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 Hoylake and surrounding villages raised the cost of building the
hull of a destroyer during a successful Warships Week in March 1942
which and led to the adoption of HMS Verdun which escorts convoys along the east coast from Rosyth on the Firth of Forth to the Thames Estuary.
Liverpool Evening Express, Tuesday, 9 December 1941.
Hoylake’s naval ‘link up’ for its Warship Week, 7-14 March, is HMS Verdun. The town’s objective is to raise the cost of the hull of this destroyer, the sum of £210,000.
Liverpool Echo, Thursday, 12 February 1942.
Air-Vice-Marshal J. M. Robb CB, DSO, DSC, AFC, is to open
Hoylake Warship Week at a ceremony in Hoylake Town Hall on the morning
of 7 March. In the afternoon he will take the salute outside the Town
Hall during a marchpast. Hoylake is aiming to raise £210,000 to adopt
the destroyer Verdun, and the programme being arranged by the publicity
committee includes events for every day of the week.
Liverpool Echo, Tuesday, 25 August 1942.
HMS Verdun, the
destroyer Hoylake adopted during Warship Week was the vessel in which
the Unknown Warrior made his last journey from France to England before
being laid to rest Westminster Abbey. This fact was unknown to anyone
in Hoylake until to-day, when it was disclosed by the Commander of the
Verdun, who formally presented the borough with a plaque commemorating
the adoption of the ship by the district. The plaque consists of the
arms of the Verdun and is appropriately inscribed. The chairman of Hoylake U.D.C. (Miss P. Lee) presented to HMS Verdun a plaque from the people of Hoylake, which will be erected on the ship. The Commander said that all on board the Verdun
were proud to have been adopted by a place which had done so well as
Hoylake, and he hoped they would all prove worthy of the town’s
support. He disclosed that the Verdun,
a 25-years-old veteran of the last war had escorted 113 convoys and
steamed 70,000 miles during the present war. Hoylake raised £428,208,
more than double its target, during Warship Week.