1 9 2 8
April Contractors Trials
19th Commissioned at Chatham for trials
5th Paid-off on completion of Acceptance Trials
(Note: Cost of build was £2,084,213)
22nd Commissioned at Chatham for service on the China Station with 5th Cruiser Squadron.
July Prepared for foreign service
5th Sailed from Sheerness after ammunitioning
6th Sailed from Spithead for Gibraltar
11th Sailed from Gibraltar for Malta
14th Deployed in Malta
16th Sailed from Malta for Port Said.
20th Sailed from Port Said for Colombo
31st At Colombo
4th Sailed from Colombo for Singapore
12th Sailed from Singapore for Hong Kong.
17th Arrived at Hong Kong
Joined Squadron as Flagship of CinC China Station..
(Note: Squadron included HM Cruisers SUFFOLK and BERWICK
September Deployed with Squadron at Hong Kong.
November Took passage from Hong to Yokohama for Official Visit.
2nd Arrived at Yokohama with Squadron to attend Coronation Review by Emperor Hirohito.
4th Present at Review to represent Great Britain.
Return passage to Hong Kong
1 9 2 9
Deployed on China Station and carried out official visits and took part in exercises
with RN ships on the China Station
Carried out Guardship duties at Chinese ports with trade connections with Great Britain
and the Empire
1 9 3 0
China Station deployment with Squadron in continuation.
Deployed as Guardship in Yangste in June
1 9 3 1
January Squadron duties on China Station in continuation
March Prepared for return passage to UK for re-commissioning and refit.
15th Sailed from Hong Kong.
April Passage in Mediterranean
30th Arrived at Chatham
May Paid off and taken in hand for refit at HM Dockyard, Chatham.
June Under refit
July Re-commissioned for service on China Station in 5th Cruiser Squadron.
15th Sailed from Sheerness to Hong Kong.
August On passage in Indian Ocean
30th Arrived at Hong Kong.
September Resumed Squadron duties on China Station.
October Deployed with Squadron for visits, Guardship and Station exercises.
1 9 3 2
China Station duties in continuation
1 9 3 3
China Station deployment in continuation including visit to Yokohama
1 9 3 4
January China Station duties with Squadron
March Prepared for return passage to re commission
April Passage to Chatham
On arrival Paid-off and taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Chatham
25th Re-commissioned for service on China Station with 5th Cruiser Squadron.
June On passage to rejoin Squadron at Hong Kong
July Arrived at Hong Kong
August Deployed on China Station for Squadron duties based at Hong Kong.
1 9 3 5
China Station duties in continuation.
1 9 3 6
January China Station Squadron duties in continuation
October Sailed from Hong Kong to Chatham for refit and re-commissioning.
November Passage delayed in Mediterranean because of Abyssinian crisis
December Resumed passage
1 9 3 7
January Paid off on arrival and taken in hand for major refit
February Under refit
to (Note: Changes included:
December 4in Gun mounting between funnels replace by twin 4in mounting
Two eight barrelled Pom-Pom AA guns fitted on both sides of superstructure.
Narrow belt of armour plate fitted at waterline level over machinery spaces.
Torpedo Tube mountings removed.
High Angle Control Directors fitted in place of range finders for AA defence.
Two Cranes fitted one each either side of after funnel.
1 9 3 8
January Under refit
May Harbour trials
25th Re-commissioned for service on China Station with 5th Cruiser Squadron.
26th Commenced sea trials and Shakedown. in Nore area.
June Deployed at Chatham and completed storing.
July Passage to Spithead.
Sailed for foreign service.
August Passage with calls at Malta, Port Said, Aden and Singapore.
September Passage from Singapore to join Squadron at Hong Kong.
4th Arrived at Hong Kong and joined Squadron as Flagship.
Assisted French liner CHENONCEAU which had gone aground in the
entrance to Hong Kong harbour.
October Deployed as Flagship of Squadron based at Hong Kong.
1 9 3 9
January Flagship duties in continuation
to (Note: Other ships in Squadron were HM Cruisers CORNWALL,
May DORSETSHIRE and BIRMINGHAM.)
June Embarked CinC China Station for passage from Hong Kong to Singapore.
(Note: Admiral Sir Percy Noble chaired an Anglo-French Defence Conference
considering Japanese activities in China.
July Carried out exercises in anticipation of hostilities
to Prepared to take up allocated war station.
September Deployed as Flagship of 5th Cruiser Squadron on the China Station.
(Note: Other ships in Squadron were HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM,
DORSETSHIRE and CORNWALL.)
2nd Sailed from Hong Kong to take up war station and deployed for interception
of German shipping on passage in China Sea.
