Flotilla Leader for A-Class Destroyers ordered from Swan Hunter, Wallsend on Tyne under the 1927 Programme on 6th March 1928. The
ship was laid down on 20th June 1929 and launched on 8th August 1929 as the first RN ship to be
given this name, which was introduced to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Navarino in 1827.
Admiral Sir Edward Codrington (1770-1851) who was captain of HMS ORION at the Battle of Trafalgar
had also been in command of the allied Fleet at Navarino. A village in Gloucestershire also has this
name. Build of this destroyer was completed on 4th June 1930 and she later
served in the Mediterranean and
Home Fleets. In 1938 she was refitted after a period in Reserve at Devonport and re-commissioned on
completion in August 1939.
Notes on Flotilla Leaders
This ship was larger than the
others of the Class and had an additional 4.7in gun fitted between the two
funnels. Her bridge structure was larger in order to provide
the additional accommodation required for the Flotilla Staff. Otherwise the
internal arrangements were similar to the other of the A-Class.
Her displacement was 2,012 tons
with an overall length of 323 feet, beam
of 324 feet and draught of 19 ft. Turbine machinery of 34,000 Shaft
Horsepower gave a speed of 37.74 knots on trials In February 1930. Some smaller weapons were fitted for
use against aircraft. The ship had two quadruple 21in torpedo tube
mountings and for attacks on submarines
was fitted with four depth charge Chutes and two Throwers.
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
On a Field Silver, a Lion passant Red.
M o t t o
hosten: 'Facing the enemy'
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)
1 9 3 9
August Post refit trials and
nominated as Leader of 19th Destroyer Flotilla.
To be part of
September Passage to Dover for
Channel patrol and convoy defence.
4th Began escort of
convoys taking British Expeditionary Force to France.
October English Channel
deployment in continuation.
November Transferred to Harwich.
Home Fleet destroyers detached from duty at Scapa Plow and three
destroyers, ORP BLYSKAWICA, ORP GROM and ORP BURZA were
Harwich because of a perceived threat of German attack on the Low
although this never materialised. In addition the Increase in enemy activity
in Nore Command
by aircraft and surface ships made necessary increased patrol and
December Resumed deployment at
4th Embarked HM King George VI at Dover for passage to
Boulogne for a visit to the British
Expeditionary Force in France.
10th Embarked HM King George VI at Boulogne for
return to Dover after visit.
22nd Augmented escort for HM Auxiliary Minelayer PRINCESS
minelay in Dover
Barrage with HM Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS and BRAZEN.
(Operation GF -
See Naval Staff History (Mining).).
1 9 4 0
4th Embarked Winston
Churchill (First Lord of the Admiralty) for visit to France.
February Nominated as Capt (D)'s
ship In 1st Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich in place of
which had been lost on 19th January 1940.
5th Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill and military leaders taken
from Dover to
Boulogne for war council meeting in Paris.
Took passage to
Chatham for refit.
6th On completion Joined
Flotilla at Harwich for convoy defence and patrol duties in
April Transferred for
detached service with Hone Fleet after German invasion of Norway
7th Deployed with HM
Destroyers GRIFFIN, JUPITER, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE,
PUNJABI, ESKIMO and KIMBERLEY as screen for HM
RAMILLIES, VALIANT, REPULSE and French cruiser EMIL BERTIN
deployment to cover planned operations off Norway.
RUPERT/R4 – This was to lay minefields off Norway to prevent passage
of German ships
carrying iron ore and was overtaken by the sudden invasion of
Denmark on 8th April.)
9th Under air attacks
whilst with Fleet.
refuel at Sullom Voe.
14th Deployed with HM
Destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT as screen for HM Battleship
VALIANT and HM
Cruiser VINDICTIVE as escort for military convoy NP1 taking
troops and stores
for landings in Norway.
28th Embarked Admiral of
the Fleet, the Earl of Cork and Orrery and French General Bethouart
reconnaissance of Narvik area prior to planned assault by allied troops.
For details of
the disastrous operations off Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE
by J Adams, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton and Naval
May Released from Home
Fleet deployment off Norway.
10th Took passage to Dover
for support of evacuation of allied personnel from Belgium
(Note: The 530
mile passage to Dover from Scapa Flow was
completed in 23 hours.)
11th After refuelling
deployed for patrol and support off Dutch and Belgian coast.
13th Embarked Members of
the Dutch Royal Family at Ijmuiden to take refuge in UK.
(Note: HM Queen
Juliana took passage in HMS HEREWARD).
15th Deployed at Harwich
for patrol and support of military operations.
27th Deployed with HM
Destroyers GRENADE, JAGUAR and JAVELIN as Force A for
intercept German surface craft attempting to attack allied ships.
Dover Command for evacuation of BEF troops
28th Embarked 866 troops
for return passage.
of ss ABUKIR with HM Destroyers GRENADE and ANTHONY
Landed troops at
29th On second trip
embarked 766 troops and returned to Dover.
30th On third trip embarked 799 troops and returned to
31st On fourth trip embarked 909 troops and too passage
for further embarkation.
Landed 440 troops at Dover.
1st Returned for sixth trip and embarked 746 troops
for return to Dover
2nd Embarked 878 troops for return to Dover.
(Note: For details see BEF SHIPS by J de Winser,
NINE DAYS AT DUNKIRK by
A Divine and the Naval Staff History (HMSO-
air attacks this ship was one of the few destroyers that remained
damage and was able to continue support duties after completion of
3rd Deployed at Dover
for patrol in Channel and support of military durlng evacuations from
12th Deployed as Senior
Naval Officer (Afloat) during troop evacuation from Le Havre.
Passage to St
Valerie in continuation (Operation CYCLE – See BEF SHIPS.)
(Note: In all
had 11,000 allied troops and civilians were evacuated during CYCLE).
15th Support of military
evacuation from French ports and interception patrol in Channel and
North Sea in continuation.
July Deployed for convoy
defence and patrol in English Channel, based at Dover.
27th During Boiler Clean
period at Dover alongside HM Depot Ship SANDHURST in Submarine
Basin damaged by
alongside and broke back of ship, which sank.
Only 3 men were
(Note: Wreck still evident in 1947.)
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above