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

HMS MAURITIUS  -  Colony-type Light Cruiser  
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Mauritius (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

FIJI or Colony-Class cruiser ordered from Swan Hunter, Newcastle on Tyne under 1937 Build Programme in December 1937. The ship was laid down on 13th March 1938 and launched on 19th July 1939 as the first Royal Navy warship to carry the name. She was completed on 14th December 1940. Following a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 she was adopted by the city of Kingston-upon-Hull, then in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s 

ATLANTIC 1941 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943-44 - ANZIO 1944† - NORMANDY 1944 - BISCAY 1944 - NORWAY 1945

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a
Badge:  On a Field White, in chief and base a bar wavy Blue,
a key erect ward downwards red, surmounting the bar in
chief and two branches of sugar cane in saltire proper.



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



1 9 4 0

December††††††††††††† Contractors trials

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

1 9 4 1


††††††††††††††† 7th††††††††† Worked-up at Scapa Flow for service with 10th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated escort of military convoy.

††††††††††††††† 18th††††††† Joined military convoy WS6B as Ocean Escort during passage to Freetown from Clyde.


††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Detached from WS6B on arrival at Freetown.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed at Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Part of escort for Convoys SL68 and SL69.

April†††††††††††††††††††††† Escorted Convoy SL70 to UK.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† After arrival transferred to 4th Cruiser Squadron in East Indies Squadron

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Prepared for foreign service and took passage.

May††††††††††††††††††††††† Joined military convoy WS8A during passage in Atlantic as Ocean Escort in place

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of HM Battlecruiser REPULSE and HM Cruiser NAIAD.

††††††††††††††† 9th††††††††† WS8A arrived at Freetown.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Deployed as Ocean Escort for WS8A for passage from Freetown to Cape of Good Hope.

††††††††††††††† 24th††††††† Relieved as Ocean Escort for WS8A by HM Cruiser HAWKINS and took passage to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† join Squadron at Colombo.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed for Indian Ocean trade defence and Patrol.

June††††††††††††††††††††††† Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.

††††††††††††††† 20th††††††† Arrived Colombo and relieved HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE in Squadron.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Escorted Convoy OM11 to Aden.

July†††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed in Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal for convoy defence and patrol duty.


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Escorted mv CAPETOWN CASTLE and ss EMPRESS OF JAPAN during passage

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† from Colombo to Singapore as military convoy WS9AX

††††††††††††††† 3rd††††††††† After relief by HM Cruiser DURBAN detached from WS9AX and resumed Squadron

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† duties for trade defence and interception patrol.

September†††††††††††† Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES, HM Cruisers ENTERPRISE and

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HAWKINS for interception of Vichy French convoy during passage in Indian Ocean to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Madagascar from Saigon.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Two RAF CATALINA aircraft were also used., but search was unsuccessful

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† after one aircraft was missing. For details see WAR WITH JAPAN Volume 1

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (HMSO).)

†October†††††††††††††††† Squadron duties for trade defence in continuation.

††††††††††††††† 31st†††††††† Deployed as escort for military convoy WS11X from Colombo to Singapore.


††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Detached from WS11AX on arrival at Singapore.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Taken in hand for refit.


††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Refit work suspended after Japanese invasion of Malaya.

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Passage to UK via Cape after embarking some of the survivors from HM Battleship

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PRINCE OF WALES and HM Battlecruiser REPULSE.

1 9 4 2

January††††††††††††††††† Passage to UK.

February††††††††††††††† Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Devonport to complete refit

March††††††††††††††††††† Under refit.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Fire control radar for HA and LA armament fitted.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 20mm AA armament increased.

April†††††††††††††††††††††† On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with Home Fleet

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for further service in Ceylon with 4th Cruiser Squadron.

May††††††††††††††††††††††† On completion prepared for foreign service.

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Joined military convoy WS19 with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CARNARVON

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CASTLE, HM Destroyers BELVOIR and HURSLEY during passage from Clyde to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Freetown for duty as Ocean Escort.

††††††††††††††† 22nd†††††† Detached from WS19 on arrival at Freetown.

††††††††††††††† 26th††††††† Rejoined WS19 on its departure from Freetown as Ocean Escort during passage to Cape

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of Good Hope with HMS HURSLEY and HM Sloop MILFORD.


††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Detached from WS19 with ships of Ocean Escort on arrival at Capetown.

††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Deployed for Squadron duties in Indian Ocean.

