Transcribed by Roy Martin and
made available by Don
Kindell, the source of this "Admiralty Diary" is uncertain. Although a
single document, it was not listed by the Public Records Office or the Naval
Historical Branch (MOD). It was apparently found misfiled in an obscure
Command Diary, possibly for the South Wales port of Barry.
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
France, including Dunkirk, May to June 1940
Area of Operations, only some
locations in text are shown
No. 2 in Plymouth Letter No. 347 of 10 July 1940. In ink M 580
Orders were given on 15 June 1940
for the withdrawal of the whole of the remaining British Expeditionary Force
from France, approximately 140,000
THURSDAY 13 JUNE 1940
DUCHESS OF YORK, GEORGIC, SOBIESKI in convoy FF1, Clyde to Brest with French
and Polish troops from the Norwegian Campaign. FF2, Clyde to St Nazaire: Ulster
Monarch, Royal Ulsterman, Royal Scotsman and Ulster Prince
15 JUNE 1940
ABILITY & CITY OF FLORENCE were ordered to sail from Falmouth to Brest, ETTRICK,
KONINGIN EMMA, ROYAL ULSTERMAN & ROYAL SCOTSMAN to La Pallice.
WINDSOR was diverted to Cherbourg from Convoy O.A.168 G.F.
was ordered to proceed to Quiberon Bay for onward passage to St. Nazaire, and FRANCONIA
STAR, OTRANTO & STRATHAIRD were ordered to Brest with all despatch from
Cardiff, and ORMONDE & ORONSAY
from Falmouth to Quiberon Bay. HAVELOCK was ordered to detail one destroyer to
escort the first loaded convoy.
Southampton was ordered to sail CLEW BAY, KILRAE, AFONGWLI, HYTHE, WHITSTABLE,
MALRIX, MARSWORTH & LYROCA & POLGRANGE to Quiberon Bay.
& WINCHELSEA were ordered to sail to Brest at 0700/16 to escort loaded
convoys to the United Kingdom.
D.S.T.O. Newhaven was ordered to
sail FERMAIN, FIRECREST, NEPHRITE, OBSIDIAN & RAVONA to Brest with all
despatch, and D.S.T.O. Shoreham was ordered to sail ARTHUR WRIGHT.
S.T.O. Avonmouth and S.T.O.
Newport were ordered to sail CLAN FERGUSON, MARGOT, GOVERNOR & TEIRESIAS
for St. Nazaire with all despatch.
SUNDAY 16 JUNE 1940
Admiral Ouest was informed that
EL KANTARA would sail for Brest pm.
WOLVERINE, VANOC, & WHIRLWIND
were detailed to escort loaded ships to the United Kingdom.
FIRECREST, NEPHRITE, who had now
arrived at Plymouth were ordered to remain there at short notice pending
further orders, and S.T.O. Newhaven was ordered to sail FERMAIN for Plymouth forthwith.
MACKAY & WINCHESLEA sailed
S.N.O. Brest reported that LADY
OF MANN, MANXMAN & CANTERBURY were loaded with 6000 troops, but held up by
mines. He intended to load VIENNA, who was in harbour under orders for Nantes.
B.N.L.O. Brest reported that more
ships were urgently required at St. Nazaire. GEORGIC, DUCHESS OF YORK &
SOBIESKI were to be loaded by dark and sailed, and BATORY was to be sailed at
daylight on the following day. 13000 troops would be embarked, leaving 35000
S.T.O. Plymouth was ordered to
sail DAGMAR, MURAYFIELD, HYTHE, WHITSTABLE, YEWPARK, BETTSWORTH, NEPHRITE,
MALRIX, MARSWORTH, & FIRECREST to Quiberon Bay.
S.N.O. St. Nazaire was informed that GEORGIC & DUCHESS OF
YORK were to be sailed for Liverpool when loaded, and BATORY & SOBIESKI to
WESTCOTT was ordered to proceed
to St. Nazaire to act under orders of Captain D.9.
Admiral Ouest was asked to sail
ROYAL SCOTSMAN & ROYAL ULSTERMAN as soon as possible to Loire where they
were urgently required to embark personnel.
ETTRICK, KONINGIN EMMA & LADY
OF MANN were also to proceed to Quiberon Bay to embark troops from Loire. MACKAY
was ordered to send destroyers not immediately
required to join Captain D.9. at St. Nazaire. WESTCOTT was to join them on the following morning.
SUFFOLK COAST & ST. ANDREW
sailed from for Plymouth. HANTONIA & ST, BRIAC sailed 1815 from for
VANOC was ordered to St. Nazaire
with all despatch, and HIGHLANDER also sailed for St. Nazaire.
ROBERT PROCIS, STARLING &
BARON OGILVY sailed from Nantes for Milford Haven.
The trawlers CAPE MARIATO,
BLIGHTY, MURMANSK, LACERTA, LOMBARD, WELBECK, & FLORIO all sailed from
Plymouth for Brest.
D.S.T.O. Avonmouth and Falmouth
were ordered to sail TRELAWNY, BRITANNY, CITY OF EVANSVILLE and PORT MONTREAL
for Loire via Quiberon Bay a.m. June 17th.
At the end of June 16th
the position was that 11000 troops had been embarked at St Malo, leaving 5000
there. 10500 had embarked at Brest, leaving 16000 there. 17,000 had embarked at
St, Nazaire, leaving 30000 there. The embarkation at Nantes was proceeding
MONDAY 17 JUNE 1940
ARETHUSA reported (0017/17) that
14 ships were sailing from Le Verdon for Falmouth p.m. 17th with
about 1200 British refugees and also Madure (MADURA) with 180 embassy Staff and
8000 refugees for the Bristol Channel.
S.N.O. St. Nazaire reported
((0119/17) that DUCHESS OF YORK with 4300 personnel, GEORGIC with 3982 were
sailing for Plymouth, subsequently diverted to Liverpool, BATORY 13,178 with 2000 for Plymouth &
SOBEISKI with 2890 for Falmouth escorted by WHIRLWIND and BEAGLE.
LADY OF MANN arrived Plymouth
from Brest 0450; CANTERBURY & MANXMAID AT 0521.
FRANCONIA was temporarily out of
action due to near miss by bombs on the 16th, mainshaft and gearing
out of line. At 0700/17th she proceeded independently from Quiberon
Bay to Plymouth.
WESTCOTT arrived Brest 0540/17
BACTRIA arrived Plymouth 0715/1
VIENNA arrived Plymouth 0745/17
WOLVERINE having reported
(0618/17) that a convoy of 19 loaded ships would be ready by noon, was
instructed (0830/17) to escort them, taking with him trawlers AGATE &
CAMBRIDGESHIRE. C-in C W.A.
ordered WESTCOTT (0834/17) to direct all ships, due for Brest into the harbour.
BRITANNY, TREWAL, TRELAWNY and
CITY OF EVANSVILLE sailed Avonmouth (0900/17) for Loire via Quiberon Bay.
STRATHAIRD and ORMONDE arrived
Brest 1035/17 and at 1100/17 Brest reported that sufficient ships had arrived. WREN
was instructed (1129/17) to join D.9. at St. Nazaire. At 1145/17 B.N.L.O. asked
for transport for 3000 troops and 250 rearguard at La Pallice by noon 18th
The French ship CHAMPLAIN (28000
tons gross) was reported mined off La Pallice a.m. 17th but it was
not believed that the port was blocked.
WOLVERINE reported (1245/17) that
the convoy of 19 ships previously reported had grown to 26 ships including an
oiler and had sailed from Quiberon bay for Bristol Channel at 4 knots.
PORT MONTREAL sailed Falmouth
1145/17 for Loire.
N.O.I/C. Avonmouth reported
(1330/17) that BRITANNY would be delayed until daylight 18/6 through engine
S.N.O. St. Nazaire reported
(1445/17) that HAVELOCK had one engine out of action and was returning with
LANCASTRIA to U.K. He asked for more destroyers as embarkation was badly
delayed by lack of shipping.
PRINSES JOSEPHINE CHARLOTTE sailed
Falmouth 1628/17 for Brest. PRINCESS MAUDE 2600 sailed 1600/17 with 2600 troops.
HIGHLANDER signalled (1603/17)
that LANCASTRIA was hit and sinking. At 1843/17 D.9. reported that LANCASTRIA
had been sunk by a bomb after loading. It was impossible to assess casualties.
Survivors has (sic) been sailed
in ORONSAY. D.9. reported that he only had HIGHLANDER and one with him and that
embarkation would be seriously delayed. WREN & ZAZA were ordered (1822/17)
to join him.
S.N.O. Brest reported 1507/17
that WESTCOTT had been holed by collision and was returning Plymouth at 8
knots. He asked for more destroyers immediately if possible.
KONINGIN EMMA arrived Plymouth
At 1851/17, C. in C. W.A.
informed S.N.O. Brest , S.N.O. St. Nazaire and all ships in W.A. of the
decision to withdraw the whole of the B.E.F. immediately. and detailed the
vessels that would be arriving at the various ports. MACKAY was informed that
they were to be embarked on any ship for the U.K.
ORMONDE, OTRANTO and ARANDORA
STAR sailed Quiberon Bay p.m./ 17 with orders to report to WOLVERINE.
S.N.O. Brest reported the
situation at 1930/17 as total number embarked 30,000. All big ships sailing
independently, MACKAY and trawler taking off small number remaining.
MACKAY was asked (2154/17) to confirm
the authenticity of this message and did so (2307/17).
Senior British Army Officer, St.
Nazaire was informed (1935/17) by War Office that certain troops would
endeavour to destroy all British and French oil stocks in area St. Nazaire,
Donges and Nantes before embarking.
STURDY was instructed (2011/17)
to join MACKAY at Brest.
S.N.O. Brest reported (2027/17)
that he had ordered WINCHESLEA to join D.9. at St. Nazaire and that no further
destroyers were required at Brest.
MACKAY was ordered (2036/17) to
send to La Pallice forthwith, ships with total capacity of 7000, including
ETTRICK if possible. ARANDORA STAR was ordered (2137/17) to proceed forthwith
to La Pallice, but reported (2217/17) that the signal had been received too
late as all ships had sailed from Brest and ETTRICK had not been seen.
BATORY & WHIRLWIND arrived
S.N.O. Brest, in MACKAY,
signalled (2223/17) reference C. in C., W. A. that he had no information about
any Belgians before leaving Brest at 2130.
