Allied Warships

HMS Ceres (D 59)

Light cruiser of the Ceres class


HMS Ceres at Malta circa 1920

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassCeres 
PennantD 59 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
OrderedApr 1916 
Laid down26 Apr 1916 
Launched24 Mar 1917 
Commissioned1 Jun 1917 
End service 
History

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 April 1946. In July 1946, the old cruiser was broken up for scrap at Bolckow, Blyth.

 

Commands listed for HMS Ceres (D 59)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Edmund Geoffrey Abbott, RN31 Jul 193920 Sep 1941
2Capt. Henry Hastings McWilliam, RN20 Sep 19415 Dec 1941
3Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) Harry William Vaughan Stephenson, RN5 Dec 194130 Dec 1941
4Capt. Henry Hastings McWilliam, RN30 Dec 19413 Jan 1942
5Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) Harry William Vaughan Stephenson, RN3 Jan 19426 Apr 1942
6Capt. William Power Carne, RN6 Apr 194221 Apr 1942
7Capt. Cecil Charles Acland Allen, RN21 Apr 194211 Jun 1943
8A/Capt. Roy Carlton Harry, RN11 Jun 19434 Nov 1943
9Lt.Cdr. (retired) Wilmot Pynson Bennitt, DSC, RN4 Nov 194314 Apr 1944
10A/Capt. Roland Charlton Allen, RN14 Apr 1944late 1944

11Cdr. (retired) Charles Richard Garrett, RN4 Dec 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Ceres include:


The page for HMS Ceres was last updated in March 2022.

7 Sep 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Portland. (1)

11 Sep 1939
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) both departed Portland to provide cover for convoy operations to and from France. (2)

14 Sep 1939
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (2)

16 Sep 1939
The light cruisers HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) departed Plymouth for a patrol in the Western Approaches. (3)

17 Sep 1939

The sinking of HMS Courageous.


HMS Courageous sinking as seen from one of the escorting destroyers.

HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) was on anti-submarine patrol about 350 nautical miles west of Lands End, still escorted by HMS Inglefield (Capt. A.G. Talbot, RN), HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. B. Jones, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. J.W. Josselyn, RN).

At 1445 hours, the group picked up a distress call from the British merchant Kafiristan that was being attacked by the German submarine U-53 about 350 miles west of Cape Clear. The destroyers HMS Inglefield and HMS Intrepid were detached and the carrier launched four Swordfish aircraft, one of them forced the U-boat to dive without damaging it at 1700 hours.

At about 1800 hours, another U-boat, U-29, spotted the carrier group and began chasing it, but had no chance to get into a favorable attack position until the carrier turned into the wind to recover the four Swordfish returning from the search for U-53. She was now heading on a straight course at 18 knots towards the U-boat which attacked only five minutes after the last aircraft landed. At 1950 hours, U-29 fired a spread of three G7e torpedoes at HMS Courageous and hit her with two of them on the port side abaft the bridge. She almost immediately took a heavy list to port and sank after 17 minutes about 190 miles southwest of Dursey Head, Ireland.

The Commanding Officer, 17 other officers and 501 ratings were lost, including 36 RAF service crewmen. All Swordfish aircraft of 811 and 822 Sqdn FAA were lost with the ship.

While HMS Ivanhoe attacked U-29 with depth charges, HMS Impulsive began to rescue the survivors and was soon joined by the American merchant Collingsworth, the British merchant Dido and the Dutch passenger ship Veendam, which launched 14 lifeboats and also saved the ships log. The rescue work proved difficult due to the heavily oiled sea. Further help arrived when HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) joined HMS Ivanhoe in the submarine hunt together with the by now returned HMS Intrepid, but the U-boat escaped during the night. Also two light cruisers, HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at the scene together with the destroyer HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN), but the cruisers were soon ordered away.

The merchant Dido had picked up 23 officers and 195 ratings and was escorted to Liverpool by HMS Intrepid. The survivors rescued by the neutral merchants were transferred to HMS Inglefield and HMS Kelly and arrived at Devonport (Plymouth) on the afternoon of 19 September.

After this loss and the unsuccessful attack of U-39 on HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN) only three days earlier, carriers were withdrawn from such patrols as they were considered to be to valuable.

20 Sep 1939
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Plymouth from patrol. (2)

21 Sep 1939
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) both departed Plymouth to provide cover for convoy operations to and from France. (2)

23 Sep 1939
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) both retuned to Plymouth. (2)

29 Sep 1939

Convoy OA 12G.

