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HMS Onslow (1916)
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Admiralty M class destroyer
Name: HMS Onslow
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan
Launched: 15 February 1916
Completed: By 15 April 1916
Fate: Sold for scrapping on 26 October 1921
General characteristics
Displacement: 994 long tons (1,010 t) standard
1,042 long tons (1,059 t) full load
Length: 269 ft (82 m)
Beam: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Draught: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m) mean
10 ft 6 in (3.20 m) maximum
Propulsion: 3 shafts, steam turbines, 25,000 shp (18,642 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h)
Range: 237–298 tons fuel oil
Complement: 80
Armament: • 3 × QF 4 in (100 mm) Mark IV guns, mounting P Mk. IX
• 3 × single QF 2 pdr "pom-pom" Mk. II
• 2 × twin 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes

HMS Onslow was an M class destroyer launched on 15 February 1916, completed by 15 April 1916 and sold for breaking up on 26 October 1921. During the First World War, her captain was John Tovey, (later Admiral of the Fleet).

She saw action at the Battle of Jutland, where, Onslow was badly damaged, with her speed reduced to 10 knots (12 mph; 19 km/h). Nevertheless, Tovey pressed home the attack against first a cruiser and then a line of battlecruisers. Onslow was brought back to Aberdeen despite the damage, having been towed out of action by the destroyer HMS Defender, under heavy fire. The report on the battle by Admiral Beatty stated that:

Defender, whose speed had been reduced to 10 knots, while on the disengaged side of the battle cruisers, was struck by a shell which damaged her foremost boiler, but closed Onslow and took her in tow. Shells were falling all round them during this operation, which, however, was successfully accomplished. During the heavy weather of the ensuing night the tow parted twice, but was resecured. The two struggled on together until 1pm 1st June, when Onslow was transferred to tugs. I consider the performances of these two destroyers to be gallant in the extreme, and I am recommending Lieutenant-Commander J. C. Tovey of Onslow, and Lieutenant Commander Palmer of Defender, for special recognition...

Both officers were awarded DSOs.


  1. Admiral Beatty, The Beatty Papers, vol. 1, B.McL. Ranft, ed, Navy Records Society, 1989, p 323

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