this New Series?
over 90 years the only source of
information on British warships lost, and
merchant and fishing vessels lost, damaged
and attacked in World War 1 has been His
Majesty's Stationery Office official
publication "British Vessels Lost at Sea
1914-1918" (BVLS or HMSO), published
in 1919 and reprinted in 1977.
As valuable as it
is, the information is limited, often
inaccurate in the light of subsequent
research, and omits British warships damaged
and attacked. Although much of the
information to meet these limitations is
available in other publications and online,
it has not been brought together in one
place to provide an updated version of the
original HMSO publication.
These pages are the result
of an attempt to rectify this.
Much more research needs
to be done in the official archives before a
possibly definitive listing can be claimed.
And, as will be seen, even now there is much
uncertainty about many ships and how they
were sunk, damaged or attacked. No attempt
has been made to reconcile these
differences, but the variations have been
identified to help those who want to delve
further into particular vessels. It also
highlights the uncertainty to be found in
much historical research.
The lists of Merchant
Ships damaged and attacked are from
BVLS. No such list exists for naval vessels
to my knowledge. Royal Navy warships damaged
and attacked is therefore incomplete, except
in two respects - all warships damaged in
major battles are included, as are all those
- plus auxiliaries - which suffered men
killed. The latter have been taken from Don
Apart from researching the
official archives - mainly the National
Archives, books not included in my own list
of sources, and in-depth searches of the
Internet, for further information, I would
recommend going back to some of the main
sources I used .
Amongst these, I would
certainly recommend Hepper for
warships and auxiliaries, the Wreck
Index for merchant vessels lost off
the British Isles, Miramar Ship Index
for further information on steamships of the
time, Uboat.net for U-boat
operations and other related sinkings and
attacks, and of course my close friend and
colleague, Don Kindell for Royal
I have worked in this area
on and off for perhaps 10 years, and
originally had great difficulty finding a
lot of the information I wanted from
published books. I am grateful to all my
sources, but particularly want to thank
David Hepper for his researches on warship
losses in the National Archives, Mike
Holdoway for his convoy work, and Uboat.net
for making their World War 1 U-boat attack
information so readily available.
This an example of how
the published book and the internet can
complement each other in this day and age.