WREN (2340/17) & AMSTERDAM
(2351/17) sailed from Plymouth.
At 2342/17, S.N.O. St. Nazaire
was requested to confirm statement of the French that embarkation in Loire
would be completed during the night of 17th, and also whether this
would include personnel, stores and M.T.
Commodore in JOHN HOLT reported
2343/17 that he was returning with 829 survivors from LANCASTRIA, many without
P.S.T.O. Southampton was
instructed 2351/17 to sail ST. HELIER forthwith to La Pallice.
TUESDAY 18 JUNE 1940
ETTRICK & ORMONDE ordered to
St. Nazaire (0003/18)
CLAN FERGUSON to Bordeaux (0004)
S.N.O. Brest reported (0031) that
after several reversals of policy during Monday forenoon G.H.Q. had given
instructions for personnel only to be loaded, about 25 guns had been loaded.
SOBEISKI arrived Falmouth (0100).
D.9.reported (0100) that French statement to the effect that embarkation would
be completed that night were utterly wrong.
CUTTY SARK sailed from Plymouth
ARANDORA STAR ordered to Quiberon
WREN escorting AMSTERDAM &
LADY OF MANN sailed for Plymouth (0224)
ORMONDE diverted from St. Nazaire
to La Pallice (0238)
WHIRLWIND sailed for Gironde
S.N.O. Brest reported (0317) that
French troops landed Brest Monday (17th)
ex ROYAL SCOTSMAN from Narvik did not wish to be evacuated to the United
Kingdom, 400 Polish in ULSTER MONARCH were allowed to remain in ship.
Brest reported mined. M/S
COURTIER & ERIMO ordered to return there (0511)
STRATHAIRD arrived Plymouth
(0608) MACKAY & ROYAL SCOTSMAN arrived Plymouth (0635). MACKAY brought back
49 Naval and Military Officers and 39 ratings and other ranks.
Convoy OLIVE sailed Loire (0630) -
ROYAL ULSTERMAN 2800, ULSTER PRINCE 2800, FLORISTAN 2000,
BAHARISTAN 2000, CLAN MACPHERSON (CLAN
FERGUSON) 2000, DUNDRUM CASTLE 2000,
DAVID LIVINGSTONE 2000, FABIAN 2000, CITY OF MOBILE 2000, GLEN AFFARIC (GLENAFFRIC) 4000. Total of 23,600. Escorted by VANOC & BEAGLE. Destination Plymouth &
D.9.ordered WINCHESLEA (0647) to send any small transports at Quiberon
to St. Nazaire forthwith, and also ordered ROYAL ULSTERMAN back to St. Nazaire
Brest and La Pallice closed,
mines probable (0714)
S.N.O. St. Nazaire reported
(0730) embarkation of personnel would be completed pm. Tuesday 18th,
but no stores or M.T. for which no shipping was available.
BELLEROPHON arrived Plymouth
D9 ordered WINCHESLEA to St.
Nazaire with all despatch (0805)
BEAGLE reported (0830) sailed
from St. Nazaire for Plymouth (0600) with ULSTER PRINCE, ?6800, CLAN FERGUSON, BAHARISTAN, each
carrying approximately 3000 troops, DAVID 600, LIVINGSTONE with 800, BEAGLE 600, all short of provisions. (part OLIVE, contradicts above)
At 0800 BROKE from British Naval
Liaison Officer situation at 0800 18th June.
of stragglers being embarked in (Prinses)
being swept after previous night's minelaying to enable French Fleet to
Naval Authorities shewing no sign of individual initiative.
mechanical forces 150 miles away
British motor transport abandoned.
CUTTY SARK stopped by mines off
St. Mathieu (0845)
reported (0845) meeting LYCAON with 800 troops on board and no rations in
position 51. 00. N. 06. 00. W. proceeding Bristol Channel.
Trawler SUTHERNESS arrived
ARETHUSA reported (0903) sailings
from Le Verdun: 17 June 1940:
Falmouth for orders, LAPWING,
CANFORD CHINE, CRANE, ACAVUS, WINDSORWOOD, BARON JEDBURGH, TREVETHOE, AINDERBY,
JENA, POMELIA, YARRAVILLE, GRONINGEN. Norwegian ships VARANG, FJELL, TARANGER,
To Dakar in convoy French ships
VILLE DE HAVRE, MAGUERITIE FINALY, BOURGOGNE, GROIX, MARIS STELLA, TADORNE,
PIERRE CLAUDE, MAURICE DELMAS, CARIMARE
FOXGLOVE instructed by
Commander-in Chief, Portsmouth to endeavour to evacuate 10 tons of Suez Canal
archives from Granville (0932)
HAVELOCK reported starboard propeller
and tail shaft damaged, port propeller probably damaged
WESTCOTT in collision with S.S.
NYROCA, holed in No 3 fuel tank,
D.9.signalled WOLVERINE (1054),
transports urgently needed at Gironde
D.9. reported (1039) that VANOC
had been placed at the disposal of General Brooke and staff, but that he had embarked
on trawler (CAMBRIDGESHIRE)
ordered SABRE & FERNIE (1107) to close Cherbourg to evacuate 800 troops and
50 Naval demolition ports and to provide covering fire if required
Four aircraft bombing Brest
MACKAY ordered (1009) to proceed
to Quiberon Bay by 0400/19, report and proceed thence to La Pallice under
orders of D.9.
CUTTY SARK reported (1245)
bombed, can only proceed slowly
COURTIER reported (1316) Brest
and shipping being heavily bombed, shipping leaving
S.N.O. St Nazaire reported all
personnel evacuated St. Nazaire (1315/18)
BROKE reported (1346) statement
from Belgian General that 4000 Belgian troops were 25 miles north and 2000 south
of St. Nazaire. He had told them to make for St. Nazaire and was sending there
JOSEPHINE CHARLOTTE & FERMAIN.
LYCAON arrived Milford Haven with
S.N.O. St. Nazaire reported
(1440) all M.T. and store ships crammed to capacity with personnel. All holds
in use and men short of food and water.
ARETHUSA reported (1444)
requisitioning Dutch ship BENNEKON (BENNEKOM)
to carry 400 refugees. GUIDO arrived Plymouth 1452. BEAGLE directed to
divert ULSTER PRINCE & DAVID LIVINGSTONE to Falmouth (1502)
D.9. reported that ARANDORA STAR
was not required and was being sent to United Kingdom (1520)
S.N.O. St. Nazaire and D.9. informed
(1526) that Commodore Hallett and party were arriving with special duties. Troops
were being sent for his use but he might require others
ARETHUSA reported (1537) that no
German prisoners were expected Bordeaux
ORONSAY with wounded and other
survivors from 'LANCASTRIA' and troops arrived Plymouth 1547.
BROKE reported 1556 that French
naval force was leaving Brest evening 18th, and that demolition was
planned for midnight. This report crossed Commander-in Chief's 1602 stressing
the importance of sailing or destruction of RICHELIEU & JEAN BART.
ST. HELIER was ordered to La
Pallice and D.S.T.O. Plymouth was ordered to send MANXMAID & CANTERBURY to
Brest, but ST HELIER arrived Plymouth 1700
At 1625 Commander-in Chief
directed S.N.O. St. Nazaire to keep fighters as long as possible in view of
6000 Belgians and unknown number of refugees still awaiting evacuation
ARANDORA STAR chased by, but
escaped from U-boat
Admiral Ouest reported that
Training Battleship PARIS was damaged by bomb and proceeding Plymouth escorted
by GROENLAND & HEUREUX, also OURAGAN escorted by POMEROL. Admiral Ouest was
sailing in LE HARDI for Casablanca or Dakar.
D.9. reported (1752) St. Nazaire
evacuated and presumed in enemy hands. s.s. ETTRICK told not to proceed there
VANOC reported (1746) 8000
troops, am proceeding Plymouth
BROKE signalled that RICHELIEU
had sailed with Admiral Ouest.
ORCADES arrived Plymouth 1803.
S.N.O. St. Nazaire reported
(1817) having evacuated port at port 1315 with Brigadier Gill and staff.
CITY OF EVANSVILLE sailed
Penzance 1800 for St. Nazaire
D.9. reported :- (1828)
Convoy: ROYAL ULSTERMAN, CITY OF
LANCASTER, BELTOY, MAURICE ROSE, GLANLEA (GLENLEA?),
HARPATHIAN, GLENDENNING, POLLUX, LECHISTAN containing troops sailed 1100
Also in company British Military
Hospital Ship ROBERT E. HOLT, oiler CASPIA, Polish LEWANT, Trawlers ST. MELANTE
& CLOUGHTON WYKE, OSAMA, ARMENA escorted HIGHLANDER & WREN.
Trawler LACERTO arrived Plymouth,
1910. ORONSAY 1547.
Commander-in Chief enquired
(1943) whether ARETHUSA had sufficient tonnage for evacuation of GIRONDE. ARETHUSA
informed that most important that special service agents at Arcachon, ordered
by Admiralty to proceed to Bordeaux or Le Verdun, be got away. ARETHUSA told to
try and contact General of fully equipped Czech division comprising 1200 men,
including aircraft, and inform him transport to United Kingdom will be provided
if he can get forces to Bordeaux before enemy interference with route.
D.9. was told (2006) to proceed
to La Pallice, when satisfied nothing more could be done at Loire and to divert
shipping to La Pallice – trawlers and A/S Yachts would be at her disposal
At 2054 MACKAY was too ordered to proceed to La Pallice.
Customs Jersey signalled that the
Master of s.s. HODDER reported on arrival that he had sighted enemy seaplane
dropping magnetic mines in harbour at 0230.
MAID MARION reported (2100) that
French Authorities stated St. Nazaire in enemy hands. STURDY was ordered to
proceed to Plymouth at 2041.
MACKAY reported (2215) French Battleship
COURBET off Ushant steering North.
VANQUISHER reported (1600) having
seen French Admiral who hoped to sail Battleship 0500/19 – arrangements
made to destroy if unable to sail. (JEAN
Admiralty informed (1711) BERKELEY,
General Julius Deutsch and wife onboard S.S.. Cuba at Bordeaux, permitted to
proceed to United Kingdom in any merchant vessel.
CUTTY SARK reported starboard
engine out of action, returning Plymouth at 8 knots.
