Allied Warships

HMS Leith (L 36 / U 36)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassGrimsby 
PennantL 36 / U 36 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered1 Nov 1932 
Laid down6 Feb 1933 
Launched9 Sep 1933 
Commissioned12 Jul 1934 
End service 
History

HMS Leith is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List

Sold and became the mercantile Byron in 1946.
Renamed Friendship in 1948.
Resold to the Royal Danish Navy on 26 August 1949 and renamed Galathea.
Galathea was scrapped at Odense, Denmark in 1955.

 

Commands listed for HMS Leith (L 36 / U 36)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Gilbert Ridley Waymouth, RN1 Nov 19382 Sep 1940
2Cdr. Roland Charlton Allen, RN2 Sep 194021 Mar 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Mark Taylor Collier, RN21 Mar 194124 Jun 1941
4Lt.Cdr. Edward Campbell Hulton, RN24 Jun 194130 May 1943
5Lt.Cdr. (retired) Alan Westbury Preston, RN30 May 194320 Mar 1945
6Lt. Robin Richard Whalley, RN20 Mar 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Leith include:


19 Sep 1939
HMS Otus (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (1)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Odin (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Moir, RN) conducted exercises off Penang together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (2)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Otus (Lt.Cdr. E.C.F. Nicolay, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN). (1)

15 Nov 1939
Around 1330 hours (zone -5.5), HMS Liverpool (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), departed Colombo for Singapore. She was to replace HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) on the China Station.

That evening HMS Liverpool was ordered to patrol in position 05°N, 80°E as HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) had reported star shell in position 09°N, 68°E. HMS Liverpool was ordered to continue her passage to Singapore the following afternoon. (3)

28 Aug 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. G.R. Waymouth, RN) picks up 27 survivors from the Finnish merchant Elle that was torpedoed and sunk north-east of Ireland in position 57°43'N, 12°18'W by German U-boat U-101.

18 Oct 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. R.C. Allen, RN) picks up 19 survivors from the Estonian merchant Nora that was torpedoed and sunk on 13 October 1940 by German U-boat U-103 north-east of Ireland in position 57°02'N, 13°11'W.

19 Oct 1940
HMS Leith (Cdr. R.C. Allen, RN) picks up 34 survivors from the British merchant Assyrian and 19 survivors from the Dutch merchant Soesterberg that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-101 about 100 nautical miles west by north of Barra Head, Outer Hebrides in position 57°12'N, 10°43'W.

19 Jun 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and another vessel [unable to read the name in the log of HMS H 44]. (4)

20 Jun 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. H. Winter, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and aircraft. (5)

23 Jun 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. H. Winter, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) and aircraft. (5)

26 Sep 1941
The British merchant Lapwing is torpedoed and sunk north-north-east of the Azores, in position 47°40'N, 23°30'W by German U-boat U-203. HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) later picks up 1 survivor.

13 Oct 1941

Convoy OS 9

This convoy departed Liverpool on 13 October 1941 for Freetown where it arrived on 5 November 1941. Several merchant ships were detached en-route for other destinations.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adjutant (1931 GRT, built 1922), Alderamin (Dutch, 7886 GRT, built 1920), Arlesford (2472 GRT, built 1922), Annavore (Norwegian, 3324 GRT, built 1921), Baluchistan (6992 GRT, built 1940), Baron Cawdor (3638 GRT, built 1935), Baron Ramsay (3650 GRT, built 1929), Brittany (4772 GRT, built 1928), City of Barcelona (5787 GRT, built 1930), City of Dublin (1095 GRT, built 1882), City of Hereford (5101 GRT, built 1927), Cornish City (4952 GRT, built 1936), Cressado (1228 GRT, built 1913), Egba (4989 GRT, built 1914), Empire Glade (7006 GRT, built 1941), Empire Glen (6327 GRT, built 1941), Fagersten (Norwegian, 2342 GRT, built 1921), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Fjord (Norwegian, 4032 GRT, built 1914), Graiglas (4312 GRT, built 1940), Guinean (5205 GRT, built 1936), Hadleigh (5222 GRT, built 1930), Harmonides (5237 GRT, built 1920), Harpasa (5082 GRT, built 1934), Ittersum (Dutch, 5199 GRT, built 1938), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (8815 GRT, built 1921), Leeds City (4758 GRT, built 1927), Leerdam (Dutch, 8815 GRT, built 1921), Loch Ranza (4958 GRT, built 1934), Madras City (5082 GRT, built 1940), Marwarri (8067 GRT, built 1935), Nigerian (5423 GRT, built 1936), Ottinge (2870 GRT, built 1940), Queen Victoria (4937 GRT, built 1936), Rembrandt (5559 GRT, built 1941), Ribera (5559 GRT, built 1940), Rio Blanco (4086 GRT, built 1922), Salabangka (Dutch, 6586 GRT, built 1920), Sheaf Crown (4868 GRT, built 1929), Spero (1589 GRT, built 1922), Stad Amsterdam (Dutch, 3780 GRT, built 1920), Stanmore (4970 GRT, built 1940), Superman (tug, 359 GRT, built 1933), Talthybius (10254 GRT, built 1912), Tintern Abbey (2471 GRT, built 1939), Treworlas (4692 GRT, built 1922) and Willemsplein (Dutch, 5489 GRT, built 1910).

