Reports from Destroyer Flotillas (Battle Fleet)

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REPORTS OF COMMODORE (F)

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Enclosure No. 20 to Submission No. 1415/0022 of 20/6/10 from C.-in-C, Home Fleets.
N. 0017/2.
H.M.S. Castor,
3rd June 1916.
Sir,
I have the honour to forward the following report of my movements on the night of 31st May-lst June. At about 8.30 p.m. on 31st May the Enemy's Destroyers were sighted on starboard bow of our van, and the " Castor " and Half Flotilla proceeded to attack, the Commodore of 4th Light Cruiser Squadron detaching 3 Cruisers to support. 2. The enemy (iestroyers did not develop their attack, and " Castor " returned to her position ahead of the Fleet, com'se S.W. 3. At about 9.0 p.m. the Battle Fleet turned, leaders together, to South, the Flotilla remaining on Starboard bow of Second Battle Squadron, and a Une of Battle Cruisers was then sighted on the Starboard quarter closing Fleet. They appeared very much like enemy Battle Cruisers, but by an intercej^ted signal from Vice-Admiral 2nd B.S. to the Commodore, 4th L.C.S., the Vice-Admiral 2nd B.S. was apparently satisfied they were our own. Soon after sighting them these Battle Cruisers ojDened tire on two of the 4th L.C.S. ahead of the Flotilla. I turned the Flotilla away from the Battle Cruisers, and expected the Fleet to open fire on them. The leading Battle Cruiser then fired a star shell, which appeared to justify the opinion that they were enemy ships but as the Fleet still held their fire I could not attack, as it was not dark enough to make an attack unsupported by fire from the Fleet. The Battle Cruisers turned off to starboard and were lost sight of. 4. At 9.45 p.m. Flotillas were ordered to take station astern of Battle Fleet. 5. At about 10.5 p.m., when on the starboard quarter of the Fleet, ships were sighted on the starboard bow. They challenged us by the first two signs of the challenge of the day. They then made T, followed by R. When about 2,500 yards away the two leading sliips switched on search hghts and opened fire on " Castor." " Castor " oiDcned fire, and was seen hitting A^ith range on guns of 2,000 yards. The bursting of shells from the 6-in. guns was the most noticeable. " Castor " then fired a torpedo, high speed setting, and turned to Port. 6. With regard to the eight Destroyers which " Castor " was leading, two destroyers fired torpedoes, but the remainder of them which were near " Castor " say they were so bhnded by


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" Castor's " guns they could not see anything, and the others were so certain in their own minds that a mistake had Ijeen made, and that we were being fired on by our own ships that tliey decidetl not to fire their torpedoes. 7. ThreeCaptainsofDestroyersinfoimmethattheirEngineer Lieutenants reported feehng a violent detonation under water at the time " Castor " " Magic " and " Marne " fired their torpedoes, and that they themselves observed the lights of the second ship go out and the glow of an explosion on her side ; but this was not felt in " Castor," probably as she was receiving other shocks at the time. 8. The Flotilla then proceeded South after the Battle Fleet, my object being to be within reach of the Fleet at daybreak should the Fleet have found the enemy and a Fleet action take place. 9. At about 12.15 a.m. I sighted a Torpedo Boat on the starboard bow. As soon as it was distinguished as an enemy craft, " Castor " turned to ram her and opened fire. The torpedo boat Mas too quick on the helm, and just avoided being rammed, but received the fire of all guns at point blank range, and was not seen again. A flare, probably from shell explosion was seen on her deck aft. Beheving her to be sunk, " Castor " turned again to South to follow the Fleet. There \vould appear to be no doubt that she was sunk, as she was not seen by any of the destroj^ers who passed the spot where she was fired on by " Castor." 10. With reference to paragraph 5, the Enemy consisted of three or more cruisers, of which the leading ship appeared to be a large cruiser. Their firing was not really very good, and though " Castor " was straddled by the first salvo this was not remarkable considering the range. " Castor " drew the whole fire of the two cruisers, and it is unfortunate that this element of doubt existed in the minds of the Captains of the Destroyers as to whether the ships were enemj% as a good opportunity of firing torpedoes was lost. "Castor" could make no signals to the destroyers, as her communication and wires were cut and W/T temporarily out of action. The handhng of the destroyers was remarkably good, considering no signals could be made. 14. I would mention that some ship ahead of the Second Battle Squadron at about 9.0 p.m. made the signal by searchlight : " Please give me the Challenges and Rephes for the day, as I have lost mine."


