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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS  CARADOC - World War 1 C-type Light Cruiser
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Caradoc  (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham,, click to enlarge)

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CALEDON-Class Cruiser ordered from Scotts of Greenock on 8th December 1915 and laid down on 21st February 1916. She was launched on 23rd December that year as the second Royal Navy ship to carry this name, first used in 1847 for an Iron Paddle Gunboat and was the English name for Caractacus, a knight of the Round Table. Build was completed  on  16th June 1917. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of the City of Chester.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


BLACK SEA 1854-55 - ATLANTIC 1940


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:   On a Field Black, a beast genus unknown, gold.



S u m m a r y   o f   P r e - War   S e r v i c e


1 9 1 7


May                        Contractors trials.


June                        Commissioned.

                16th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to join Grand Fleet at Scapa

                                Flow for work-up prior to operational use.


July                         Deployed at Scapa Flow with Grand Fleet.


August                  During Grand Fleet deployment grounded at Fair Isle.


September             Resumed Grand Fleet service.



1 9 1 8


January                  Deployed with Grand Fleet.




November              Nominated for service in Baltic in support of defence of countries under

                                threat from Bolshevik forces.

                11th        Germany agreed to an Armistice.

                21st         German High Seas fleet surrendered.

                                Passage to Baltic


December              Deployed with HM Cruiser CALYPSO in Gulf of Finland and provided

                                gunfire support for Estonian troops under attack by Bolshevik forces.

                26th        Took part in capture of Russian destroyers AVTROIL and SPARTAK off

                                Revel with HMS CALYPSO, HM Destroyers VENDETTA, VORTIGERN

                                and WAKEFUL.

                                (Note: The Russian ships surrendered without returning fire.)


1 9 1 9


January                  Passage to UK on relief by 1st Light Cruiser Squadron.


February                Nominated for service with 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron and took passage to

                                join Mediterranean Fleet.

                                (Note: HM Cruisers CARDIFF and CALYPSO were in LCS3.)


March                    Deployed with Squadron in Mediterranean

to                            (Note: During this period ships of the Mediterranean Fleet carried out

December              duties as Guardship to safeguard British interests during unrest

                                in Turkey and Greece.)


1 9 2 0    t o    1 9 2 2


                                Mediterranean Fleet deployment with Squadron in continuation

                                Recommissioned for further service in 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron.


1 9 2 4    t o    1 9 2 5


                                Deployed with Squadron in Mediterranean


1 9 2 6


January                  Mediterranean Fleet service in continuation.

to                            Nominated for transfer to China Station.

November              (Note: The number of British warships on the Station was increased after

                                outbreak of civil war in China in order to protect British commercial

                                interests in the area.)


December              Passage Singapore and Hong Kong.


1 9 2 7


January                  Deployed on China Station

to                            Nominated for return to UK to recommission after refit.



July                         Passage to Mediterranean via Red Sea.


August                  Passage from Gibraltar to Sheerness.

                                De-ammunitioned prior to refit..


September             Arrived at Chatham.

                19th        Paid off and taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Chatham


October                  Under refit.




1 9 2 8


January                  Under refit




August                  Refit in continuation.

                                Nominated for service with 8th Cruiser Squadron on the America and

                                West Indies Station as relief for HM Cruiser DAUNTLESS.

                                (Note: HMS DAUNTLESS had been badly damaged after running aground

                                off Halifax, NS on 2nd July.)

                                Recommissioned for service.


September             Refit completion and storing for foreign service.

                                Passage to Portsmouth


October                  Prepared for foreign service.

                                Took passage from Portsmouth for Bermuda to join Squadron.


November              Deployed with Squadron for exercises and visits programme.



1 9 2 9


                                Deployment on West Indies Station in continuation.

                                (Note: Ships in Squadron visited ports in West Indies, South America

                                and on West ands East coasts of North America.


1 9 3 0


January                  Squadron deployment in West Indies in continuation.