BROKE reported 1815 that French
A.M.C.s EXPLORATEUR & GRANDIDIER had been ordered to St. Ives Bay by
During the day Trawlers MONTANO,
OSWALDIAN, & LADY ESTELLE and tugs TANGA & PERSIA arrived Falmouth.
Commander-in-Chief ordered 1914
VIENNA, ST. JULIAN, ST. ANDREW, CYCLOPS & BELLEROPHON to Dartmouth, PRINCE
ALBERT to Southampton and BACTRIA to Barry.
ARETHUSA ordered (1925) WHIRLWIND
to intercept and escort MADURA out from Le Verdun to Falmouth and NARIVA to
B.C. both carrying refugees.
C. in C ordered Falmouth to sail
GUINNEAN (GUINEAN) to Barry
CAMBRIDGESHIRE reported E.T.A.
Plymouth 1500/19 with British general Staff on board
S.S. JOHN HOLT arrived Plymouth
2025, CIMBULA (CYMBULA) 2100
At 2058 LORD GREY & BERVIE
BRAES were ordered to La Pallice, ST.MALANTE, ASAMO, OVETAS to Gironde.
ARETHUSA signalled (2114) she had
enough tonnage for known refugees. Belgian KASONGO had been requisitioned for
evacuating special service agents.
VIVA II, referring to MAID
MARION's 2100, reported St. Nazaire not in enemy hands, but no British troops
At 2309 H. Ship ST. JULIAN
arrived Plymouth. KONINGEN EMMA sailed 2244.
FRIDAY 19 JUNE 1940
click to enlarge
KINDAT diverted to Barry (0011)
ORACLE signalled (0012/19) that
the Germans were close to St. Nazaire at 2330/18. ORACLE returning with rescued
merchant crews, a few soldiers and refugees, 250 in all. (see 1800/19 =114)
Rescue tugs SALVONIA, ZWARTEZEE (ZWARTE ZEE) and MARAUDER ordered to return to Falmouth (0014).
French A.M.C. EXPLORATEUR
GRANDIDIER (one ship, previous entry
suggests two?) diverted from St. Ives to Milford (0016)
German aircraft reported ARETHUSA
possibly laying magnetic mines Le Verdon (0028)
Admiralty informed ARETHUSA &BERKELEY
(0035/19) that French Colonel Bonevita was proceeding by air to Bordeaux to
arrange evacuation of individual French Officers and men, and skilled workmen
who wished to leave France. C. in C. W.A. was asked to arrange transport, preferably
in French ships, for 2000 to start with.
Trawler FLORA, motor barge CABBY
arrived Plymouth (0045)
ARETHUSA reported two more
bombing attacks Le Verdon between 0130 and 0150.
ORMONDE ordered to La Pallice,
Gironde area (0216)
PORT MONTREAL to Barry (0219)
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux requested
(0330/19) for shipping suitable for entry Bayonne harbour to collect about 1000
Hospital ships, ST. ANDREW, ST.
JULIEN left Plymouth (0450)
ISLESMAN, BOVEY TRACEY,
CORBRIDGE, HAMPSHIRE COAST arrived Plymouth (0520)
Trawler MURMANSK grounded at
Brest and abandoned (0542) – crew saved.
JOZO, BARON LOVAT, CAPULET,
arrived Plymouth (0610)
ARETHUS reported (0548) sailing
of refugee ships from Le Verdon, MADURA for Falmouth and NARIVA for the Bristol Channel.
IMOGEN & GRIFFIN ordered
(0551) to take over tow of French destroyer OURAGAN in position 57N. 05. 03 W.
Hospital Ship DORSETSHIRE arrived
Tug QUEENSCROSS reported (0700)
that she was off Brest but refused permission to enter.
S.S.. GLENAFFARIC arrived
French tugs ATTENTIF, CHAMPION
and Belgian Pilot Vessel BATEAU arrived Plymouth with refugees from St. Malo.
C. in C. W.A. (0825) instructed
local establishments to prepare to receive French and Belgian Naval Officers
BROKE reported (0834) that she
had left Brest 0030. Demolition largely effective. All French warships out of
harbour except two submarines scuttled. Evacuation of French troops still in progress.
Now leaving BERTHEAUME for Plymouth with 20 British stragglers, 20 civilians
(12 women), and 180 Polish troops.
LORD GREY reported (0845) that on
arrival off St. Nazaire she intercepted a signal stating that it was in German
hands. She was returning with trawler BERVIEBRAES.
L/L Trawlers LA ROCHELLE &
INVERFORTH arrived La Verdon (0915)
VANQUISHER reported (0915) French
Battleship JEAN BART and two French destroyers with Admiral Ouest in LE HARDI
had sailed for Casablanca.
reported (0950) in company with THISTLEGLEN & PHILLIPPA (PHILLIP M) carrying 2500 troops for
French despatch vessel SUIPPE
arrived Falmouth (0950)
CLAN FERGUSON & BAHARISTAN
3000 French S.S.
MEKNES arrived from Brest with approximately 3000 French troops, 11 civilians,
1 French Admiral and 1 French General.
TRELAWNY reported St. Nazaire
roads attacked (1007)
Liverpool ordered to sail (1129)
M.T. GEORGIC forthwith to La Pallice.
Sea Transport staff from St.
Nazaire and Quiberon Bay arrived Plymouth (1016)
Tug KROOMAN ordered by D.9. (1017)
to proceed to la Pallice.
BROKE (1025) intercepted French
S/Ms MINERVE & JUNON in tow of QUEENS CROSS & WATERCOCK off Pierres
Noires escorted by PESSAC and SAUTESNE and proposed escorting to Plymouth. Ordered
tug STURDY to tow JUNON, tug being short of coal.
B.N.L.O. France reported (1026)
unable to contact Czech General – re-evacuating Czech troops.
reported (1035) convoy Stable 2 with 1200 troops in position 47. 52. N. 06. 21.
W. course 000¼ 8 knots.
MACKAY (1041) stated La Pallice
gate shut, ALDERPOOL & LADY OF MANN outside. Endeavouring to get it opened.
ULSTER MONARCH ordered from
Falmouth to La Pallice (1136).
VISCOUNT, WITCH arrived Plymouth
TWICKENHAM FERRY arrived Plymouth
Admiralty (1271) advised C. in C.
W.A. ARETHUISA & BERKELEY re Polish troops 25000 in Ports between Brest,
Vannes & Rochelle. 5000 between Bordeaux & Bayonne. 30, 000 now fighting, but may reach
Marseilles or Bordeaux and said every effort should be made to bring them to
PUNJABI & HARVESTER joined
convoy Stable 2 (1226).
CUTTY SARK arrived Plymouth
M.V. SWAY arrived Plymouth
French Transport PLM 17 arrived
MACKAY reported (1321) situation
La Pallice. MAID MARION in company. British S.N.O. left with last British
troops. None further expected. 10 refugees embarked MAID MARION. A few Polish
TRELAWNEY heavily bombed St.
Nazaire Roads, damage slight (1325)
ordered (1347) to take ships to Newport (THISTLEGLEN & PHILLIPPA (PHILLIP M) – routed for Falmouth)
(1412) reported loading of British ships:
CITY OF MOBLIE 3000 troops with 5 stretcher cases; FLORISTAN 3500; ESSEX DRUID 1500 5 stretcher cases; 8500
DUNDRUM CASTLE 500
damaged in engine room by bombing.
battleship PARIS arrived Plymouth (1425)
reported (1457) several magnetic mines laid during night. One French merchant vessel
sunk a.m. 19th One mine believed exploded prematurely. 2, possibly 3
trawlers to sweep passenger for ARETHUSA & BERKELEY. Embassy ordered ARETHUSA
to sail for U.K. as soon as British staff embarked p.m.
POULMIC, Cable Vessel EMILE BAUNER, escort vessels CHALUPIER, HEUREUX, &
ROLAND, British s.s. HYTHE arrived (1500) Plymouth.
reported that he was rejoining convoy Stable 2. Troops without food and water.
tug ABEILLE 8 arrived Plymouth
PUNJABI, GRIFFIN, WITCH, HARVESTER, VISCOUNT ordered to St. Nazaire (1534) also transports ROYAL SCOTSMAN &
ships sailed Le Verdon for Falmouth (1546):- STAD HARLEM & ALCOR with 150 each, BENNEKOM with 400,
RONBUR III & REGNSTROOM (REGGESTROOM) with unknown numbers
Tug MARAUDER arrived Falmouth
MANOR reported (1555) she had on
board 67 Naval Ratings, 2 Army Officers and 25 O.R. and 1 civilian. CHILTERN
had 114 evacuees.
STURDY arrived Plymouth (1548),
transports PRINCESS MAUD and TYNEWALL (TYNWALD)
French crane lighters GEORGES DE JOLLY & ANDRE BLONDEL
TRELAWNEY ordered to Barry (1648)
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux informed (1649)
ships to embark third Polish Division sent St. Nazaire, others to La Pallice.
Plymouth arrivals: Transports
ROYAL SOVEREIGN, FLORISTAN, CITY OF MOBILE, FARRIAN, ST BRIAC , DUNDRUM CASTLE,
French PRESTIN (1700 – 1720).
Sailings GALATEA & BEAGLE
Trawler CAMBRIDGESHIRE with
General Brooke and staff arrived (1720)
D.9. ordered (1731) to divert to
St Nazaire OTRANTO, ORONTES, ARANDORA STAR, ST. HELIER, ETTRICK.
ARETHUSA reported (1735) wreck of
French ship MEXIQUE dangerous to navigation off Le Verdon.
WINCHESLEA instructed by C- in-C.
W.A. (1752) that two to three thousand from Stable 2 were to be landed at
Falmouth Ships to be diverted accordingly.
ORMONDE attacked by aircraft
(1754) and (1808)
ORACLE reported (1800) her
passengers consisted of 44 soldiers, 25 white merchant seamen, 31 Chinese
seamen, 12 European refugees, 1 Naval Officer, 1 military hospital case. Total
114 and not 250 as reported
BERKELEY instructed by Admy.
(1823/19) that a most important and urgent message for Admiral Darlan would
reach him shortly and he was to remain in Bordeaux until he had delivered the message
and received a reply.
LL Trawler BERVIE BRAES reported
(1830) 'I am leaking badly and have only one day's coal left'
M/S Trawlers STRATHRANNOCK,
WILLIAM BELL & SEDDON sailed Plymouth (1835)
MACKAY (1901) stated that he
expected to ship 3000 Polish troops in ALDERPOOL 19th
VISCOUNT & WITCH sailed
Arrivals at Dartmouth (1915)
CANTERBURY, MANX MAID, SAINT ANDREW, ST. JULEIN, CYCLOPS, BELLEROPHON, RASK,
SAMBRE, FLUEL, MARK 4, FLORA.