Escort was initially provided by the following warships; Free French sloop / minesweeper Commandant Domine (13 – 24 October), sloops Egret (A/Capt. E.M. Haes, RN) (14 October – 2 November), Fowey (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) (14 October – 1 November), Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN), Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RN) and the corvettes HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, RNR) (14 October – 5 November), HMS Stonecrop (A/Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR) (14 October – 1 November).

When approaching Freetown the following corvettes joined on 31 October; HMS Burdock (T/Lt. H.J. Fellows, SANF(V)), Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR) and Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR). They remained with the convoy until it arrived at Freetown on 5 November.

On 24 October 1941 the Gibraltar (and Lisbon) section of the convoy split off. This were nine merchant vessels escorted by HMS Fowey, HMS Leith and HMS Stonecrop. The destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) departed Gibraltar on 25 October to join the convoy on the 27th. Two more destroyers, HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) departed Gibraltar in the morning of 28 October and they joined the convoy in the afternoon of the next day. The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 1 November. The previous day the ships destined for Lisbon had split off.

30 Nov 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR) and HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN). (6)

30 Nov 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. E.T. Stanley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr.(Retd.) C.B. Allen, RN), HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.T. Gilbert, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Newport. (7)

21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (8)

29 Aug 1942
HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) picks up 68 survivors from the Dutch merchant Zuiderkerk that was torpedoed and damaged the previous day by German U-boat U-566 west-north-west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 40°20'N, 16°02'W. The Zuiderkerk was finally sunk with shallow set depth charges by HMS Erne.

15 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR). (9)

16 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Lough Foyle. There she conducted A/S exercises with HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR). (10)

19 Jun 1943

Combined convoy OS 50/KMS 17G.

This combined convoy assembled off Oversay on 19 June 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Balteako (British, 1328 GRT, built 1920), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Baron Ramsay (British, 3650 GRT, built 1929), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Basil (British, 4913 GRT, built 1928), Blairesk (British, 3300 GRT, built 1925), Calgary (British, 7206 GRT, built 1921), City of Dundee (British, 5273 GRT, built 1921), City of Eastbourne (British, 5563 GRT, built 1923), Coity Castle (British, 2767 GRT, built 1919), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Como (British, 1295 GRT, built 1910), Corcrest (British, 2373 GRT, built 1918), Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Dalcross (British, 4557 GRT, built 1930), Dordrecht (Dutch, 4402 GRT, built 1928), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Dumfries (British, 5149 GRT, built 1935), Empire Candida (British, 2908 GRT, built 1943), Empire Fal (British, 4880 GRT, built 1914), Empire Franklin (British, 7292 GRT, built 1941), Empire Harp (British (tanker), 861 GRT, built 1942), Empire Nightingale (British, 5698 GRT, built 1918), Evviva (Norwegian, 1597 GRT, built 1921), Fort Abitibi (British, 7122 GRT, built 1942), Fort Liard (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Fort Nipigon (British, 7132 GRT, built 1942), Fort Senneville (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Glenwood (British, 4897 GRT, built 1940), Godfrey Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Helencrest (British, 5233 GRT, built 1941), Henzada (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Kristianiafjord (Norwegian, 6759 GRT, built 1921), Lafian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Llanberis (British, 5055 GRT, built 1928), Lysaker V (Norwegian, 1571 GRT, built 1936), Marga (Norwegian, 1583 GRT, built 1923), Merkland (British, 1363 GRT, built 1934), Nijkerk (Dutch, 5843 GRT, built 1915), Norfalk (British, 5675 GRT, built 1919), Ocean Viceroy (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Phemius (British, 7406 GRT, built 1921), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), Saltwick (British, 3775 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Silverash (British, 7750 GRT, built 1926), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Stad Maasluis (British, 6541 GRT, built 1918), Stanhope (British, 2337 GRT, built 1919), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Tombouctou (British, 5636 GRT, built 1919), Trevaylor (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940), Uranienborg (British, 5257 GRT, built 1940) and Vigsnes (Norwegian, 1599 GRT, built 1930).

On assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Aberdeen (Lt.Cdr. H. Day, RN), HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR) and HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) which joined coming from Londonderry.

The monitors HMS Abercrombie (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN) and HMS Roberts (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) were also taking passage in this convoy as was the RFA tanker Orangeleaf (5983 GRT, built 1917).

On 21 June HMS Folkestone was detached to return to Londonderry for repairs to defective hull plating.

On 24 June the merchant vessel Dornoch straggled from the convoy. The next day HMS Folkestone was ordered to search for her. She had departed Londonderry to overtake the convoy on 24 June having effected repairs there.

Cover for the convoy during part of the passage was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN).

En-route the merchant vessels Baron Ramsay, Merkland and Stanhope were detached to Lisbon as was the Coity Castle which was detached to Huelva.

