Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 18 December ……….

1677  Qualifying examination introduced for lieutenants, RN.

1779  Rear-Adm Hyde Parker (Princess Royal) captured nine sail of a French convoy and burned ten more off Fort Royal, Martinique, and engaged the escort. Ships: Albion, Boreas, Centurion, Conqueror, Elizabeth, Preston, Princess Royal and Vigilant.

1793  Vice-Adm Lord Hood (Victory) at the evacuation of Toulon, occupied since 27 August. Ships: Britannia, Princess Royal, Robust, Terrible, Victory, Windsor Castle and boats of fleet. Frigates: Arethusa, Pearl, Topaze, Alert, Swallow (tender). Gunboats: Union, Wasp, Jean Bart, Petite Victoire. Expended: Vulcan and Conflagration fireships. Captured or destroyed: nine French ships of the line, five frigates and corvettes.

LtCdrWanklynVC

Lt Cdr Wanklyn on the Bridge HMS Upholder.

1809  Capture and destruction of the French Seine and Loire in Barque Cove, Guadeloupe. Two batteries stormed and captured. Ships: Blonde, Castor, Cygnet, Elizabeth, Freija, Hazard, Ringdove, Sceptre, Thetis.

1827  Uniforms for officers reduced to a double-breasted coat, always to be buttoned up, with gold laced trousers for dress wear and plain for undress (white in summer). Breeches and dress swords restricted to Drawing Room. Buttons to be slightly domed rater than flat.

1914  U-15 mined and sunk off Belgian coast.

1915  First 500lb bomb dropped, by Cdr Samson on Turkish forces.

1940  Triton sunk by Italian TB Clio in the south Adriatic. Last of twenty-three submarines lost in 1940.

1941  VCLt-Cdr Malcolm David Wanklyn for gallantry in Upholder.  First Submariner VC of Second World War.

1941  Blankney and Stanley sank U-434 off Azores.  Convoy HG 76.

1942  Partridge sunk by U-565 50 miles W. of Oran (35-50N, 01-35W).

1943  Felixstowe sunk by mine 3 miles off Cape Ferro, Sardinia (40-09N, 09-36E).

1944  Sirius stood by naval party ashore at Mitylene during general strike.

1992  The closure programme for Mercury announced in CDI(RN) 310/92.

HMS Mercury

29 March 1993 – 2 April 1993. Navigational training transfers to Dryad.

2-6 August 1993. Communications training transfers to Collingwood.

31 August 1993. Captain, Mercury, relinquishes command.

17 December 1993. Mercury site handed over.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 17 December ……….

1619  Prince Rupert born.

1706  Romney captured a French privateer in Malaga Bay.

1810  Rinaldo sank the French privateer Vieille Josephine off the Owers.

1826  Hardy in Wellesley (74) escorted expeditionary force to Lisbon. Ship sunk by air attack on Thames 24 September 1940.

1834  Buzzard captured the Spanish slaver Formidable 20 miles to the northward of Cape Bullen, west coast of Africa.

1857  Rear-Adm Sir Francis Beaufort died. Hydrographer to the Navy 1829-56 and the last surviving officer who fought at the Glorious First of June in 1794.

1860  Metropolitan Police of the 5th Division took over security duties at Pembroke Dockyard Establishment: 1 Superintendent, 2 Inspectors, 5 Sergeants and 26 PCs.

MetPolicePembrokeDkydMnGates1860

The Metropolitan Police took over responsibility for the security of home dockyards in 1860-1. This photograph shows duty police officers at the main gates of Pembroke Dockyard. c. 1901. (L. Phillips)

1915  German cruiser Bremen and V-191 sunk in east Baltic by E 9 (57-31N, 20-24E).

1940  Acheron sunk by mine off the Isle of Wight (50-31N, 01-31W) during high-speed trials after repairs. Stern had been blown off in an air raid on Portsmouth Dockyard.

