Naval History Homepage and Site Search




by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1998

HMS ROBIN - River Gunboat

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Woodcock, a generally similar but older river gunboat (CyberHeritage, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

River Gunboat ordered from Yarrow Shipbuilders at Scotstoun Glasgow on 16th January 1933. Laid down later that year she was designed by the shipbuilder and one of six other warships of this type required to replace the INSECT Class built during WW1 and still  in  service. See the General Information. The ship was launched on 7th March 1934 and the build components had been designed to enable sections to be dismantled for transportation to Hong Kong by ship for re-assembly locally. She was the fourth RN ship to bear this name, which was introduced for a River Gunboat also built by Yarrow’s in 1897 and sold in1928. It  had  also  been  borne  by  a trawler and a Drifter requisitioned during WW1. Build of this ship was completed on 23rd July 1934 and after acceptance from the builder the ship was dismantled and prepared for shipment on a merchant ship to Hong Kong.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

None have been awarded.


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

A Robin on a branch, proper.


M o t t o

Audaciter:  Audaciously



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


1 9 3 4


July                    Contractors trials and commissioning

     23rd              Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


August               On completion Sections dismantled and prepared for shipment.




1 9 3 5 

Sections embarked in merchant ship for transit to Hong Kong.

On arrival Sections taken to commercial shipyard at Taikoo for



1 9 3 6 

Assembled in Taikoo Dockyard

Contractors trials.


1 9 3 7 

Commissioned for service and carried out Acceptance Trials.

Construction was overseen by personnel from HM Dockyard

Hong Kong.


Recommissioned for service in West River Flotilla.


1 9 3 8 

Deployed with HM River Gunboats  TARANTULA, SEAMEW

and FALCON in West River for trade protection and aid to any

British subjects in the event of a local emergency.

(Note:  Refits were carried out by HM Dockyard, Hong Kong

and for Local Leave to Ship’s Company.


1 9 3 9


January              West River deployment in continuation with Flotilla.

      to                   Nominated for War Station as Depot Ship for Boom Defence




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          West River Flotilla deployment in continuation.




1 9 4 0


                             Took up service as Boom Defence Depot Ship at Hong Kong


1 9 4 1


January                Deployed as Boom Defence Depot Ship





          8th             After Japanese declaration of war deployed for assistance with

                             RN ships remaining in Hong Kong for defence of the Colony.

                             Colony under first of Japanese air attacks which continued.

         13th             Personnel from mainland evacuated to Hong Kong Island.

         18th             Japanese troops began landings on Hon Kong Island

         25th             Deployed in support of landing party on west coast of Hong Kong

                             island and under sustained and heavy air attacks.

                             (Note:  Naval party including men from HM River Gunboat

                                         CICALA were attacking Japanese troops attempting to

                                         occupy Bennetts Hill area.

                             Disabled during attacks and unable to provide further assistance.

                             Ship scuttled after destruction of classified documents.

                             Note:  Naval landing party were evacuated by Motor Torpedo Boats

                                        of Hong Kong Flotilla which took them to Mirs Bay. After the

                                        MTBs were scuttled some of the RN personnel made their

                                        way to Rangoon where they arrived on 14th February 1942.

                                        This may well have included some personnel from the ship.)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

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


if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net