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


HMS REVENGE  - Royal Sovereign-class 15in gun Battleship including Convoy Escort Movements


Editing & Additional Material by Mike Simmonds

HMS Revenge  (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

ROYAL SOVEREIGN-Class battleship ordered under the 1913 Build Programme  from Vickers and was laid down  on 22nd December 1913. She was launched on 29th May 1915 as the 11th RN ship to carry the name first used by  Drake's flagship in 1577.  The previous REVENGE was a battleship built in 1892 and  in 1915 renamed  REDOUBTABLE to allow the famous name to be used for a new battleship. Build completed in May 1916 and  the ship took part in the Battle of Jutland. She stayed  in commission during the post WW1 years and after a  WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 was adopted by the civil community of the County  Borough of Southampton, Hants.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

ARMADA 1588 - AZORES 1591 - LOWESTOFT 1665 - FOUR DAYS' BATTLE 1666 - ORFORDNESS 1666  - BUGIA 1671 - SCHOONEVELDT 1673 - MARBELLA 1705 - TOULON 1744 - MINORCA 1756 - QUIBERON 1759 - TRAFALGAR 1805 - SYRIA 1840  - BELGIAN COAST 1914-15 - JUTLAND 1916 - ATLANTIC 1939-41 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1940


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue a Gryphon rising out of wavelets Silver.


M o t t o

Intamina fulget Honoribus : 'Shines with untarnished honour'.



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 – REVENGE (Captain Ernest Russell Archer, RN), RESOLUTION (Flag Ship of 3rd Battle Squadron Rear Admiral Lancelot E Holland) with aircraft carrier HERMES and cruisers CARADOC and CERES all at Portland where they formed Channel Force. Also at Portland were the18thDF destroyers ACHATES, ACHERON, AMAZON, ANTHONY, ARDENT and ARROW.

(The task of Channel Force was to protect the cross channel convoys carrying the BEF and its equipment and supplies to France. The first convoy sailed on 9/9/39)

5th – Destroyers ANTELOPE and KEMPENFELT arrived at Portland.


6th – HERMES escorted by KEMPENFELT, ACHATES, AMAZON, ANTELOPE and ARDENT sailed from Portland.


9th – HERMES escorted by Destroyers ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS arrived at Portland.


10th - HERMES escorted by ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS sailed from Portland.


11th – CARADOC and CERES sailed from Portland.

(From 3/9/39 to 1/10/39 the Admiralty had no knowledge of any German raiders being at sea. On 1/10/39 the Admiralty received information from the survivors of the 5051grt SS CLEMENT that she had been sunk off Pernambuco, Brazil on 30/9/39by the German panzerschiffe Admiral Scheer. [In fact it was the ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE, sailed 20/8/39 from Wilhelmshaven, who had disguised herself as ADMIRAL SCHEER]. Immediately the Admiralty put in hand measures to catch/neutralize the raider’s activity. One of which was to provide strong escorts for convoys in the South Atlantic)



1st –REVENGE and RESOLUTION were nominated to join South Atlantic Command at Freetown for convoy duties.

(At 1100/5/10/39a raider signal was received from the 5044grt SS STONEGATE stating she was being attacked by a German raider 600 miles east of Bermuda. [This was the German panzerschiffe DEUTSCHLAND, sailed 24/8/39 from Wilhelmshaven] The news immediately caused the Admiralty to reconsider its orders for RESOLUTION and REVENGE) 

5th – Orders to move to South Atlantic Command cancelled and REVENGE and RESOLUTION were nominated for convoy duty in the North Atlantic based at Halifax.

(On the 26/9/39 Sir John Simon the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to Winston Churchill the First lord of the Admiralty that it was essential to ship gold to the total value of £40M to North America. This was to pay for raw materials and armaments from the USA that now that Great Britain was at war would only be supplied on a cash and carry basis. Churchill who was concerned about the desperate shortage of warships suggested that the gold should be shipped in fast merchant ships. [But this raised the spectre of the AMC LAURENTIC that on 25/1/17, en route to Halifax, had been mined and sunk off Loch Swilly with 43 tons of gold bullion on board worth £5M] The decision was taken on 1/10/39 that the cruisers EMERALD and ENTERPRISE would be utilised to carry £4M in gold bullion to Halifax and they were ordered to Plymouth where they arrived at 2318/3/10/39. With the change of orders for RESOLUTION and REVENGE the decision was taken that they also would each carry £2M in gold bullion to Halifax )

6th – REVENGE and RESOLUTION went alongside in Portland.

Late in the evening railway wagons containing 296 boxes of gold bullion, each box containing gold worth about £13,500.00 and weighting 130 pounds, was moved alongside each ship and the boxes loaded on board the battleships, 148 boxes per ship. 


7th – At 0930 hours REVENGE and RESOLUTION escorted by destroyers VOLUNTEER, WITHERINGTON and WOLVERINE sailed from Portland.

At 1910 hours, east of the Lizard they were joined by cruisers EMERALD and ENTERPRISE, each carrying £2M in gold bullion, aircraft carrier HERMES and cruiser CARADOC and destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE.