1940  Aphis bombarded the Bardia area.

1941  Blankney, Exmoor, Penstemon, Stanley, Stork and Martlet aircraft of 802 Sqn (Audacity) sank U-131 W. of Gibraltar (34-12N, 13-35W). Convoy HG 76. Cdr F.J. Walker’s first kill, with 36th Escort Group.

1941  First battle of Sirte, Passage of Breconshire from Alexandria to Malta and partial engagement with Italian battlefleet off the Gulf of Sirte (34-00N, 18-30E). Ships: Euryalus, Naiad (Rear-Adm Vian – CS 15), Decoy, Havock, Jervis (D- 14), Kimberley, Kipling, Nizam. Force K: Aurora, Penelope, Lance, Legion, Lively, Maori, Sikh, Isaac Sweers (Neth).

1942  Splendid torpedoed the Italian destroyer Aviere off Bizerta (38-00N, 10-05E). Aviere broke in two and sank at once.

1942  Firedrake sunk by U-211 S. of Iceland (50-50N, 25-15W). Convoy ON 153. Sank at once but survivors picked up by Sunflower.

1944  Nyasaland sank U-400 off Cape Clear (51-16N, 0805W).

1946  Rear-Adm Viscount Mountbatten invested as KG.

1985  Caledonia, Artificers’ Training Establishment, Rosyth, paid off. Site retained as part of Cochrane.

Ministry of Defence (Navy) press release dated 17 December 1969 announcing that the Royal Navy’s daily rum issue would cease on 1 August 1970. (L Phillips)

ModNPR17Dec1969RNtotIssue181970


Royal Navy …………. On This Day ………… 16 December ……….

1653  Instructions for all commanders-in-chief of squadrons, flag officers in their divisions and for all captains of ships at sea in the service of the Commonwealth, issued by George Monck, John Disbraw and William Penn aboard the Swiftsure – the first Articles of War, from which came the phrase ‘Naval justice is swift and sure.’

HMSSwiftsure1621capturedbyWillemvandeVeldetheYoungerFourDaysBattle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Swiftsure_(1621)

HMS Swiftsure was a 42-gun great ship of the English Royal Navy, built by Andrew Burrell at Deptford and launched in 1621.[1]

She was rebuilt in 1654 at Woolwich by Christopher Pett as a 60-gun third-rate ship of the line.[2] She was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir William Berkeley at the Four Days’ Battle against the Dutch in 1666.[3] Berkeley led the van of the English fleet on the first day of the battle, 1 June, but outsailed his squadron into the midst of the Dutch, and was surrounded. After a fierce battle in which Berkeley was killed, Swiftsure was captured.[2][3] The Dutch renamed her the Oudshoorn (70) and changed the quarter galleries to hide her identity. She fought in the Battle of Solebay in 1672.

1796  Cleopatra captured the French privateer Hirondelle 500 miles to the westward of Ushant.

1808  Naiad and Narcissus captured the French privateer Fanny off Noirmoutier.

1812  Saving of Magnificent in a violent gale off Ile de Ré in Bay of Biscay, by distinguished seamanship which earned her captain the name of Magnificent Hayes.

1914  Scarborough, Hartlepool, and Whitby bombarded by German battlecruisers. Ships: Patrol, Doon, Waveney, Test.

1916  VC: Capt (temp Lt-Col) B.C. Freyberg, Royal West Surrey Regiment, and RND; ex-Lt-Cdr RNVR.

1917  Arbutus foundered in heavy weather in St George’s Channel, after being torpedoed by UB-65.

1921  Victory, first rate, moved into No.1 Basin Portsmouth Dockyard; the first move towards her restoration and preservation. Note: On 20 March 1922 The Admiralty ordered that first-rate Victory should be preserved in No. 2 Dock, Portsmouth Dockyard.

HMSVictory1926

HMS Victory being restored, 1926. In her present day location No. 2 Dock HMNB Portsmouth. (RNM 1952/51)

1941  Thracian beached at Hong Kong. Salvaged by Japanese forces as PB 101. Recaptured in September 1945.

HMSThracianD86becameIJN PB No.101

HMS Thracian was an Admiralty S class destroyer of the Royal Navy.

