HMS Norseman (1916)

HMS Norseman (1916) was a repeat M class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet from November 1916 to late in 1918, then with the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport.

The Norseman was ordered under the Fourth War Programme of February 1915. She was build by Doxford, launched on 15 August 1916 and completed in November 1916.


From November 1916 to January 1918 she served with the 13th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet


HMS Petard, HMS Norseman, HMS Tristram and HMS Penn
HMS Petard, HMS Norseman, HMS Tristram and HMS Penn

On 18-19 January 1917 the Norseman took part in an anti-submarine sweep off the Dogger Bank. The sweep was carried out by two cruisers, four screening destroyers and six destroyers equipped with paravanes. However during the night of 18-19 January the destroyers lost touch with the cruisers, and the sweep was cancelled at daylight on 19 January.

On 23 September the Norseman and the oiler Burma collided in Charlestown Roads (probably Charlestown in the Firth of Forth.

In October 1917 the Germans attacked one of the Scandinavian convoys, sinking the destroyers Mary Rose and Strongbow. The Admiralty had advance notice that the Germans were putting to sea, although didn’t know their intentions, so sent powerful forces to sea to try and intercept them. The Norseman was one of four destroyers sent to join the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron at sea, joining them at 6am on 17 October. However none of the British forces were able to intercept the Germans as they returned home after the successful attack.


From February 1918 to August 1918 she served with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet

In November 1918 she was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport but was detached to the Grand Fleet

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 4th Flotilla at Devonport

In December 1919 she was in charge of a Care & Maintenance Party on the Nore.

She was sold to be broke up in May 1921.

Service Record
November 1916-January 1918: 13th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
February 1918-August 1918: 14th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet,
November 1918: 4th Destroyer Flotilla but detached to Grand Fleet
December 1918: 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport

Displacement (standard)

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

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed

34 knots


3-shaft Brown-Curtis or Parsons turbines
3 Yarrow 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



15 August 1916


November 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 December 2023), HMS Norseman (1916) ,

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