HMS Peterel (1899)

HMS Peterel was one of two Spiteful-class destroyers to serve with the Royal Navy. She was built by Palmers, was 215 feet long and the 6,200 H.P. produced by her Reed boilers gave her a top speed of 30 knots. She was armed, as was standard, with a twelve pounder and two torpedo tubes. She served in home waters throughout the Great War and was sold off in 1919.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Peterel
Builder: Palmers, Jarrow
Launched: 30 March 1899
Fate: Sold for breaking up, 30 August 1919
General characteristics
Class and type: Spiteful-class destroyer
Displacement: 350 long tons (356 t)
Length: 210 ft (64 m)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 63

Design and construction

Peterel was laid down (as Yard number 745) on 29 July 1898 by the Jarrow shipbuilder Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Limited. Construction began 'on spec' (i.e. as a private venture by the builder without a specific order), but the part-built ship was included in a January 1899 tender by Palmers to supply three destroyers[lower-alpha 1] to the Royal Navy under a supplement to the 1899–1900 shipbuilding programme.[lower-alpha 2] The ship was launched on 30 March 1899 and Palmers' tender accepted in April 1899, the contract price being £47149 per ship.[1][2]

Peterel closely resembled Spiteful, built by Palmers under the previous year's shipbuilding programme, and like Spiteful had four funnels. She was 219 feet 6 inches (66.90 m) long overall, with a beam of 20 feet 9 inches (6.32 m) and a draught of 8 feet 11 inches (2.72 m). Displacement was 370 long tons (380 t) light and 420 long tons (430 t) full load.[3] Four Reed boilers fed steam at 250 pounds per square inch (1,700 kPa) to triple expansion steam engines rated at 6,200 indicated horsepower (4,600 kW) and driving two propeller shafts, giving a speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).[4][5] 91 tons of coal carried.[5]

Armament was a single QF 12 pounder 12 cwt (3 in-calibre or 76 mm) gun on a platform on the ship's conning tower (in practice the platform was also used as the ship's bridge), backed up by five 6-pounder guns, and two 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes.[6][7]

Service history

Peterel was delivered at Portsmouth in February 1900 for completion and armament[8] and was completed in July that year.[9] She took part in the 1901 Naval Manoeuvres.[10] In 1910 Peterel was a member of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla based at Portsmouth, remaining part of the flotilla in 1912.[11] On 30 August 1912 the Admiralty directed all destroyers were to be grouped into classes designated by letters based on contract speed and appearance. As a four-funneled 30-knotter destroyer, Peterel was assigned to the B Class.[12][13]

In 1912, older destroyers were organised into Patrol Flotillas, with Peterel being part of the 6th Flotilla, based at Portsmouth, in March 1913.[14][15]


  1. The other two destroyers were Myrmidon and Syren.[1]
  2. In total this supplement to the programme authorised the purchase of four battleships, four cruisers and twelve destroyers.[2]
  1. Lyon 2001, pp. 80–81
  2. Friedman 2009, p. 55
  3. Lyon 2001, pp. 78, 80–81
  4. Lyon 2001, p. 78
  5. Brassey 1902, p. 275
  6. Lyon 2001, pp. 98–99
  7. Friedman 2009, p. 40
  8. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36067). London. 16 February 1900. p. 8.
  9. Lyon 2001, p. 80
  10. Brassey 1902, p. 90
  11. "NMM, vessel ID 373232" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol iii. National Maritime Museum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  12. Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 18
  13. Manning 1961, pp. 17–18
  14. Manning 1961, p. 25
  15. "Fleets and Squadrons in Commission at Home and Abroad: Patrol Flotillas". The Navy List. March 1913. p. 269d.


  • Brassey, T.A. (1902). The Naval Annual 1902. Portsmouth, UK: J. Griffin and Co.
  • Chesneau, Roger; Kolesnik, Eugene M, eds. (1979). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-133-5.
  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Lyon, David (2001). The First Destroyers. London: Caxton Editions. ISBN 1-84067-3648.
  • Manning, T. D. (1961). The British Destroyer. London: Putnam & Co. Ltd.
  • Manning, Captain T.D. The British Destroyer. Godfrey Cave Associates. ISBN 0-906223-13-X.

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