HMS Thracian was laid down on 17 January 1918 at Hawthorn Leslie and Company, launched on 5 March 1920 and completed at Sheerness Dockyard on 1 April 1922. – (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thracian_(1920)

1957  Thorough returned to Dolphin after her first circumnavigation by a submarine.

P324HMSThorough1945HMS Thorough

HMS Thorough rtns to Dolphin

Thorough served in the Far East for much of her wartime career, where she sank twenty-seven Japanese sailing vessels, seven coasters, a small Japanese vessel, a Japanese barge, a small Japanese gunboat, a Japanese trawler, and the Malaysian sailing vessel Palange. In August 1945, in company with HMS Taciturn, she attacked Japanese shipping and shore targets off northern Bali. Thorough sank a Japanese coaster and a sailing vessel with gunfire.

16 December 1957 HMS Thorough returned to HMS Dolphin, Portsmouth Dockyard, after first circumnavigation by a submarine. [1] [2][3]

She survived the war and continued in service with the Navy, finally being scrapped at Dunston on Tyne on 29 June 1962.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thorough_(P324)

Borneo 1962-6

In December 1962, the Brunei rebellion marked the beginning of an attempt by Indonesia to infiltrate the remaining countries in Borneo. Strong guerilla patrols operated out of Indonesian territory deep into Sarawak, Saba, and Brunei.

42 Commando, Royal Marines, were flown into Brunei town from Singapore. The British residents and other hostages including two women were held by the rebels at Limbang. Two old landing craft were commandeered and manned by seamen of Chawton and Fiskerton. They embarked L Company of 42 Commando, and at dawn on 12 December, under a heavy fire from the shore, the landing craft went into the beach at Limbang. The Royal Marines stormed ashore, drove off the rebels, and rescued the hostages moments before they were due to be executed. The rebels were later hunted down by helicopters and river patrols. During this attack, five Royal Marines were killed and five wounded.

For 3 1/2 years, British troops including Royal Marines operated in the jungles of Borneo and were supported by 845  and 846 FAA helicopter squadrons from Albion and Bulwark. These squadrons, operating out of tiny clearings and on the limits of their aircraft’s capabilities, achieved a very high level of operational readiness. For example, in 1963, 846 Squadron of Whirlwinds carried out 3,750 operational sorties, and in 1964, 845 Squadron aircraft of Wessex helicopters carried out 10,000 operational flying hours in support of the Army and Royal Marines.

Wessex848SqnHMSAlbion42Cdo1965

A Wessex helicopter of 848 Squadron, HMS Albion, flies part of 42 Commando into North Borneo for their fifth operational tour, 1965. They relieved 2/2 King Edward VII’s own Gurkha Rifles. (RMM 7/20/9(154))

1991  Decision to employ women in the armed forces in fixed-wing aircraft announced by Parliament.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 15 December ……….

1379  Sir John Arundel’s squadron destroyed by storm on coast of Ireland.

1778  Rear-Adm the Hon. Samuel Barrington (Prince of Wales) fought Vice-Adm Comte d’Estaing at St Lucia.

Ships: Boyne, Centurion, Isis, Nonsuch, Preston, Prince of Wales, St Albans. Frigates: Ariadne, Aurora, Barbados, Carcass, Ceres, Pelican, Snake, Venus, Weazle. Troops under Gen Grant took the island by surprise and Barrington thwarted its recapture.

1805  The body of Vice-Adm Viscount Nelson, preserved in a cask of spirits after Trafalgar, transferred into an elm coffin on board Victory at anchor off Dover while on passage from Portsmouth to The Nore. On 21 December, Mr Whitby, Master Attendant at Woolwich, and Mr Tyson, Nelson’s former secretary, arrived at Sheerness with the ‘exterior coffin’.

