HMS Nonpareil (1915)

HMS Nonpariel (1915) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet from July 1916 to almost the end of the war, when she was officially moved to the 1st Flotilla at Portsmouth although was then detached back to the Grand Fleet.

The Nonpareil was ordered as part of the Third War Programme of late November 1914. She was laid down at Stephens on 22 February 1915, launched on 16 May 1916 and completed on 28 June 1916.


The Nonpareil served with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet from July 1916 to August 1918.


On 16 January 1917 the Nonpareil collided with the Fleet Auxiliary Volhynia, in Long Hope, one of the southern entrances to Scapa Flow.

During 1917 and 1918 she was used to escort the Scandinavian convoys. Firm references have been found for November 1917 and April 1918, but these were clearly part of a longer term duty.

When the Germans attacked a Scandinavian convoy on 16 October, sinking the destroyers Mary Rose and Strongbow, the Noble and Menace from the 12th Flotilla and Medina, Nonpareil, Offa and Patriot from the 14th Flotilla were attached to the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron at Scapa. When news arrived that the Germans were at sea the 3rd LCS was ordered to patrol in the central part of the North Sea, the northernmost of three cruiser squadrons deployed in that area. However by the time news of the German attack had reached the Admiralty and new orders could be issued to the cruiser squadrons the Germans had already escaped to the south.


The Nonpareil was one of the ships sent out to try and find the Narborough and Opal, which had gone missing on 12 January 1918. They were discovered by the Peyton on 14 January, having run aground near Hesta Rocks, South Ronaldsay. The Nonpareil arrived on the scene slightly later, in time to witness the rescue of the only survivor from the two crews.

On 22 May the Nonpareil and Menace escorted the SS Vulture to Korsfjord where she picked up the French Ambassador to Russia. They then escorted him back to Aberdeen.

In June 1918 she was used to escort US Navy ships that were laying the mines of the Northern Barrier, an attempt to block the northern end of the North Sea with a massive minefield.

In November 1918 she was recorded as being detached from the 14th Flotilla to the 1st Flotilla at Portsmouth, but retained with the 14th Flotilla.

The 14th Flotilla took part in the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 21 November 1918.

In December 1918 she was with the 1st Flotilla at Portsmouth.

In December 1919 she was in the charge of a Care and Maintenance Party at Portsmouth.

She was sold for scrap in May 1921.

Service Record
July 1916-August 1918: 14th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
November 1918: 1st Flotilla, Portsmouth but with to 14th
December 1918: 1st Flotilla, Portsmouth

Displacement (standard)

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

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

34 knots


3-shaft Brown-Curtis or Parsons turbines
3 Babcock & Wilcox 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

22 February 1915


16 May 1916


28 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 (28 November 2023), HMS Nonpareil (1915) ,

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