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I did not see a reply made, but evidently the signal was taken in by one of our ships, and the Captain of the " Manneis " informs me he saw the reply being made. It is possible that this was one of the enemy's ships asking, and may account for " Castor " being challenged by at any rate part of the correct challenge for the day. 15. The effect of fire on " Castor " Mas as follows : —A large hole, 4 ft. by 4 ft. 6 in. Starboard side under No. 2 4-in. gun, evidently high explosive shell which burst in the heads, splinters passing through the bulkhead into the Recreation Space, destro3dng Fire Main service, Ventilation service, and Voice Pi])es to 4-in. guns. Two men were killed in the heads, and three of the ammunition supply party in Recreation Space. (2) One shot passed through Upper Mess Deck just above the water line, cut through an iron ladder, and passed out tlirough the Port side, evidently exploding whilst passing out. (3) Three shells struck Fore Bridge, doing extensive damage to bridge, cutting all electric circuits and damaging Bridge SteeringGear(whichwasnotbeingused). .Fivemenwerekilled on the Bridge. (4) One shell exploded on the Forecastle, kilhng two men but not doing any material damage to speak of. (5) Several shells hit the ship's side on the armoured plating, fragments passing up and causing damage to after 4-in. guns, Funnels, After Control, Casings and Boats. (6) One shell struck Motor Boat, which set Jier on fire and completely shattered her. (7) In all there were 23 wounded. These men were chiefly forward ammunition supplj parties, and others consisted of men stationed at foremost and after 4-in. Guns and First Aid Party.
I have the honour to be.
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
J. R. P. HAWKSLEY,
Commodore (F)

To Commander-in-Chief,
Grand Fleet.

Enclosure 21 to Submission No. 1415/0022 of 20/6/16 from C.-in-C, Home Fleets

From— The Captain (D), 4th Destroyer Flotilla.
To— The Commodore (F), Grand Fleet Flotillas.
No. 0110.
Date— 6th June 1916.
Submitted with reference to your general signal 1800 of 2nd instant, I attach reports which have been received from Destroyers of 4th Flotilla relative to the action with the enemy on 31st May and 1st June 1916.


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The report from H.M.S. BROKE will be forwarded as soon as it has been received.

E. O. GLADSTONE,
HECLA
Captain (D).
4th Destroyer Flotilla.
II No. 0017/2. Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet. Submitted. J. R. P. HAWKSLEY, Commodore (F). CASTOR, 6th June 1916. SPITFIRE, 3rd June 1916. Sir, I HAVE the honour to report that I observed the following damage to enemy ships on night of 31st May, between 11.0 and 11.40 p.m.

1. " Spitfire " torpedoed a 4-funnelled cruiser, class not. determinable, but she had 4 very tall funnels. She was observed to heel over immediately on being struck and appeared to be in a sinking condition.

2. "Spitfire"was rammed by and rammed (port bow to port bow) a cruiser of " Freya " class (presumably). 20 feet of her skin plating from upper deck to below scuttles is now in " Spitfire."

3. A battle-cruiser of " Moltke " type passed close astern of " Spitfire " at about the same time. She was going very fast, but appeared to be on fire between her funnels and on her fore mess deck, but there was no flame—only smoke. I have the honour to be. Sir, Your obedient Servant. C. TRELAWNY, Lieut.-Comdr.

The S.O.. 4th Flotilla.

COPY OF NAVAL SIGNAL CONTAINING SUMMARY OF REPORTS OF CERTAIN DESTROYERS.

