HMS Staunch (1910)

HMS Staunch (1910) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the Second Destroyer Flotilla with the Grand Fleet in 1914-15 and at Devonport late in 1915, before moving to join the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean in December 1915. She was torpedoed and sunk by UC-38 on 11 November 1917 while supporting the British troops during the fighting in Palestine.

HMS Staunch from the right HMS Staunch from the right

The Staunch was laid down by Denny at Dumbarton on 15 January 1910, launched on 29 October 1910 and completed in March 1911.

From 1911-14 the Staunch, 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.

At the end of July 1911 the Staunch acted as a tender to the Royal Yacht when the King, Queen, Prince of Wales and Princes Mary visited HMS Hindustan in Cowes Roads.

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 Staunch 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.

On 1 July 1915 the Armed Merchant Cruiser Patuca attempted to intercept the Swedish blockade runner SS Oscar II, but during the encounter the two ships collided. The Patuca was able to return to the Clyde, while two tugs and the destroyers Fury and Staunch were sent out to try and get the Oscar II to port. However after two days the damaged merchant ship sank.

The class finally began to split up in the summer of 1915. The first big change came in September 1915, when Acorn, Comet, Fury, Hope, Redpole, Sheldrake and Staunch moved south to Devonport. They were still part of the 2nd Flotilla, but were listed as being on detached service as tenders to Vivid, the shore base at Devonport. Over the next few months most of the rest of the class moved south to Devonport, while most of the first wave of ships to move south went on to the Mediterranean.

On 13 November 1915 Comet, Fury, Redpole and Staunch left Devonport, heading for the Mediterranean.

In January 1916 she was one of three H class destroyers under the command of the Vice-Admiral Commanding, Eastern Mediterranean.

On 8-9 January 1916 the Staunch and the Fury took part in the evacuation of troops from Helles Beach at Gallipoli. Their role was to pick people up from one of the hulks connected to the shore by a bridge, but by the time the two destroyers arrived the bridge was out of use and the troops had to be ferried out in small boats. 

In October 1916 she was one of four H class destroyers with the main part of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet, while another four were posted at Malta.

In late October and early November 1917 the Staunch helped support the British offensive in Palestine, which began with the battle of Beersheba (31 October 1917), before the Turkish lines nearer the coast were broke during the third battle of Gaza (1-2 November 1917). On 30 October the Comet and the Staunch escorted the monitor HMS Raglan as it bombarded Deir Sineid railway station. The British destroyers were briefly replaced by the French destroyers Fauconneau and Hache early in November, but continued to support the attack. However direct naval support for the attack ended after UC-38 managed to get into the naval anchorage off Dier el Belah on 11 November by passing between the shore and the anti-submarine nets, and sank the Staunch and the monitor M.15. Eight men were killed on the Staunch.

By the time she was lost, she had the approved depth charge armament of two throwers and eighteen charges, with the aft gun and the torpedo tubes removed to compensate for the extra weight.

The Staunch was awarded one battle honour, for the Dardanelles in 1915-16

Wartime Career
-July 1914-August 1915: Second Flotilla, Grand Fleet
September 1915-November 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
December 1915-11 November 1917: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean

Commanders:
Lt-Commander Claude L. Bate: 16 December 1913-October 1914-

Displacement (standard)

772t

Displacement (loaded)

970t

Top Speed

27 knots

Engine

3-shaft Parsons turbines (most in class)
4 Yarrow boilers (most in class)
13,500shp

Range

 

Length

246ft oa

Width

25ft 3in to 25ft 5.5in

Armaments

Two 4in BL Mk VIII guns
Two 12-pounder/ 12cwt guns
Two 21in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

72

Laid down

 

Launched

29 October 1910

Completed

 

Torpedoed

11 November 1917

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 (3 June 2021), HMS Staunch (1910) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Staunch_1910.html

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