| Sunk about 25 miles off Portland by the German submarine U-24 whose captain was Kapitanleutnant Rudolph Schneider. He fired two torpedoes, the first hit the starboard side and the second, fired about 50 minutes later, hit the port side. Formidable was part of the 5th Battle Squadron, which consisted of eight battleships and two cruisers, which had been steaming along the south coast of England in the English Channel from the east. 547 men lost their lives, 233 survived.|
HMS Formidable was steaming at 10 knots (19 km/h) at the rear of the squadron off Portland Bill just 20 nautical miles (37 km) from Start Point, when at 02:20 on 1 January 1915 a torpedo from the German U-boat U-24 struck the number one boiler port side. It was thought that she might be saved by reaching the coast, but by about 02:40 she had taken a list of 20 degrees to starboard and her commanding officer, Captain Noel Loxley gave the order to abandon ship. Darkness and worsening weather made it difficult to get the men and boats over the side; some small boats being thrown into the water upside down. At about 03:05, Formidable was struck by a second torpedo on the starboard side. Amidst a 30-foot swell the pinnaces and launch along with other boats (one of which capsized soon after) were launched, and the two light cruisers came alongside and managed to pick up 80 men in the deteriorating weather. By 04:45, she seemed in imminent danger of capsizing, and a few minutes later she rolled over onto many of the men in the water and sank quickly. Captain Loxley remained on the bridge along with his Fox terrier Bruce, calmly overseeing the evacuation of the ship. SEE LOXLEY De Vere- His brother The total loss of life of HMS Formidable was 35 officers (including Captain Loxley) and 512 men out of a total complement of 780.