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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1997

HMS GNAT - Insect-class River Gunboat

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Gnat  (Photo Ships, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

INSECT-Class River Gunboat ordered from Barclay Curie and launched on 3rd December 1915 as the 4th RN ship to carry the name, introduced for a wooden gunboat in 1856. It was previously used by a coastal destroyer renamed TB8 in 1908. After WW1 she joined the Yangtse Flotilla at Shanghai where she provided a British presence to provide protection to British flagged shipping and British nationals in case of an emergency.


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 a gnat gold.


M o t t o

 Minitus acumine:  ‘ Protected by a sting ‘ or

‘ Furnished with wit’.



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



1 9 3 9


September              Nominated for conversion for minesweeping duties.

to                             Taken in hand for conversion to new role.



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January                   Took passage to Mediterranean.

to                             On arrival deployed for bombardment of enemy positions on North African coast

November              and minesweeping in eastern Mediterranean.


December               Deployed for support of 8th Army advance towards Tobruk.

                    9th       Deployed with HM Monitor TERROR, HM River Gunboats APHIS and

                                 LADYBIRD for support of attack on Tobruk by ANZAC troops as Force A.

                  17th       Took passage to Alexandria.


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January                    Support and minesweeping duties in Eastern Mediterranean continued.




April                        Deployed in support of military withdrawal operations.

                    9th       Carried out bombardments at Bomba and Gazala with HMS APHIS.

                  13th       Bombarded enemy positions near Sollum.

May                         Support duties in continuation.


June                         Deployed off North African coast for bombardment duties.

                   21st       Torpedoed by U79 north of Bardia in position 32.08N   25.22E.

                                 Sustained major damaged


July                          Towed to Alexandria.

to                              Found beyond economic repair for use in support of military operations.



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                                 Beached off Alexandria and used as AA Guardship


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                                 After enemy forces were cleared from North Africa withdrawn from service and

                                 placed on the Disposal List.


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                                  Sold for breaking-up at Alexandria.



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revised 4/6/110
further editing and formatting is required


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