Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Hms Pheasant: Hoy, Atlantic

Destroyer (20th Century)

Site Name Hms Pheasant: Hoy, Atlantic

Classification Destroyer (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Rora Head; Old Man Of Hoy; Orkney; Hms Pheasant

Canmore ID 238204

Site Number ND19NE 8004

NGR ND 16083 98741

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/238204

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Collections

Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Orkney
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

ND19NE 8004 1599 9869

N58.52.07 W3 27.41

NLO: Old Man of Hoy [name: HY 175 008]

Rora Head [name: ND 173 992]

Hoy [name: HU 373 447].

Formerly entered as HY10SE 8006 (unlocated).

(Location cited as N58 52.07 W3 27.41[ND 1599 9869]).The wreck of this vessel was located and dived by divers from the Army Sub-Aqua Club on 13 May 1996, ‘mixed gas’ being used. The vessel was located through towed sonar around a location derived from the original records.

Little is known of this vessel, and no photographs appear to survive. The seventh of her name, she was one of 107 M-class destroyers authorised between 1913 and 1915. This class, which included the N-, O-, P- and (some of the) R-classes, were the standard destroyer design of the earlier part of the First World War. They were of about 1025 tons, with three 4-inch [10.2cm] guns, one or two pom-poms [anomalous], four torpedo tubes, (usually) three funnels, and a maximum speed of about 34kts. They gave good service, but were succeeded by the geared turbine version of the later R class. Eleven of the class were lost: four to surface craft, one to shore batteries, three in collision, and two by being wrecked, apart from HMS Pheasant.

This particular vessel was built at Fairfield’s [on the Clyde], launched on 23 October 1916, and (probably) commissioned on 10 November 1916, becoming a unit of the 15th Destroyer Flotilla, part of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow, under the command of Lieutenant in Command HWD Griffith.

The ship was sunk, apparently by mine, at about 0610 on the 11th March 1917 while on the ‘Hoy Patrol’ outside the W [Stromness/Hoy] entrance to the Flow, a single body being recovered. The mine had probably broken adrift from the Whiten Bank field which was laid by the SMS Moewe in winter 1915-16. The small crew carried on this occasion (78 as against the expected 90) is anomalous, and an alternative cause of sinking by UC-43 (a submarine minelayer has been suggested).

The ship was found to lie roughly E-W, in 82m depth of water at N58 52.07 W3 27.41. The hull lay on its side, the deck having become separated, and was badly broken up as far aft as the engine-room. One boiler was found intact, having probably been cold (out of use) at the time of sinking. A 4-inch shell, an electrical distribution box, and much thin plating (probably from the funnels) were noted.

Source: PRO [Kew] Adm, 1317/3218 and Adm. 1437/3716.

K D McBride 1997.

(Classified as destroyer: date of loss cited as 1 March 1917). HMS Pheasant: this vessel sank one mile off the Old Man of Hoy. She was probably mined.

Registration: London. Built 1916. 1025 tons displacement. Length: 80m. Beam: 8m.

(Location of loss cited as N58 52.5 W3 28.0).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 271-276 ft (82.6-84.1m): variations within class

Beam: 26ft 9ins (8.2m)

Displacement: 994-1042 tons: variations within class

Propulsion: steam turbines, 25,000 hp; 34 kts

Armament: 3 x 4in (102mm) guns; 1 x 2-pdr gun; 4 (2 x 2) 21in (533mm) torpedo tubes

Complement: 80-98: variations within class

This ship was a member of the numerous and successful M class, and was of the 'Admiralty' variant, distinguished by having three-funnels. She was built by Fairfield (on the Clyde) in 1916 and mined off Orkney in the subsequent year.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 12 February 2003.

H M Le Fleming 1961; [Jane] 2001.

The map sheet assigned to this record is essentially arbitrary, no verified location being available. The wreck was dived (date unknown but c. 1996) by army recreational technical divers using trimix: it lies at a depth of 82m 'off the Old Man of Hoy' and is described as a 'war grave'. No accurate location is cited in the available account and no survey observations were apparently made.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 12 February 2003.

(Undated, c. 1996) extract from Diver (magazine).

No accurate and verified location is held for this wreck, which is viewed as a Protected Place on the grounds that at least 88 crew were lost when the ship sank. Intrusive diving is to be discouraged.