This convoy departed Southend on 29 September 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Barbara Marie (British, 4223 GRT, built 1928), Baron Cochrane (British, 3385 GRT, built 1927), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Ambassador (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Colony (British (tanker), 6917 GRT, built 1927), British Courage (British (tanker), 6952 GRT, built 1928), British Intigrity (British (tanker), 8412 GRT, built 1927), Castilian (British, 3067 GRT, built 1919), Fair Head (British, 1719 GRT, built 1906), Glenshiel (British, 9415 GRT, built 1924), Gretafield (British (tanker), 10191 GRT, built 1928), Gullpool (British, 4868 GRT, built 1928), Inverlane (British (tanker), 9141 GRT, built 1938), King Alfred (British, 5272 GRT, built 1919), Menin Ridge (British, 2474 GRT, built 1924), P.L.M. 26 (French, 5391 GRT, built 1922), Pozarica (British, 1893 GRT, built 1938), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937) and Samir (Egyptian, 3702 GRT, built 1909).

The convoy was joined around 1700A/29 off Dungeness by the destroyers HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN).

The convoy was joined around 0800A/1 by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

The convoy merged with convoy OB 12G coming from Liverpool in the afternoon of 2 October 1939.

2 Oct 1939

Convoy OG 1.

This convoy was formed at sea out of convoy's OA 12G and OB 12G.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships; Alcora (British, 1381 GRT, built 1919), Baltistan (British, 6083 GRT, built 1937), Bantria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Barbara Marie (British, 4223 GRT, built 1928), Baron Cochrane (British, 3385 GRT, built 1927), Baron Forbes (British, 3061 GRT, built 1915), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Ambassador (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Colony (British (tanker), 6917 GRT, built 1927), British Courage (British (tanker), 6952 GRT, built 1928), British Intigrity (British (tanker), 8412 GRT, built 1927), Castalia (British, 6601 GRT, built 1906), Castilian (British, 3067 GRT, built 1919), City of Lancaster (British, 3041 GRT, built 1924), City of Marseilles (British, 8317 GRT, built 1913), Courland (British, 1325 GRT, built 1932), Dromus (British, 8036 GRT, built 1938), Fair Head (British, 1719 GRT, built 1906), Fintra (British, 2089 GRT, built 1918), Glenshiel (British, 9415 GRT, built 1924), Gretafield (British (tanker), 10191 GRT, built 1928), Gullpool (British, 4868 GRT, built 1928), Heminge (British, 2499 GRT, built 1919), Inverlane (British (tanker), 9141 GRT, built 1938), King Alfred (British, 5272 GRT, built 1919), Lesbian (British, 2370 GRT, built 1923), Menin Ridge (British, 2474 GRT, built 1924), Montauban (French, 4191 GRT, built 1920), P.L.M. 26 (French, 5391 GRT, built 1922), Palmella (British, 1578 GRT, built 1920), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Pozarica (British, 1893 GRT, built 1938), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937), Samir (Egyptian, 3702 GRT, built 1909), Shetland (British, 1846 GRT, built 1921) and Ulea (British, 1574 GRT, built 1936).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN).

The destroyers parted company with the convoy either late on the 2nd or early on the 3rd.

At 0530Z/8, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN).

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar later in the morning of 8 October 1939.

10 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Gibraltar for Plymouth. She was to join the Northen Patrol as soon as possible but she first had to proceed to the Devonport Dockyard for repairs as she is suffering from defects to her turbines. (4)

13 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth. (5)

18 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is docked in No.9 Dock at the Devonport Dockyard. (5)

27 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. (5)

29 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Plymouth for Kirkwall. (5)

31 Oct 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Kirkwall from Plymouth.

She departed Kirkwall for Sullom Voe later the same day. (5)

1 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Sullom Voe from Kirkwall. (6)

2 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Iceland-Faeroer gap. (6)

9 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Sullom Voe from patrol. (6)

12 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Sullom Voe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol to the south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (6)

18 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Loch Ewe from the Northern Patrol. (6)

21 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Loch Ewe for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol in the Iceland-Faeroer gap. (6)

23 Nov 1939

Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi

Around midday on 21 November 1939 the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, escorted by the light cruisers Köln and Leipzig and the destroyers Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim, Z 12 / Erich Giese and Z 20 / Karl Galster, departed Wilhelmshaven for a raid into the North Atlantic, this was to relieve the pressure of the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee operating in the South Atlantic. Late on the 21st the escorts left the battlecruisers.

Just after 1500 hours on 23 November the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Kennedy, RN) sighted the Scharnhorst. Rawalpindi was part of the British Northern Patrol and was stationed south-east of Iceland in the Iceland-Faroe gap. Captain Kennedy at first tried to get away from the German ship and report to the Admiralty that he sighted the German pocket battleship Deutschland, still believed to be operating in the North Atlantic, and so as to buy time so that other ships of the Northern patrol could come to his assistance. Just after 1600 hours, Rawalpindi came within range of the Scharnhorst and was quickly reduced to a flaming wreck. During this engagement Scharnhorst was hit by a 6in shell from Rawalpindi causing only light damage. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together picked up 27 survivors from the Rawalpindi which finally sank around 2000 hours.

