HMS Sapphire

HMS Sapphire was a Gem class third class cruiser that served with the Dover Patrol in 1914, at the Dardanelles in 1915 and on the East Indies station from 1916 to the end of the war. At the start of the war, she was the light cruiser attached to the 7th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet. On 14 August she was detached from that squadron to join the Southern Force. This force was used to guard the eastern end of the channel as the BEF crossed to France.

In October a new Dover Patrol, under Admiral H. L. A. Hood, was formed. Initially this squadron contained four light cruisers and the 6th (or Dover) Destroyer Flotilla. By mid-October that patrol had called on to support the fighting on the Belgium coast, and the Sapphire was used to support the battleships Queen and Implacable.

In February 1915 the Sapphire was transferred to the Dardanelles, serving with the Destroyer Flotilla. During the main Gallipoli landings of 25 April, HMS Sapphire and her sister ship Amethyst were part of the Fourth Squadron, made up of minesweepers. This squadron was attached to the First Squadron, helped to land troops on Y-Beach and then to evacuate them on the next day.

In May 1915 she was sent to Brindisi under the terms of the agreement that brought the Italians into the war, remaining there into 1916. That year she was transferred to the East Indies station, remaining there until the end of the war. At the start of 1917 she underwent a refit at Colombo. At the end of the war she was on the Egyptian/ Red Sea station.

Top Speed (design)

22.5kts (Amethyst)

Top Speed (trials)

23.4kits (Amethyst)

Armour – deck


 - gunshields


 - conning tower



373ft 9in


Twelve 4in quick firing guns
Eight 3pdr quick firing guns
Four machine guns
Two 18in above water torpedo tubes

Crew complement



17 March 1904


7 February 1905


Captain H. G. C. Somerville (1914)
Commander P. W. E. Hill
Captain Oliphant
Commander Sells

Sold for break up


Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 November 2007), HMS Sapphire ,

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