                                Nominated for return to UK on relief by HMS DAUNTLESS.


February                Passage to Portsmouth to pay off.

                15th        Arrived at Portsmouth and prepared for reduction to Reserve status.


March                    Passage to Devonport


April                       Laid-up in Reserve Fleet at Devonport.

to                            Nominated for service with 5th Cruiser Squadron in China Station.



July                         Prepared for operational service.

                15th        Recommissioned.


August                  Shakedown and exercises before passage to Singapore,


September             Passage to join Squadron.




November              Joined Squadron and deployed for protection of British interests and

                                exercises with ships on Station.


December              China Station deployment with Squadron in continuation.


1 9 3 1    t o    1 9 3 3


                                Deployed with Squadron on China Station.


1 9 3 4


January                  Squadron deployment on China Station in continuation




August                  Nominated for return to UK to pay-off and refit.


September             Passage to Sheerness.


October                  Paid off on arrival after de-ammunitioning.

                17th        Reduced to Reserve status and destored.


November              Laid-up in Reserve.




1 9 3 5    t o    1 9 3 6


                                Laid-up in Reserve.




1 9 3 7

                                Under refit


1 9 3 8


January                  Under refit.

to                            Nominated for service in Reserve Fleet at Devonport for use as a

June                        Boys Training Ship


July                         On completion of refit carried out post refit trials.



                12th        Deployed in Reserve Fleet, Devonport as Boys Training Ship


September             Training duties at Devonport in continuation.




1 9 3 9


January                  Training duties at Devonport in continuation.

to                            Nominated for attendance at Review of Reserve Fleet by HM King

July                         George VI in Weymouth Bay.


August                  Commissioned with Reservists for Royal Review and deployed as

                                Flagship in 11th Cruiser Squadron.

                                Carried out trials before passage to Weymouth Bay for Review.

                9th          Attended Royal Review and remained in commission for war service.

                                Took up War Station with Channel Force based at Portland.



D e t a i l s    o f    W a r    S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



September             Deployed at Portland.

                11th        Provided cover for passage of military convoys to France carrying BEF.

                14th        Deployed at Plymouth in continuation.

                23rd        Returned to Plymouth after machinery defects.

                25th        Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard Devonport.


October                  Nominated for trade defence and interception of blockade runners with

                                America and West Indies Squadron.

                7th          Took passage from Plymouth for detached service in West Indies.

                12th        Joined HM Battleship REVENGE as escort for HM Cruisers EMERALD

                                and ENTERPRISE during passage to Halifax.

                                (Note: The cruisers were taking gold bullion to Canada for safe custody.)

                17th        Arrived at Halifax.

                18th        Took passage from Halifax to join 8th Cruiser Squadron in Bermuda..

                20th        Arrived at Bermuda and sailed after briefing for interception patrol.

                23rd        Intercepted German tanker EMY FRIEDRICH after sighting report by HM

                                Cruiser ORION and HM Destroyer SAGUENAY (RCN).

                                (Note: German ship was on passage from Tampico.)

                                Enemy ship scuttled on approach.

                27th        Returned to Bermuda from patrol with defects.


November              Repair arranged at RCN dockyard, Esquimalt.

                                Passage to Panama Canal with call at Kingston, Jamaica.

                20th        Arrived at Esquimalt after Panama Canal transit.


December              Under repair.


1 9 4 0


January                  Under repair





                15th        Carried out post repair trials and on completion took passage to resume

                                Squadron duties.


May                        Deployed in Pacific and West Indies for interception of blockade runners

to                            and commerce raiders.



November              Deployed in Caribbean area.

                11th        Intercepted German blockade runner RHEIM in Straits of Florida.

                                Enemy ship set on fire in order to prevent boarding after being challenged.

                                Drifting hulk sunk by gunfire after crew abandoned ship.                           


December              Squadron duties in West Indies in continuation.


