HMS Medina (1916)

HMS Medina (1916) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Fourteenth Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from July 1916 to the end of the First World War, apart a period at Plymouth in the first half of 1917 and two months on the Irish Station in the summer of 1917.

The Medina was an Admiralty type repeat M class destroyer that was laid down under the Fifth War Programme of May 1915. She was originally going to be called HMS Redmill, which fits in with the P and R names used for the other destroyers ordered at the same time, but was renamed Medina.

The Medina was laid down at White on 23 September 1915, launched on 8 March 1916 and completed on 30 June 1916.


From July 1916 to June 1917 the Medina served with the Fourteenth Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet


In February 1917 the Medina was one of eigh tdestroyers that were based at Plymouth to hunt submarines. At any one time three or four of these destroyers would be at sea.

The Medina and Orestes were at sea hunting for submarines when U-48 was operating in their area on 6-7 March, but didn’t spot her.

On 24 April U-53 sank the British steamer Anglesea, which was heading from Boston to Le Havre. The Anglesea was to have met up with a destroyer escort a few hours later, and that afternoon the Orestes spotted the wreckage and rescued her survivors. The Orestes and Medina then sported a submarine, and both dropped depth charges. The Orestes then spent two hours sweeping with her paravanes, but U-53 was long gone, and sank the Ferndene that evening.

Also on 24 April U-61 fired three torpedoes and 150 shells at the SS Thirlby, which successfully escaped from her. At 3.20pm the Medina and Orestes picked up her SOS. The Orestes remained on their patrol route, while the Medina went to their rescue. While she was on her way the submarine attacked the SS Drumcliffe and sank the Norwegian sailing ship Metropolis. The Medina found the Thirlby and Drumcliffe, which were now together. After receiving their reports she headed south and at 6.30 picked up the survivors from the Metropolis. At 7.35 she spotted a U-boat on the surface three or four miles away, and opened fire at 7,000 yards. The U-boat submerged while she was still some way away, and the Medina dropped a depth charge at her last known location. However U-61 escaped intact and was back at home on 2 May.

On 9 June U-70 torpedoed the British SS Appledore west of Brest. The Appledore took an hour to sink despite carrying iron ore. The Medina was patrolling in the area, forced U-70 to submerge and rescued the crew of the Appledore.

From July-August 1917 the Medina served with the Northern Division of the Coast of Ireland Station, based at Buncrana

On 28 July the Medina, Tirade and Delphinium were escorting a convoy of three oilers when one of them, the Comanchee, was torpedoed by U-61. She stayed afloat and was able to reach Lough Swilly. However the U-boat followed the convoy and later in the day fired a torpedo at the Tahchee, which missed. This was however a sign of how little some U-boat commanders feared escorts! 

On 6 August the destroyers Medina, Restless, Rob Roy and Tirade and the sloops Laburnum, Rosemary and Poppy were escorting the inboard convoy H.H.11 when a U-boat torpedoed and sank SS Argalia. She took ten minutes to sink and her entire crew were rescued.

From September 1917 to November 1918 she was back with the Fourteenth Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet.

On 2 October 1917 the cruiser Drake was torpedoed by a U-boat just after dispersing Convoy HH.24 off the North Coast of Ireland. Her commander attempted to make for Rathlin Island, and called for a destroyer escort. She was soon protected by the Brisk, Martin, Delphinium, Martial, Lizard and three other destroyers. The Drake reached Church Bay in Rathlin Sound by noon, but began to heel over rapidly and had to be abandoned. The Medina and Moresby were sent from Glasgow to replace some of the other destroyers, and were soon joined by the Marne. However during the afternoon the Drake rolled over and sank, so the Medina and Moresby returned to Glasgow. 


In January 1918 she was still with the Fourteenth Flotilla, but was at Lamlash, on the Isle of Arran.

On 11 November 1918 she was still with the Fourteenth Flotilla.


In December 1918 the Medina was part of the First Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth

In November 1919 she was in the hands of a care and maintenance party in the Portsmouth reserve.

Service Record
July 1916-June 1917: 14th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
July-August 1917: Northern Division Coast of Ireland, Buncrana
September 1917-November 1918: 14th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
December 1918: 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth

Displacement (standard)

1,025t (Admiralty design)
985t (Thornycroft)
895t (Yarrow)

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

34 knots


3-shaft Brown-Curtis or Parsons geared turbines
3 White-Forster boilers




273ft 4in (Admiralty)
274ft 3in (Thornycroft)
270ft 6in (Yarrow)


26ft 8ft (Admiralty)
27ft 3in (Thornycroft)
24ft 7.5in (Yarrow)


Three 4in/ 45cal QF Mk IV
Two 1-pounder pom pom
One 2-pounder pom pom
Four 21-in torpedo tubes

Crew complement


Laid down

23 September 1915


8 March 1916


30 June 1916

Sold for break up

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 May 2023), HMS Medina (1916) ,

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