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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS CALYPSO  - World War 1 C-type Light Cruiser

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net 

HMS Caradoc, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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CALEDON-Class cruiser ordered on 8th December 1915 from R & W Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., Ltd under an Emergency War Programme. The ship was laid down on 7th February 1916 and launched on 25th Jan. 1917 as the 8th RN ship to carry this name. It was introduced for Sloop in 1783 and last used for a Corvette in 1883 which was renamed BRITON in 1902. Build was completed on 21st June 1917.




HMS Calypso - under construction, launching, completed.

Water colours by H G Bucknell, courtesy Rory Carson whose grandmother, Lady Carson launched the ship when her husband , Sir Edward, later Lord Carson, was First Lord of the Admiralty


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s



H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field, Red, a female head White, with ornaments Gold.



Cave quod recondo:    'Beware of what I hide’



D e t a i l s   of   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



1 9 3 9


August                  Commissioned for service with RNR crew for Royal Review of the Reserve Fleet at Weymouth

                                a refit at Chatham.

                9th          Attended Royal Review in Weymouth Bay.

                                Nominated for service as an RCNVR Drillship


September             Took up War Station and joined 7th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet at Scapa Flow..

                5th          Deployed on Northern Patrol to intercept blockade runners.

                                (See THE BLOCKADERS by K Poolman).

                24th        Intercepted and captured German ship MINDEN off Cape Wrath.


October                  Northern Patrol duty in continuation based at Sullom Voe.



                23rd        Sailed from Sullom Voe to joined HM Cruisers SUFFOLK and CERES in search for

                                German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU following the sinking of

                                HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI.

                                (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.)

                                Intercepted German ship KONSOL HENDRIC FISSER off Iceland.

                                Boarded and escorted enemy ship as Prize to Leith.

                                Nominated for refit and took passage to Tyne.



                1st           Under refit at Tyne commercial shipyard.

                                (Note: Radar for detection of aircraft was not fitted during the refit).

                21st         On completion transferred to 3rd Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet for patrol and interception


                24th        Passage to Mediterranean from Plymouth.

                31st         Joined Squadron in Malta


1 9 4 0


January                  Deployed for trade defence and Contraband Control in Mediterranean.




 June                       Transferred to Alexandria to join Fleet after Italy entered the war.

                                (For details of Mediterranean deployments after outbreak of war with Italy, see ENGAGE THE

                                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).

                11th        Joined HM. Battleships WARSPITE and MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Cruisers

                                ORION, NEPTUNE, SYDNEY (RAN), LIVERPOOL and CALEDON with screen of nine

                                destroyers for attacks on Italian supply convoys to Libya.

                12th        Torpedoed by Italian submarine BAGNOLINI south of Crete.

                                Sank after two and a half hours.

                                39 of ship's company lost their lives.

                                Survivors were rescued by HM Cruiser CALEDON and HM Destroyer DAINTY.

                                (Casualty List - note on casualties)


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revised 3/6/11
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