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





HMS Walrus on the reocks near Whitby
HMS Walrus
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HMS Walrus the ...

Following .....

Battle Honours


Commanding Officers

Lt Cdr David B Nicol (28 January 1918 -




Officers

Sub Lt William G Andrews  (2 February 1918 -
Sub Lt Frederick Ayers RNVR (13 February 1918 -
Lt John H. Cobby RN (4th December 1918 -
Lt Frank A Hall RN (28 January 1918 -
Lt Cdr Eng  George Oswald RN (22nd November 1917 -


Grounded and Broken up

In 1938 with the winds of war blowing, the Admiralty decided to modernise the fleet of V & W’s and convert them to fast escort vessels. The main aim was to give them high angle guns and better protection from air attack for the purpose of protecting the convoys planned to sail the east coast. The new class was designated the ‘Wair' type. Initially 20 ships were earmarked for this conversion but a further ship had to be added later because on the 12th February 1938 while in tow from Rosyth to Chatham for conversion to a ‘Wair’  HMS Walrus broke her tow off the North Bay at Scarborough, on the North Yorkshire coast.

On Saturday 12th February HMS Walrus was being towed by a single Admiralty Tug HMS St Mellons W81, As they passed the Whitby Lighthouse the tow broke, and despite repeated attempts by the crew of the tug, and the four man passage crew on board Walrus, the line could not be re attached. Accordingly Walrus started to drift at the mercy of the atrocious weather and a very bad northerly gale. She ran aground on the Manascus rocks on the North Bay of Scarborough (near where the Sea Life Centre is now). Prior to grounding the crew had released both anchors to the full extent of their chains, but they did not bite. Once the ship grounded the passage crew launched a ‘Carley Float’ which capsized upon entering the water, however, they managed to right it and scrambled aboard. After desperately paddling for an hour they were blown ashore near the end of the ‘Bungalow Parade’.

In the meantime the Pulling Lifeboat, the ‘Herbert Joy 11’ was launched from South Bay and pulled by local fishermen, towns people and children along the Marine Drive,with the intention of launching from the Corner Café, but before she could be launched the men were blown ashore. When the gale had abated, the Lords of the Admiralty sent a team of salvage experts to remove fittings and other reusable spares but the wreck was considered to be beyond repair and accordingly was sold to Round and Sons for £2,550 on the 5th March 1938, the equivalentt of £91,800.00 today Feb 2007. on the 12th March she was made  watertight and towed round to the South Bay where she was beached until the tide allowed her to be towed into harbour where she was moored alongside Vincents Pier.

She was sold on September 12th 1938 to the ship breaking company of Clayton and Davy for £39,000 (in February 2007 this equated to £140,400.000) and towed to Dunstan on Tyne for breaking up.
 
At the time of the grounding, she is shown in the Navy List as being in ‘Maintenance Reserve’ at Rosyth with no names of Officers being shown.


John Lawton



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



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