HMS Gladiolus (K 34)
Corvette of the Flower class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Smiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.)|
|Ordered||25 Jul 1939|
|Laid down||19 Oct 1939|
|Launched||24 Jan 1940|
|Commissioned||6 Apr 1940|
|Lost||17 Oct 1941|
|Loss position||57° 00'N, 25° 00'W|
HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. Harry Marcus Crews Sanders, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) was torpedoed and sunk (most likely) by the German submarine U-553 south of Iceland in position 57º00'N, 25º00'W while escorting convoy SC-48. There were no survivors. More details about her loss can be read in the following article: U-boat attacks on the convoy SC-48 and the mysterious loss of HMS GLADIOLUS during the night of 16/17 October 1941.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Gladiolus|
Commands listed for HMS Gladiolus (K 34)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Harry Marcus Crews Sanders, RNR||16 Mar 1940||17 Oct 1941 (+)|
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Notable events involving Gladiolus include:
30 Jun 1940
HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, RNR) picks up 16 survivors from a lifeboat of the British merchant Llanarth that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-30 on 28 June about 220 nautical miles west by south of Ushant in position 47°30'N, 10°30'W.
1 Jul 1940
German U-boat U-26 was scuttled south-west of Ireland, in position 48°03'N, 11°30'W after being heavily damaged by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, RNR) and bombs from an Australian Sunderland aircraft (10 Sqn RAAF/H).
31 Jan 1941
HMS H 43 (Lt. I.L.M. McGeogh, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sabre (Lt. P.W. Gretton, DSC, RN), HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR) and HMS Wellard (Lt.Cdr. A. Johnson, RNVR). (1)
3 Mar 1941
At 0045 hours (zone +1), HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN), is joined by the British sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, RN). At 1130 hours the British corvette HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR) and the British rescue tug HMRT Salvonia also joined. Attempts were now undertaken to take Taku in tow but these failed. A connection between Salvonia and Taku was established only at 0808 hours the following morning. Taku was now towed to Londonderry. During passage the tow parted once. (2)
16 Mar 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN) and HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR). (3)
23 Mar 1941
Convoy SL 69.
This convoy departed Freetown on 23 March 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 18 April 1941.
On departure from Freetown this convoy was made up of the following ships; Agioi Victores (Greek, 4344 GRT, built 1918), Alberte le Borgne (British, 3921 GRT, built 1914), Anna (Greek, 5173 GRT, built 1919), Aurillac (British, 4733 GRT, built 1921), Baron Napier (British, 3559 GRT, built 1930), Baronesa (British, 8663 GRT, built 1918), British Justice (British (tanker), 6932 GRT, built 1928), Bulysses (British, 7519 GRT, built 1927), Christine Marie (British, 3895 GRT, built 1919), City of Bath (British, 5079 GRT, built 1926), City of Wellington (British, 5732 GRT, built 1925), Clan Maquarrie (British, 6471 GRT, built 1913), Corilla (Dutch (tanker), 8096 GRT, built 1939), Dago II (British, 1993 GRT, built 1917), Daru (British, 3854 GRT, built 1927), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Empire Advocate (British, 5787 GRT, built 1913), Floristan (British, 5478 GRT, built 1928), Glenaffric (British, 7782 GRT, built 1920), Glenbeg (British, 9461 GRT, built 1922), Harpalycus (British, 5629 GRT, built 1935), Hopecastle (British, 5178 GRT, built 1937), L.A. Christensen (Norwegian, 4362 GRT, built 1925), Lekhaven (Dutch, 4802 GRT, built 1921), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Marton (British, 4969 GRT, built 1933), Mobeka (Belgian, 6111 GRT, built 1937), Mountpark (British, 4648 GRT, built 1938), Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920), Nijkerk (Dutch, 5843 GRT, built 1915), Palembang (Dutch, 7070 GRT, built 1921), Pantelis (Greek, 3845 GRT, built 1911), Pontfield (British (tanker), 8319 GRT, built 1940), Roumanie (Belgian, 3658 GRT, built 1906), Salland (Dutch, 6447 GRT, built 1920), San Francisco (Swedish, 4933 GRT, built 1915), Sangara (British, 4174 GRT, built 1939), Sarthe (British, 5271 GRT, built 1920), Selvistan (British, 5136 GRT, built 1924), St. Usk (British, 5472 GRT, built 1909), Swedru (British, 5379 GRT, built 1937) and Tekoa (British, 8695 GRT, built 1922).
On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Arawa (A/Capt. G.R. Deverell, RN), sloop Commandant Domine and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR).
In the morning of March 25, HMS Mauritius is ordered to proceed to position 07°24'N, 24°35'W and investigate a raider report.
At 1359/25, the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) was ordered to complete with fuel and then depart Freetown to overtake the convoy to join the escort. HMS Repulse arrived near the convoy around 1700/27 and then started to provide 'distant' cover.
At 1941/25, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) were ordered to leave Freetown at 0700/26 and to overtake and join the convoy as well. This order was cancelled at 0301/26 but at 1121/26 the ships were ordered to sail as soon as possible to overtake the convoy wich they did around 2300/27 after which the destroyers returned to Freetown.
On 26 March 1941 the convoy was joined by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN). She remained with the convoy until March, 29th as did the corvettes HMS Clematis and HMS Cyclamen.
On 29 March, HMS Repulse, HMS Furious, HMS Duncan, HMS Foxhound parted company with the convoy escorting the troopship Narkunda to Gibraltar where they arrived on 3 April.
HMS Mauritius had been ordered to rejoin the convoy when Repulse would leave it. She remained with the convoy until 5 April 1941 when she was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN).
On 14 April HMS Edinburgh and HMS Arawa parted company with the convoy when the destroyers HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Sherwood (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), sloop HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), and the corvettes HMS Clarkia (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RNR) and HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR) joined. The next day the two more destroyers; HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Dover, RN) and HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN) also joined.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 16 April 1941.
23 Apr 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Keppel (Cdr. A.M. Sheffield, RN), HMS Douglas (Cdr. W.E. Banks, DSC, RN), HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR), HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr. (retired) D.F. White, RNR), HMS St. Elstan (T/Lt. G. Butcher, RNVR) and HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR). (4)
8 May 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Burnham (Cdr. J. Bostock, DSC, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN), HMS St. Elstan (T/Lt. G. Butcher, RNVR), HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR), HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR) and HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.F. White, RNR). (4)
27 Jun 1941
German U-boat U-556 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Iceland, in position 60°24'N, 29°00'W, by depth charges from the British corvettes HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, RNR), HMS Celandine (Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR) and HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSO, DSC, RNR).
- ADM 173/16768
- ADM 199/1846
- File 2.12.03.6375 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- File 2.12.03.6376 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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