First Light Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy)

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The First Light Cruiser Squadron was a formation of light cruisers in the Royal Navy. Founded before the Great War, during the war it was one of 3-4 such squadrons tasked with screening the Grand Fleet during operations.

The squadron operated throughout the war and beyond. At some time in perhaps September 1924 it was re-designated the First Cruiser Squadron as post-war operations suggested the wisdom of merging heavy and light cruiser operations.

In Command

Dates of appointment given:

History

July, 1914

The squadron was:[11]

September, 1914

Two additional light cruisers have reinforced the squadron.[12]

Attached to Cruiser Force A
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Lowestoft Birmingham Falmouth Nottingham Liverpool

This arrangement would change some time in December, 1914.[13]

January, 1915

Falmouth and Liverpool have been sent over to join the new Second Light Cruiser Squadron, which is serving alongside 1 L.C.S..[14]

Attached to (former?) Cruiser Force A
Light Cruisers
Southampton Com2RN.png Lowestoft Birmingham Nottingham

March, 1915

The ships of the Squadron were renamed the Second Light Cruiser Squadron at some point in January or February, and a new 1 L.C.S. created as shown.[15]

Attached to Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Galatea Com2RN.png Caroline Cordelia Inconstant

This arrangement would not be altered before some time in November, 1915.[16]

December, 1915

Caroline has been replaced by Phaeton.[17]

Attached to Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Galatea Com2RN.png Phaeton Cordelia Inconstant

This arrangement would prove unusually stable. Squadron command under Edwyn Sinclair Alexander-Sinclair would become a Commodore, First Class on 5 December, 1916, and then to Rear-Admiral on 26 April, 1917, but affairs would not otherwise be altered before some time in May, 1917.[18]

Battle of Jutland

Main article: First L.C.S. (Royal Navy) at the Battle of Jutland

The squadron was at the battle as one of three screening the battlecruisers:[19]

June, 1917

Caledon has been added to the mix, increasing strength to five cruisers.[20]

Attached to Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Galatea RAdmRN.png Phaeton Cordelia Inconstant Caledon

This arrangement would not be altered before some time in X.[21]

August, 1917

Caledon was made the flagship some time in July, and Royalist has replaced Cordelia.[22]

Attached to Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Caledon RAdmRN.png Royalist Cordelia Inconstant Galatea

This arrangement would not be altered before some time in X.[23]

17 November, 1917

At the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight[24]

Screened by:

July, 1918

The Squadron is still assigned to screen the Battle Cruiser Force.[25]

November, 1918

No change since July.[26]

This roster would apply until March, 1919.[27]

March, 1919

Now attached to the Battle Cruiser Force, Cleopatra has joined,[28] coming from the Seventh Light Cruiser Squadron.[29]

April, 1919

Still attached to the Battle Cruiser Force, Comus has joined,[30] having come from the Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron,[31] bringing the strength to seven light cruisers.

May, 1919

A considerable reorganization has occurred. All the ships except Comus (which is a "miscellaneous ship in commission") have been left to embody, with Champion, the Home Fleet's Second Light Cruiser Squadron.

1 L.C.S. is now part of the Atlantic Fleet; the reinvented squadron is comprised the six very modern light cruisers that were dubbed the Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron just a month ago.[32][33]

June, 1919

Still part of the Atlantic Fleet, the squadron is now eight light cruisers.[34] Danae is on her way, having just entered service while Cleopatra has come over from the Second Light Cruiser Squadron and Canterbury has recently been recommissioned.[35]

July, 1919

Still part of the Atlantic Fleet, Delhi seems to have fully arrived and assumed flagship duties.[36]

Drill and Practice

In 1917, the squadron fired 56 practice torpedoes of which 45 or 80% were judged to be likely to endanger the enemy.[37]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 5.
  2. Goodenough Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 433.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 6.
  4. Alexander-Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 361.
  5. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1919). p. 5.
  6. Cowan Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 249.
  7. Fergusson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43 f. 199.
  8. Fergusson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/88 f. 102.
  9. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 220.
  10. Brand Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 220.
  11. Printed page "Fleets and Squadrons in Commission at Home and Abroad" in Albert Francis Barclay Bridges papers at The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum. [BRG 1/1]
  12. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 9.
  13. Supplements through January, 1915.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 9.
  15. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). p. 11.
  16. Supplements through December, 1915.
  17. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1915). p. 11.
  18. Supplements through June, 1917.
  19. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 33, 46.
  20. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 11.
  21. Supplements through X.
  22. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 11.
  23. Supplements through X.
  24. Naval Operations. Vol. V. pp. 168-169.
  25. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). p. 11.
  26. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). p. 11.
  27. Supplements from December, 1918 through March, 1919.
  28. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 10.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1919). p. 10.
  30. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1919). p. 10.
  31. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 10.
  32. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). pp. 10, 12, 19.
  33. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1919). p 13.
  34. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1919). p. 10.
  35. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). pp. 12, 20.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1919). p. 10.
  37. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 121.

Bibliography


Light Cruiser Squadrons of the Royal Navy
First Light Cruiser Squadron | Second Light Cruiser Squadron | Third Light Cruiser Squadron | Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron | Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron | Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron | Seventh Light Cruiser Squadron | Eighth Light Cruiser Squadron