HMS Aurora

HMS Aurora was an Arethusa class light cruiser that served with the Harwich Force for most of the First World War. She was commissioned as leader of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in September 1914, holding that position until February 1915, when she became leader of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla. Between June 1914 and March 1918 she was part of the 5th Light Cruiser Squadron, formed as the number of modern light cruisers available at Harwich increased. Finally, in March 1918 she was moved to the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron.

The Aurorawas present at the battle of Dogger Bank, making the first sighting of German ships in the first phase of the battle. In August 1915 she took part in the hunt for the German minelayer Meteor that ended with the scuttling of the German ship.

On 24 March 1916 the Aurora was part of the force that covered the seaplane raid on the Zeppelin base at Hoyer (or Sylt). In May 1916 she was modified to carry mines, laying 212 mines in three trips.

On 5 June 1917 she helped cover the bombardment of Ostend, one of a series of attacks on German facilities in the port. At the end of the war she was present during the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet.

On 1 November 1920, the Aurora was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, remaining on active service for two years. In 1922 she was placed into Care and Maintenance, and in 1927 she was sold for break up. 

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt





Two 6in Mk XII guns
Six 4in quick firing Mk IV guns
One 3pdr anti-aircraft gun
Four 21in torpedo tubes above water

Crew complement



30 September 1913


August 1914

Sold for break up

August 1927


Captain W. S. Nicholson (1915)
Captain Tomkinson (1916)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 October 2007), HMS Aurora ,

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