The brave tars of victory. PW3746

The Brave Tars of the Victory, and the Remains of the Lamented Nelson (caricature). (Royal Museums Greenwich) – http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/127891.html

This caricature captures some of the controversy that surrounded the funeral. Originally, the authorities wanted to bring Nelson’s body home in a fast frigate – but the sailors of the Victory insisted that they wanted to bring him home themselves. Hand-coloured. [This is the first numerical print entry of satires by George Murgatroyd Woodward, born c. 1765 Stanton-le-Dale, Derbys., – died 1809 London, whose substantial archive including many nautical subjects is now in the Derbyshire County Archive.

1824  Attack on a flotilla of Burmese war boats in the Panhlaing River by Diana, boats of Arachne and Sophie and the Bombay Marine Prince of Wales.

1841  Charybdis captured the Colombian Federal Marcellino and five Federal schooners in Zapote Bay.

1899  Battle of Colenso, Naval Brigade of Terrible, Forte, Tartar, Philomel and Natal Naval Volunteers.

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HMS Terrible (1895) – A port bow view of HMS Terrible (1895), a First Class Cruiser, at anchor. Alongside is a steam pinnace with a ship’s launch on the inside.

1913  Tiger, battlecruiser, launched at John Browns. The Royal Navy’s last coal-burning capital ship to remain in the operational fleet, paying off in 1931.

HMSTiger1928

The battlecruiser HMS Tiger towards the end of her career, 1928. (RNM W&L 111A)

1917  Arbutus torpedoed by UB-65 in the entrance to the Bristol Channel (51-38N, 06-00W). Sank next day.

1936  First sea trials of the RN’s first radar – Type 79.

1940  Cameron capsized in Portsmouth Dockyard after attack by German aircraft: damaged beyond repair.

1940  Thunderbolt (ex-Thetis) sank the Italian S/M Capitano Tarantini in Bay of Biscay (45-25N, 09-12W).

1940  Admiralty dispatched RMS team to Coventry by special train after a very heavy air raid. Returned to London on the 18th, having dealt with sixteen mines, one of which exploded, though without casualties.

1941  Nestor (RAN) sank U-127 off Cape St Vincent in advance of Convoy HG76.

1942  Petard and Vasilissa Olga (Greek) captured the Italian S/M Uarsciek S. of Malta (35-10N, 14-25E). S/M sank later in tow.

1946  Adm Sir Herbert Richmond, founder of the Naval Review and Master of Downing College, Cambridge, died.

1978  Bahrain closed as a British naval base.

1978  Last conventional fixed-wing squadron 892 NAS, decommissioned at Leuchars.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 14 December ……….

1624  Lord Howard of Effingham died.

1775  Thomas Cochrane born.

1798  Ambuscade taken by the French Bayonnaise off the mouth of the Gironde.

1809  Melampus captured the French Béarnais 80 miles N.N.E. of Barbuda.

1814  Boats of fleet captured five American gunboats and a sloop on Lake Borgne.

1840  Board approved construction of first wooden screw sloop. Ardent later Rattler, launched at Sheernes. Bee, launched at Chatham 28 February 1842 was the first screw ship in the Service. She also had precautionary paddles. The first iron vessel was Dover, a paddle packet built by Laird in 1840 and stationed on west African coast from 1849.

1852  Relief of Pegu, Burma. Ships (Bengal MarineNerbudda, Mahanuddy. Boats of: Fox, Sphinx and Moozuffer (Indian Navy).

1860  Landing party from Nimrod captured six pirate junks in Taune Bay.

1864  Bombay destroyed by fire and explosion off Montevideo. Ninety-seven dead, including thirty-four Royal Marines, one of whom died at his post as sentry outside the Captain’s quarters.

1939  Ursula sank the German escort F-9 and an R-boat off Heligoland (54-08N, 07-55E).

1939  Kelly badly damaged by mine 13 miles off the mouth of the Tyne.

1940  Eight Swordfish aircraft of 830 Sqn (Malta) bombed Tripoli.

1940  Hereward and Hyperion sank the Italian S/M Naiade off Bardia (32-03N, 25-56E).

1941  Urge torpedoed Vittario Veneto, putting her out of action for several months.

1941  Galatea sunk by U-557 30 miles W. of Alexandria (31-17N, 29-13E).

1942  GC (ex-AM): PO Cook C.H. Walker for saving life in MV Waimarama in Grand Harbour, Malta. Operation Pedestal. (Gazette date).

