1st Cruiser Squadron

The First Cruiser Squadron was a Royal Navy squadron of cruisers that saw service as part of the Grand Fleet during the World War I then later as part of the Mediterranean during the Interwar period and World War II it first established in 1904 and existed until 1952.

1st Cruiser Squadron
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom
Active1904–1952
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
EngagementsBattle of Dogger Bank
Battle of Jutland

History

First formation

The squadron was formed in December 1904 when Cruiser Squadron was re-designated the 1st Cruiser Squadron. In March 1909, then consisting of battlecruisers, it was assigned to the 1st Division of the Home Fleet until April 1912. When the First World War began, the squadron was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet where it participated in the pursuit of the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and the light cruiser SMS Breslau. It joined then Grand Fleet in January 1915 where it participated in the battles of Dogger Bank and the Battle of Jutland. It was disbanded after the battle as three of its four ships had been sunk in June 1916. In July 1917 H.M. Ships Courageous, Glorious and Furious were detached from the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron and named the First Cruiser Squadron, part of the newly formed Light Cruiser Force. It remained part of Light Cruiser Force until April 1919 when it was once again disbanded.

Rear/Vice Admiral commanding

Post holders included:[1][2]

Rank Flag Name Term
Rear-Admiral/Vice-Admiral Commanding, 1st Cruiser Squadron [3]
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Edmund S. Poe December, 1904 - July, 1905
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg George Neville July, 1905 - July, 1907
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Percy M. Scott July, 1907 - September, 1908
4 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles H. Adair September, 1908 - February, 1909
5 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Hon. Stanley C. J. Colville February, 1909 - February, 1911
6 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Lewis Bayly February, 1911 - January, 1913
7 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Ernest C.T. Troubridge January, 1913 - September, 1914
8 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Archibald G. H.W. Moore November, 1914 - January, 1915
9 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Robert K. Arbuthnot January, 1915 - May, 1916
squadron disbanded 06/1916 - 06/1917
10 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Trevylyan D.W.Napier July, 1917 - April, 1919
squadron disbanded 1919-1924

Composition first world war

HMS Black Prince
HMS Black Prince

As of:[4]

Armoured cruisers

* Defence - Flagship of Rear-Admiral Ernest C. T. Troubridge. Captain Fawcet Wray

Light cruisers

Sidney R. Drury Lowe
Commander Sidney R. Drury-Lowe, R. N.

As of:[5]

As of:[6]

  • Defence - Flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert K. Arbuthnot
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Black Prince
  • Warrior

As of:[7]

  • Defence - Flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert K. Arbuthnot
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Black Prince
  • Warrior

As of:[8]

As of:[9]

  • Courageous
  • Glorious

Second formation

In October 1924 the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron is re-designated 1st Cruiser Squadron this takes effect in November 1924 and reformed as an enlarged unit of the Mediterranean Fleet under the command Rear Admiral Arthur K.Waistell. Louis Mountbatten served as commander of the squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet and, having been granted the substantive rank of vice admiral on 22 June 1949, he became Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet in April 1950.

Rear/Vice Admiral commanding

Post holders included:[10][11]

Rank Flag Name Term
Rear-Admiral/Vice-Admiral Commanding, 1st Cruiser Squadron [12]
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Arthur K.Waistell November, 1924 - October, 1926
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg William H.D. Boyle October, 1926 - October, 1928
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Henry W. Parker October, 1928 - March, 1930
4 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Joseph Henley C. W. Henley March, 1930 -April 1932
5 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg George K. Chetwode April, 1932 - June, 1933
6 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John K. im Thurn June, 1933 - July, 1935
7 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Max K. Horton July, 1935 - October, 1936
8 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles E.Kennedy-Purvis October, 1936-September, 1938
9 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John H. D. Cunningham September, 1938 - December, 1940
10 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg W. Frederic Wake-Walker December, 1940 - February 1942
11 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Louis H.K. Hamilton February 1942 - August, 1943
12 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Arthur F.E. Palliser August, 1943 - March, 1944
13 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Rhoderick R. McGrigor March, 1944 - July 1945
14 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Harold R.G. Kinahan June, 1946 - June, 1947
15 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Richard V. Symonds-Tayler June, 1947 - October, 1948
16 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Earl Mountbatten of Burma October, 1948 - May, 1950
17 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg C.T. Mark Pizey May, 1950 - July, 1951
18 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Ralph A.B. Edwards July, 1951 – 1952

