HMS Locust (1896)

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History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Locust
Builder: Laird, Son & Co., Birkenhead
Laid down: 20 April 1896
Launched: 5 December 1896
Completed: July 1898
Fate: Scrapped, 1919
General characteristics
Class and type: Earnest-class destroyer
Displacement: 395 long tons (401 t)
Length: 218 ft (66 m) oa
Beam: 21 ft 6 in (6.6 m)
Draught: 9 ft 9 in (3.0 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 63
Armament:

HMS Locust was a B-class torpedo boat destroyer of the British Royal Navy. She was launched by Laird, Son & Company, Birkenhead, on 5 December 1896.[1] She served in the Mediterranean between 1902 and 1906, and was used for patrol and escort duties during the First World War

Construction[edit]

Locust was ordered on 23 December 1896 as the third of six 30-knotter destroyers programmed to be built by Lairds under the 1895–1896 shipbuilding programme for the Royal Navy.[2] These followed on from four very similar destroyers ordered from Lairds as part of the 1894–1895 programme.[3]

Locust was 218 feet (66.45 m) long overall and 213 feet (64.92 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 21 feet 6 inches (6.55 m) and a draught of 9 feet 9 inches (2.97 m). Displacement was 355 long tons (361 t) light and 415 long tons (422 t) full load. Like the other Laird-built 30-knotters, Locust was propelled by two triple expansion steam engines, fed by four Normand boilers, rated at 6,300 ihp (4,700 kW), and was fitted with four funnels.[3][4]

Armament was the standard for the 30-knotters, i.e. a QF 12 pounder 12 cwt (3 in (76 mm) calibre) gun on a platform on the ship's conning tower (in practice the platform was also used as the ship's bridge), with a secondary armament of five 6-pounder guns, and two 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.[5][6] The ship had a crew of 63 officers and men.[7]

Locust was laid down at Laird's Birkenhead shipyard as Yard number 623 on 20 April 1894 and was launched on 5 December 1896.[2] During sea trials on 21 January 1898, Locust reached an average speed of 30.26 knots (56.04 km/h; 34.82 mph) over six runs of a measured mile and 30.16 knots (55.86 km/h; 34.71 mph) on a three-hour run.[8] She was completed in July 1898.[2]

Service history[edit]

On 2 February 1900 she was commissioned as tender to HMS Vivid, shore establishment at Devonport, for service in the Devonport Instructional flotilla,[9] and Lieutenant Stephen Herbert Radcliffe was appointed in command.[10] A mere week into her commission, she had her stem damaged while in the Falmouth harbour when the destroyer Fairy dragged her moorings and drifted into Locust and other ships of the flotilla.[11] Following repairs in Devonport, she was back in the flotilla the following month. She took part in the 1901 Naval Manoeuvres.[12] On 5 December 1901 she was recommissioned as tender to the battleship Victorious on the Mediterranean station.[13] She left Devonport for Malta in January the following year.[14] Lieutenant the Hon. Arthur Brandreth Scott Dutton was appointed in command in April 1902.

The future Admiral of the Fleet, Andrew Cunningham, was appointed her second-in-command while a sub-lieutenant, in September 1903.[15] Locust returned to the United Kingdom in 1906.[2]

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyers were to be grouped into classes designated by letters based on contract speed and appearance. As a four-funneled 30-knotter destroyer, Locust was assigned to the B Class.[16][17]

Locust was a member of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, based at Devonport, in 1912, and after a reorganisation of the Royal Navy's destroyer flotillas in 1912, with older destroyers being transferred to patrol flotillas, joined the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla, also based at Devonport.[18][19]

Locust remained part of the Seventh Patrol Flotilla in August 1914,[20][21] which transferred to the Humber on the East coast of England following the outbreak of the First World War.[22][23] In November 1914, Locust was transferred to Scapa Flow, where she carried out local patrol and escort duties.[18][24][25] Locust remained part of the Scapa Flow local patrol forces until January 1918,[26] but transferred to the Firth of Forth as part of the Methil Convoy Flotilla by February that year.[27] By May 1918, Locust had moved again, returning to the Seventh Flotilla based on the Humber,[28] remaining there until the end of the war.[29]

Locust was sold for scrap to J. Jackson on 10 June 1919.[30]

Pennant numbers[edit]

Pennant number[30] Date
D29 1914
D84 September 1915
D54 January 1918
H02 April 1918

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Times (London), Monday, 7 December 1896, p.12
  2. ^ a b c d Lyon 2001, p. 62
  3. ^ a b Lyon 2001, pp. 61–62
  4. ^ Chesneau & Kolesnik 1979, p. 94
  5. ^ Lyon 2001, pp. 98–99
  6. ^ Friedman 2009, p. 40
  7. ^ Manning 1961, p. 40
  8. ^ "The Birkenhead Destroyers" (PDF). The Engineer. Vol. 85. 28 January 1898. p. 88. 
  9. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36057). London. 5 February 1900. p. 11. 
  10. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36055). London. 2 February 1900. p. 10. 
  11. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36069). London. 19 February 1900. p. 9. 
  12. ^ Brassey 1902, p. 90
  13. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36631). London. 6 December 1901. p. 6. 
  14. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36669). London. 20 January 1902. p. 6. 
  15. ^ "Cunningham information sheet". Royal Naval Museum. 2004. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 18
  17. ^ Manning 1961, pp. 17–18
  18. ^ a b "NMM, vessel ID 370451" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol ii. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  19. ^ Manning 1961, p. 25
  20. ^ "Fleets and Squadrons in Commission at Home and Abroad: Patrol Flotillas". The Navy List: 269c. August 1914. 
  21. ^ "HMS Locust". Late 18th, 19th and early 20th Century Naval and Naval Social History. pbenyon.plus.com. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  22. ^ Manning 1961, p. 26
  23. ^ Corbett 1920, pp. 15–16
  24. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officer's Commands, &c.". The Navy List: 8. January 1915. 
  25. ^ Manning 1961, p. 27
  26. ^ "Ships of the Royal Navy - Location/Action Date, 1914–1918: Part 2 - Admiralty "Pink Lists", 2 January 1918". Naval-history.net. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officer's Commands, &c.". The Navy List: 16. February 1918. 
  28. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officer's Commands, &c.". The Navy List: 15. May 1918. 
  29. ^ "Ships of the Royal Navy - Location/Action Date, 1914–1918: Part 2 - Admiralty "Pink Lists", 11 November 1918". Naval-history.net. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Dittmar & Colledge 1972, p. 57