HMS Goldfinch (1910)

HMS Goldfinch (1910) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the Second Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet in 1914-15, before being wrecked in the Orkneys on 18-19 February 1915.

The Goldfinch was laid down at Fairfields at Govan on 23 February 1910, launched on 12 July 1910 and completed in February 1911.

HMS Goldfinch from the right HMS Goldfinch from the right

From 1911-14 the Goldfinch, along with the entire Acorn class and the Laferoy class destroyer HMS Lark formed the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, a fully manned flotilla that was part of the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet until 1912, then part of the First Fleet from 1912-1914. At the outbreak of war in 1914 the First Fleet became the Grand Fleet.

On 15 March 1912 the Goldfinch and the Ruby collided while entering their berths at Portland. The Goldfinch was almost undamaged, but the Ruby’s whaler was smashed, three of her hull plates buckled and her port forward gun dismantled. Earlier in the day their sister ship Comet had been caught by the wind while leaving her berth and damaged when she collided with a coal lighter.

In July 1914 she was one of twenty destroyers in the Second Flotilla, part of the First Fleet of the Home Fleet, which contained the most modern battleships. The Second Flotilla contained the entire Acorn or H class of destroyers.

First World War

After the outbreak of war in August 1915 the Acorn and the entire class formed the Second Flotilla of the Grand Fleet. By November 1914 they had been joined by the flotilla leader Broke. On 19 February 1915 her sister ship Goldfinch was wrecked, leaving the nineteen survivors in the flotilla. By June 1915 the flotilla contained all nineteen of the Acorn class boats and the M class destroyer HMS Moon.

On the night of 18-19 February 1915 the Goldfinch ran aground at Start Point, Sanday Island in the Orkneys, in dense fog. Luckily the entire crew was rescued, and the ship was abandoned as a wreck.

In June 1915 she had been replaced in the Second Flotilla by the M class destroyer HMS Moon.

The wreck of the Goldfinch was sold to be broken up in April 1919.

Wartime Career
-August 1914-19 February 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet

Lt-Cdr Reginald Stone: 12 February 1911-18 February 1915.

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

27 knots


3-shaft Parsons turbines (most in class)
4 Yarrow boilers (most in class)




246ft oa


25ft 3in to 25ft 5.5in


Two 4in BL Mk VIII guns
Two 12-pounder/ 12cwt guns
Two 21in torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Laid down

23 February 1910


12 July 1910


February 1911


19 February 1915

Broken up

April 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 (25 February 2021), HMS Goldfinch (1910) ,

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