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

HMS Windsor as a member f the Rosyth Escort Force
HMS Windsor, a member of the Rosyth Escort Force,  escorting East Coast Convoys in 1944
Photograhed by Lt Cdr John Manners RN DSC from HMS Viceroy

HMS Windsor, the 3rd ship of that name in the Royal Navy, was an Admiralty W Class Destroyer laid down at Scott’s  Yard, Greenock, in April 1917, was launched on 21st June 1918. On completion on 28th August 1918 she joined the Grand Fleet and was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in November. Windsor was assigned to the 6th Flotilla in the Atlantic Fleet in 1921, and was part of the Portsmouth Local Flotilla in 1928.

At the beginning of World War 2 Windsor was assigned to the 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Portland, Dorset, for convoy escort and patrol duty in the English Channel and Southwestern Approaches. In October 1939 she was transferred to Western Approaches Command in continuation of these duties and was later based at Plymouth.

In May 1940 Windsor transferred to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla at Dover, in support of operations opposing the German offensive. On the evening of 13 May she evacuated the Government of the Netherlands from the Hook of Holland. On 23 May she patrolled off Boulogne in company with HMS Venetia engaging German troops and tanks and later took part in the evacuation of the port, rescuing 600 Guards and supporting troops. Lt Cdr Peter D.H.R. Pelly's Report of Proceedings on the evacuation of the Guards from Boulogne can be seen on the website of the publisher of A Hard Fought Ship along with the RoPs of the other V&Ws which took part in the operation.

On May 26 Windsor was assigned to Operation Dynamo, patrolling off the Dunkirk beachhead and escorting ships involved in the evacuation. That day she came to the aid of the passenger ship Mona’s Isle, which had come under German air attack with 1000 troops onboard, suffering 23 dead and 60 wounded. After rendering medical assistance she escorted Mona’s Isle to Dover. On 28 May the Windsor herself came under heavy and sustained attack by 15 German aircraft, which bombed and strafed her, inflicting 30 casualties and causing significant damage, forcing her to return to Dover. Despite the damage she remained in action, evacuating 606 troops from Dunkirk on 20 May, 658 troops and 588 troops in two trips on 31 May, 493 on 1 June, and 644 in two trips on 2 June. Her final visit to Dunkirk was on 3 June, evacuating 1022 men, bringing her total to 4011.

Windsor proceed to Liverpool on 4 June for repairs and refit. After completion of repairs, on 1 July 1940 she and HMS Vesper rescued 111 survivors of the British merchant ship Beignon, torpedoed and sunk by U-30 in the North Atlantic 300 nm west of Ushant.

Later in July Windsor joined the 16th Destroyer Flotilla with the Leader HMS Montrose and destroyers HMS Whitshed and Walpole, based at Harwich for convoy escort and patrol duty in the North Sea. On 28 October Windsor towed Walpole which had been disabled by a magnetic mine to Sheerness. On 8 December Windsor herself detonated a mine off Aldeburgh, Suffolk, and entered Chatham Dockyard for repairs.

Windsor’s repairs were completed on 24 April. In May she detached from her North Sea duties for service with the Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow. She escorted major warships, including the battleship HMS King George V, during exercises in the North Western Approaches. She rejoined the 16th DF at Harwich in July 1941.

By January 1942 the North Sea duties had begun to include operations to intercept German motor torpedo boats, S-Boats, known to the Allies as E-Boats, in the North Sea before they could mount attacks on allied ships. On 13 March the Windsor, Walpole, and the escort destroyers Blencathra, Calpe, and Fernie deployed in the English Channel to intercept the German merchant raider Michel sailing from Flushing in the Netherlands to German occupied France under escort by five torpedo boats and nine minesweepers. Windsor exchanged gunfire with the German ships on 14 March and made a torpedo attack, sustaining superficial damage from German gunfire.

Following the Warship Week National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of the Urban District of Windsor, Berkshire.

In August Montrose, Windsor, Walpole and Worcester detached for duty with the Home Fleet, and deployed in the North Western Approaches to escort major warships and conduct antisubmarine patrols. In September Windsor was assigned to escort Arctic convoys PQ 18 and QP 14 during their voyages to and from the Soviet Union. She joined the escort of PQ 18 on 8 September, but on 9 September she detached from the convoy to form Force P, consisting of Windsor, the escort destroyers Cowdray and Oakley, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers Blue Ranger and Oligarch. Force P proceeded to Lowe Sound at Spitsbergen to establish a fuelling base. Windsor operated as guard ship there from 12 September, to 21 September when refuelling operations were complete and she departed for Iceland, before rejoining the 16th DF on North Sea convoy and patrol duties. In December 1942 Windsor again detached for a tour of duty with the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

In mid-January Windsor rejoined the 16th DF, and on 24 January she and the escort destroyer HMS Mendip drove off a German E-Boat attack against the North Sea convoy they were escorting. On 4 March Windsor, the escort destroyer Southdown and the corvette Sheldrake fought an action against E-boats off Great Yarmouth.  Windsor joined the Blencathra and the motor gunboats MGB 321 and MGB 333 in driving off an attack by E-Boats against Convoy FS1074 off Smith Knoll on 28 March.

