HMS Boadicea

HMS Boadicea was the name ship of the Boadicea class of scout cruisers. These ships had been designed to work with the destroyer flotillas, and the Boadicea served as the senior officer’s ship with the 1st Flotilla from 1909 to 1912. She was only just fast enough for that role in 1909, when the flotilla was made up of 25.5kt River class destroyers, but in 1910 the Beagle class ships took over, with a top speed of 27kts, and by 1912 they had been replaced by the Acheron class, capable of between 28 and 32kts. The Boadicea was no longer capable of keeping up with her flotilla, let alone going ahead of them.

HMAS Boudica at Scapa Flow, 1917
HMAS Boudica at Scapa Flow, 1917

In August 1914 she joined the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow and was attached to the Second Battle Squadron. She was not entirely suited to operating in the North Sea – on 16 December 1914 the Second Battle Squadron was sent south in an attempt to catch the German ships then raiding the Yorkshire Coast, but while sailing down the Scottish coast she was disabled by heavy seas and forced to return to base.

On the day before the battle of Jutland the Second Battle Squadron was at Invergordon. As the battle fleet approached the fighting on 31 May the Boadicea was sent to the rear, to keep her out of harms way. 

During the confused night action the Boadicea sighted part of the German fleet at 10.40pm, in the period after the last clash between the battle fleets, but her report was not passed up to Jellicoe’s flagship, at it was not considered important enough to justify giving away the location of the main battle fleet.

In December 1917 she was converted to a minelayer, and laid 184 mines during three mine laying missions. After the war she performed harbour services at Dartmouth, before being sold of in 1926.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck

1in over machinery

 - conning tower





Six 4in 50 calibre Mk VIII guns
Four 3pdr guns
Two 18in deck mounted torpedo tubes, port and starboard

Crew complement



14 May 1908


June 1909

Sold for breakup

July 1926


L.C.S. Woollcombe (1915, 1916)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 September 2007), HMS Boadicea ,

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