Allied Warships

HMS Imperialist (FY 126)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 126 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched23 Dec 1938 
CommissionedOct 1939 
End service 

Completed in January 1939.
Taken over by the Admiralty on 30 August 1939.
Displacement: 520 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun, 1 40 mm AA.

Returned to her owner in October 1945.
Scrapped at Troon around mid-1968.


Commands listed for HMS Imperialist (FY 126)

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1Lt.Cdr. York McLeod Cleeves, RD, RNR2 Oct 193924 Apr 1940
2T/Lt. Philip Edward Kitto, RNR24 Apr 1940mid 1942
3T/Lt. Frank Maurice Phillips, RNVRmid 1942Oct 1942
4T/Lt. Arthur Rex Fawkener Pelling, RNROct 194224 May 1943
5T/A/Lt.Cdr. Bryan Humfrey Craig Rodgers, RNVR24 May 19437 Nov 1944
6T/Lt. Leslie George Harry Mole, RNVR7 Nov 1944

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Notable events involving Imperialist include:

12 Nov 1942
In the evening of 12 November 1942 HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) both fuelled from 'Force R' which was made up of the tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort for this force was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).

The destroyers were to join 'Force H' at sea but were ordered to remain with 'Force R' during the night.

31 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-732 was sunk in the Strait of Gibraltar north of Tangier, in position 35°54'N, 05°52'W, by depth charges from the British A/S trawler HMS Imperialist (T/A/Lt.Cdr. B.H.C. Rodgers, RNVR) and the British destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN).

24 Dec 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. A.J. Boyall, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Hare (Lt. C.H. Hilliard, RNZNVR), HMS Wave (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN), HMS Seabear (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.R. Patton, RNVR) and HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR). (1)

27 Dec 1944
HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Eday (T/Lt. G.G. Chisholm, RNVR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Loch Craggie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.L.L. Davies, RNVR) and HMS St. Helena (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR). (2)

31 Dec 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. A.J. Boyall, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Wave (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN) and HMS Oakham Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Lyons, RNVR). (1)

7 Mar 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Kingston Chrysolite (A/Skr.Lt. C. Pennington, RNR) and aircraft. (3)


  1. ADM 173/19302
  2. ADM 173/19424
  3. ADM 173/20231

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

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