On 27 June 1943 the convoy was split up.

The destroyer HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), A/S trawlers HMS Reighton Wyke (Skr. G.M. Sutherland, RNR), HMS Visenda (T/Lt. S.F. Archer, RNR) and A/S whaler HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. P.H. Riseley, RNVR) took over the escort of convoy KMS 17G. These escorts, plus the corvette HMS Columbine (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR) had brought out convoy OS 50G from Gibraltar which they had departed earlier on 27 June. [For the ships of convoy OS 50G see below.]

HMS Aberdeen and HMS Folkestone from the original escort also proceeded to Gibraltar escorting convoy KMS 17G.

On 28 June the convoy escort was reinforced by the escort destroyer Holcombe and Viceroy.

Convoy KMS 17G arrived at Gibraltar on 29 June.

Convoy KMS 17G was made up of the following merchant vessels; Anglo Indian, Balteako, Baron Douglas, Baron Ruthven, Blairesk, Como, Corcrest, Cromarty, Dalcross, Dumfries, Empire Candida, Empire Fal, Empire Harp, Empire Nightingale, Evviva, Fort Abitibi, Fort Nipigon, Helencrest, Kristianiafjord, Lysaker V, Marga, Norfalk, Pendeen, Pentridge Hill, Richmond Hill, Saltwick, , Trevaylor and Vigsnes.

The Orangeleaf also was part of KMS 17G as were HMS Abercrombie and HMS Robert.

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Convoy OS 50 then continued on with the escort. It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Basil, Calgary, City of Dundee, City of Eastbourne, Colytto, Dordrecht, Empire Franklin, Fort Liard, Fort Sonneville, Glenwood, Godfrey B. Holt, Lafian, Llanberis, Nijkerk, Ocean Viceroy, Sansu, Silverash, Souliotis, Tiba, Tombouctou and Unanienborg.

These were joined by the merchant vessels which had made up convoy OS 50G which had been brought out of Gibraltar by the escortx which took over convoy KMS 17G, except for HMS Columbine which joined convoy OS 50.

The merchant vessels in question were the following; Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Biafra (British, 5405 GRT, built 1933), Empire Kangaroo (British, 6219 GRT, built 1919), Empire Miranda (British, 7054 GRT, built 1943), Empire Sunbeam (British, 6711 GRT, built 1941), Fort Fairford (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lac La Ronge (British, 7131 GRT, built 1942), Fort McLoughlin (British, 7129 GRT, built 1942), Fort Vermillion (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Junecrest (British, 6945 GRT, built 1942), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Ocean Verity (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Volunteer (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Trader (British, 6087 GRT, built 1940) and Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936).

Later more merchant vessels joined coming from Casablanca, these were the; Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Dunkerque (French, 2477 GRT, built 1925), Elorn (French, 5482 GRT, built 1930), Finisterre (French, 1158 GRT, built 1909), Hoggar (French, 5146 GRT, built 1923), Ingleton (British, 7203 GRT, built 1942) and Schiaffino (British, 3236 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Casablanca; Fort Laird and Fort Senneville.

Off Dakar the following merchant vessels joined the convoy; Fort de Vaux (British, 5186 GRT, built 1918), Fort Jemseg (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Horace Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Palacio (British, 1346 GRT, built 1927) and Salta (Norwegian, 3907 GRT, built 1920).

The following merchant vessels were then detached to Dakar; Calgary, Dan-Y-Bryn, Dunkerque, Elorn, Finisterre, Fort Lac La Ronge, Hoggar, Ingleton and Madras City.

The merchant vessel Godfrey B. Holt was detached to Bathurst.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 8 June 1943.

12 Aug 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN). (11)

11 Apr 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Sandwich (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR), HMS Versatile (Lt. G.C. Potter, DSC, RN) and HMS Columbine (T/Lt. J.C. Grose, RNR). (12)

21 Dec 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN), HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR) and aircraft. (13)

22 Dec 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR). Also a practice attack on HMS Leith was made. (13)

21 Jan 1945
The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) departed Freetown for Plymouth. She is still escorted by the frigates HMS Dovey (T/A/Lt.Cdr. T.W.F. Bolland, RNR) and HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR).

Around 1350A/27 they were joined by the sloop HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. R.A. Baker, RNVR) and HMS Convolvulus (A/Lt.Cdr. R.F.R. Yarde-Buller, RNVR).

At 0930A/31, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Cdr. Douglas Eric Holland-Martin, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HrMs Van Galen (Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) joined as additional escorts.

HMS Valiant and her escorts arrived at Plymouth on 1 February 1945. (14)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15873
  2. ADM 173/15814
  3. ADM 53/109584 + ADM 199/382
  4. ADM 173/173/16782
  5. ADM 173/16761
  6. ADM 173/16766
  7. ADM 173/16795
  8. ADM 173/17201
  9. ADM 173/17827
  10. ADM 173/17795
  11. ADM 173/17773
  12. ADM 173/19337
  13. ADM 173/19345
  14. ADM 53/122435

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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