The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt J. Figgins, RN), that was also part of the Northern Patrol, picked up Rawalpindi's signal and closed the scene. She sighted the Gneisenau but the Germans managed to escape in the fog.

The Admiralty also thought the ship sighted by Rawalpindi and Newcastle was the Deutschland that was trying to return to Germany. In response to the sighting and destruction of the Rawalpindi the Admiralty took immediate action;
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN) HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed the Clyde to patrol of Norway to cut off the way to Germany for the Deutschland.

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) was sent from Loch Ewe to the last known position of the German ship(s).

On northern patrol, south of the Faroes were the light cruisers HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN). These were joined by HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN) and HMS Diomede (Commodore E.B.C. Dicken, OBE, DSC, RN).

Of the ships of the Denmark strait patrol, the heavy cruisers HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, MVO, DSO, RN) were ordered to proceed to the Bill Bailey Bank (to the south-west of the Faroe Islands).

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) were already at sea patrolling north-east of the Shetlands were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) were stationed off Kelso Light to act as a night attack striking force. The destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) had just departed Belfast on escort duties. They were ordered to join Admiral Forbes. The ships they were escorting were ordered to return to Belfast.

The destroyers HMS Tartar (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) departed Scapa Flow with orders to locate and shadow the German ships. HMS Tartar however had to return to Scapa Flow the next day due to a damaged rudder. The other two destroyers were ordered to join HMS Aurora which was to form a strike group of destroyers.

Despite the British effort to intercept the German ships, both German battlecruisers returned to Wilhelmshaven on the 27th.

26 Nov 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Sullom Voe from patrol. After fuelling she departed again for patrol in the Norwegian Sea to the west of Stadtlandet, Norway. (6)

2 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Greenock from patrol. (7)

4 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) proceeded from Greenock to the Stephen Shipyard at Glasgow for repairs to weather damage she had sustained in northern waters. (8)

9 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) proceeded from Glasgow to Greenock. She departed Greenock for the Northern patrol later the same day. She is ordered to patrol to the south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (7)

10 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 1.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax at 0510 hours on 10 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 17 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2638 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1312 troops), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1235 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1303 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 961 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until 12 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). At dusk on the 10th both destroyers were detached to join the local escort. They returned to Halifax with the Canadian destroyers.

Early on the 15th, HMS Emerald was detached, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) had joined the cover force in the afternoon of the 14th to take her place.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed the Clyde on the 12th to sweep ahead of the convoy. HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) was also to have sailed but was unable to join. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was sailed in her place and later joined the other destroyers at sea.

After German warships had been reported in the North Sea, and concerned for the safety of convoy TC.1, Admiral Forbes, departed the Clyde on the 13th to provide additional cover with the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial, HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) sailed from Loch Ewe and later joined this force at sea. Three cruisers from the Northern Patrol were ordered to patrol in position 53°55’N, 25°00’W to provide cover for the convoy. These were the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Cdr. C. Wauchope, RN, temporary in command) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes.

The destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) departed Rosyth and proceeded north at high speed to try to cut of the enemy warhips if they were to enter the Atlantic.

The light cruisers HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Diomede (Commodore E.B.C. Dicken, OBE, DSC, RN) which were on the Northern Patrol were to concentrate near the Faroes where they were joined by HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) which were on passage to their patrol stations.

Nothing happened and the convoy arrived safely in the Clyde on 17 December 1939. (9)

15 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (7)

18 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol to the south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (7)

25 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (7)

27 Dec 1939
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol to the south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (7)

3 Jan 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Northern Patrol. (10)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol to the south-west of the Faeroer Islands. (10)

13 Jan 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Belfast from the Northern Patrol. (10)

15 Jan 1940
After de-ammunitioning, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is taken in hand for repairs and a short refit at Belfast. (11)

17 Jan 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is docked at Belfast. (12)

25 Jan 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. (12)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) completed her refit at Belfast (13)

11 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Belfast for Plymouth where she is to embark stores before proceeding to Australia. (13)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at the Devonport Dockyard. (13)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar. (13)

19 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Plymouth. She departed for Malta later the same day. (13)

22 Feb 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Malta from Gibraltar. (13)

1 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (14)

4 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. (15)

7 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Malta for contraband patrol off the west coast of Greece. (14)

14 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Malta from patrol. (14)

16 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) departed Malta for Port Said. (16)

18 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) arrived at Port Said from Malta. They then transited the Suez Canal southbound and set course for Aden. (16)