8th – At 0300 hours aircraft carrier HERMES and cruiser CARADOC detached for Brest


10th – At 0745 hours CARADOC rejoined.



15th – South of Newfoundland the destroyers HMCS FRAZER and ST LAURENT joined the force.


16th – At 0900 hours the force arrived at Halifax where the gold bullion was off-loaded for shipment to Ottawa.

On arrival REVENGE and RESOLUTION joined the Halifax Escort Force.


24th – REVENGE sailed from Halifax as ocean escort to convoy HXF 6.


30th – REVENGE detached from convoy HXF 6 and returned to Halifax.




10th – At 1200 hours REVENGE and destroyers FRAZER and ST LAURENT sailed from Halifax escorting convoy HX 8.


11th - FRAZER and ST LAURENT detached from convoy HX 8.


20th – REVENGE detached from convoy HX 8 and returned to Halifax.




4th – At 1000 hours REVENGE, destroyers HYPERION, SKEENA and St LAURENT and French submarines CASABIANCA and SFAX sailed from Halifax escorting convoy HX 11.


5th – At 0400 hours HYPERION detached and returned to Halifax.

At 1600 hours SKEENA and St LAURENT detached and returned to Halifax.


13th – REVENGE detached from convoy HX 11 and returned to Halifax.


22nd – REVENGE (Wearing the flag of Vice Admiral Holland), French battleship DUNKERQUE and cruiser GLOIRE and destroyers HMCS OTTAWA, FRASER, RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT and HUNTER sailed from Halifax escorting Canadian troop convoy TC.2 that comprised 7 troopships with 8152 troops embarked.


24th - OTTAWA, FRASER, RESTIGOUCHE, ST LAURENT and HUNTER detached from TC 1 and returned to Halifax.


28th – At 16ºW destroyers SOMALI, IMPERIAL, MOHAWK, KINGSTON, KASHMIR, MATABELE, BEDOUIN, FEARLESS, FURY, FAME and FIREDRAKE joined the escort of convoy TC 2.


29th – South of Mizen Head DUNKERQUE and GLOIRE detached from convoy TC 2.

Off Belfast the patrol sloops PUFFIN and SHEARWATER and minesweepers GLEANER and JASON joined the escort of convoy TC 2.


30th - At 0900 hours convoy TC 2 and REVENGE arrived in the Clyde.


31st – At 0800 hours REVENGE escorted by destroyers MOHAWK, MASHONA, KHARTOUM and KINGSTON sailed from the Clyde proceeded to Plymouth.



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1st – At 1000 hours MASHONA detached and proceeded to Chatham.

At 1200 hours REVENGE, MOHAWK, KHARTOUM and KINGSTON arrived at Plymouth.

REVENGE then proceeded to Devonport for refitting.


23rd – Refit completed.


28th – At 1100 hours REVENGE, with £10M in gold bullion embarked, sailed from Plymouth for Halifax escorted by the destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT and WHITSHED.


30th – At 14ºW the destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT and WHITSHED detached and REVENGE proceeded unescorted to Halifax.




6th – Arrived at Halifax where the gold bullion was off loaded into rail wagons.


7th – At 0900 hours convoy HX 19 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and destroyers SAGUENAY, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE.

During the assembly of the convoy REVENGE was in collision with the British tanker MV APPALACHEE 8826grt. Both vessels were damaged, the APPALACHEE extensively. APPALACHEE returned to Halifax and REVENGE continued as ocean escort.


8th - SAGUENAY, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE detached and returned to Halifax.


14th – REVENGE detached from HX 19 and returned to Halifax.


18th – REVENGE arrived at Halifax and was taken in hand to repair the collision damage. Repairs took 10 days to complete.




2nd – Convoy HX 24 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and the destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA.


3rd - SAGUENAY, SKEENA detached and returned to Halifax.


11th – REVENGE detached from convoy HX 24 and returned to Halifax.


15th – REVENGE arrived back at Halifax.


25th – Convoy HX 30 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and destroyers SAGUENAY, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE.


26th - SAGUENAY, SKEENA and RESTIGOUCHE detached and returned to Halifax.




3rd – REVENGE detached from HX 30 and returned to Halifax.


7th – REVENGE arrived back at Halifax.


18th – Convoy HX 36 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and destroyers SAGUENAY and SKEENA.


19th - SAGUENAY, SKEENA detached and returned to Halifax.


27th – REVENGE detached from convoy HX 36 and returned to Halifax.




1st – REVENGE arrived back at Halifax.


12th – Troop convoy TC 4 comprising 2 troopships with 2481 Canadian troops embarked escorted by REVENGE and the destroyers SAGUENAY and ST LAURENT.

As she was passing through the Halifax boom, REVENGE accidentally collided with and sank Canadian Gate Vessel No. 1, the trawler YPRES, 440grt. (Three ratings were slightly injured in the vessel; no lives were lost from the eighteen man crew)


14th - SAGUENAY and ST LAURENT detached and returned to Halifax.


