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World War 1 at Sea - Naval Battles in outline






HMS Lion, battlecruiser (Maritime Quest/Alasdair Hughes, click to enlarge)







Battle in outline
London Gazette Naval Despatch
Royal Navy Casualties - Killed, Died and Wounded
Royal Navy Honours and Gallantry Awards


Royal Navy Battle Honour - DOGGER BANK 1915



Relevant chapter from "History of the Great War - Naval Operations"


Volume 2 by Corbett


V. The Dogger Bank Action — January 24

including plans, right



also log books of

HMS Princess Royal, 1914-15, including the Battle


(click to enlarge plans or follow links to text)

Strategical Plan of the Dogger Bank Action

The Battle of the Dogger Bank, Plan No 3 (5.9Mb)





Postcard of the Battle from the scrapbook of Leading Signalman George Smith,
then on board HM Destroyer Forester


Sunday 24 January 1915


German 1st SG - battlecruisers Seydlitz (flag, Adm Hipper), Moltke (both 11in-armed), Derfflinger (12in), armoured cruiser Blücher (8.2in), 2nd SG light cruisers Graudenz, Stralsund, Rostock, Kolberg, and destroyers sailed to attack British fishing vessels and patrols on the Dogger Bank.


Warned by the Admiralty's Room 40 Intelligence Department, the Grand Fleet including the 1st LCS (Cdre Goodenough) and 1st BCS (Lion, flag, Adm Beatty) together with Harwich Force (Cdre Tyrwhitt) put to sea to rendezvous in the NE part of the Bank.


Delays due to fog meant that Harwich Force light cruiser Arethusa was heading north half an hour ahead of light cruiser leaders Aurora, Undaunted and their destroyers. Shortly after 0700 Aurora, sighted a cruiser in the SE Dogger Bank area, believed her to be Arethusa and challenged, then opened fire on the German Kolberg at 0715 from 8,000yds:


Aurora, Arethusa-class, 4,400t, 2-6in/6-4in/4-21in tt, leader 1st DF Harwich Force. Hit three times and slightly damaged, Kolberg damaged more severely and turned away (Rn/Cn/D/ty)


As the British ships continued towards the rendezvous, the Germans sighted 1st LCS, shortly turned for home and by 0750 could be seen by Adm Beatty’s 1st LCS. In the ensuing stern chase, the battlecruisers headed approximately south east:

                                 Blücher - Derfflinger - Moltke - Seydlitz >

Indomitable    - New Zealand - Princess Royal - Tiger - Lion >



Pursuing British Battlecruisers

in line ahead - from the stern


(images, Photo Ships, except two)


HMS Indomitable


German 1st Scouting Group

also in line ahead from the stern


(all images, Maritime Quest)


HMS New Zealand


 SMS Blücher


HMS Princess Royal


SMS Derfflinger


HMS Tiger (Maritime Quest)

SMS Moltke


HMS Lion (Maritime Quest/Alasdair Hughes)








SMS Seydlitz



.....  with Indomitable lagging behind. Lion opened fire on Blücher at 0852, started hitting at 0907, then moved up to Derfflinger while Tiger and Princess Royal concentrated on Blücher, both Germans being hit. Lion received her first damage around 0928, and at 0935 Beatty ordered 1st BCS to engage their opposite numbers - New Zealand on Blücher, Princess Royal on Derfflinger, Tiger on Moltke, Lion on Seydlitz. Unfortunately Tiger fired at Seydlitz, leaving Moltke free to concentrate on Lion, and although the German ships were being hit, Lion was again hurt at 0954 and 1001. Blücher now pulled out of line while the other three German ships continued on their course, and by 1048 was circling out of control.