21 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) arrived at Aden. (16)

22 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) departed Aden for Colombo. (16)

26 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) arrived at Colombo from Aden. (16)

27 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) departed Colombo for Singapore. Their deployment to Australian waters being cancelled. They had now been ordered to join the China Station. (16)

31 Mar 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) arrived at Singapore from Colombo. (16)

5 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Singapore to patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (17)

7 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) relieved HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN) on patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (18)

15 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) fuelled from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917). On completion of which she continued her patrol off Surabaya. (19)

20 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is relieved on patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies, by HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN). (20)

22 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Singapore from patrol. (19)

29 Apr 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Singapore to patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (19)

1 May 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) relieved HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) on patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies. (21)

8 May 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) fuelled from the RFA tanker Appleleaf (5891 GRT, built 1917). On completion of which she continued her patrol off Surabaya. (22)

10 May 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is relieved on patrol off Surabaya, Netherlands East Indies, by HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN).

HMS Ceres then set course to return to Singapore. As the Germans invaded the Netherlands on this day she was divered to patrol in the Sunda Straits. Later she was ordered to return to patrol off Surabaya with HMS Colombo. (21)

15 May 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) arrived back at Singapore. (23)

23 May 1940
During 23/24 May 1940, HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN), HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore. (24)

28 May 1940
HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore. (25)

30 May 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) departed Singapore for Colombo. They were to join the East Indies Station.

They parted company in the afternoon of June, 1st. (23)

4 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Colombo from Singapore. (26)

6 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the troopship Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) which was en-route from Fremantle to Colombo.

Rendezvous was effected in the morning of the 7th. They arrived at Colombo on the 8th. (27)

9 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Colombo escorting the troopship Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) which was to proceed from Colombo to Capetown.

HMS Ceres parted company with the troopship at 1830EF(-5.5)/10. (27)

12 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Colombo after escort duty. She is immediately docked upon arrival. (27)

15 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. (27)

19 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Colombo for Bombay. (27)

21 Jun 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Bombay from Colombo. (27)

23 Jun 1940

Convoy BN 1.

This convoy departed Bombay on 23 June 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 12 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Alavi (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Anna Odland (Norwegian, 4980 GRT, built 1939), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), Svenor (Norwegian (tanker), 7616 GRT, built 1931), Turbo (British, 4781 GRT, built 1912) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN).

HMS Cathay parted company with the convoy on 2 July after the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had joined the escort.

HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy on 4 July.

The destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined the convoy on 5 July 1940. HMIS Hindustan then parted company.

Off Aden the merchant vessels Alavi and Beaconstreet parted company with the convoy. They arrived at Aden on 6 July.

Off Aden the RFA tanker Plumleaf (5916 GRT, built 1917) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) also joined the convoy.

Also off Aden the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy.

On 9 July HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston parted company with the convoy.

On 10 July HMNZS Leander, HMS Flamingo and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy being relieved as escorts by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). (28)

5 Jul 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. She departed for the Perim patrol later the same day. (29)

6 Jul 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Aden from patrol. (29)

9 Jul 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden for the Perim patrol. (29)

13 Jul 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Aden from patrol. (29)

17 Jul 1940

Convoy BN 2.

This convoy departed Bombay on 17 July 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 5 August 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Consul (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), Clydefield (British (tanker), 7365 GRT, built 1928), Cornwall (British, 10605 GRT, built 1920), Daviken (Norwegian, 2922 GRT, built 1926), Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911), Germa (Norwegian, 5282 GRT, built 1920), Grena (Norwegian (tanker), 8117 GRT, built 1934), Hoegh Hood (Norwegian (tanker), 9351 GRT, built 1936), Jalarashimi (British, 4449 GRT, built 1918), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924),Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Nawab (British, 5430 GRT, built 1915), Olivia (Dutch (tanker), 6307 GRT, built 1939), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN) and HMAS Westralia (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN).

On 20 July two of the merchant ships parted company with the convoy to proceed to other destinations, these were the tankers British Consul (to Trincomalee) and Clydefield (to Colombo).

On 26 July the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay and HMAS Westralia parted company with the convoy while the light cruisers HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) joined the convoy.

On 27 July the sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) joined the convoy to provided A/S escort while the convoy was approaching Aden.

On the 29th the merchant vessels Jerhangir and Varsova split off from the convoy and proceeded to Aden escorted by HMS Ceres.

The following merchant ships joined the convoy at Aden; Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Judge (British (tanker), 6735 GRT, built 1921), Marija Petrinovic (Yugoslavian, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Mathura (British, 8890 GRT, built 1920), Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940) and Peshawur (British, 7934 GRT, built 1919).