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
3rd Carried out patrols to intercept German shipping off Shantung
11th Returned to Hong Kong.
13th Sailed for interception patrol off Chinese Mainland.
28th Returned to Hong Kong
1st Resumed patrol
24th Returned to Hong Kong for routine docking
31st Sailed for interception patrol
8th Returned to Hong Kong from patrol.
Transferred to 4th Cruiser Squadron, East Indies Station based
12th Took passage to Singapore.
15th Arrived at Singapore.
16th Deployed with French Cruiser SUFFREN, HM Australian Destroyers
VOYAGER and VAMPIRE to form Hunting Group for interception of
German shipping attempting to return to Europe from ports in Sumatra
23rd Called at Nancowry.
2nd Arrived at Colombo to join 4th Cruiser Squadron.
4th Deployed for patrol in Indian Ocean for interception of commerce
raiders and support ships.
14th Returned to Colombo.
1 9 4 0
8th Passage to Fremantle, Australia for escort of military convoy
during passage in Indian Ocean.
17th Arrived at Fremantle.
20th Relieved HM Australian Cruisers CANBERRA and AUSTRALIA off Fremantle
as escort for Convoy US1
30th Detached from US1 on relief by HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE and HM Australian
(Note: US1 was taking ANZAC troops for service in the Middle East.
February Indian Ocean patrol deployment in continuation.
March Returned to Colombo for refit.
22nd On completion resumed Squadron duties.
27th Took passage from Trincomalee to join military convoy US2 as escort during passage
to Colombo in Indian Ocean.
(Note: US2 was also taking ANZAC troops to Egypt.
May Transferred to 3rd Cruiser Squadron for service with Mediterranean Fleet.
5th Sailed from Colombo as escort for US2 with HM Battleship RAMILLIES and
12th Joined by HM Destroyers DECOY and DEFENDER to supplement escort during
passage in Red Sea.
15th Joined by HM Cruiser LIVERPOOL and HM Sloop SHOREHAM for added defence.
17th Detached from US2 on arrival at Suez.
24th Joined Squadron at Alexandria.
June Took part in preparatory exercises with ships of Mediterranean Fleet in
anticipation of outbreak of war with Italy.
July Nominated for detached service in Indian Ocean.
Took passage from Alexandria to Aden.
21st Joined military convoy WS1 during passage to Ceylon in position 34.20S 33.00E.
(Note: WS1 comprised rms AQUITANIA, rms MAURETANIA and rms
QUEEN MARY taking troops to join 8th Army in EGYPT. As these ships
were not required to pass through the Red Sea they had been diverted to Trincomalee.
29th Detached from WS1 on arrival in Ceylon where troops were transferred
to smaller transports for onward passage.
Took passage to rejoin Squadron at Alexandria.
August Passage to Alexandria.
(Note: One source records that ship escorted troopships during passage.)
15th Sailed from Alexandria with HM Battleships WARSPITE, MALAYA and
RAMILLIES as part of Force A, Mediterranean Fleet
17th Provided cover during air attacks by HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE and
bombardment of Bardia by Force A.
18th Under air attacks during return passage.
30th Deployed with ships of Squadron to cover passage of supply convoy to Malta
and transit of HM Battleship VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS,
HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY during passage in Eastern
Mediterranean to reinforce Fleet at Alexandria
(Operation HATS See Naval Staff History, THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman)
2nd Detached from HATS to escort 5 ship convoy from Greece with HM
Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, HM Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN
5th Arrived at Alexandria.
9th Deployed with HMS VALIANT and HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS to provide
cover during air strikes and shore bombardment at Bardia.
17th Carried out bombardment of Fort Cappuzo.
Hit by torpedo from Italian aircraft during air attacks and disabled.
Taken in tow by HMS NUBIAN.
19th Arrived in tow at Alexandria, where emergency repairs were carried
(additions and corrections made to this account through to
With thanks to Ella Kemp, whose father joined HMS KENT at
October Under emergency repair at Alexandria.
26th Sailed from Alexandria for
27th Arrived Port Said.
28th Departed Suez with convoy
2nd Departed Aden
7th Arrived Mombasa
11th Departed Mombasa
18th Arrived Simonstown
7th Departed Freetown with
convoy SL 58
27th Arrived at Plymouth.
1 9 4 1
January Under repair by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth
to 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted on turrets and after structure.
August Radar Type 284 fitted for fire-control of forward main armament mountings.
Radar Type 285 fitted for fire-control of secondary AA armament.
Radar Type 28 1 fitted for aircraft warning
(For details of development and use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by
September Post refit trials.