Arrived at Plymouth 1800 French
Tugs ABEILLE 4 and AD 100, Trawler N.U, motor yacht TORBAY BELLE, s.s. CHARMA
ORMONDE reported air attack
ARETHUSA informed (1930)
essential Gironde and La Pallice be kept clear of mines. LL vessels to be
retained, orders being sent.
Admiralty advised (1943) that
ALERT should be sailed as soon as escort was available to cut Brest- Fayal and
Brest-Cape Cod cables.
Arrived Plymouth (1950) M/S
Trawlers COUTIER & ERMO, French Trawler A.D.. 120 and INGINIER DE JOLY.
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux informed (1930)
that evacuation of Polish government was of importance.
AMSTERDAM & MANXMAN arrived
and sailed Plymouth (2015)
WHIRLWIND reported (2025) MADURA
e.t.a. Falmouth 1030/20 with 1370 refugees. NARIVA 265 for Bristol
Admiralty asked (2053) to give
early consideration to laying of magnetic mines in French ports immediately
they are evacuated.
GEORGIC sailed Liverpool for La
D.9. instructed (2103) that
SOBEISKI and destroyers were to evacuate 8000 Polish troops from St. Nazaire.
MACKAY advised (2104) that as no
air protection was available ships evacuating were to remain underway as much
N.O.I/C Dartmouth instructed
(2121) to divert AMSTERDAM & MANXMAN – due at 2245 – to Milford
ARETHUSA reported (2153) British
Ambassador and 30 staff leaving for Arcachon. Majority of
personnel sailing in ARETHUSA
19TH. KONINGIN EMMA ordered to be available for evacuating refugees from
fortress as ordered by British Consul. LL Trawlers sent to Arcachon.
BERKELEY proceeding Arcachon
P.S.T.O. Southampton instructed
(2158) to sail BLAIRNEVIS, BLEGRAVIAN (BELGRAVIAN)
DELIUS, for La Pallice – Gironde area.
D.9. ordered (2239) to return to
Plymouth in HIGHLANDER.
PUNJABI & ATHERSTONE ordered
to Clyde on completion of present duties (2259)
C-in-C W.A. (2301) instructed
GLEN HOLT camp, R.M.B., IMPREGNABLE, RALEIGH, GDYNIA, .R.N.B. that all French,
Polish, Belgian and other Nationals, service or civilian, landed from France
were to be identified as early as possible.
s.s. MURRAYFIELD arrived Cawsand
French destroyer OURAGEN arrived
Lorient reported all clear by
IMOGEN instructed to act as
S.N.O. Loire during absence of D.9. (2322)
MACKAY reported (2345) enemy
bombing La Pallice.
HIGHLANDER arrived Plymouth with
D.9. and Captain Hamilton (2350)
French Naval vessels, 1 sloop, 1
patrol vessel, 1 gunboat, 4 armed trawlers, 1 M.T.B. arrived Falmouth 2350.
Captain of CYMBULA reported
(2355) that he had on board 250 army ranks - short of kit – and two women
survivors from LANCASTRIA.
SATURDAY 20 JUNE 1940
HARVESTER, IMOGEN, PUNJABI
ordered to return to Plymouth (0026)
Belgian PRINCE BAUDOUIN arrived
N.O.I/C Dartmouth ordered to sail
VIENNA, CANTERBURY & MANXMAN to Plymouth
Tug KROOMAN ordered (0104) to
proceed to La Pallice replied (0115) 'cannot ascertain position La Pallice have
only general chart' ordered to return Falmouth (0336)
A/S Yacht ORACLE and French Tug
IMOGEN arrived (0100)
STURDY ordered (0144) to proceed
to Southampton with DUNDRUM CASTLE, MCKARES (MEKNES), CITY OF MOBILE.
French S/M SURCOUF arrived (0230)
C. in C. Portsmouth informed
SABRE (0246) that 5000 Polish troops were reported fighting towards St. Malo
SABRE to proceed St. Helier to standby to escort schoots to St. Malo.
STURDY sailed (0310) DUNDRUM
CASTLE, MCKARES (MEKENES) & CITY OF MOBILE (0445) with 6500 troops
ARETHUSA reported (0501) that
enemy laid parachute mines and it was believed No. of St. George's Bank and
main Channel near Falaise Bank buoy were mined.
WINCHELSEA & ROYAL SCOTSMAN
with 300 troops detached from convoy to Falmouth at 0500 by VANQUISHER.
Trawlers MANOR, ROCHEBONNE,
CHILTERN, CLOUGHTON WYKE & LORRAINE arrived Plymouth (0525)
MACKAY reported (0600) sailed ALDERPOOL
with 4000 Polish troops and EMPIRE INDUSTRY with 40 British refugees for
ZAZA arrived Gironde (0610)
BATORY ordered to Bayonne (0616)
HARVESTER arrived Plymouth (0620)
Tug WATERCOCK arrived Falmouth
OAKBANK & SKJOLD arrived
Plymouth (0650) BERVIE BRAES (0720)
MANXMAN, VIENNA, CANTERBURY
BERKELEY reported (0735) that
last information from Embassy at (1700/19) indicated that situation should still be satisfactory at
French Trawler P.46 and OPQA
arrived Plymouth (0735)
French Yacht OTDB towing lifeboat
and OPNE (0740) with four French tugs.
MACKAY reported (0814) SOBEISKE
arrived Le Verdon and had been ordered to St. Helier
to embark Polish troops from St. Malo)
Five French armed trawlers and
eight French motor craft arrived Plymouth (0815)
SABRE reported (0830) shadowed by
enemy A/C south of Casquets.
WINCHELSEA reported (0848) she
had on board Captain Allen R.N. and eight Naval Officers
one French lady secretary,
Brigadier Gill and 7 army Officers: one merchant officer, one sick Polish W.O.,
8 Naval Ratings, 10 military and one civil airman.
BERKLEY reported (0855) departure
delayed owing to mining of channel E.T.A. Arcachon 1300 Tugs SALVONIA,
QUEENSCROSS, WATERCOCK & ZWARTE ZEE (Dutch) arrived Falmouth (0910)
BROKE & WINCHELSEA arrived
Plymouth (0927), CANTERBURY (0928), MANXMAN (0950) & VIENNA (1015).
WHIRLWIND reported (0935) am
escorting NARIVA to Milford Haven
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux informed
Admiralty (0943) that Polish Division was assembling Le Verdon and requested
shipping be re-directed there to report to French Marine.
BERKLEY reported (1005) French
cruiser PRIMAUGUET anchored in position 45. 40. N. 01. 13. W (North of Gironde)
SABRE reported to C. in C.
Portsmouth (1035) that she was escorting three transports with evacuees from
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux reported (1032)
some members of Polish Government evacuated in ARETHUSA. Trying to instruct
remainder to embark with Polish troops. Urgent requirements
BAYONNE, transports for 1000
military personnel and refugees.
Garronne river handed over to
French. Polish Authorities. B.N.L.O. leaving Bordeaux.
ULSTER MONARCH ordered to La
Pallice – Gironde area (1047) to return to U.K. if no British warships
met in vicinity.
VANQUISHER reported (1050) having
following on board:- Cdr. Hallett,
3 officers and 40 ratings of demolition party. Capt. Schurr, D.S.T.O. Nantes, LT Norton R.N.V.R., 3 Polish Officers,1
Polish Private, 5 Polish women with 4 children - families of Polish Officers.
IMOGEN reported PUNJABI sailed (1056)
for Plymouth from St. Nazaire with 400 Polish troops (see also later signal
(2157)) No more in St. Nazaire, or expected there.
IMOGEN, GRIFFIN, WITCH &
VISCOUNT proceeded to RADE DE CROISIC where it was hoped to fill up all
ETTRICK & SOBEISKI not
arrived St. Nazaire
SABRE reported (1112) to
Portsmouth still about 15000 people in Jersey, and asked for all available
C. in C. Portsmouth informed
SABRE (1110) St. Malo apparently still in French hands – air report -
SABRE to ascertain if Polish troops still awaiting evacuation, if so embark
them in 18 Dutch schoots then en route St. Helier.
French Tug AMOGAT towing two
French S/M Chasers arrived Plymouth (1110), two French S/Ms (1120)
VANQUISHER arrived Plymouth
BEAGLE arrived Le Verdon (1000)
and sailed for Bordeaux (1110)
ARETHUSA sailed Le Verdon (1120)
for Plymouth bringing President of Poland and staff, British 250 Ambassador to Poland and staff,
Staff of British Embassies Brussels and Paris – 250 in all.
D.9. re-embarked in HAVELOCK
GEORGIC ordered back to Liverpool
Falmouth instructed (1240) to
sail ULSTER MONARCH to Plymouth. Sailed (1830)
Polish General Sikorski arrived
Bordeaux pm 19/6
BERKLEY instructed (1300/20) to
give him all assistance
French S/M chaser No. 11 arrived
BERKLEY ordered Admiralty (1312)
to get in touch with Feller & Co., 1, Espirit de Lois, Bordeaux, and
arrange shipment of vital goods ex. Goth Co., Switzerland.
Arrived Plymouth (1225 – 1330)
S.S. CASPIA, CITY OF LANCASTER, GLENDINNING, BRAMWELL, GLENLEA, HARPATION,
ROBERT L. HOLT, BELTOY, PURBECK, COLLUX, LUVANT.
C.S.2. informed (1351) by C-in-C
W.A. Polish division assembling Le Verdon for evacuation. Also 3000 French air
pilots and mechanics. Shipping at La Pallice, LADY OF MANN, ORMONDE, KONINGIN
EMMA, on passage thither St. Helier ,PRINCESS BEATRIX, BLAIR NEVIS, DELIUS.
Trawler STRATHRANNOCK arrived
Sailed from Le Verdon for
Falmouth (1152): KASANGO with 100
British passengers; NIGERSTROOM with 600 British passengers; VILLE DE LEIGE with 200-300
Polish and Czech troops; BROOM
PARK with unknown number British and machine tools
Mr. Campbell at Bordeaux reported
(1229) to Foreign Office and C-in-C W.A. that 5000 Polish army were assembling
at Le Verey and 10000 at La Rochelle.
Belle Isle bombed (1401)
reported (1425), Have sailed GRIFFIN+ for Plymouth with 350 Polish troops, am
embarking a further 900 approximately in WITCH, VISCOUNT & IMOGEN. (see Imogen 1730) Polish authorities
state no further troops in vicinity capable of being evacuated.
GRIFFIN reported (1448) have met
ETTRICK off Belle Isle and told her to remain in company.
ROYAL SCOTSMAN also present.
La Pallice roads bombed (MACKAY
Lifeboat with 23 French refugees
arrived St. Mary's Scilly (1635)
MACKAY signalled (1647) Can do no
more at La Pallice, empty transports are merely targets for
enemy aircraft and are short of
water with no prospect of troops. French are proceeding with destruction of oil
Storages. Am returning with ST. HELIER, LADY OF MANN in company. (sailed 1915).
CYCLOPS ordered (1711) to sail
Dartmouth to La Pallice – Gironde forthwith, returning U.K. if no British
warship in vicinity.
IMOGEN, reference his (1425),
reported (1730) numbers evacuated WITCH 340, VISCOUNT 500, IMOGEN 466 including
3 British and 14 Belgian soldiers.
C.S.2 informed (1750) by C-in-C
W.A. of report (1229) from Bordeaux also activities Col. Bonavita of French
Army at Bordeaux.
BEAGLE instructed (1702) if
demolitions completed he should proceed to La Pallice and carry out similar
Admiralty signalled GALETEA
(1755) to request French General Massenet Marancount to fly aircraft from
CASAUX and MERIIGNAC aerodrome to Andover.
Arrivals Plymouth French s.s.
MOUSSE-LE-MOY (1738); Tug FRENE (1725); Tug CHERBOURGEORN No 4(1730);
Trawler B 1031 (1728); Aux. M/Y
GRIFFIN instructed (1808) to send
ETTRICK and ROYAL SCOTSMAN to La Pallice – Gironde area to report to any
P.L.M. 16 reported (1813)
attacked by aircraft (1835) 'All right'
BEAGLE instructed (1855) to
endeavour to get in touch with B.N.L.O. Bordeaux and evacuate anyone he
GRIFFIN reported (1902) VISCOUNT
detailed to escort BRITANNY pas t Ushant. GRIFFIN and WITCH escorting KAIPAKI, ROYAL SCOTSMAN. French destroyer
MISTRAL arrived Plymouth (1900), bringing Vice Admiral CAYOL.
GRIFFIN asked (1945) reference
C-in-C W.A. 1808, if ships should be sent to La Pallice in view of MACKAY's
ULSTER MONARCH arrived (1930)
French trawler MONIQUE-ANDREE
towing launch (1954)
WHIRLWIND escorting NARIVA
arrived Milford (2002)
Admiralty informed C-in-C W.A.
(2013) of personnel it was desired to withdraw from France.
(a) La Rochelle area Up to 10000
Poles (reported) and up to 5000 Belgians – possibly.
(b) Bordeaux area . Polish
Division assembling. 3000 French air pilots and
mechanics. Possibly 5000 Czechs
(c) Bayonne area Some of the
above proceeded to Bayonne
2. In addition number of French
troops expected to respond to General' De Gaulle's appeal
3 or 4 ships to proceed Bayonne
to convey these to Nt. Africa.
3. Most valuable store and
equipment at Bordeaux should be lifted.
(C-in-C's reply 2304)
Trawler ARSENAL reported (2055)
having met Belgian s.s. PERSIER with 51 British Officers on board bound for
PUNJABI reported (2157) have
onboard 365 Poles, 30 British soldiers and 14 others, including 18 wounded,
mostly stretcher cases.
MACKAY instructed (2211) to send
St. Helier and Lady of Mann to Le Verdon for water and to embark any troops
ROYAL SCOTSMAN ordered to join
MACKAY off Gironde entrance and ETTRICK to proceed Bayonne (2211)
C. in C. informed Admiralty
(2304) with reference to Admiralty's 2031 that additional ships were being sent
as follows:- To Gironde ORMONDE
Personnel 5000 due now and BATORY 3000 at present ordered Bayonne
Cargo ships BLAIRNEVIS,
BELGRAVIAN, DELIUS, GLENAFFRIC, CYCLOPS, BECKENHAM, CLAN FERGUSON, LYCAON,
MAPLEWOOD, CLAN ROSS, BALFE, CLAUMET (CALUMET),
KELSO, KUFRA, BARON KENNARD
(KINNARD), KERMA, BARON NAIRN, all suitable for stores and two to three
thousand personnel each, all due evening 21st and after.
To Bayonne SOBEISKI Personnel 3000
there now, ETTRICK ' 3000 due pm
21st , ARANDORA STAR ' 6000 due early 23rd
These ships will be in danger
from air attack. Can French fighters assist.
S.S. BACPORT arrived Plymouth
2300 and H.M.S. STURDY 2320.
H.M. Trawler ONETOS with French
Yacht in tow 2355
SUNDAY 21 JUNE 1940
WREN arrived Milford Haven 0015
Reference C. in C. W.A's 2211/20
MACKAY reported (0029) that both ETTRICK & ROYAL SCOTSMAN stated that they
had only sufficient fuel to reach U.K. MACKAY therefore escorting both to
GRIFFIN & WITCH arrived
D.S.T.O. Barry ordered (0336) to
sail the following ships for Gironde:
KINNARD, BARON NAIRN, KERMA.
D.S.T.O. Swansea ordered (0337)
to sail KELSO, KUFRA, & LYCAON for Gironde.
D.S.T.O. Avonmouth ordered (0338)
to sail CALUMET, for Gironde.
P.S.T.O. Southampton ordered
(0339) to sail CLAN ROSS, MAPLEWOOD, BALFE & KYNO for Gironde.
D.S.T.O. Plymouth ordered (0341)
to sail CLAN FERGUSON for Gironde
D.S.T.O. Falmouth ordered (0342)
to sail BEKENHAM for Gironde
BERKLEY ordered by C.S.2. (0430)
to proceed Le Verdon with all despatch and order any transports available to
embark troops, sailing them as loaded for Plymouth.
Arrived Plymouth 0540:- NEPHRITE,
MALPRIX, YEW PARK, MARSWORTH,
Arrived Plymouth 0552 French
destroyer CDT. DUBOC
Arrived Plymouth 0640 SKEENA, ST.
LAURENT, FRASER, RESTIGOUCHE.
Arrived Plymouth 0633 PUNJABI
Arrived Plymouth 0645 REVENGE,
and at 0700 Tug KROOMAN
Arrived Plymouth 0801 ARETHUSA
with Polish President M. Raczkiewicz and his wife with staff and other
passengers (See also in message 1120/20)
WARLABY sailed Dartmouth (0730)
VIVA II reported (0930) ship with
secret call sign 2 INV reports La Pallice in enemy hands.
BEAGLE informed by C. in C. W.A.
(1014) that Commander Hallett was sailing VANQUISHER atT (1000) for La Pallice
to assist in carrying out the duty.
ARANDORA STAR arrived Plymouth
(1027), IMOGEN (1038)
BROOMPARK arrived Falmouth from
VISCOUNT reported (1045) many
Polish soldiers were evacuated in civilian clothes preparatory to escaping to
Spain. Rigorous scouting recommended.
VANQUISHER sailed Plymouth (1050)
and H.M.T. LOMBARD arrived.
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux reported (1054)
about 200 refugees being evacuated from Bayonne tonight. Shipping required for
VISCOUNT arrived Plymouth 1115
French Trawler 3402 arrived
PHILANTE informed C. in C.
Portsmouth (1132) he had embarked GOVERNOR of Jersey with wife and A.D.C.
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux reported (1206)
about 6000 Polish troops assembling at Le Verdon. No ship arrived yet.
C. in C. W.A. instructed C.S.2
(1218) to sail Falmouth in convoy or groups. XE "St Malo"
Belgian and Dutch troops to
Avonmouth. Other nationalities Liverpool (except those for North Africa). Civilians to Falmouth.
MAID MARION ordered (1228) to
escort ALDERPOOL to Liverpool and send EMPIRE ABILITY to Falmouth.
CALUMET sailed Avonmouth 1304
C. in C. Portsmouth requested
(1314) to sail CALCUTTA to join C.S.2 as soon as read.
M.V. P. RAPOULT arrived Plymouth
(1151), PRINCESS BEATRIX (1344)
STRATHAIRD in Sound, instructed
(1403) to prepare to receive one thousand additional French sailors from
merchant ships PENCHATEAU & GRAVELINNES.
Party "Z" ordered to be
on board FRASER by 1630/21
BERKLEY reported 1515 Captain of
port not helpful. troops in wood behind Le Verdon.
B.N.L.O. (1521) stated he was
arranging parties now at Arcachon, including ladies, to be embarked before
French Trawler FARAULT arrived
Plymouth from Brest (1530) with 3 children, 5 Naval Officer, 110 34 ratings, 4 Army Officers, 51
other ranks, 11 civilians all French 2 civilians - Spanish Naval Officers
French PENCHATEAU arrived
French destroyer LE TRIOMPHANT
(1643) arrived Plymouth.
MACKAY reported (1616) LADY OF
MANN has one member of civilian crew seriously wounded, and has 11 refugees on
French GRAVELINNES arrived
(17--) arrived Cawsand Bay
ARZENITH, A.D. 376, BLACIDAI, FAROULT, POURQUOI PAS, the later with three
Trawler GEORGETTE reported (1700)
returning to Plymouth as unable to contact BEAGLE.
MACKAY arrived Plymouth (1700)
Arrived (1705) French naval
pinnace manned by eight ratings and French trawler RENE MARIE with seven crew,
two French refugee seamen, six French army officers and two N.C.Os
LADY OF MANN & ST. HELIER
arrived (1710) Plymouth. 9 passengers in LADY OF MANN, some wounded.
Arrived Plymouth (1752) French
destroyer BOUCLIER and Tug MAMMOUT.
French S/M CHASER II sailed
BERKLEY stated Franco-Polish
Liaison Officer reported 8000 Polish troops now here (Bordeaux) more arriving.
GEORGETTE & LORD GREY were
ordered (1840) to proceed to St. Jean de Luz, if they had sufficient fuel and
were able to Sweep, and to take their orders from GALETEA on arrival.