On 30 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy to escort it partly through the Red Sea. HMIS Hindustan and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy on 30 July.

On 3 August the following merchant vessels split off to proceed to Port Sudan; Daviken, Grena, Marija Petrinovic and Ozarda. They were escorted to there by HMS Kimberley.

Also on 3 August 1940 HMS Leander, HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Flamingo parted company with the convoy, while the sloop HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) joined the convoy to escort it on it's last leg to Suez.

20 Jul 1940
At 2013C/20, the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) departed Aden for an operation in the Red Sea to destroy the stranded Italian submarine Perla.

Around 0500C/21, the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined company in position 148° Perim Light, 8 miles.

HMAS Hobart and HMS Ceres, screened by HMS Kingston and HMS Kimberley then proceeded up the Red Sea keeping close to the Yemen coast until south-west of Mocha (Mokka), when course was altered to the westward to pass between Harbi and Sayal Islands and thence up the Eritrean Coast.

At 1555C/21, when in position 14°23'N, 41°32'5"E with cruiser in line ahead screened by the two destroyers and steering 295°, sighted what appeared to be two destroyers ahead. Speed was increased to close when these 'destroyers' were identified as object inshore of Ras Cesar.

At 1605C/21, sighted a Dhow close inshore southward of the reported position of Perla and a dark object, which had all the appearanc of a submarine hull. This object was fist seen and pointed out to Captain Howden by the Navigating Officer. Captain Howden looked at it through binoculars and no doubt was raised in his mind tat it was other then the 'wreck' of the grounded Perla, The Observer Officer similarly examined it and also considered it to be the submarine, except that the size of the conning tower appeared reduced. Captain Howden later asked HMS Kingston if the conning tower had been hit during the gun action on 27 June. HMS Kingston replied that it had twice been hit but had not been demolished.

It was when the position of the suspected Perla was abaft the beam that the Navigating Officer raised some doubts as to the certainty of the object sighted being the Perla. By that time the distane away was considerable and as two enemy aircraft were in sight Captain Howden had not the opportunity for further observation. Later HMS Ceres was asked if she had sighted Perla and the response was 'No'. [Indeed the Italian submarine had arrived back at Massawa on 20 July after having been towed off the reef.]

At 1609C/21, HMS Kingston reported two aircraft to the northward and a few minutes later these was also seen onboard HMAS Hobart

At 1617C/21, course was altered to starboard to place them on the port beam and so gain sea room. By this time the ships were within 7.5 miles of the position of the suspected wreck of the Perla. At this stage the enemy aircraft were some nine or ten miles away and could only be recognised as large bombers in close formation.

At 1620C/21, the aircraft altered course towards and closes on the port beam, their height being about 8000 feet.

At 1623C/21, HMS Kingston opened fire rather prematurely as the bombers were well out of range and bursts were well short.

At 1625C/21, HMAS Hobart opened fire but the initial rounds were wide of the bombers, which however, opened up to about five spans. The bursts were getting closer and when one burst came below and between the bombers they altered course to starboard and the rear bomber jettisoned two large bombs while on a banked turn. These fell harmlessly into the sea 2-3 miles inshore of the port wing destroyer.

The rear aircraft, which appeared to be very nervous broke formation and banked steeply to port withdrawing to the north-west. The leader continued on an opposite course to the ships and withdrew out of range astern.

At 1637C/21, HMS Kimberley was detached to indentify the wreck of the Perla. In the meantime HMAS Hobart opened fire on the aircraft which was making up the coast towards Massawa, but her angle of sight was below the limit for which the control system was designed and shots burst wide and the aircraft withdrew outside gun range and disappeared to the north.

At 1650C/21, HMS Kimberley was closing the shore and was attacked by the leaders aircraft at 6000 feet. One bomb was dropped which fell some 1500 yards astern of HMS Kimberley which was then recalled. She reported seeing a dark shape on the beach near the dhow, but was not certain that it was the Perla.

The aircraft, which came under accurate fire from HMS Ceres, retired to the southward until out of range and then made off in a westerly direction, jettisoning a large bomb on the foreshore. The aircraft appeared to be attempting to attain a position right astern before attacking, but as they kept at long range there was no difficulty in keeping them on the beam.

The aircraft were identified as being SM 81's and the four bombs dropped by them were thought to be of 1250lbs in weight. Neither aircraft showed any desire to press home an attack and the rear aircraft appeared particularly uneasy. It is thought they had been sent out as a reconnaissance force and not a dedicated bombing force sent out for us.

When it became evident that no further air attacks were launched against us course was set to retire to the south-east.

