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’.
In February 1942 Wishart
was adopted by Port Talbot, Glamorgan, after a successful Warships Week
National Savings campaign. Port Talbot's warship week took place
between 7 and 14 February 1942, and £264,969 was raised.
Western Mail, Wednesday, 4 February 1942
‘I am confident that the great
nations now united against Hitler can win. But I need ships, and
I need them now. Can I count on you?’ This message was sent
by the first Lord of the Admiralty to the Mayor of Port Talbot
(Alderman W. H. Vaughan) in connection with the borough’s week, which
opens on Saturday. The objective is £210,000 and the adoption of
the destroyer HMS Wishart.
Western Mail, Monday 16 February 1942
By Saturday £225,000 had been realised ensuring the adopting of HMS Wishart,
the objective for which was £210,000. The Mayor (Alderman W. H.
Vaughan) expressed thanks to the citizens of the borough for the
generous response, and said his faith in the small investor and the
schoolchildren had been amply justified. Larger investments were
a further £10,000 from the Pearl Insurance Company, £2,000 from the
Wesleyan and General Insurance Company, and £1,000 each from the Port
Talbot Lodge of Rechabites, the Cwmavon Lodge of Rechabites, Swansea
Press Ltd., and Mr. J. M. Smith Ltd.
Western Mail, 22 April 1942
Commander H. G. Scott, RN, commanding officer, HMS Wishart,
has written to the Mayor of Port Talbot (Alderman W. H. Vaughan)
expressing the pleasure of all onboard the ship being adopted by the
town as a result of the recent successful Warship Week. ‘We also
hope for the opportunity to make you as proud of the ship of your
choice as we are,’ wrote Commander Scott, who added that the destroyer
had sailed 160,000 miles since the outbreak of war without ever having
to stay in harbour for any mechanical breakdown.
I have been
unable to find out why Wishart was adopted by Port Talbot or the links established between Wishart and the town. Get in touch if you can help.