Repeat Tribal-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Stephens of Govan on 19th June 1936 under the 1936
Build Programme. The ship was
laid down on 24th September 1936 and launched on 17th December 1937
as the 2nd RN warship to carry
this name that had previously been used by a destroyer sold in 1927 and is
that of a Hindi community dating
back to the 14th century. Build was completed on 12
October 1938 at a cost of £337, 704 5s. Following a
successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March this ship was adopted by the
civil community of Beckenham. Kent.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
NORWAY 1940 - ATLANTIC 1940-41
- BISMARCK Action 1941 - CAPE BON 1941 - LIBYA 1941
- MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42 -
SIRTE 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN 1942
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Red. a 'Sikh' lion, Gold, behind his
head a Sikh quoit, silver.
leonis: 'Be like the lions'
D e t
a i l s o f P r e -W a r S e r v i c e
1 9 3 8
Commissioned for service
in 1st TRIBAL Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet
12th Build completion and commenced
On completion of trials
and storing took passage to Portland to work-up for service with
Flotilla as Senior
November Nominated for special duty.
15th Embarked King Carol and Crown Prince
Michael of Romania at Boulogne for passage
Dover for an official visit to UK.
18th Royal personages re-embarked at Dover
for return passage to Boulogne.
On release and prepared
for foreign service.
December Passage to Malta to join 1st Tribal
12th Arrived in Malta for service with
Deployed in Malta for Flotilla
duties and further work-up exercises.
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to F 82.
1 9 3 9
deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
with Flotilla in Mediterranean
Passage to Gibraltar to take part in joint exercises with Home and
Took part in exercises
with Flotilla based at Gibraltar.
March On release from exercises nominated
for Non-intervention Patrol duty off Spanish coast.
21st Embarked refugees at Cartagena for
passage to Marseilles
April Deployed with Flotilla in Malta.
Transferred to 4th Destroyer Flotilla when
identity of 1st Tribal Destroyer Flotilla was changed.
May Took part in Mediterranean
Fleet Exercise and Visits programme with Flotilla
to July including visits to ports in eastern
passage to Alexandria on completion of Mediterranean Fleet exercises.
(Note: Special exercises in anticipation of war with Italy were carried
out in the Aegean.)
Took up war
station and nominated for surveillance patrol in Red 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)
passage to Red Sea with transit of Suez Canal
3rd Deployed off coast of Italian
Somaliland to observe movements of Italian shipping with
HM Destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA and MOHAWK. On release returned to
for Contraband Control duties.
October During duty in eastern
Mediterranean withdrawn from patrol due to machinery problems.
5th Taken in hand for repair of turbine
blades by HM Dockyard, Malta.
(Note: This was a defect common to ships of this Class.
(See BRITISH DESTROYERS by
service in Home waters with Flotilla.
November Under repair
16th Took passage to Chatham on completion
off post refit trials.
26th Arrived at Chatham for deployment in
North Sea with ships of Flotilla
1 9 4 0
January Resumed Flotilla duties in North
Sea on completion of short refit by HM Dockyard, Chatham.
February Deployed at Scapa Flow for
screening of major Home Fleet warships.
March Deployed with screen for HM
Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL during passage
for joint flying
exercises with HM Aircraft Carrier GLORIOUS.
On return to Scapa Flow deployed with Flotilla for Fleet
April Home Fleet duties with
Flotilla in continuation.
7th Sailed from Forth as part of
destroyer screen for HM Cruisers GALATEA
with HM Destroyers
GURKHA (i), AFRIDI, MOHAWK, ZULU. COSSACK, KASHMIR,
destroyers ORP GROM, ORP BURZA and ORP BLYSKAWICA to carry
out search for
German warships reported on passage in North Sea.
8th Deployed as screen for Striking
Force with same ships during sweep to the northward in
search for German
Striking Force and
screen ordered to join ships of Home Fleet at sea of Norwegian coast.