From — The Naval Depot, North Shields.
To — R.A. " Cyclops " for " Hecla," 4 a.m.

" Spitfire " reports position unknown owing to loss of Bridge times approximate was next astern " Tipperary " about 11 p.m. 3 1st May when attacked by four enemy's Cruisers from North West which sank " Tipperary " (stop) " Spitfire " fired torpedo at second in line seen to hit (stop). Had noticed list badly, believed sunk (stop) Had four very tall funnels (stop) " Spit- fire " rammed port boA^- to port boAV enemy's cruiser with


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3 perpendicular funnels 1 red band on every funnel 2 crane (stop) SPITFIRE carried off 20 feet of enemy's side plating (stop) About 11.30 p.m. enemy Battle Cruiser with 2 funnels far apart passed close astern of SPITFIRE steering between South and West observed on fire between funnels and on girdle(?) (stop) PORPOISE reports saw one large ship blow up at 3 a.m. 1st June position unknown (stop) CONTEST reports Blank ( ?) (stop) Report of BROKE will follow to-morrow Sunday. (2240) 4th June 1916.

COPY OF TELEGRAM—CLAIM BY ACASTA.

From — S.N.O. Aberdeen.
To — R.A. Longhope.
Date — 3rd June, 1916.

For HECLA. Considered that torpedo hit leading Enemy's Battle Cruiser at 6.14 p.m. (G.M.T.).
Explosion seen, unable to assess damage caused by gunshot. ACASTA (1630.)

ACASTA,
3rd June 1916.

Sir

I HAVE the honour to forward the following report of action on 31st May.
In company with SHARK, OPHELIA and CHRISTOPHER screening 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron.
P.M. 5.50. Steering N.W. in line ahead on port quarter of Battle Cruiser Squadron. Enemy Light Cruisers and Destroyers sighted ahead, opened fire at 5,000 yards. Enemy course Westerly
6.0. (approximately). Altered course to East.
6. 5. Enemy turned 16 points.
6.10. Division altered to port and SHARK stopped, so I returned to SHARK's " assistance as she was badly hit. While doing so ACASTA was holed forward and aft.
6.12 to 6.18. Fired foremost tube at leading enemy battle Cruiser which apparently hit as explosion was observed by independent witnesses — range 4,500 approximately.
ACASTA was badly hit in engine room, which burst several steam pipes and caused five casualties, one of whom was Engineer-Lieutenant J. Forrest, and engine room had to be evacuated. Steering gear was shot away and I was unable to steer or stop the engines until 6.30.


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Ship was under extremely heavy fire from enemy Light Cruisers and Destroyers and a Battle Cruiser from 0.5 to 6.25.
The moral of the ship's company was excellent.
At 9.0 p.m. a Cruiser, apparently German, was observed heavily on fire to the S.W. and subsequently seen again after 2 a.m.
- * * * * *[1]
At noon, 1st June, NONSUCH took me in tow until 2.30 p.m., 2nd June ; his assistance was invaluable as I had no oil left and met heavy weather.

I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
JOHN O. BARRON,
Lt.-Comdr.
Captain (D),
4th Flotilla.

COPY OF TELEGRAM—REPORT BY CONTEST.

From — Naval Depot, North Shields.
To — Cyclops, for Hecla.
Date — 4th June, 1916.

CONTEST now reports she fired Torpedo at large 3 funnelled ship 11.35 p.m., seen to hit. (1520).

H.M.S. ACHATES.
3rd June 1916.

