Second Light Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy)

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The Second Light Cruiser Squadron was a formation of light cruisers in the Royal Navy. Founded before the Great War, during the war it was one of 3-4 such squadrons tasked with screening the Grand Fleet during operations.

The squadron operated throughout the war and beyond. At some time in September 1924 it was re-designated the Second Cruiser Squadron as post-war operations suggested the wisdom of merging heavy and light cruiser operations.

Rear-Admirals and Commodores Commanding

Dates of appointment given:

Second-in-Command

History

On 1 June, 1913 announcing Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier was appointed Commodore Commanding 2 L.C.S. for the annual manoeuvres.[21]

In November 1913 it was decided not to appoint a Commodore to relieve Napier in command, and that the ships of 2 L.C.S. would fall under the command of Vice-Admiral Commanding, Second and Third Fleets and the Rear-Admirals in the Home Fleets under him.[22]

It was announced in an Admiralty Weekly Order of 6 February, 1914, that the ships of the Second Light Cruiser Squadron would, as a temporary measure, form part of the Fifth Cruiser Squadron.[23]

In November 1914, it was anticipated that when Active returned from refit a second L.C.S. would be formed of Active, Blanche and Liverpool, and that by February, newly completed vessels might permit the composition to become Cordelia (available by end of December), Inconstant and Phaeton (available by end of January) and Comus and Carysfort (February).[24]

Drill and Practice

In 1917, the squadron fired 21 practice torpedoes of which 19 or 90% were judged to be likely to endanger the enemy.[25]

Composition and Deployment

July, 1913

The newly fashioned formation is to participate in the manoeuvres under the broad pennant of Napier, with five light cruisers.[26]

Annual Manoeuvres, 1913
Light Cruisers
Falmouth Com2RN.png Weymouth Bristol Liverpool Dartmouth

November, 1913

The squadron is reduced to four light cruisers, and they are about to be subject to external command.[27]

Moved to External Command
Light Cruisers
Falmouth Weymouth Bristol Liverpool

February, 1914

It was announced in an Admiralty Weekly Order of 6 February, 1914, that the ships of the Second Light Cruiser Squadron would, as a temporary measure, form part of the Fifth Cruiser Squadron.[28]

Dissolved into Fifth Cruiser Squadron

January, 1915

The new 2 L.C.S. appears in the Supplement to the Monthly Navy List, again under the command of Napier, who is now a Rear-Admiral. The formation is screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet alongside the First Light Cruiser Squadron.[29] Falmouth and Liverpool have come from 1 L.C.S., Dartmouth is expectly "later", coming from the Cape,[30] and Gloucester having recently been in the Mediterranean and Yarmouth recently from the China Station.[31]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Falmouth RAdmRN.png Yarmouth Yarmouth Liverpool Dartmouth*

This arrangement would last but a month or two.[32]

March, 1915

Falmouth and Yarmouth have been siphoned off to the newly formed Third Light Cruiser Squadron. Dartmouth has gone to the Mediterranean, and Gloucester and Liverpool to the South East Coast of America.[33] The four new cruisers have come over from the First Light Cruiser Squadron. The new flagship flies the broad pendant of Commodore, Second Class Goodenough, who'd been appointed 8 February.[34]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Lowestoft Nottingham

This roster would apply until some time in January, 1916.[35]

February, 1916

Still attached to Battle Cruiser Fleet. Lowestoft has been moved out to join the Mediterranean Fleet, replaced by the newly-commissioned Champion.[36]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Champion Nottingham

This roster would apply until April.[37]

April, 1916

Dublin is now expected to join "shortly", having recently been puttering around Home Waters.[38][39]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Champion Nottingham Dublin*

May, 1916

Dublin has joined and Champion has been transferred out to lead the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla[40]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Nottingham Dublin

This roster would be the one the Squadron took to the Battle of Jutland and would apply until September, 1916.[41]

Battle of Jutland

Main article: Second L.C.S. (Royal Navy) at the Battle of Jutland

The Squadron was extremely active, screening and scouting for the Battlecruisers.[42]

September, 1916

Nottingham has been dropped, lost to torpedo on August 19.[43][44]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Dublin

This weakened roster would last until November.[45]

November, 1916

Three light cruisers have reinforced the formation. Weymouth has come in, temporarily, from recent service in the Adriatic Squadron and Melbourne and Sydney fresh from miscellaneous service in Home Waters.[46][47][48]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Birmingham Dublin Weymouth* Melbourne Sydney

December, 1916

Weymouth has gone to the new Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron which will be serving alongside L.C.S. 1-3, being for now its only ship. Birmingham has been sent off for miscellaneous duties in Home Waters.[49]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Dublin Melbourne Sydney

This roster would apply until either February or March, 1917.[50]

March, 1917

Birmingham has rejoined following her two-three months of unspecified service.[51]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Dublin Melbourne Sydney Birmingham

This roster would apply until June, 1917[52]

June, 1917

The roster has the same membership, but Birmingham has "temporarily" relieved Southampton of duties as flagship.[53]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Force
Light Cruisers
Southampton Dublin Melbourne Sydney Birmingham Com2RN.png

In September, 1917, Birmingham's status as flagship would no longer be noted as being temporary. In February, 1918, she is not clearly marked as a flagship, but her position in the order has been altered to be the topmost.

