HMS Faulknor (1914)

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Faulknor
Builder: J S White, Cowes
Launched: 26 February 1914
Commissioned: 1914
Motto: Dulcit amor : Patria : 'Love of fatherland leads'
Honours and
Fate: Transferred to Chile, 1920
General characteristics
Class and type: Faulknor-class destroyer leader
Displacement: 1,700 tons
Length: 331 ft (100.9 m)
Beam: 32.6 ft (9.9 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
Propulsion: 6 White-Forster type water-tube boilers, steam turbines, 3 shafts, 30,000 shp
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Complement: 197
For other ships with the same name, see HMS Faulknor.

HMS Faulknor was a British destroyer of the First World War. She was purchased by the Royal Navy whilst still under construction in Britain for the Chilean Navy who had ordered her in 1912 as part of the Almirante Lynch class. She was renamed after the Faulknor family of British nineteenth century naval officers.

Faulknor was a large destroyer leader that served throughout the war in the Dover Patrol, a force tasked with preventing German raiding craft gaining access to the English Channel where vulnerable troopships and other targets were constantly available. Faulknor conducted numerous operations against the coastline of German-held Belgium, including participating in both the First and Second Ostend Raid during the spring of 1918.

In 1920, following the end of the war, Faulknor and her surviving sisters were all returned to Chile, where she served as Almirante Riveros until 1933.

Construction and design

In 1912, Chile placed an order for six large destroyers, the Almirante Lynch class, from the Cowes, Isle of Wight shipbuilder J. Samuel White in response to large destroyers ordered by Argentina.[1][2] Almirante Simpson, the third of the class, was launched on 26 February 1914 and purchased, almost complete, by the Royal Navy on the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914.[1] She was renamed Faulknor and commissioned on 25 August 1914.[3][4]

White's design was 331 feet 3 inches (100.97 m) long overall and 320 feet 0 inches (97.54 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 32 feet 6 inches (9.91 m) and a draught of 11 feet 8 12 inches (3.57 m).[5] Displacement was 1,430 long tons (1,450 t) normal and 1,800–1,850 long tons (1,830–1,880 t) full load.[6] Six White-Forster boilers with mixed oil- and coal-firing fed steam at 220 pounds per square inch (1,500 kPa) to Parsons steam turbines driving three shafts. The machinery was rated at 30,000 shaft horsepower (22,000 kW), giving a speed of 31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph). Four funnels were fitted, with one thin funnel forwards and three larger funnels. The forward funnel was raised by 6 feet (1.8 m) following sea trials.[7][8] 403 tons of coal and 83 tons of oil were carried, giving a range of 2,405 nautical miles (4,454 km; 2,768 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[5]

The ship was completed with a main gun armament of six 4-inch (102 mm) Mk. VI guns, with two mounted side-by-side on the ship's forecastle forward of the bridge, one on either side of the bridge, and two side-by-side right aft. These guns were of an Elswick design for export to Chile, and fired a 31-pound (14 kg) shell to a range of 11,630 yards (10,630 m).[8][9][10] A single 112-pounder pom-pom was fitted, although this was later replaced by a 2-pounder gun. Four single 21-inch (533mm) torpedo-tubes were mounted singly on the ship's sides.[11][9]

In 1918, she was rearmed based on experience of Dover Patrol operations, with the side-by-side 4-inch guns mounted fore-and-aft removed and replaced by two single BL 4.7 inch (120 mm) /45 guns. These could fire a 50-pound (23 kg) shell to 15,800 yards (14,400 m).[12][13]


Faulknor took part in a sweep by the cruiser Fearless and 10 destroyers off the mouth of the River Ems on 25 October 1914 which acted as a diversion for a planned raid by aircraft from the seaplane carriers Engadine and Riviera, escorted by the Harwich Force, on the German airship base near Cuxhaven. Poor weather led to the abandonment of the operation, however, with four of the six aircraft unable to take off.[14] On 5–7 November and 9–11 November Faulknor took part in patrols off the Dutch coast with the Harwich Force.[15] In November 1914, Faulknor was recorded as part of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet.[16] Early in February 1915, Faulknor took part in anti-submarine sweeps in the Irish Sea as a response to operations by U-21 which sank three small steamers on 30 January,[17] and then in escorting the ships carrying the 1st Canadian Division from Avonmouth to St Nazaire.[18] By March 1915, Faulknor had transferred to the 4th Destroyer Flotilla.[19] On 12 March 1915, Faulknor and six destroyers were detached from the Grand Fleet for anti-submarine operations in the Irish Sea where the German submarines U-20 and U-27 were active, disrupting the operations of the Northern Patrol,[20][21] but they were recalled on 15 March as a result of increased submarine activity off Rosyth.[22] On 1 July 1915, U-25 attempted to torpedo the cruiser Hampshire off Noss Head near Wick, Caithness Faulknor led an unsuccessful search by twelve destroyers together with several trawlers for the German submarine.[23]

