THE ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE
SERVICE RECORD
OF
JOHN WILSON
SERVICE RECORD | THE LOSS OF THE RUTLANDSHIRE | ADMIRALTY REPORTS | 23rd A/S TRAWLER GROUP
 
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H.M.S. CAIRO
H.M.S. NUBIAN
&
H.M.S. AUCKLAND

 

H.M.S. CAIRO

 

"C" Class Light Cruisers

This class was a progressive development from the earlier Arethusa class, and their follow ons, the Caroline/Calliope/Cambrian class.

Capetown group.

One of three types of "C" Class Light Cruisers (other groups: Caledon and Cardiff)

Name

Builder

Completed

Details

Cairo

Cammell Laird

Sep. 1919

AA cruiser; sunk by Italian submarine Axum 12 Aug. 1942

Calcutta

Vickers

Aug. 1919

AA cruiser; sunk by aircraft off Crete 1 Jun. 1941

Capetown

Cammell Laird

Feb. 1922

AA cruiser; scrapped 1946

Carlisle

Fairfield

Nov. 1918

AA cruiser; sunk by aircraft 9 Oct. 1943

Colombo

Fairfield

Jun. 1919

AA cruiser; scrapped 1946

Originally, to improve the poor sea-keeping of the bows (any sort of sea had the bows awash in the preceding classes), a "trawler bow", a large raised bulwark for'ard, was fitted, and a planned hanger and catapult replacing the conning tower was only carried for a short time in Carlisle.

In 1939, all except Colombo were taken in hand for conversions to AA cruisers, albeit on simpler lines than the Coventry. All except superfiring "B" gun were replaced by twin 4" AA, and "B" was replaced by a quad pom-pom, with quad 0.5" MG's replacing the 3" AA abreast the fore funnel. An AA spotting top was added to the foremast, together with a HA.DCT, another being added on a suppressed after superstructure, and a tripod mainmast was stepped.

Later additions involved replacing the quad 0.5" MG AA with 20mm AA and adding a further six single 20mm AA along the ship, and SW type 272 or 273 ahead of the mainmast, AW type 286 on the mainmast, AR type 285 on the DCT's and AR type 282 on the pom-pom director. Later, all except the wing 20mm AA were replaced by twin 20mm AA in the Carlisle and the Capetown.

Dimensions (Capetown group)
 
Net displacement 4190 tons Length 450'
Gross displacement 6200 tons Beam 43'6"
Load 2010 tons Draught 16'3"
 
Performance & Propulsion
 
Propulsion 8 x Yarrow small tube boilers, 2 x Parsons steam turbines @ 40000 hp
Range 2240nm @ 24kts, 1625nm @ 27.5kts
Speed 29kts

Complement, Armour, Electronics and Armament
 
Complement 400 - 437 officers and ratings
Armour - 3" side amidships
- 1" - 2" side (bow)
- 2" side (stern)
- 1" upper deck
- 3" conning tower (where fitted)
Electronics - Surface Warning (SW) type 273
- Air Warning (AW) type 286
- Air Recognition (AR) type 285 4" fire control
- Air Recognition (AR) type 282 pom-pom fire control

Armament (Earlier)

  • Gun

- 5 x 1 x 6" L/50 BL
- 2 x 1 x 3" AA
- 2 x 1 x 2pdr pom-pom AA

  • Torpedoes

- 4 x 2 x 21" tubes

Armament (Later - Capetown group except Colombo)

  • Gun

- 4 x 2 x 4" AA
- 1 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
- 2 x 4 x 0.5" MG AA later;
- 8 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA or;
- 2 x 1 x and 6 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA (Carlisle, Capetown)

H.M.S. Cairo May 1939. Note the fitment of the "trawler bow",a large raised  bulwark for'ard, designed to improve the poor sea-keeping of the bows

A heavily camouflaged H.M.S. Cairo in early 1941

The April 1940 Navy list details the naval officers and their respective appointment dates to H.M.S. Cairo, as:

Captain     P.V. McLaughlin.…………….……1 Feb. 1940
Commander J.H. Venville (ret)……..….…….5 Dec. 1937
Lieut.-Com. F.B. Lawrie (ret).……….……….29 Jun. 1939
Lieut.-Com. I.M. Cooper (ret)……….……….28 Aug. 1939
Lieutenant H.R. Law………..…………………..24 Aug. 1939
Lieutenant P.M. Whatley.……………………..24 Jan. 1940
Lieutenant R.N.V.R. I.L. MacGregor…….……………..- Sept. 1939
Lieutenant R.N.V.R. R.E. Tod…….………………..……..19 Feb. 1940
Lieutenant R.N.V.R. D.R. Bennett-Jones..…..……..19 Feb. 1940
Eng. Com C. H. McVittie…….……………....21 Dec. 1939
Lieut.-Com. R.N.R. (E) H.R. Laycock RD………………..22 Nov. 1939
Lieutenant RM  J.L. Jaquet.………………………..25 Aug. 1939
Paym. Com. R.N.R. R.T. Smith…………………………- Aug. 1939
Surg. Lieut.-Com. R.N.V.R. K. Forsythe………..………………25 Aug. 1939
Surg. Lieut. R.N.V.R. C.S. Cane……….………………….25 Aug. 1939
Sub-Lieut. T.S. Sampson..………………….23 Aug. 1939
Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R. D.H.J. Bodger.….....………….- Sept. 1939
Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R. B.H. Moss………….....………….- Sept. 1939
Tempy Sub-Lieut. (E) R.N.V.R. R.B. Billbrough (proby)...…10 Nov. 1939
Tempy Paym. Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R. J.A. Ditton……………...………..5 Dec. 1939
Gunner C.Y. Taylor…….….……………..24 Nov. 1938
Gunner J. Thundercliffe.………………..25 Aug. 1939
Wt. Engineer S.G. Legge..………………………25 Aug. 1939
Wt. Engineer C.J. Kelly (act)..…….………..31 Oct. 1939
Wt. Elect. S. Hutchings…….…….………..24 Aug. 1939
Paym. Mid. D.N. Ash….……………….……….26 Aug. 1939

