9 3 1
Commissioned for Trials.
Sailed for Clyde to carry out Acceptance
Took return passage to Plymouth on
completion of trials.
Arrived at Devonport.
Deployed at Devonport and prepared for
Dockyard build work completed
Commissioned for service in 2nd Cruiser
Squadron, Atlantic Fleet.
At Exmouth for visit by dignitaries of
City of Exeter.
Worked up with ships of Squadron for
On completion took passage to Portsmouth
to remedy defects found during
work-up and modifications.
During passage to join Atlantic Fleet at
Invergordon changes in Pay to naval
personnel were announced and resulted in
mutiny of some Atlantic Fleet
Arrived at Invergordon to find Fleet in
state of confusion and disarray.
(Note: No sign of disaffection on board,
presumably because ship was newly
commissioned and ship’s company not
closely involved with the
increasing disquiet due to the inept way
in which the Fleet had been
poorly advised about the 10% reduction in
pay structure caused by
the current financial depression. Army and
RAF personnel pay had
not been reduced. This subject is well
Fleet discipline restored and ships took
passage to Home ports.
Passage to Plymouth
Deployed at Plymouth
9 3 2
Took part in Home Fleet Spring Cruise with
ships of Squadron.
After completion of exercise programme and
visits to ports in West Indies
returned to Plymouth.
Deployed for visits to UK Ports including
Liverpool, Ilfracombe and St Ives.
Attended Royal Review of Fleet by HM King
After Leave period joined ships of
Squadron for visit to Copenhagen
as part of
(Note: Other ships in Squadron were HM
Cruisers DORSETSHIRE, NORFOLK
Deployed with Squadron for exercises.
9 3 3
Squadron deployment included Spring
Exercise programme with visits to
Took part in further Squadron visits to
Norway and Sweden,
Taken in hand for refit at Devonport
Recommissioned for service in 8th Cruiser
Squadron on America and West
Carried out shakedown prior to leaving
Took passage from Plymouth to relieve HM
Cruiser DURBAN at Gibraltar.
Arrived at Gibraltar.
Relieved HMS DURBAN in 8th Cruiser
Passage to join Squadron in Bermuda.
Arrived in West Indies.
9 3 4
Deployed with Squadron and served as part
of South American Division
Carried out visits to ports in Brazil,
Argentina and other countries.
(Note: Ships of Squadron also visited
Falkland Islands and countries on
9 3 5
Deployed for Squadron duties in South
Transferred for detached service in
Mediterranean and sailed to reinforce
1st Cruiser Squadron at Alexandria.
(Note: This was part of British response
to counter threat by Italy to invade
Sailed from Port Stanley to join 1st Cruiser Squadron at Alexandria.
Joined HM Cruisers BERWICK, LONDON,
SHROPSHIRE, SUSSEX and
Took part in Mediterranean Fleet exercises
and deployments in the eastern
9 3 6
Detached service with 1st Cruiser Squadron
(Note: Mediterranean Fleet ships took part
in combined exercises with
Home Fleet ships each Spring, usually in
western Mediterranean and
Released from detached service in
Mediterranean to return to UK for refit
Sailed from Alexandria.
Arrived at Devonport to refit and
Under refit and Paid-off.
Carried out harbour trials.
Recommissioned for service on West Indies
Took passage from Plymouth to rejoin
9 3 7
Arrived at St Vincent.
Passage to Montevideo to resume duties
with Division in South Atlantic.
Deployed in South Atlantic.
Took passage to Bermuda.
Despatched to Trinidad with HM Cruiser
AJAX to provide aid to civil power at
following rioting. Royal Marines landed to
protect oil installations.
West Indies Squadron deployment in
9 3 8
West Indies Station deployment in
continuation including exercises with RCN
and visits to Ports in USA.
Deployed on west coast South America.
9 3 9
During west coast deployment despatched
with HMS AJAX to assist after
an earthquake at Talcahuana, Chile. Landed
parties to help with rescue and
to restore essential services.
Return passage to Bermuda.
Deployed with Squadron for visits and
Prepared for return passage to Pay-off at
Passage to Plymouth
Arrived at Devonport and commenced Leave
Ship remained in commission in view of the
deteriorating political situation.
Ship’s Company on leave recalled and
prepared to return to duty in South
American Division of America and West
Took passage from Plymouth and escorted
troopship ss DUNERA during
passage to Cape Verde.
(Note: Commander Harwood, in command of
Squadron was embarked.)