9th Joined Home Fleet with Striking
Detached with HM
Destroyers GURKHA (i), AFRIDI MOHAWK, SOMALI, MATABELE,
and MASHONA as
screen for HM Cruisers MANCHESTER, GLASGOW, SHEFFIELD
and SOUTHAMPTON to
carry out attacks on 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
For details see
NAVAL OPERATIONS IN THE CAMPAIGN OFF NORWAY, April-
June 1940. ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, THE DOOMED
EXPEDITION by J
Adams and NORWAY 1940 by F Kennady.).
and heavy air attacks during which HMS GURKHA (i) was sunk,
RODNEY hit by failing aircraft with HMS SOUTHAMPTON and HMS
damaged by near misses.
10th Passage to Scapa Flow to refuel and
11th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM
Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, AFRIDI, MATABELE
and MOHAWK as
screen for HMS GLASGOW and HMS SHEFFIELD during inshore
patrol off Norwegian coast northward from Alesund
12th Screen deployment during patrol
13th Deployed in search operation by same
ships for ships reported by aircraft.
Nominated for support of planned landings at Namsos. (Operation
Deployed with the
six destroyers of screen to destroy enemy shipping believed to be
(Note: On arrival the ships were found to be Norwegian. See References)
Under air attacks at Alesund.
Parties from the cruisers were embarked in destroyers
14th Rejoined Cruisers and refuelled.
15th Deployed off Kya Light to await
arrival of troop convoy to carry out landings
16th Arrived at Lillesjona with troopships
and ferried troop ashore.
(Note: HM Destroyers NUBIAN, AFRIDI,
MATABELE and MASHONA.
carried troops from ships of MAURICE convoy.)
17th Escorted mv
CHOBRY to Namsos with HM Cruiser CURLEW and same
five TRIBAL Class
destroyers. See above references for details.
Heavy air attacks continued.
19th Took passage to Scapa Flow with HMS
NUBIAN after landing General Carton
29th Nominated for support of evacuation
of allied troops from Andalsnes and Molde.
Norwegian coast as screen for HMS GALATEA, ARETHUSA, SHEFFIELD
and SOUTHAMPTON with HM Destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, WANDERER,
WALKER and WESTCOTT.
30th Embarked troops at Alfarnes with HMS
WANDERER and later after the latter ship
grounded, towed her clear before assisting HMS SOUTHAMPTON
in further evacuation
(Note: See above
references for details of evacuation operations
1st Took passage to Scapa Flow with 120
troops on board.
Resumed Home Fleet
screening duties at Scapa Flow.
sources refer to operations in North Sea and off Dutch coast.
Pennant Number for
visual signalling purposes changed to G82.
30th Taken in hand for repair to turbine
blades by builder in Govan. See above Note).
June Under repair.
30th Passage to resume Flotilla duties at
Scapa Flow with Flotilla on completion of
post repair trials.
July Deployed at Scapa Flow
for patrol, screening and convoy defence,
to August Nominated for refit.
September Detached for escort of minelayers
during planned operation south of Faeroes.
5th Deployed with HM Destroyers BEAGLE,
DOUGLAS, ECHO, ELECTRA, ESKIMO
and KEPPEL as
escort for HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS,
PORT QUEBEC and
SOUTHERN PRINCE of 1st Minelaying Squadron during
minelay in Northern Barrage.
6th Resumed Home Fleet Flotilla duties.
October Deployed with HM Destroyer
MAORI and ASHANTI to attack coastal shipping
See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.
14th Took part in attack on convoy off
. 16th Carried out high speed operations
off Tyne estuary with same ships.
(Note: These were
intended to detonate mines prior to passage of HM Battleship
GEORGE V from Newcastle on Tyne shipyard to Rosyth for the
completion of fitting out for service after build. During these
ASHANTI and HMS FAME were badly damaged in a collision and
November Involved in collision with a tug
at Rosyth and sustained some damage.
Repair arranged at Leith.
8th On completion of repair at Robb's
shipyard resumed Flotilla duties in North Sea
December Home Fleet duties with Flotilla in
1 9 4 1
6th Sustained structural damage in
collision with HMS MASHONA during departure
from Scapa Flow
for Flotilla duty with HMS SOMALI.