At 1800C/21, HMS Kimberley was detached for the Perim patrol. HMAS Hobart and HMS Ceres set course to return to Aden screened by HMS Kingston. They arrived at Aden around 1200C/22. (30)

25 Jul 1940
The light cruisers HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden for escort duty with convoy BN 2.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BN 2 ' for 17 July 1940.] (29)

30 Jul 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (29)

31 Jul 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) departed Aden for Alexandria. Upon leaving Aden exercises were carried out with the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) which also departed Aden but for the Perim patrol. (31)

2 Aug 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Aden from patrol. (32)

6 Aug 1940

Convoy BN 2½ or BN 2A.

This convoy departed Aden on 6 August 1940 and arrived at Suez on 12 August 1940. [The convoy is in some sources called BN 2½ and in other BN 2A].

The convoy is made up of the following transports;
Athelstane (British (tanker), 5571 GRT, built 1918), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), Palestinian Prince (British, 1960 GRT, built 1936), Planter (British, 5887 GRT, built 1927) and Rahmani (British, 5463 GRT, built 1928).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN). The sloop HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined later at sea.

At 1900N/9, the convoy was dispersed. Both escorts proceeded to Port Sudan as did the tanker Athelstane. They arrived the following day.

The transport Rahmani proceeded to Jeddah, arriving on the 12th (?).

The other ships proceeded to Suez, arriving on 12/13 August. (28)

6 Aug 1940

Convoy WS 2.

This convoy departed Liverpool / the Clyde on 6 August 1940 for the far east.

The Liverpool section of the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Aska (British, 8323 GRT, built 1939), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Waiwera (British, 12435 GRT, built 1934).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN), HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN).

The Clyde section of the convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Lanarkshire (British, 9816 GRT, built 1940), Memnon (British, 7506 GRT, built 1931) and Suffolk (British, 11063 GRT, built 1939).

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN) and HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN).

Both sections made rendez-vous around 1200/6 and then the convoy was formed in position 55°30'N, 06°00'W.

Around 1430/6 (zone -1), the troopship Orion, was ordered to proceed to the Clyde as she had developed engine defects.

At 2118/7, the destroyers HMS Vortigern and HMS Watchman were detached in response to an SOS signal. [This was from the torpedoed Mohamed Ali El-Kebir.]

At 2359/7, HMS Emerald and the remaining destroyers parted company with the convoy.

Around dawn on the 8th the convoy split up in a 'fast' and a 'slow' section. The fast section was made up of the Andes, Batory, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Monarch of Bermuda, Strathaird and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Cornwall. The other ships formed the 'slow' section escorted by HMS Shropshire.

The 'fast' section arrived at Freetown on 15 August 1940. The 'slow' section arrived at Freetown on 16 August 1940.

----------------------------------------------------

On 16 August 1940 the 'fast' section departed Freetown for Capetown. It was now made up of the troopships / transports Andes, Batory, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Strathaird and Stratheden under the escort of HMS Cornwall.

The 'slow' section, now made up of the troopships / transports Clan Macaulay, Franconia, Lanarkshire, Memnon, Ormonde, Otranto, Suffolk and Waiwera under the escort of HMS Shropshire.

The fast sections arrived at Capetown on 25 August 1940, the slow section on 28 August 1940.

Both cruisers proceeded to Simonstown after delivering the convoy at Capetown, HMS Cornwall arriving there on 25 August and HMS Shropshire on 28 August.

----------------------------------------------------

On 30 August 1940 the troopships / transports Andes, Clan Macaulay, Empress of Britain, Empress of Canada, Lanarkshire, Memnon, Otranto, Strathaird, Suffolk and Waiwera departed Capetown for Aden / Suez. They were escorted by HMS Shropshire. This convoy was now known as WS 2A.

On 2 September 1940, while off Durban, this convoy was joined by the troopships / transport Franconia and Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) which had been escorted out of Durban by the HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN). These ships had departed Durban the day before.

The Llangibby Castle was detached from the convoy around noon on 7 September for Mombasa where she arrived on 8 September being escorted from them moment she had been detached by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

The convoy arrived near Aden on 12 September 1940 where it split into two sections late in the afternoon. The 'fast' section was escorted by light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). HMS Shropshire remained with the 'slow' section but was reinforced by the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

Not all of these escorts remained with their convoy's until Suez though.

----------------------------------------------------

One day later, 31 August 1940, the troopships / transports Batory, Orion (which by now had also arrived at Capetown, Ormonde and Stratheden departed Capetown for Bombay. They were escorted by HMS Cornwall. This convoy was now known as WS 2B.

The escort of convoy WS 2B was taken over by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN) in position 35°08'S, 34°27'E at 1200/3. Half an hour later HMS Cornwall parted company with the convoy.

