Destroyer ordered on 10th March 1936 from
under the 1935
Build Programme and laid down on 9th June that
year. The ship was launched on
8th June 1937 as the 2nd
RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1907
for a destroyer which was sold in
1919. HMS COSSACK, a sister ship was also
launched at this shipyard on the same day. Build
was completed on 3rd May 1938 for a tender price
of £341,462 which excluded supply of weapons and
communications outfits by
a t t l e H
o n o u r s
1914-18 - ZEEBRUGGE 1918 - NORWAY 1940
e r a l d i c
D a t a
On a Field barry wavy, Blue and White, issuing
from the base
an Afridi’s head
and shoulders affronte proper.
e t a i l s
o f P r e - W a r S e r
v i c e
9 3 8
Commissioned for service in 1st TRIBAL Destroyer
Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet
Build completion and commenced Acceptance
On completion of trials and storing took passage
to Portland to work-up for service
with Flotilla as Senior Officer’s ship.
On completion of working-up took passage to join
Flotilla at Malta.
Arrived in Malta and joined Flotilla.
Deployed in Malta for exercises.
Nominated for Non-Intervention Patrol duty off
Spanish coast .
Deployed for patrol and visited Barcelona and
Marseilles before return to Malta
Took part in Mediterranean Fleet Exercise and
Called at Greek ports.
On completion of exercises took passage to
Istanbul with HM Cruiser
DEVONSHIRE and HM Destroyer COSSACK of Flotilla,
Passage from Istanbul to Alexandria. to rejoin
(Note: Planned visits to Black Sea ports cancelled in view of Munich
Deployed at Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet.
Sailed for Cyprus.
Passage to Malta.
Arrived in Malta and taken in hand for routine
Undocked and prepared to resume Flotilla duties.
(Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling
purposes changed to F07.
1 9 3 9
Deployed in Malta with Flotilla.
Passage to Gibraltar to take part in joint Exercises with ships of Home and
Deployed for joint Fleet exercises based at
(Note: These were an annual event in peace-time
and reintroduced in 1946.)
Sailed from Gibraltar with Mediterranean Fleet
ships for Spring Visits to ports
in South France.
Later withdrawn from programme after collision
with HM Cruiser PENELOPE
during transfer of mail.
Passage to Malta for repair by HM Dockyard
Transferred with ships of Flotilla to 4th
Destroyer Flotilla as new identity.
On completion of repair took passage to
Alexandria to rejoin Flotilla.
(Note: Mediterranean Fleet had been ordered to
assemble there after Italian
invasion of Albania on 7th.)
On release from Fleet assembly deployed with
Flotilla in Eastern Mediterranean
for Fleet and Flotilla exercises and visits
Visited Mersa Matruh with HM Destroyer GURKHA
Exercise and visits programme in continuation
including visits to Greek ports.
Deployed for Fleet exercises in Aegean with
ships of Flotilla
(Note: This series of exercises was carried out
in anticipation of outbreak of war
possibly involving Italy.)
Nominated for deployment in Red Sea as war station.)
Returned to Alexandria.
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Passage to Red Sea via Suez Canal for
surveillance duties with HM Destroyers
GURKHA (i), MOHAWK and SIKH of Flotilla.
(Note: Surveillance was required on movement of
Italian ships in Red Sea
On release from surveillance returned to
Transferred with Flotilla from Mediterranean
Fleet for service in Home waters.
Passage from Alexandria to UK with calls at
Malta and Gibraltar
Nominated for service in North Sea with Humber Force based at Immingham.
Joined Humber Force.
(Note: Ships of 2nd Cruiser Squadron and 7th
Destroyer Flotilla were based
at Immingham for interception of German warships
taking passage to
Atlantic via NW Approaches.)
*Transferred to Rosyth (before 23rd) in
continuation of North Sea deployment including
escort between UK and Norway.
(Note: ON Series between Methil and Bergen.
HN Series between Bergen and Methil.)
*With units of Home Fleet searched for German
ship(s) that had sunk HM Armed
Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI on the 23rd.
Erroneously believed to be pocket
battleship DEUTSCHLAND, but actually
Rosyth-based duty in continuation
1 9 4 0
Owing to accumulation of defects including leaks
and problems with Turbine
blades, withdrawn from operational use for
(Note: Cracks in hull structure developed in
ships of this Class due to excess
of calculated stress factors when ship was
moving at high speed in
heavy weather conditions.