20th – At 0530 hours in 55‑30N, 13‑00W, convoy TC 4 was joined by the destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT, ESCORT, WITHERINGTON and ZULU.

Off Anglesey REVENGE, ACASTA and ARDENT detached from convoy TC 4, which then entered Liverpool, and proceeded to the Clyde.


21st – At 0530 hours REVENGE, ACASTA and ARDENT arrived off Greenock.


30th – At 2315 hours REVENGE (with £40M in gold bullion embarked) commenced Operation FISH and escorted the destroyers ESCORT and WESTCOTT sailed from the Clyde and proceeded west into the North Channel.

(Operation FISH was the code name given to the evacuation of Britain’s gold reserves to Canada. In late May when the situation in France was becoming desperate and Britain faced the reality of defeat. Churchill took the decision to ship all Britain’s gold and negotiable foreign securities to Montreal, Canada. The gold sent to date was for payment of armaments from the USA and this was the first gold shipment made under the code name FISH)

31st – At 15ºW REVENGE and her escorts RVed with the troopships the DUCHESS OF RICHMOND and ANTONIA (each of which had embarked £5M in gold bullion) and their escort destroyers WOLVERINE, WARWICK and WITCH.

Following which the destroyers ESCORT, WESTCOTT, WOLVERINE, WARWICK and WITCH detached and REVENGE and the troopships proceeded to Halifax.




11th – At 0900 hours convoy TC 5 comprising 3 troopships with 3752 Canadian troops embarked sailed from  Halifax escorted by REVENGE and the destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY


12th – At 1800 hours ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY detached and returned to Halifax,


20th – In the south western approaches REVENGE detached from convoy TC 5 and proceeded to Plymouth.


21st – At 0645 hours REVENGE arrived at Plymouth.

(On the 22/6/40 the French Government surrendered to Germany. Article 8 of the surrender document which related to the French Fleet started off by stating:- ‘The French war fleet is to collect in ports to be designated more particularly, and under German and/or Italian control to demobilize and lay up—with the exception of those units released to the French Government for protection of French interests in its colonial empire’. The British Admiralty was most concerned by the phrase ‘under German and/or Italian control’. The Admiralty feared that the Germans might at some point be able to take possession of the French Fleet by threatening to destroy Paris or Marseille unless the fleet was handed over. After all, Hitler had already displayed far more grievous treachery. On 24/6/40 the British Government therefore determined to take over French Fleet units in British ports)



3rd – At Devonport where she was alongside with the French battleship PARIS ahead and the French submarine SURCOUF aft. In the small hours of the morning REVENGE provided boarding parties to seize these two French vessels in accordance with the British Government resolution of 24/6/40. The first man to enter the SURCOUF, Leading Seaman Albert Webb of the REVENGE was shot dead by a French officer; the French officer in turn was shot dead by the British officer who was following Webb.


4th – At 0100 hours REVENGE, with £47M in gold bullion embarked, (Operation FISH), escorted by destroyers HAVELOCK, HESPERUS and WANDERER sailed from Plymouth and set course for the Irish Sea.


5th – At 1000 hours in the North Channel the REVENGE group RVed with the anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE, with £25M in gold bullion embarked (Operation FISH), the troopships MONARCH OF BERMUDA and Polish MV's SOBIESKI and BATORY  (BATORY was carrying priceless Polish artifacts, gold and securities; one source described it as “the richest treasure in history”) and the destroyer GARTH.


6th – At 0200 hours GARTH, HAVELOCK, HESPERUS and WANDERER detached.


10th - BATORY with engine room defects was detached to St Johns escorted by BONAVENTURE.


12th – REVENGE, MONARCH OF BERMUDA and SOBIESKI arrived at Halifax.


13th – BONAVENTURE and BATORY arrived at Halifax.


23rd - Convoy TC 6 comprising 6 troopships with 6466 Canadian troops embarked sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE, the cruiser EMERALD and the destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY. Also included in the convoy was the troopship EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA with 1611 Canadian troops embarked for service in Iceland.


29th – The EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA escorted by EMERALD detached from TC 6 for Iceland.





1st – At 1430 hours convoy TC 6 with REVENGE and destroyers INGLEFIELD (D.3), AMAZON, SIKH, KEPPEL, WANDERER, VISCOUNT, HIGHLANDER, and VANQUISHER arrived at Greenock.


11th – REVENGE, with £14½M in gold bullion embarked (Operation FISH) escorted by destroyers ASHANTI, GRIFFIN, WATCHMAN and VORTIGERN sailed from Greenock.

In the North Channel the REVENGE force RVed with the troopships EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, ORONSAY, SAMARIA, ANTONIA, DUCHESS OF YORK and GEORGIC, some of the troopships had evacuated children embarked, escorted by destroyers HURRICANE and WALKER.

The convoy designated ZA, formed up and set course for Halifax.




19th – Convoy ZA and REVENGE arrived at Halifax.


27th - Convoy TC 7 comprising 6 troopships with 10958 Canadian troops embarked sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and destroyers ASSINIBOINE and OTTAWA.


28th – Destroyer ASSINIBOINE detached and returned to Halifax.




