HMS Ribble (1904)

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Hms teviot.jpg
HMS Teviot, sister-ship to Ribble
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: Ribble
Ordered: 1901 – 1902 Naval Estimates
Builder: Yarrows, Poplar
Laid down: 4 July 1902
Launched: 19 March 1904
Commissioned: June 1904
Out of service: 1919
Honours and
Dardanelles 1915 - 1916
Fate: Sold for breaking, 29 July 1920
General characteristics [1][2]
Class and type: Yarrow-type River-class destroyer
  • 590 t (581 long tons) standard
  • 660 t (650 long tons) full load
Length: 231 ft 4 in (70.51 m) o/a
Beam: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
Draught: 7 ft 2.5 in (2.197 m)
Installed power: 7,000 shp (5,200 kW)
Speed: 25.5 kn (47.2 km/h)
  • 130 tons coal
  • 1,620 nmi (3,000 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 70 officers and men
Service record
Part of:
  • East Coast Destroyer Flotilla - 1905
  • China Station - 1910
  • Assigned E Class - Aug 1912 - Oct 1913
  • 5th Destroyer Flotilla - December 1914
Operations: World War I 1914 - 1918

HMS Ribble was a Yarrow-type River-class destroyer ordered by the Royal Navy under the 1901 – 1902 Naval Estimates. Named after the River Ribble in northern England, she was the first ship to carry this name in the Royal Navy.


She was laid down on 4 July 1902 at the Yarrow shipyard at Poplar and launched on 19 March 1904. Her build was completed in June 1904. Her original armament was to be the same as the turtleback torpedo boat destroyers that preceded her. In 1906 the Admiralty decided to upgrade the armament by fitting three 12-pounder 8 hundredweight (cwt) guns instead of the five 6-pounder guns. Two were mounted abeam at the foc'x'le break and the third gun was mounted on the quarterdeck.

Service history[edit]

After commissioning she was assigned to the East Coast Destroyer Flotilla of the 1st Fleet and based at Harwich.

On 27 April 1908 the Eastern Flotilla departed Harwich for live fire and night manoeuvres. During these exercises Attentive rammed and sank Gala then collided with Ribble and holed her below the waterline. She had to put into Sheerness for repairs.[3][4][5]

In 1909/1910 she was assigned to the China Station.

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed that all destroyer classes were to be designated by letters. The ships of the River class were assigned to the E class and after 30 September 1913, she was known as an E-class destroyer and had the letter ‘E’ painted on the hull below the bridge area and on either the fore or aft funnel.[6]

In July 1914 she was on China Station based at Hong Kong tendered to HMS Triumph. Ribble was assigned to patrol duties under the command of the commodore at Hong Kong.[7]

With the fall of Tsingtao and the sinking of SMS Emden, she was redeployed to the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the British Mediterranean Fleet in November 1914 accompanying Triumph in support of the Dardanelles Campaign.

On 17 March 1915, she closed on the French battleship Bouvet after she struck a mine in the Dardanelles.

On 25 April 1915, under the command of Lieutenant Commander R W Wilkinson, she supported the landings at ANZAC Cove.

By 10 February 1916 Ribble was on the Smyrna Patrol enforcing the blockade of the Turkish coast from Cape Kaba to latitude 38°30’E, a distance of 200 nautical miles, and including the port of Smyrna. At this time she was based at Port Iero on the island of Lesbos.[7] She remained in the Mediterranean until the end of the war.

In 1919 she returned to home waters, was paid off and laid up in reserve awaiting disposal. On 29 July 1920 she was sold to Thos W Ward of Sheffield for breaking, appropriately given her name, on the River Ribble at Preston, Lancashire.

She was awarded the battle honour "Dardanelles 1915 - 1916" for her service


  1. ^ Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1905, Sampson Low Marston, London]. Jane’s Fighting Ships 1905/6. New York: ARCO Publishing Company. p. 75.
  2. ^ Jane, Fred T. (1990). Jane’s Fighting Ships of World War I. Jane’s Publishing © 1919. p. 76. ISBN 1 85170 378 0.
  3. ^ "Destroyer Cut In Half". Poverty Bay Herald. 12 June 1908. p. 5.
  4. ^ "A Naval Collision: British Destroyer Sunk". The Gympie Times. 30 April 1908. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Naval Matters–Past and Prospective: Sheerness Dockyard". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. 1 June 1908. p. 441.
  6. ^ Conway’s All the World's Fighting Ships 1906 to 1922. Conway Maritime Press. 2006. pp. 17–19. ISBN 0 85177 245 5.
  7. ^ a b "Naval Database".