Military Wiki
HMS Fairy (1897)
HMS Fairy (1897) IWM Q 038854.jpg
HMS Fairy
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Fairy
Ordered: 1896 – 1897 Naval Estimates
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Glasgow
Laid down: 19 October 1896
Launched: 29 May 1897
Commissioned: August 1898
Fate: 31 May 1918 foundered off Flamborough Head after ramming German submarine UC-75
General characteristics
Class & type: Fairfield three funnel - 30 knot destroyer[1][2]
Displacement: 355 t (349 long tons) standard
400 t (394 long tons) full load

4 × Thornycroft water tube boiler

2 × Vertical Triple Expansion (VTE) steam engines driving 2 shafts producing 6,000 shp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
Range: 80 tons coal
1,615 nmi (2,991 km) at 11 kn (20 km/h)
Complement: 63 officers and men
Armament: 1 × QF 12-pounder 12 cwt Mark I L/40 naval gun on a P Mark I Low angle mount
5 × QF 6-pdr 8 cwt naval gun L/40 Naval gun on a Mark I* low angle mount
2 × single tubes for 18-inch (450mm) torpedoes
Service record
Operations: World War I 1914 - 1918

HMS Fairy was a three funnel - 30 knot destroyer built by Fairfields for the Royal Navy. Ordered under the 1896 – 1897 Naval Estimates, she was the sixth ship to carry this name since it was introduced in 1778 for a 16-gun sloop.[3][4]

She was classified as a C-class destroyer in 1913.


She was laid down as Yard No 396 on 19 October 1896 at the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company shipyard at Govan, Glasgow and launched on 29 May 1897. During her builder’s trials she made her contracted speed requirement. She was completed and accepted by the Royal Navy in August 1898.[3][4]


After commissioning she was assigned to the Channel Fleet. She spent her operational career mainly in Home Waters operating with the Channel Fleet as part of the East Coast Flotilla.

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed that all destroyer classes were to be designated by letter. She was assigned to the C Class along with other destroyers with a design speed of 30-knots and three funnels and after 30 September 1913, she was known as an "C Class destroyer" and had the letter ‘C’ painted on the hull below the bridge area and on either the fore or aft funnel.[5]

World War I

From August 1914 she was deployed in the 8th Destroyer Flotilla based at the Firth of Forth, but the next month detached from that formation. By October, she was attached to the Grand Fleet. In July 1917, she was transferred to the 7th Destroyer Flotilla on the East Coast of England where she'd be engaged in convoy work.[6]

On the 31st of May, 1918 while escorting an East Coast convoy German submarine UC-75 was sighted and rammed by the steamer SS Blaydonian. The U-Boat surfaced with in the convoy and was attacked and rammed by HMS Fairy. Two submariners leapt on to the forecastle of Fairy as their submarine sank. HMS Fairy, however, had sustained heavy damage and sank a short time later in position 53o57’N 00o09’W.[7][8]

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

Pennant numbers

Pennant Number[8] From To
P40 6 Dec 1914 1 Sep 1915
D53 1 Sep 1915 1 Jan 1918
D35 1 Jan 1918 31 May 1918


  1. Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1905 Sampson Low Marston, London]. Jane’s Fighting Ships 1905. New York: ARCO Publishing Company. p. 77. 
  2. Jane, Fred T. (1990) [1919]. Jane’s Fighting Ships of World War I. Jane’s Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 1 85170 378 0. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jane, Fred T. (1969) [1898 Sampson Low Marston, London]. Jane’s All The Worlds Fighting Ships 1898. New York: ARCO Publishing Company. pp. 84–85. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jane, Fred T. (1990) [1919]. Jane’s Fighting Ships of World War I. Jane’s Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 1 85170 378 0. 
  5. ed. Robert Gardiner; Randal Gray (2006) [1985]. Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1906 to 1922. London: Conway Maritime Press. pp. 17–19. ISBN 0 85177 245 5. 
  6. Admiralty. Supplements to the Monthly Navy List, September 1914 p. 12, October 1914 p. 8, July 1917, p. 16.
  7. "U-Boat data". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 ""Arrowsmith" List – Part 1 Destroyer Prototypes through "River" Class". Retrieved 1 Jun 2013. 
  • Manning, Captain T.D. The British Destroyer. Godfrey Cave Associates. ISBN 0-906223-13-X. 

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