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HMS Iron Duke

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HMS Iron Duke was a World War I battleship which was used as a World War II Royal Navy shore establishment based at Scapa Flow, operating as an ML base.

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HMS Iron Duke World War I

HMS Iron Duke is interesting in that it was a beached Super Dreadnought Class Battleship, originally built by HM Dockyard Plymouth, having been ordered in 1911 and delivered in 1912 to serve during World War I as the flagship of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and was at the Battle of Jutland. Following the armistice, the ship was demilitarised in 1931, when two gun turrets, the torpedo tubes, and portions of armour plating were removed, after which it was deployed at Portsmouth as Gunnery Firing Ship, and then in 1936 used as Boys Training ship.

On August 26, 1939, the ship took up a war station in Scapa Flow to serve as a depot ship, and by September was in use there as a base ship to provide facilities for the Home Fleet and accommodation for personnel in transit to and from ships of the Home Fleet.

On October 16, 1939, the ship was damaged during an attack by Ju88 aircraft, and sustained some damage from near misses. One boiler room and two magazines were reported flooded, causing a significant list, resulting in the beaching of the vessel at Ore Bay. The bay retains piers once associated with the Lyness Naval Base, the principal focus of naval activity in Scapa Flow.

On January 26, 1940, the ship was re-beached in a position where it remained aground at all states of tide.

On March 16, 1940, the beached ship was slightly damaged during an air attack.

On August 6, 1945, HMS Iron Duke was paid-off and nominated for transfer to the Clyde and laid-up.

Sold in 1946 as scrap, and finally broken up in Glasgow in 1948.

The bell from HMS Iron Duke be is on display at Winchester Cathedral.

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