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







Warship Weeks

Bromyard adopts HMS Vivien

Warships Week  29 November - 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’.

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Bromyard-2
Bromyard is an ancient market town in the valley of the Frome in Herefordshire midway between Leominster and Worcester with a population of five thousand.



Bromyard Urban District and Rural District raised 60,454 (6 0s 4d. per head) during their Warships Week from 29 November to 6 December 1941

This was significantly lower than the amount normally required to adopt a destroyer but Bromyard was a small town with a population of five thousand. Worcester seventeen miles to the East on the River Severn had raised 770,000 to adopt HMS Worcester, a sister ship of Vivien, but it had a population of close to 600,000. Leominster twenty-five miles to the West was the largest of the five towns in Herefordshire with a population twice that of Bromyard but had to be satisfied with adopting the Albury Class Minesweeper HMS Fitzroy despite raising 128,146.

Be that as it may, it seems as if the Admiralty may have thought Bromyard had acquired HMS Vivien on the cheap and in 1943 Bromyard raised a further 125,000 to equip her as reported on the left in the Kington Times.

HMS Vivien had of course been built, equipped and commissioned 25 years earlier on 28 May 1918. Warship Weeks were a means of raising money for the building of new warships which led to morale boosting links between the ships companies of existing ships and the towns which adopted them. The same issue of the Kington Times which reported on the money raised to equip HMS Vivien also reported that she had received a cheque for 25 - 1 for each year her life - from the citizens of Bromyard.

We are hoping to locate the crest of HMS Vivien mounted on a wooden shield presented by the Admiralty to Bromyard
 as reported in
The Bromyard News and Record on 3 September 1942
and would also like to be sent stories of the links established between HMS
Vivien and the men and women of Bromyard.
Do please get in touch if you can help.



Kington Times, 17 July 1943
Kington is on the Welsh side of Offa's Dyke but it is still in Herefordshire. It had a smaller population than Bromyard but its local paper the Kington Times published a lengthy article in November 1941 on the competition between the two small towns to see which could raise the most money. It appears that the reporter was not aware that Bromyard was raising money to adopt a destroyer and thought Kington was raising money to adopt a Corvette. The misunderstanding may  have been down to the Admiraty having failed to make the position clear, a situation known to have arisen in other towns holding Warship Weeks.

Kington Times,
Saturday 22 November 1941
Kington v Bromyard - A spirit of rivalry is apparent between Kington and Bromyard in the Warship Week appeal. 

At the public meeting at Kington the Vicar, formerly the Vicar of Bromyard, in seconding a resolution to increase the target to 55,000 said he could not see Bromyard beating Kington.  Bromyard in reply asks whether Kington really wishes to challenge Bromyard to a race as to which town and district will be first to raise the 55,000 (Bromyard as well as Kington is raising 55,000 for providing a Corvette). 
    Writing in the Bromyard paper, a correspondent says: ‘Bromyard is waiting to hear the challenge and she will have the greatest pleasure in showing the erstwhile vicar just how wrong he is.’ 
    At a recent meeting of the Publicity Committee of the Kington Warship Week effort, attention was drawn to this matter, and the Vicar intimated to the committee that he had sent a letter to the Bromyard paper explaining the purport of his remarks.  As the late Vicar of Bromyard and present Vicar of Kington he did not wish to see his present parish fall short of his former one in its target for Warship Week.  He said that he would be delighted if his references to both parishes served to stimulate the people of Bromyard and Kington to friendly rivalry in this great national effort.

The Bromyard News and Record,

3 September, 1942

I am told that this issue contains a lengthy report on the presentation of a shared plaque by the Admiralty to the Urban and Rural Districts of Bromyard. If someby has access to back issues and sends me a scan of this article or notes on its content I shall add it to this web page.

Kington Times,
17 July 1943

The Kington Times published a lengthy article in July 1943 on Bromyard raising a further 125,000 to equip HMS Vivien on top of the money already raised for her adoption. The article is briefly summarised below and can be read in full on the left.

Bromyard UD and RD raised a further 125,000 to equip HMS Vivien, the ship they adopted in December 1941. They had raised 400,000 in National Savings (this figure probably included money raised for planes in “War Weapons Week”). Cdr R.G. Glossop RN was presented with the crest of the town for the ship.













If you want to find out more about the wartime service of a member of your family who served on HMS Vivien you should first obtain a copy of their service record
To find out how follow this link: http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/servicerecords.html


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



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