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

Warship Weeks

Scunthorpe adopts HMS Vanity

Warships Week 6 December 1941

Between October 1941 and the end of March 1942, Warships Weeks were organised in cities, towns and villages throughout Great Britain.  The intention was to raise a sum by investment or deposit in all types of war savings representing the cost of building one of His Majesty’s ships ranging from the smallest to the largest vessels.  Once the target had been raised the community adopted the vessel along with its crew and the bond was strengthened by presentations in recognition of the money raised. Adoption plaques were presented by the Admiralty to the community and a plaque presented by the community to the adopted vessel. Links were maintained by the writing of letters and the provision of comforts and whenever possible visits were arranged to the adopting area.

Most of the V&W Class destroyers in commission with the Royal Navy were adopted during the Warship Week scheme and in a number of cases local sea cadet units later took the name of the ship. To find more about Warship Weeks see Peter Schofield’s article on ‘National Savings and Warship Weeks’.


News reports from local papers

The successful Warships Week held in Scunthorpe and surrounding villages raised the cost of building the hull of a destroyer during a successful Warships Week in December 1941 which and led to the adoption of HMS Vanity which escorts convoys along the east coast from Rosyth on the Firth of Forth to the Thames Estuary. 

Lincolnshire Echo, Wednesday, 3 December 1941.

News of Warship Weeks, and preparations for them throughout Lincolnshire, given in News Bulletin No. 6, issued by Mr. H. Green for the County Publicity Committee, indicate that the tide is flowing strongly.  Scunthorpe gets off the mark with its Warship Week opening this Saturday, 6 December. The aim is 210,000, the price of a destroyer. This enterprising district should do it easily. In addition, the weekly aim is 15,000 (ordinary savings).  As a matter of fact Scunthorpe was assured of half its aim beforehand by the investments promised from large contributors. Amounts forthcoming from banks and companies before last weekend totalled 123,000.  At the end of the winter’s campaign Scunthorpe hopes to have Invested 700.000, the cost of HMS Vanity, a naval destroyer which is to adopt the Scunthorpe coat of arms. Captain A. M. Hudson, Civil Lord of the Admiralty, is to open the week.

Yorkshire Post and Intelligencer, Wednesday, 10 December 1941.
Leeds School Children Adopt Destroyer

Regular investments in National Savings, and the adoption of a destroyer form part of the war effort made by the children of Gipton Council School, Leeds. Nearly 5OO has already been raised for various charities, including 100 for Dr. Barnardo's Homes. The number of savings certificates bought by the 600 pupils is steadily increasing and an indicator in the main hall shows that the total now stands at 2,422.

On the suggestion of their teacher Miss E. Overend, a class of 40 ten-year old girls adopted the crew of a destroyer HMS Vanity. They send parcels of comforts, knitted by themselves, and for Christmas the men will receive welcome additions to their usual rations. In return, the girls have been given a picture of the ship and, what Is yet unknown to them, a cheque so that they can have a Christmas party. Members of the crew and the children correspond regularly.

Gipton Board School on Harehills Road, Leeds, was designed by architect Walter Samual Braithwaite and built by Leeds School Board in 1897. It was later known as Harehills Middle School and provided education for boys and girls between the ages of four and 14. It closed in 1986 and was refurbished and opened as Shine Business Centre in 2007, a state-of-the-arts centre for the community. Former pupils held a reunion there in 2017. Get in touch if you know more about the links between the former school and HMS Vanity.

If you want to find out more about the wartime service of a member of your family who served on HMS Vanity you should first obtain a copy of their service record
To find out how follow this link:

If you have stories or photographs of HMS Vanity you would like to contribute to the web site please contact Bill Forster

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