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
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.