First Battle Squadron (Royal Navy)

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

The First Battle Squadron was a formation of battleships of the Royal Navy. The squadron changed composition often as ships were damaged, retired or transferred. For tactical reasons the squadron was divided into two divisions.

Composition

The First Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet at sea at sunset, April, 1915.
Photo: United States Navy. Naval History and Heritage Command. NH2714.

May, 1912

On 22 June, 1912 Vice-Admiral Sir Stanley C. J. Colville hoisted his flag in Collingwood as Vice-Admiral Commanding the First Squadron (as it was then known).

December, 1912

The squadron was comprised of:[1]

December, 1913

Hercules from the Second Battle Squadron has replaced Dreadnought, which has been bumped over to become the flagship of the Fourth Battle Squadron.[2]

By this time, this squadron had been equipped with Battleship Auxiliary W/T sets.[3]

April, 1914

[4]

Serving in First Fleet, Home Fleets
Battleships
VAdmRN.png Collingwood
  Colossus
  Hercules
  Neptune
RAdmRN.png St. Vincent
  Vanguard
  Superb
  Temeraire
Light Cruiser
  Bellona
Repair Ship
  Cyclops

July, 1914

The squadron was comprised of:[5]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona, repair ship Cyclops.

5 August, 1914

The squadron and its commanders on this date were:[6][7]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona, Captain Percy Royds

These same ships would continue to comprise the squadron through October, 1915 — an uncommonly stable configuration.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

November, 1915

Superb was transferred out to the Fourth Battle Squadron and been been replaced by Agincourt, coming in from that same squadron.[16][17]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona

December, 1915 into May 1916

Membership during this period was largely unchanged, though Colossus replaced St. Vincent as second flagship.[18][19][20][21][22]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona

Vanguard was transferred to the Fourth Battle Squadron prior to the Battle of Jutland, but the strength of the squadron is shown including her and Revenge in May, 1916.

Battle of Jutland

Main article: First B.S. (Royal Navy) at the Battle of Jutland

During the battle, the squadron's composition was:

H.M.S. Benbow, seen from Emperor of India, leading Marlborough and Iron Duke.
Photo: United States Navy. Naval History and Heritage Command. NH50158.

June, 1916

The Battle's effects required some immediate changes. Marlborough had torpedo damage to repair, and so was removed from her role as flagship while she was made whole.[23]

The opportunity was taken to recast 1BS as one enriched in the more powerful dreadnought types. Its 12-in ships Colossus, Neptune, Collingwood, Hercules and St. Vincent were transferred to the Fourth Battle Squadron in exchange for Emperor of India, Benbow and Canada, and 15-in "R" class heavyweights Royal Oak and Royal Sovereign joined the squadron as soon as they'd become ready for service, with Royal Oak becoming the temporary flagship.[24][25]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona

The squadron was to retain this composition in July and August, as Marlborough was repaired.[26][27]

September, 1916

Marlborough was returned to service and able to relieve Royal Oak as flagship. The squadron was otherwise unaltered.[28]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona

The squadron was to retain this configuration through January or perhaps February, 1917.[29][30][31][32][33][34]

March, 1917

Some of the changes noted here may have occurred in February, 1917, as no Supplement to the Monthly Navy List for that month has been located. It is knonw, however, that Marlborough took on the second flagship role on 23 February.[35] By March, however, changes since January were as follows. Upon being relieved by Queen Elizabeth as flagship of the Grand Fleet, Iron Duke joined the First Battle Squadron. At the same time, the flagships shuffled, another "R" class ship joined, and Agincourt left to join the Second Battle Squadron.[36]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona

April, 1917

Marlborough has again been removed from a flag role, handing it back to Emperor of India, which may mean the latter ship has just returned from another refit. The attending light cruiser has also been changed, with the relieved H.M.S. Bellona next cropping up in "Home Waters or on detached service" in May, though she was to return to this squadron within the year.[37][38][39]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde, coming in from the Fourth Battle Squadron in April. The steadfast scout cruiser Bellona was detached in April, coming back to join Blonde in August before leaving a final time in October.

Otherwise, things remained stable until November.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46]

November, 1917

Ramillies has joined, bringing the strength up to ten dreadnoughts, none with guns smaller than 13.5-in.[47]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

Second Battle of Heligoland Bight

The squadron was represented in the battle on 17 November, 1917 as:[48]

Screened by:

December, 1917

Revenge has been relieved as flagship by Resolution. In all likelihood, this means Revenge has entered refit.[49][Inference]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

Resolution's role as flagship was to continue only through February, 1918, though the roster was to remain for some time further.[50][51][52]

March, 1918

Revenge has been restored as flagship. In all likelihood, this means she has completed a refit which kept her away.[Inference] Nothing else has changed.[53]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This configuration seemingly persisted through February 1919.[54]

March, 1919

With demobilisation taking hold, the 13.5-in ships were removed from service, leaving six ships. Blonde has been let go, as well.[55]

This configuration lasted but one month.

April, 1919

Canada has been let go, leaving just five ships with a uniform 15-in armament.[56]

This configuration lasted but one month.

May, 1919

The squadron is now part of the Atlantic Fleet.[57]

This configuration lasted through at least July, 1919.[58][59]

Admirals In Command

The commander of the squadron was variously Rear, Vice and full Admirals.