2nd – Convoy TC 7 was joined by destroyers AMBUSCADE, JAVELIN, JAGUAR and WOLVERINE.


4th – At 0600 hours convoy TC 7 and escort arrived in the Clyde.


14th - REVENGE and cruiser EMERALD sailed from the Clyde for Plymouth to come under the command of Western Approaches, escorted by destroyers MACKAY and WESTCOTT.

En route MACKAY and WESTCOTT detached and destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE joined.


(This deployment was made by the Admiralty when intelligence suggested that a large scale invasion appeared imminent. Had the invasion taken place REVENGE would have been the only capital ship in the Channel area)


15th – REVENGE, EMERALD, MACKAY and WESTCOTT arrived at Plymouth.




10th – At 2000 hours REVENGE escorted by the destroyers JAVELIN (D5), JAGUAR, JUPITER, KASHMIR, KELVIN, KIPLING sailed from Plymouth on Operation MEDIUM.

(Operation MEDIUM was a combined operation by the RN and No 2 and 3 Groups RAF to attack German invasion shipping in the port of Cherbourg.


The first attempt at a naval bombardment was made using the monitor EREBUS, but this had not been successful, due to her lack of manoeuvrability in anything of a seaway.


The Operation MEDIUM plan was for Blenheims of 2 Group to bomb the harbour area followed by Wellingtons of 3 Group who would carry out a combined bombing and flare dropping during which the REVENGE force would carry out a bombardment of the port area.


To cover the REVENGE force from surface attack from the west were the light cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD and destroyers WANDERER and BROKE and Polish destroyers BURZA and GARLAND. To the east were the light cruiser CARDIFF and destroyers VANOC and VOLUNTEER)

11th – At 0035 hours the REVENGE force RVed with MGB’s 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 51 who had sailed from Weymouth and were tasked with covering the bombarding force from E-Boats.

At 0230 hours the MGB’s formed a screen ahead of the REVENGE force ready to engage any E-Boats or small vessels encountered.

At 0315 hours the bombing attacks commenced ad flares were dropped over Cap de la Hague to enable REVENGE to obtain an accurate fix.

From 0333 to 0351 hours from a range of approximately 15700 yards the REVENGE group bombarded Cherbourg harbour. During the 18 minute bombardment 120 x 15in shells were fired by REVENGE and a total of 801 x 4.7in shells from her escorting destroyers.

The force then retired under fire from a German shore battery, estimated as up to 13.5in calibre, east of Cherbourg. The firing continued for 30 minutes and although accurate no hits were achieved. During the withdrawal REVENGE worked up to 21½ knots.


12th – At 0800 hours REVENGE and the destroyers of the 5th Flotilla arrived in Spithead.


15th – In the evening REVENGE sailed from Portsmouth escorted by destroyers WANDERER and WITCH and the Polish BURZA.


16th – In the morning arrived at Plymouth.




13th - REVENGE escorted by destroyers GARLAND, OTTAWA, ST LAURENT departed the Clyde and RVed off the Clyde with destroyer HIGLANDER and troopship SS LEOPOLDVILLE, 11500grt. Course was then set for Halifax.

The force immediately ran into heavy weather in which GARLAND sustained heavy weather damage and two crew were lost overboard.

GARLAND detached and returned to the Clyde.


14th – HIGHLANDER, OTTAWA and ST LAURENT detached.


22nd – REVENGE and LEOPOLDVILLE arrived at Halifax.


25th – At 1600 hours convoy HX 91 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE destroyers ASSINIBOINE and ST CLAIR and auxiliary patrol vessel FRENCH.

At 1711 hours FRENCH detached from the convoy.


26th – At 1450 hours ASSINIBOINE detached and returned to Halifax.


28th – Convoy BHX 91 from Bermuda and escorted by the AMC ASCANIA RVed with and joined HX 91. Following which ASCANIA detached.




4th – At 0730 hours REVENGE detached from HX 91 and returned to Halifax.


9th – REVENGE arrived back at Halifax.


16th – At 0630 hours troop convoy TC 8, comprising 4 troop ships with 6275 troops embarked, sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE and Canadian destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ASSINIBOINE.


20th - REVENGE and destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ASSINIBOINE detached from convoy TC 8.


26th – REVENGE and destroyers RESTIGOUCHE and ASSINIBOINE arrived back at Halifax.



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Based at Halifax on Atlantic convoy defence.

(Note: Aircraft warning radar had been fitted during a refit by this period.




Based at Halifax on Atlantic convoy defence.





Under refit in the Clyde.

(Note: Type 279 Radar to provide aircraft warning was fitted)


24th – Off Greenock where she embarked Polish General Wladyslaw Sikorski Prime Minister of the Polish Government in exile.

At 2400 hours REVENGE, the cruiser EDINBURGH and destroyers LEGION and the Polish PIORUN sailed through the Clyde boom and headed for Orsay Light to join convoy WS 7.

