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







Warship Weeks

Hyde adopts HMS Wrestler

Warships Week 6 - 13 December 1941


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’.

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Hyde from Werneth Low (Wikipedia)
The view of Hyde from Wernleth Low where the Cenotaph to the men who died in the Great War stands
Wikipedia
The Hyde Cenotaph
The Hyde Cenotaph on Wenloth Low
Wikipedia

Hyde and HMS Wrestler


Hyde is now part of Greater Manchester but in 1942 it was in Cheshire eight miles east of Manchester on the main A57 road across the Peninnes. Its prosperity was based on the forty cotton mills in the town of which only one is left. HMS Wrestler was adopted by Hyde in December 1941. I am hoping that a naval enthusiast or local historian in Hyde will take up the challenge of researching her history from being commissioned in 1918 to going to the breakers yard at Newport, Glamorgan, in August 1944 after detonating a mine. For further  details see the advice given here and contact Bill Forster for more information.

Manchester Evening News
Thursday 11 December 1942
For Hyde Warship Week, which began on Saturday, the target has been fixed at 150,000 for a corvette (destroyer) to be named HMS Wrestler.  Today the total invested and promised was 140,000.
 
Manchester Evening News
Friday 19 December 1941
Final figures of Hyde Warship Week show that the original target of 150,000 has been almost doubled.  The actual sum raised is 225,57, which represents an average per head of the population of 7 8s 11d. The fiinal figure was 226,179, the equivalent of 7 9s 4d per head.
 
Portsmouth Evening News
Wednesday 21 April 1943
For the 24-year old destroyer HMS Wrestler, Malta Convoys are a routine matter.  HMS Wrestlers motto is ‘Nittendo Vicimus’ which means ‘We win by working hard’.  Nothing could be truer says her commanding officer.  HMS Wrestler has the claim to Fame.  She claims to have fired more torpedoes than any other ship.  In peace-time she fired 3,000 torpedoes for training purposes alone.  She has been adopted by Hyde, Cheshire.


Soes anybody know where the ships crest of HMS Wrestler mounted on a wooden shield presented to Hyde in 1941 is now?


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



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