1912 - HMS Orion - was launched in 1910. In January 1912 she was damaged when HMS Revenge broke loose from her moorings, drifted across her port bows and collided with her, causing minor damage to the port side. She became part of the Grand Fleet and took part in the general battleship action at Jutland, claiming no hits and receiving none. She was paid off in April 1922 and sold to Shipbreakers Cox and Danks in December and from February 1923 she was broken up at Upno.
1916 - HMS Indefatigable -was Launched in 1909. She sank on 31st May 1916, during the Battle of Jutland, the largest Naval Battle of the war. Shells from the German Battlecruiser 'Von der Tann' caused an explosion that ripped a hole in her hull and a second explosion hurled huge chunks of the ship high in the air. Out of her crew of 1,019, only 2 survived.
1916 - HMS Invincible - was launched in 1907. She sank on 31st May 1916 during the Battle of Jutland. The actual clash of the two Battle Fleets at Jutland lasted only a few minutes before the heavily outnumbered German High Seas Fleet retired. During this action, HMS Invincible was the lead British. At the short range of 9,000 yards she was targeted by her enemies and just like the two other battle cruisers HMS Indefatigable and HMS Queen Mary destroyed earlier in the battle. The two German ships 'Lutzow' and 'Derfflinger' fired 3 salvos each and she blew up in a massive conflagration. The explosion engulfed the entire ship and sunk it in less than a minute, giving little chance for any of her crew to escape. 1026 officers and men were killed, including Rear-Admiral Hood. There were only six survivors.
1916 - SS Seydlitz - was launched in 1912. The German Battlecruiser was, during the course of the Battle of Jutland 1916, hit 21 times by heavy caliber shells, twice by secondary shells and once by a torpedo. The ship suffered a loss of 98 of her crew and 55 were wounded. She herself scored approximately 10 hits. during the battle. She was scuttled at Scapa Flow 21st June 1919.
1918 - HMS Britannia - was launched in 1904. She was sunk in November 1918, juat 2 days before the end of the War.. She was torpedoed by the German Submarine UB-50. off Cape Trafalgar, (a headland in the province of Cadiz) and sank with the loss of 50 men. She held her 10 degree list for 2 1/2 hours before sinking, allowing most of the crew to be taken off. Most of the men who were lost were killed by toxic smoke from burning cordite. 50 men died and 80 were injured. In total 39 officers and 637 men were saved.
1918 - HMS Iphigenia (launched 1891) and HMS Intrepid (launched 1891) - were scuttled in Zebrugge. By the last year of the First World War, the surviving ships were outdated, and six of this class were converted into blockships to be scuttled in the entrances to enemy-occupied ports in Belgium. The cruisers Intrepid, Iphigenia and Thetis were expended on 23 April 1918 in the raid on Zeebrugge,Intrepid and Iphigenia were,successfully scuttled at the narrowest point of the canal. Although two blockships were sunk at a narrow part of the entrance to the canal network, these were not in the correct positions, and by dismantling two piers near HMS Intrepid and HMS Iphigenia, the Germans were able to create a channel around the obstacle. The block was only effective for a couple of days, after which submarines were able to negotiate their way around the wrecked ships at high tide.
1920 - HMS Caledon was launched in 1916 - Collided with Italian vessel SS Antares in January 1928. (She also collided with a German Pilot Boat in 1923!) She sustained major damage to forward structure in the collision in the Doro Channel, Aegean Sea. She was recommissioned in January 1929 after repairs.
"The Caledon arrived this morning looking a very sad and sorry sight. She must have hit the “Antares” an awful crack. Her stem casting is either gone or bent round to starboard: luckily her collision bulkhead held or I don’t know what would have happened. I am told that Roope was OOW and so he and the Captain are both of them for it. Anyway R. will have the melancholy satisfaction of knowing that he has had a magnificent smash to finish his career." -(an extract from the diary of Colin George Walter Donald -http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/CGWDonald.html)
HMS caledon served in the Mediterranean Fleet during WW2 and she was eventually scrapped in Dover in 1948.
1924 - HMS Lion - launched in 1910, served as flagship of the Grand Fleet's Battlecruiser's throughout WW1. She was put in to reserve in 1920 and sold for scrap in 1924 to Hughes-Bolkow. She was partially scrapped at Jarrow to reduce her draft and she was finished off at Blyth. Her otherwise excellent 13.5" guns were removed for further use, they were stored until used as shore battery guns in WW2.
Images courtesy of World Navy Ships Forum
© Queensferry History Group 2015