HMS Hind (1911)

HMS Hind (1911) was an Acheron class destroyer that took part in the battle of Heligoland Bight, then served with the 3rd Battle Squadron, before officially moving to Portsmouth then Devonport during 1917, before ending the war in the Mediterranean.

The Hind was laid down at Brown on 21 November 1910, launched on 28 July 1911 and commissioned in December 1911.

In July 1914 she was one of twenty destroyers in the First Flotilla of the First Fleet, which contained the more modern battleships. At the time the Flotilla contained all of the Admiralty, Yarrow, Thornycroft and Parsons types of the Acheron or I class of destroyers.

In August 1914 she was one of twenty I class destroyers in the First Flotilla of what was about to become the Grand Fleet, and was at sea when war broke out. After the outbreak of war the flotilla became part of the Harwich Force, a swing force that could operate in the North Sea to support the Grand Fleet or in the English Channel.

The Hind took part in the battle of Heligoland Bight (28 August 1914), where she was part of Division 1 of the First Flotilla.

Her division wasn’t involving in the fighting in the first phases of the battle. However at about 11am, early in the third phase of the battle, the damaged cruiser Arethusa became involved in a battle with the German cruiser Stralsund. The Fearless and the entire First Flotilla were ordered to launch a torpedo attack on the German cruiser, which withdrew in the face of such a large attack. The Arethusa, Fearless and their destroyers then turned back west. However a few minutes later the German cruiser Stettin appeared from the east, and another fight began, this time between the Stettin and the two British cruisers. At 11.20 the Acheron received an order to lead the 1st division (Acheron, Attack, Hind and Archer) in a torpedo attack on the German cruiser and turned back to head towards the last known location of this fight. A few minutes later they found the Stralsund instead and attacked her, forcing the German cruiser to turn north. The division was then ordered to take part in a torpedo attack on the Mainz, which was repulsed by the German cruiser.

The Hind took part in an attempted seaplane attack on the German airship sheds at Cuxhaven on 25 October 1914. She was one of ten destroyers (Faulknor, Acheron, Archer, Ariel, Badger, Beaver, Hind, Hydra, Lapwing and Lizard) that were used to carry out a diversion off the Ems, which flows into the North Sea close to the German-Dutch border. The destroyer force was ignored by the Germans, and the entire raid ended in failure as the seaplanes were unable to reach their targets.

On 30 January 1915 the Defender, Druid, Ferret and Hind left Harwich to escort the Irresistable to Portland. They then moved to Sheerness, where they were used as escort ships while submarines were known to be in the area.

At the start of February she was still at Portland, having helped escort the Channel Fleet on a voyage back from Quiberon Bay. On 3 February 1915 the Druid and Hind were ordered to put to sea to escort the slow moving Prince George during the first part of her voyage from Devonport to the Mediterranean. However by the time the Prince George was due to sail the weather was so bad that no escort was needed.

On 15 February 1915 it was decided to move the First Flotilla to Rosyth, as part of a larger re-organisation of the destroyer force that was designed to free up some of the older River class boats for service as escort vessels in the Channel. The Hind wasn’t in the first batch to make the move, but does appear to have made the move by the summer of 1915.

In June 1915 she was one of twenty one destroyers in the First Flotilla at Rosyth, made of the original I class boats and one flotilla leader.

In June 1916 eight of the Acheron class destroyers, including the Hind, were moved from the 1st Destroyer Flotilla to become the destroyer flotilla attached to the 3rd Battle Squadron, a force of older battleships that had been moved to the Thames to guard against any further German raids on the East Coast.  This arrangement lasted until November 1916.

In August 1916 the German High Seas Fleet put to sea in another attempt to catch part of the British fleet. When the news reached the British one of their responses was to order a force of five submarines to move to the Corton light-vessel to look for the Germans. This force left port early on 19 August, supported by the Hind.  The original group was soon joined by more submarines, until there were nine off the Corton Light Vessel. However none of these submarines came close to the German fleet, although six of them were ordered to move further east during the day in an attempt to find the Germans.

In early September 1916 the Hind was part of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla, supporting the 3rd Battle Squadron. The force was at Portland when a German submarine was detected in the area,

In October 1916 the Hind was one of eight destroyers attached to the Third Battle Squadron (led by HMS Dreadnought)

In November 1916 the ships that had remained with the original 1st Destroyer Flotilla were split up, and the title was passed onto the eight ships with the 3rd Battle Squadron, including the Hind. This arrangement lasted into March 1917.

In January 1917 she was one of eight I class destroyers that made up the First Destroyer Flotilla, attached to the 3rd Battle Squadron.

On 18 January 1917 the Ferret was hit by a torpedo from U.C.21 while hunting for submarines on the Portsmouth-Havre route (a large part of the First Flotilla having been lent to the Portsmouth command). The Druid, Hind, Sandfly and Spiteful came out from Portsmouth and safely towed the Ferret back into port, arriving at 9pm, over eight hours after she had been hit. At first it was believed that the Ferret had hit a mine, but part of the torpedo pistol was later found onboard, proving it had been a torpedo.

In April 1917 the Hind, and the rest of the First Destroyer Flotilla, lost their connection to the 3rd Battle Squadron, and officially moved to Portsmouth. The Hind was normally used to hunt for U-boats in an attempt to protect the route from Portsmouth to France.

In June 1917 she was one of seven I class destroyers in the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth.

On 10 October 1917 she was part of the escort for Convoy HH 25 when the escort Bostonian was sunk. Most of her crew were rescued by the destroyer HMS Cockatrice, while the Hind covered then against any possible attack.

On 18 October 1917 the Hind was part of the escort of a convoy when the steamer Madura was torpedoed by U-62. The Hind, along with HMS Defender and HMS Fanning came alongside to support the stricken ship, and all of her survivors had been rescued by the time she sank.

In September 1917 the Hind was one of four Acheron class destroyers that moved from Portsmouth to join the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport, following three of her sister ships who had moved in the previous month.

In January 1918 she was part of the large Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth,

Towards the end of the war the surviving members of the Acheron class moved to the Mediterranean. The Hind was part of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean from April 1918 onwards.

In June-August 1918 she was part of the large Fifth Destroyer Flotilla at Brindisi.

In November 1918 she was part of the large Fifth Destroyer Flotilla at Mudros and in December she was with the Aegean Squadron, effectively the same unit with a new title.

In November 1919 was in the hands of a care and maintenance party in the Devonport reserve. She was sold to be broken up in May 1921.

The Hind was awarded battle honours for Heligoland


War Service
August 1914-May 1916: 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet (Harwich Force to mid 1915, then Rosyth)
June-October 1916: Destroyer Flotilla with 3rd Battle Squadron
November 1916-March 1917: 1st Destroyer Flotilla, 3rd Battle Squadron
April 1917-August 1917: 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth
September 1917-March 1918: 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
April-June 1918: 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean
July-August 1918: 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Brindisi
December 1918: Aegean Squadron

-October 1917-: Commander Reinold

Displacement (standard)


Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

27 knots


3-shaft Parsons turbines
3 Yarrow boilers




246ft oa


25ft 8in


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

Crew complement


Laid down

21 November 1910


28 July 1911


December 1911


May 1921

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 (15 July 2021), HMS Hind (1911) ,

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