Windsor continued her escort and patrol operations in the North Sea until May 1944 when she was assigned to support the upcoming Allied invasion of Normandy. At the beginning of June she  joined the corvette HMS Starwort, and two Motor Launches of Coastal Forces off Southend as Escort Group 132 for Convoy ETC2Y. The Convoy consisted of 13 Coasters taking pre-loaded transport, 5 Water Carriers and Ten Oil Tankers. On 4 July the Convoy took passage to the Solent, with the Escort Group supplemented by the corvette HMS Buttercup and a Motor Minesweeper.

The invasion was postponed from 5 to 6 June due to bad weather and on 7 June, the day after the initial landings, the convoy arrived off the invasion beaches to discharge its cargo, and then returned to the Nore to begin a convoy cycle supporting the build-up of Allied forces and supplies in Normandy.

In July Windsor returned to patrol and escort duty in the North Sea with the Rosyth Escort Force, which she continued until the surrender of Germany in May 1945.

During the summer of 1945 Windsor was decommissioned, transferred to the Reserve Fleet, and was no longer listed by July. After the surrender of Japan on 15 August she was placed on the disposal list. Windsor was sold to Metal Industries for scrapping on 4 March 1947, arriving at the ship breakers yard in Charleston, Fife, in May 1949.

Battle Honours

ATLANTIC 1939 – 40   DUNKIRK 1940  ARCTIC 1942   ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942 – 43  NORTH SEA 1942 – 43  NORMANDY 1944

Commanding Officers

Cdr John Gerald Yerburgh Loveband RN (11 Nov 1929 – Apr 1930)
 Cdr James Abernethy McCoy RN (6 Sep 1935 – 5 Mar 1936)
Lt Cdr Peter Douglas Herbert Raymond Pelly RN (1 Dec 1939 – 9 Jul 1940)
Lt Cdr George Pepys Huddart RN (9 Jul 1940 – Jan 1941)
Lt Cdr Hon. John Montague Granville Waldegrave RN (1 Apr 1941 – Dec 1941)
Lt Derick Henry Fellowes Hetherington DSC RN (13 Jan 1942 – May 1943)
Lt Lionel Robert Patrick Lawford DSC RN (May 1943 – 4 Apr 1945)
Lt John Valentine Brothers RN (4 Apr 1945 – May 1945)


Temp Lt F J E I Allen RNVR (Apr 1941 - 1942)
Mid R W Anstice RN (20 Sep 1924 - Jan 1925)
Temp Act Surg Lt H M Balfour RNVR (15 Oct 1940 – 7 Jan 41)
Lt S H Beattie RN (14 Aug 1930 - May 1933)
Mid B J Benson Dare RNR ((29 Aug 1939 - 1941)
Wt Eng J H Bignell RN (24 Feb 1941 - Oct 1942)
Sub Lt M S Blois-Brook RNR (29 Jul 1942 - 1944)
Act Sub Lt C Bourne RN (12 Dec 1942 - 1943)
Lt CGH Brown RN (5 Sep 1939 - 1941)
Lt J A Bryant RCNVR (1 Oct 1941 - 1942)
Act Gnr (T) T C Chennell (19 Jan 1943 – Jun 1945)
Sub Lt M H Collar RN (14 Feb 1940 - 1941)
Gunr (T) L F Cook RN (28 Mar 1941 - Jan 1943)
Cmd Eng E A Court Hampton RN (Jan 1941 – 1941)
Gunr (T) C Covey RN (7 Jan 1941 - Mar 1941)
Cmd Gunr H J Dennis RN Retd (23 Sep 1939 - Jan 1941)
Temp Act Sub Lt R Dodds RNVR (6 Mar 1944 - Jun 1945)
Temp Lt J E B Drake RNVR (20 Apr 1942 - 1944)
Sub Lt H D C Gibson RN (16 Sep 1944 - Jun 1945)
Lt (E) A L Green RN (9 Mar 1944 -Jun 1945)
Temp Surg Lt A C Hammer RNVR (2 Apr 1941 - 1943)
Sub Lt B C Hutchinson RN (2 Apr 1941 -1943)
Surg Lt W M Lancaster RNVR (Oct 1944 - Jun 1945)
Cmd  Eng R A Marsh RN (13 Jan 1938 - Jan 1941)
Temp Sub Lt R Miller RNR (11 May 1944 - Jun 1945) 
Temp Lt J G G Muir DSC? RNVR (7 Mar 1944 – Jun 1945)
Mid M A Myers RNVR (18 Aug 1941 - 1942)
Temp Sub Lt R M J O’Connor RNZNVR (21 Jan 1942 - 1943)
Temp Sub Lt R J Phelps RN (2 Mar 1944 - Jun 1945)
Act Gnr(T) W A Rugman RN (19 Nov 1935 – Feb 1936)
Sub Lt R A E Sharp RN (4 Nov 1939 - 1941)
Lt A E H Sladen RN (1 Dec 1943 - Jun 1945)
Temp Act Sub Lt T L Smith RNZNVR (Jul 1943 - Jun 1945)
Lt M R S Smithwick RN (17 Mar 1941 - 1943)
Temp Surg Lt P N Shutte RNVR (12 Feb - 15 Oct 1940)
Lt D C Souter RNVR (Oct 1943 - 1944)
Lt H A Stuart-Menteth RN (6 Sep 1935 - Feb 1936)
Temp Act Wt Eng W C Ward RN (6 Oct 1942 - Mar 1944)
Temp Act Sub Lt T Waldemeyer RNVR (7 Oct 1944 - Jun 1945)
Mid R Westlake RNVR (4 Nov 1939 - 1941)
Sub Lt R S Woolwrych RN (1 Apr 1941 - 1942)

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

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