This roster would otherwise apply until May, 1918.[54]

May, 1918

Southampton has been sent to the Third Light Cruiser Squadron. Presumably, Birmingham is still flagship, but this has not been explicitly noted since February.[55]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Force
Light Cruisers
Birmingham Dublin Melbourne Sydney

June, 1918

Birmingham is now clearly labelled as flagship.[56]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Force
Light Cruisers
Birmingham RAdmRN.png Dublin Melbourne Sydney

This roster would remain in effect until August.[57]

August, 1918

The Squadron has been bolstered by the addition of Yarmouth, transferring in from the Third Light Cruiser Squadron.[58]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Force
Light Cruisers
Birmingham RAdmRN.png Dublin Melbourne Sydney Yarmouth

This roster would remain in effect through December.[59]

January, 1919

Melbourne has been sent off to Portsmouth, reducing strength to four light cruisers.[60]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Force
Light Cruisers
Birmingham RAdmRN.png Dublin Sydney Yarmouth

This roster would remain in effect until some time in February.[61]

March, 1919

The Squadron has been disbanded, and all four ships are listed as being "miscellaneous ships in commission." This condition would last two months.[62]

Squadron Disbanded

May, 1919

A new 2 L.C.S. has been formed as part of the Home Fleet, where it will screen the new Third Battle Squadron. Champion and Cleopatra have been attached but temporarily.

Attached to the Home Fleet, screening the Third Battle Squadron
Light Cruisers
Caledon RAdmRN.png Champion* Cleopatra* Galatea Inconstant Phaeton
Royalist

June, 1919

Inconstant has paid off and Royalist has temporarily taken up the role as flagship here. Champion has gone to join the torpedo school at Portsmouth, and Cleopatra has gone to the First Light Cruiser Squadron as the new flagship.[63]

Attached to the Home Fleet, screening the Third Battle Squadron
Light Cruisers
Caledon Carysfort Galatea Phaeton Royalist RAdmRN.png

July, 1919

Caledon has resumed her role as flagship.[64]

Attached to the Home Fleet, screening the Third Battle Squadron
Light Cruisers
Caledon RAdmRN.png Carysfort Galatea Phaeton Royalist

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  2. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  3. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Monday, 1 December, 1913. Issue 40383, col F, p. 72.
  4. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  5. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  6. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26.
  7. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). p. 6.
  8. Goodenough Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 433.
  9. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 25.
  10. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 279.
  11. Lambert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 279.
  12. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 25.
  13. "News in Brief" (News in Brief). The Times. Monday, 5 May, 1919. Issue 42091, col B, p. 20.
  14. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 738.
  15. "Naval and Military" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Saturday, 19 March, 1921. Issue 42673, col C, p. 8.
  16. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 239.
  17. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 239.
  18. Gilbert Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 19643/164. ff. 164, 248.
  19. "Flag Changes" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 16 March, 1923. Issue 43291, col E, p. 14.
  20. Dumaresq Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 340.
  21. "The Naval Manoeuvres." The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Jun 10, 1913; pg. 5; Issue 40234.
  22. "Second Light Cruiser Squadron." The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Nov 25, 1913; pg. 15; Issue 40378.
  23. Admiralty Weekly Orders. "860.—Second Light Cruiser Squadron." M. 11652/14—6.2.1914. The National Archives. ADM 182/5.
  24. Grand Fleet Conferences, 1914. facing p. 219.
  25. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 121.
  26. "The Naval Manoeuvres." The Times (London, England), Monday, Jul 21, 1913; pg. 6; Issue 40269.
  27. "Second Light Cruiser Squadron." The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Nov 25, 1913; pg. 15; Issue 40378.
  28. Admiralty Weekly Orders. "860.—Second Light Cruiser Squadron." M. 11652/14—6.2.1914. The National Archives. ADM 182/5.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 9.
  30. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 9, 10.
  31. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1914). p. 15, 16.
  32. No February 1915 Supplement was found.
  33. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). pp. 11, 12, 18.
  34. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 9.
  35. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 12 and Supplements through February, 1916.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). pp. 11, 20.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 11.
  38. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1916). p. 11.
  39. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1916). p. 14.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). pp. 11, 12.
  41. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). p. 11 and Supplements through September.
  42. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. pp. 33, 46.
  43. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 11.
  44. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 46.
  45. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 11.
  46. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1916). p. 11.
  47. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 21.
  48. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 14.
  49. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1916). pp. 11, 14.
  50. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1917). p. 11. No February Supplement was located.
  51. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 11.
  52. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1917). p. 11 and May's Supplement.
  53. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 11.
  54. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 11 and Supplements through April, 1918.
  55. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1918). p. 11.
  56. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1918). p. 11.
  57. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). p. 11.
  58. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1918). p. 11.
  59. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). p. 11. December's Supplement agrees, too, but September and October editions were not found.
  60. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1919). pp. 11, 20.
  61. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 11 and Mawrch's Supplement.
  62. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 21.
  63. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1919). pp. 10, 12, 13, 20.
  64. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1919). p. 12.

Bibliography


Light Cruiser Squadrons of the Royal Navy
First Light Cruiser Squadron | Second Light Cruiser Squadron | Third Light Cruiser Squadron | Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron | Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron | Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron | Seventh Light Cruiser Squadron | Eighth Light Cruiser Squadron