Crest of the V&W Destroyer AssociationCrest of the V&W Destroyer AssociationHMS MONTROSE

HMS Montrose
HMS Montrose
NavyPhotos/Mark Teadham 

Click on the links within this brief outline for first hand accounts by the men who served on HMS Montrose and for a more detailed chronology see

HMS Montrose was one of eight Admiralty-type destroyer leaders, sometimes known as the Scott class, named after figures from Scottish history; Montrose was named for the Graham Dukes of Montrose. She was initially ordered under the Wartime Emergency Construction Programme in April 1917 from Cammel Laird at Birkenhead on the Mersey but was built by Hawthorn Leslie at Hebburn on the Tyne. She was launched on 10 June 1918, commissioned on 29 August 1918 and completed on 14 September that year.

On the outbreak of war Montrose was leader of the 17th Destroyer Flotilla (17DF), based at Milford Haven part of the Western Approaches Command, on  anti-submarine patrols and convoy escort in the East Atlantic. On 30 September 1939, she attacked a suspected German submarine south of Plymouth, and on 2 October 1939 with HMS Keith attacked another sub.

On 26 May 1940, she took part in Operation Dynamo, the Evacuation of Dunkirk.  On 28 May she evacuated 925 troops, landing them at Dover, and was heading out on another run early in the morning of 29 May when she collided in a fog bank with the tug Sun V, breaking the destroyer's stem. Montrose had to be towed back to Dover stern-first by the tug Lady Brassey and was under repair at Harland and Wolff's North Woolwich yard from 31 May to 5 July 1940. After repair, Montrose joined the 18th Destroyer Flotilla, Nore Command, based at Harwich. In July 1940 at the start of the Battle of Britain, German aircraft carried out a campaign of attacks against coastal shipping in the English Channel, and on 27 July, attacked Montrose and the destroyer Wren, which were escorting minesweepers off Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Montrose claimed two German bombers shot down during the engagement, but was badly damaged by near-misses which immobilised her, while Wren was sunk. Montrose had to be towed back to Sheerness.

Montrose was under repair at Chatham Dockyard until October 1941, reallocated to the 16th Destroyer Flotilla, and worked up at Scapa Flow. In December 1941, she was detached from her flotilla to join the covering force for Operations Anklet and Archery, raids on Lofoten and Vågsøy in northern Norway. On 30 December, Montrose hit a rock off Herston, Orkney, damaging her port propeller shaft and was under repair at Rosyth until the end of May 1942.

On 1 August 1942, Montrose joined the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and was part of the distant covering force for the Arctic convoys PQ 18 and QP 14 in September and from December 1942 – January 1943 for convoys RA 51 and JW 52. On 1 February 1943, she left Scapa for the Nore Command, resuming coastal patrols and convoy escort duties off the east coast. On the night of 17 - 18 February 1943, Montrose and the Hunt-class destroyer Garth were on patrol when they encountered several  E-boats laying a minefield off Lowestoft and E-Boat S71 was immobilised and then rammed and sunk by Garth.

Montrose was offered to Frome in Somerset as her adopted ship after HMS Thunderbolt (ex Thetis), the ship Frome had raised £176,000 to adopt during a successful Warship Week in February 1942, was sunk off Sicily on 14 March 1943. Cdr W.J. Phipps RN wrote to the Town Clerk of Frome UDC expressing his pleasure at the adoption of HMS Montrose by Frome.

On 16 October 1943 Cdr Guy Neville Rolfe succeeded Cdr Phipps as CO of Montrose and soon afterwards,  on 24 October 1943, Montrose collided with the Hunt-class destroyer Cotswold. Cotswald was badly damaged and was under repair for six months.

