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

Warship Weeks

Tipton adopts HMS Versatile

Warships Week - 14 February 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’.


Birmingham Daily Post, Saturday 14 February 1942
Tipton’s Warship Week will open today, with a parade of military and Civil Defence units.  The town’s target is 250,000, for the adoption of HMS Versatile.

Evening Despatch, Wednesday 25 February 1942
Tipton Warship Week, the object of which was 250,000 has realised 252,263, it was announced today.

Birmingham Mail, Monday 23 November 1942
Tipton has presented HMS Versatile with a plaque of the borough coat of arms.  A portrait of ‘the Slasher’ figures in the centre we presume.

Birmingham Daily Gazette, Monday 23 November 1942
The first iron steamship made in this country was made in sections at Horseley Works, Tipton.  This was disclosed by the Town Clerk, Mr. F. W. Madin, when Vice Admiral Sir Robert Harnell visited the borough to present the badge of the destroyer HMS Versatile, Tipton’s adopted warship.  Tipton raised 254,184 in its warship week and of this amount 20,000 was subscribed by the schools savings groups, which Sir Robert described as a magnificent effort.  Representatives of the schools were present with special certificates.  (the amount raised varies from the one given on 25 February 1942)

Birmingham Daily Gazette, Tuesday 3 February 1948
In response to a request by Tipton Council for a souvenir from HMS Versatile to commemorate the town’s association with the ship, a White Ensign has been offered to the Corporation as a memento by the Admiralty.  Tonight the council will be asked to accept the gift.

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

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