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.
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.