Cdr Guy Neville Rolfe was in command during the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944. Montrose left Harwich on 5 June, and was escorting follow-on convoys to the Eastern (British) operating area from 6 June. She was awarded the ship's last battle honour during these operations. On 7 July, Montrose's stern was damaged when the ship was in collision with the cargo ship
Empire Heywood off Harwich. Montrose suffered more serious damage on 19 July when she collided with the landing ship LST-430 and was docked at the Port of Immingham for repairs.

Montrose did not re-enter service, and was placed in Category C Reserve on 2 November 1944. Montrose was allocated by BISCO to Hughes Bolckow Ltd for disposal on 31 January 1946 and scrapped at Blyth in Northumberland.

Commanding Officers

With acknowledgment to the Dreadnought Project and

Cdr Malcolm L. Goldsmith, 21 August, 1918 – 4 July, 1919)
Cdr Lewis G. E. Crabbe, 4 July, 1919 – 23 February, 1922)
Cdr Edward McC. W. Lawrie, 4 February, 1922 – September, 1922)
Capt The Hon. Edward B. S. Bingham VC (1 October, 1922 – 1 October, 1924)
Capt Edmond J. G. Mackinnon (1 Oct, 1924  – 10 Feb, 1925 - and as Capt (D), 4DF)
Capt Edward O. B. S. Osborne (10 Feb, 1925  – Oct, 1925)
And as Capt (D), 5DF and 1DF from 1 April, 1925)
Capt James V. Creagh (10 Oct 1925 (and as Capt (D), 1DF)
Capt John H. K. Clegg (11 Oct, 1927 - and as Capt (D) 2DF)
Capt James V. Creagh (Oct, 1927 – 2 July, 1928  - and as Capt (D), 1DF)
Lt Cdr Edward D. Marston (23 Oct 1929 – 16 Nov, 1929 - for period of trials)
Lt Cdr John Drinkwater (9 Sept 1930 – 4 Dec 1930 - for trials)
Capt Arthur J. L. Murray (4 Dec, 1930 – 1931 - and as Capt (D), 6DF)
Capt Geoffrey R. S. Watkins (late 1931 – 30 June, 1932 - and as Capt (D), 5 DF)
Capt Richard S. Benson (1935 – August, 1935  - and as Captain (D), 10 DF)
Capt Ernest R. Archer (30 Aug 1935 – 10 Feb 1936 - and as Capt (D), 20 DF)
Capt Charles M. Blackman (10 Feb 1936 – mid 1936  - and as Capt (D), 20 DF)
Capt Henry B. Crane (24 Sept 1938 – 1938  - and as Capt (D), 9DF)

Wartime  Commanding officers

Cdr (Ret) Henry T. W. Pawsey (31 July – 6 Sept, 1939)
Capt Alfred J. L. Phillips (30 Aug – 28 Sept 1939 - and Captain (D) 17 DF)
Cdr Cecil R. L. Parry (27 Sept 1939 – 9 Sept 1941)
Lt Cdr Walter J. Phipps (9 Sept 1941 – 16 Oct 1943)
Cdr Guy N. Rolfe (16 Oct 1943 – c. Aug 1944)


Further names from the Navy List will be added later.

Lt(E) T.E. Browell (10 Oct 1943 - c. Aug 1944)
Lt R. A. Carr RNVR (28 April - c. Aug 1944)
Sub Lt Edward John Cornish-Bowden (14 Feb – April 1940)
Lt C.J. Cross RNR (4 Oct 1941 -  c. Aug 1944)
Lt T.D. Evans RNVR (3 May 1943 - c. Aug 1944)
Sub Lt J.E.A.R. Guinness RNVR (26 Feb - c Aug 1944)
Lt Edward M.B. Hoare RN (28 Sept 1939 - Oct 1940)
Surg Lt S.G.F. Linton RNVR (24 July 1943 -  c. Aug 1944)
Lt Cdr Sir Rhoderick R. McGrigor RN (Feb 1925 - May 1926)
1st Lt Guy E.M. Naylor RN (Jan 1941 - Feb 1942)
Sub Lt Anthony d'E.T. Sangster (Tony) RN (16 Sept 1941 - Jan 1942)
Sub Lt D.V. Sheppard RNVR (18 April 1942 - c. Aug 1944)
Lt D.C. Souter RNVR (15 Feb 1944 - c. Aug 1944)
Sub Lt J.H. Terry RNVR (28 June 1943 - c. Aug 1944)
Lt John V Yelland RN (5 Jan 1940 - Feb 1942)

