HMS Harrier (1894)

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HMS Harrier
HMS Harrier sailing from Malta c.1900
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Harrier
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Laid down: 21 January 1893[1]
Launched: 20 February 1894
Commissioned: 8 July 1896[1]
Fate: Sold for commercial use in 1920
General characteristics
Class and type: Dryad-class torpedo gunboat
Displacement: 1070 tons
Length: 262 ft 6 in (80.01 m)
Beam: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Installed power: 3,500 ihp (2,600 kW)[1]
  • Twin 3-cylinder vertical triple-expansion steam engines
  • Locomotive boilers
  • Twin screws[1]
Speed: 18.2 kn (33.7 km/h)
Complement: 120
Armament: On conversion to a minesweeper in 1914 two torpedo tubes were removed

The sixth HMS Harrier was a Dryad-class torpedo gunboat. She was launched at Devonport Dockyard on 20 February 1894,[2] and saw service in the Mediterranean and in fishery protection. She served as a minesweeper during World War I and was sold for commercial use in 1920.


Ordered under the Naval Defence Act of 1889, which established the "Two-Power Standard", the class was contemporary with the first Torpedo Boat Destroyers. With a length overall of 262 ft 6 in (80.01 m),[1] a beam of 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)[1] and a displacement of 1,070 tons,[1] these torpedo gunboats were not small ships by the standard of the time; they were larger than the majority of World War I destroyers. Harrier was engined by Hawthorn Leslie and Company with two sets of vertical triple-expansion steam engines, two locomotive-type boilers, and twin screws. This layout produced 3,500 indicated horsepower (2,600 kW),[1] giving her a speed of 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h).[1] She carried between 100 and 160 tons of coal and was manned by 120 sailors and officers.[1]


The armament when built comprised two QF 4.7-inch (12 cm) guns, four 6-pdr guns and a single 5-barrelled Nordenfelt machine gun. Her primary weapon was five 18-inch (460 mm) torpedoes, with two reloads.[1] On conversion to a minesweeper in 1914 two of the five torpedoes were removed.[1]


Mediterranean Service

On 24 March 1900 Harrier paid off at Devonport after her first commission, which was spent on the Mediterranean Station.[3]

Fishery protection and tender to the Navigation School

She spent some time before World War I engaged in fishery protection duties and was for a time a tender to the Navigation school.[3]

Conversion to a minesweeper

At the outbreak of war she was converted at Portsmouth, in common with most of the rest of her class, to the minesweeping role.[3]

File:HMS Harrier (1894) during WWI.jpg
HMS Harrier in wartime grey paint scheme


She was sold to T R Sales at Haulbowline, Cork on 23 February 1920[1] for commercial use.[4]