Repair arranged at Henry Robb shipyard, Leith.
Passage to Leith and taken in hand for repair followed by refit
February Under refit and repair.
to March (Note: Work carried out included
replacement of single 4.7in gun by twin 4in
mounting to improve AA defence. Modified RAF air-surface radar
fitted (Naval Type 286M.)
had an aerial fixed to ship structure and was of limited value
RADAR AT SEA by D Howse for details of development and use
of radar in RN.)
14th Resumed Flotilla duties at Scapa
Flow on completion of post refit trials and work-up
Home Fleet duties in continuation.
21st Passage to join military convoy
WS8B in Clyde as Local Escort in NW Approaches.
22nd Deployed with HM Destroyers COSSACK,
BRIDGE, MAORI, OTTAWA (RCN),
RESTIGOUCHE (RCN) and Polish ORP PIORUN for escort of Convoy WS8B
with AA cover from HM Cruiser
(Note: HM Cruiser EXETER was deployed as Ocean Escort and
Carrier ARGUS was part of convoy.
26th Detached from WS8B with HMS COSSACK and
HMS ZULU on Admiralty orders
to join HM Battleship KING GEORGE V to provide screen in place of the
destroyer escort which required fuel.
. 27th Carried out torpedo attacks with HM
Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI and ZULU
on BISMARCK which had been disabled.
For details see BATTLESHIP BISMARCK by Mullenheim Rechberg, PURSUIT
by L Kennedy and the Naval Staff History.
3rd Joined military convoy WS9A in Clyde
for Local Escort during passage in NW
Approaches with HMS CAIRO, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser AUSONIA, HM
Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, OTTAWA (RCN), RESTIGOUCHE (RCN),
RAMSAY, RICHMOND, VANQUISHER, WINCHELSEA and ZULU.
7th Detached from WS9A and took return
passage to Clyde.
1Oth Joined HM Aircraft Carrier
VICTORIOUS as escort during passage to Gibraltar
delivery of aircraft to Malta (Operation TRACER)
13th Return passage from Gibraltar for
convoy defence in English Channel based at
Taken in hand for fit of two additional 2Pdr mountings in Bridge wings
to carry out
attacks on E-Boats in defence of
On completion deployed for convoy defence.
July Released from Channel
duties and took passage to resumed service with Flotilla at
Nominated for escort of planned Malta relief Convoy (Operation
11th Deployed with HM Destroyers COSSACK,
MAORI, GURKHA, LIGHTING,
NESTOR (RAN), AVONVALE, ERIDGE and FARNDALE as screen for HM
Battleship NELSON, HM Cruisers MANXMAN, EDINBURGH, ARETHUSA
and MANCHESTER during passage of convoy from Clyde to Gibraltar.
19th Joined Force X at Gibraltar with HM
Destroyers COSSACK, MAORI, NESTOR (RAN).
FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE, ERIDGE, AVONVALE, and FARNDALE
as screen for
HMS EDINBURGH, HMS ARETHUSA, HMS MANCHESTER and HMS
passage of convoy to Malta.
was provided by ships of Force H based at Gibraltar.)
21st Troopship LEINSTER which was part of
SUBSTANCE convoy ran aground on leaving
22nd Passage to Malta. For details
see Naval Staff HISTORY, MALTA CONVOYS by R
24th On arrival in Malta took return
passage with Force X through Sicilian Narrows to join
Force H ships for passage to Gibraltar
27th On arrival nominated for escort of
HM Cruisers HERMIONE, ARETHUSA and
during passage to Malta (Operation
(Note: The cruisers were carrying personnel
and stores from LEINSTER and covered by
ships of Force H during passage to Sicilian Narrows.)
30th Joined Force X for escort of STYLE
convoy to Malta.
2nd After arrival in Malta returned
with Force X ships to rejoin Force H ships west of Narrows.
(Note HMS FARNDALE remained in Malta.)
3rd Passage in western Mediterranean
as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS EDINBURGH
Destroyers LIGHTNING, ENCOUNTER and FORESTER.