Lion was damaged again at 1018 and between 1035 and 1050. At 1100 her damaged was so severe she dropped astern, then due to signalling errors, the other three British battlecruisers concentrated on Blücher. Adm Beatty crossed to destroyer Attack and by 1150 was getting ready to transfer his flag to Princess Royal and continue after the Germans. Then at noon the battlecruisers returned from sinking Blücher. Although Seydlitz and Derfflinger were badly damaged (their experiences led to far better flash protection that served them well at Jutland), Adm Beatty was deeply disappointed he had failed to destroy all four big ships. Tiger was also hit but the other three battlecruisers were untouched:


Lion, Lion-class, 29,680t, 8-13.5in/16-4in/2-21in tt. Hit and damaged a number of times: (1) three German ships firing at her by 0928, shell hit on waterline penetrated the bunkers but damage made good, (2) when Moltke was not engaged, A-turret smashed at 0954 and one gun out of action, (3) 11in shell from Seydlitz pierced the armour at 1001, flooding started and listed to port, (4) hit hard at 1018 - one shell struck the armour below the waterline, drove in several plates and flooded foremost port bunker, and a second pierced armour on waterline, burst in torpedo body room and flooded all adjacent compartments, (5) when Blücher pulled out of line, the other three German ships again concentrated on Lion, hit by numerous shells between 1035 and 1050, armour pierced and more flooding, shell burst in A-turret lobby and started fire, (6) at 1100, shell drove in armour on the waterline abreast one of the boiler rooms, seriously damaged, port engine had to be stopped, light and power failed, list to port increased to 10°, speed dropped to 15kts and Lion dropped astern. She continued for home without Adm Beatty at 12kts, around 1430 speed dropped to 8kts, Indomitable took her in tow and she reached the Firth of Forth at dawn on the 26th; 17 ratings wounded, including 5 very slightly. Fired a total of 243 heavy shells, hit Blücher once, Derfflinger once, Seydlitz twice, in turn hit by 16-11in and 12in shells, also 1-8.2in. Temporarily repaired at Rosyth, repairs completed by Palmers, returned to service as flagship of new Battle Cruiser force (Rn/Cn/D)


Tiger, improved Lion-class, 35,700t, 8-13.5in/12-6in/4-21in tt. Hit by 6 shells including one 11in on Q-turret, splinters jammed training gear and left turret out of action; 1 officer and 9 ratings died, 3 officers and 8 ratings wounded (Cn - 10 crew killed, 11 wounded). Repaired by 8 February (Rn/Cn/D/ti)


HMS Meteor (Photo Ships)


Meteor, destroyer, M-class, 980t, 3-4in/1-2pdr/4-21in tt, 1st DF Harwich Force, Captain D’s ship, Capt H Meade. Came up on the battered Blücher, manoeuvred to fire a torpedo and hit forward by heavy shell at 1120, exploded in foremost boiler room, almost putting her out of action; 2 ratings died and 2 wounded, of whom 1 later DOW. Towed into Humber by destroyer Liberty (Rn/Cn/D/ty)



(click for source abbreviations)




With thanks to the London Gazette



Gazette No. 29088 - 2 MARCH 1915


Admiralty, 3rd March, 1915.


The following despatch has been received from Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, K.C.B., M.V.O., D.S.O., commanding the First Battle Cruiser Squadron, reporting the action in the North Sea on Sunday, the 24th of January, 1915:


H.M.S. "Princess Royal,", 2nd February, 1915.



I have the honour to report that at daybreak on 24th January, 1915, the following vessels were patrolling in company.


The Battle Cruisers "Lion” Captain Alfred E. M. Chatfield, C.V.O., flying my flag; "Princess Royal," Captain Osmond de B. Brock, Aide-de-Camp; "Tiger," Captain Henry B. Pelly, M.V.O.; "New Zealand," Captain Lionel Halsey, C.M.G., Aide-de-Camp, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir Archibald Moore, K.C.B., C.V.O.; and "Indomitable," Captain Francis W. Kennedy.


The Light Cruisers "Southampton," flying the broad pendant of Commodore William E. Goodenough, M.V.O.; "Nottingham," Captain Charles B. Miller; "Birmingham," Captain Arthur A. M. Duff; and " Lowestoft," Captain Theobald W. B. Kennedy, were disposed on my port beam.


Commodore (T) Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt, C.B., in "Arethusa," "Aurora," Captain Wilmot S. Nicholson, "Undaunted," Captain Francis G. St. John, M.V.O., "Arethusa," and the Destroyer Flotillas were ahead.