Sir,
I HAVE the honour to forward an account of ACHATES part in the action on the night of Wednesday, 31st May.
Orders having been received, shortly after 10 p.m., for 4th Flotilla to take station 5 miles astern of the Battle Squadron, single line ahead in the following order was assumed at about 10.50 p.m. : 1st Half Flat. : TIPPERARY, SPITFIRE, SPARROWHAWK, GARLAND and CONTEST 2nd Half Flot. : BROKE, ACHATES, AMBUSCADE, ARDENT, FORTUNE , PORPOISE and UNITY.
Our course was then South, speed 18knots. Position(approx.) at 11.15 : Lat. 55° 48' N., Long. 6° 23' E.
At approx. 1 1.30 p.m., heavy firing was observed on our starbd. bow and directed towards the head of our line, and shortly afterwards the TIPPERARY was observed to haul out of the fine to starboard, badly hit and burning furiously. Shortly after this the BROKE hauled out of the line, apparently hit and not under control, and ACHATES, narrowly avoiding collision

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with her, endeavoured to join up with 1st Half Flotilla. Firing at this time was general in the enemy's line on our starbd. bow and beam and the range close, the order to fire was passed to the tubes as sights came on. I subsequently cancelled the order to fire torpedoes being under the impression that our Cruisers were engaging the enemy between us and the enemy's line and fearing that my torpedoes would cross the line of our own ships.
I respectfully submit that in future the maximum amount of information may be given to destroyers as to the disposition of our own forces, observing the difficulty of recognition by night.
At approx. midnight the ACHATES and AMBUSCADE were chased by enemy's cruisers to the Eastward, and failing to cross ahead of the enemy's line (Enemy's course appeared to be S.E.), I worked round to the North and eventually West and (South passing in rear of their line and endeavouring to join Commodore (F).
I lost touch with AMBUSCADE about 12.30 a.m. and continued to search until 5 a.m., when I intercepted a signal from PORPOISE that he required assistance, and I endeavoured to join him. PORPOISE was eventually joined by GARLAND, and as I was by this time running short of fuel, I proceeded to Rosyth, arriving there at 4 a.m., 2nd June, and after fuelling returned to this base arriving at 9 p.m., 2nd June.
I wish to bring to your notice the excellent manner in which all destroyers of my division were handled during the day and night action on the 31st, and I am of the opinion that the Commanding Officer of AMBUSCADE in particular, who was more immediately under my notice, by skilful handling, brought his ship undamaged out of action.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
R. B. C. HUTCHINSON,
Commander.

Captain (D.),
4th Flotilla.


H.M.S. AMBUSCADE.

3rd June.

Sir,
I HAVE the honour to forward the account of " Ambus- cade's " part in the night action between the 4th Flotilla and the enemy s Battle Fleet on the night of 31st May. The flotilla was in single hne ahead, the 1st half under " Tipperary "' leading, followed by " Broke," " Achates," " Am- buscade," " Ardent," " Fortune," " Porpoise " and " Unity." steering South, five miles astern of the second Battle Squadron. At 11.30 p.m. enemy cruisers were observed on the starboard bow steering South-east at high speed. " Tipperary " drew enemy's fire, and was passed about 5 cables on starboard beam, apparently in a sinldng condition. I attacked with 2 torpedoes, and from a violent explosion shortly afterwards, consider a hit may have been obtained. It


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is believed " Fortune " was sunk about this time. I then hauled off to the Eastward, following " Achates," eventually turning South. At about 11.55 p.m. we encountered enemy's Battle Fleet steering South East. The third torpedo was fired at ships whose fire was concentrated on " Ardent." A red flah was observed at water line between searchUghts of centre ship, and these momentarily went out, giving the possibility of a hit, observing that, though improbable, " Ardent " may also have been aVile to fire. The " Ardent " was not seen after this. All torpedoes were now discharged, and by smoke screen, and continual alteration of helm, I got away to the Eastward, and failing to keep in touch with the " Achates," turned North, and eventually South, joining Commodore (F) at 3.0 a.m. on June 1st. The enemy's fire and working of searchlights was extremely accurate, while their use of star shells rendered a surprise torpedo attack almost impossible.
- * * * * * [2]

I have the honour to be.
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
GORDON A. COLES,
Lieut. Commander.

REPORT OF COMMANDING OFFICER, H.M.S. ARDENT.

M.F.A. CHINA,
Hospital Ship No. VI,
3rd June 1916.