Members of the V & W Destroyer Assoociation
The veterans did not regard the Flotilla Leaders as true V & Ws as they were larger to accommodate the additional staff required by Captain (D) of a Flotilla.
As far as is known non of the officers and men who served in HMS Montrose or any of the Flotilla Leaders with the exception of HMS Wallace were members of the V & W Destroyer Association
But the Association was proud to have Prince Philip as its Patron and since he served as First Lieutenant in HMS Wallace  her veterans were encouraged  to join

Cdr Walter J Phipps and Arctic Convoys

Walter John Phipps was born at Shanghai, China, on 29 July 1899 and joined the Royal Navy when he entered RN College Osborne in 1912 after the death of his father. He was appointed a Midshipman on 2 August 1914 and by the time he took command of HMS Montrose had commanded several V & W Class destroyers beginning with HMS  Wakefull (1929), HMS Westminster (1929-31) and  HMS Malcolm (1934). He married Veronica Halliday, the daughter of the Vicar of Topsham on the Exe in south Devon in 1929 and they had two daughters. He was appointed CO of HMS Woolston on 5 September 1939 and served in her until the 29 April 1941.

Cdr Walter H Phipps, CO of HMS MontroseLt Cdr Walter J Phipps (on left) took command of HMS Montrose on 9 September 1941 while under repair at Chatham after being badly damaged by German bombers near Aldeburgh. HMS Wren was sunk in the same action. In December 1941, HMS Montrose was detached from her flotilla to join the covering force for Operations Anklet and Archery, raids on Lofoten and Vågsøy in northern Norway. On 30 December, Montrose hit a rock off Herston, Orkney, damaging her port propeller shaft and was under repair at Rosyth until the end of May 1942.

"On 1 August 1942, Montrose joined the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and was part of the distant covering force for the Arctic convoys PQ 18 and QP 14 in September and from December 1942 – January 1943 for convoys RA 51 and JW 52."

Cdr Phipps commanded Montrose during these Arctic Convoys to North Russia and we hope to  add an account of that period by one of his officers or men. He left HMS Montrose to take command of the new  Hunt Class destroyer HMS Limbourne when first commissioned in October 1942. A year later on 23 October1943 Limbourne and the light cruiser HMS Charybdis and five other destroyers, were engaged by a number of large German Type 39 torpedo boats near Guernsey. HMS Charybdis was sunk and the forward magazine of Limbourne exploded killing 40 crew members.  Cdr Phipps was among those injured. Attempts to tow her back to port had to be abandoned and she was scuttled.  An account of the action extracted from captured German Archives can be read on The two ships were sunk by a smaller but better trained German force and their loss "was used as an illustration of what not to do by the Royal Navy tactical school."

His private papers at thw IWM in London include a typescript diary (286pp) covering his command of the destroyers HMS Woolston, October 1939 - April 1941, HMS Montrose which took part in the Russian convoy PQ18, September 1941 - October 1943, HMS Limbourne which was present at the sinking of the cruiser HMS Charybdis, October 1943, and HMS Mackay which was the senior ship sent to Norway to enforce the terms of surrender on the German naval forces, December 1944 - July 1945.

Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe and the D-Day Landings in Normandy

HMS Montrose was adopted by Frome in Somerset while Cdr Phipps was her CO after HMS Thunderbolt (ex Thetis), the submarine Frome adopted after raising £176,000 during a successful Warship Week in February 1942, was sunk off Sicily on 14 March 1943. When Cdr Phipps left to join HMS Limbourne the Admiralty appointed a Somerset man as his successor.

