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

HMS Wallace 1944
HMS Wallace escorting East Coast Convoys in 1944
Photographed by Lt Cdr John E Manners RN from HMS Viceroy

HMS Wallace was a Shakespeare Class Flotilla Leader ordered from Thornycroft at Woolston in April 1917, and was laid down in August. She was launched on 26th October 1918 and completed in February 1919. After acceptance she served in the Baltic during operations in support of countries threatened with invasion by the Red Army, and later with the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Atlantic Fleet . 

After a period in reserve she was selected for conversion to an Anti-Aircraft Escort (WAIR), commissioned on 25th August 1939 and based at Rosyth.
On 1st September 1939 the Wallace, in company with HMS Wanderer (Cdr R F Morrice RN) and British aircraft, met the Polish destroyers Burza (Lt Cdr s Nahorski ORP), Grom (Lt Cdr A Hulewicz ORP) and Blyskawica (Cdr W Kodrebski ORP) which had escaped from Poland and escorted them to Leith. On 13th September 1939 HMS Wallace  was damaged in a collision off Lowestoft with the British merchant ship Redriff, and was under repair until 23th October.

HMS Wallace spent most of her war service escorting North Sea convoys and was frequently engaged with enemy aircraft and E-Boats.  She was fitted with AA fire control radar during refit in June - July 1941. Prince Philip joined HMS Wallace as a Sub Lt on 28 January 1942, received his second stripe as lieutenant in July and was was appointed First Lt in October 1942. He served in Wallace until 3 January 1944. Prince Philip was the Patron of the V & W Destroyer Association and gave his support to the development of this website which keeps the memory of the V & Ws and the men who served in them alive. You can see photographs of Prince Philip talking to the veteran members of the Association at meetings of the Not Forgotten Association in the grounds of Buckingham Palace

In April 1942 she was detached for temporary duty with the Home Fleet to escort merchant ships which had escaped from Swedish ports through the North Sea to the UK. Following a successful Warship Week National Savings campaign in May she was adopted by the civil community of West Lothian.  bDuring July to August 1943 she escorted convoys en route the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky), and provided AA defence of the beach heads, during which she was damaged in air attacks. She then returned to escorting East Coast Convoys until the end of the war.

In February 1945 she was nominated for disposal, and was damaged in a collision with HMS Ferndale on March 16th. She arrived at the breakers’ yard at Dunston on 27 March.

Battle Honours
NORTH SEA 1941 – 45, SICILY 1943

Heraldic Data  
Badge: On a field Red, a Lion Rampant Silver
Motto: Pro Patria, “For the Fatherland”

Commanding Officers

Capt Sir Arthur Lumley St George Lyster RNS RN (11 Jan 1933 - 31 Oct 1934)
Lt.Cdr William Maurice Lloyd Astwood, RN (22 Aug 1939 – 20 Feb 1940)
Cdr Ballin Illingworth Robertshaw, RN (21 Feb – 11 Sep 1940)
Lt.Cdr (Emgy) Edward Gavin Heywood-Lonsdale, RN  (11 Sep 1940 – 16 Feb 1943)
Lt Denis Guy Douglas Hall-Wright, RN (16 Feb – 18 May 1943)
Lt Duncan Carson, RN (18 May  – Late 1943)
Cdr Jackson Whayman RD, RNR (4 Jan  – 19 Jan 1944)                                           
Lt. Cdr Robert Sydney Hopper DSC, RN (20 Jan 1944 -  Mar 1945)

First Lieutenants

Lt E S Moore, RN Retd (11 May 1939 – Nov 1939)
Lt E S A Bailey, RN (Nov 1939 – 18 May 1941)
Lt E F Hamilton-Meikle, RN (18 May 1941 – Oct 1942)
Lt HRH Prince Philip, RN (28 Jan 1942 – 3 Jan 1944)
First Lieutenant from Oct 1942
Lt J M Cowling, RN (3 Jan 44 – Mar 1945)


Further names from the Navy List will be added later.