††††††††††††††† 18th††††††† Joined WS19 as Ocean Escort duties during passage from Durban to Bombay in place

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE.

††††††††††††††† 26th††††††† Detached from WS19 when relieved by HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE as Ocean Escort.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Resumed Squadron duties in Indian Ocean.


††††††††††††††† 7th††††††††† Escorted military convoy WS19L from Durban for part of passage to Aden.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Detached from WS19L on relief by HMS DEVONSHIRE and took passage to Kilindini

††††††††††††††† 21st†††††††† Joined HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FORMIDABLE, HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Destroyers NORMAN, NIZAM,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† INCONSTANT and Dutch VAN GALEN in Force A for Fleet diversionary operation in

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Bay of Bengal. (OPERATION STAB - See WAR WITH JAPAN Vol II (HMSO).)

††††††††††††††† 23rd††††††† HM Destroyer NAPIER (RAN) joined Force A during passage to Seychelles.

††††††††††††††† 28th††††††† Arrived at Colombo after refuelling with Force A in Seychelles.

††††††††††††††† 30th††††††† Sailed with Force A from Colombo to provide cover for diversionary convoys.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† See Reference.


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Force A sighted by Japanese seaplane.

††††††††††††††† 2nd†††††††† Japanese aircraft shot down by MARTLET fighter from HMS FORMIDABLE.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Operation terminated and Force A returned to Trincomalee.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Passage to Kilindini to resume Squadron duties in Indian Ocean.

††††††††††††††† 26th††††††† Sailed from Kilindini to intercept Vichy French ss AMIRAL PIERRE known to be on

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† passage from Madagascar to Reunion, a French possession in Indian Ocean.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Did not take part in support of British landings to occupy whole island

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of Madagascar (Operation STREAM - See above Reference.)

††††††††††††††† 29th††††††† Began interception patrol.


††††††††††††††† 2nd†††††††† Refuelled at Mauritius and returned to patrol area.

††††††††††††††† 4th††††††††† Ceased interception patrol and took passage to join military convoy US16 during

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† passage from Fremantle to Aden as Ocean Escort.

October††††††††††††††††† Detached from US16 and returned to Kilindini

††††††††††††††† 21st†††††††† Nominated with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE AND ENTERPRISE to carry out search

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† for a Japanese mercantile reported in use as a supply ship for submarines or commerce

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† raiders deployed in Indian Ocean for attacks on shipping.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation DEMCAT - See above Reference.)

††††††††††††††† 27th††††††† Carried out search operation with assistance from RAF aircraft.

††††††††††††††† 30th††††††† Naval search operations abandoned and returned to Kilindini.

November††††††††††††† Deployed at Kilindini for trade defence.

††††††††††††††† 16th††††††† Joined HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CARTHAGE and HM Cruiser HAWKINS to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† supplement Ocean Escort for military convoy WS23 during Indian Ocean passage.

††††††††††††††† 17th††††††† Remained with Bombay Section of WS23 when convoy split and detached as Ocean

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Escort for ships on passage to Bombay as Convoy WS23B.

††††††††††††††† 24th††††††† Detached from WS23B on arrival at Bombay.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Embarked CinC East Indies for passage to Kilindini from Ceylon after a meeting in

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† London with Prime Minister.


††††††††††††††† 12th††††††† Relieved HM Cruiser FROBISHER as Ocean Escort for military convoy WS24B during

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† passage from Durban to Bombay.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note Convoy comprised troopships mv. STIRLING CASTLE and mv ATHLONE

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CASTLE.

††††††††††††††† 17th††††††† Detached from WS24B on arrival at Bombay.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Resumed Indian Ocean Squadron duties.

1 9 4 3

January††††††††††††††††† Indian Ocean convoy defence in continuation


††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Joined Force A1 with HM Battleships RESOLUTION, REVENGE and WARSPITE to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† cover passage of convoy including rms QUEEN MARY, rms AQUITANIA, ILE DE

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FRANCE, NIEUW AMSTERDAM, and mv QUEEN OF BERMUDA.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: This convoy was taking ANZAC troops back to Australia from Middle East

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation PAMPHLET).

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Detached from PAMPHLET.

March††††††††††††††††††† Indian Ocean trade defence and interception patrol in continuation.



May††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for service with Mediterranean Fleet in support of planned operations.

††††††††††††††† 19th††††††† Transferred to 15th Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean.