(The sailing of the convoy was delayed by two days due to heavy bombing of Clydebank on the nights of March 13 and 14 March)

25th – At 0700 hours 6 miles west of Orsay Light convoy WS 7 formed up. The convoy consisted of 20 troopships and 2 MT freighters. Included with the troopships was the MV GEORGIC 27,759grt, with 3000 troops embarked for Halifax. At the forming up point the escort for WS 7 was battleships REVENGE and NELSON, cruisers EDINBURGH and CAIRO and destroyers ARROW, BROADWATER, ECLIPSE, ESKIMO, BEDOUIN, MASHONA, MATABELE, SOMALI, LEGION and PIORUN

At 1330 hours the destroyers ST CLAIR, VICEROY and WINCHELSEA joined WS 7 from Londonderry.

At 1830 hours the destroyers ROCKINGHAM and the FS LEOPARD joined WS 7 from Londonderry.


26th – At 1330 hours 400 miles west of Eagle Island Light the destroyers LEGION, PIORUN, ROCKINGHAM, VICEROY, WINCHELSEA and the FS LEOPARD detached from WS 7.

At 2300 hours CAIRO detached from WS 7.


27th – At 1830 hours the destroyers ST CLAIRE and BROADWATER detached from WS 7.


28th – At 1200 hours the destroyers BEDOUIN, MASHONA, MATABELE and SOMALI detached from WS 7.

At 1230 hours 480 miles north of the Azores REVENGE and the MV GEORGIC detached from WS 7 and headed for Halifax.




1st – REVENGE and the MV GEORGIC arrived at Halifax.

(At Halifax General Wladyslaw Sikorski disembarked and proceeded to Ottawa for talks with the Canadian Government. He then went to Washington where he had talks with President Roosevelt)

6th - Convoys HX 119A and HX 119B sailed from Halifax.


7th – REVENGE sailed from Halifax.


8th – REVENGE joined the combined convoy HX 119 at sea and with AMC AURANIA was the ocean escort for the convoy.


11th – REVENGE detached from HX 119 and returned to Halifax.


13th – Arrived back at Halifax.


18th – Sailed from Halifax to join convoy HX 121 (HX 121 had sailed from Halifax on 16/4/41)


19th – Joined AMC CALIFORNIA as ocean escort of convoy HX 121.


23rd – REVENGE detached from HX 121 and returned to Halifax.


26th – Arrived back at Halifax.




6th – Convoy HX 125 sailed from Halifax escorted by REVENGE, the AMC ASCANIA and corvettes HMCS COBALT and WETASKIWIN.

Later in the day COBALT and WETASKIWIN detached and returned to Halifax.


13th – REVENGE detached from HX 125 and returned to Halifax.


17th – REVENGE arrived back at Halifax.


24th – At 0700 hours REVENGE sailed from Halifax to join convoy HX 128. On sailing she ran into thick fog, this was the same fog bank that convoy HX 128 had sailed through for 4 days causing the convoy delay and disruption.

(The sailing was ordered because of the breakout of the German battleship BISMARCK and cruiser PRINZ EUGEN. By the time REVENGE sailed the battlecruiser HOOD had been sunk)


(HX 128 had sailed from Halifax at 1100/20/5/41. At the time of REVENGE sailing the escort was the AMC CALIFORNIA and the ex US Coastguard cutters HMS SENNEN, TOTLAND and WALNEY. The cutters had only recently been taken over by the RN and they were en route to the UK for a conversion-refit)

28th – REVENGE joined convoy HX 128 also at around the same time HX 128 was joined by convoy SC 32, which had sailed from Halifax on 19/5/41. HX 128 and SC 32 remained together for 4 days.


29th – The corvettes HELIOTROPE, PETUNIA and VERBENA joined convoy SC 32.


30th – The destroyer BURWELL joined convoy HX 128.


31st – The corvettes HEPATICA, HYDRANGEA, TULIP and WINDFLOWER joined convoy HX 128.




1st – REVENGE, HEPATICA and WINDFLOWER detached from HX 128. REVENGE returned to Halifax.


4th – Arrived back at Halifax.


10th - Convoy HX.132 sailed from Halifax.

At 1700 hours REVENGE sailed from Halifax to join HX 132.


11th – At 0800 hours REVENGE joined convoy HX 132 as ocean escort.


13th – Convoy HX 132 was joined by convoy BHX 132 from Bermuda.


14th – The destroyers HMCS NIAGARA and SAGUENAY joined HX 132 in position 49-21N, 48-48W.


15th – The corvette HMCS COBALT joined HX 132.


16th – The destroyers RAMSEY, RICHMOND and HMCS COLUMBIA and RESTIGOUCHE and corvette CANDYTUFT joined convoy HX 132.


18th – The destroyers COLUMBIA and RESTIGOUCHE were detached from HX 132.


20th - REVENGE detached from HX 132 in approximate position 60N, 28W to join convoy OB 334.

Joined convoy OB 334 and its escort of AMC BULOLO and CALIFORNIA and destroyer CHURCHILL.


23rd – CHURCHILL detached from OB 334 for St Johns.


25th – REVENGE with OB 334 arrived at Halifax.