4th Took passage from Gibraltar with
Home Fleet ships.
refit at Falmouth in commercial shipyard.
18th Taken in hand for refit in
commercial shipyard at Falmouth
Flotilla had been nominated to relieve 8th Destroyer Flotilla deployed in Malta
refit was a preparation for this duty.).
September Under refit.
included fit of fire control radar Type 285 and two single 20mm
Oerlikon guns for close range AA defence.)
20th On completion of post refit trials
took passage to Clyde to work-up for operational
service in Mediterranean.
30th Joined military convoy WS12 in Clyde
with HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS, for initial
passage to Gibraltar.
Several other warships joined this convoy apart from Local Escort but these
detached during passage.
comprised 15 troopships and was on passage to Middle East)
5th Detached from WS12
with HMS ARGUS for passage to Gibraltar as escort..
7th Arrived at Gibraltar with HMS ARGUS.
16th Deployed with HM Destroyers COSSACK,
ZULU, LEGION, FORESIGHT,
FURY as screen for HMS RODNEY, HMS ARK ROYAL and HM
HERMIONE to provide cover during Malta aircraft delivery from HMS ARK
ROYAL (Operation CALLBOY).
operation also covered independent passage of ss CLAN MACDONALD
19th Returned to Gibraltar with Force H
ships after launch of aircraft.
For details of
all Malta convoy operations see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.
November Deployed for screening of Force
H major ships, local patrol and convoy defence at
10th Deployed with HM Destroyers LAFOREY,
LIGHTNING, LEGION. ZULU, GURKHA,
ISAAC SWEERS as screen for HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft
ROYAL, EAGLE and HMS HERMIONE during delivery of aircraft to
position west of Narrows (Operation PERPETUAL)
13th Escorted HMS MALAYA to Gibraltar after
HMS ARK ROYAL was torpedoed during
PERPETUAL ships to Gibraltar
references for details.
14th Joined HM Destroyers LAFOREY and LEGION
standing by HMS ARK ROYAL during
Gibraltar after HMS ARK ROYAL sank.
20th Deployed for escort of HM Battleship
NELSON during passage from Gibraltar to UK
(Note: HMS NELSON has been damaged by
a torpedo in air attacks on 27th Sept.
whilst taking part in Operation HALBERD to pass a relief convoy to Malta
from Gibraltar. HMS NELSON embarked some survivors from HMS ARK
ROYAL for return to UK.)
from escort of HMS NELSON took passage to rejoin Force H at Gibraltar.
December Nominated for transfer to
Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria with H M Destroyers
LIGHTNING and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS.
11th Passage to Alexandria.
13th In action with Italian cruisers
ALBERICO DA BARBIANO
DI GUISSANO two miles east of Cape Bon.
Carried out attacks by torpedo and surface gunfire with the other three
DA BARBIANO hit by torpedoes and sunk.
DI GUISSANO hit and set on fire but sank
Italians were lost with these two ships and 650 rescued by an Italian
Torpedo Boat (CIGNO).
see above references).
14th Joined Force K in Malta
for interception of enemy supply convoys in the central
Mediterranean and escort of Malta relief convoys from
15th Deployed with HM Cruisers AURORA,
PENELOPE, HM Destroyers LANCE,
LIVELY, MAORI and Dutch ISAAC SHEERS in search for Italian
Convoy M42 and to cover the passage of HM
Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE
supplies to Malta.
17th Joined Mediterranean Fleet ships after
1st Battle of Slrte.
19th Arrived at Alexandria.
1 9 4 2
January Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.
5th Part of screen for HM
Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS and NAIAD with HM Destroyers
GURKHA, KIPLING, KINGSTON, KIPLING and FOXHOUND providing cover for
passage of H M Supply Ship GLENGYLE to Malta from Alexandria (Operation
7th Transferred to Force K and joined HM
Destroyers LANCE, LIVELY and JAGUAR.
Malta in continuation of interception and escort duties.
