HMS Hope (1910)

HMS Hope (1910) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the Second Destroyer Flotilla with the Grand Fleet in 1914-15 and at Devonport later in 1915, then with the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean in 1916-18.

HMS Hope from the left HMS Hope from the left

The Hope was laid down by Swan Hunters on 9 December 1909, launched on 6 September 1910 and completed in March 1911.

From 1911-14 the Hope, 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.

In May 1912 a flotilla made up of the cruiser Bristol and the destroyers Zulu, Amazon, Hope and Nubian visited Manchester, using the ship canal to reach the city.

On Saturday 22 March 1913 a fire broke out on the Hope after a hose being used to refuel the ship at Cromarty came loose, spraying oil into the mess. The oil hit the galley fire triggering an explosion. Five men were injured of whom Leading Stoker Wilmot and Stoker R. Bickerstaff later died of their burns.

The Hope wasn’t a lucky ship in 1913. On 9 May 1913 she was steaming from Longhope to Kirkwall (both in the Orkney Islands), when Lt Addison was washed overboard and drowned. The weather was so fierce that Engineer Lieutenant Kelly and the lifeboat sentry were both knocked unconscious in accidents.

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 Hope  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.

The Hope was damaged by gales in the North Sea on 27 December 1914, and one of her crewmen was drowned. This was part of a much larger incident, which also saw the dreadnoughts Monarch and Conqueror collide, taking them out of action and the destroyers Hope, Redpole and Ruby all damaged in the storm.

The Hope was the first member of the class to leave the Second Destroyer Flotilla, starting a process that slowly saw them move south, with most ending up at Devonport and later in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 she was listed as part of the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Harwich Force. By August Hope and Fury were listed as being on detached service in home waters, and by September they were two of the seven members of the class (Acorn, Comet, Fury, Hope, Redpole, Sheldrake and Staunch) that had moved to Devonport. This is one of those occasions on which the Navy List is somewhat obscure – these ships were still listed with the 2nd Flotilla of the Grand Fleet, but as being on detached service as ‘tenders to Vivid’, the shore base at Devonport.

On 30 July 1915 the Hope and the Liberty escorted the Aquitania from Liverpool to the Tuskar-Smalls line. They then returned to Liverpool, where they were employed to escort the transport Commodore on nightly runs between Dublin and Liverpool.

On 5 March 1916 she rescued the crew of the steamship Rothesay¸ which had been sunk early on the same day.

Om 23 January 1917 she was patrolling off the coast of southern Ireland when U-53 sank the Dutch steamer SS Salland. The Hope was close enough to see the distress signal, and arrived twenty minutes after the sinking to rescue the crew.

In March 1917 the Hope collided with the Birkenhead ferry Prenton in the North Sea. The Hope was damaged on the starboard side below the waterline.

By September 1917 five of the six ships that had still been at Devonport (Alarm, Brisk, Hope, Martin and Ruby) had moved with the 2nd Flotilla to join the Northern Division of the Coast of Ireland Station, which was based at Buncrana. She was still in Ireland in October 1917, but by December 1917 had joined the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean.

In January 1918 she was one of six H class destroyers that were in the Mediterranean, and was undergoing repairs at Malta.

By July 1918 the ships in the Malta Flotilla had joined the Fifth Flotilla, which was based at Brindisi. In addition they had finally been joined by the Brisk, which had disappeared from Ireland in June, and arrived in the Mediterranean in July. This was the first time since June 1915, when the first ships left the Grand Fleet to move to Devonport, that all of the surviving Acorn class ships still in British service had been gathered in the same formation. It didn’t last for long, as by August 1918 Lyra had been moved to Gibraltar.

In November 1918 she was one of fourteen H class destroyers in the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, now at Mudros, although it isn’t clear when she moved to the Aegean.

In the February 1919 Navy List she was part of the destroyer flotilla at Malta.

In November 1919 she was paid off in the Mediterranean. She was then sold and scrapped.

Wartime Career
-August 1914-June 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
July 1915: Tenth Destroyer Flotilla, Harwich Force
August 1915: Detached service in home waters
September 1915-August 1917-: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
September 1917-October 1917: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Coast of Ireland Station, Northern Division, based at Buncrana
December 1917-June 1918: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean
July 1918-August 1918-: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Brindisi
-December 1918-February 1919-: Aegean Squadron, Mudros

Commander Norton A. Sulivan: September 1913-October 1914-

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

9 December 1909


6 September 1910


March 1911

Sold for break up

February 1920

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 (4 March 2021), HMS Hope (1910) ,

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