HMS Ure (1904)

HMS Ure (1904) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1915-16 when she helped sink U-8, the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla then the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber in 1917 and the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth in 1918.

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 Ure was one of thee River class destroyers ordered from Palmers in the 1903/4 batch. They all had four funnels, in two pairs.

The Ure was launched at Jarrow on Tuesday 25 October 1904.

The Swale, Ure and Wear were all built with automatic forced lubrication gear that had been tested in HMS Syren in April 1903. This pumped oil into the bearings, removing the need to have this done manually.

Brassey’s Naval Annual of 1906 reported the results of her official trials. She averaged 25.65 knots at 7,399ihp during her four hour speed trial. They also gave the details of her boilers, which had 15,520sq.ft. of heating surfaces and 319 sq.ft of grate area. Each builder was able to use their own boilers. The Reed boilers used on the Palmers River class boats had the largest grate area, but were in the middle on heating surface.

In 1907-8 the Ure was one of a number of River class destroyers that had their five 6-pounders removed and replaced with three 12-pounder 8cwt guns, two replacing the forward 6-pounders and one on the centerline aft.

Pre-War Career

In May 1905 the press reported that the Ure was to be commissioned on 7 June, commanded by Lt-Commander J. U. Farie and join the Sheerness-Chatham Reserve Division.

In 1906-1907 the Ure was part of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Channel Fleet, which was then the Royal Navy’s main battleship force.

In July 1907 the Ure was part of the Naval escort for the Royal yacht as it carried the King and Queen from Holyhead to Dublin.

In 1907-1909 the Ure was part of either the 2nd or 4th Destroyer Flotillas, part of the Home Fleet, which was becoming the main battleship force.

In 1909-1911 the Ure was one of seven River class destroyers in the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, part of the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet. This was a front line force and its destroyers were fully manned.

In 1911-12 the Ure 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 Ure was one of twenty five River class destroyers that formed the 9th Destroyer Flotilla on the Nore, one of the new Patrol Flotillas.

In July 1914 she was one of eight destroyers attached to the First Fleet Battleship Squadrons, part of the Home Fleet.

First World War

In August 1914 she was one of four destroyers attached to the First Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet and was at Scapa.

In November 1914 she was one of eighteen destroyers attacked to Admiral Jellicoe in his role as C-in-C of the Grand Fleet.

In January 1915 she was attached to the Grand Fleet, but wasn’t part of any of the Grand Fleet destroyer flotillas.

The Exe, Teviot, Ure, Boyne and Foyle left Scapa Flow heading for Dover and Devonport on 27 February 1915, to begin escort duties. The Exe and the Ure arrived at their new base at Dover on 2 March.

On 4 March 1915 she was one of the destroyers involved in the destruction of U-8, which had been trapped in anti-submarine nets, forced to the surface, and damaged by gunfire from the Ghurka and Maori. Her crew then surrendered and were rescued. The Ure attempted to tow the submarine to shore, but it sank a few minutes later.

On 21 March she fired on a U-boat (U-34) that had just torpedoed the steamer Cairntorr close to Beachy Head, but without success.

In June 1915 she was part of the large Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover, and was the only River class boat in a formation that otherwise contained a mix of older 30-knotters and Tribal class boats.

On 23 August 1915 the Ure and Amazon formed Destroyer Patrol No.4 during a bombardment of the German base at Zeebrugge. She was used to escort the 1st Division of minesweepers on the approach to the port.

On 2-7 September 1915 the Viking, Ure and Tartar formed No.2 TBD Patrol, part of Division I of the forces used to bombard Ostend and Westende.

In January 1916 she was part of the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover, but was undergoing repairs at Chatham, with an uncertain date for their completion. By this point she had been equipped with the modified sweep anti-submarine weapon. 

In October 1916 she was one of twenty five destroyers in the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, and was the only River class boat in a formation that was largely filled with Tribal class boats and 30-knotters.

The Ure was awarded a battle honour for actions off the Belgian Coast in 1915-16.

In January 1917 she was one of thirteen destroyers in the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla, now a mix of types.

In June 1917 she was one of nine destroyers in the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla, once again all River class boats.

In the October 1917 supplement to the Navy List she was part of the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

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

On 5-7 March 1918 she was one of a number of warships who helped with the rescue of SS Clan Mackenzie, after she was torpedoed on 5 March. The Clan Mackenzie survived until 1937 when she was sunk after a collision. Her crew were awarded part of the salvage award for saving her.

In the February and March 1918 supplements to the Navy List she was listed as part of the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth.

By April 1918 she carried two depth charge throwers and twenty-two charges. One of the light 12-pounders was to be converted to high angle fire and the rear torpedo tube was to be removed.

In June 1918 she was one of eight destroyers in the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth, which now also included the steam powered submarine HMS Swordfish, which had been converted into a surface patrol vessel.

In November 1918 she was one of eight destroyers in the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth, although she was on detached duty with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

By February 1919 she was listed as one of a large number of destroyers temporarily based at the Nore.

Commanders
Lt & Commander Reginald S. Goff: 25 February 1913-April 1913-
Lt & Commander Evelyn H.B.L. Scrivener: 25 November 1913-January 1915-
Lt in Command: Trevor St. V. F. Tyler: 15 December 1917-December 1918-
Lt in Command: Sidney F. Allen (temporary): 14 January-February 1919-

Displacement (standard)

550t

Displacement (loaded)

620t

Top Speed

25.5knots

Engine

7,000ihp

Range

 

Length

230ft oa
225ft pp

Width

23ft 11in

Armaments

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

Crew complement

70

Laid down

1 March 1904

Launched

25 October 1904

Completed

June 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 (27 November 2019), HMS Ure (1904) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Ure_1904.html

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