Convoy WS 2B arrived at Bombay in the morning of September 15th. (33)

10 Aug 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) arrived at Port Sudan after convoy escort duty. (32)

13 Aug 1940
Around 2200B/13, the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Port Sudan.

Around 1300B/13, she joined the transport Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911) and took over escort from the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). These ships had departed Suez on 11 August.

HMS Ceres was to escort the Ellenga southwards towards Aden. She parted company with the Ellenga at 1900B/15 and then proceeded towards Berbera to participate in operations there [see the event for 16 August.] (32)

16 Aug 1940
From 16 to 19 August 1940, Allied troops from Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

The troops were evacatuated by the transports Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (6491 GRT, built 1912), the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) as well as the armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN).

Cover for the evacuation was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), AA -cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN), HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN), HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN), HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN), HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and the netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN).

On 17 August, HMS Ceres bombarded Italian Army targets which temporarily halted the Italian advance.

On 18 August, HMS Caledon and HMS Kandahar bombarded enemy units on the Bulhar-Berbera road.

The evacuation was completed on the 18th. Over 7000 men had been evacuated.

The last men were taken off by HMAS Hobart which Berbera early on the 19th for Aden with the last of the Army personnel and the demolition parties which had demolished the harbour facilities. HMS Indus proceeded along the coast to pick up stragglers. (28)

19 Aug 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Aden from operations off Berbera, Italian Somaliland. (32)

22 Aug 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden escorting the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) to Mombasa. (34)

30 Aug 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (32)

1 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off the Seychelles. (35)

4 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles, where she fuelled from the RFA tanker Olcades (6891 GRT, built 1918). On completion she departed again to resume her patrol. (35)

8 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived Mombasa with the transport Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) which had parted company with convoy WS 2 on 7 September 1940 after HMS Ceres had made rendesvous with that convoy on the return trip from her patrol off the Seychelles.

[For more info on convoy WS 2, see the event ' Convoy WS 2 ' for 6 August 1940.] (35)

11 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off Mogadishu. (35)

15 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from patrol. (35)

17 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for a patrol along the east coast of southern Africa. The patrol was to end at Durban. (35)

22 Sep 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Durban from patrol. (35)

24 Sep 1940
During 24/25 September 1940, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), conducted a patrol off Durban. (35)

27 Sep 1940

Convoy CM 3.

This convoy departed Durban on 27 September 1940 for Mombasa where it arrived on 3 October 1940.

The convoy was made up of the transports; Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) and Llanstephan Castle (British, 11340 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN). (36)

6 Oct 1940

Convoy KD 1.

This convoy departed Mombasa on 6 October 1940 for Durban where it arrived on 11 October 1940.

The convoy was made up of the transports; Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929) and Llanstephan Castle (British, 11340 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN). (37)

15 Oct 1940

Convoy CM 4.

This convoy departed Durban on 15 October 1940 for Mombasa where it arrived on 21 October 1940.

The convoy was made up of the transports; Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Llanstephan Castle (British, 11340 GRT, built 1914) and Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN). (37)

24 Oct 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for a patrol along the east coast of southern Africa. The patrol was to end at Durban. (38)

31 Oct 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Durban from patrol. (38)

2 Nov 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is docked at the Durban Dockyard. (39)

8 Nov 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. (39)

9 Nov 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Durban for Capetown. (39)

11 Nov 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Capetown from Durban. (39)

12 Nov 1940
The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Capetown to escort the troopship Westernland (Dutch, 16313 GRT, built 1918) to Durban. (39)

15 Nov 1940
The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the troopship Westernland (Dutch, 16313 GRT, built 1918) arrived at Durban from Capetown. (39)

21 Nov 1940

Convoy CM 6.

This convoy departed Durban on 21 November 1940 for Mombasa where it arrived on 27 November 1940.

The convoy was made up of the troop transports; Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Llanstephan Castle (British, 11340 GRT, built 1914), Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938) and Westernland (Dutch, 16313 GRT, built 1918).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

[Note: File ADM 199/383 does not list the Selandia as being part of this convoy but the sailing and arrival dates match according to file BT-389-26-183.] (40)

28 Nov 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off Kismayu, Italian Somaliland. (40)

2 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from patrol. (41)

3 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off the Seychelles. (42)

9 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel. After doing so she departed again later the same day to patrol off Kismayu, Italian Somaliland. (42)

17 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa from patrol. (41)

18 Dec 1940

Convoy WS 5A and the attack by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 18/19 December 1940. Destination for the majority of the convoy was Suez where the convoy arrived on 16 February 1941.

On 17 December 1940 the transport Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1929) departed Avonmouth. She was escorted by HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) towards the rendez-vous position.

