cruiser ordered on 17th March 1926 from
Hawthorn Leslie at Newcastle under the1926
Build Programme. She was laid down on 1st
February 1927 and launched on 22nd February
1928 as the 4th RN ship to
be given this name introduced in 1652 and
last used for a 2nd Rate in 1802. The ship
was completed on 19th March 1929. This cruiser was adopted by Investment Trusts, a
Financial Company in the City of London
after a successful WARSHIP WEEK Campaign for
National Savings in March 1942. She had a
long standing association
with the County of Sussex since her build
and also, since 1940, with Liverpool after being given the Freedom of the City.
9 3 9
Took up War Station in Mediterranean.
Deployed with the 1st Cruiser Squadron in
(Note: Other ships in Squadron were HMS
DEVONSHIRE and SHROPSHIRE.)
Sailed from Alexandria
Transferred to East Indies Station for
trade protection duty.
Sailed from Alexandria
for South Atlantic.
On arrival at Simonstown
transferred to South Atlantic Command.
Deployed with HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE
as Hunting Group H in search for the
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE in the South
Searched with Group H in conjunction with
Hunting Group E
(Note: Force E comprised HM Battlecruiser
RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK
and HM Cruiser
Transferred to River Plate area.
Redeployed in Indian
Ocean off Durban to continue search.
German merchant ship WATUSSI with HMS
and hulk sunk by
Rescued crew and
passengers from German ship.
Search continued with HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE
Helena and Cape of Good Hope.
Called at Capetown to disembark
Transferred to 4th Cruiser Squadron in East
Indies and took passage to
9 4 0
Arrived at Colombo
after call at Mauritius.
Deployed in Indian
Ocean on interception and trade protection.
Returned passage to Colombo
Passage to Trincomalee from Colombo
with HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE and HM
Returned to Colombo.
Carried out search between Colombo
Continued patrol during return passage to
convoy in Indian
In view of
continuing crisis in Home waters
transferred to UK
with 1st Cruiser
Squadron in Home
To be refitted at Liverpool commercial shipyard before joining Squadron.
(Note: For details of deployments for
interception of commerce raiders see
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by
Took passage from Colombo
with calls at Aden
Under refit at Liverpool.
(Note: During the stay in Liverpool ship was given the Freedom of the City.)
On completion of sea trials took passage
to join Squadron at Scapa
other ships of Squadron for interception
of any attempt by German
ships to break
out into Atlantic via NW Approaches.
Deployed for escort of evacuation convoys
from Norway with Home Fleet ships.
Joined HM Battle
cruisers RENOWN and REPULSE accompanied
by HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD
with screen of
five Home Fleet destroyers in search for
two unidentified ships reported as being
on passage into
by HMS PRUNELLA (Q Ship)
See Naval Staff History of Norwegian
Arrived in Iceland and returned to Scapa
Flow after fruitless search.
Continued deployment at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet.
Deployed in another search for enemy ships
in North Sea with HM Cruisers
and SOUTHAMPTON screened by 8 Fleet destroyers.
called off when
enemy ships reversed course.
(Note: During the return passage to
Flow HM Destroyer IMOGEN was sunk in a
HM Cruiser GLASGOW in fog.
Deployed with 1st Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow.
Propulsion machinery defect discovered.
Under repair to turbine blades at
Princes Dock, Glasgow.
Hit in Engine
Room by 2501b bomb during air raid on
conflagration which threatened
Because of danger of
local community was evacuated.
To assist in controlling the
fire the dry
dock was flooded without time to prevent
The subsequent flooding of compartments
made the her
Damage assessment showed extensive
structural repair would be required to
make the ship
After being re-floated towed to Stephens
shipyard at Govan for rebuilding and
(Note: This major incident was never
9 4 1
9 4 2
(Note: During repair ship was fitted with
radar equipment for surface and aircraft
and for fire-control of secondary and AA
For details of development and use of
radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA
by D Howse.
Ten 20mm Oerlikon guns and two eight
mountings were installed
close range defence against air attacks.)
On completion took passage to Scapa
Flow to rejoin the Home Fleet after post
refit trials and
Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron at Scapa
Worked up for service and deployed in NW
Approaches for interception of any
raiders to attack into Atlantic shipping
Carried out exercises with HM Battle ships
KING GEORGE V, ANSON and HOWE.
Returned to Scapa
Flow after exercises.
Withdrawn from service for further refit
work in Tyne
(Note: Work included installation of fire
control radar for main armament and
warning radar by an improved design sited
on after superstructure to
Under refit prior to deployment in
9 4 3
Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow for convoy defence and interception duties.
in Atlantic because of continuing threat by German capital ships.