1944  Aldenham sunk by mine 45 miles S.E. of Pola (44-30N, 14-50E).  Last of 139 destroyers lost in the Second World War.

1944  Diadem, Mauritius and four destroyers attacked shipping off Stadtlandet.

1944  Bombardment of the Arakan coast in the neighbourhood of St Martin’s Island (thirteen bombardments during the next nine days). Ships: Napier, Nepal: HDML: 1275, 1303: ML: 438, 439, 440, 441, 447, 847, 855.

RoyalMarines@Arakan1944

Royal Marines assault on Cheduba Island in the Arakan campaign, 1944. (RNM)


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 13 December ……….

1710  Breda captured the French Maure 100 miles W. of Lisbon.

1711  The wall around Portsmouth Dockyard completed.

‘This WALL was Begun the 4th June and finish’d ye 13th December 1711.’

‘In order to meet the needs of modern road traffic and with the approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty this gate built in 1711 was increased in width from 12ft to 22ft. November 1944′ – plaques at Victory Gate.

1796  Terpsichore captured the French Vestale 60 miles W. of Cadiz. Retaken by the prisoners next day and sailed into Cadiz, but retaken by Clyde in 1799.

1806  Halycon captured the Spanish Neptune Dios de Los Mares off Cape San Martin.

1808  Destruction of the French Cygne and two schooners off St Pierre, Martinique. Ships: Circe, Amaranthe, Stork, Epervier, Express, Morne Fortunée. Troops: Royal York Rangers.

1809  Junon taken by the French Renommée and Clorinde 270 miles E. by N. of Guadeloupe, and burned.

1810  Boats of Kent, Ajax, Cambrian, Minstrel and Sparrowhawk destroyed a French convoy at Palamos, Catalonia.

1914  VC: Lt Norman Douglas Holbrook (B 11) for passing through the Turkish minefield at the entrance to the Dardanelles and sinking the Turkish Messoudich off Cannakkale. Holbrook’s was the first VC won by a submariner. It was not first naval VC won in the First World War (Ritchie, Goliath, 28 or 29 November 1914) but the first to be gazetted.

LtNormanDouglasHolbrookVC1914HMS_M B11

13 December 1914 - Lieutenant Norman HOLBROOK RN, commanding officer, HM submarine B.11, Dardanelles (above – Lt Holbrook, probably with B.11 behind him, also B.11 at sea (both MQ))

 The London Gazette 22 December 1914 (from the Admiralty)

For most conspicuous bravery on the 13th December, when in command of the Submarine B.11, he entered the Dardanelles, and, notwithstanding the very difficult current, dived his vessel under five rows of mines and torpedoed the Turkish battleship Messudiyeh, which was guarding the mine-field.

1915  First periscope photograph of Constantinople from E 11.

1916  Ariel and Landrail sank UB-29 in western Channel.

1917  U-75 mined and sunk of Borkum.

1937  Blood being thicker than water, Scarab returned the compliment and opened fire on Japanese A/C which sank USS Panay in the Yangtze River.

1939  Salmon torpedoed the German cruisers Leipzig and Nurnberg 130 miles W. of Jutland.

The Salmon, on patrol in the North Sea, sighted three enemy cruisers and hit both the Leipzig and Nurnberg. The Leipzig remained under repair for a year, and then was employed on training duties: the Nurnberg took six months to repair. Nine days before, the Salmon had sunk U-36 in the same area, the first successful submarine versus enemy submarine attack in the war. For this patrol her CO Lt-Cdr Bickford was promoted and awarded the DSO.

1939  Cdre H.H. Harwood (Ajax) engaged the Admiral Graf Spee off the River Plate (34-28S, 49-05W) and drove her into Montevideo, where she was scuttled on the 17th. Ships: Ajax, Achilles (NZ), Exeter. FAA: Seafox: 700 (Ajax).

