CERES-Class cruiser built by John Brown of Clydebank, Glasgow and laid down on 11th July 1916. The ship was launched on 24th March 1917 as the 5th RN warship to bear this name first used in 1777. Build completion was on 2nd June 1917 and she served in Home Waters during WW1. In March 1942 the ship was adopted by the civil community of the Borough of Luton, Bedfordshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.
1 9 1 7
May Contractors trials
Commissioned for Grand Fleet service in 6th Light Cruiser Squadron
2nd Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials
On completion of trials and storing took passage to join Squadron at Scapa Flow.
July Joined Squadron for operational service in Grand Fleet.
July Deployed with Grand Fleet in Squadron.
1 9 1 8
January Grand Fleet service in continuation.
to Nominated for service in Baltic for support of operations against Communist forces.
December Deployed in Baltic
1 9 1 9
On release from service with Squadron in Baltic nominated for transfer to 3rd Light Cruiser
Returned to UK to prepare for foreign service in Mediterranean.
Joined Squadron in Mediterranean.
1 9 2 0 t o 1 9 2 2
Deployed with Squadron in Mediterranean included periods in Black Sea for support of
operations against Communist forces.
(Note: Return to UK to re-commission for further service in 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron
is to be confirmed.)
1 9 2 3 t o 1 9 2 6
Mediterranean service in continuation.
Damaged in collision with US destroyer USS FOX at entrance with Bosphorus (April 2nd)
1 9 2 7
Re-commissioned for further service in Mediterranean with 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron after
refit by HM Dockyard Chatham
(Note: This refit may have been consequent on collision and is to be confirmed.)
Rejoined Squadron in Mediterranean.
1 9 2 8
Towed damaged cruiser HMS CALEDON to Piraeus after collision in Aegean with Italian
Deployed as Temporary Flagship 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron.
1 9 2 9
Mediterranean service in continuation
Nominated for refit before reduction to Reserve status
Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Chatham (October).
1 9 3 0
1 9 3 1
Nominated for Reserve service at Devonport
Passage to Devonport on completion of refit and post refit trials (March)
(Note: Cost of refit is recorded as £100,000.
Reduced to Reserve at Devonport.
1 9 3 2
Laid-up in Reserve at Devonport.
Nominated for service to replace HM Cruiser CASTOR in 3rd Cruiser Squadron
Passage to Chatham to re-commission (April)
Re commissioned and took passage to join Squadron.
Deployed in Mediterranean pending relief by HM Cruiser DURBAN
Returned to UK to Pay-off at Chatham (October)
Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status
Laid-up in Nore Reserve.
1 9 3 3 t o 1 9 3 4
Laid-up at Chatham.
1 9 3 5
Transferred to Devonport Reserve and towed to Plymouth (May)
Laid-up at Devonport
1 9 3 6 t o 1 9 3 8
Laid-up at Devonport.
(Note: Nomination for service during Munich Crisis 1938 to be confirmed)
Conversion for use as an AA Cruiser was approved but not implement.)
1 9 3 9
January Laid-up at Devonport
to Nominated for attendance at Royal Review in September manned by Reservists from
June Royal Fleet Reserve and RNVR Division.)
July Brought forward for Review with reduced complement.
August Commissioned temporarily with Reservists for Royal Review at Weymouth by H M King
9th Attended Royal Review as part of 20th Cruiser Squadron
28th War Station allocated
Stored and prepared for war service and additional complement joined.
Remained in commission.
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September Passage to Portland
3rd Deployed at Portland with Channel Force and worked-up for service.
11th Nominated for escort of troop convoys taking BEF to France and took passage to Plymouth.
(Note: Deployed as escort for five convoys with BEF personnel and equipment.)
1st Took passage from Plymouth to Gibraltar
8th Arrived at Gibraltar.
10th Sailed for Plymouth.
13th On arrival taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport.
20th Transferred to 11th Cruiser Squadron for interception of blockade runners.
27th On completion sailed to Scapa Flow to join Squadron for Northern Patrol duties.
31st Called at Sullom Voe
2nd Began first patrol.
9th Returned to Sullom Voe from patrol
12th Sailed for patrol
23rd Joined HM Cruisers SUFFOLK and CALYPSO to search for the German battleships
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU after the sinking of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and
Naval Staff History.)
24th Returned to Sullom Voe.
. 26th Sailed for patrol with call in Clyde.
16th Returned to Scapa Flow to replenish and sailed on completion.
25th Returned to Scapa Flow.
28th Sailed for patrol.
1 9 4 0
11th Left patrol for repair in Belfast
13th Taken in hand for repair.
February Nominated for duty with 5th Cruiser Squadron on completion of repair.
7th Prepared for foreign service on China Station.
16th Passage to Malta.
22nd Arrived in Malta.
March Took passage from Malta for Singapore with HM Cruiser COLOMBO to join Squadron.
27th Sailed from Colombo.
31st Arrived at Singapore with HMS COLOMBO.
April Retained at Singapore with HMS COLOMBO for Indian Ocean patrol and trade defence
(Note: Commerce raiders were known to be active in this area.)
29th Passage to Ceylon
May Deployed on patrol, convoy defence and interception of commerce raiders in Indian Ocean
and Red Sea.
8th Squadron deployment in Indian Ocean in continuation when Italy commenced hostilities.
July Patrol and trade defence in continuation.
August Nominated for support of military operations in Somaliland.
15th Joined HM Cruisers HOBART, CALEDON and CARLISLE, HM Destroyers KANDAHAR and
KIMBERLEY with three sloops, three Auxiliaries and a hospital ship for evacuation of troops
and civilians from Berbera.