Faulknor was still part of the 4th Flotilla in March 1916, but by 24 April 1916 was leader of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow.[24][25] Faulknor was still leader of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May-1 June 1916, operating in support of the Grand Fleet.[26] From about 19:15 hr Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Germans launched a series of torpedo-boat attacks against the British battle line, and the 12th Flotilla got into a brief exchange of fire with German torpedo boats of the 3rd Torpedo-Boat Flotilla. Faulknor then fired on the German torpedo boat V48, which had been disabled in an earlier action with Shark, and ordered four destroyers of her flotilla (Obedient, Mindful, Marvel and Onslaught) to finish off V48, with the German destroyer being sunk by gunfire from the four British ships.[27][28] At about 01:43 hr GMT on 1 June, Faulknor spotted a group of German battleships and manoeuvred to set up a torpedo attack by her flotilla. Faulknor fired two torpedoes at the German battle line, and while she claimed a single hit, both torpedoes missed although one narrowly missed the German battleship Grosser Kurfürst. One torpedo from Onslaught sunk the predreadnought battleship Pommern.[29]

On 2 November 1916, the German submarine U-30 suffered double engine failure 25 miles (40 km) west of Bergen, Norway, with U-20 responding to U-30' s distress signals and taking the stricken submarine under tow. U-30's radio signals were also picked up by the British who despatched three formations of warships to intercept the two submarines. Faulknor set off from Cromarty with six destroyers of the 12th Flotilla on 3 November, but was recalled later that day when the British intercepted signals indicating that U-30 had got her engines working again. Both submarines ran aground off Denmark on 4 November, and while U-30 managed to free herself, U-20 could not and was scuttled on 5 November.[30]


  1. 1 2 Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 78
  2. Friedman 2009, pp. 138–139
  3. Friedman 2009, p. 309
  4. "184: Faulknor (Dev.): Flotilla Leader". The Naval List. October 1914. p. 316.
  5. 1 2 Friedman 2009, p. 297
  6. Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 409
  7. Friedman 2009, p. 144
  8. 1 2 Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 77
  9. 1 2 Friedman 2009, pp. 278–279
  10. DiGiulian, Tony (12 February 2012). "Britain: 4"/40 (10.2 cm) QF Mark VI and Mark X". Naval Weapons of the World: From 1880 to Today. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  11. Gardiner & Gray 1985, pp. 77–78
  12. Friedman 2009, p. 146
  13. DiGiulian, Tony (25 May 2014). "Britain: 4.7"/45 (12 cm) BL Mark I, 4.7"/45 (12 cm) BL Mark II". Naval Weapons of the World: From 1880 to Today. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  14. Naval Staff Monograph No. 24 1924, pp. 139–140
  15. Naval Staff Monograph No. 28 1925, pp. 32–33
  16. "Ships of the Royal Navy - Location/Action Data, 1914–1918: Admiralty "Pink Lists" - 1 November 1914". World War I at Sea. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  17. Naval Staff Monograph No. 29 1925, pp. 13–15
  18. Naval Staff Monograph No. 29 1925, p. 56
  19. "Supplement to the Monthly Navy List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers Commands, &c.: Flotillas". The Navy List. March 1915. p. 14.
  20. Jellicoe 1919, p. 210
  21. Corbett 1921, pp. 277–278
  22. Corbett 1921, pp. 280–281.
  23. Naval Staff Monograph No. 30 1926, p. 22
  24. "Supplement to the Monthly Navy List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers Commands, &c.: Flotillas". The Navy List. March 1916. p. 12.
  25. Naval Staff Monograph No. 32 1927, p. 45
  26. Campbell 1998, pp. 14, 25
  27. Campbell 1998, pp. 162, 210–215
  28. Official Despatches 1920, pp. 331–332
  29. Campbell 1998, pp. 297–300
  30. Naval Staff Monograph No. 33 1927, pp. 196–198, Plan 14
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