Passage to Freetown after detaching from
Sailed from Freetown for passage to Rio de
e t a i l s o f
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Took-up war station in South American
Division of America and West Indies
Squadron for deployment in South Atlantic
for trade defence and the
interception of German shipping.
Patrolled in area of Rio de Janeiro with
HM Cruiser AJAX.
Met HM Cruiser AJAX and made joint passage
to Plate estuary.
(Note: HMS AJAX detached later and took
passage to Falkland Islands.)
Escorted convoy from Plate estuary with HM
Deployed on patrol off Rio de Janeiro
after call at Montevideo.
(Note: HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND and HM
Destroyer HAVOCK were also
deployed in South Atlantic for trade
Deployed as Hunting Force G on formation
with HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND,
and AJAX in search for German Battleship
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE in South
(Note: HM New Zealand Cruiser ACHILLES
joined Force later and an RFA
tanker was deployed to ensure availability
of oil fuel.)
Passage to Falklands from patrol
Flag transferred to HMS AJAX.
Returned to Rio de Janeiro area in
Passage to Falklands via Plate area for
(Note: Intended repair period in
Arrived at Port Stanley for self refit.
Recalled to join HMS AJAX and HMS ACHILLES
off Plate estuary in
anticipation of an early encounter with
Took part in action against GRAF SPEE with
HMS AJAX and HMS ACHILLES.
Seriously damaged by 11in shells with many
casualties and outbreak of fire.
Continued to engage the enemy until power
lost by flooding. Withdrawn from
action with heavy list and all guns
unserviceable (photo above). Casualty List
killed and 23 wounded.
(For full details see THE BATTLE OF THE
RIVER PLATE by D. Pope, ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and the Naval Staff
Passage to Port Stanley after relief by HM
Under temporary repair at Port Stanley.
9 4 0
Began passage to UK escorted for part of
voyage by HM Cruisers
DORSETSHIRE and SHROPSHIRE until relieved
by HM Cruisers
Escort joined by HM Battlecruiser RENOWN
and HM Aircraft Carrier ARK
ROYAL with destroyer screen.
HM Destroyers VESPER and WHITSHED detached
from screen to assist
survivors of ss SULTAN STAR after being
sunk in SW Approaches.
Arrived at Plymouth for repair and
modernisation including fit of aircraft
warning radar (Type 279) and improved AA
Ship's company marched through City of
London for Guildhall luncheon.
Under refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport
(Note: Tripod type masts were fitted and
aircraft catapult replaced.
For details of development and use of
radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA
9 4 1
Refit work suspended due to possible
damage to ship during intense air raids on
Recommissioned at Devonport
Passage to Scapa Flow and Dover Strait
Joined 1st Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet
at Scapa Flow and worked up.
Work-up in continuation
On completion deployed on Northern Patrol
to intercept German commerce
Transferred to East Indies Squadron.
Escorted military convoy WS8B with HM
Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers
COSSACK, MAORI, SIKH, ZULU and Polish
destroyer ORP PIORUN during
passage via Cape of Good Hope to join East
Indies Station. This convoy was
a vulnerable target in the event of
successful break cut by BISMARCK and PRINZ
(Note: WS8B included eight troopships
taking troops to middle East and HM
Aircraft Carrier ARGUS with aircraft for
onward flight to Egypt from
Sole escort for convoy after destroyers
detached to join search for German
Battleship BISMARCK (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by C
HM Destroyers DUNCAN and BOREAS joined for
Local Escort into Freetown.
HM Corvette MARGUERITE joined Local
Detached from WS8B on arrival at Freetown.
Sailed from Freetown for Durban as Ocean
Escort for WS8B with HM Destroyers
DUNCAN, BOREAS and HIGHLANDER as Local
Escort for initial stage of
Local Escort detached.
Detached from WS8B on arrival at Durban.
Sailed from Durban as Ocean Escort for
WS8B during passage to Aden.
(Note: Additional troopship NIEUW ZEELAND
joined convoy which then
comprised five ships.)
Arrived at Aden and detached from WS8B.
Deployed for trade defence in Indian Ocean
during return passage to Durban.
Deployed on trade defence in continuation.
Escorted convoy to Durban from Aden.
On arrival at Durban detached for
investigation of future use of Addu Atoll
by Eastern Fleet. On completion took
passage to Aden.
Passage to Colombo from Aden.
Routine Docking period at Colombo.