Over 7,000 persons were embarked and taken to Aden.
17th Bombarded Italian army column on Zeila-Bemera road.
September Resumed Indian Ocean trade defence role when released.
7th Met military Convoy WS2a and escorted mv LLANGIBBY CASTLE into Mombasa.
October Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
1st Under repair at Durban (see Addenda).
10th On completion resumed Indian Ocean trade defence duties
December Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 1
January Deployed in Indian Ocean and Red Sea on trade defence.
29th Deployed with HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE as relief for HM Cruiser HAWKINS as Ocean
Escort for military Convoy WS5A during passage from Durban to Aden.
30th Remained with WS5A as Ocean Escort when HMS SHROPSHIRE detached on relief by HM
1st Remained with WS5A when HMS ENTERPRISE detached.
4th On relief as Ocean Escort for WS5A escorted ss NIEUW AMSTERDAM and ss ORBITA into
Nominated for support of military operations in Somaliland and took passage to join RN ships
Blockaded Kismayu with HM Cruisers COLOMBO and SHROPSHIRE.
10th Joined Force T with HM Cruisers SHROPSHIRE, HAWKINS and CAPETOWN, HM Aircraft
Carrier HERMES and HM Destroyer KANDAHAR to support the military advance into
14th Intercepted German ship UCKERMARK which had broken out of Kismayu.
Enemy ship scuttled on approach. Resumed support operations.
25th Released to resume Squadron trade defence duties..
March Deployed on convoy escort between Aden, Mombasa and Trincomalee.
21st Under repair at Colombo
28th Resumed convoy defence duty on completion.
April Deployed on convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
2nd Under refit and repair at Simonstown.
11th On completion resumed convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
September Convoy defence duty in continuation.
22nd Relieved HM Battleship REVENGE as Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS10X during
passage in Indian Ocean.
27th Detached from WS10X on arrival at Aden.
13th Relieved HM Battlecruiser REPULSE as Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS11 during
passage in Indian Ocean from Durban.
19th Detached from WS11 on arrival at Aden.
21st Met military Convoy WS12X off Durban and escorted ss ORIZABA into Mombasa.
1 9 4 2
January Indian Ocean trade defence role in continuation.
16th Joined HM Battleship RAMILLIES in Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS14 during
passage from Durban to Bombay.
19th Detached from WS14 as escort for ships destined for Aden when convoy divided.
20th Detached from WS14 ships on arrival at Aden.
17th Joined HM Destroyer NORMAN and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CHESHIRE and deployed
as Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS15 during passage from Durban to Aden.
26th Detached from WS15 with ships destined for Aden and deployed as Ocean Escort during
passage as re-designated Convoy WS15A
1st Detached from WS15Awith HM Cruiser COLOMBO on arrival at Aden.
Transferred to 5th Cruiser Squadron Eastern Fleet on formation.
Deployment for Trade defence and patrol in continuation.
April Transferred to Kilindini when Eastern Fleet ships withdrawn from Ceylon
(For details of naval activities in Indian Ocean see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) ).
May Based at Kilindini for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
September Under refit in HM Dockyard Simonstown.
(Note: Close range AA defence implemented by singe 20mm weapons.)
Twin Torpedo Tube Mountings were removed and four additional 20mm guns.).
October Resumed convoy defence on completion
November Deployed for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
(Note: Deployment as part of Ocean Escort for WS24 to be confirmed.)
December Indian Ocean convoy defence and patrol in continuation.
1 9 4 3
January Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
1st Joined Ocean Escort for military Convoy WS26 off Durban
(Note: WS26 comprised ships destined for Aden and Bombay.)
8th Detached from WS26 during passage before ships for Aden left convoy.
April Indian Ocean deployment in continuation
Nominated for refit in Bombay.
Passage to Bombay.
May Under refit in Bombay.
(Note: Surface warning radar Type 271 may have been fitted during this refit.
For details of development and use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
June Resumed convoy defence duty in Indian Ocean.
July Indian Ocean convoy defence in continuation.
to (Note: Radar Type 286 for air/surface warning is recorded as being fitted by this period.)
September Withdrawn ran operational service in East Indies.
Took passage for UK
27th Sailed from Suez to Plymouth
October On arrival in Plymouth future deployment under consideration.
November Use as an Accommodation Ship decided and complement reduced.
1 9 4 4
January Deployed at Devonport pending decision
February Began use as an Accommodation Ship.
March Accommodation Ship deployment in continuation.
April Nominated or support of Normandy landings as Depot Ship at GOOSEBERRY 1 in US
Sector to the east of St Martin de Varreville (Operation NEPTUNE)
May Conversion for support duties in hand by HM Dockyard, Devonport..
(Note: Radar Type 290 fitted to replace Type 286.)
6in main armament and 2pdr Pom Pom weapons were removed and 20mm guns added.)
8th Passage to GOOSEBERRY 1.
9th Began duty as Depot Ship and also used as Control Ship for both northbound and
southbound sailings during Build -up Phase.
(For details of NEPTUNE see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and the Naval Staff
History LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO).)
July Released from NEPTUNE
August Withdrawn from operational service and resumed duty as Accommodation Ship for
September Deployed as an Accommodation Ship.
Nominated for reduction to Reserve status
October Paid-off into Reserve.
November Reducing to Reserve prior to laying up at Falmouth.
December Deployment changed.
Transferred to Portsmouth for further use as accommodation ship in Fountain Lake.
1 9 4 5
January Deployed as an Accommodation Ship at Portsmouth in continuation.