Sir,
I REGRET to report the loss through enemy gunfire of ARDENT at about 12.30 a.m. (G.M.T.) June 1st. Single line ahead was formed astern of the Battle Fleet after dark on 31st May. As far as I could judge, the line ARDENT was in consisted of: ACHATES, AMBUSCADE, ARDENT, FORTUNE, and several other Torpedo Boat Destroyers in rear. Course South, speed 17 knots. TIPPERARY's line appeared to be well out to the Starboard of us.

2. Various other ships were seen dimly and much firing going on, on either side until just after midnight, when four large ships appeared closing in on our Starboard hand, Course about S. by E. The leader challenged by switching on and off several groups of Green and Red lamps. Almost immediately they switched on Searchlights, picked up FORTUNE and opened fire. FORTUNE was hit at once. I altered to Starboard and endeavoured to assist FORTUNE, and from a very favourable position from about 2,000 yards on her port beam fired a torpedo at the leading enemy's ship, which undoubtedly scored a hit, the explosion was


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seen, and the enemy ship's foremost searchlights went off and she turned to Starboard. The second Ship in the line then fixed her searchlights and opened fire on ARDENT, so I increased speed and turned away to Port. I could see the FORTUNE badly hit, on fire, and apparently sinking, but still firing her guns in a most gallant manner at her big adversary.
A few minutes after this I altered course to South to try to pick up AMBUSCADE, steered for what I thought was her smoke, to find I was rapidly closing four large German Ships crossing my bows from Starboard to Port, course about N.N.E. at a high speed. It was too late to get away, so I attacked immediately and fired a torpedo from a favourable position at the leader, I could not see if it hit, as at once a most devastating fire was poured in on the ARDENT from the two leading Ships, who both had their searchlights on us. This bombardment continued for about five minutes when the enemy ceased fire and switched off, after which period the Ship was a total wreck, and appeared to be sinking. I then sank the Secret books, etc., and went aft to try and make a Raft, all our boats, Carley floats, &c. being smashed to bits. At this moment the enemy recommenced firing from point blank range, I gave the order "save yourselves," and about forty survivors jumped into the sea, with no support beyond lifebelts, waistcoats, &c., and shortly after the Ship sunk with her colours flying.
I was in the water about five hours before being picked up by MARKSMAN, and regret that up to date have heard of no more survivors. It is perhaps unnecessary for me to add that the Officers and Ship's company of the ARDENT behaved according to the highest traditions of the British Navy. All Ranks and Ratings fought the Ship until every gun was out of action with the utmost determination.
When all did their duty it is impossible for me to name any individual for special recommendation.

I have the honour to be.
Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,
A. MARSDEN,
Lieut. Commander, H.M.S. ARDENT.


The Captain (D),
Fourth Flotilla,
H.M.S. HECLA

H.M.S. PORPOISE,
3rd June.
REPORT ON FLEET ACTION.[3] Sir,
I HAVE the honour to report the following :—
The various phases of the action and actions can be better ascertained from large ship accounts up to 9.47 p.m. 31st. when


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4th Flotilla was steering N. and N.N.E. 18 knots in 2 columns " Tippeiary," " Spitfire," " Sparrowhawk." and " Garland, "Contest," to starboard: 'Broke, 2nd di\nsion, "Porpoise" and"Unity." Course,South,18knots. At 10.54. D 4 ordered 2nd half tlotilla to take station astern of 1st half flotilla, at same time " Porpoise " and " Unity " Imported enemy destroyers astern, steeling east. About midnight, actions were going on all round us, chiefly to westward. An enemy armoured cruiser came up abaft the starboard beam, challenged, opened fire on " Fortune " and " Porpoise." " Foitune " was at once hit badly. I had to star- board my helm to clear her and was hit by an 8-in. projectile which hit base of the after funnel, killed one man at midship gun, stunning gun's crew, killing the L.T.O. at Foremost tube, wounding No. 2. The air chamber of spare torpedo exploded, blowing the deck in and bending and bursting main steam pipe. The forebridge wheel and telegraphs having gone, I went aft, and from the top of E.R. hatch got the helm to starboard from its being 10° to port. H.M.S. " Fortune " was lying between Porpoise " and the enemy, emitting clouds of smoke and steam, both shi]is being shelled, but enemy searchhghts being somewhat screened by " Fortune's " smoke and steam. We connected after steering position and telegraphs and got ship's head N. by W., steaming about 100 revolutions, but losing water rapidly, so stopped main engines with i-in. in boiler gauge glasses andJ toninR.F.W.T. Wepluggedexhaustpipeandrandown Nos. 3 and 4 boilers to R.F.W.T. and eventually got under way, gradually working up from 100 revs, to 145 revs, in the course of the day and following night. Fell in with H.M.S. " Garland " and " Contest " in Lat. 56.40 N., 3.50 E. at 11 a.m. who escorted "Porpoise" to the Tyne. H.M.S. " Contest " having a broken stem, H.M.S. " Garland " (Lieut.-Comdr. Goff) took " Porpoise " alongside and took her up the River Tyne in a most seamanlike manner.
- * * * * * [4]
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
H. D. COLVILLE,
Commander.