Dates of appointment given:

Rear-Admirals, Second-in-Command

Dates of appointment given:

Footnotes

  1. Handwritten notes in Albert Francis Barclay Bridges papers at The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum. [BRG 1/1]
  2. Handwritten notes in Albert Francis Barclay Bridges papers at The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum. [BRG 1/1]
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1913. W/T Appendix, p. 13.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April 1914). p. 267.
  5. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 109 of 10 July, 1914.
  6. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 15.
  7. Naval Operations. Volume I. p. 438.
  8. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 8.
  9. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 8.
  10. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). p. 10.
  11. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1915). p. 10.
  12. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1915). p. 10.
  13. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1915). p. 10.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1915). p. 10.
  15. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 10.
  16. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 10.
  17. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1915). p. 10.
  18. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1915). p. 10.
  19. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1916). p. 10.
  20. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 10.
  21. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 10.
  22. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 10.
  23. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). p. 10.
  24. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 10.
  25. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). p. 10.
  26. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1916). p. 10.
  27. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1916). p. 10.
  28. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 10.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 10.
  30. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 10.
  31. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1916). p. 10.
  32. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 10.
  33. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1917). p. 10.
  34. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 10.
  35. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 214.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 10.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1917). p. 10.
  38. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1917). p. 14.
  39. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 10.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1917). p. 10.
  41. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 10.
  42. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 10.
  43. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 10.
  44. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). p. 10.
  45. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1917). p. 10.
  46. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 10.
  47. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 10.
  48. Naval Operations. Vol. V. pp. 168-169.
  49. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 10.
  50. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 10.
  51. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1918). p. 10.
  52. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 10.
  53. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 10.
  54. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 10 and Supplements through February 1919, less September which was not located.
  55. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 10.
  56. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1919). p. 10. Ramillies is indicated as a flagship in this source, but on page 4 it seems that this is not so.
  57. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1919). pp. 4, 10.
  58. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1919). p. 10.
  59. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1919). p. 10.
  60. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. Unnumbered page.
  61. Colville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 29.
  62. Bayly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 444.
  63. Bayly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19. f. 444.
  64. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  65. Burney Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 84/180.
  66. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  67. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  68. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 124.
  69. Fremantle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. p. 293.
  70. Fremantle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 293.
  71. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 23 March, 1921. Issue 42676, col D, p. 12.
  72. Alexander-Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. p. 194.
  73. Alexander-Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 361.
  74. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 14 October, 1924. Issue 43782, col E, p. 6.
  75. "New Flag Commands" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 11 May, 1925. Issue 43958, col C, p. 9.
  76. Hodges Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 250.
  77. Hodges Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 250.
  78. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/89. f. 109.
  79. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/89. f. 109.
  80. "Flag Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1929. Issue 45096, col G, p. 6.
  81. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 230.
  82. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 230.
  83. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.
  84. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.
  85. Forbes Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 130.
  86. Forbes Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 130.
  87. Layton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/134. f. ?.
  88. Layton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/134. f. ?.
  89. Pridham-Wippell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/14. ff. 177, 253.
  90. Pridham-Wippell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/14. ff. 177, 253.
  91. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. Unnumbered page.
  92. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  93. Madden Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 83.
  94. "Naval and Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 11 December, 1912. Issue 40079, col C, p. 14.
  95. Gough-Calthorpe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 130/264.
  96. Gough-Calthorpe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 130/264.
  97. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  98. Evan-Thomas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 105.
  99. Evan-Thomas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 105.
  100. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  101. Gaunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 276.
  102. Gaunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 276.
  103. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  104. Duff Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 80.
  105. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 2.
  106. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 214.
  107. Stanley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 432.
  108. Stanley Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 205.
  109. "Naval Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 11 March, 1920. Issue 42356, col F, p. 6.
  110. Doughty Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 50.
  111. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 23 March, 1921. Issue 42676, col D, p. 12.
  112. Bentinck Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 47.
  113. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Thursday, 2 March, 1922. Issue 42969, col G, p. 20.
  114. "Flag Changes" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 16 March, 1923. Issue 43291, col E, p. 14.
  115. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 4 February, 1924. Issue 43556, col F, p. 20.
  116. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 230.
  117. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 230.
  118. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 14 October, 1924. Issue 43782, col E, p. 6.
  119. Fisher Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 231.
  120. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 4 November, 1925. Issue 44110, col E, p. 5.
  121. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 1 October, 1926. Issue 44391, col C, p. 6.
  122. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 17 August, 1927. Issue 44662, col B, p. 19.
  123. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/225. f. 225.
  124. Kerr Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/225. f. 225.
  125. "Flag Appointments" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1929. Issue 45096, col G, p. 6.
  126. Drax Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 214.
  127. Pridham-Wippell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/14. ff. 177, 253.
  128. Pridham-Wippell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/14. ff. 177, 253.

Bibliography

  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.
  • Newbolt, Henry (1931). Naval Operations. Vol. V. London: Longmans, Green and Co..

See Also


British Battle Squadrons
First Battle Squadron | Second Battle Squadron | Third Battle Squadron | Fourth Battle Squadron
Fifth Battle Squadron | Sixth Battle Squadron | Seventh Battle Squadron | Eighth Battle Squadron