30th Took passage from Portsmouth for work-up at Scapa Flow with ships of the
October Joined 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet on arrival.
Deployed at Scapa Flow for work-up.
3rd Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers
BERWICK, SUFFOLK and HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS after report that
German warships SHEER and TIRPITZ were expected to attempt breakout into
6th Deployed in Iceland and available to provide cover for passage of Russian
Convoy PQ3 to Archangel.
(Note: For details of all Russian Convoys see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA
Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schofield, ARCTIC CONVOYS
by R Woodman and CONVOY ! by P Kemp.
Embarked military mission for passage to Archangel.
24th Landed Mission and returned to Scapa Flow.
8th Embarked Foreign Secretary (Anthony Eden) and Russian Ambassador
for passage to Kola Inlet to attend meeting in Moscow.
12th Arrived at Kola Inlet and disembarked passengers.
17th Despatched from Kola Inlet with two Russian destroyers to assist HM Minesweepers
SPEEDY and HAZARD which were under attack by German destroyers Z23,
Z24, Z25 and Z27.
Returned to Kola Inlet after unsuccessful search
25th Took passage from Kola Inlet for UK with Foreign Secretary embarked.
1 9 4 2
January After arrival returned to Iceland to resume covering duties and for interception of
German warships attempting to enter Atlantic for attacks on Atlantic traffic.
February Iceland deployment in continuation.
18th Deployed with HM Battleships KING GEORGE V, DUKE OF YORK, HMS
VICTORIOUS, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruiser EDINBURGH, HM
Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ESCAPADE, ECHO, ESKIMO,
FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, ICARUS, INGLEFIELD, LEDBURY, MARNE,
MIDDLETON, PUNJABI, TARTAR and WHEATLAND to provide Distant
Cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ 13 and return convoy QP9 from Kola
March Deployed for Patrol WHITE in Denmark Strait with HM Cruiser LONDON and three
Ordered to set up stations east of Bear Island after refuelling in Iceland to refuel
destroyers deployed for the interception of German battleship TIRPITZ which posed a
threat to convoys to and from North Russia. See ARCTIC DESTROYERS by R Woodman.
On release from refuelling resumed patrol off Iceland.
April Returned to Scapa Flow after QP9 had arrived in Iceland.
9th Provided Distant Cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ14 and return
Convoy QP10 with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS DIKE OF YORK, HMS
VICTORIOUS, HM Cruiser NIGERIA screened by twelve Home Fleet
destroyers: 'See above references.
Returned to Scapa Flow on release from covering duty.
22nd Deployed with HM Cruiser NIGERIA, HM Destroyers ESKIMO ESCAPADE
and FAULKNOR as screen for HMS DUKE OF YORK during passage from
Scapa Flow to Iceland.
May Deployed in Iceland.
13th Carried out covering patrol west of Bear Island during return passage of damaged
cruiser HMS TRINIDAD with HM Cruisers NORFOLK, NIGERIA and LIVERPOOL
screened by four destroyers.
15th Joined ships of Home Fleet and returned to Iceland after loss of HMS TRINIDAD
Came under air attacks on return passage.
23rd Deployed with HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL, NIGERIA and NORFOLK screened
by HM Destroyers MARNE, ONSLOW and ORIBI to provide cruiser cover during
passage of Russian Convoy PQ16 and return Convoy QP12 from Kola Inlet.
28th On release from covering duties returned to Iceland
June Return passage to Scapa Flow and prepared for refit at Liverpool.
July Taken in hand for refit.
August Under refit
to Surface warning centimetric radar Type 273 fitted aft on mainmast platform.
September Single 20mm Oerlikon weapons fitted to improve close range AA defence.
October Post Refit Trials and setting to work
21st Refit work completed.
8th Arrived at Scapa Flow to complete weapon and radar trials during work-up for
operational deployment with Squadron in Home Fleet.
December Deployed at Scapa Flow for interception and patrol in NW Approaches.
Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Cruiser BERWICK to relieve HM Cruisers
JAMAICA and SHEFFIELD providing Cruiser Cover for passage of return
Convoy RA51 from Kola Inlet.
1 9 4 3
2nd Relieved HMS JAMAICA and HMS SHEFFIELD.
Returned to Scapa Flow on release from covering duties.
(Note: Distant Cover was provided by Home Fleet units. See references.)
17th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Cruisers GLASGOW and BERMUDA to provide Cruiser
Cover during passage of Russian Convoy JW52 during passage to Kola Inlet.
24th Under air and U-boat attacks which failed.
27th Arrived at Kola Inlet.
