HMS Pincher (1910)

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Every boy's book of railways and steamships (1911) (14758724622).jpg
HMS Pincher
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Pincher
Builder: William Denny and Brothers
Launched: 15 March 1910
Fate: Wrecked on 24 July 1918
General characteristics
Class and type: Beagle-class destroyer
Displacement: 975 tons
Length: 274 ft (84 m)
Beam: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Installed power: 12,500 ihp (9,300 kW)
Propulsion: Steam engine(s)
Speed: 27 kn (50 km/h)
Complement: 96

HMS Pincher was a coal-fired Beagle-class destroyer of the Royal Navy built by William Denny and Brothers and launched on 15 March 1910.

Service history[edit]

Pincher spent the early part of the First World War in a local defence flotilla operating out of Portsmouth,[1] but by June 1915 had joined the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Aegean Sea,[2] operating with them until December 1917.[3]

In January 1918, she was moved to the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, operating for a half year with the Northern Division of the Coast of Ireland Station.[4]

On 15 May 1918, Pincher was reassigned to the 4th Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport.[5]

On 24 July 1918, whilst escorting the Standard Tanker War Hostage from Devonport through the Western Approaches with Scorpion, Pincher took a course that brought her dangerously close to the Seven Stones Reef, between Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (the reef that would claim the supertanker Torrey Canyon in 1967). Errors in navigation due to fog compounded the error and Pincher struck the reef at high speed. The impact tore open her hull and she sank at 03:33 hours. After the accident, her commander — Lieutenant Patrick W.R. Weir — was subjected to a court-martial, at which he was sentenced to be reprimanded for steering an unsafe course.


  1. ^ Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, (March, 1915) p. 16.
  2. ^ Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, (June, 1915) p. 20.
  3. ^ Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, (December, 1917) p. 21.
  4. ^ Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, (January, 1918) p. 17.
  5. ^ Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, (June, 1918) p. 17.


  • Gray, Randal, ed. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0-87021-907-3.
  • Archibald, E.H.H.; Ray Woodward (ill.) (1971). The Metal Fighting Ship in the Royal Navy 1860-1970. New York: Arco Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-668-02509-3.