Deployments

Included:[13]

from to deployed to notes
March 1909 April 1912 1st Division, Home Fleet
July 1914 January 1915 Mediterranean Fleet
January 1915 June 1916 Grand Fleet
July 1917 April 1919 Light Cruiser Force
November 1924 August 1939 Mediterranean Fleet
August 1939 1952 Home Fleet

Footnotes

  1. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, December 2017. pp. 206–209. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  2. ^ Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "First Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Lovelll and Harley, 30 August 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  3. ^ Government, H.M. (October 1913). "Flag Officers - Vice Admirals". The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 87.
  4. ^ Corbett, I, p. 440
  5. ^ Corbett, II, p. 413
  6. ^ Corbett, II, p. 418
  7. ^ Corbett, III, p. 429
  8. ^ Newbolt, V, p. 152
  9. ^ Newbolt, V, p. 168
  10. ^ Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, December 2017. pp. 206–209. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  11. ^ Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "First Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Lovelll and Harley, 30 August 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  12. ^ Government, H.M. (October 1913). "Flag Officers - Vice Admirals". The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 87.
  13. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy, Squadrons 1939-1945". www.unithistories.com. J.N. Houterman, 2010-2017. Retrieved 25 March 2018.

References

  • Corbett, Julian. Naval Operations to the Battle of the Falklands. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. I (2nd, reprint of the 1938 ed.). London and Nashville, TN: Imperial War Museum and Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-256-X.
  • Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. II (reprint of the 1929 second ed.). London and Nashville, TN: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-74-7.
  • Corbett, Julian (1997). Naval Operations. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. III (reprint of the 1940 second ed.). London and Nashville, TN: Imperial War Museum in association with the Battery Press. ISBN 1-870423-50-X.
  • Newbolt, Henry (1996). Naval Operations. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents. V (reprint of the 1931 ed.). Nashville, TN: Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-255-1.
1st Light Cruiser Squadron (United Kingdom)

The 1st Light Cruiser Squadron was a naval unit of the Royal Navy from 1913 to 1924.

French cruiser Colbert (1928)

Colbert was a French heavy cruiser of the Suffren class that saw service in World War II. She was named for Jean-Baptiste Colbert.

HMS Antrim (1903)

HMS Antrim was a Devonshire-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion in 1905 and was transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1907. She was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909 and then became flagship of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the reserve Second Fleet in 1913.

Upon mobilisation in mid-1914 her squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet and spent much of its time patrolling the northern exits from the North Sea. Antrim was sent to Arkhangelsk in mid-1916 and then to the North America and West Indies Station for convoy escort duties. She was paid off at the end of 1917, but was recommissioned in mid-1918 as a convoy escort. The ship was in reserve by 1919, but conducted radio and Asdic trials in 1920 before becoming a training ship in 1922. Antrim was sold for scrap at the end of the year.

HMS Argyll (1904)

HMS Argyll was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion and was transferred to the 5th Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1909. Two years later, she was detached to escort the royal yacht during King George V's trip to British India. Argyll was assigned to the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the reserve Second Fleet in 1913.

Upon mobilisation in mid-1914 her squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet; Argyll did not see combat before she ran aground and was wrecked in October 1915. Her crew were rescued without loss and the wreck was later salvaged before it was demolished. Nonetheless, it remains diveable.

HMS Bedford (1901)

HMS Bedford was one of 10 Monmouth-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion in 1903 before she was briefly reduced to reserve in 1906. Bedford was recommissioned the following year for service with China Station and ran aground in 1910. Her wreck was sold for scrap later that year after being partially salvaged.

HMS Black Prince (1904)

HMS Black Prince was a Duke of Edinburgh-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the early 1900s. She was stationed in the Mediterranean when the First World War began and participated in the pursuit of the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau. After the German ships reached Ottoman waters, the ship was sent to the Red Sea in mid-August to protect troop convoys arriving from India and to search for German merchant ships. After capturing two ships, Black Prince was transferred to the Grand Fleet in December 1914. She was sunk on 1 June 1916 during the Battle of Jutland with the loss of all hands.

HMS Courageous (50)

HMS Courageous was the lead ship of the Courageous-class cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the First World War. Designed to support the Baltic Project championed by First Sea Lord John Fisher, the ship was very lightly armoured and armed with only a few heavy guns. Courageous was completed in late 1916 and spent the war patrolling the North Sea. She participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in November 1917 and was present when the German High Seas Fleet surrendered a year later.

