Allied Warships

HMS Hamlet (T 167)

MS Trawler of the Shakespearian class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMS Trawler
PennantT 167 
Built byCook, Welton & Gemmill (Beverley, U.K.) : Holmes 
Ordered12 Dec 1939 
Laid down21 Feb 1940 
Launched24 Jul 1940 
Commissioned23 Dec 1940 
End service 
HistorySold 30 January 1947.


Commands listed for HMS Hamlet (T 167)

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1T/Lt. Charles Robertson, RNR6 Nov 194030 Dec 1940
2T/Lt. Henry Harcus Bolton, RNVR30 Dec 194025 May 1943
3T/Lt. John Craig Boyd, RNVR25 May 194328 Dec 1943
4T/Lt. David John Morris, DSC, RNR28 Dec 194317 Aug 1944
5A/Skr.Lt. Jock Alan MacTean, RNR17 Aug 194411 Aug 1945
6J W Brown, RNVR11 Aug 194529 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Hamlet include:

21 Aug 1941

Operation (Convoy) Dervish

Departed Hvalfjord for Northern Russia on 21 August 1941. It had been intended to proceed to Murmansk but due to German air attacks on this city the convoy was diverted to Archangelsk where it arrived on 31 August 1941.

On departure from Hvalfjord the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alchiba (Dutch, 4427 GRT, built 1920), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Lancastrian Prince (British, 1914 GRT, built 1940), Llanstephan Castle (British, 11348 GRT, built 1914), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929) and Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928).

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Aldersdale (8402 GRT, built 1937) was also part of the convoy.

On departure from Hvalfjord the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN), minesweepers HMS Harrier (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, MVO, DSO, RN), HMS Halcyon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H. Harding, RNR), HMS Salamander (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Cooke, RN) and the M/S trawlers HMS Hamlet (T/Lt. H.H. Bolton, RNVR), HMS Macbeth (T/Lt. R.M. Thorne, RNR) and HMS Ophelia (T/Lt. S. Bennett, RNVR).

On 29 August the three destroyers and the RFA tanker were detached from the convoy to proceed to Spitsbergen.

The convoy arrived safely at Archangelsk on 31 August 1941 not having been detected by the Germans.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by ' Force M '. This force departed Scapa Flow around 1530A/23 and was made up of the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), HMS Suffolk (Capt. R.M. Ellis, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN).

Between 1230A/26 and 1430A/26, HMS Inglefield fuelled from HMS Suffolk. Between 1500A/26 and 1605A/26, HMS Escapade fuelled from HMS Devonshire.

' Force M ' arrived at Spitsbergen to refuel from the Aldersdale around 0045A/1. ' Force M ' departed again 0200A/2 to provide cover for other operations.

9 Nov 1941

Convoy PQ 3.

This convoy departed Hvalfiord, Iceland on 9 November 1941 for Archangel, Russia where it arrived on 22 November 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), Cape Corso (British, 3807 GRT, built 1929), Cape Race (British, 3807 GRT, built 1930), Cocle (Panamanian, 5630 GRT, built 1920), El Capitan (Panamanian, 5255 GRT, built 1917), San Ambrosio (British (tanker), 7410 GRT, built 1935), Trekieve (British, 5244 GRT, built 1919) and Wanstead (British, 5486 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Hvalfiord the convoy was escorted by the M/S trawlers HMS Hamlet (T/Lt. H.H. Bolton, RNVR) and HMS Macbeth (T/Lt. R.M. Thorne, RNR).

On the 14th HMS Hamlet was detached to return to Hvalfiord with the merchant vessel Briarwood which had been damaged by ice.

HMS Macbeth detached from the convoy on 15 November.

Around 0335Z/13, the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Lewes, DSC, RN) departed Seidisfiord, Iceland to make rendezvous with the convoy.

They were followed around 1050Z/13 by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN).

Around 1235Z/14, HMS Bedouin and HMS Intrepid were joined by HMS Kenya.

HMS Bedouin parted company at 0500Z/15.

Early in the afternoon of the 15th, HMS Kenya attempted to fuel HMS Intrepid but the weather was unsuitable and the attempt had to be broken off.

Early in the evening of the 15th, HMS Kenya and HMS Intrepid made contact with the convoy.

At 2345A/16, HMS Bedouin joined the convoy.

Between 1025A/17 and 1205A/17, HMS Kenya transferred 90 tons of fuel to HMS Intrepid.

In the moring of the 18, it had been intended to fuel HMS Bedouin by HMS Kenya but the weather conditions were unsuitable.

In the morning of the 20th, the local A/S escort joined, this was made up of the minesweepers HMS Bramble (Capt. J.H.F. Crombie, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN) and HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN).

At 1600C/20, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy which went on to Archangel where it arrived on 22 November 1941.

HMS Kenya arrived at Murmansk around 1045C/21.

HMS Bedouin and HMS Intrepid arrived at Murmansk around 0950C/22 having been detached from the convoy. HMS Bramble also arrived at Murmansk on this day.

HMS Seagull and HMS Speedy arrived at Murmansk at 1105C/24.

22 Apr 1943
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) departed Scapa Flow for Lerwick where she arrived later the same day. She was escorted by the British M/S trawler HMS Hamlet (T/Lt. H.H. Bolton, RNVR). (1)

13 Oct 1943
HMS Storm (T/Lt. E.P. Young, DSC, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises with USS Corry (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN), HMS Brissenden (Lt. the Hon. D.D.E. Vivian, RN), HMS Hamlet (T/Lt. J.C. Boyd, RNVR) and HMS Celia (T/Lt. L.B. Merrick, RNR). (2)

6 Jul 1944
HMS Shakespeare (Lt. D. Swanston, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises with HMS Mermaid (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Mosse, RN), HMS Hamlet (T/Lt. J.C. Boyd, RNVR) and HMS Graemsay (A/Skr.Lt. A.R. Lewis, RNR). (3)

1 Sep 1944
HMS Ultor (Lt. G.E. Hunt, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Holy Loch for Blyth. She was escorted by HMS Mistral (Lt. J.H.M. Sowry, RNVR) until 2130/2 when HMS Hamlet (A/Skr.Lt. J.A. MacTean, RNR) took over the escort. (4)

6 Mar 1945
HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN), HMS Votary (Lt. P.M. Staveley, RN) and HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) all departed Blyth for Scapa Flow / Lerwick. They were escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. W.E. Turner, RNVR) until 0900/27 when HMS Hamlet (A/Skr.Lt. J.A. MacTean, RNR) took over. (5)


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/18123
  3. ADM 173/18719
  4. ADM 173/19172
  5. ADM 173/20330 + ADM 199/1444

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

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