At Halifax where she had a change of CO. Her new CO was Captain Llewellyn Vaughan Morgan CBE, MVO, DSO, RN.



(Between the 9th and 12th August a meeting took place between the US President Roosevelt and Prime Minster Churchill at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, during which they drew up the Atlantic Charter. Their discussions the President informed Churchill of his concern over the Japanese move into Indo-China [with the agreement of Vichy France] The president stated that he was shortly to present the Japanese with a note making it plain that any further southward expansion would probably mean war. This prompted the British to consider what their response would be. The British Chiefs of Staff recommended that by mid-September one battleship from the Mediterranean should be deployed to the far east and the four R class battleships should follow. Churchill was totally opposed to sending the R class which he described as ‘coffin ships’. Churchill had is way and Force Z [PRINCE of WALES and REPULSE] were deployed instead. After further discussions the Admiralty decided to deploy REVENGE and ROYAL SOVEREIGN to the India Ocean for convoy escort duties)

31st – REVENGE arrived at Freetown.




1st – At 1200 hours convoy WS 10X sailed from Freetown escorted by REVENGE and corvettes AMARANTHUS, ARMERIA, MIGNONETTE and WOODRUFF.


2nd – At 1400 hours AMARANTHUS detached from WS 10X due to a hot bearing and returned to Freetown.

In the evening off Cape Palmas, REVENGE suffered a steering fault causing her to swing to starboard and the troopship SS ORION 23,371grt with 3150 troops of the 22nd Armoured Brigade embarked was in collision with REVENGE. ORION struck REVENGE amidships on her starboard side. REVENGE received only superficial damage but ORION suffered considerable damage to her bow. ARMERIA and the MV PORT JACKSON 9687grt with MT stores embarked were ordered to stand by ORION and convoy speed was reduced to 12 knots. ORION’s crew carried out temporary repairs and soon she was able to steam at 15 knots and caught up with WS 10X.

(Temporary repairs to SS ORION were carried out at Cape Town on arrival. Permanent repairs were carried out on her arrival at Singapore later in the year)

3rd - ARMERIA, MIGNONETTE and WOODRUFF detached from WS 10X for Lagos.


11th – REVENGE and convoy WS 10X arrived at Cape Town.


14th – At 1400 hours convoy WS 10X sailed from Cape Town escorted by REVENGE.


22nd – Off Mombasa the cruiser CERES joined WS 10X following which REVENGE detached for Kilindini.


23rd – Arrived at Kilindini.




At Kilindini deployed on Indian Ocean convoy defence.


29th – Sailed from Durban escorting the two ship convoy CM 018X.




3rd – Off Kilindini handed over convoy CM 018X to the cruiser CERES and detached for Kilindini.


At Kilindini deployed on Indian Ocean convoy defence.


13th – At 0800 hours REVENGE sailed from Kilindini to RV with convoy WS 12.


14th – At 0700 hours in position 5-10S, 44-00E, REVENGE and the AMC ASCANIA joined convoy WS 12. The battlecruiser REPULSE then detached from WS 12 and proceeded to Mombasa. The convoy continued on course for Cape Guardafui.


17th – At 1000 hours in position 6-47N, 51-14E WS 12 was joined by the cruiser GLASGOW. Following which GLASGOW with the troopships DUCHESS OF RICHMOND, DOMINION MONARCH and EMPRESS OF CANADA and the MT ship PERSEUS detached from WS 12 and headed east for the Nine Degree Channel designated as convoy WS 12J.


20th – REVENGE with convoy WS 12 arrived at Aden.


28th – At Trincomalee when Force G arrived at Colombo Force G commanded by Vice Admiral Sir Tom Phillips comprised the battleship PRINCE of WALES and the destroyers ELECTRA and EXPRESS.


29th – Force G sailed from Colombo for Singapore, leaving REVENGE behind.

(REVENGE was probably left at Trincomalee because Vice Admiral Philips considered her too slow and deficient in AA defences. It should be remembered that Phillips had been at the Admiralty as Vice-Chief of Staff since the start of the war during which time he had been instrumental in trying to palm off the R class to any command that would have them. Therefore it is unlikely that he considered REVENGE would be of any use to his command)


(On the 3/12/41 Vice Admiral Phillips the CinC of the re-designated Force Z signalled the Admiralty from  Singapore asking for the REVENGE and ROYAL SOVEREIGN and later added RAMILLIES and RESOLUTION to be sent to Singapore. However before the Admiralty could reply Force Z had been eliminated)

5th – REVENGE RVed with convoy BA 010 in the Arabian Sea and escorted the convoy towards Aden.

(At 1200Z/6, Vice Admiral Phillips signalled the Admiralty, From S.O. Force "G":-


Reasons for suggesting that REPULSE only should accompany PRINCE OF WALES to Singapore in the first instance were as follows.


A.    A force of 2 fast battleships at Singapore should cause Japan concern but should be regarded by her more as a raiding force than as an attempt to form a line of battle against her.

B.    The addition of one "R" class might give the impression that we were trying to form a line of battle, but could only spare 3 ships, thus encouraging Japan.


For the above reasons I felt that unless events precipitate matters it might be best for REVENGE  to remain in Indian Ocean until she was joined by ROYAL SOVEREIGN and RAMILLIES, when the 3 ships might come to Singapore towards end of January.


If there were a suitable convoy from Australia during the period Revenge is available, it might be of advantage for her to proceed to Western Australia and escort it. I do not however consider it desirable that she should at the present time proceed to Australia to fit R.D.F. etc. as was, I believe, contemplated at one time.

Admiralty pass to C.-in-C., South Atlantic and C.-in-C., East Indies)

7th - REVENGE detached from BA 010 and made for Trincomalee.   


12th – At Trincomalee.



1 9 4 2




At Trincomalee




9th – Sailed from Trincomalee for refitting at Durban.


17th – Arrived at Kilindini.


20th – Sailed from Kilindini.


24th – Arrived at Durban and commenced refitting. During her refit Radar Type 273 for surface warning and Type 284 for fire-control of main armament were fitted.




Under refit at Durban.


17th - Carried out post refit trials including new radar outfits on completion of refit. Nominated for service in Indian Ocean with 3rd Battle Squadron Eastern Fleet.


19th – REVENGE sailed from Durban to join the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Eastern Fleet.


28th – REVENGE arrived at Addu Atoll.


29th - Sailed from Addu Atoll in company with battleships RESOLUTION (Flag 3rd BS), RAMILLIES, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE, and destroyers FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, GRIFFIN, DECOY, NAPIER, NORMAN, NIZAM and ISAAC SWEERS.


31st - At 1600 hours off the south coast of Ceylon the various elements of the Eastern Fleet RVed at 4-40N 81-00E. The Fleet was divided into Force A and Force B.


The Fleet then commenced patrolling off the south of Ceylon, sweeping east during the day and west during the night.




2nd - At 1300 hours FORTUNE detached to search for survivors from the British freighter MV GLENSHIEL 9415grt that was sunk by the Japanese submarine I 7 in position 00-48S, 78-32E.

At 2100 hours the fast group, Force A withdrew first, immediately followed by Force B, less HERMES and VAMPIRE who went to Trincomalee.

 (Late in the evening, without any sighting of the Japanese being reported and with several of his fleet requiring replenishment, including the R Class battleships, Somerville decided to withdraw his fleet to Addu Atoll)

4th - At 1500 hours as Force B arrived at Addu Atoll.

(At 1630 hours a sighting report timed at 1605 hours, was received from Catalina L of 413 Sqd. RCAF, flown by SL L. J. Birchall, of a large Japanese force steering north-westward in position 0-40N, 83-10E, 360 miles 155° from Dondra Head Whilst making the sighting report the Catalina was attacked by 12 Zeros and shot down)

5th - At 0700 hours Force B sailed from Addu Atoll


6th - At 0720 hours approximately 150 miles NNE of Addu Atoll Force A and B combined. Then sailed east.

(At this time Somerville didn’t know where the Japanese Fleet was. But Somerville was concerned that the Japanese might be heading for Addu Atoll)

At 1115 hours the Fleet altered course to the south east towards the position of the wreckage reported the previous evening.

At 1800 hours course was reversed to the NE.


7th – At 0200 hours the Fleet altered course to the west.

At 0428 hours A.S.V. equipped aircraft located two submarines in positions 2-08N, 75-16E and 2-46N, 75-10E; i.e. to the southward of the course of the Fleet.

(Somerville considered that this indicated the possibility of an enemy submarine patrol having been established to cover the eastern approaches to Addu. He therefore decided to pass through the Veimandu Channel to the west of the Maldives and make an unexpected approach to Addu Atoll from the west)

At 0700 the Fleet was almost back at the position it had been 24 hours previously and course of the fleet was altered to 210 degrees.

The Fleet then sailed for Addu Atoll by a circuitous route.

(In the early hours of 7/4/42 the Admiralty signalled Somerville that their policy of discouraging the Japanese from entering the Indian Ocean in force had failed and they further realized that the Eastern Fleet was inferior in all respects to the Japanese Fleet. The R Class battleships were in this respect considered more of a liability than an asset due to their slow speed and poor anti-aircraft armament.  Therefore Somerville was given discretion to withdraw them to Africa)

8th - At 1100 hours the Fleet arrived back at Addu Atoll. Refueling commenced, Force B being refueled first.

(At 1517 hours a RAF Catalina made a sighting report of Japanese battleships and aircraft carrier approximately 600 miles east of Dondra Head. This report came in whilst Somerville was in conference deciding what action he should pursue. He decided, with the Admiralty’s approval, that due to the enemy’s size and the preponderance of numbers and quality of his aircraft, the most important duty was to keep his Fleet in being. Force B was therefore to be sent to Kilindini and Force A would go to Bombay)


9th – At 0200 hours Force B now comprising, RESOLUTION, RAMILLIES, REVENGE, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, CALEDON and destroyers ARROW, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR and ISAAC SWEERS sailed from Addu Atoll for Kilindini.


14th – Force B arrived at Kilindini.


