HMS Queen

HMS Queen was a London class pre-dreadnought battleship that like most of her class served in the channel, at the Dardanelles and in the Adriatic during the First World War. At the start of the war she served as the second flagship of the 5th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet, for Rear-Admiral C. F. Thursby. This squadron contained the entire London class and the very similar Formidable class. It was used to help protect the BEF as it crossed the channel in August 1914. She remained with the channel fleet until the spring of 1915. On 17 October she was one of two battleships chosen to support the defender of Dunkirk, but before they arrived off the French coast they were diverted to Dover. On 3 November 1914 she was the Nore when the Germans raided Gorleston. She was ordered to sea to support the east coast patrols, but did not come into contact with the German ships.

Plans of Formidable and London Class Battleships
Plans of
Formidable and
London Class

By February 1915 HMS Queen was one of only four battleships left in the Channel Fleet, and in the following month she was one of two more ships detached to join the fleet at the Dardanelles. On 18 March the fleet then at the Dardanelles attempted to force its way through the straits, with the loss of three battleships. By then HMS Queen was in the Mediterranean, and was only one days steaming from Malta.

On 25 April she was part of the Second Squadron of the fleet that supported the Gallipoli landings. With HMS London and HMS Prince of Wales she was used to transport 1,500 men from the Australian 3rd Brigade to their landing beach. 

In May HMS Queen was the flagship of the squadron of British battleships sent to the Adriatic under the terms of the agreement that brought Italy into the war. By April 1917 only HMS Queen remained in Italy. Her sister ships had returned to Britain so that their crews could be transferred to the ever increasing anti-submarine forces. The crew of the Queen had also returned to Britain, leaving her in the hands of a care and maintenance crew. She was used as a depot for the crews of the 120 net drifters, small ships used against German and Austrian submarines at the mouth of the Adriatic. She remained the flagship of the British admiral in the Adriatic. During the Battle of Caporetto (24 October - 12 November 1917) her 12in guns were removed and used as heavy artillery on land. The following year she returned to Britain.

Displacement (loaded)


Displacement (Queen and Prince of Wales)


Top Speed


Armour – deck


 - belt


 - bulkheads


 - barbettes


 - gun houses


 - casemates


 - conning tower



431ft 9in


Four 12in guns
Twelve 6in quick firing guns
Sixteen 12pdr quick firing guns
Six 3pdr guns
Four 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement



8 March 1902


March 1904


H. A. Adam (1914, 1915)
Commr. Rowe

Sold for break up


British Battleships 1889-1904 New Revised Edition, R A Burt. Magnificent study of the Royal Navy's pre-dreadnought battleships, amongst the most powerful ships in the world when built, but seen as obsolete by the outbreak of war in 1914. Traces the development of the 'classic' pre-dreadnought design and the slow increase in the power of the secondary armament, leading up to the all-big gun ships that followed. [read full review]
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 November 2007), HMS Queen ,

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