18th Deployed with HM
Destroyers ZULU, LANCE, LIVELY and JAGUAR to provide
escort for Convoys MW8A and 8B
after transfer from Mediterranean Fleet.
February Malta deployment with Force K in continuation.
13th Sailed from Malta with HM Cruiser
PENELOPE, HM Destroyers DECOY,
LEGION, LIVELY and ZULU of Force K to escort Convoy ME10 during
meet ships from Alexandria (Force B) escorting inbound convoy MW9
14th After the two convoys met came under
heavy and sustained air attacks during
which ss ROWALLAN CASTLE was hit.
Took this ship in tow but the operation
was abandoned because of threat of both
further heavy air attacks and a surface attack by an Italian force.
Detached from Force K and took passage with HMS LEGION and HMS ZULU to
join Force B for passage to Alexandria.
by Italian submarine TOPAZIO which failed.
15th Arrived at Alexandria with ships of Force
For details of this disastrous operation in which no ship arrived in
Malta and of all
other Malta convoys see
above reference and THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre
April Deployed with Flotilla
for defence of convoys to and from Haifa and patrol in
to May eastern Mediterranean
Nominated for escort of Malta relief convoy (Operation VIGOROUS).
12th Deployed with HM Cruisers
CLEOPATRA, DIDO, HERMIONE, EURYALUS.
ARETHUSA, COVENTRY, NEWCASTLE and
BIRMINGHAM with HM Destroyers
NAPIER, NESTOR, NORMAN. NIZAM, JERVIS, KELVIN, JAVELIN,
PAKENHAM, PALADIN, INCONSTANT, ZULU, HASTY, HERO, CROOME,
DULVERTON, EXMOOR, AIREDALE, BEAUFORT, HURWORTH,
TETCOTT, ALDENHAM, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN
and HOTSPUR as escort for convoy
(Note: Pre WW1 battleship HMS
CENTURION was disguised as a KING GEORGE
Class battleship to enhance! the apparent strength of this escort.
14th Under heavy and sustained
air attacks. and threat of interception by Italian Fleet.
Attacked by E-Ebata during darkness. HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE and HM
15th After series of
conflicting instructions from shore and heavy expenditure of AA
with loss and damage to warships operation abandoned.
Returned to Alexandria.
(For full details of this disastrous
operation and its ill direction from shore see
THE BATTLE FOR
THE MEDITERRANEAN and ENGAGE THE ENEMY
29th Nominated for support of
military operations in Syria with HM Destroyers
ZULU, CROOME and TETCOTT
30th Assisted in rescue of
survivors from HM Submarine Depot Ship MEDWAY with
HM Destroyer HERO after the depot
ship has been torpedoed by U372 off
(Note: HMS MEDWAY sank later with loss of torpedoes carried for
weapons. Only 30 of 1,300 on board lost their lives.
See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair for details.)
August Military support and
anti-submarine patrol with aircraft off Syria.
4th Shared credit with HMS
ZULU, HMS CROOME, HMS TETCOTT and aircraft
M of 221 Squadron RAF
for sinking U372 in position SW of Haifa.
(Note: This submarine had sunk HM Submarine Depot Ship MEDWAY on
11th Sailed from Haifa with HM Cruisers DIDO
and CLEOPATRA, HM Destroyers
ZULU and JAVELIN as
escort for Convoy from Haifa as a diversion during the
passage of the
relief PEDESTAL Malta convoy from Gibraltar (Operation MG3)
combined with another from Alexandria to form Convoy MWI2
. 13th Returned to Port Said with MW12 and escorts
after completion of diversion
Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet for patrol and convoy defence.
support of assault landings at Tobruk (Operation AGREEMENT)
11th Embarked Royal Marines.
12th Passage to Tobruk for landings with HM
Destroyers ZULU, ALDENHAM,
EXMOOR and HURWORTH.
13th During attempts to land Royal Marines came
under fire from shore batteries.
14th Sustained major damage and taken in tow by
position 32.05N 42.00E after further
damage by 88mm shore fire.
details of this disastrous and ill conceived operation see MASSACRE
AT TOBRUK by P
Smith and above references.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)