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HMS Kale (1904)

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HMS Kale (1904)

River-class destroyer
HMS Derwent, sister-ship to Kale
Career
Name: HMS Kale
Ordered: 1903 – 1904 Naval Estimates
Builder: R.W. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Laid down: 16 February 1904
Launched: 8 November 1904
Commissioned: August 1905
Fate: 27 March 1918 struck a contact mine in the North Sea
General characteristics
Class & type: Hawthorn Leslie Type River Class destroyer[1][2]
Displacement:

550 t (541 long tons) standard
625 t (615 long tons) full load 226 ft 6 in (69.04 m) o/a
23 ft 9 in (7.24 m) Beam

7 ft 9 in (2.36 m) Draught
Propulsion:

4 × Yarrow type water tube boiler

2 × Vertical Triple Expansion (VTE) steam engines driving 2 shafts producing 7,000 shp (5,200 kW) (average)
Speed: 25.5 kn (47.2 km/h)
Range: 140 tons coal
1,870 nmi (3,460 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 70 officers and men
Armament:
Service record
Part of: East Coast Destroyer Flotilla - 1905
3rd Destroyer Flotilla - Apr 1909
5th Destroyer Flotilla - 1912
Assigned E Class - Aug 1912 - Oct 1913
9th Destroyer Flotilla - 1914
7th Destroyer Flotilla - Aug 1915
Operations: World War I 1914 - 1918
For other ships of the same name, see HMS Kale.

HMS Kale was a Hawthorn Leslie type River Class Destroyer ordered by the Royal Navy under the 1903 – 1904 Naval Estimates. Named after the River Kale a Scotland-England border river, she was the first ship to carry this name in the Royal Navy

Construction

She was laid down on 16 February 1904 at the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard at Hebburn-on-Tyne and launched on 8 November 1904. She was completed in August 1905. Her original armament was to be the same as the Turleback torpedo boat destroyers that preceded her. In 1906 the Admiralty decided to upgrade the armament by landing the five 6-pounder naval guns and shipping three 12-pounder 8 hundredweight (cwt) guns. Two would be mounted abeam at the foc'x'le break and the third gun would be mounted on the quarterdeck.

Pre-War

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 HMS Attentive rammed and sank HMS Gala then damaged HMS Ribble.

In April 1909 she was assigned to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on its formation at Harwich. She remained until displaced by a Basilisk Class destroyer by May 1912. She was assigned to the 5th Destroyer Flotilla of the 2nd Fleet with a nucleus crew.

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyer classes were to be designated by alpha characters starting with the letter 'A'. The ships of the River Class were assigned to the E Class. 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.[3]

World War I

In early 1914 when displaced by G Class destroyers she joined the 9th Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham tendered to HMS St George. The 9th Flotilla was a Patrol Flotilla tasked with anti-submarine and couner mining patrols in the Firth of Forth area.[4]

In August 1915 with the amalgamation of the 9th and 7th Flotillas she was deployed to the 7th Destroyer Flotilla based at the River Humber. She remained employed on the Humber Patrol participating in counter mining operations and anti-submarine patrols for the remainder of the war.[5]

Loss

On 27 March 1918 HMS Kale was lost after striking a contact mine in the North Sea with the loss of 41 officers and men.[6]

She was not awarded a Battle Honour for her service.

It seems to be a clear case of hitting a British mine. David Hepper in his "British Warship Losses" records: "The court martial enquiry was very critical of Commander Dennison [in command]. He had steered a course which was six miles east of the swept channel [i.e. swept for mines] and straight into a prohibited area which contained a defensive British minefield; details of the restricted zone had been promulgated several weeks earlier, but he had failed to read them or to see that the information provided was marked on the charts." If you are going to Kew he quotes ADM 156/40.

Pennant Numbers

Pennant Number[7] From To
N45 6 Dec 1914 1 Sep 1915
D23 1 Sep 1915 1 Jan 1918
D47 1 Jan 1918 27 Mar 1918

References

  • The British Destroyer by Captain T.D. Manning. Published by Godfrey Cave Associates. ISBN 0-906223-13-X.
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