On 5 August 1914 this gun fired the fist shot in the war at sea which would result in the loss of 43,950 Royal Navy personnel when hours after the outbreak of hostilities HMS Lance engaged the German Minelayer Konigin Luise which was setting mines off the Dutch Coast.
The light cruiser Amphion and destroyers of the 3rd Flotilla spotted the Konigen Luise at 1025hrs on the morning of the 5th after information gained from the crew of a fishing boat and the destroyers Lance and Landrail moved to investigate. Konigen retreated into a rain squall but the two destroyers gave chase and Lance engaged the German ship. Amphion also soon closed and opened fire, under heavy fire the German Captain ordered the scuttling of his ship which rolled over and sank at 1222hrs, Konigen Luise was the first naval casualty of World War I.
The British ships continued their patrol before heading back to port where their course took them through a minefield the Konigen Luise had previously laid. At 0645 hrs on 6 August 1914 the Amphion struck one of the mines. Heavily damaged she was abandoned her crew being taken off by the escorting destroyers. Amphion later drifted back into the minefield struck another mine at 0703hrs and sank becoming the first British naval war loss.
HMS Lance was scrapped in November 1921.
She had an overall length of 81.94 m with a 8.43m beam and 3.20m draught.
She was fitted with three QF Mk IV (102 mm) guns, a single QF 2 Pdr pom-pom and four torpedo tubes in two twin mounts.
Displacement of the class was up to 1300tons and she was powered by Parsons steam turbines (24,500 shp) powering twin propellers giving a top speed of 29 Knots. Total complement was 73 personnel.