HMS Sentinel (1904)

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HMS Sentinel (1904).jpg
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Sentinel
Builder: Vickers Limited, Barrow
Laid down: June 1903
Launched: 19 April 1904
Commissioned: April 1905
Fate: Sold 18 January 1923
General characteristics
Class and type: Sentinel-class scout cruiser
Displacement: 2,880 tons
  • 360 ft (110 m) (p/p)
  • 381 ft (116 m) (o/a)
Beam: 40 ft (12 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
  • Two shaft TE engines
  • 17,000 ihp
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: Carried 160 tons coal (410 tons max)
Complement: 298

HMS Sentinel was one of two Sentinel-class scout cruisers which served with the Royal Navy. She was built by Vickers Limited at Barrow, laid down in June 1903, launched on 19 April 1904 and completed in April 1905 at a cost of about £282,000. She was originally to be named HMS Inchkeith, but was renamed in 1903, prior to launching.


She sported a partial turtle deck forward and shorter funnels than later ships of this type. She was designed to act as a leader of a destroyer flotilla but like other ships of this type was soon proved to be too slow for the role. As turbine engined destroyers came into service, they were rendered obsolete. She was armed with ten 12-pounder (76-mm) quick firing guns, eight 3-pounder (47-mm) quick firing guns and two 18-inch (460-mm) torpedo tubes. In 1911-12 she was rearmed with nine QF 4-inch (101.6-mm) Mk IV guns.


Sentinel began her career with the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean, before being recalled to join the Channel Fleet, and then the Home Fleet from 1907. In 1910 she was leader of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla at Chatham, then in 1913 moved to lead the 9th Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth.

She began the First World War in service with the 8th Destroyer Flotilla in the Firth of Forth but, proving too sluggish for the role, in 1915 was temporarily attached with 6th Light Cruiser Squadron in the Humber. Here she was used to guard against Zeppelin raids. In 1916 she was stationed in the Mediterranean and then the Aegean in 1918. On 12 November 1918 Sentinel was part of the squadron sent through the Dardanelles to undertake duties in the Black Sea, where Britain was becoming involved in the Russian Civil War. After the war Sentinel served as Mechanic’s training ship at Chatham between 1920 and 1922 before being sold for scrap on 18 January 1923. She arrived at Sunderland for breaking up on 20 June 1923 after having suffered a stranding on the way.




  • Corbett, Julian. Naval Operations to the Battle of the Falklands. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. I (2nd, reprint of the 1938 ed.). London and Nashville, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum and Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-256-X. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2011). Naval Weapons of World War One. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84832-100-7. 
  • Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1984). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. 

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