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

Warship Weeks

Sale adopts HMS Walker

Warships Week 7 - 14 March 1942

Boat badge for HMS Walker
This "boat badge" for HMS Walker bears the crest of
Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, 1st Baronet (1802–1876
after whom HMS Walker was named

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’.


Sale is the largest town in Trafford, Greater Manchester

In 1920 HMS Walker entered the Manchester Ship Canal from the Mersey via the Eastham Locks six miles up river from Liverpool and made a goodwill visit to Manchester, berthing in the Machester Docks at Trafford and Stretford on the west of the City where thousands gathered to see her. This is the only known link between HMS Walker and the nearby town of Sale in Cheshire which adopted her after raing 250,000 during their Warship Week in 1942. Nothing is known about the events held during Warship Week or the links established between Sale and its adopted ship. The crest of the ship mounted on a wooden shield presented by the Admiralty to to the town has not been traced but it would have been identical to the crest on the boat badge with a brass plate beneath it recording the reason for its presentation to the town of Sale in Cheshire. I am hoping it will be found in a former civic building or a museum in Sale or Trafford by a visitor to this web page and they will send me a photograph.

Sale's Warship Week
At present this is the only evidence of the adoption of HMS Walker by Sale after a successful Warships Week in March 1942
The town of Sale presented a plaque to HMS Walker bearing the town's crest and this was returned to Sale after the war
Please get in touch if you can identify J.G.G. or have stories or images for adding to this page

Nearly two years before this official adoption took place HMS Walker was adopted by Colmworth,  a village in North Bedfordshire, as reported below:

Bedfordshire Times and Independent
Friday 19 July 1940
... I purposely choose next a village in North Bedfordshire where there is no Women’s Institute. Colmworth is a long straggling village.  It seems to have started well near the church, and then to have boiled over the place and stayed there.  There is a representative of the WVS who runs a very enthusiastic working party.  They worked very hard last winter to raise funds for wool.  They adopted HMS Walker and have received many letters of appreciation for parcels received.  Colmworth school proudly displays an old HMS Walker ensign which had seen very active service.

 I would like to add a photograph of the ensign which was displayed in Colmworth School and I am hoping to receive more details of the links which resulted from this unofficial arrangement from the Colmworth and Neighbours History Society.

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

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