Orders were given (1858) for
ARANDORA STAR to proceed to Bayonne under orders of an escort at 2150. Further
orders would be signalled to her on arrival on arrival by a warship in the
vicinity of the coast.
F.O.I/C Liverpool was informed
(1859) that ALDERPOOL with 4000 Polish troops on board, escorted by MAID
MARION, would arrive at 0130/23. MANX MAID, PRINCESS MAUD & AMSTERDAM
arrived at Milford Haven 1900.
MAID MARION signalled that she
proposed to proceed to Falmouth with ALDERPOOL as there was no food left for
the 4000 Polish troops.
GALATEA was informed (1902) that
Captain Allen in H.M.C.S FRASER with beach and communication parties would sail
for St. Jean de Luz, which would be used for evacuation in preference to
VANQUISHER & BEAGLE were to
be used as required by C.S.2
RESTIGOUCHE was ordered (1904) to
escort ARANDORA STAR to Bayonne and place herself under the orders of C.S.2.
BERKLEY reported (1910) that no
transport had arrived at Bordeaux. The entrance to the port was closed at
night, and a small French merchant ship had exploded a magnetic mine 105¡
Pointe de Grave 1.3 at 1632. Little damage had been done.
BERKLEY was still not in touch
with the Embassy.
Orders were given (1958) for
VIENNA to sail to Southampton, TYNWALD& MANXMAN to Liverpool.
C.S.2 was ordered (2002) to
endeavour to arrange with the Feller Company to ship all Oerlikon guns and
other important material in Bordeaux.
MAID MARION was ordered (2029) to
bring ALDERPOOL to Plymouth.
LORD GREY requested (2040) that
instructions should be sent to ROYAL SCOTSMAN; who was awaiting MACKAY at
Gironde, and enquired the position of GLENAFFRIC.
SABRE reported (2046) that only
about 8000 people wished to be evacuated from Jersey. These had been embarked. Half
the population of St. Peter Port, Guernsey, were willing to be evacuated and
were being embarked. A French fishing vessel bringing 25 French subjects
including 3 women and 3 children from Brittany to St. Helier had been
intercepted, and the passengers transferred to the schoot DESPATCH.
BEAGLE reported (2121) 12
magnetic mines had been dropped between Le Verdon and PAULLAC, and asked for
sweepers to cover this area on the morning flood tide.
The Captain of the French ship
GRAVELINNES asked for food for 500 people on board. (2130)
MAID MARION reported (2145) that
she expected to arrive at Plymouth 0330/22 and asked that provisions and water
be supplied for ALDERPOOL as soon as possible.
GALATEA signalled (2152) that she
was making every effort to get the stores away from Bordeaux and she was asked
(2155) to ascertain whether any Polish or Belgian troops required to be
embarked in the vicinity of La Pallice. If so she was to have them embarked in
any ships available and escort them in convoy to Plymouth, with any other
Allied ships she could take, keeping well clear of the French coast.
C. in C. W.A. reported (2223)
that demands for fuel and other stores were being received from French ships at
Plymouth, and asked whether these demands should be met.
MACKAY was asked (2229) what her
last instructions to ORMONDE were, and she replied (2254) that she had ordered
ORMONDE at 0800/22 to remain at sea in the vicinity of La Pallice until she received
C.S.2 was informed (2258) that
the following ships had been ordered to Gironde and to report on arrival to any
British warship, DELIUS, GLENAFFRIC, CLAN FERGUSON, BLAIRNEVIS, CYCLOPS,
BECKENHAM, CLAN ROSS, BALFE, KYNO, KUFFRA, KELSO, MAPLEWOOD,
CALUMET, BARON NAIRN. She was
informed that ROYAL SCOTSMAN should have already arrived at Gironde.
BEAGLE reported (2320) that
Gironde was closed owing to Magnetic mines. It was imperative to release French
and neutral shipping with troops and important stores. The L/L trawlers sent to
Gironde could not be found, and BEAGLE requested immediate replacements.
BERKLEY reported (2330) that,
assuming the transports arrived in daylight, embarkation at Pointe de Grave had
been arranged with the Polish Liaison Officer to commence at 0700/22, and embarkation
from the pier at 1230. The Captain of the port had no knowledge of any French troops
for embarkation. There were 40 English nurses for embarkation at Bordeaux. The
French had reported that 6 parachutists had dropped in the river above Le
Verdon at 1800 and were suspected of laying mines.
ORMONDE was ordered (2346) to
proceed to Le Verdon.
The French ship PARIS reported
that the tugs ABEILLE 8 and ABEILLE 22 and the armed patrol vessel HEUREUX were
being sailed at 0800/22. These were to attempt the recovering of a 15000 ton
uncompletes (as typed) French
tanker at La Falaise.
MONDAY 22 JUNE 1940
ARANDORA STAR, escorted by
RESTIGOUCHE sailed Plymouth (0050).
LORD GREY ordered to return to
Plymouth (0023). C.S.2. informed by C. in C. W. A. that LORD GREY reported ROYAL SCOTSMAN off
Gironde awaiting orders.
VANQUISHER (0131) reported,
reference to C. in C.'s 2155/21, if no troops at La Pallice, intend proceeding
direct to le Verdon and escorting loaded ships to Plymouth. E.T.A. La Pallice
GEORGETTE instructed (0135) that
INVERFORTH (both L/L Trawlers) was to proceed with her.
LURIGTHAN, CITY OF EVANSVILLE
& GLOUCESTER CITY to be sailed from the Bristol Channel to Falmouth for
ORMONDE (0225) acknowledged
receipt of C. in C.'s 2346/21 off Lizard and requested earliest T.O.A. Le
Verdon dawn Sunday. Asked for
confirmation. Confirmation and
route sent (0519)
Yacht MAID MARION (0330) have 28 refugees on board, arrived
Plymouth (0333), with ALDERPOOL carrying approximately 2800 Polish troops and
70 refugees. No food and water on board.
BERKLEY (0415) notified C.S.2.
she was proceeding out of harbour to lead transports.
ETTRICK reported (0630) that she
was off the entrance to Bayonne and had been informed by the signal station
that she was too large to enter. Requested instructions. She was told to remain
under way in vicinity and await orders (0831).
S.S. SAXON QUEEN arrived Plymouth
(1701) from Guernsey with 76 Coast Lines Staff.
BERKLEY reported (0720) DELIUS,
ROYAL SCOTSMAN & CLAN FERGUSON expected to begin embarkation (0815)
French Aux. Fishing vessel DOM
MICHEL NOBLETZ arrived (0825) from Ushant carrying 1 British and 7 French
refugees, 33 sailors, 7 soldiers. No food. No water on board.
BELGRAVIAN sailed Southampton for
BERKLEY reported (1006) that Port
Dunedin, DELIUS & ROYALSCOTSMAN were sufficient for embarking all Polish
BEAGLE's 2320/21 C.S.2. informed
re L/L/ Trawlers.
INVERFORTH, GEORGETTE & LORD
GREY ordered Gironde if fuel permits – should be in Bay of Biscay.
BERVIE BRAES & ST. MELANTE en
route Plymouth for Bayonne.
C.S.2. ordered VANQUISHER (1106)
to sail any ships at La Pallice unescorted when satisfied no longer required
VANQUISHER to act as A/S cover
for ships entering Gironde.
ROYAL SOVEREIGN, CANTERBURY &
PRINCE BAUDOUIN arrived Dartmouth (1126)
VANQUISHER reported (1124) 250
Poles embarked BLAIRNEVIS, no troops remaining. All oil destroyed. French asked
to carry out more demolitions.
VANQUISHER & BLAIRNEVIS
proceeding Le Verdon.
BERKLEY asked (1126) by C.S.2. to
report number of other troops and personnel requiring embarkation. Answerer (sic) (1327) 40.
ORANSAY reported (1215) unable to
sail owing bomb damage.
Communication re-established with
portable W/T set at Bordeaux (1215)
GEORGETTE, INVERFORTH returned
C.S.2. informed Admiralty (1305)
of statement by General Sikorski that 4000 Poles were marching from La Rochelle
to Le Verdon and should arrive by 0100/23. 10,000 were still at Bayonne or in vicinity
and should arrive during the next few days.
R.A. in GALATEA informed British
Ambassador in Bordeaux (1515) that if he was unable to embark pm 22nd
GALATEA would leave to go elsewhere, and suggested the Bay of St. Jean de Luz
VANQUISHER reported (1401) that
she was taking BLAIRNEVIS to investigate report that there were 400 Polish
troops at Ile de Yeu.
ETTRICK reported (1430) that
there were 2000 British subjects in her vicinity awaiting embarkation,
Trawler STRATHRANNOCK arrived
French S/M CHASER II arrived
VIVA II ordered 1535 to join
C.S.2 off Gironde
French destroyer CDT. DUBOC
Trawlers ERIMO & GEORGETTE
sailed for Le Verdon (1805)
CALCUTTA sailed from Portsmouth
(1823) to join C.S.2.
VANQUISHER reported (1900) Poles
left 21st for South. BLAIRNEVIS and FORGE sailed for Liverpool
unescorted. VANQUISHER in position 46. 37. N. 02. 22. W. course 148¡ 20 knots.
VANQUISHER ordered by C.S.2.
(1917) to rendezvous at 0445/23 with convoy of three ships leaving Gironde.
BROOMPARK instructed to proceed
BERKLEY informed VANQUISHER
(1930) CLAN FERGUSON & ROYAL SCOTSMAN with 6000 4000 Polish troops leaving Le Verdon 2115 for Liverpool. DELIUS
following 23rd with 2000.
B.N.L.O. Bordeaux informed by
Admiralty (1937) that s.s. FORMEDINE (??) with valuable cargo of copper and
machine tools should be sailed without delay.
C.S.2. and British Ambassador
instructed by Admiralty (1953) most undesirable for GALATEA to remain in same
locality any longer owing to S/M and air risks. C.S.2. to leave Arcachon immediately.
KONINGIN EMMA arrived Plymouth
BERKLEY reported to Admiralty
(2045) that she was no longer in touch with British Ambassador
R.A. in BEAGLE reported (2210)
leaving Bordeaux when Ambassador departs night of 22nd
Will proceed alongside pier
DEC-DAMBES to carry out demolition without French permission, moving on to
Pauillac when demolition complete.
CALCUTTA ordered by C.S.2. to
proceed at 22 knots to 48. 58. N. 02.58. W.