At 7.25 a.m. the flash of guns was observed S.S.E. Shortly afterwards a report reached me from "Aurora" that she was engaged with enemy's ships. I immediately altered course to S.S.E., increased to 22 knots, and ordered the Light Cruisers and Flotillas to chase S.S.E. to get in touch and report movements of enemy.


This order was acted upon with great promptitude, indeed my wishes had already been forestalled by the respective Senior Officers, and reports almost immediately followed from "Southampton," "Arethusa," and "Aurora" as to the position and composition of the enemy, which consisted of 3 Battle Cruisers and "Blucher," 6 Light Cruisers, and a number of Destroyers, steering N.W. The enemy had altered course to S.E. From now onwards the Light Cruisers maintained touch with the enemy, and kept me fully informed as to their movements.


The Battle Cruisers worked up to full speed, steering to the southward. The wind at the time was N.E., light, with extreme visibility. At 7.30 a.m. the enemy were sighted on the port bow steaming fast, steering approximately S.E. distant 14 miles.


Owing to the prompt reports received we had attained our position on the quarter of the enemy, and so altered course to S.E. parallel to them, and settled down to a long stern chase, gradually increasing our speed until we reached 28.5 knots. Great credit is due to the Engineer Staffs of "New Zealand" and "Indomitable"-these ships greatly exceeded their normal speed.


At 8.52 a.m., as we had closed to within 20,000 yards of the rear ship, the Battle Cruisers manoeuvred to keep on a line of bearing so that guns would bear, and "Lion" fired a single shot, which fell short. The enemy at this time were in single line ahead, with Light Cruisers ahead and a large number of Destroyers on their starboard beam.


Single shots were fired at intervals to test the range, and at 9.9 a.m. "Lion" made her first hit on the "Blücher," No. 4 in the line. The "Tiger" opened fire at 9.20 a.m. on the rear ship, the "Lion" shifted to No. 3 in the line, at 18,000 yards, this ship being hit by several salvoes. The enemy returned our fire at 9.14 a.m. "Princess Royal," on coming into range, opened fire on "Blücher," the range of the leading ship being 17,500 yards, at 9.35 a.m. "New Zealand" was within range of "Blücher," which had dropped somewhat astern, and opened fire on her. "Princess Royal" shifted to the third ship in the line, inflicting considerable damage on her.


Our flotilla cruisers and destroyers had gradually dropped from a position broad on our beam to our port quarter, so as not to foul our range with their smoke; but the enemy's destroyers threatening attack, the "Meteor" and "M" Division passed ahead of us, Captain the Hon. H. Meade, D.S.O., handling this Division with conspicuous ability.


About 9.45 a.m. the situation was as follows:


"Blücher, the fourth in their line, already showed signs of having suffered severely from gun-fire; their leading ship and No. 3 were also on fire. ''Lion'' was engaging No. 1, "Princess Royal" No. 3, "New Zealand" No. 4, while the "Tiger," who was second in our line, fired first at their No. 1, and when interfered with by smoke, at their No. 4.


The enemy's destroyers emitted vast columns of smoke to screen their battle cruisers, and under cover of this the latter now appeared to have altered course to the northward to increase their distance, and certainly the rear ships hauled out on the port quarter of their leader, thereby increasing their distance from our line. The battle cruisers, therefore, were ordered to form a line of bearing N.N.W., and proceed at their utmost speed.


Their destroyers then showed evident signs of an attempt to attack. "Lion" and "Tiger" opened fire on them, and caused them to retire and resume their original course.


The Light Cruisers maintained an excellent position on the port quarter of the enemy's line, enabling them to observe and keep touch, or attack any vessel that might fall out of the line.


At 10.48 a.m. the "Blücher," which had dropped considerably astern of enemy's line, hauled out to port, steering north with a heavy list, on fire, and apparently in a defeated condition. I consequently ordered "Indomitable" to attack enemy breaking northward. At 10.54 a.m. submarines were reported on the starboard bow, and I personally observed the wash of a periscope, two points on our starboard bow. I immediately turned to port.


At 11.3 a.m. an injury to the "Lion" being reported as incapable of immediate repair, I directed "Lion" to shape course N.W. At 11.20 a.m. I called the "Attack" alongside, shifting my flag to her at about 11.35 a.m. I proceeded at utmost speed to rejoin the Squadron, and met them at noon retiring N.N.W.