The German pocket battleship Graf Spee had been commerce raiding in the South Atlantic. Various naval units were searching for her. Force G, under Cdre Harwood, was off the River Plate. On 13 December the squadron sighted smoke, and action with the Graf Spee opened at 0614 at 9.5 miles. The Exeter was hit heavily, but continued to fight, with only one turret working by hand, on emergency steering and using the after conning position, passing orders to the steering position by a line of sailors. Graf Spee also hit Ajax and Achilles, but finally turned for Montevideo to make repairs. After the permitted 72 hours in a neutral port Graf Spee sailed and then scuttled herself, having been given the impression that superior forces were outside the harbour, when in fact they were forty-eight hours’ steaming away. A coincidence that the first decisive naval engagements of both world wars took place in the South Atlantic and that the raider sunk in 1939 was named after the German admiral defeated in 1914.

GrafSpee1939

The German pocket battleship Graf Spee, burning after being scuttled in the River Plate estuary, 1939. (RNM)

1941  Legion, Sikh, Maori and Isaac Sweers (Dutch) sank the Italian cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano off Cape Bon (37-04N, 11-47E). A classic victory which earned Cdr Stokes the unusual honour of a CB.

1942  Enchantress sank the Italian S/M Corallo off Bougie (37-00N, 05-09E). Convoy ET 5.

1943  Liberator B/53 sank U-391 in the Bay of Biscay (45-45N, 09-38W).

1943  Calpe and the USS Wainwright sank U-593 in W. Mediterranean (37-38n, 05-58E). Convoy KMS 34.

1944  Swordfish L/813 and Q/813 (Campania) sank U-365 in Arctic (70-43N, 08-07E). Convoy RA 62.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 12 December ……….

1721  Alexander Selkirk, Master’s Mate in Weymouth and Defoe’s inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, died.

1724  Samuel Hood born.

AdmSamuelViscountHood1724-1816

ADM SAMUEL, VISCOUNT HOOD (1724-1816)

Joined, promoted lieutenant and made Post in the same years as his younger brother Alexander. Employed during the peace between the Seven Years’ War and the War of American Independence, and appointed Commissioner at Portsmouth in 1778. Distinguished service in Caribbean waters as a Flag Officer – at the Basse Terre (25 January 1782) and the Saints (12 April): made an Irish peer for the latter, C-in-C Portsmouth: then a member of the Board of Admiralty 1788-95. C-in-C Mediterranean 1793-4, during which period he occupied Toulon for a time and did much damage on its evacuation. Politics procured his recall – though he was then over seventy – much to Nelson’s disgust: ‘Oh miserable Board of Admiralty: they have forced the first officer of the service away from his command.’ But he became Governor of Greenwich Hospital, for twenty years, and his monument describes him rightly as ‘an officer of the highest distinction among the illustrious men who rendered their own age the brightest period in the naval history of their country’.

1779  Salisbury captured the Spanish privateer San Carlos 20 miles W. by N. of Punta de la Sal, Gulf of Honduras.

1781  Rear-Adm Richard Kempenfelt (Victory) captured fifteen sail of a French convoy 160 miles S.W. by W. of Ushant by separating the convoy from its escort, which was to leeward. Ships: Agamemnon, Alexander, Britannia, Courageux, Duke, Edgar, Medway, Ocean, Queen, Renown, Union, Valiant, Victory. Frigates: Arethusa, Monsieur, Prudente, Tartar, Tisiphone.

1782  Mediator captured the French Alexandre and Menagére off Ferrol.

1782  Adm Sir Hyde Parker Bt sailed from Rio de Janeiro to take up appointment as C-in-C East Indies, his flag in Cato. Neither he nor she was seen again. Although some wreckage thought to have come from the ship appeared at Jeddah nine years later, there was a persistent rumour that he had not only been killed but also cannibalised on the Malabar coast.

1804  Spain declared war on Britain.

1809  Thetis, Achates, Attentive, Bacchus and Pultusk captured the French Nisus and destroyed a battery at Deshayes, Guadeloupe.

