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

HMS GRAVELINES (R 24) -  Battle-class Destroyer

HMS Gravelines (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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1943 BATTLE-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered with ships of the 1st and 2nd Flotillas in 1942 from J S White at Cowes but later transferred to Cammell Laird at Birkenhead because of air-raid damage at the Cowes shipyard. The ship was laid down on 10th August 1946 as Yard No 1127 and was launched on 30th November 1944 as the first RN ship to carry this name. Build completion date was 14th June 1946. The name commemorates the second phase of the defeat of the Spanish Armada on 9th August 1588.


B a t t l e  H o n o u r s



H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, within a wreath of laurel Gold

a plate whereon a saltire couped raguly red in

 front of which a lion statand guardant the tail extended gold.

              (Note: This is derived partly from the crest of Lord Howard of Effingham victor of this Battle.


M o t t o

‘Zeal rests not’.

(Note :  A translation of the motto of Lord Howard. "Desir n'a repos".)



S u m m a r y   o f   S e r v i c e


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1 9 4 6



           14th          Commissioned for trials.

                            Accepted from builder.


July                     Deployed for trials prior to reduction to Reserve status.


August               Paid off and reduced to Reserve.


September          Laid-up in Reserve


1 9 4 7   t o   1 9 4 8


                            Laid up in Reserve.

                            Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D24.


1 9 4 9


January                Laid up in Reserve.




June                     Nominated for service.

                             Stored and prepared for commissioning.


July                      Commissioned for service in 3rd Destroyer Flotilla.


August                Joined sister BATTLE Class destroyers SAINTES, ARMADA and VIGO and deployed for

                             Fleet duties in Mediterranean.


September          Flotilla duties in Mediterranean based in Malta




1 9 5 0


                           Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta.


1 9 5 1


                           Fleet deployment included detached service at Basra for during period of unrest due

                           to Iranian  demands for nationalisation of oil industry.


1 9 5 2


                           Mediterranean Fleet deployment in continuation.


1 9 5 3


                           Withdrawn from service and reduced to Reserve.


1 9 5 4  t o  1 9 5 6


                           Laid up in Reserve.


1 9 5 7


                           Selected for refit and modernisation.


1 9 5 8


                           Taken in hand for refit and modernisation by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

                           Work was suspended in November after future of ship had been decided in the light of the

                           reductions following the 1957 Defence Review.

                           The cost of the work carried out was critically commented on in the Comptroller-General's

                           Annual Report of 1961

                           Returned to Reserve status.


F I n a l   P h a s e


HMS GRAVELINES was placed on the Disposal List in 1961 and sold to T W Ward for demolition at Rosyth. She arrived at the breaker’s yard in tow on 22nd March 1961.


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revised 12/8/11
further editing and formatting is required