H.M.S. UNITY,
3rd June 1916.

Sir,
I HAVE the honour to report the part taken by H.M.S. UNITY in the night action on 31st May-lst June and subsequent proceedings :-

At about 10 p.m. on 31st May, when in company with 4th Flotilla, station was taken 5 miles astern of Battle Fleet,


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Course South, speed 18 knots. " Unity " was the last ship in the line of 12 destroyers. At 10.45 p.m. observed three enemy destroyers approaching on the starboard quarter; the leading boat fired a torpedo and immediately altered course away, I avoided the torpedo by going full speed and turning towards it, using full helm. At 11.30 p.m. sighted two enemy destroyers on starbd. beam ; fire was opened on them and they turned a^ay. About the same time " Tipperary " and leading destroyers of our line appeared to be in action with large ships. I observed the destroyers ahead alter course to port on a S.Ely course, and therefore increased speed to get into position for a torpedo attack. About midnight I realised I was following a strange British Flotilla, and having lost sight of my own, decided to remain with them. At 1 a.m., 1st June, course was altered to S.W. by the leading T.B.D. and speed increased to 28 knots. No large vessels were seen at any time which I could have attacked. At daylight I found myseK in company with " Lydiard " and 10 destroyers of the 9th and 13th Flotillas. I parted company at 5.45 a.m. to look for the fleet as the other destroyers were apparently returning to their base to oil. At 7.45 a.m. I searched for " Achates," but as I could not find her, and being short of oil, decided to make for Aberdeen to complete. Arrived Aberdeen at 10 p.m., 1st June, and proceeded at 3 a.m., 2nd June, after oiling, to make further search for the Fleet, in the event of being required for screening duty. Owing to bad weather, returned at 5 p.m., 2nd June, to Aberdeen for further instructions. I sailed again at 6 a.m., 3rd June, and returned to the Northern Base.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
A. M. LECKY,
Lieut.-Commander.


The Captain "D"
4th Destroyer Flotilla.



H.M.S. CHRISTOPHER,
2nd June 1916.

REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS ON 31st MAY 1916.
In accordance with orders received, H.M.S. " Christopher " left Scapa at 8.50 p.m. on the 30th May, forming screen for 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron. At 5.45 p.m. on the 31st May, being then in position on port quarter of 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron, steering North, the enemy were sighted on the port bow, consisting of three light


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cruisers (three funneLs) and a destroyer flotilla with a Flotilla Cruiser. The division then attacked destroyer flotilla, coming under heavy fire from light cruisers and destroyer flotilla, and shortly afterwards from three Battle Cruisers. The division then turned sixteen points to regain position ahead of :h'd Battle Cruiser .Squadron. Thirty rounds were fired, but the range was about 10,000 yards and visibility low and no direct hits could be observed. The enemy destroj-ers turned away, " Christopher " and " Ophelia " then took station ahead of Battle Cruisers. Only one opportunity of firing a torpedo at the leading Battle Cruiser occurred, l)ut range was then masked by light cruisers. H.M.S. " Christopher " again came under fire at 8. .30 p.m. from three Battle Cruisers M'hile screening engaged side of Battle Cruisers (" New Zealand "). No damage was sustained and no casualties occurred. H.M.S. " Cliristo'pher " remained screening Lst Battle Cruiser Squadron, and no further action took place.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
F. M. KERR,
Lieutenant-Commander.


