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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS LYDD (N 44) - Old Hunt-class Minesweeper

HMS Lydd (Photo Ships, click to enlarge return to Contents List

HUNT-Class Minesweeping Sloop ordered in 1918 from Fairfield's at Govan and launched on on December 1918 and completed during 1919. After service in the Mediterranean she was put in Reserve at Alexandria. Before the outbreak of war this ship was brought forward for service off Palestine to intercept ships carrying illegal immigrants. She was adopted by the civil community of Hailsham, East Sussex following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings in March 1942. The original name selected was LYDNEY but it was never used after acceptance into service.


B a t t le   H o n o u r s


DUNKIRK 1940 - NORTH SEA 1940-43 - NORMANDY 1944


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

None is recorded in the Official List


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



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                 3rd         Prepared for use as a minesweeper at Alexandria.

                               Minesweeping equipment replaced.

                               On completion joined HM Minesweepers ROSS, PANGBOURNE, ALBURY, FERMOY,

                               SALTASH and SUTTON in 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla at Port Said.


October                 Deployed in eastern Mediterranean for patrol and contraband searches.

to                            (Note: Suez Canal Traffic was amongst ships searched' by Flotilla).



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January                   Transferred with other ships of 3rd Flotilla to Home waters.

                                  (Note: Extensive minelaying, especially on east coast was disrupting  the passage of convoys

                                              and additional minesweepers were required.  See Naval Staff History).


February                  Passage to join 5th Minesweeping Flotilla at Harwich.

                                  (Note: HMS FERMOY remained in the Mediterranean based at Malta).


March                      On arrival transferred to Rosyth as part of 5th Flotilla.


April                        Deployed at Rosyth with H M Minesweepers ALBURY,  PANGBOURNE, ROSS

                                 and SALTASH for clearance of mines from East Coast convoy route.


May                         East coast duties in continuation.

                                 Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes was changed from N44 to J44.

              26th           Diverted from minesweeping with HM Minesweepers PANGBOURNE, ROSS,

                                ALBURY, LEDA and GOSSAMER to assist in evacuation operations

                                at Dunkirk

                                (Operation DYNAMO - See Naval Staff History & NINE DAYS AT DUNKIRK

                                 by A Divine).

              28th           Took passage from Harwich to Dunkirk with ships of 4th and 5th Flotillas.

                                Embarked troops from Mole at Dunkirk and took passage to UK.

              29th           Evacuation operations in continuation.

                                Assisted rescue of survivors from HM Destroyer WAKEFUL sunk after hit

                                 by an E-Boat torpedo and carrying 600 troops.

                                HM Destroyer GRAFTON, HMS GOSSAMER, H M Drifter NAUTILUS

                                and HM Danlayer COMFORT also took part..

                                During this rescue these ships were attacked by U62 which torpedoed and sank

                                HMS GRAFTON.

                                In  the ensuing confusion ship opened fire on a moving target assumed to be U62

                                 which was in fact HMS COMFORT.

                                 The Danlayer was the rammed and sank.

              30th           Carried out further trips to beaches.

              31st           Sailed from Margate for La Panne to continue evacuation.



                 1st           Final passage for evacuation

                                  (Note: In all made six trips to beaches and subject to sustained air attacks).

                 5th            Resumed Flotilla duties in Nore Command with HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER, KELLETT,

                                  ROSS, SALTASH and PANGBOURNE for minesweeping in Dowsing area east of the Wash.

                                  (Note: This was part of a British operation to close gap in the  East  Coast

                                               Mine Barrier to ensure convoy route was clear of any mines).


July                           Nore Command deployment in southern North Sea in continuation.




October                     Transferred with Flotilla to Rosyth for minesweeping in northern North Sea convoy route.


November                 Rosyth deployment in continuation.


December                  Transferred with HMS PANGBOURNE to 4th Minesweeping Flotilla.

                                   (Note: The other ships of 5th Flotilla were deployed in NW approaches)


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January                     East coast duties with 4th Flotilla in continuation.

to                               (Note: 5th Flotilla was disbanded in April and its ships then also joined

October                                  4th Flotilla).


November                 Transferred with 4th Flotilla to NW Approaches to clear channel  through the  British Northern

                                   Mine Barrage between Faeroes and Iceland.


December                  NW Approaches duty with Flotilla in continuation.


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January                      On completion resumed minesweeping in North Sea based at Yarmouth.


February                    East coast convoy Channel clearance in continuation with Flotilla.




August                       Transferred with Flotilla to Plymouth command for operations in the  SW Approaches.


September                  Deployed with Flotilla based at Milford for duty in St George's Channel.

 to                                (Note: Existing British minefield was to be cleared prior to new minelay off the Irish coast

December                                by HM Cruiser Minelayer ADVENTURE).


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January                      SW Approaches minesweeping with Flotilla in continuation.




October                      Sustained damage in collision with tug.

                                    Taken in hand for repair at Port Talbot.


November                  On completion rejoined Flotilla at Milford Haven.


December                   Deployed in SW Approaches and Irish Sea


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January                       Deployed in Channel and SW Aproaches based at Plymouth.




March                         Transferred to Portsmouth Command for minesweeping in Solent area in preparation

                                    for planned landings in Normandy

                                    (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities prior to and during  landings see

                                    OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards, Naval Staff History and D-DAY SHIPS by

                                     J de Winser) .


April                            Channel minesweeping in continuation.

to                                  Took part in exercises by Assault Forces prior to landings.

May                             (Exercise FABIUS and Exercise TIGER)

                                     (Note: Flotilla were allocated specifically to the clearance of Channel 4 which was to be

                                                  used by the US assault convoys to the OMAHA Beaches.

                                                  See THEY LED THE WAY by J Williams and above references for details.


June                             Channel 4 minesweeping in continuation.

                5th                Passage through Channel 4 in front of Assault convoys to  OMAHA Beach Head.

                6th                Flotilla deployment in continuation to clear the area selected for major warships during

                                     support bombardment.

                                     On completion carried out sweeping operations to merge Channels 4 & 3 to assist in free

                                     transit of Follow-Up phase convoys.

                7th                Returned to Portsmouth.

                8th                Deployed in Portsmouth Command to ensure safe passage of convoys to Beach Head areas.


July                              Resumed duties in Plymouth Command with Flotilla.


August                         Remained at Devonport for repair by HM Dockyard.


September                    Awaiting repair which was delayed by higher priority work.




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January                         Repair work was not completed and ship was Paid-off.




April                             Reduced to Reserve status at Milford Haven.


May                              Laid up at Milford Haven.




P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS LYDD was placed on the Disposal List after VJ Day and sold on 13th March 1947 to a Belgian shipping company, Dohmen and Habets of Liege, for use as a mercantile. Six other HUNT Class Minesweepers were sold at the same time.


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