I boarded and hoisted my flag in "Princess Royal" at about 12.20 p.m., when Captain Brock acquainted me of what had occurred since the "Lion" fell out of the line, namely that " Blücher" had been sunk and that the enemy Battle Cruisers had continued their course to the eastward in a considerably damaged condition. He also informed me that a Zeppelin and a seaplane had endeavoured to drop bombs on the vessels which went to the rescue of the survivors of "Blücher."


The good seamanship of Lieut. Commander Cyril Callaghan, H.M.S. "Attack," in placing his vessel alongside the "Lion" and subsequently the "Princess Royal," enabled the transfer of flag to be made in the shortest possible time.


At 2 p.m. I closed "Lion" and received a report that her starboard engine was giving trouble owing to priming, and at 3.38 p.m. I ordered "Indomitable" to take her in tow, which was accomplished by 5 p.m.


The greatest credit is due to the Captains of "Indomitable" and "Lion" for the seamanlike manner in which the "Lion" was taken in tow under difficult circumstances.


The excellent steaming of the ships engaged in the operation was a conspicuous feature.


I attach an appendix giving the names of various officers and men who specially distinguished themselves.


Where all did well it is difficult to single out Officers and Men for special mention, and as "Lion" and "Tiger" were the only ships hit by the enemy, the majority of these I mention belong to those ships.



I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant,

(Signed) DAVID BEATTY, Vice-Admiral.



Commander Charles A. Fountaine, H.M.S. "Lion."

Lieutenant-Commander Evan C. Bunbury, H.M.S. "Lion."

Lieutenant Frederick T. Peters, H.M.S. "Meteor."

Lieutenant Charles M. R. Schwerdt, H.M.S. "Lion."

Engineer-Commander Donald P. Green, H.M.S. "Lion."

Engineer-Commander James L. Sands, H.M.S. "Southampton."

Engineer-Commander Thomas H. Turner, H.M.S. "New Zealand."

Engineer-Lieutenant-Commander George Preece, H.M.S. "Lion."

Engineer-Lieutenant Albert Knothe, H.M.S. "Indomitable."

Surgeon Probationer James A. Stirling, R.N.V.R., H.M.S. "Meteor."

Mr. Joseph H. Burton, Gunner (T), H.M.S. "Lion."

Chief Carpenter Frederick E. Dailey, H.M.S. "Lion."

Petty Officers and Men.

Petty Officer John William Kemmett, O.N. 186788, H.M.S. "Lion."

Able Seaman Henry Davis, O.N. 184526, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Able Seaman Hubert F. Griffin, O.N. J. 14160, H.M.S. "Princess Royal."

Able Seaman Peter Stanley Livingstone, O.N. 234328, H.M.S. "Lion."

Able Seaman Herbert Robison, O.N. 209112, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Able Seaman George Henry le Seilleur, O.N. 156802, H.M.S. "Lion."

Boy, 1st Class, Francis G. H. Bamford, O.N. J. 26598, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Boy, 1st Class, Julius F. Rogers, O.N. J. 28329, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Chief Engine-Room Artificer, 1st Class, Evan Richard Hughes, O.N. 268999, H.M.S. "Indomitable."

Chief Engine-Room Artificer, 2nd Class, Wm. Beaty Dand, O.N. 270648, H.M.S. "New Zealand."

Chief Engine-Room Artificer W. Gillespie, O.N. 270080, H.M.S. "Meteor."

Mechanician Alexander James Cannon, O.N. 175440, H.M.S. "Lion."

Mechanician Edward Charles Ephgrave, O.N. 288231, H.M.S. "Lion."

Chief Stoker Patrick Callaghan, O.N. 278953, H.M.S, "Lion."

Chief Stoker Alfred Wm. Ferris, O.N. 175824, H.M.S. "Lion."

Chief Stoker John Ernest James Portsmouth, O.N. 174232, H.M.S. "New Zealand."

Chief Stoker William James, O.N.15322Q (R.F.R. Dev. A.3422), H.M.S. "Indomitable."

Chief Stoker James Keating, R.F.R., O.N, 165732, H.M.S. "Meteor."

