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Historic England Research Records

Hms Falcon

Hob Uid: 1456911
Location :
Outside English Territorial Waters

Grid Ref : TA6840062950
Summary : Remains of stern section of 1918 wreck of British destroyer which foundered in this position, approximately 18 miles ESE of Flamborough Head, after a collision in the North Sea. The site has been positively identified by visible evidence of her name on surviving features. At the time of loss she was operating out of Dover patrolling the southern North Sea, and was commanded by Lieut. Charles Herbert Lightoller RNR, who had been the senior surviving officer aboard the TITANIC. On another North Sea patrol a few months later, Lightoller was in command of HMS GARRY when she rammed and sunk UB-110 (908846).Constructed of steel in 1899, HMS FALCON was a steam-powered vessel.
More information : Wreck Site and Archaeological Remains:

Vertical Datum: LAT (1)
Located by: echosounder (1)

Record updated 24-MAY-2007: Charted as HMS FALCON (STERN SECTION) without qualification, in position 54 02.09N 000 34.30E, in general depth 52m. Length of remains 50m x 5m breadth. (1)

Located 23 miles SE of Flamborough Head, west of the Cleeton Gas Field. (2)

The stern section of HMS FALCON lies within 5.6 km of the proposed Tees Exploration Well [as at January 2007]

The 2007 position at (1) not charted in 2014, although the same UKHO number is quoted.

Position by OSGB 54 01.234N 000 20.683E, WGS84 54 01.249N 000 20.576E, in 45m depth. (11)(12)

Seen to be located approximately 18 miles ESE of Flamborough Head. (11)


22-AUG-1986: Located and examined in 54 01.14N 000 20.41E (OSGB). Least echosounder depth 45.9m, DCS3 length 50m, beam 5m. Orientated 155/335 degrees.

14-JAN-1987: Examined 21-JUN-1986 [sic] in general depth 51.7m, no scour. DCS3 height 1.7m. Intact wreck with small area of debris close SW.

18-SEP-2001: Half wreck. Lies on an even keel. Runs from two boilers with two engines past a torpedo tube mounting ring on the stern with a 6pdr gun, two large propellers, one clear of the sand, the other with just a tip visible. Starboard side stands 3-4m proud of the sandbank; the port side is covered with sand to above deck level. Identified by name on steam pressure gauges. (11)(12)

Wreck Event and Documentary Evidence:

Described as a C Class destroyer. Was hit by trawler JOHN FITZGERALD; broke in two and the bow sank, the stern sinking later. (1)

The destroyer FALCON of 408 tons was sunk in collision in the North Sea on 01-APR-1918. Her official complement was 60 men. (3)

Sunk by collision in the North Sea. (4)(10)

Destroyer of 375 tons, 220 feet x 21 and a half feet. Sunk 01-APR-1918 in collision with trawler JOHN FITZGERALD in the North Sea. (5)

HMS FALCON was involved in a collision with an armed trawler in April 1918; shortly afterwards she broke in two and sank. None of the crew went down with the vessel, but at the time of the loss her commanding officer was Lieutenant Charles Herbert Lightoller RNR, the highest ranking officer to survive the sinking of the TITANIC in 1912. (6)

C Class vessel, 355 tons, 209 x 21 feet. Pennant numbers P31, D54 and D36, the latter number being in use at the time of loss. (7)

Lightoller was the commanding officer of the FALCON, described as a torpedo-boat destroyer, which was operating on the Dover Patrol, which was responsible for the Straits of Dover and the Southern North Sea. (8)

The C Class destroyers averaged 335 tons, the normal crew complement being 60. (9)

NB: Not in Larn: Shipwreck Index of the British Isles, presumably because of its position.

Built: 1899 (1)(3)
Launched: 29-DEC-1899 (4)
Completed: DEC-1901 (4)
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding Co. (3)(9)
Propulsion: Triple-expansion engines (3)
Boilers: by Thornycroft (3)(9)
Armament: 1 x 12pdr and 5 x 6pdr, 2 TT (1)(3)(9); 12pdr located forward, TT located between funnels 2 & 3 and abaft respectively (9)
Construction: 3 funnels (1)(9)
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Charles Herbert Lightoller, RNR (6)(8)(9)
Crew: 60 (3)(9)
Owner: Royal Navy [all sources]

Date of Loss Qualifier: Actual date of loss

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Digital marine geographic information derived from SeaZone Hydrospatial
Source details : Examination of EH deskGIS SeaZone layer,, 13-JUL-2007
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Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Examination of Admiralty Chart 1191, 13-JUL-2007
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Source Number : 11
Source : Digital marine geographic information derived from SeaZone Hydrospatial
Source details : Examination of EH deskGIS SeaZone mapping data, 30-APR-2014
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Source Number : 12
Source : United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) wreck report
Source details : 6687
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Source Number : 13
Source : Historic England Wreck of the Week blog
Source details : https://thewreckoftheweek.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/no-4-what-links-hospital-ships-womens-rights-and-the-titanic/ accessed 08-MAY-2018
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Source Number : 14
Source : Historic England Wreck of the Week blog
Source details : https://thewreckoftheweek.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/no-51-charles-lightoller-rnr/ accessed 15-MAY-2018
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Source Number : 3
Source : Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
Source details :
Page(s) : 237
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Source Number : 4
Source : British vessels lost at sea 1914-18 and 1939-45
Source details : Section I
Page(s) : 6
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Source Number : 5
Source : Ships of the Royal Navy, volume 1
Source details :
Page(s) : 201
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Source Number : 6
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Tees Exploration Well, Block 42/27A, Environmental Statement (RWE DEA UK Ltd, January 2007), forwarded by Dr Chris Pater, EH Maritime Archaeology Team, 16-MAR-2007
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Source Number : 7
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.gwpda.org/naval/s0420000.htm > [accessed 13-JUL-2007]
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Source Number : 8
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : < http://www.dover-kent.co.uk/people/lightoller.htm > [accessed on 13-JUL-2007]
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Source Number : 9
Source : Jane's fighting ships of World War I
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Source Number : 10
Source : The Admiralty Regrets: British Warship Losses of the 20th Century
Source details :
Page(s) : 68
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built 1899
Monument End Date : 1899
Monument Start Date : 1899
Monument Type : Warship, Destroyer
Evidence :
Monument Period Name : First World War
Display Date : Lost 1918
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1918
Monument Type : Warship, Destroyer, Torpedo Boat Destroyer
Evidence : Vessel Structure, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 1190 12-08-77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 1191b 07-10-77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hydrographic Office Number
External Cross Reference Number : 8302546
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 121 30-08-74
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Hydrographic Office Number
External Cross Reference Number : 6687
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TA 66 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : Ub 110
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :