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HMS Shark (1912)
HMS Shark
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Acasta-class destroyer
Name: HMS Shark
Builder: Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend
Launched: 30 July 1912
Fate: Wrecked by gunfire and torpedoed 31 May 1916
General characteristics
Length: 267 ft 6 in (81.53 m)
Beam: 27 ft (8.2 m)
Draught: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Propulsion: Yarrow-type water-tube boilers, Parsons steam turbines
Speed: 29 kts

3 x QF 4-inch (101.6 mm) L/40 Mark IV guns, mounting P Mk. IX
1 x QF 2 pdr pom-pom Mk. II

2 x single tubes for 21 in torpedoes

HMS Shark, was an Acasta-class destroyer built in 1912 and sunk during the Battle of Jutland on the evening of 31 May 1916.


She was built at the Wallsend yard of Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson and launched on 30 July 1912. She joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla on completion.

Service during World War I

Shark served with the Grand Fleet from the outbreak of World War I.

The Battle of Jutland

During the Battle of Jutland, the 4th Flotilla was attached to Admiral David Beatty's Battlecruiser Fleet based at Rosyth, and assigned to cover the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron. During the battle, at around 6 pm, Shark led an unsuccessful torpedo attack by the flotilla on the German 2nd Scouting Group. The other three destroyers escaped with little damage, but Shark was crippled by gunfire.[1] The forecastle gun was completely blown away with most of its gun crew shortly before the captain, Commander Loftus Jones, declined an offer of assistance from the destroyer Acasta.

Soon afterwards the aft 4 inch gun was also destroyed and the bridge wrecked. Jones and three seamen continued working the midship gun, engaging nearby German destroyers and leading to the sinking of V48.[2] The German destroyers closed on the ship and returned heavy fire, during which Jones lost a leg. Shortly before 7 pm he ordered the ship to be abandoned and around thirty of the crew managed to get onto the rafts. Seven were picked up six hours later by a Danish ship, but one died soon afterwards. Jones went down with the ship.[3]


At 7 pm the destroyer was sunk by a torpedo launched by the German torpedo boat S54 and which hit her abreast of the aft funnel. In March 1917 Jones was gazetted with a posthumous Victoria Cross.[2] The wrecksite is designated as a protected place[4] under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.


  1. N. J. Campbell (1987). Jutland: An analysis of the fighting. ISBN 0-85177-379-6. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Biography: Loftus William Jones VC". Royal Naval Museum. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  3. Nigel Steel & Peter Hart (2004). Jutland 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes. ISBN 0-304-36648-X. 
  4. "Statutory Instrument 2008/0950". Office of Public Sector Information, 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 

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