C. in C. W.A. informed Admiralty
(2213) that owing to congestion of refugees he intended to instruct C.S.2. that
no persons except troops, British Nationals and certain skilled foreign workmen
were to be embarked for the U.K. This was believed to be in accordance with
French Official policy
C.S.2. informed Admiralty (2248)
that 100 British A/C engines in French Air Ministry depot at Bordeaux should be
evacuated. Instructions sent to C.S.2. (2356)
S.S. DEAL arrived Plymouth (2300)
B.N.L.O. reported to C.S.2.
(2301) that as French had signed armistice he was evacuating France with
British Ambassador immediately.
VIVA II ordered by C.S.2. (2316)
to proceed to Le Verdon where she would be used as required for escort duties.
S.S. MACLAREN arrived Plymouth (2359)
TUESDAY 23 JUNE 1940
click to enlarge
C.S.2. enquired from Admiralty
(0005) whether British Ambassador were to travel in GALATEA or CALCUTTA. If in
GALATEA he intended transferring flag to CALCUTTA during absence of GALATEA,
Admiralty told him (0217) to act as he thought fit.
C.S.2. approved ETTRICKS (1430/22)
and asked ship not to sail without escort.
WREN ordered (0027) by C-in-C to
proceed with despatch and escort CLAN FERGUSON and ROYAL SCOTSMAN as far as
Admiralty requested that all
spare ships should be released for other duties (0035).
R.A. in BEAGLE ordered by
Admiralty (0039) not to carry out demolitions without French permission, and at
(0045) to remain at Bordeaux to deliver two important messages to follow.
FRASER ordered (0115) by C.S.2.
to join him immediately.
BERKLEY reported (0155)
embarkation of 6000 Poles completed. DELIUS sailing 0800/23. Essential for
BEAGLE to return fuel short. French refusing to permit embarkation without British assistance. Polish officers
remaining assisting divert Poles to Bayonne. Suggest s.s. BECKENHAM be diverted thither.
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz reported
(0158) 9000 Poles sailed early 21st in SOBEISKI & BATORY.
British refugees embarking in
ETTRICK will require close examination as doubtful cases among them. More Poles
arriving will be embarked in ARANDORA STAR. At (0650) S.N.O. enquired when
ARANDORA STAR might be expected and stated that FRASER had been withdrawn, believed
ANTRIM COAST arrived Plymouth
EMPIRE CRUSADER arrived (0610). CROMARTY
BROKE reported (0707) s.s.
CYCLOPS now with him stated no British warship found Gironde. Requires instructions.
FRASER ordered by C.S.2. to
proceed to ARCACHON with all despatch.
BERKLEY informed C.S.2. that he
was remaining at Le Verdon and had ordered DELIUS & BECKENHAM to await
further instructions. s.s. KUFRA had arrived.
WREN diverted bt C-in C W.A. to
Le Verdon or as required by C.S.2.
R.A. BEAGLE reported (0830)
Germans not yet at Royan.
BERKELEY (0845) to C.S.2. am
sailing DELIUS unescorted at (0915/23)
BERKELEY signalled to C.S.2.
(0915) French authorities report Germans close to Fort at Royan sailing with
transport at once.
MACKAY ordered (0920) to proceed
with despatch Le Verdon or as ordered by C.S.2.
Reference BROKE'S (0707) C.S.2.
ordered him to instruct CYCLOPS to proceed St, Jean de Luz.
VANQUISHER reported + (1001)
hardly sufficient fuel to reach Liverpool. Demolition party on board. Convoy
speed 15 knots.
C.S.2. ordered CALCUTTA (1009) to
proceed direct to St. Jean de Luz at 25 knots.
C-in-C informed C.S.2. (1012)
BELGRAVIAN due Gironde area (2030/23) LYCAON (1100/24)
R.A. in BEAGLE reported (1030) to
Admiralty that their (0230/23) and second copy of their 0124/23 were placed in
Adl. Darlan's hands by him at 0935/23. Darlan now at cabinet meeting. He had
placed himself at Darlan's disposal for communications with Admiralty.
R.A.BEAGLE at 1033 reported
Admiralty (Admiral?) of the
port stated that there were 7 U boats believed close to Gironde intercepting
traffic to North Africa. Big ships with troops and materials were at quay.
SOBEISKI arrived Plymouth 1045
C.S.2. instructed BERKELEY to
send all empty ships to Bayonne. VIVA II to escort if present.
ORMONDE instructed to proceed to
BERKELEY reported (1145) to
C.S.2. have ordered BECKENHAM, KUFRA, KELSO, ORMONDE (see 1151) to
Bayonne. Proceeding with DELIUS as instructed, no sign of VIVA II
At 1420 reported met VIVA II and
passed instructions. Brought down one enemy bomber at Point(e) de Grave a.m./22 believed to be a
J U 88.
C.S.2. reported (1151) Ambassador
and party embarked on H.M.C.S. FRASER (1100) now proceeding to rendezvous at
St. Jean de Luz.
C.S.2. informed by C-in-C W.A.
(1152) ORMONDE, LYCAON ordered
U.K. remainder to proceed Bayonne. C.S.2. to sail for U.K. any ships considered
to be in excess of requirements.
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz reported
(1045) situation at 1000/23 ETTRICK loaded with 1000 refugees - only ship
present. Approximately 3000 collecting. No A/S protection, considered presence
of a destroyer as essential. At (1200) he added "am now filling ETTRICK to
capacity by embarking 300 Poles. When may we expect another ship"
C-in-C W.A. (1207) instructed
BELGRAVIAN, BARON NAIRN, BARON KINNARD, KERMA to proceed Bayonne.
NOIC Falmouth reported (1318)
refugees landed to date
20th June 2495
21st June 899
22nd June 1538 Total 4932
expected to land 600 more 23rd.
Admiralty instructed S.N.O. St.
Jean de Luz (1327) to contact.
Capitaine Bicheloune re important
evacuation of 30 French Officers and officials.
French S/M LA CREOLE in tow of
French tug ABEILLE 21 reported off Minches (1350)
R.A. BEAGLE instructed (1406)
endeavour obtain copy armistice terms, particularly Naval.
CALCUTTA ordered by C.S.2. to
Proceed at 20 knots (1434)
C.S.2. instructed BEAGLE (1515)
to proceed to St. Jean de Luz when present operations completed.
C-in-C W.A. informed Admiralty
(1523) that it was understood that 49000 (!!) troops still required evacuation.
BROKE (1601) reported having
ordered CYCLOPS to Bayonne proceeding with HARVESTER to Gironde.
BEAGLE reported (1714) no
satisfactory answer from Admiral Darlan obtainable. French authorities promise
Le TRAIT will be sailed 23rd. FORMEDIDE reported in le Verdon, will try to sail
her for England. The special cases mentioned in Admy's 1416/21 (?) all on board BEAGLE and sailed in
s.s. SWIFT 15th June. (?)
17 evacuees on board C.S.2. to
R.A. in BEAGLE (1841). If LE TRAIT & FORMEDINE can be sailed, BEAGLE to
escort, if not required remain Bordeaux. If so required WREN to be detailed.
VIVA II ordered by C.S.2. (1843)
on arrival Bayonne proceed St. Jean de Luz with any present.
MACKAY ordered by C.S.2. (1846)
to St. Jean de Luz.
Admiralty asked R.A in BEAGLE
whether demolitions were carried out. (1852)
VANQUISHER reported (1910) weather
prevents he doing more than 9 knots. Convoy sent on to Liverpool. VANQUISHER
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz (1940)
reported positions at 1900.
Remain to be embarked. Poles 1000
plus about 2000 airman. (total 5000
per 0820/24); French possible 2500 airmen and 750 experts; Czechs about 3000 (later amended to
ETTRICK full to capacity. No
further shipping arrived.
HARVESTER ordered (1944) to
proceed towards Bayonne and act under orders of C.S.2.
VANQUISHER instructed to continue
escort as far as Smalls. Fuel at Milford Haven, then return Plymouth.
WREN to act as A/S patrol on a
line 250¡ from Gironde Whistle Buoy
C. in C, W.A. informed C.S.2.
(2029) of report that there was a number of foreign merchant ships
Off the coast in his area. He was
to be prepared to send them into British ports when ordered and to report if he
required any additional personnel for armed guards.
BATORY arrived Plymouth (2045)
BEAGLE requested (2034)
confirmation of C.S.2's order to proceed to St. Jean de Luz, observing that he
was overcrowded with refugees and military parties.
BROKE informed C.S.2. (2058) that
HARVESTER was proceeding St. Jean de Luz, but BROKE t to Plymouth owing to fuel
Reference Admiralty's (1852) R.A.
BEAGLE reported 2117 that charges were about to be laid when Admiralty's
0039/23 was received. Guard and Oil Staff were told, and believed, that British
were after enemy parachute troops.
C.S.2. reported (2223) flag
transferred temporarily to CALCUTTA at 2300/23.
WEDNESDAY 24 June 1940
C. in C. W.A. asked C.S.2. (0028)
to reply to BEAGLE's 2034/23 re calling at St. Jean de Luz and at (0034) C.S.2.
ordered BEAGLE to return to U.K.
C.S.2. ordered VANQUISHER (0125)
to proceed with all despatch to 44. 36. N. 01. 19. W. to carry out A/S sweep.
H.M.S. GALATEA with H.M.
Ambassador and Canadian and South African Ministers and Staff left St. Jean de
Luz for Plymouth.
Admiralty instructed S.N.O. St.
Jean de Luz to afford facilities for passage to the U.K. of a number of distinguished
Spanish personages and any important nationals of other states if they so
VANQUISHER reported (0347)
estimated position of convoy (CLAN FERGUSON & ROYAL SCOTSMAN) at 0400 as
49. 43. N. 05. 55. W.
VANQUISHER (0432) replied to
C.S.2.'s (0125) that as he had insufficient fuel to carry out patrol he was
remaining with the convoy.
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz reported
(0820) position at Port (0800/24). All embarkation ceased 2100/23, owing to
swell. Restarted 0700/24 with ARANDORA STAR inside breakwater. Latest figures
appear to be 5000 Poles including airmen, remainder as in 1940/23. At (0925) he
added ARANDORA STAR was being filled with Polish Army & Air Force and a few
British refugees still arriving. Polish forces will require close scrutiny.