Guy Nevill-Rolfe with  his father and sons, April 1940, Flax Bourton Somerset

Three generations of the Neville-Rolfe family outside Barrow Cottage in Flax Bourton, Somerset, on 7 April 1940
Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe is at the back on the left, his father Capt Herbert Neville-Rolfe is holding 'Jimmy' the dog and the grandsons, John Murray and David Edmund, are seated in front wearing overcoats
Guy Neville-Rolfe was born into the Navy as the son of Captain Herbert Neville-Rolfe RN (1854-1942)
His second son (centre front) married the daughter of Cdr I.R.C. Moultrie in 1963 and retired as Captain John Murray Neville-Rolfe (1937-2021).
Courtesy of David Edmund Neville-Rolfe (right front) who served in the Army

The wedding of Cdtr Guy Neville-Rolfe in Eduinburgh, Daily Mirrow 19 Jan 1930Guy Neville-Rolfe was born in Naples on 21 November 1898 when his father, Captain Herbert Neville-Rolfe RN, was 44 and his mother, Mabel Mary Barff, 29.His Mother was the daughter of the Chaplain of the Anglican Church in Naples and Canon of Gibraltar. Her family came from the village of Flax Bourton in North Somerset so he could claim a Somerset connection through his Mother despite living near Hunstanton in Norfolk where his family had lived at Heacham since 1558.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 May, 1920 and to Lieutenant-Commander on 15 May, 1928. He spent his life in destroyers and as a junior officer served in three V & Ws,  HMS Warwick, Westcott and Volunteer, before being given command of Tetrach in 1928. He married Hilda Ruth Witherspoon Smith, the daughter of a Scottish solicitor, "a writer to the Signet",  at the "Grange Church" (now Marchmont St Giles) in Edinburgh, on 11 January 1930. The Bride's father was deceased and she was given away by her brother, Lt Cdr H.Murray Smith.

David Nevillee-Rolfe and Yvonne de Cossens at a birthday party aboard HMS Dunoon at Alexandia in 1935 The married couple went to Malta where he was given command of HMS Walrus: "I took over a good ship and we won every efficiency and sports trophy" and after two years was rewarded with command of HMS Cygnet, a new ship used as a cruiser but with an unpopulsr senior officer. David Nevill-Rolfe, the first of two sons was christened on board the Cygnet on 24 April 1932 but things  did not work out for his father and he was posted to 
the Chatham naval base on the Medway" to while away his time" teaching anti-gas techniques at the "Gas School".

King George V died on 20 January 1935  and King Fouad of Egypt on 28 April and on 5 May an internationl crises provided an escape from this dull routine -

"a threatened war with Italy got me command of the minesweeper HMS Dunoon at Alexandria where life ashore was made very happy by meeting the de Cosson's who paved the way for a short emigration of the family" to Egypt.

David Neville-Rolfe aged three got to know Yvonne de Cosson, his future wife, and they were photographed together at a birthday party (on left) aboard his father's ship at Alexandria.  Yvonne has gone through her Mother's Diary extracting references to the active social life in Alexandria during the crisis between Mussolini's Italy and Abyssinia.

On returning from biannual leave in Switzerland on 13 October they found forty British warships in the port and a boom across the harbour entrance. In no time, the British community set to inviting senior officers to cocktails and dinner parties. These invitations were reciprocated many times. The following ships feature frequently: HMS Australia,  Revenge,  Shropshire, Skipjack, Valiant, Curlew and HMS Glorious.

HMS Dunoon and her CO first features in the Diary on 1 December 1935 when she was moored alongside
HMS Skipjack, :

"Met a most amusing Lt Cdr. Rolfe who kept us all laughing"
December 12th  "A jolly cocktail party on HMS Skipjack followed by a potluck dinner on HMS Dunoon followed by charades till midnight"
December 19th  "Drinks on board HMS Dunoon - always cheery. So many guests that host received us on the Skipjack.