Similarly damage was caused to blades of steam
turbines in most of
the British built TRIBAL Class destroyers in the
first months of their
service. Blades were replaced at refits in 1939
Passage to West Hartlepool.
Taken in hand by commercial shipyard.
Carried out post refit trials and on completion
took passage to resume
duties in Home Fleet.
Home Fleet duties with Flotilla in continuation.
Sailed from Forth as part of destroyer screen
for HM Cruisers GALATEA
and GALATEA with HM Destroyers GURKHA (i), SIKH,
COSSACK, KASHMIR, KELVIN, Polish destroyers ORP GROM, ORP
BURZA and ORP BLYSKAWICA to carry out search for
reported on passage in North Sea.
Deployed as screen for Striking Force with same
ships during sweep to the
northward in search for German warships.
Striking Force and screen ordered to join ships
of Home Fleet at sea off
Joined Home Fleet with Striking Force.
Detached with HM Destroyers GURKHA (i), SIKH,
MATABELE and MASHONA as screen for HM Cruisers
GLASGOW, SHEFFIELD and SOUTHAMPTON to carry out
warships and transports in Bergen
Operation cancelled and took passage with same
ships to rejoin Home Fleet.
(Note: Admiralty decided that attack at this
strength was unlikely to be
successful For details see NAVAL OPERATIONS IN
CAMPAIGN OFF NORWAY, April – June 1940. ENGAGE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, THE DOOMED
EXPEDITION by J Adams and NORWAY 1940 by F
Under sustained and heavy air attacks during
which HMS GURKHA (i) was
sunk , HM Battleship RODNEY hit by falling
aircraft with HMS
SOUTHAMPTON and HMS GLASGOW slightly damaged by
Passage to Scapa Flow to refuel and
Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers
SOMALI, MASHONA, SIKH,
MATABELE and MOHAWK as screen for HMS GLASGOW
SHEFFIELD during inshore interception on Norwegian coast northward from
Screen deployment during patrol.
Deployed in search operation by same ships for
ships reported by aircraft.
Nominated for support of planned landings at
Deployed with the six destroyers of screen to
destroy enemy shipping
believed to be at Alesund.
(Note: On arrival the ships were found to be
Norwegian. See References)
Under air attacks at Alesund.
(Note: Landing Parties from the cruisers were
embarked in destroyers
Rejoined Cruisers and refuelled.
Deployed off Kya Light to await arrival of troop
convoy to carry out landings
at Namsos (Operation MAURICE.)
Arrived at Lillesjona with troopships and
ferried troops ashore.
(Note: HM Destroyers NUBIAN, SIKH, MATABELE and
also carried troops from ships of MAURICE
Under sustained air attacks.
Escorted mv CHOBRY to Namsos with HM Cruiser
CURLEW and same
five TRIBAL Class destroyers.
(Note: Army Headquarters staff controlled
landings from ship.
See above references for details.)
Heavy air attacks continued.
Passage to UK with HMS NUBIAN
Escorted supply convoy from UK to Andalsnes with
WITHERINGTON and AMAZON for support of military
for Operation SICKLE on 18th.
Under series of air attacks.
Deployed off Namsos for support of military
Nominated for support of evacuation of troops
Deployed with Fleet units off Namsos pending
evacuation which was
delayed to allow military forces to disengage
from shore operations.
Under air attacks.
Embarked troops of Royal Lincolnshire Regiment
from shore and
transferred them to French Auxiliary Cruiser
Remained at Namsos to evacuate rearguard.
Embarked troops of *Hallamshire (Sheffield)
Battalion, York and Lancaster Regt.
Shelled transport vehicles abandoned on quayside
Took passage as escort for returning troopships
and came under series of
air attacks. French destroyer BISON was hit and
Rescued survivors from BISON with HM Destroyers
GRENADE and *IMPERIAL
when decision made to sink the French warship by
Subsequently hit by two bombs and capsized with
loss of 100 lives,
including some survivors from BISON and 13 army
Survivors were rescued by HM Destroyers IMPERIAL
Ship sank in position 66.14 N, 05.45E.
ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
This convoy list has not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort
With thanks to John Gritten who
served on her from 23 November 1939 until her