 

H.M.S. NUBIAN

 

Tribal Class Flotilla Destroyers

Page 4 of Admiralty report, H.M.S. Nubian No. 5/16 of 23 April 1940, confirms that my grandfather and his crew were taken aboard this Flotilla Class Destroyer during the course of the evening, Sunday 21 April 1940 and returned to Scapa Flow on Tuesday, 23 April 1940.

Having investigated the aforementioned report further, I believe that the referred to Lieutenant-Commander A.H.Davies, R.N.V.R., was perhaps the Commanding Officer of the 23rd A/S trawler group (of which the Rutlandshire was part of) and not, as stated in the report, the Commanding Officer of the lost Rutlandshire.

From the April 1940 Navy List, Lieutenant-Commander A.H.Davies, R.N.V.R., was shown as serving on the trawler Melbourne which, from various Naval communiquιs, was shown to be in the Namsos area. The Navy list also details the naval officers and their respective appointment dates to the Rutlandshire, as:

Ch. Skipper, R.N.R.     J. Wilson……………………………6 Dec. 1939
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., R.N.V.R. D.S. McKenzie (proby)…..…………….5 Mar. 1940
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., R.N.V.R. W.G. Phillimore (proby)……...………..5 Mar. 1940


The artwork contained on this page is entirely the personal work and property of Σ Andrew Arthur, web master of the RN Encyclopaedia and has been reproduced here with his kind permission. Un-authorised publishing on any other website is strictly forbidden. Please ask Andrew and I'm sure he'll be happy to provide.

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H.M.S. Nubian somewhere in the Mediterranean, probably just prior to the evacuation of Crete. During the evacuation her stern was badly damaged by the Luftwaffe. She managed to get back to Alexandria by steering with her main engines (the job of Sub-Lieut. M.D. Rahilly). After temporary repairs in Egypt she sailed to India to have a complete new stern fitted.

 

Name

Pennant

Builder

Launched

Fate

Afridi*

F07

Vickers Armstrong

8 June 1937

Sunk by German planes, May 1940

Cossack*

F03

Vickers Armstrong

8 June 1937

Torpedoed by U-563, Oct. 1941

Gurkha

F20

Fairfield

7 July 1937

Sunk by German planes, April 1940

Maori

F24

Fairfield

2 Sept. 1937

Scuttled of Malta, Feb. 1942

Mohawk

F31

Thornycroft

5 Oct. 1937

Torpedoed by Italian Tarigo, April 1941

Nubian

F36

Thornycroft

21 Dec. 1937

Scrapped, June 1949

Zulu

F18

Stephen

23 Sept. 1937

Lost Sept. 1942 - used to repair Nubian

Ashanti

F51

Denny

5 Nov. 1937

Scrapped, April 1949

Bedouin

F67

Denny

21 Dec. 1937

Torpedoed by Italian planes June 1942

Eskimo

F75

Vickers Armstrong

3 Sept. 1937

Scrapped June 1949

Mashona

F59

Vickers Armstrong

3 Sept. 1937

Bombed by German planes May 1941

Matabele

F26

Scotts

6 Oct. 1937

Torpedoed Jan. 1942

Punjabi

F21

Scotts

18 Dec. 1937

Sunk in collision with Battleship King George V, May 1942

Sikh

F82

Stephen

17 Dec. 1937

Sunk by shore batteries at Tobruk, Sept. 1942

Somali*

F33

Swan Hunter

24 Aug. 1937

Torpedoed Sept. 1942

Tartar*

F43

Swan Hunter

21 Oct. 1937

Scrapped Feb. 1948

*- Flotilla Leader

These large and powerful destroyers (termed flotilla destroyers, or 'destroyer destroyers', for countering enemy flotillas head on in a gun battle) were put in hand in response to the laying down by world navies of large, powerful destroyers with 5" guns: 16 German Type 1934, 10 Japanese Arashios and 5 American Somers.

Tonnage was limited to 1850 tons by treaty, and it was planned to fit 10 4.7" guns in 5 twin turrets. It was then accepted that "Q" turret could be replaced by a 1/2 multiple pom-pom(s). The main armament was also the first properly controlled DP 4.7" armament in a British destroyer, the 4" AA being the largest HA gun available before that. Their layout remained unique in the Royal Navy, and for such large vessels, they were very deficient in AA defence.

