"C" Class Destroyer (1896)
Their average cost was £60,000.
In July, 1918, twenty-eight ships were listed as being in service, serving in local defence forces in Portsmouth and Devonport and in the Irish Sea. By May 1920, thirty-one of the ships were still worth documenting as regards their armament.
|Overview of 40 vessels|
|Citations for this data available on individual ship pages|
|Star||Palmer||23 Mar, 1896||11 Aug, 1896||Sep, 1898|
|Whiting||Palmer||13 Apr, 1896||26 Aug, 1896||Jun, 1897||27 Nov, 1919|
|Bat||Palmer||28 May, 1896||7 Oct, 1896||Aug, 1897|
|Chamois||Palmer||28 May, 1896||9 Nov, 1896||Nov, 1897||Foundered 1904|
|Crane||Palmer||2 Aug, 1896||17 Dec, 1896||Apr, 1898|
|Flying Fish||Palmer||9 Aug, 1896||4 Mar, 1897||Jun, 1898|
|Fawn||Palmer||5 Sep, 1896||13 Apr, 1897||Dec, 1898||Broken up 1919|
|Flirt||Palmer||5 Sep, 1896||15 May, 1897||Apr, 1899||Sunk 27 Oct, 1916|
|Bullfinch||Earle||17 Sep, 1896||10 Feb, 1898||Jun, 1901||Broken up 1919|
|Dove||Earle||17 Sep, 1896||21 Mar, 1898||Jul, 1901||Broken up 1920|
|Violet||Doxford||13 Jul, 1896||3 May, 1897||Jun, 1898||Broken up 1920|
|Sylvia||Doxford||13 Jul, 1896||3 Jul, 1897||Jan, 1899||Broken up 1919|
|Lee||Doxford||4 Jan, 1898||27 Jan, 1899||Mar, 1901||Wrecked 1909|
|Avon||Vickers||17 Feb, 1896||10 Oct, 1896||Feb, 1899||Broken up 1920|
|Bittern||Vickers||18 Feb, 1896||1 Feb, 1897||Apr, 1897||Collision 1918|
|Otter||Vickers||9 Jun, 1896||23 Nov, 1896||Mar, 1900||Broken up 1916|
|Leopard||Vickers||10 Jun, 1896||20 Mar, 1897||Jul, 1899||Broken up 1919|
|Vixen||Vickers||7 Sep, 1899||29 Mar, 1900||Mar, 1902||Broken up 1921|
|Brazen||Thomson||18 Oct, 1895||3 Jul, 1896||Jul, 1900||Broken up 1919|
|Electra||Thomson||18 Oct, 1895||14 Jul, 1896||Jul, 1900||Broken up 1920|
|Recruit||Thomson||18 Oct, 1895||22 Aug, 1896||Oct, 1900||Torpedoed 1 May, 1915|
|Vulture||Thomson||26 Nov, 1895||22 Mar, 1898||May, 1900||Broken up 1919|
|Kestrel||Thomson||2 Sep, 1896||25 Mar, 1898||Apr, 1900||Broken up 1921|
|Cheerful||Hawthorn Leslie||7 Sep, 1896||14 Jul, 1897||Feb, 1900||Mined 1917|
|Mermaid||Hawthorn Leslie||7 Sep, 1896||22 Feb, 1898||Jun, 1899||Broken up 1919|
|Greyhound||Hawthorn Leslie||18 Jul, 1899||6 Oct, 1900||Jan, 1902||Broken up 1919|
|Racehorse||Hawthorn Leslie||23 Oct, 1899||8 Nov, 1900||Mar, 1902||Broken up 1920|
|Roebuck||Hawthorn Leslie||2 Oct, 1899||4 Jan, 1901||Mar, 1902||Broken up 1919|
|Gipsy||Fairfield||1 Oct, 1896||9 Mar, 1897||Jul, 1898||1921|
|Fairy||Fairfield||19 Oct, 1896||29 May, 1897||Aug, 1898||Foundered 5 Jul, 1920|
|Osprey||Fairfield||14 Nov, 1896||17 Apr, 1897||Jul, 1898||Broken up 1919|
|Leven||Fairfield||24 Jan, 1898||28 Jun, 1898||Jul, 1899||Broken up 1920|
|Falcon||Fairfield||28 Jun, 1899||1899||Dec, 1901||Collision 1 Apr, 1918|
|Ostrich||Fairfield||28 Jun, 1899||22 Mar, 1900||Dec, 1901||Broken up 1920|
|Thorn||John Brown||17 Mar, 1900||Jun, 1901||Broken up 1919|
|Tiger||John Brown||19 May, 1900||Jun, 1901||Collision 1908|
|Vigilant||John Brown||16 Aug, 1900||Jun, 1901||Broken up 1920|
|Albatross||Thornycroft||27 Nov, 1896||19 Jul, 1898||Jul, 1900||Broken up 1920|
hull: Hawthorn Leslie
|1898||6 Sep, 1899||1900||Stranded 1901|
hull: Hawthorn Leslie
|10 Apr, 1901||11 Feb, 1902||Feb, 1904||Mined 1915|