Transferred to 4th Cruiser Squadron in
Eastern Fleet and took to passage to
Intercepted German tanker HOHEN FRIEDBURG
in position 500 miles SW of Cape
torpedo attack by U264 which had been
with the enemy ship
but avoided a
salvo of four
See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.
(Note: No attempt was made to rescue
survivors from German ship because of the
further submarine attack.)
Joined military convoy WS27 at Freetown
as Ocean Escort during passage
Detached from WS26 on arrival at Durban
Deployed on trade defence and
interception in Indian
(Note: One source records escort of
military convoy from Durban. This is to be confirmed)
(Details of Indian
Ocean trade defence see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
Became Flagship of Eastern Fleet.
Carried out Squadron exercises with HM
Cruisers NEWCASTLE, SUFFOLK
FROBISHER off Mombasa.
Passage to Ceylon
with CinC Eastern Fleet embarked for
return to Colombo.
Deployed as Flagship for CS4 and carried
out patrol and interception duty in Indian
Under refit at Durban.
(Note: Work done included repair to
Passage to Trincomalee to rejoin Eastern
Part of Eastern Fleet escort for HM
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT and
HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and
UNICORN during passage in Indian
9 4 4
Deployed on convoy defence and
interception in Indian Ocean.
Joined H M Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS,
HM Cruiser GAMBIA,
and HM Netherlands Destroyer TJERK HIDDES
in search for enemy
runners SW of Cocos
Islands (Operation SLEUTH).
Transferred to Home waters for refit.
Passage to UK.
Under refit at Chatham.
9 4 5
(Note: Extensive changes were made
including removal of X Turret aft, the
facilities and torpedo tubes.
More modern radars were also installed
of close range AA weapons was also
Carried out post refit trials on
completion of dockyard work
service with 5th Cruiser Squadron in
Passage to Scapa Flow.
Took passage to Mediterranean.
On arrival at Gibraltar
diverted and sailed for Bermuda
Returned to Gibraltar
(Note: This unusual diversion requires
further investigation. The ship may have
resume work-up programme with ships of
Worked up in Mediterranean
prior to Fleet duty in Indian Ocean.
Took passage to join Eastern Fleet at
at Trincomalee deployed in Indian
Ocean with Squadron.
Joined HM Battleship NELSON, HM Escort
Aircraft Carriers EMPRESS and
screened by four
Fleet destroyers as Force 63 to cover
the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla off Phuket
a series of air
by the aircraft
carriers on the Kra
Isthmus. (Operation LIVERY}
HM Minesweeper SQUIRREL sunk by mine
during clearance of minefields.
Under KAMIKAZE attacks during which two
aircraft were destroyed..
slight structural damage above
waterline by the wreckage of a Japanese
HM Minesweeper VESTAL was sunk and HMS
AMEER was damaged.
Deployed with Eastern Fleet in preparation
for Malayan landings (Operation ZIPPER).
(Note: This operation was delayed by US
insistence and problems related to the
of long serving personnel under the PYTHON
See Final Report of Supreme Commander, SEAC
Sailed from Trincomalee and took passage
for re-occupation of Singapore
and as Flagship
for Occupation Force. (Operation TIDERACE)
Covered passage of assault convoys for
landings at Port Swettenham
Arrived off Singapore
with HM Landing Ship (Infantry) KEDAH and
ships of 7th
The surrender of Japanese forces in Singapore
by Lt-Gen Itagaki
was accepted on board.
Present at formal surrender of Japan
to Supreme Commander, SEAC by General Itakagi
Retained at Singapore
during landing of 3rd Commando Brigade.
(For details of fleet operations see
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C.
and the Naval Staff History).
SUSSEX remained with the Eastern Fleet after
VJ Day and provided cover for the landings of
the 5th Indian Division at Soerabaya,
Java with HM Destroyers CARRON, CAESAR and
CAVALIER in November 1945. Before return
to UK on 6 March she supported military
operations against insurgents in Java.
Nominated for use as a troopship she returned
to Chatham late in March 1946 and after
essential changes to suit this role she
carried personnel returning from the Far east
until Paid-Off at Devonport prior to refit. On
completion in April 1947 she re-commissioned
for service in the 5th Cruiser Squadron,
British Pacific Fleet. Before joining the
Fleet in the Far East as Flagship for the
Squadron she worked-up in Malta. At the end of
1948 she was relieved by HMS BELFAST and
returned to Pay-off into Reserve at
Portsmouth. She was de-equipped in February
1949 and placed on the Disposal List. Sold to
BISCO for demolition on 3rd January 1950 the
ship arrived in tow at Dalmuir,
Glasgow on 23rd February where she was
broken-up by Arnott