The Naval Historical File held at UKHO notes the same approximate position (N58 52 00 W3 28 00) as NMRS; the wreck appears to lie between survey data from 1984 and Miscellaneous Lines of Sounding gathered at a later date, but no exact position is cited.

Information from Mr N McEachan (Wrecks Officer, UK Hydrographic Office) and NPSEC (P+P) 2C, Ministry of Defence, HMNB Portsmouth, Hants, 12 February 2003.

Plans (but not photographs) of this vessel are held in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Information from Ms G Fabri (NMM), 7 November 2003.

No accurate location can be assigned to this record. Whittaker specifies no source and assigns no degree of accuracy to his cited location.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 28 March 2007.

I G Whittaker 1998.

The location cited by McBride is accepted. This falls about 0.5nm W of Rora Head, the westernmost point of Hoy. No wreck is noted at this location on the 1993 edition of UKHO chart no. 1954 (published 1982), but the seabed is noted nearby as mixed shingle, sand and gravel.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 26 January 2009.

Activities

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 650

Name : HMS PHEASANT

Latitude : 585230

Longitude : 32800

Date Built : 1916

Registration : LONDON

Type : DESTROYER

Tonnage : 1025

Tonnage Code : D

Length : 80

Beam : 8

Draught : 3m

Loss Day : 1

Loss Month : 3

Loss Year : 1917

Comment : Sank 1 mile off Old Man of Hoy, probably mined.

Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 062013

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Non-dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 58.86783,-3.45683

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 58.86783,-3.45683

WGS84 Origin : Original

Previous Position : 58.88333,-3.46667

Position Quality : Precisely known

Depth Quality : Depth unknown

Water Depth : 82

Vertical Datum : Lowest Astronomical Tide

Name : HMS PHEASANT

Type : DESTROYER

Flag : BRITISH

Length : 84.0

Beam : 8.2

Orientation : 90.0

Tonnage : 1025

Tonnage Type : Displacement

Date Sunk : 01/03/1917

Contact Description : Entire wreck

Original Sensor : Reported Sinking

Last Sensor : Diver Sighting

Original Detection Year : 1917

Last Detection Year : 1996

Original Source : Other

Last Source : Other

Circumstances of Loss : **BUILT BY FAIRFIELD. LAUNCHED 23.10.16, COMPLETED 11.1916. ONE OF 107 M-CLASS DESTROYERS AUTHORISED BETWEEN 1913 AND 1915. S TURBINES OF 25000HP FOR 34KTS, TRIPLE SHAFT. THREE FUNNELS. THREE 4 INCH AND ONE 2 PDR GUNS. FOUR 21 INCH TORPEDO TUBES. SUNK OFF THE ORKNEYS, APPARENTLY BY A FLOATING MINE.

Surveying Details : **SUNK OFF THE ORKNEYS. (COLLEDGE).

**12.2.03 SUNK IN PA 5853.0N, 0328.0E. (NHB).

POSITIONS BELOW THIS POINT ARE IN DEGREES, MINUTES AND DECIMALS OF A MINUTE

**SEP 2009/000009618 5.2.09 DIVED 5.96 IN 5852.07N, 0327.41W [?WGD]. HULL LIES ON ITS SIDE, APPROX E/W IN 82MTRS, THE DECK HAVING BECOME SEPARATED. BADLY BROKEN UP AS FAR AFT AS THE ENGINE ROOM. ONE BOILER LOCATED INTACT, HAVING PROBABLY BEEN COLD (OUT OF USE) AT THE TIME OF THE SINKING. TWO BOILERS CONNECTED WOULD GIVE 24-25 KNOTS. A 4-INCH SHELL, PROBABLY FROM A READY-USE RACK WAS FOUND AND AN ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION BOX. MUCH THIN PLATING (PROBABLY FROM THE FUNNELS) WAS NOTED. (ARMY SAC, IN 'MARINERS' MIRROR, AUG 1997, VIA RCHMS). INS AS NDW. BR STD.

General Comments : ON ITS SIDE WITH DECK SEPARATED, FWD AREA BROKEN UP

Chart Symbol : NDW

Date Last Amended : 05/02/2009

Date Position Last Amended : 05/02/2009

References

MyCanmore Image Contributions


Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions