1 9 3 9
September Took up War Station with Channel Force based at Portland.
6th Transferred to Nore Command.
11th Deployed to provide AA defence during minelay of Dover Barrage by
HM Minelaying Cruiser ADVENTURE, HM Auxiliary Minelayers
HAMPTON and SHEPPERTON (Operations GR, DM and HW).
(For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History MINING).
19th On completion deployed at Dover.
26th Transferred to Humber Force and took passage to Grimsby.
October Deployed at Grimsby with Humber Force and carried out patrols in
North Sea to provide AA defence for East Coast shipping.
November North Sea deployment in continuation.
December Deployed with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA
(Note: Details not available but may have been for special AA protection)
Called at Aberdeen and at sea over Xmas period.)
1 9 4 0
January Returned to Thames area to give Leave at Chatham.
19th Resumed duties with Humber Force.
20th Deployed with Humber Force as part of 20th Cruiser Squadron.
February Humber Force deployment for AA defence of convoys in North Sea and
NW Approaches. Assisted mv ORONSAY with HM Armed Merchant
Cruiser CHESHIRE after air attack.
March Deployed for AA defence of convoys to and from Norway with HM Cruisers
CALCUTTA and SHEFFIELD.
8th Transferred to Home Fleet after German invasion of Norway.
11th Deployed with HM Destroyers VOLUNTEER, WITHERINGTON, VANOC, VOLUNTEER,
WHIRLWIND and HIGHLANDER as escort for military convoy NP1 taking troops for landings
(Operation RUPERT – For details see NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN
NORWAY (HMSO), NARVIK by D Macintyre and THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams.)
14th Detached with HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Destroyers VANOC, WHIRLWIND and
HIGHLANDER to escort Polish liner CHOBRY and
ss EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA for passage to revised landing at Namsos.
15th Diverted to Lillesjona for transfer of troops to shore by destroyers.
18th Met French troopships EL D’JEZAIR, EL MANSOUR, EL KANTARA,
VILLE D’ORAN and led these ships into Namsos.
(Note: French cruiser EMIL BERTIN and French destroyer were escort
19th Under air attacks during passage through fjords with French destroyers.
(Note: EMIL BERTIN was hit and had to return).
Provided AA cover during landings by French troops.
20th Escorted empty French transports during return passage to UK.
25th Passage to Rosyth from Scapa Flow for refit.
26th Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Rosyth.
6th On completion resumed Home Fleet duties.
11th Joined HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE, HM Destroyer HESPERUS and HM Sloop FLEETWOOD
taking Scots Guards with ss MARGOT to Mo, south of Narvik, as reinforcements.
12th Drove off air attacks after arrival at Mo.
16th Deployed as AA Guardship at Harstad.
17th Escorted HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM with HM Cruiser COVENTRY, HM Destroyers
MATABELE and ECHO during passage from Harstad with troops of South Wales Borderers to
Took part in rescue of troops and ship’s company from HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM after she had
run aground. See references.
1st Taken in hand for repair by Palmers and Hebburn.
July Under repair
(Note: Type 279 Radar for aircraft warning was fitted.
For details of development and use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
12th Post repair and radar trials on completion before resuming Home
Fleet service with Humber Force.
17th Provided AA cover during minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in East Coast Barrier
(Operation SN12 – See above reference)
September Deployed for AA defence in North Sea.
(Note: Enemy air activity prior to planned invasion was intense and extensive anti-invasion naval
deployments demanded high level AA defence.)
5th Provided AA cover during minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in East Coast Barrier
(Operation SN5A – See above reference.)
October Under repair and refit at Rosyth.
Transferred to Western Approaches Command on completion.
November Deployed in Western Approached based in Clyde.
2nd Joined military convoy WS4 in Clyde with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, HESPERUS,
HURRICANE, OTTAWA (RCN), SAGUENAY (RCN) SKEENA (RCN) and Polish ORP
GARLAND for return passage to Clyde.
GARLAND as Local escort during passage in NW Approaches.
3rd Detached from WS4 with HMS BEAGLE, HMS HESPERUS, HMS HURRICANE and ORP
5th Arrived in Clyde for AA defence in NW Approaches.
(Note: Ocean Escort included HM Cruiser CORNWALL)
18th Joined military convoy WS4B in Clyde with HM Destroyers BATH,
ST ALBANS, ST MARY’S, HIGHLANDER, OTTAWA, SAGUENAY, SKEENA and ST
LAURENT as Local Escort during passage in NW
19th Detached from WS4B with HMS BATH, HMS ST ALBANS and HMS ST MARY’S for return
passage to Clyde
(Note: Ocean Escort included HM Cruiser EDINBURGH)
December Western Approaches deployment in continuation.
Taken in hand for repair to storm damage.
1 9 4 1
January Under repair and refit in Tyne shipyard.
to (Note: Radar Type 285 for main AA armament fitted.
March Post refit trials.
5th Resumed operational service in Western Approaches based in Clyde.
25th Joined military convoy WS7 during passage in NW Approaches with HM Destroyers VICEROY
WINCHELSEA, ST CLARE, ECLIPSE and FOXHOUND as part of Local Escort during passage
in NW Approaches.
(Note: HM Cruiser EDINBURGH was also with Local Escort and HM Battleships NELSON and
REVENGE provided Ocean Escort.)
April Under repair for replacement of boiler tubes in Clyde shipyard.
May Deployed in Western Approaches as part of Irish Sea Force.
22nd Joined military convoy WS8B with HM Destroyers COSSACK, ERIDGE, MAORI, OTTAWA,
SIKH, RESTIGOUCHE (RCN), ZULU and Polish ORP PIORUN as Local Escort during
passage in NW Approaches.
(Note: HM Cruiser EXETER provided Ocean Escort and acted as Commodore’s ship.)
25th Detached northwards for increased protection after break out of German battleship BISMARCK
and cruiser PRINZ EUGEN was known.
26th Released from escort of WS8B and took passage to Clyde.
June Resumed duty with Irish Sea Force.
3rd Joined military convoy WS9A in Clyde with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser AUSONIA,
HM Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, OTTAWA, RAMSEY, RESTIGOUCHE, RICHMOND,
SIKH, VANQUISHER, WINCHELSEA and ZULU, Polish ORP GARLAND and ORP
PIORUN as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.
7th Detached from WS9A with Local Escorted and took return passage.
(Note: Ocean Escort was provided by HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM and HM Armed Merchant
Cruiser DUNNOTAR CASTLE.)
29th Joined military convoy WS9B with HM Destroyers CASTLETON, MAORI, ST FRANCIS
(RCN), VANQUISHER, WINCHELSEA. WOLVERINE, READING and ORP PIORUN as
Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.
2nd Detached from WS9B with destroyers, except HMS READING and took passage to Clyde.
(Note: Ocean Escort for WS9B was provided by HM Cruiser EDINBURGH)
Deployed with Irish Sea Force..
2nd Joined military convoy WS10 with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE,
HM Destroyers WHITEHALL, WINCHELSEA, WITCH, BROADWAY, GURKHA, LANCE,
LEGION, Dutch ISAAC SWEERS and ORP PIORUN as Local Escort during passage in
5th Detached from WS10 with HMS WHITEHALL, HMS WINCHELSEA, HMS WITCH and
took return passage to Clyde.
(Note: Ocean Escort was provided by HM Cruiser LONDON).
31st Joined military convoy WS11 with HM Destroyers COSSACK, HIGHLANDER, LEGION,
LIVELY, ORP PIORUN, ORP GARLAND and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS as Local Escort for
passage in NW Approaches.
September On release from WS11 returned to Clyde with Local Escort.
(Note: HM Battleship REPULSE provided Ocean Escort.)
Resumed AA defence duties with Irish Sea Force.
1st Joined military convoy WS12 in Clyde with HM Destroyers VERITY, WHITEHALL, WITCH,
ASSINIBOINE, SAGUENAY, BADSWORTH, BRADFORD, BRIGHTON, LANCASTER,
BLANKNEY, STANLEY, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CATHAY and HM Auxiliary
Minelayer AGAMEMNON as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.
4th Detached from WS12 with HMS WHITEHALL, HMS VERITY and HMS WITCH for return
passage to Clyde.
Resumed duties with Irish Sea Force based in Belfast.
November Irish Sea Force deployment in continuation.
18th Passage to Devonport for refit.
19th Arrived at Devonport.
(Note On departure from Western Approaches ship received a signal of congratulation from
CinC to say her steaming performance and good work reflected great credit on all
1 9 4 2
January Under refit.
6th Passage to Greenock on completion of post refit trials.
7th Arrived at Greenock.
9th Took passage to Murmansk with Trade Delegation for discussions
with Soviet officials.
15th Arrived at Kola Inlet.
18th Took passage from Kola Inlet for Scapa Flow.
23rd Passage from Scapa Flow to Greenock.
25th Arrived at Greenock,
March Under repair at Belfast.
(Note: Type 271 for surface warning fitted.)
April On completion resumed duties in Irish Sea Force.
Nominated for detached service.
13th Took passage from Belfast to join HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS
for special duty at Gibraltar.
16th Arrived at Gibraltar with HMS CHARYBDIS.
18th Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS,
HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WISHART, VIDETTE, WRESTLER, ANTELOPE,
INGLEFIELD, US destroyers USS LANG and USS MADISON as escort for US
Aircraft Carrier USS WASP during passage in western Mediterranean for launch of SPITFIRE
aircraft to Malta.
21st Returned to Gibraltar with USS WASP and took passage to UK..
May Deployed with Irish Sea Force.
(Note: No record of participation with Malta aircraft deliveries
Operations BOWERY and LB has been traced.
Records for escort of rms QUEEN MARY on 25th with HM
Destroyers BEAGLE, DOUGLAS, KEPPEL and SARDONYX
to be confirmed.)
3rd Took passage from Belfast for Gibraltar to provide AA defence
during operation in western Mediterranean
(Operation HARPOON – Convoy WS19Z sailed from Clyde to
Gibraltar. Part of coincidental operation VIGOROUS. to
pass convoy from Egypt Joint identity Operation JULIUS.
For details of HARPOON see THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and MALTA CONVOYS
by R Woodman.)
11th Joined HM Destroyers BEDOUIN, MARNE, MATCHLESS,
ITHURIEL, PARTRIDGE, BLANKNEY, MIDDLETON,
BADSWORTH, Polish ORP KUJAWIAK, HM Minesweepers
HEBE, HYTHE, RYE and SPEEDY as Force X to provide
Close Escort for passage of HARPOON convoy through Sicilian
Narrows to Malta. Sailed from Gibraltar to join convoy.
(Note: HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE,
and ARGUS, HM Cruisers KENYA, LIVERPOOL and
CHARYBDIS screened by Home Fleet and Gibraltar
Escort Force destroyers were also deployed as Force W.)
14th Under submarine and air attacks during which HMS LIVERPOOL
was damaged and returned to Gibraltar.
15th Remained with Force X when Force W ships detached.
Under threat of attack by Italian cruiser force.
Took part in action against Italian ships with Force X.
Hit by two 6” shells with serious damage.
Under air attacks.
(For full details see above references and NAVAL WAR IN
THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.)
16th Arrived in Malta with the two surviving mercantiles of the
(Note: Four mercantiles were sunk on passage.)
Sailed from Malta with ships of Force X for Gibraltar.
(Note: ORP KUJAWIAK was mined and sunk on entry and
both HMS BADSWORTH and HMS MATCHLESS
were seriously damaged and remained in Malta.)
19th Arrived at Gibraltar with ships of Forces W and X.
20th Under repair at Gibraltar.
26th Resumed operational service.
July Gibraltar deployment in continuation.
15th Deployed with HMS EAGLE and HMS CHARYBDIS
screened by HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WRESTLER
ANTELOPE, VANSITTART and ITHURIEL during
Malta aircraft delivery.
16th Returned to Malta. See MALTA CONVOYS.
20th Deployed for further aircraft delivery with same ships.
22nd Returned to Gibraltar with same ships.
August Gibraltar deployment in continuation.
11th Sailed with HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WRESTLER and
VIDETTE as Force X to provide Close Escort for Malta
relief convoy (Operation PEDESTAL – See above references
and PEDESTAL by P Smith.)
12th Under air attacks.
Deployed with HM Cruisers NIGERIA, KENYA and
MANCHESTER, HM Destroyers INTREPID, ICARUS, FURY,
PATHFINDER, LEDBURY, BICESTER, ASHANTI, PENN
WILTON and DERWENT in Force X for escort through Sicilian
Narrows when ships of Force H detached.
Under air and submarine attacks.
Hit aft by two torpedoes from Italian submarine AXUM of Bizerta.
Ship totally disabled and abandoned. Survivors were rescued by
HMS WILTON and hulk finally sunk by gunfire from HMS
DERWENT after torpedoes from HMS PATHFINDER had
failed to do this. (Casualty List -
note on casualties)
(Note: HMS NIGERIA was also hit by same salvo but survived
Loss of CAIRO reduced the defence resources since
she was fitted for aircraft direction.