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HMS Rother (1904)

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Name  HMS Rother
Commissioned  May 1905
Launched  5 January 1904
Laid down  23 March 1903
Construction started  23 March 1903
Ordered  1902 – 1903 Naval Estimates
Out of service  In 1919 she was laid up in reserve awaiting disposal
Fate  23 July 1919 sold to Thos W Ward of Sheffield for breaking at Briton Ferry, Glamorgan in Wales
Builder  Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company

HMS Rother was a Palmer Type River Class Destroyer ordered by the Royal Navy under the 1902 – 1903 Naval Estimates. Named after the River Rother a river East of Sheffield, South Yorkshire in England, she was the first ship to carry this name in the Royal Navy.



She was laid down on 23 March 1903 at the Palmer’s shipyard at Jarrow and launched on 5 January 1904. She was completed in May 1905. Her original armament was to be the same as the Turleback torpedo boat destroyers that preceded her. In 1906 the Admiralty decided to upgrade the armament by landing the five 6-pounder naval guns and shipping three 12-pounder 8 hundredweight (cwt) guns. Two would be mounted abeam at the foc'x'le break and the third gun would be mounted on the quarterdeck.


After commissioning she was assigned to the East Coast Destroyer Flotilla of the 1st Fleet and based at Harwich.

On 27 April 1908 the Eastern Flotilla departed Harwich for live fire and night manoeuvres. During these exercises HMS Attentive rammed and sank HMS Gala then damaged HMS Ribble.

In April 1909 she was assigned to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on its formation at Harwich. She remained until displaced by a Basilisk Class destroyer by May 1912. She was assigned to the 5th Destroyer Flotilla of the 2nd Fleet with a nucleus crew.

On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyer classes were to be designated by alpha characters starting with the letter 'A'. The ships of the River Class were assigned to the E Class. After 30 September 1913, she was known as an E Class destroyer and had the letter ‘E’ painted on the hull below the bridge area and on either the fore or aft funnel.

World War I

In early 1914 when displaced by G Class destroyers she joined the 9th Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham tendered to HMS St George. The 9th Flotilla was a Patrol Flotilla tasked with anti-submarine and couner mining patrols in the Firth of Forth area. Soon after the commencement of hostilities she was deployed to the Dover Patrol at Portsmouth. Her duties here included counter mining patrols and antisubmarine measures. She was also employed as an escort for merchant shipping.

With the amalgamation of the 7th and 9th Flotillas in August 1915, she was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla when it was redeployed to Portsmouth in November 1916. She was equipped with depth charges for employment in anti-submarine patrols, escorting of merchant ships and defending the Dover Barrage. In the spring of 1917 as the convoy system was being introduced the 1st Flotilla was employed in convoy escort duties for the English Channel for the remainder of the war.


In 1919 she was paid off and laid up in reserve awaiting disposal. On 23 July 1919 she was sold to Thos W Ward of Sheffield for breaking at Briton Ferry, Glamorgan in Wales.

She was not awarded a Battle Honour for her service.


HMS Rother (1904) Wikipedia

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