Dimensions
 
Full Displacement 2520 tons Length 377.5'
Empty Displacement 1960 tons Beam 36.5'
Load 460 tons Draft 9.0'
 
Performance & Propulsion
 
Machinery 4 x Admiralty 3 drum boilers, 2 x Parsons Steam Turbines @ 44000hp
Speed 36kts
 
Armament & Complement
 
Complement 190 Officers & Ratings, Flotilla Leaders 211

Armament (Earlier)

  • Gun

- 4 x 2 x 4.7" DP
-
1 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
-
2 x 4 x 0.5" MG AA

  • Torpedoes

- 1 x 4 x 21" tubes

  • ASW

- 2 x DC racks for 20 DC's

Armament (Later)

  • Gun

- 4 x 2 x 4.7" DP
-
1 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
-
2 x 1 x 2pdr pom-pom AA or;
-
2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA and a further,
-
2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
-
2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA

  • Torpedoes

- 1 x 4 x 21" tubes

  • ASW

- 2 x DC racks for 20 DC's

The April 1940 Navy list details the naval officers and their respective appointment dates to H.M.S. Nubian, as:

Commander    R.W. Ravenhill……………………6 Dec. 1939
Lieut.-Com. R.T. Lampard…………………….1 Feb. 1938
Lieutenant J.F.D. Bush………………………..6 Dec. 1938
Lieutenant R.N.V.R. W.E.M. de S.Dunn (proby).27 Nov. 1939
Lieut.-Com. (E) A.E. Turner………………………..2 Feb. 1940
Surg. Lieut. G.H.C.R. Chritten………………22 Dec. 1939
Sub-Lieut. M.D. Rahilly……………………….30 Jan. 1940
Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R. K.K. Lacey (proby)..………….14 Dec. 1939
Tempy Sub-Lieut. (E) R.N.V.R. R.S. Bickerton……………………5 Jan. 1940
Tempy Sub-Lieut. (E) R.N.V.R. G. Lowery (proby)…………….5 Jan. 1940
Gunner (T) F. Miller……………………………..27 Jan. 1938
Midshipman R.N.R. P.N. Hopper……………………….21 Aug. 1939

 

H.M.S. AUCKLAND

 

Egret Class Sloop

Commissioned with a Portsmouth crew on the 19th November 1938, Auckland worked up at Portland and sailed for her first assignment on 4th January 1939, arriving at Simonstown on the 17th February and cruised on the eastern coast of southern Africa during that summer. On the outbreak of war she remained Simonstown-based until November 1939 when she went north to Freetown and escorted convoy SLF 9 to the United Kingdom, arriving at Portsmouth on the 30th November 1939.

After refit at Portsmouth, Auckland joined the Rosyth Escort Force and protected East coast convoys until April 1940 when she sailed for Norway, remaining in that campaign until 1st May 1940. She was then transferred to the Red Sea Force and passed through the Mediterranean during May 1940, to go straight on to Bombay for a one months refit, from which she returned to the Red Sea in time to cover the evacuation of Berbera.

Auckland remained on Red Sea convoy duty until January 1941 when she returned to Bombay for a five week docking and refit, after which she went back to Red Sea convoy duty until the beginning of April 1941. On the 8th April 1941 Auckland arrived at Alexandria and transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet being based at Alexandria and covering convoys and operations along the Libyan coast until sunk by air attack off Tobruk on the 24th June 1941.

An early view of H.M.S. Auckland in her ‘as built’ configuration. No radar or close range weapons have yet been fitted, nor are her pennants displayed

   

Name

Pennant

Builder

Launched

Fate

Auckland

U61

Denny

30 June 1938

Sunk by German planes, June 1941

Egret

U75

White

31 May 1938

Sunk by glider bomb, August 1943

Pelican

U86

Thornycroft

12 September 1938

Scrapped November 1958

Dimensions

Standard Displacement

1250 tons

Length

292.5'

Load  

390 tons

Beam

37.5'

Draft

11.0'

Performance & Propulsion

Machinery

Two shaft, geared turbines, designed SHP 3,600

Speed

19.25kts

Armament & Complement 

Armament (Earlier)

   Gun
- 4 x 2 x 4" HA
-
1 x 4 x 0.5"
-
2 x 3pdr saluting 

The April 1940 Navy list details the naval officers and their respective appointment dates to H.M.S. Auckland, as: 

Commander

J.G. Hewitt

20 Jan. 1940

Lieutenant

N.J. Parker
W.F. Shelton
J.F. House

Jan. 1940
3 Oct. 1938
16 Nov. 1938

Surg. Lieut.

C.J. Roberts

22 Dec. 1939

Paym Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R.

B.C. Young

5 Oct. 1939

Cd. Engineer

C.L. Meadley

11 Jan. 1938

Gunner

L.H. Muger

13 Sep. 1938

Tempy Midshipman R.N.V.R. 

P. Whitehead

10 Feb. 1940

  


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