Courageous was decommissioned after the war, then rebuilt as an aircraft carrier during the mid-1920s. She could carry 48 aircraft compared to the 36 carried by her half-sister Furious on approximately the same displacement. After recommissioning she spent most of her career operating off Great Britain and Ireland. She briefly became a training carrier, but reverted to her normal role a few months before the start of the Second World War in September 1939. Courageous was torpedoed and sunk in the opening weeks of the war, going down with more than 500 of her crew.

HMS Devonshire (1904)

HMS Devonshire was the lead ship of her class of six armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion in 1905 and was transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1907. She was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909 and then to the 3rd Cruiser Squadron of the reserve Second Fleet in 1913.

Upon mobilisation in mid-1914 her squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet; Devonshire did not see combat before she was transferred to the Nore in 1916. At the end of that year she was assigned to the North America and West Indies Station and spent the rest of the war escorting convoys. She was sold for scrap in 1921.

HMS Donegal (1902)

HMS Donegal was one of 10 Monmouth-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was initially assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron upon completion in 1903 and ran aground en route to the China Station in 1906. She was briefly placed in reserve after repairs before she was assigned to the Home Fleet in 1907. She joined the 4th Cruiser Squadron on the North America and West Indies Station in 1909 before returning home for an assignment with the Training Squadron in 1912. Donegal was reduced to reserve before World War I began in August 1914 as part of the Third Fleet

Refitting at the beginning of the war, she was then assigned to Sierra Leone for convoy protection duties as part of the 5th Cruiser Squadron. She was transferred to several different cruiser squadrons of the Grand Fleet in 1915 where she escorted convoys to Archangelsk, Russia. In mid-1916 she was assigned to convoy escort duties in the Atlantic. Donegal rejoined the 4th Cruiser Squadron on North America and West Indies Station in 1917 and continued with convoy duties until the end of the war. Donegal was sold for scrap in 1920.

HMS Gambia (48)

HMS Gambia (pennant number 48, later C48) was a Crown Colony-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was in the service of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) as HMNZS Gambia from 1943 to 1946. She was named after the then Crown colony of the Gambia, and has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name.

HMS Good Hope (1901)

HMS Good Hope was one of four Drake-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900; she was originally named Africa, but was renamed before she was launched. She became flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in 1906, and was the flagship of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1908. She was reduced to reserve in 1913, but was recommissioned in mid-1914.

When war was declared in August 1914, Good Hope was ordered to reinforce the 4th Cruiser Squadron and became the flagship of Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock. Cradock moved the available ships of his squadron later that month to the coast of South America to search for German commerce raiders. He was then ordered further south to the Strait of Magellan to block any attempt of the German East Asia Squadron to penetrate into the South Atlantic. He found the German squadron on 1 November off the coast of Chile. The German squadron outnumbered Cradock's force and were individually more powerful; they sank Cradock's two armoured cruisers in the Battle of Coronel. Good Hope was lost with all hands.

HMS Hampshire (1903)

HMS Hampshire was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion. After a refit, she was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909 before going to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1911. She was transferred to the China Station in 1912 and remained there until the start of the First World War in August 1914.

The ship hunted for German commerce raiders until she was transferred to the Grand Fleet at the end of 1914. She was assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron upon her return home. She was transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1916 and was present at the Battle of Jutland. Several days later, she was sailing to Russia, carrying the Secretary of State for War, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, when she is believed to have struck a mine laid by a German submarine on 5 June. She sank with heavy loss of life, including Kitchener and his staff. Rumours later circulated of German spies and sabotage being involved in the sinking. Her wreck is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act, though part was later salvaged. Several films have been made exploring the circumstances of her loss.

HMS Leviathan (1901)

HMS Leviathan was one of four Drake-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy around 1900. She was assigned to the China Station upon completion and then served in the Mediterranean Fleet in 1905–06. She was assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron in 1907 before she was briefly reduced to reserve. Leviathan was recommissioned in 1909 for service with the 4th Cruiser Squadron before she was placed in reserve in 1913.

