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

Warship Weeks

Hoylake adopts HMS Verdun

Warships Week 7 - 14 March 1942

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.

If you want to find out more about the wartime service of a member of your family who served on HMS Verdun 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 Verdun you would like to contribute to the web site please contact Bill Forster

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