VANQUISHER reported (0835) he had
on board V.A. Hallett, Cdr. Sharbrook, 4 R.N.V.R. Sub/Lts. and 60 Naval Ratings demolition party. 2
French Naval Officers and 5 tons demolition stores.
ORMONDE reported (0951) that she
was being attacked by A/C and at (0954) that attack has ceased. C.S.2.
instructed BROKE to proceed to St. Jean de Luz and asked what were his orders.
VANQUISHER arrived Plymouth
BERKELEY reported (1020) that he
had insufficient fuel to continue escort of DELIUS beyond 48. 26. N. 06.05. W.
where he expected to arrive (2130). Intended to return Plymouth and requested relief escort.
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz (1035)
reference C, in C, W.A.'s 1213/23 stated it was proving quite impossible to
differentiate persons embarked.
C.S.2. asked (1007) that BERKELEY,
VANQUISHER & BROKE or BEAGLE should proceed St. Jean de Luz. after oiling. Two
destroyers needed as A/S patrol.
Admiralty informed by HAREBELL
(1054) that BEAGLE considered important the destruction of oil installation at
BROKE instructed (1117) to close
ORMONDE; BELGRAVIAN, bound for St. Jean de Luz reported (1245) that she had
been attacked by U boat, but at (1311) that attack had failed and ceased.
WREN ordered by C.S.2. (1220) to join him at St. Jean de Luz.
D.S.T.O. Falmouth ordered (1221)
to sail CITY OF EVANSVILLE, LUN(R?)IGETHAN,
& GLOUCESTER CITY for Bayonne.
D.S.T.O. Plymouth ordered (1247)
to sail BAHARISTAN, & JOHN L HOLT TO Bayonne.
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz reported
(1315) situation at 1330, approximately 3000 Poles and a number of British
refugees embarked on ARANDORA STAR. Number to be yet embarked appears considerable.
French airmen not arrived yet. Weather renders impossible embarkation outside
BEAGLE instructed (1324) to close
BELGRAVIAN, but reported (1901) no sign of her. (BELGRAVIAN arrived St. Jean de
Ten armed guards ordered (1326)
to be in HIGHLANDER by (1600/24)
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz reported
(1430). Poles embarked 2600 remaining. CLAN ROSS attacked
by A/C (1344) 30 miles N.N.W. of
St. Jean de Luz.
Signal (1247) to D.S.T.O.
Plymouth resailing BAHIRISTAN, JOHN L. HOLT, and (1221) to
D.S.T.O. Falmouth resailing
EVANSVILLE, GLOUCESTER CITY & LUNIGETHAN to Bayonne cancelled.
HIGHLANDER sailed with armed
BEAGLE reported (1905) E.T.A.
Carrying 44 military personnel
and gear, 38 Naval personnel, demolition stores, 15 tons valuable Government
stores. One stretcher case, one wounded Officer, one doubtful escaped British prisoner,
two German labour corps and three ladies, - require identification.
ETTRICK carrying about 1100
British refugees. ARANDORA STAR as previously reported. Escorted by HARVESTER. ETTRICK
ordered to Falmouth. ARANDORA STAR to Liverpool.
GALATEA reported (1948) carrying in
addition to Embassy Staff, 1 Flight Lt. R.A.F., 1 Lt, ex French Air Force, 1
Lt. R.N.V.R., 1 Air Ministry Official, 5 R.A.F. ranks, 4 army ranks. Wounded: 1 army Officer, 3 ranks, 1 R.A.F. rank,
14 bags valuables for Polish Finance Minister.
GALATEA arrived Plymouth (2056)
C.S.2. reported (2144) re C. in
C.'s 2356/22., refusing permission to embark wives and families, causing
difficulties and heartrending scenes. S.N.O. asking if he can promise
embarkation after priority commitments fulfilled. Impossible to be sure of
identity. Understood approximately 2000 womenfolk embarked in BATORY & SOBIESKI.
THURSDAY 25 JUNE 1940
S.N.O. St. Jean de Luz asked by
C. in C. (0036) whether following had been embarked:-
(a) Colonel Bonavita, 2000 French
troops and skilled workmen.
(b) Mr. Delaraine and 20 R.D.F.
(c) Captain Bichilone and 30
French Officers and officials.
(d) 750 French experts, 2000
Polish airmen and 20 Czechs.
(e) Number of Spanish personages.
(f) Colonel de Gaulles' party.
replied (0858) none arrived. All
French parties refused permission owing to armistice.
Sailed from Plymouth for
Dartmouth 0330 ST. BAHARISTAN, CITY OF LANCASTER, ROBERT L. HOLT, JOHN HOLT.
BROKE arrived Plymouth (0630),
BEAGLE (0725), s.s. BALFE (0833).
C.S.2. instructed by C. in C.
(0731) that wives and families of Polish soldiers could be embarked if accommodation
BERKELEY arrived 0942 bringing 2
British, 4 French soldiers and 3 Australian Labour Corps.
BEAGLE asked (0938) for a list of
French ships seen going up Gironde. Reported (1030), 16 French, 2 Dutch and 1
French ship DE LA SALLE reported
(1130) to Admiral Plymouth that she was making slowly for the mouth of the
Gironde under escort. Situation serious. This was passed to C.S.2.
IMOGEN sailed (1220) escorting
KONINGIN EMMA & PRINCESS BEATRIX to Milford and STRATHAIRD to Liverpool.
Admiralty informed by C. in C.
(1309) that force (of destroyers) was to be prepared to destroy oil stores in
Gironde river, and at (1401) that the operation would proceed but that French
shipping was not to be interfered with inside territorial waters.
Sailed from St. Jean de Luz
(1430) KELSO, BARON KINNARD with 2000 troops for Liverpool.
BARON NAIRN with British refugees
and 1200 Polish troops for Falmouth escorted by WREN at 8 knots.
L/L Trawlers BERVIE BRAES and ST.
MELANTE sailed for Plymouth (1510).
C.S.2. reported (1525) sailed for
Falmouth (1345) empty transports CYCLOPS, KERMA, CLAN ROSS, GLENAFFRIC,
BELGRAVIAN, BECKENHAM, escorted by MACKAY and VIVA II at 8 knots.
C-in-C informed Admiralty (1721)
that it was intended to release merchant ships reserved for "Aerial"
as no further requirement could be foreseen.
HARVESTER instructed (1926) to
divert ETTRICK to Plymouth. With reference to S.S. DE LA SALLE (see 1130/25). C.S.2.
reported his position, course and speed at (1750) and stated that he could not
hope to intercept her unless she broke down. He enquired if Admiralty
instruction (1401) re territorial waters applied and was informed (2006) that
Admiralty instructed C-in-C to
sail ULSTER PRINCE to embark 1600 British evacuees from Lisbon if she could
maintain 18 knots out and home.
C.S.2. ordered RESTIGOUCHE (2325)
to sink after part of FRASER as soon as all survivors had been recovered.
LOSS OF HMCS FRASER
from Naval Staff History
Second World War: Home Waters and Atlantic, Volume 2, 9th April 1940 -
6th December 1941. BR 1736 (48) 2. 1961. (with thanks to Don
"At 0930 on the 23rd, the
Canadian destroyer FRASER arrived at Archadon to take off the Ambassador
and his staff. This was done, and the FRASER then returned to St Jean
de Luz where her passengers were transferred to the GALATEA, which
shifted the other evacuees to the m.v. ETTRICK. At 2100, the CALCUTTA
joined Admiral Curteis's flag. Empty transports - more, in fact, than
were actually needed - were then on the way to take off the large number
of evacuees expected, so Admiral Curteis shifted his flag to the
CALCUTTA and the GALATEA sailed for England shortly after midnight.
throughout the 24th, although it was greatly hindered owing to the heavy
swell in the bay; and just after midnight a message was received from
the S.N.O. ashore (Captain Allen) to the effect that the terms of the
armistice required all evacuation of troops to cease after 1200 on June
25th. A convoy of six empty ships was sailed for England at 1345 on the
25th, followed within the hour by the last three loaded ships, all being
escorted. Captain Allen and the beach parties embarked in the FRASER
and all the remaining ships sailed at 1530. But before the day was out
a distressing disaster occurred.
At 2215, when the CALCUTTA, in company
with the FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE, had shortly before shaped course to the
south westward from the mouth of the Gironde, the FRASER, whose
commanding officer was labouring under intense fatigue, was rammed by
the CALCUTTA and cut in half. The RESTIGOUCHE, after sinking the after
part of the FRASER, proceeded independently to Plymouth with most of the
survivors (14 officers and 103 men); the CALCUTTA, which rescued 3 more
officers and 30 men, was rejoined by HIGHLANDER, which had previously
been detached, and both ships reached Plymouth at 0945 on 27th June.
FRIDAY 26 JUNE 1940
IMOGEN with STRATHAIRD arrived
RESTIGOUCHE reported (1645) that
she had on board Captain Allen R.N., 13 Officers and 104 ratings from H.M.C.S.
FRASER, 6 ratings from CALCUTTA, 2 R.E. Officers and 24 O.R. R.E. 2 Polish
Generals, 12 Officers and men. Refugees:- 6 British, 1 French, 1 Spanish, 3
Polish from St. Jean de Luz.
N.O.I/C Falmouth reported (1719)
that ships were overcrowded there with French ratings and small parties were
ETTRICK arrived Plymouth (1716)
RESTIGOUCHE arrived Plymouth
C.S.2. reported (2105) CALCUTTA
E.T.A. 0845/27., with 3 Officers and 30 ratings (8 injured), survivors from
H.M.C.S. Fraser. Wreckage to be lifted from forecastle and only one bower
anchor left, which may be fractured.
SATURDAY 27 JUNE 1940
ARANDORA STAR & HARVESTER
arrived Liverpool 0735.
HIGHLANDER arrived 0930 and
WREN instructed (1012) to detach
BARON NAIRN to Plymouth and escort KELSO & BARON KINNARD to Liverpool. Reported
(2200) detaching BARON NAIRN now, E.T.A. 1000/28.
SUNDAY 28 JUNE 1940
L/L Trawlers ST.MALANTE, BERVIE
BRAES, arrived Plymouth (0724)
BARON NAIRN arrived 0735 with
refugees from St. Jean de Luz and anchored Cawsand Bay.
Small French fishing boat with 12
male refugees also arrived Cawsand 0750.
CANTERBURY, ROYAL SOVEREIGN &
PRINCE BAUDOUIN (latter with Armed Guard) sailed Dartmouth for Southampton.