June††††††††††††††††††††††† Passage to Alexandria via Red Sea.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Damaged by grounding in Suez Canal during transit.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Under repair at Alexandria.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Additional 20mm AA mountings fitted to improve defence against close range

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† attacks.)

July†††††††††††††††††††††††† Joined Squadron at Alexandria on completion.

††††††††††††††† 7th††††††††† Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, UGANDA and ORION

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† screened by six destroyers for support during Sicily landings (Operation HUSKY).

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Naval Staff History).

††††††††††††††† 9th††††††††† Joined HM Cruisers CARLISLE, COLOMBO and DELHI in Support Force East.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sustained damage to Keel after grounding at Malta.

††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Provided naval gunfire support during landings SW of Syracuse.

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Provided naval gunfire support during German counter-attack on beachead.

††††††††††††††† 12th††††††† Embarked Rear Admiral Troubridge (Flag Officer Force A) from damaged destroyer

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HMS ESKIMO to transfer to HM Destroyer EXMOOR.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Bombarded shore battery at Lentinmi in Catania Bay.

††††††††††††††† 23rd††††††† Under air attacks at Augusta.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Flag transferred from HM Cruiser NEWFOUNDLAND which had been damaged..


††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Joined Force K in Malta with HM Cruisers ORION and UGANDA.

††††††††††††††† 12th††††††† Bombarded Riposto on Italian coast with HM Destroyers NUBIAN and TARTAR.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Carried out offensive sweep along coast near Crotone with HMS UGANDA.


††††††††††††††† 2nd†††††††† Bombarded Calabrian coastal targets prior to allied landings on the mainland of Italy

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† with HM Battleships VALIANT and WARSPITE, HM Cruiser ORION, HM Monitors

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ABERCROMBIE, ROBERTS, Fleet destroyers and River Gunboats.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation BAYTOWN - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

††††††††††††††† 3rd††††††††† Joined HMS ORION and provided naval gunfire support during landings with HM

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Monitors EREBUS, ROBERTS and ABERCROMBIE.

††††††††††††††† 7th††††††††† Escorted convoy to Salerno with HMS UGANDA, HMS ORION, and Fleet destroyers.

††††††††††††††† 9th††††††††† Joined Northern Attack Force (TF85) to support landings at Salerno.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation AVALANCHE - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Provided continuous naval gunfire support for British military operations on the

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† bridgehead..

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Under air attacks including FX1400 and Glider Bombs.

††††††††††††††† 17th††††††† Relieved from naval gunfire support by HM Cruiser SIRIUS.

October††††††††††††††††† Deployed in central Mediterranean.

††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Passage to Taranto from Salerno for exercises.

November††††††††††††† Military support and convoy escort in continuation.

December††††††††††††† Detached for duty at Gibraltar for Atlantic convoy defence and interception patrol.

††††††††††††††† 24th††††††† Deployed with HM Cruiser GAMBIA in search for German blockade runner in Bay of

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Biscay (Operation STONEWALL).

1 9 4 4

January††††††††††††††††† On completion of STONEWALL called in Plymouth before return to Gibraltar.

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Escorted HM Battleship KING GEORGE V with 3 destroyers from Gibraltar to Scapa Flow..

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Returned to Mediterranean on completion.

††††††††††††††† 30th††††††† Deployed at Naples for naval gunfire support of military operations at Anzio.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation SHINGLE - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).

February††††††††††††††† Deployed in rotation with another cruiser for support duty,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Thus was shared with HMS DIDO, HMS DELHI, HMS PHOEBE, HMS ORION, HMS

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PENELOPE (before loss), US cruisers USS BROOKLYN and USS PHILADELPHIA).


††††††††††††††† 3rd††††††††† Released from SHINGLE support duty.

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Bombarded targets along west coast of Italy in support of military operations.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed in Western Mediterranean for convoy escort duty.

April†††††††††††††††††††††† Transferred to Home Fleet and took passage to UK.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Normandy as Flagship Bombarding Force D.

May††††††††††††††††††††††† Under refit at Chatham.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Aircraft facilities removed.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Surface warning radar, Type 273) fitted and aircraft warning radar Type 279

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† replaced by Type 281. For details of development and use of radar see RADAR

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† AT SEA by D Howse).

††††††††††††††† 26th††††††† Invasion training in Clyde with Force D ships.

                                (Note: Other ships in Force D were HM Battleships WARSPITE, RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ARETHUSA, DANAE and Polish cruiser ORP DRAGON.)


