HMS Caroline

HMS Caroline was the name ship of the Caroline class of light cruisers, and is the only survivor of the battle of Jutland still afloat. She entered service as leader of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet in December 1914. From February-November 1915 she was part of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, then spent the rest of the war with the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron, initially under the overall command of Commodore Goodenough, based at Rosyth. In August 1915 she took part in the hunt for the German minelayer Meteor.

Admiral Sir William Goodenough (1867-1945)
Admiral Sir
William Goodenough

At the battle of Jutland Caroline and her squadron formed part of the anti-submarine screen for the battleships as they rushed south towards Beatty’s battlecruisers. During the main battle she took part in the destroyer battle between the main fleets (7.15-7.30pm). Towards the end of the main action, her squadron caught sight of a group of German capital ships, believed to be their battlecruisers and pre-dreadnaught battleships, and fired two torpedoes at them.

In October 1917 the Caroline was amongst the cruisers deployed in an attempt to find the German fleet as it attacked a Scandinavian convoy, patrolling off the Norwegian coast.

During the 1916-1917 the 13pdr AA gun was replaced by two 3in/20cwt anti-aircraft guns. In 1917-18 she was equipped with an aircraft runway, and high speed sweeps or explosive paravanes, an anti-submarine weapon.

After the war HMS Caroline served in the East Indies (1919-1922), before becoming the harbour training ship for the Ulster Division of the RNVR. During the Second World War she returned to active duty as the administration centre for convoy escort ships based at Londonderry. She is still afloat in Belfast, acting as a training ship, and is the second oldest commissioned warship in the Royal Navy (after HMS Victory). She is the only warship to fight at the battle of Jutland still afloat.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt


 - conning tower





Two 6in Mk XII guns
Eight 4in quick firing Mk IV guns
One 13pdr anti-aircraft gun
Four 3pdr guns
Four 21in above-water torpedo tubes

Crew complement



29 September 1914


December 1914


Still commissioned warship


H. Ralph Crooke (1915, 1916)

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 October 2007), HMS Caroline ,

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