1810  Entreprenante  fought four French privateers between Malaga and Almeria.

1849  Boats of Centaur, Teazer and the French Rubis recaptured the British Grant up the Mansoa River, Gambia. Troops: 2nd and 3rd West India Regiments.

1863  Minotaur launched at Thames Iron Works. The first five-masted warship and, with Agincourt (Lairds 27 March 1865) and Northumberland (Mare 17 April 1866), at 400ft the longest single-screw warsips ever built.

1888  Establishment of two Schools of Signalling, one in Devonport Barracks and the other in Portsmouth, originally in Duke of Wellington but eventually in Victory.

1917  Partridge (escorting a Scandinavian convoy of four neutral ships, with four trawlers) sunk and Pellew damaged by German destroyers G-101, G-103, G-104 and V-100 in 59-48N, 03-53E off Norwegian coast. A waste of Room 40’s intelligence.

1917  Wolverine lost in collision with Rosemary off north-west Ireland.

1936  Destroyer Fury, escorted by destroyer Wolfhound, carried the Prince Edward (later Duke of Windsor) to France after his abdication as King Edward VIII the previous day.

1939  Duchess sunk in collision with Barham, 9 miles off the Mull of Kintyre (55-19N, 06-06W).

1940  Aphis, Ladybird and Terror bombarded enemy positions on the Egyptian frontier.

1941  Moth scuttled as blockship at Hong Kong. Raised by Japanese and commissioned as Suma. Sunk by American mine in the Yangtze, 19 March 1945.

1942  P 222 sunk by the Italian TB Fortunale in the Gulf of Naples.

1943  Holcombe and Tynedale sunk by U-593 aff Bougie (37-20N, 05-50E and 37-10N, 06-05E respectively). Convoy KMS 34. First use of German acoustic torpedo.

1944  Tunsberg Castle (Nor) (ex-Shrewsbury Castle) sunk by mine off Sandstabben light, N.W. of Kola Inlet (70-44N, 30-09E).

1952  848 NAS sailed in Perseus for Far East. The first operational RN helicopter squadron. First operational sortie carried out on 26 January 1953.

1962  Assault on Limbang. Brunei by L Company 42 RM Commando. This was the first incident in the Indonesian confrontation, which persisted until 11 August 1966. Several ships were involved, supported by 3 Commando Brigade with 40 and 42 Commandos.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 11 December ……….

1795  Shark taken into La Hogue by a mutinous crew.

1798  Perdrix captured the French privateer Armée.

1799  Tremendous destroyed the French Preneuse at the mouth of the Tombeau River, Mauritius.

1807  Grasshopper captured the Spanish San Jose under Cape Negrete.

1899  Capt Bearcroft’s Naval Brigade at the battle of Magersfontein.

1936  Accession of King George VI.

OfficersWW1Malta

Officers of Malta during the First World War. Note the Paymaster RNR in the middle row, far right. (RNM)

1941  Farndale sank the Italian S/M Ammiraglio Caracciolo off Bardia (32-09N, 25-19E). Convoy TA 2.

1941  Truant sank the Italian TB Alcione off Suda Bay, Crete. Beached 35-29N, 24-11E.

1942  Blean sunk by U-443 W. of Oran (35-55N, 01-50W).

1943  Cuckmere torpedoed off Algiers by U-223: CTL. Convoy KMS 34.

1953  WRNS new-entry training establishment at Burghfield near Reading since July 1945, commissioned as Dauntless. Paid off 14 August 1981 and training transferred to Raleigh.

1958  Launch of Otago, first ship built specifically for RNZN.

1968  Cochrane commissioned at Rosyth.

1992  Royal Arthur, RN Leadership School, Corsham, ceased training. Task transferred to RN School of Leadership and Management (RNSLAM), Whale Island, Corsham site closed 5 March 1993. DCI(RN) 171/92.

1996  Vice-Adm Sir Hugh Thompson, who rose from ERA (Engine Room Artificer) to ERA (Engineer Rear-Admiral), died aged 65. Strictly, he was a Rear-Admiral (E) and that designation was abandoned after 1956. The last Engineer Rear-Admiral was Sir John Kingcome, who died shortly after the Second World War.