1936 continues in the same vein with a party on HMS Valiant. Her Captain Leaham just promoted to Admiral.

Feb 14th, Guy Rolfe calls so is invited to dinner.
March 13th " Dinner here with Cranes and Rolfes (plus four  others), very animated" - and so it gooes on.
March 27th Great night" Hilda (Rolfe) had 10 to dine at Pastroudis, then on to Monseigneur where we stayed till 3 am. Rolfe killing dressed as "suffraghi" and in great form, kept it up all night."
April 27th "farewell party on HMS Skipjack

The failure of Britain and France to adequately support the Abyssinians in the confusing border dispute with Italy led to the occupation of their country but by then Guy Neville-Rolfe had  returned to the tedium of the Gas School at HMS Pembroke, Chatham. A note on his Service Certificate records that in December 1937 while based at HMS Pembroke, he was fined for driving a car while drunk, a few days after his wife gave birth to his second son.

At the outbreak of war he was given command of HMS Whitley, a V & W converted into an anti-aircraft ship by the addition of high attitde 4 inch guns, a WAIR conversion:

"She was a very happy ship with an active service engine room complement, and a peacetime RNVR team from Bristol trained for the guns and control. Unfortunately, we were lent to the French working from Dunkirk and it was only a matter of time  before we were sunk with no means of informing the Admiralty  of the madness."

After HMS Whitley was severely damaged by aircraft he ran her aground and used her as a shore battery until all amnumition was expended. There is a detailed account of the sinking off the Belgium coast on 19 May 1940 by Leading Telegraphist Anthony W Story on the website of HMS Whitley.  John Murray Neville-Rolfe wrote "Mother had a telephone call to say he was missing at sea but was able to say that he had telephoned her the previous evening!" He was awarded the first of his two DSC for this action.

After the loss of HMS Witley he was appointed as the first CO of the Hunt Class destroyer HMS Mendip in October 1940. Her stern was damaged  by the premature explosion of her own depth charges at Scapa Flow during work up exercises and she had to be towed to Middlesborough and was under repair until February 1941.   The next two years were spent escorting east coast covoys from Sheerness and Harwich to the Firth of Forth and back, a regular but dangerous routine in which German e-boats and bombers were the main threat. The family folders record these encounters  in press cuttings but his Reports of Proceedings in the National Archives would give more detailed description - if they can be found. On 5 February 1942, the day before his 44th birthday, HMS Pytchley and HMD Mendip were bombed by three Dorniers, and the Daily Sketch reported that on 21 February HMS Mendip and HMS Holderness fought off e-boats attacking an east coast convoy.

On 21 April 1942 he was  "awarded bar to DSC for skill and enterprise in a successful action against German e-boats". From the cryptic hand written entries in his Service Certificate it is clear that his eye sight was damaged in these actions and for the best part of a year from 28 August 1942 to 22 July 1943 he was  discharged for shore service. His Somerset connections help explain the extensive coverage Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe received (below left) in the pages of the Somerset Standard:

"He temporarily lost his sight due to a gunflash and continual strain on the optic nerve. As his sight began to improve, though still unable to read and dependent on a guide, the Commander toured factories and dockyards up and down the country giving lectures to the war-workers. He gave first-hand accounts of E-boat encounters, and other aspects of the war, in which their products were being employed by the Royal Navy:  'I had to speak without any notes, of course, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience - and the workers were extremely enthusiastic everywhere' (Somerset Standard 14 July 1944, on left)

Hunting was an essential part of the life of a country gentleman and Cdr Rolfe joined the Mendip Hunt while on leave in Somerset. HMS Mendip was adopted by Shepton Mallet after a successful Warship Week in March 1942 and HMS Montrose was adopted by Frome. Today Frome, Mendip and Shepton Mallet are all part of Mendip District Council.