Actg Sub Lt K Alan-Williams, RN (9 Sep 1941 – 1942)
Sub Lt J Ashforth, RN (22 Aug 1939 – 1941)
Temp Sub Lt S M C Beale, RNVR (20 Jan 1944 –Mar 1945)
Temp Sub Lt L A Beardson RNVR (15 Feb 1944 – Mar 1945)
Lt D R Bennett-Jones, RNVR Prob (25 Aug 1939 – 1940)
Temp Sg Lt J A Bowen-Jones, RNVR Prob  (5 Apr 1940 – 19 Mar 1941)
Gnr J W B Brisbane (act) RN (3 Jun 1941 - )
Temp Sub Lt D G Chisholm, RNVR (later SANF(V))(1 Jul 1941 – 1943)
Cd Eng (later Lt (E)) C G Cole, RN (18 Jul 1941 – 16 Jan 1943)
Temp Actg Lt.Cdr J C Cooper, RNVR (19 Jan 44 – after Jun 1944) Role uncertain
Mid G Cussins, RNR Prob (25 Aug 1939 – 1940)
Gnr (G) R K Filewood, RN (10 Oct 1939 – 3 Jun 1941)
Sub Lt W Grant, RNVR (2 Nov 1940 – 1941)
Temp Lt E T Harrison, RNVR (10 Nov 42 – 1944)
Sub Lt G H Hart, RN (12 Jan 44 – Mar 1945)
Sub Lt J D R Haslett, RNVR (25 Aug 1939 – 1940)
Temp Sub Lt M F Hook, RNVR (11 Jan 1944 – Mar 1945)
Sub Lt John R. "Dick" Hubberstey RNVR (1943)
Temp Lt D Johnston-Smith, RNR (28 Sep 1944 – Mar 1945)
Temp Mid R V Jones, RNR (20 Nov 1941 – 1942)
Temp Sub Lt J O King, RNVR (19 Jan 1940 – 1941)
Lt (E) E J R Kirton-Vaughan, RN Retd (16 Jan 1943 – Mar 1945)
Temp Lt W M Lane, RNR (16 Jun 1943 – 1944)
Temp Sg Lt K A McRae, RNVR (Jul 1944 – Mar 1945)
Mid J E Meakin, RN (Oct 1943 – 1944)                                                                   
Temp Sub Lt (later Lt) H Morris, RNVR (20 Feb 1942 – 1944)
Temp Sg Lt G R Nicks, RNVR Prob (19 Mar 1941 – 12 Feb 1942)
Sub Lt P H Page, RN (3 Oct 1942 – 1943)
Lt (E) C S Rooke, RN (1 Sep 1938 – 18 Jul 1941)
Temp Sg Lt J M Thom, RNVR (30 Mar 1943 – Jul 1944)
Mid R B Tucker, RN (Mar 1942 – 1944)
Actg Sub Lt B H Wainwright, RN (Sep 1943 – 1944)
Temp Lt W F Weller, RNR (24 Jan 1944 – 1944)
Temp Sg Lt J M Williams, RNVR (12 Feb 1942 – 30 Mar 1943)

Former Full Members of the V & W Destroyer Assoociation
G. Glew (Barrow in Furness), J. Hogg (Shipley, West Yorkshire), A. Irlam (Manchester), G. Llewelyn (Crumlin, Gwent), M. Moseley (Pendlebury, Lancs), R. Stark (Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan),
T. Tunnicliffe (Salford, Lancs), V. Twycross (Grantham, Lncs), B. Wainwright (Chalfont St Peters, Bucks)
If you had a family member who served in HMS Wallace tell his story on this page

HMS Wallace HMS Wallace

HMS Wallace
On left photographed by Lt Cdr John E Manners RN from HMS Viceroy and on right courtesy of the Imperial War Museum (Crown Copyright, IWM Ref A-14957)


Prince Philip and HMS Wallace

Prince Philip with beard in 1945The cover of "Sylvester", a comic novel by Hyams.HMS Wallace was known as 'One round Wallace' because her gunners brought down a German aircraft with their very first shot of the war fired  in anger. The shell case was kept as a souvenir, aptly inscribed 'One round Wallace'.

In 1942 she was part of the Rosyth Escort Force, under the command of Lt Cdr Edward G. Heywood-Lonsdale RN, when a young Sub Lieutenant, Philip Prince of Greece, joined the wardroom.  The early life of the future consort to Queen Elizabeth is described by Tom Garner in The Tragedy of Young Prince Philip: The Nazis, the Navy and the Broken Home.

He joined HMS Wallace as a Sub Lt on 28 January 1942, received his second stripe as lieutenant in July and was was appointed First Lt in October 1942. He served in Wallace until 3 January 1944. Wallace escorted over two hundred convoys most of which were up and down 'E-boat Alley' off the East Coast from Rosyth to Sheerness and visa-versa. During the scraps with the E-boats she severely damaged a number of them. The rare photogrraph of him with a beard was taken in 1945.

An often quoted story about Prince Philip is worth repeating here. On East Coast Convoys Westminster was the Second Leader and Wallace the Leader with Prince Philip as her First Lieutenant. The convoys terminated at the end of Southend pier and Wallace signaled Westminster "what are those funny balls at the back of your bridge?"and received the reply that they are a Type 994 radar aerial. Prince Philip wanted know why as Flotilla Leader Wallace did not have this advanced equipment. The truth was they were the balls hanging outside a pawn brokers shop in Newcastle taken as a souvenir on a trip ashore. Prince Philip was not the only officer to be fooled by the golden balls of the Type 994 RDF. Sub Lt A.H.G. Butler RNVR of HMS Westminster credited the theft and long running joke to her First Lieutenant John Hammers RN  who even requested the "regilding of the Type 994 aerials". The story is retold, without attribution in Sylvester, a comic novel by Edward Hyams (1910-75), a Radar officer in the RNVR who made good use of it in his book.

During July to August 1943 she escorted convoys en route the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky), and provided AA defence of the beach heads, during which she was damaged in air attacks. Harry Hargreaves, a Yeoman in Wallace, described in his book It Wasn't All Mayhem: The Musings Of A Matelot (2005), how her young First Lieutenant, Prince Philip, distinguished himself by coming up with a plan to divert the attention of German bombers by setting adrift a burning Carley float.

to view the bearded portrait of Prince Philip and the cover of "Sylvester" full size in separate windows click on the images

E.G. Heywood-Lonsdale, CO of HMS Wallace
HMS Wallace
Lt Cdr E. G. Heywood-Lonsdale with the gun crew after a successful engagement with enemy aircraft
On 26 January 1941 HMS Wallace, with HM drifters, Fisher Boy and Reids, successfully engaged enemy aircraft which attacked shipping off the east coast and a Junkers 88 and Me 110 were shot down.
Photographed by Lt S.J. Beadewll, IWM Ref A22806 (Crown Copyright, IWM Non Commercial Licence)

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

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