28th – Arrived at Durban


30th – Sailed from Durban and off the port whilst awaiting the arrival of convoy WS 17.




1st – At 1000 hours off Durban REVENGE joined the depot ship ADAMANT escorting convoy WS 17.


8th – At 1330 hours ADAMANT detached from WS 17 for Kilindini.

At 1600 hours in position 4S, 41E the convoy was joined by battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, AMC CORFU and destroyers ARROW and the Dutch ISAAC SWEERS. Following which REVENGE, ARROW and ISAAC SWEERS detached for Kilindini.


9th - At 0030 hours REVENGE, ARROW and ISAAC SWEERS arrived at Kilindini.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.


14th – REVENGE and destroyers ANTHONY, and FOXHOUND sailed from Kilindini for Durban, DRAGON joining company from patrol off Kilindini


18th – REVENGE, DRAGON, ANTHONY and FOXHOUND arrived at Durban.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.


12th – Arrived at Durban for refitting




Under refit at Durban




Under refit at Durban




13th – Completed refit.


15th – Sailed from Durban for Kilindini.


19th – Arrived at Kilindini.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.



1 9 4 3




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.


At sometime during the month she had a new commanding officer he was Captain Gervase Boswell Middleton, CBE, RN.



3rd - Force A of the Eastern Fleet consisting of WARSPITE, REVENGE, RESOLUTION, cruiser MAURITIUS and destroyers ROTHERHAM, QUILLIAM, NEPAL, NIZAM, FOXHOUND sailed from Kilindini for operations in the Indian Ocean

(Part of the operation was to provide distant cover for Operation PAMPHLET. This was the code name for the troop convoy that carried the 9th AIF Division from the Middle East back to Sydney, Australia. The convoy sailed from Suez on 4/2/43 and arrived at Addu Atoll on 9/2/42 and sailed from Addu Atoll on 10/2/42)

11th - At 0240 hours Force A comprising WARSPITE, RESOLUTION, REVENGE, MAURITIUS, NEPAL, NORMAN, ROTHERHAM, and NIZAM arrived at Addu Atoll.

At 0250 hours QUILLIAM and FOXHOUND arrived at Addu Atoll having provided local escort for PAMPHLET.


13th - Force A less MAURITIUS sailed from Addu Atoll for Port Victoria, Seychelles.


18th - Force A arrived at Port Victoria to refuel. After refuelling Force A sailed for Kilindini.






Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.




Based at Kilindini for defence of Indian Ocean convoys.


15th – REVENGE and destroyers HMAS NAPIER and QUIBERON sailed from Kilindini for Durban.


18th – At 20º S in the Mozambique Channel the REVENGE force RVed with RESOLUTION and destroyers RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM. NAPIER detached from REVENGE and joined RESOLUTION and RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM detached from RESOLUTION and joined REVENGE.

REVENGE, QUIBERON, RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM then continued their passage to Durban.




21st – Commenced a short refit.




Under refit at Durban. A considerable amount of boiler re-tubing carried out.


21st – Refit completed.


30th – At Durban where she had a change of commanding officer. Her new captain was her executive officer newly promoted to captain. Captain St. John Cronyn, DSO, RN


REVENGE and RESOLUTION were nominated to return to the UK.




9th – REVENGE and RESOLUTION arrived in the Clyde.

She later went to Southampton were she was decommissioned and placed in reserve. At this time REVENGE was in very poor condition.



1 9 4 4




REVENGE was moved to Portsmouth where her main armament was removed to provide spare guns for the Normandy bombardment force. Prepared for towing to Gareloch.




12th – At Gareloch REVENGE and RESOLUTION were commissioned as HMS IMPERIEUSE II a stokers training establishment. IMPERIEUSE II was only an administrative name they kept their own names.


June to November


At Gareloch.


The decision was taken to move the stokers training establishment to Devonport. REVENGE and RESOLUTION were prepared for towing to Devonport.




11th – RESOLUTION and REVENGE arrived at Devonport and for administrative purposes were commissioned as HMS IMPERIEUSE a stokers training establishment.



1 9 4 5


January to August


At Devonport as part of the stokers training establishment.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS REVENGE continued her training ship duties until placed on the Disposal List. She was sold  for breaking-up in 1948 and arrived at the shipbreaker's yard in Inverkeithing on 9th September 1948. This name was carried forward in  1968 when given to a Nuclear submarine built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead which entered service  in 1970. The submarine has now been taken out of service.







by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above


Date convoy sailed

 Joined convoy as escort

 Convoy No.

 Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








HXF 006





HX 008





HX 011





TC 002





HX 019





HX 024





HX 030





HX 036





TC 004





TC 005





TC 006










TC 007





HX 091





TC 008





HX 119A





HX 121





HX 125A





HX 128





HX 132





HX 134





OB 334





CM 018X





BA 010




(Note on Convoys)



HMS REVENGE and the Visit of the Shah of Persia, 1926

thanks to Harry Hicks

In this year, the Shah inspected the Fleet from on board destroyer HMS Witherington. The photograph following shows HMS REVENGE manning ship on the same occasion.



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