Recommissioned in mid-1914, she was assigned to the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet at the beginning of World War I. She spent most of the rest of the year searching for German commerce raiders and escorting convoys before she became flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron. In early 1915, she was reassigned to the 6th Cruiser Squadron before she became flagship of the North America and West Indies Station in March. Leviathan retained that position for the next three years until she was relieved as flagship in early 1918 and began escorting convoys from North America to Britain. She was placed in reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in early 1920.

HMS Monmouth (1901)

HMS Monmouth was the lead ship of her class of 10 armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion in 1903. She was transferred to the China Station in 1906, and remained there until she returned home in 1913 and was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet. When World War I began in August 1914, the ship was recommissioned and assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the Central Atlantic to search for German commerce raiders and protect Allied shipping. She was detached upon arrival to patrol the Brazilian coast for German ships, and was later ordered to the South Atlantic to join Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock's squadron in their search for the German East Asia Squadron. He found the German squadron on 1 November off the coast of Chile. The German squadron outnumbered Cradock's force and were individually more powerful; they sank Cradock's two armoured cruisers in the Battle of Coronel. Monmouth was lost with all hands.

HMS Roxburgh (1904)

HMS Roxburgh was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion and was transferred to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909. She was then assigned to the 5th Cruiser Squadron of the reserve Second Fleet in 1912 and the 3rd Cruiser Squadron the following year.

Upon mobilisation in mid-1914 her squadron was assigned to the Grand Fleet and spent much of its time patrolling the northern exits from the North Sea and the Norwegian coast. She was torpedoed in mid-1915 by a German submarine and repairs took almost a year. Roxburgh was transferred to the North America and West Indies Station in mid-1916 and spent the rest of the war escorting convoys. She rammed a German submarine while escorting a convoy in early 1918. She was reduced to reserve in 1919, but recommissioned later that year for use as a radio training ship. The ship was paid off in 1920 and sold for scrap the following year.

Harold Kinahan

Admiral Sir Harold Richard George Kinahan KBE, CB (4 June 1893 - 22 March 1980) was a Royal Navy officer who became President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Minotaur-class cruiser (1906)

The Minotaur class was a three-ship class of armoured cruisers built in the first decade of the twentieth century for the Royal Navy. These were the last class of armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy, with that role being substantially replaced by battlecruisers. These initially served with the Home Fleet, generally as the flagships of cruiser squadrons. Minotaur became flagship of the China Station in 1910 and Defence served as flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean from 1912; Shannon remained at home as flagship of several different squadrons.

When World War I began in August 1914, Defence participated in the pursuit of the German ships SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau and Minotaur hunted for the German East Asia Squadron and German commerce raiders in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Shannon remained with the Grand Fleet, as the Home Fleet was renamed, for the entire war. All three were present at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916, where Defence was sunk with the loss of all men on board. The surviving pair spent most of the rest of the war assigned to the Northern Patrol unsuccessfully searching for German warships and commerce raiders. The pair were scrapped after the war.

Rhoderick McGrigor

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rhoderick Robert McGrigor GCB (12 April 1893 – 3 December 1959) was a senior Royal Navy officer. He fought in the First World War and saw action during the Gallipoli Campaign and then the Battle of Jutland. He also served in the Second World War, taking part in the sinking of the Bismarck in May 1941, carrying out the office of Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Weapons) and commanding the 1st Cruiser Squadron during operations off the Norwegian coast and convoys to North Russia. He served as First Sea Lord in the early 1950s and is most remembered as a leading proponent of carrier-based air power.

Warrior-class cruiser

The Warrior-class cruiser was a British class of four armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. After commissioning, all four sister ships were assigned to the Channel and Home Fleets until 1913 when Warrior was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet. After the start of World War I in August 1914, Warrior participated in the pursuit of the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and light cruiser SMS Breslau and her three sisters were assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. Warrior joined the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet in late 1914. Neither squadron participated in any of the naval battles in the North Sea in 1915. Natal was destroyed by a magazine explosion in late 1915 and only two of the ships participated in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Cochrane was not engaged during the battle, but Warrior was heavily damaged and sank the following morning.

Achilles was assigned to blockade duty after the battle and sank a German commerce raider in early 1917. Both of the surviving sisters became convoy escorts in 1917 before returning home in 1918. Cochrane supported the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War in mid-1918. She ran aground in the River Mersey in late 1918 and broke in two. Achilles became a training ship in late 1918 and was sold for scrap in 1921.

North Sea 1914–1918
United Kingdom Cruiser squadrons of the Royal Navy

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