1 9 4 1


January                  Squadron duties for patrol and interception in continuation.

to                            Nominated for refit by US Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York.



October                  Passage to New York from Bermuda.

                28th        Taken in hand for refit.


November              Under Refit

to                            (Note: Close range AA defence was supplemented by fit of five 20mm

December              Oerlikon guns and preparation for fit of radar was carried out.)


1 9 4 2


January                  Under refit.



                26th        On completion carried out post refit trials and shakedown for Atlantic



March                    Passage to Portsmouth for completion of radar installation.

                                (Note: Type 286 an RAF Air-Surface radar for aircraft use which gave

                                limited surface and air cover was fitted. For details of development

                                and use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

                                Nominated for service in 5th Cruiser Squadron, Eastern Fleet.


April                       Passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of Home Fleet.


May                        On completion of work-up took passage top join Squadron.


June                        Retained for convoy defence at Gibraltar.

                                (Note: Support of relief convoy to Malta had reduced number of ships

                                available for Atlantic service at Gibraltar.

                                Not deployed for Operation HARPOON.)


July                         Deployed at Gibraltar.

                                On release took passage via Cape of Good Hope to join Squadron in

                                Indian Ocean.


August                  Deployed for trade defence and convoy escort in Indian Ocean.

                                Nominated for support of military occupation of Madagascar.

                                (Operation STREAM)


September             Deployed with HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Cruisers GAMBIA,

                                BIRMINGHAM, DAUNTLESS, MANXMAN and the Dutch cruiser

                                HEEMSKERCK with destroyers of Eastern Fleet as Force A to provide

                                naval support for landings in STREAM..

                                Nominated for support of landing at Nosi Be, an island off NW coast

                                of Madagascar (Operation ESME (B))

                9th          Joined HMS MANXMAN for passage to Nosi Be.

                10th        Provided Royal Marines landing party which landed at Hellville.

                                (For details see WAR WITH JAPAN, Volume III (HMSO).)

                                Rejoined Force A


October                  On release from STREAM took passage to Persian Gulf.

                15th        Relieved HM Cruiser CAPETOWN as Persian Gulf Guardship.


November              Guardship deployment in Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea in continuation.



1 9 4 3


January                  Deployed in Indian Ocean for convoy defence.

to                            (Note: During this period Radar Type 271 was fitted aft on the

July                         superstructure to provide efficient surface warning

                                Type 286 was also replaced by RN design Type 290

                                which provided an improved cover against aircraft.

                                See above reference.)


August                  Transferred to Simonstown for convoy defence and interception patrol

                                in South Atlantic and southern Indian Ocean.


September             Convoy defence and patrol in continuation.




1 9 4 4


January                  Indian Ocean trade defence duties in continuation.




March                    Nominated for withdrawal from operational service and took passage

                                to Colombo.


April                       Withdrawn from service and deployed as an Accommodation Ship at



May                        Accommodation Ship deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: On 22nd November when British Pacific Fleet was formed the

December              Flag of CinC Eastern Fleet was transferred from HM Battlecruiser

                                RENOWN and transferred to this ship.)


1 9 4 5


January                  Accommodation Ship deployment in continuation.

to                            Remained Flagship for East Indies Fleet



September             Nominated for return to UK


October                  Prepared for return passage.

                15th        Sailed from Colombo for paying-off.


November              Called at Aden.

                17th        Took passage for Devonport from Gibraltar after call in Malta.

                25th        At Devonport and Paid-off.

                                Commenced de-storing.


December              Reducing to Reserve status at Devonport


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS CARADOC was transferred to Dartmouth after being accepted into Reserve. The ship was placed on the Disposal List in February 1946 and sold to BISCO for breaking-up by TW Ward at Briton Ferry the next month. She arrived at the breakerís yard in tow on 4th April 1946 for demolition.






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








BHX 064





CM 031





CM 032B





BA 038





CM 040





CM 040A








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 3/6/11
further editing and formatting is required