three funnel layout.

The Hawthorn Leslie ships carried one torpedo tube between the second and third funnels and one towards the rear, just in front of the aft gun position.

Pre-war career

The Ranger was laid down on 17 September 1894, launched on 4 October 1895 and accepted in the Navy in June 1896.

HMS Ranger in 1897
HMS Ranger in 1897

Until 1902 the Ranger was part of the Portsmouth Flotilla, one of the three large flotillas that contained all home-based destroyers. In 1902 she moved to the Nore Flotilla.

In 1905 the fleet was reorganised. The more modern destroyers joined the Channel and Atlantic Fleets, while the older ones were placed into reserve formations. The Ranger joined one of these formations, the Nore Flotilla. She remained with that command until 1909.

The Ranger’s next posting was to the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, a reserve formation formed in 1911 within the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet. This flotilla was split between three ports, and the Ranger was based at Devonport.

From 1912 the Ranger was part of the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla, in reduced commission.

In March 1913 she was in commission with a nucleus crew and was based at Devonport, where she was a tender to HMS Vivid, the Navy barracks at Devonport. She was commanded by Lt. Gordon Campbell.

First World War

The Ranger wasn’t listed in any of the Navy’s Pink Lists for 1914, suggesting that she didn’t join any active force until 1915.

In June 1915 she was part of the large Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla, which then contained seventeen destroyers and twenty-one torpedo boats. The destroyers were a mix of the early 27-knotters and 30-knotters and the next generation of River Class Destroyers.

In January 1916 the Ranger was one of eighteen destroyers in the Portsmouth Defence Flotilla.

In October 1916 the Ranger was one of nine destroyers in the Portsmouth Defence Flotilla, which had lost most of its more modern destroyers, but kept the older boats and the torpedo boats.

In January 1917 the Ranger was one of eight destroyers in the Portsmouth Defence Flotilla.

From 13 March 1917 she was commanded by Lt Guy W. Richards.

In June 1917 the Ranger was not listed as part of the Portsmouth Defence Flotilla and she didn’t reappear for the rest of the war, suggesting that she had been paid off.

On 20 May 1920 she was sold to Riddle and Co to be scrapped.

13 March 1917-February 1919-: Lt Guy W. Richards

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Pendant Nos.

September 1915-April 1917: D.1A

Top Speed

27 knots (contract)


Eight Yarrow water-tube boilers
2 screw


60 tons coal capacity


204ft oa
200ft pp




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

Crew complement

50 (Brassey)

Laid down

17 September 1894


4 October 1895


June 1896

Sold to be broken up

July 1920

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 December 2018), HMS Ranger (1895) ,

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