In 1907 it was decided that Velox alone would be among 42 destroyers (primarily Tribals and Rivers) and Swift to receive radio equipment fixed to the "D" tune of 700 feet wavelength for transmission and with a Mark II receiver tunable to 8,300 feet. One P.O. telegraphist would be allowed each ship. She had her mast fitted with a 12 foot yard 60 feet above the water and received the aft end of the aerial via a pair of 20 foot long spars fitted aft. Her W/T office was placed on the upper deck underneath the bridge.
The short wavelength meant the sets worked less well during the day than at night, and tests between Portsmouth and Portland showed strength 8 by night and 6 by day. Practical tests with Usk showed the following strengths over 50 miles of water:
|Signal Strengths from/to|
As had been done since the 27 knotters within the "B" class, the ships mounted:
- One 12-pdr 12 cwt on a P. I mounting. The gun recoiled 12 inches and the mounting and its sights were capable of 30 degree elevations (9500 yards).
- Five Q.F. 6-pdr on Mark I* mountings recoiling 5 inches. The mounting could elevate 30 degrees, but the sight only 25 degrees (4000 yards). By 1920, two 6-pdrs had been removed. 
In late-1913, the 12-pdr mountings were equipped with percussion firing gear.
By 1920, those remaining had also been fitted with a Q.F. 6-pdr on Mark IV H.A. mounting.
Two 18-in single torpedo tubes on the centre line.
In 1905-06, it was decreed that Avon, Cheerful, Bittern and Fairy were to have their 10 cubic foot air compressors replaced by 20 cubic foot models to be able to pump to 2,500 psi. In 1906-07, Falcon, Gipsy, Leopard, Leven, Osprey, Mermaid, Ostrich, Otter, Vixen and Albatross were to receive the same.
From 1907, the decision was made to standardise the "A" through "D"s with torpedoes set for short range, allotting them the Mark IV S.R..
By mid-1918, these destroyers were among several earlier classes for which "alarm circuits" were to be fitted.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 18.
- Smith. Hard Lying. Table 4.
- Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). pp. 16, 17, 19, 28.
- Technical History and Index Vol. 4, Part 34, p. 15.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1907. Wireless Appendix pp. 32-34.
- Admiralty Weekly Order No. 36 of 19 June, 1914.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, p. 93.
- Admiralty Weekly Order No. 430 of 1 Aug, 1913.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1904. p. 75.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1907. p. 32.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 4, Part 34. pp. 15-16.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 232.
- Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
- Lyon, David (1996). The First Destroyers. London: Chatham Publishing. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
- March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953. London: Seeley Service & Co. Limited. (on Bookfinder.com).
- Admiralty, Technical History Section (1920). The Technical History and Index: Alteration in Armaments of H.M. Ships during the War. Vol. 4, Part 34. C.B. 1515 (34) now O.U. 6171/20. At The National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.
|"C" Class Destroyer|
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