H.M.S. GARLAND,
2nd June 1916.
Sir,
I BEG to forward the following report of my proceedings on the night of 31st May -1st June :-
P.M.
9. 2. Sighted 4 German T.B.D.'s, ship was in the midst of a 16 pt. turn at the time. Germans closed and showed recognition lights. Then red lights vertical. I at once opened fire on them. The two leaders turned, fired a torpedo each and made off at full speed to westward. The torpedoes missed me astern. I at once reported German T.B.D.'s presence to Captain "D."
10.35. Sighted a German Cruiser of "Graudenz" class bearing W., course S., estimated speed, 17 knots. This was reported to Captain "D."
11.25. A line of German ships appeared on starboard beam of flotilla, on a slightly converging course and opened fire on Destroyers. We returned their fire.
11.28. Being in a favourable position, I turned and fired torpedo from after tube at a 3 funnelled Cruiser, the third ship in enemy's line. Torpedo was seen to explode abreast of Cruisers mainmast, but as I was thereafter engaged in avoiding collision with other Destroyers, I did not see if vessel sank and was unable to find her again later.
11.40. Closed " Tipperary," whose fore part was burning previously, in order to render her assistance ; but as


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soon as I eased down close astern of her, two enemy cruisers steamed across her bows at close range and opened fire on both of us, so I had to leave her and was chased away to eastward.
P.M.
11.55 Joined up with "Achates," " Fortune " and " Porpoise."
12.0. Sighted a line of German Battleships on stbd. bow, steering south. Leading Battleship switched on recognition lights and then searchlights and opened fire on us.
12. 5. Turned to port and fired torpedo from fore tube at leading ship, which appeared to be one of the " Deutschland " class. Range about 800 yards. Torpedo hit and was seen to explode abreast of the two foremost funnels, ship was seen to take on a heavy list to port, but whether she sank or not I was unable to ascertain as I was chased to the N.E.
I was unable, after this, to again find remainder of flotilla, but later, fell in with " Contest," who could only steam 20 knots. We sighted several German T.B.D.'s, who all made off at full speed on seeing us.
2.25. .Sighted four German T.B.D.'s heading S.S.E. at full speed. Altered course to cross their bows and opened fire at about 5,000 yards. Germans at first began to turn on to a parallel course and returned our fire, and then thought better of it and turned away. At least one shot was seen to take effect on the stern of one German T.B.D.
As there was now no possibility of finding rest of Flotilla, I shaped course for Tyne, with " Contest," and later searched for and found " Porpoise," both of whom I escorted to the Tyne.
With the exception of one boat, which was hit by a 6-in. shell, no damage was sustained and no casualties.
- * * * * * [5]
I have the honour to be.
Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
R. S. GOFF,
Lieut.-Comdr.


The Captain "D,"
4th Destroyer Flotilla.


H.M.S. OPHELIA,
3rd June 1916.
Sir,
I HAVE the honour to report that H.M.S. OPHELIA was in action on May 31st.

H.M.S. OPHELIA left Scapa in company with H.M. Ships SHARK, ACASTA and CHRISTOPHER, SHARK being Senior


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  1. (original footnote) Part omitted here, referring solely to personnel, recommendations &c., in no way bearing on the course of the action.
  2. Part omitted here referring solely to personnel, recommendations, &c., in no way bearing on the course of the action.
  3. Plate 27.
  4. Part omitted here, referring solely to personnel, recommendations, &c., in no wav bearing on the course of the action.
  5. Part omitted here, referring solely to personnel, recommendations. &c., in no way bearing on the course of the action.