HMS Arethusa

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Nine ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Arethusa or HMS Arethuse, after the Greek mythological nymph Arethusa who was transformed by Artemis into a fountain.

  • HMS Arethusa (1759) was a 32-gun fifth-rate ship captured from the French Navy in 1759 and wrecked in 1779. Its Action of 17 June 1778 is the subject of the ballad: The Saucy Arethusa.
  • HMS Arethusa (1781) was a 38-gun fifth-rate launched in 1781 and broken up in 1814.
  • HMS Arethuse (1793) was a 38-gun fifth-rate captured from the French in 1793, renamed HMS Undaunted in 1795, and wrecked in 1796.
  • HMS Arethusa (1817) was a 46-gun fifth-rate launched in 1817, and renamed HMS Bacchus in 1844 upon her conversion into a hulk; she was broken up in 1883.
  • HMS Arethusa (1849) was a 50-gun fourth-rate launched in 1849. She was fitted with screw propulsion in 1861 and became a training ship in 1874. She was broken up in 1934.
  • HMS Arethusa (1882) was a Leander-class protected cruiser launched in 1882 and scrapped in 1905.
  • HMS Arethusa (1913) was an Arethusa-class light cruiser launched in 1913 and wrecked after being damaged by a naval mine in 1916.
  • HMS Arethusa (26) was an Arethusa-class light cruiser launched in 1934 and scrapped in 1950.
  • HMS Arethusa (F38) was a Leander-class frigate launched in 1963 and sunk as training target in 1991.

Battle honours[edit]


  1. ^ HMS Arethusa, British light cruiser, WW2