On completion deployed in Bay of Bengal
for convoy escort.
Escorted convoy from Calcutta to Rangoon
Deployed on escort of convoys from Ceylon
to Banka Strait.
On passage to Singapore escorting last
troop convoy before Japan declared war.
Detached to join Force Z at Singapore.
(Note: Unable to arrive before Force Z
sailed and thus not deployed with HM
Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and HM
Battlecruiser REPULSE when
sunk off eastern Malaya in air attacks.
See HUNTING OF FORCE Z by
E. Hough and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
9 4 2
Escorted military convoy to Singapore.
Transferred to ABDA Command at Tangjong
Priok for duty with Western
Striking Force made up of Australian,
British, US and Dutch warships.
Deployed on escort of ships for passage
through Sunda Strait into the Indian
Ocean from Singapore. (For details see
OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray).
Joined HM Cruiser EMERALD with HM Cruiser
DURBAN and HM Sloop
JUMNA (RIN) to reinforce Ocean Escort of
military convoy DM1 during
passage from Addu Atoll to Singapore.
(Note: This was the first of three convoys
from Durban carrying reinforcements
for the Singapore garrison.)
Detached with HMS EMERALD, HMIS JUMNA, HM
ENCOUNTER and VAMPIRE (RAN) on arrival of
DM1 at Singapore
Deployed with Western Striking Force.
Escorted inward Convoy BM11 to Singapore
with HM Cruisers DRAGON and
Arrived at Singapore with BM11.
Escorted two US transports from Batavia to
Sunda Straits with HM Australian
Destroyer VAMPIRE and HM Destroyer
Escorted nine troopships through Sunda
Straits on passage to Batavia and
with HM Cruiser DANAE, HM Australian
Destroyer VAMPIRE, HM
Sloops YARRA (RAN), SUTLEJ (RIN) and Dutch
cruiser JAVA. Joined search
for Japanese invasion craft by ABDA units
in Macassar Strait and had to
withdraw in the face of heavy air attack.
Covered passage of Dutch cruiser JAVA and
two transports during passage to
with reinforcements for defence of
Sumatra, with HM Cruiser
HOBART (RAN), HM Destroyers JUPITER and
Torpedo attack by Japanese submarine R34
Returned to Batavia.
Joined HOBART, Dutch cruisers JAVA and
TROMP, HM Destroyer ELECTRA
and HM Sloop JUMNA (RIN) as escort for
Singapore/Java convoys JS1 and SJ1
Under attack by Japanese submarine 156
which sank one ship.
Escort detached later to intercept
Japanese convoy reported in Banka Strait
passage to Palembang,
Under sustained air attack by and had to
Transferred from Tanjong Priok to join
Eastern Striking Force at Soerabaya
with HM Cruiser PERTH (RAN), HM destroyers
JUPITER, ELECTRA and
Joined ESF at Tjilatjap and immediately
sent to search for Japanese invasion
convoys. No contact made and subjected to
heavy air attacks.
In action against Japanese cruisers
HAGURO, NAKA, NACHI, JINTSU
escorted by 14 destroyers covering
invasion ships with ESF ships. Hit by 8in
shell on the starboard side which exploded
in Boiler. Speed reduced to 11 knots
and ordered to return to Soerabaya for
repair escorted by Dutch destroyer WITTE
Further damage by enemy destroyer
torpedoes prevented in determined counter
attack by HM Destroyers ELECTRA, JUPITER
HMS ELECTRA was sunk.
Ordered to take passage to Australia with
HMS ENCOUNTER and US
Destroyer USS POPE.
Destination changed to Colombo because
ship’s draught too great to allow
passage via Bali Channel and threat of air
attacks from newly established
airfields. Damage to boilers restricted
speed to 23 knots.)
Sighted by Japanese aircraft soon after
Ambushed by Japanese cruisers HAGURO and
NACHI escorted by four
destroyers which were engaged in a running
Soon afterwards hit in boiler room and
lost use of director control for main
Despite smoke screens laid by destroyers
received more hits.
Fires broke out and all electrical power
Ship was abandoned after 3 hours in
Finally sunk by torpedo.
54 of the ship’s company were killed in
this action and 651 were rescued by
Japanese ships and became POW.
List - note
(For full details see BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA
by D. A. Thomas, NO
SURRENDER by W Johns, OPERATION PACIFIC by
E. Gray and WAR
WITH JAPAN (HMSO)