HMS Nereide (1910)

HMS Nereide (1910) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the Second Destroyer Flotilla with the Grand Fleet in 1914-15 and at Devonport from late 1915 to late 1916. She then moved to the British Adriatic Squadron attached to the Italian Fleet, but was based at Malta from March 1917 until July 1918 when she joined the main Fifth Destroyer Flotilla at Brindisi.

HMS Nereide from the left HMS Nereide from the left

The Nereide was laid down at Hawthorn Leslie on Tyneside on 3 December 1910, launched on 6 September 1910 and completed in April 1911.

From 1911-14 the Nereide, 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 the 1912 battle practise the Nereide came top of her class (Acorn and Acheron class) with 169 points.

On Saturday 21 June 1913 the Nereide ran onto rocks seven miles out of Lewick. Both side of her bow was damaged, with holes about 10ft by 7ft. However the internal bulkheads survived, and limited the flooding. The Nereide was able to refloat at high tide and reached Sullom under her own power.

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 Nereide 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.

During the second half of 1915 the Second Flotilla began to move south to Devonport. Nereide was still with the Grand Fleet in October 1915, but had moved south to Devonport by November 1915.

In January 1916 she was one of nine H class destroyers in the Second Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport. She was in the hands of a care and maintenance party and was undergoing repairs which were expected to be completed on 4 January.

In November 1916 the Nereide was still listed as being at Devonport, but in December 1916 she was one of four Acorn class ships (Cameleon, Nereide, Larne and Nemesis) that had moved to the Mediterranean to join the British Adriatic Squadron. In January 1917 all four were reported as being attached to the Italian Fleet. However their time in the Adriatic was short, and by March they were all part of the contingent from the 5th Destroyer Flotilla that was based at Malta, joining four of their sisters (Acorn, Minstrel, Rifleman and Sheldrake). In May 1917 these eight ships all became part of the separate Malta Flotilla.

In January 1917 she was one of four H class destroyers that were attached to the Italian Fleet.

In June 1917 Cameleon, Nereide, Larne and Nemesis were listed as being with the Malta Flotilla, but also as still attached to the Italian Fleet.

In January 1918 she was one of six H class destroyers that were part of the Malta Patrol.

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.

On 2 October 1918 the Nereide supported the Allied bombardment of Durazzo in Albania, then held by the Austro-Hungarians. Her role was to protect the northern flank of the main bombardment force and support a force of US sub-chasers.

In November 1918 she was one of fourteen H class destroyers in the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, now at Mudros.

After the end of the war the Allied fleet’s first task was to clear the minefields in the Bosporus. This job was completed on 20 November, and the Nereide and the Italian torpedo boat Angelo Bassani were sent into the Black Sea to visit the Bulgarian port of Varna.

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

In November 1919 she was in the hands of a care and maintenance party in the Devonport Reserve.

Wartime Career
-August 1914-October 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
November 1915-November 1916: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
December 1916-January 1917-: British Adriatic Squadron (reported as attached to Italian Fleet in January and June 1917)
March 1917-April 1917: 5th Destroyer Squadron, Malta
May 1918-June 1918: Malta Flotilla
July 1918-August 1918-: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Brindisi
-December 1918-February 1919-: Aegean Squadron, Mudros

Lt-Commander James F. Dewar: 10 April 1914-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

3 December 1909


6 September 1910


April 1911


December 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 April 2021), HMS Nereide (1910) ,

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