††††††††††††††† 2nd†††††††† Passage from Clyde in Convoy S6 with Force D escorted by HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ and

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SWIFT, Norwegian STORD and SVENNER, HM Frigates ROWLEY and HOLMES.

††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Met HM Monitor ROBERTS for Channel crossing with Force D to support landings

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† on SWORD Beach (Operation NEPTUNE - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† and Naval Staff History).

††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Bombarded Houlgate and Merville Battery during assault on SWORD Beach.

††††††††††††††† 8th††††††††† On completion of Bombardment Phase joined Eastern Naval Task Force to continue support role.

††††††††††††††† 13th††††††† Slightly damaged by shore fire.


††††††††††††††† 4th††††††††† Provided naval gunfire support for military operations.

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Bombarded enemy positions near Caen with HMS ROBERTS.

††††††††††††††† 17th††††††† Bombarded German positions at Caen to support military operation.††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††† 18th††††††† Repeated Caen support bombardment.


††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Deployed in Bay of Biscay to intercept craft evacuating troops.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† During patrol off Les Sables with HM Destroyer URSA and HM Destroyer IROQUOIS (RCN)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† as Force 27 engaged German convoy and damaged Torpedo Boat T24 and two ships under

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† escort.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Later engage coastal steamer which grounded.

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Force 27 engaged 2 minesweepers with 2 merchant ships off Ile de Yeux and sank a

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† minesweeper.

††††††††††††††† 22nd†††††† Under shore/fire during patrol with Force 27 near Gironde.

††††††††††††††† 25th††††††† Engaged escorted convoy with HMS URSA and HMCS IROQUOIS in Audieme Bay.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† German patrol boats V702, V717, V720, V729 and V730 were sunk and ships set on fire.

††††††††††††††† 28th††††††† Requirement ceased when Germans reported by French resistance to be leaving the Brittany area.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Returned to Devonport.


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Under repair in Devonport.

October††††††††††††††††† Transferred to 10th Cruiser Squadron for Hone Fleet operations.

††††††††††††††† 16th††††††† Escorted HMS KING GEORGE V from Plymouth to Scapa Flow.

††††††††††††††† 26th††††††† Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE with 6 Fleet destroyers for air strikes against

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† targets in Norway. During these two ferry barges were damaged near Bodo,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† patrol vessel V5722 and depot ship KARL MAYER at Rorvik, M433 minesweeper and two

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† steamers at Kristiansund.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Submarine U1060 was also damaged in North Sea and was later sunk by bomber aircraft.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation ATHLETIC)

November††††††††††††† Deployed with 10th Cruiser Squadron for Home Fleet operations off Norway.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).

December††††††††††††† Deployed with Home Fleet units to intercept German destroyers and Alesund without success.

1 9 4 5


††††††††††††††† 28th††††††† During deployment with HM Cruiser DIADEM engaged two German destroyers found to

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† be attempting passage into Baltic Sea from Bergen.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Damaged Z31.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Received one hit from return fire.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Enemy ships later reached Kiel).

February††††††††††††††† Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for refit.

††††††††††††††† 25th††††††† Began refit at commercial shipyard in Birkenhead

March††††††††††††††††††† Under refit

to††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Work included fit of Low Angle Fire control radar Type 275 to replaced Type 284.

August††††††††††††††††† and Warning radars Types 293 and 277 with IFF in place of Type 273.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Air warning radar Type 960 replaced Type 281. See RADAR AT SEA).

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s


HMS MAURITIUS was retained in operational service on completion of refit in March 1946. She was deployed as a  Cruiser Squadron Flagship in Home Waters and in the Mediterranean until 1947. After a period in Reserve the ship re-commissioned in 1950 as Flagship in the East Indies and took in operations in the Persia Gulf after the unrest at Abadan. Paid off in 1952 she went into refit for several months before being placed in Reserve. This expense was subjected to some criticism by a Parliamentary Select Committee. After seven years in the Reserve she was placed on the Disposal List and sold to BISCO for breaking up at Inverkeithing by T W Ward. She arrived in tow at the breakerís

yard on 27th March 1965.




Details of escorts for WS series of military convoys was provided by Donald Kindell of Ohio, USA from an unpublished source. This is gratefully acknowledged.






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








SL 068





SL 069





SL 071





CM 011





US 016





BA 034








(Note on Convoys)



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