Portrait in navval uniform of Cdr Guy Nevill-Rolfe RN
Navy List for HMS Montrose, June 1944,
The entry for HMS Montrose in the June 1944 issue of the Naval List.
They were all RNVR or RNR with the exception of  Lt(E) Browell and Gunner Nicholas.

Postwar  photograph of Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe

He was appointed CO of HM Montrose on 16 October 1943 and  a week later on 24 October 1943 Montrose collided with the Hunt-class destroyer Cotswold.  Both destroyers were in the 16th Destroyer Flotilla based at Harwich escorting east coast convoys. Eric Corkill Howarth, a young  CW Candidate gaining sea experience in Cotswold as one of the six man gun crew for the pom-poms before training to be an officer, described what happened on the BBC Peoples War website:

The active service of the Cotswold came to an abrupt halt one dark night towards the end of October 1943. It was one in the morning and I had just finished my hourly stint on the headphones, called my relief, and returning on deck for some welcome sleep, when I heard and counted four blasts on the ship’s siren. According to my knowledge of sound signals this meant, “Keep out of my way as I can’t keep out of yours.” The ship shuddered, accompanied by a horrendous screeching and tearing noise audible even above the wind. We had collided at speed with another destroyer — HMS Montrose.

Our boiler rooms, the engine room and the gearing room were flooded. All hands were summoned on deck. No one was hurt and anyone who wished could transfer to the Montrose when she came to take us in tow. I stayed aboard and with about one third of the crew was put to work on double-handed pumps to hold back the water. Eventually we got on the move, slowly bound for Great Yarmouth. I heard later our Captain [Lt. Alan Lennard Wylde, RN] had been reprimanded. It must be remembered that no lights at all were allowed to be shown at sea including even dimmed navigation lights.

Cotswold was badly damaged and was under repair for six months.

Somerset Standards report on HMS Montrose, adopted by Frome after Thunderbolt was sunkBoth commanding officers faced a court martial. Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe's  Service Certificate records that was convicted of having hazarded his ship but his "severe reprimand" was annulled by the Board of Admiralty on the grounds that:

"a) That the accused was not on the bridge earlier was in their Lordships opinion insufficient to justify a conviction for negligently or by default hazarding his ship.
b) Action taken by the accused to avert a collision may not have been the best action in the circumstances, but this does not constitute negligence and Their Lordships dissent from the findings.

The sentence was annulled. And officer so informed - through C in C Nore AL (Admiralty Letter) NL33 of 44 dated 15/3/44"

Lt Wylde may have been more to blame but he remained in the Navy after the war and retired in 1958 as Commander.

Based on age Neville-Rolfe was placed on the Retired List
with the rank of Commander on 21 November when he was 45.  For the next six months HMS Montrose was escorting East Coast Convoys, fighting off E-Boats and enemy bombers, a hazardous but repetitive routine made familiar from his time as CO of HMS Mendip.

HMS Montrose played a prominent part in Operation Neptune, the D-Day Landings in Normandy. On D-Day she escorted Convoy ETL1, comprising 12 LST and 27 LCT taking the 7th Armoured Division, the “Desert Rats” to their landing beach:  "As we left England we passed another convoy commaded by Lt Angus Graham RNVR, the Marquis of Graham (son of the Duke of Montrose) in HMS Ludlow. He had some pipers on the bridge to play the Montrose Skirl which gave us and particularly the soldiers, a heartening send-off."

From 7 June she deployed with a group escorting the Build-up convoys. A month later on 7 July her stern was damaged in collision with the cargo ship Empire Heywood off Harwich. Montrose suffered more serious damage on 19 July when she collided with the Landing Ship Tank LST430:

"Montrose had a humiliating end by being nearly cut in half by a  Landing Ship Tank (LST) in fog off Normandy on our second or third trip, but we got both bits home."