Stoker Petty Officer Michael Flood, R.F.R., O.N. 153418, H.M.S. "Meteor."

Stoker Petty Officer Thomas Wm. Hardy, O.N. 292542, H.M.S. "Indomitable."

Stoker Petty Officer Albert John Sims, O.N. 276502, H.M.S. " New Zealand."

Stoker Petty Officer Samuel Westaway, R.F.R., O.N. 300938, H.M.S. "Meteor."

Acting Leading Stoker John Blackburn, O.N. K. 4844, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Stoker, 1st Class, Alan H. Bennet, O.N. K. 10700, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Stoker, 2nd Class, Harold Turner, O.N. K. 22720, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Leading Carpenter's Crew, Emmanuel Omega Bradley, O.N. 346621, H.M.S. "Lion."

Leading Carpenter's Crew, Elisha Currie, O.N. 344851, H.M.S. "Lion."

Sick Berth Attendant Charles S. Hutchinson O.N. M. 3882, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Chief Writer Samuel G. White, O.N. 340597, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Third Writer Herbert C. Green, O.N. M. 8266, H.M.S. "Tiger."

Officers' Steward, 3rd Class, Fred W. Kearley, O.N. L. 2716, H.M.S. "Tiger."



ROYAL NAVY CASUALTIES - Killed, Died and Wounded

With thanks to Don Kindell


Sunday, 24 January 1915



Lion, battlecruiser, damaged




 Cannon, Andrew Joseph, Mechanician, 294688 (Dev), severely

 Coaker, Peter Charles, Leading Signalman, 232416 (Dev), severely

 Corlett, Joseph Fayle, Able Seaman, 232730 (Dev), severely

 Dinning, George, Stoker, RNR, 3034 T, very slightly

 Emery, William Henry, Cook's Mate, M 2376 (Dev), very slightly

 Ephgrave, Edward Charles, Mechanician, 288231 (Dev), very slightly

 Fearns, Norman, Act/Leading Stoker, K 1897 (Dev), slightly

 Flewers, Frederick Isaac, Stoker Petty Officer (RFR A 1766)(Pens), 154814 (Ch), very slightly

 Galvin, Thomas, Stoker 1c, 289306 (Dev), slightly

 Groom, William, Private, RMLI, Chatham 14239, very slightly

 Kendall, William George, Able Seaman, 199321 (Dev), slightly

 Mcginnes, Percy Cornelius, Petty Officer, 206508 (Dev), slightly

 Penny, William Edwin, Petty Officer Telegraphist, 179420 (Dev), slightly

 Pow, James, Stoker, RNR, 2816 T, severely

 Sale, George Ray, Stoker 2c, K 22250 (Dev), slightly

 Symons, Andrew Henry, Able Seaman, 233064 (Dev), severely

 Wood, Andrew, Stoker 1c, K 17226 (Dev), severely



Meteor, destroyer, damaged




 ATTWOOD, Edward, Stoker Petty Officer (RFR B 5662), 299862 (Dev)

 FRY, William, Stoker 1c (RFR B 5983), SS 108286

 UPTON, William A, Leading Stoker, 234032 (Po)




Rose, William H, Stoker Petty Officer, 222673 (Dev), died of wounds next day

Smith, Herbert, Able Seaman. (RFR B 2078), 195285 (Dev)



Tiger, battlecruiser, damaged




 BARRELL, William J, Canteen Assistant, Admiralty civilian

 BRADSHAW, Thomas, Stoker 1c, K 9494 (Dev)

 COUCH, George H, Stoker 1c, K 14281 (Dev)

 HAMBREY, Benjamin, Stoker 1c, 230224 (Dev)

 MANFIELD, William A, Stoker 1c, K 7847 (Dev)

 MATTHEWS, Arthur, Able Seaman, 220447 (Dev)

 O'MAHONY, Patrick, Boy 1c, J 29248 (Dev)

 OUGH, John A, Stoker 2c, K 22541 (Dev)

 ROURKE, Thomas, Able Seaman, 234175 (Dev)

 TAYLOR, Charles G, Engineer Captain




 Bamford, Francis George Blinckley, Boy 1c, J 26598 (Dev)

