HMS Osprey (1897)

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Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Osprey
Ordered: 1896 – 1897 Naval Estimates
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Glasgow
Laid down: 14 November 1896
Launched: 7 April 1897
Commissioned: July 1898
Out of service: December 1918 paid off and laid up in reserve awaiting disposal
Fate: 4 November 1919 sold to J.H. Lee of Dover for breaking
General characteristics
Class and type: Fairfield three-funnel, 30-knot destroyer[1][2]
  • 355 t (349 long tons) standard
  • 400 t (394 long tons) full load
Installed power: 6,000 shp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)
  • 80 tons coal
  • 1,615 nmi (2,991 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 63 officers and men
Service record
Operations: World War I 1914 - 1918
Awards: Battle honour "Belgian Coast 1914 – 17"

HMS Osprey was a three-funnel, 30-knot destroyer ordered by the Royal Navy under the 1896–1897 Naval Estimates from Fairfields. She was the fifth ship to carry this name since it was introduced in 1797 for an 18-gun ship-sloop.[2][3]


She was laid down as yard number 397 on 14 November 1896 at the Fairfield shipyard at Govan, Glasgow and launched on 7 April 1897. During her builder’s trials, she made her contracted speed requirement. She was completed and accepted by the Royal Navy in July 1898.[2][3]


After commissioning she was assigned to the Portsmouth Flotilla of the 1st Fleet.

On 2 February 1900 she was commissioned as tender to HMS Vivid, shore establishment at Devonport, for service in the Devonport Instructional flotilla,[4] and Lieutenant Godfrey Edwin Corbett was appointed in command.[5] In May 1902 she underwent repairs to re-tube her boilers.[6]

Osprey, a member of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla based at Portsmouth,[7] collided with the destroyer Bonetta while leaving Berehaven harbour on 5 July 1911. While Osprey was undamaged, Bonetta's bows were damaged.[8] 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 three-funneled destroyer with a contract speed of 30 knots, Osprey was assigned to the C class.[9][10] The class letters were painted on the hull below the bridge area and on a funnel.[11]

World War I[edit]

For the test mobilization in July 1914 she was assigned to the 8th Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham. Here she provided local anti-submarine and counter-mining patrols. In August 1914 she had been redeployed to the Scapa Flow Local Flotilla to provide anti-submarine patrols for the fleet anchorage until the defences of Scapa Flow could be improved.

She was deployed to the North Channel patrol and based at Larne, Ireland in November 1916. Her deployment included anti-submarine and counter-mining patrols as well as contraband enforcement. She was attached to the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla when it was transferred to Londonderry in 1918, and remained based at Larne.


In 1919 Osprey was paid off and laid-up in reserve awaiting disposal. She was sold on 4 November 1919 to J.H. Lee of Dover for breaking.[12]

She was awarded the battle honour "Belgian Coast 1914 – 17" for her service.

Pennant numbers[edit]

Pennant number[12] From To
P80 6 December 1914 1 September 1915
D64 1 September 1915 1 January 1918


  1. ^ Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1905]. Jane’s Fighting Ships 1905. New York: Sampson Low Marston, London (republished by ARCO Publishing Company). p. 77.
  2. ^ a b c Jane, Fred T. (1990) [1919]. Jane’s Fighting Ships of World War I. Jane’s Publishing. pp. 76–77. ISBN 1 85170 378 0.
  3. ^ a b Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1898]. Jane’s All The Worlds Fighting Ships 1898. New York: first published by Sampson Low Marston, London 1898, Reprinted ARCO Publishing Company. pp. 84–85.
  4. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36057). London. 5 February 1900. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36055). London. 2 February 1900. p. 10.
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36767). London. 14 May 1902. p. 12.
  7. ^ Manning 1961, p. 25.
  8. ^ "Naval Matters—Past and Prospective: Portsmouth Dockyard". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. Vol. 34. August 1911. p. 14.
  9. ^ Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 18.
  10. ^ Manning 1961, pp. 17–18.
  11. ^ Manning 1961, p. 34.
  12. ^ a b ""Arrowsmith" List – Part 1 Destroyer Prototypes through "River" Class". Retrieved 1 Jun 2013.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Manning, Captain T.D. The British Destroyer. Godfrey Cave Associates. ISBN 0-906223-13-X.
  • Manning, T.D. (1961). The British Destroyer. London: Putnam.