1997  HMY Britannia paid off at Portsmouth Dockyard. The Queen was piped ashore at 15.00. Flag of Lord High Admiral and White Ensign struck.

HMYBritanniaDecom1997HMNBPortsmouth

HMY Britannia entering Portsmouth harbour for the last time.


Royal Navy On This Day 10 December

1683  Victualling entrusted to new Commissioners.

1747  Relative ranks between officers of the Navy and the Army approved by King George II.

1809  Royalist captured the French privateer Beau Marseille off Dungeness.

1810  Rosario captured the French privateer Mameluk off Dungeness.

1856  Capture of Bushire. Ships: Assaye, Semiramis, Ferooz, Ajdaha, Victoria, Falkland, Berenice (Indian Navy).

1902  Ariadne (flag), Charybdis, Tribune, Retribution and Indefatigable dealt with recalcitrant Venezuelan gunboat before blockading that coast in conjunction with German and Italian ships until 14 February 1903.

1917  UB-75 mined and sunk off Flamborough Head.

1936  Formation of RNV(S)R.

1941  Prince of Wales and Repulse sunk by Japanese torpedo aircraft off the east coast of Malaya (03-33N, 104-28.7E and 03-45N, 104-24E respectively).

First British capital ships lost to air attack and the last British battleship and battlecruiser sunk in action. Adm Sir Tom Phillips was the last British admiral killed in action. Also lost in his flagship was one of the two sets of twins: Robert and James Young had joined the Royal Navy from a Cheltenham orphanage.

Royal Marine detachments from the two ships were rescued and went on to join the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the ‘Plymouth Argylls’ in the defence of Singapore.

HMSPrinceofWales1941

HMS Prince of Wales, 1941. (RNM)

1941  Light cruiser Naiad bombarded Derna.

1942  Destroyer Roebuck, building at Scotts, Greenock, was prematurely launched by a near miss by a German bomb and lay submerged for nine months.


Royal Navy ………… On This Day ………… 9 December ……….

1677  Guernsey fought the Algerine White Horse 20 miles east of Cape Palos.

1798  Boadicea captured the French privateer Invincible Bonaparte 500 miles W. of Ushant.

1809  Redpole captured the French privateer Grand Rodeur off Beachy Head.

1819  Destruction of the Joasmi pirate stronghold at Ras al Khaimah. Ships: Liverpool, Curlew, Eden (Bombay Marine), Aurora, Nautilus, and three others. Troops: 47th and 65th Regiments 1/3rd, 1/11th and flank company of 1/2nd Native Infantry.

1856  Capture of the Persian fort at Reshire (Rishahr). Ships: Assaye, Semiramis, Ferooz, Ajdaha, Victoria, Falkland, Berenice (Indian Navy).

1914  British forces captured Qurra, Mesopotamia. Ships and vessels: Espiegle, Ocean, Odin, Lawrence, Lewis Pelly, Miner, Shaitan.

AFV1915

The development of the tank as an AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle). RNAS personnel working on Killen Strait tractor for Admiralty Landships Committee, 1915. (Tank Museum 1539/D2)

1914  Commissioning of Ark Royal, purchased for conversion to seaplane carrier.

1917  Ben Lawers rammed and sank UB-18 in Channel Approaches (49-17N, 05-27W).

1942  Porcupine torpedoed by U-602 off Cape Ferrat (36-40N, 00-04W). Reached Gibraltar and towed to UK in two parts nicknamed Pork and Pine. But CTL, so no second Zubian.

1942  U-124 engaged again by 5.5in gun, this time at Ascension.

1942  Marigold sunk by Italian torpedo aircraft W. of Algiers. Convoy MKS 3Y.

1944  Bamborough Castle sank U-387 off Murmansk (69-41N, 33-12E). Convoy RA 62.

2003  Lt Charlotte Atkinson, born on Trafalgar Day 1971, appointed to command Brecon in MCM3 at Faslane. Hitherto women had commanded only P2000 Archer-class vessels attached to URNUs.


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