HMS Yarmouth

HMS Yarmouth was a Weymouth Class light cruiser that spent most of the First World War with the Grand Fleet after starting the war on the China Station. Before the war she served with the 4th Battle Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet, before being appointed to the China Station in August 1913.

Sopwith Pup taking off from HMS Yarmouth
Sopwith Pup taking off from HMS Yarmouth

During the war the Weymouth Class cruisers all received a 3in anti-aircraft gun (1915), sited between the second and third funnels. In 1917 the surviving members of the class were given a tripod foremast and director control equipment. In 1918 the Yarmouth was given an aircraft platform that extended over the conning tower and forward 6in gun. 

At the outbreak of the First World War the Yarmouth was allocated to the hunt for the SMS Emden. The German cruiser had been at Tsingtao when war broke out, and soon escaped into the Indian Ocean, where she had a successful cruise before being sunk by HMAS Sydney (9 November 1914). The Yarmouth didn’t encounter the Emden directly, but she did captured two German colliers, the Pontoporus and the Markomannia, crucial links in the German cruiser campaign.

In December 1914 the Yarmouth joined Grand Fleet, first as part of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, and then from February 1915 with the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron. She was present at the battle of Jutland.

After the war she served as temporary flagship at the Cape (June 1919), before joining the rest of her class in the 7th Light Cruiser Squadron on the South American station (1919-20). After a period in the Nore Reserve, she went to the Signals School at Portsmouth (1922-25 and 1927). While there a lattice tower was built between the second and third funnels to aid in teaching. Her last duty was as the flagship of the Rear-Admiral commanding Submarines at Falmouth, between April and October 1928. She was then put into care and maintenance before being sold for scrap in 1929.

Displacement (loaded)


Top Speed



4,500 nautical miles at 10kts

Armour – deck


 - conning tower





Eight 6in 50 calibre breach loading MK XI
Four 3pdr
Two 21in torpedo tubes (submerged)

Crew complement



12 April 1911


April 1912

Sold for break up

July 1929

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 September 2007), HMS Yarmouth ,

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