Warships of World War II by H.T. Lenton and J.J. Colledge

It’s funny the things you come across, and the people you have conversations with in the strangest places, when researching! On Saturday we went to the St Andrew and St George’s Christian Aid book sale in George Street, Edinburgh. Friends had warned me it was a bit of a rammy, and that it would be absolutely packed, and indeed, they were absolutely right. However, with David standing over me so I wouldn’t be trodden on, I crawled around under the tables, met a couple of interesting chaps who gave me some pointers about research and passed over books they thought might be of interest to me as I reciprocated with ones in their particular fields eventually emerging triumphant with the volume which forms the title of this post.

This volume (originally printed in 1964, my edition is a second edition printed in 1980) painstakingly aims to detail every ship of the British and Dominion Navies involved in WWII beginning with the listing of those in service at the outbreak of war and then those both constructed and ordered during the war. The inclusion of ships ordered but cancelled has thrown up some extra information for me which will fill some of the gaps in my table of Robb’s ship orders and the details of what happened to them and of the ships’ specifications also fills in some missing information.

Finding out how many ships were lost really puts it all in perspective … Hesperia, Hickory, Mastiff, Moa, Nith, Petunia, Pink, Polyanthus, Sword Dance, Wallasea, to name but a few. Over the last few months, which are now sneaking into years, I have come to know these ships like friends, reading of their demise is like losing a friend of a friend, you feel the loss but almost feel guilty for not being able to have been there for them. One thing is certain, I will be returning to talk about them at a later stage, on the blog or in the book.

However, on a more cheerful note, there were a few photos I had not seen before of three of the Bustler tugs on which I am currently focusing, so I hope you enjoy these!

My thanks to Baird for the cartoon which appears at the top of this post.

You may also be interested in a more recent posting: Bustler Tug model on display in Museum

Copyright: Ruth Patterson 2011

Cartoon Copyright: Baird 2011

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About Ruth Macadam

Great Granddaughter of Henry Robb. School teacher.
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4 Responses to Warships of World War II by H.T. Lenton and J.J. Colledge

  1. Paul Chaplin says:

    Hi – I work on the Empire Sandy, which started out as a Larch/ocean going tug in 1943. On her website http://www.empiresandy.com is listed her Official-Logbooks for WWII. One entry TNA-25-5-05-094 is her account of towing, with HMRT Hesperia, ADF24 in February 8th 1945. The Empire Sandy had to slip her towline because of the storm and the Hesperia and ADF24 went aground on the coast of Libya and were a total loss. I have never been able to find out what happened to the crew of the Hesperia, do you have any information on them.
    Thanks
    Paul Chaplin

  2. Pingback: Model of The Bustler in National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street | Henry Robb's Shipyard

  3. karyn cousins says:

    Hi!
    where is the best place to get photos of HMS Petunia (flower class corvette) & HMS Impulsive? my 92 year old neighbour was on both & has never had a picture.can you buy copies of photos? i would like to do something special for him before he dies 🙂
    Thankyou & sorry if i wasnt meant to write here, in a bit of a hurry.
    Thanks Karyn cousins

    • Ruth Macadam says:

      Hi Karyn,

      I don’t know if you are in striking distance of Edinburgh, but if you are, the National Archive has a considerable store of pictures and other documentation of Robb’s and other ships and may be prepared to let you copy one of their pictures for your personal quest. You have to book items in advance, but their online catalogue is well detailed, so you won’t have an unnecessary visit. You do need to be a member, this is free, but you need photo ID etc, so be sure to have that all set up before you go too. Their website ordering page is at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/advance-orders.htm

      Similarly, the Edinburgh and Scottish Collection in the Central Library on George IV Bridge has a range of photos and other materials, again I would contact them in advance, not least because their site says they are currently renovating it, so you may not be able to get access until that is finished.

      There are various sites I’ve visited, which may have the pictures you seek I will pop some links in below. Some of the sites require membership but apart from Scran, they are usually free, and the site moderators are always very kind and helpful, I will list them at the bottom for you.

      Also, readers of my blog know a great deal about sources and may be able to give you more direct suggestions.

      Other sites
      http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/corvettesc2f.htm
      http://www.angelfire.com/nb/henryrobb/ (has irritating ad’s cropping up on it now and then)
      http://www.scran.ac.uk/
      http://www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk/
      http://www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk/
      http://grosstonnage.com/

      I may find more kicking about, having just changed computers recently, my bookmarks are in a bit of a guddle!

      All the best with your search, and please share any other sources you find so readers can explore them too.

      Kind regards

      Ruth

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