LST 430 was a 300 ft long ocean crossing ship with a crew of 117, very different from the Landing Craft Tanks (LCT) which landed the tanks on the Normandy beaches and much bigger than HMS Montrose as can be seen by the photographs below. Nothing further is known about the cause of the collision other than it happened in thick fog but I hope to locate a photograph showing the damage done. 

The  most senior officer in HM LST-430 was First Lt Patrick Vere Mollan RNVR from County Down, Northern Ireland, who joined her on 26 August 1943 shortly before his Commanding Officer Lt Cdr William H. Laws RNR was badly wounded in the landing at Salerno (Operation Avalanche) in September and took no further part in the war. Lt Mollan was probably the acting CO of HM LS-430 when the collision with HMS Montrose took place on 19 July 1944.

Montrose was placed in Category C Reserve ("mothballed") on 2 November 1944, allocated by BISCO to Hughes Bolckow Ltd for disposal on 31 January 1946 and scrapped at Blyth in Northumberland.

Press Cutting

LST430 at Tilbury in 1945
Commando disembarking from HM LST-430 at Tilbury
The collision with HMS Montrose brought an end to her thirty years service in the Royal Navy
Photograph courtesy of Keith Stockwell
for his father Bernard W. Stockwell, Quartermaster HM LST-430
HMS Vivien berthed at Tilbury in May 1940
HMS Vivien (L33) berthed at Tilbury in May 1940 after returning from the Netherlands with refugees
Montrose was 200 tons heavier and 20 foot longer than Vivien which displaced 1,300 tons and was 300 ft in length
An LST Mark 3 displaced 5,000 tons with a full load and was 350 ft long
Photographed by Sub Lt Herbert Walkinshaw RNVR

Montrose was Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe's last seagoing command but he remained in service until 1952.  He  was given a job with "the Admiral Superintendent of Contract Built  Shops based at Newcastle" and moved there before buying his first house on the coast at Whitley Bay. He was then offered the job of Area Officer of the Sea Cadet Corps from Bury St Edmunds to the Scottish border and seemed to be almost permanently on the road in his 1930's Alvis as he set himself a target of two visits to each unit a year. For his dedication to the work he was awarded the OBE on 1 January 1952.  His final appointment was a recruiting post in Derby. He finally retired on 30 October 1952 and moved into a purpose built bungalow at Duffield named Heacham after the Rolfe family seat.  He was 89 when he died at Derby on 22 May 1988.

At least three generations of Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe's family served in the Royal Navy. He was born into the Navy, the son of Captain Herbert Neville-Rolfe RN (1854-1942) and the nephew of Admiral Ernest Neville Rolfe, C.B (1847 – 1909), and his second son married the daughter of Cdr I.R.C. Moultrie in 1963 and retired as Captain John Murray Neville-Rolfe (1937-2021).

Admiral Ernest Neville-RolfeDavid Neville-Rolfe with Bell oif HMS MontroseCapt Herbert Neville-Rolfe
Admiral Ernest Neville-Rolfe (1847 - 1909), David Neville-Rolfe with the bell of HMS Montrose and Capt Herbert Neville-Rolfe (1854-1942)
Capt Herbert Neville Rolfe was awarded the DSC for sinking a U-Boat with the armoured "yacht" assigned  to him by the Admiralty

The only photograph we had of the last Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose was the wedding photograph in the Daily Mirror on 19 January 1930 until I traced their eldest son, David Edmund Neville-Rolfe born 6 February 1932 who served in the Army until the age of 39 and then went into the insurance business.  He married Yvonne de Cosson, the little girl he met in Alexandria when they were both three and they had three chldren, non of whom joined the Navy. He is photographed above with the bell of HMS Montrose between his Grandfather and Great Uncle.

Most of this account is based on Cdr Guy Neville-Rolfe's own memories recorded by him in 1969 when he was 71 plus some additional details written by his second son Captain John Murray Neville-Rolfe (1937-2021) in May 1998. A typescript of these documents will be published on the website as a PDF.

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