 Bewley, Charles Frederick Akid, Stoker 2c, SS 114358 (Dev)

 Cook, Samuel, Stoker 2c, SS 114689 (Dev)

 Dunn, Frederick, Act/Chief Petty Officer, 189918 (Dev)

 Gibbons, Robert R, Sub Lieutenant

 Gloster, Harry William, Boy 1c, J 27309 (Dev)

 Gray, William Henry, Stoker 2c, SS 116164 (Dev)

 Grier, Arthur G T, Midshipman

 Popham, William Frederick, Able Seaman, 216138 (Dev)

 Strawbridge, Samuel James, Stoker 2c, K 22985 (Dev)

 White, Leonard H, Lieutenant



Monday, 25 January 1915


Meteor, destroyer, damaged on 24th

 ROSE, William H, Stoker Petty Officer, 222673 (Dev), DOW




With thanks to the London Gazette


Many of the honours and gallantry awards listed in the London Gazette, do not identify ships or battles/campaigns. Therefore the following listings may be incomplete



Gazette No. 29088 - 2 MARCH 1915


The KING (is) pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, in recognition of the services of the undermentioned Officer mentioned in the foregoing despatch:


To be an Additional Member of the Military Division of the Third Class or Companion.

 Captain Osmond de Beauvoir Brock, A.D.C., Royal Navy.



To be Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

 Lieutenant Frederic Thornton Peters, Royal Navy.


To receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

 Surgeon Probationer James Alexander Stirling, R.N.V.R.

 Gunner (T) Joseph H. Burton.

 Chief Carpenter Frederick E. Dailey.


The following promotion has been made:

 Commander Charles Andrew Fountaine to be a Captain in His Majesty's Fleet, to date 3 March, 1915.


To receive the Distinguished Service Medal.

 Petty Officer John William Kemmett, O.N. 186788.

 Able Seaman Henry Davis, O.N. 184526.

 Able Seaman Hubert F. Griffin, O.N. J, 14160.

 Able Seaman Peter Stanley Livingstone, O.N. 234328.

 Able Seaman Herbert Robison, O.N. 209112.

 Able Seaman George Henry le Seilleur, O.N. 156802.

 Boy, 1st Class, Francis G. H Bamford, O.N. J. 26598.

 Boy, 1st Class, Julius F. Rogers, O.N. J. 28329.

 Chief Engine-Room Artificer, 1st Class, Evan Richard Hughes, O.N. 268999.

 Chief Engine-Room Artificer, 2nd Class, Win. Beaty Dand, O.N. 270648.

 Chief Engine-Room Artificer W. Gillespie, O.N. 270080.

 Mechanician Alexander James Cannon, O.N. 175440.

 Mechanician Edward Charles Ephgrave, O.N. 288231.

 Chief Stoker Patrick Callaghan, O.N. 278953.

 Chief Stoker Alfred Wm. Ferris, O.N. 175824.

 Chief Stoker John Ernest James, O.N. 174232.:

 Chief Stoker Walter E., James, O.N. 294406.

 Chief Stoker James Keating, R.F.R., O.N. 165732.

 Stoker Petty Officer Michael Flood, R.F.R., O.N. 153418.

 Stoker Petty Officer Thomas Wm. Hardy, O.N. 292542.

 Stoker Petty Officer Albert John Sims, O.N. 276502.

 Stoker Petty Officer Samuel Westaway, R.F.R., O.N. 300938.

 Acting Leading Stoker John Blackburn, O.N. K. 4844.

 Stoker, lst Class, Alan H. Bennet, O.N. K.10700.

 Stoker, 2nd Class, Harold Turner, O.N. K. 22720.

 Leading Carpenter's Crew, Emmanuel Omega Bradley, O.N. 346621.

 Leading Carpenter's Crew, Elisha Currie, O.N. 344851.

 Sick Berth Attendant Charles S. Hutchinson, O.N. M. 3882.

 Chief Writer Samuel G. White, O.N. 340597.

 Third Writer Herbert C. Green, O.N. M. 826'6.

 Officers' Steward, 3rd Class, Fred W. Kearley, O.N. L. 2716.


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