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






HMS Wallace
Crown Copyright, IWM Ref A-14957 (IWM Non Commercial Licence)

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), and escorted them to Leith. On 13th September 1939 she 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. 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. 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.

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)

Officers

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 Kirkton-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)



Prince Philip and HMS Wallace

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, and had a young new Sub Lieutenant, Philip Prince of Greece, who was later to marry Princess Elizabeth and become Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT. 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.

An often quoted but possibly apocryphal 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 "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. Westminster kept this joke going for ages, and 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).

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.

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: http://www.holywellhousepublishing.co.uk/servicerecords.html


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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