The command was founded in April, 1914 as "Destroyer Flotillas of First Fleet," an administrative name it would sporadically bear for some time in the Navy Lists.
In April, 1915, it was given the more aggressive-sounding name, Harwich Striking Force, then having two light cruisers and two destroyer squadrons served by depot ship Dido, giving it a total of four light cruisers and thirty-two "L" and "M" class destroyers.
- Light Cruisers
- Destroyer Flotillas, tender to Dido
Battle of Jutland
- Main article: Harwich Force at the Battle of Jutland
Rear-Admirals and Commodores Commanding
The command was almost unique in having a single commander throughout the conflict.
Dates of appointment given:
- Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 6.
- Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 6.
- Tyrwhitt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 125.
- Borrett Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 505.