30th Provided Cruiser Cover for passage of return convoy RA52 from Kola Inlet with HM
Cruisers BERMUDA and GLASGOW,
2nd Released from covering duties and returned to Scapa Flow.
March Deployed at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.
June Passage to Iceland for interception patrol and covering duties.
7th Deployed with HM Cruisers LONDON and BELFAST in Home Fleet operation off
Norwegian coast to divert enemy attention during allied landings in Sicily
9th Returned to Scapa Flow.
August Passage to Halifax, NS.
14th Deployed with HM Destroyers MATCHLESS, OBDURATE and OPPORTUNE as
escort for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN during passage from Halifax to UK.
(Note: HMS RENOWN was taking the Prime Minister back to the Clyde after
QUADRANT conference at Quebec with the US President)
19th Passage to Scapa after arrival in Clyde.
25th Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Chatham
Four Radar Type 283 to provide Barrage control of 4in AA Directors fitted.
4th On completion of post refit trials took passage to resume Squadron duties with
Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
8th Released from Cruiser Cover and returned to Scapa Flow.
2nd Provided Cruiser Cover during passage of return convoy RA54A from Kola Inlet with
HM Cruisers BELFAST and NORFOLK.
19th Provided Cruiser Cover during passage of Russian Convoy JW54A to Kola Inlet
with HM Cruisers BERMUDA and JAMAICA.
24th Arrived at Kola Inlet.
26th Embarked gold bullion as payment for supplies to Russia.
27th Deployed with HMS BELFAST and HMS JAMAICA to provide Cruiser Cover during
passage of return convoy RA54B from Kola Inlet and inward Convoy JW54B on
passage from UK
3rd Released from covering duties and took passage to Scapa Flow to resume Squadron
1 9 4 4
12th Provided Cruiser Cover for passage of Russian Convoy JW56A and JWS6B during
their passages to Kola Inlet and that of the return convoy RA56, with HMS BERMUDA
and HMS BERWICK.
(Note: HMS BERWICK detached later and returned to Scapa Flow with defects.)
Convoy JW56B sailed 14 days later.)
11th On release from covering duties returned to Scapa Flow.
March Squadron duties with Home Fleet in continuation.
April Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Normandy. (Operation NEPTUNE)
(Note: Deployed as Flagship of 1st Cruiser Squadron (Rear Admiral RR
McGrigor) with HMS BERWICK and HMS DEVONSHIRE.)
30th Took part in preparatory exercises with Home Fleet ships.
May Squadron deployment at Scapa Flow in continuation.
June Remained with Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow during landings to provide Distant
Cover for NEPTUNE in the event of any attempt by major German warships to
interfere with this operation.
(Note: For details of naval activities before and during landings see LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.)
28th At Rosyth
July Squadron deployment in continuation at Scapa Flow.
17th Deployed with HMS DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, JAMAICA and
BELLONA as part of Home Fleet Distant Cover during air attacks from HM Aircraft
Carriers FORMIDABLE, FURIOUS and VICTORIOUS on the German battleship
TIRPITZ in Altenfjord, Norway (Operation MASCOT)
(Note: These attacks were unsuccessful)
10th Deployed with HMS DEVONSHIRE to provide cover during air operations by
HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE , HM Escort Aircraft Carriers TRUMPETER
and NABOB on airfields at Goosen, Norway and air minelay near Lepsoy Island
18th Escorted HMS NABOB and HMS TRUMPETER during air strikes on TIRPITZ by
HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS FURIOUS and HMS INDEFATIGABLE
22nd Returned to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet units.
(Note: These attacks were also unsuccessful.)
5th Deployed as escort for rms QUEEN MARY with HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMS
BERWICK during passage in Atlantic
(Note: rms QUEEN MARY was taking the Prime Minister to attend the OCTAGON
conference with the US President.)
11th Resumed Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
October Home Fleet deployment in continuation.
12th Deployed to provide cover for shipping strikes near Stadtlandet and an air minelay
south of Vorso Island, Norway by HMS FURIOUS HMS AVENGER and HMS
12th Deployed with HM Cruiser BELLONA to carry out offensive operation against
shipping off Norway. screened by HM Destroyers MYNGS, VERULAM, ZAMBESI
and Canadian ALGONQUIN.
15th Attacked German convoy KS357 off Listerfjord, sinking two mercantiles and five
escorts See Naval Staff History and RADAR AT SEA.
December Deployed with Squadron for Home Fleet duties.
To be withdrawn from operational service and Paid-off.
1 9 4 5
January Passage to Clyde to reduce to Category B Reserve.
5th Reducing to Reserve status in Gareloch
16th Placed in Category B Reserve and at 4 months Notice for return to operational use
March Laid up in Gareloch.