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A slow;
Anselm (British, 5954 GRT, built 1935), Atreus (British, 6547 GRT, built 1911), Bhutan (British, 6104 GRT, built 1929), City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), City of London (British, 8956 GRT, built 1907), Delane (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Elizabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Menelaus (British, 10307 GRT, built 1923), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Settler (British, 6202 GRT, built 1939) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), sloop HMS Wellington (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
Costa Rica (Dutch, 8055 GRT, built 1910), Ernebank (British, 5388 GRT, built 1937), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) and Neuralia (British, 9182 GRT, built 1912). Ernebank was however forced to return around 1800 hours on the 21st escorted by HMS Witch and HMS St. Mary’s. On the 22nd, HMS Wellington, was detached to take over the escort of the Ernebank. They were escorted by the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from Lough Foyle (Belfast); City of Derby (British, 6616 GRT, built 1921) and Stentor (British, 6148 GRT, built 1926). They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, RN).

The slow part of the convoy was met around dawn on the 19th by the light cruiser HMS Bonaventure (Capt. H.G. Egerton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN).

Around 2300/21 all destroyers parted company with the slow part of the convoy.

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A fast;
Clan MacDonald (British, 9653 GRT, built 1939), Essex (British, 13655 GRT, built 1936) and Northern Prince (British, 10917 GRT, built 1929).

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
Adviser (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Arabistan (British, 5874 GRT, built 1929), Barrister (British, 6348 GRT, built 1939), Benrinnes (5410 GRT, built 1921), Clan Cumming (British, 7264 GRT, built 1938), Empire Song (British, 9228 GRT, built 1940) and Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922).

Escort for the fast section of convoy WS 5A joined around dawn on the 20th and was provided by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RNRN), destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) which came from the Clyde. And also by the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Harvester and FSS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) which came from Londonderry. The first two of these destroyers had fuelled there after escorting the slow part of the convoy for a while. Also the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) (with fighters embarked for Takoradi) and the destroyers HMS Beverley (Cdr.(Retd.) E.F. Fitzgerald, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling joined from Liverpool.

The destroyers of the fast portion of the convoy were detached during the night of 21/22 December 1940.

At dawn on 23 December 1940 the slow and fast part of the convoy made rendez-vous and proceeded in company.

On the 24th, HMS Naiad parted company to return to the U.K. The heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) both joined the escort of the convoy.

At dawn on the 25th the convoy was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. She had made contact with the convoy with radar the previous day and had already made a torpedo attack shortly before 0400/25 but no hits had been obtained nor had the attack been noticed by the British.

Then shortly after 0800/25 she made visual contact with the convoy and it came as a surprise to the Germans to sight HMS Berwick.

Around 0830 hours the Germans opened fire on HMS Berwick but due to the bad visibility she soon shifted target to the troopship Empire Trooper which was not in her assigned station. The troopship was slightly damaged as was the merchant vessel Arabistan.

The convoy was ordered to scatter and HMS Berwick and HMS Bonaventure both engaged the German cruiser as did the corvette Cyclamen briefly.

Meanwhile HMS Dunedin laid a smokescreen to cover the ships of the convoy. HMS Furious flew off a few aircraft but these failed to find the German cruiser in the bad visibility.

HMS Berwick was damaged by gunfire from the German cruiser but she forced, together with HMS Bonaventure, the enemy to break off the action around 0915 hours.

In the evening HMS Boneventure was detached to search for the damaged Empire Trooper.

On the 28th the convoy was reassembled at sea (minus Empire Trooper which was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar via the Azores) and continued on to Freetown where it arrived on 6 January 1941.

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The convoy departed Freetown for South Africa on 8 January.

The convoy was now made up of the (troop) transports; Adviser, Anselm, Arabistan, Atreus, Barrister, Benrinnes, Bhutan, City of Canterbury, City of Derby, City of London, Costa Rica, Delane, Elisabethville, Empire Ability (British, 7603 GRT, built 1931), Menelaus, Neuralia, Orbita, Rangitiki, Settler, Stentor and Tamaroa.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.La T. Bisset, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN), HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN), destroyers HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN), sloops HMS Milford (Cdr. (Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN), HMS Bridgewater (A/Cdr. (Retd.) H.F.G. Leftwich, RN) and the corvettes HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR).

At 0700N/9, the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN) joined the convoy. She had also departed Freetown around the same time as the convoy but apparently acted independently until the time she joined the convoy.

At 0600N/10, HMS Formidable, HMS Dorsetshire, HMS Norfolk, HMS Velox and HMS Vidette parted company with the convoy. At the same time the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) joined.

It appears that HMS Bridgewater, HMS Milford, HMS Asphodel and HMS Calendula parted company on 12 January.

At 1000B/21, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) joined the convoy and HMS Devonshire parted company.

At 1600B/22, HMS Hawkins parted company with the convoy taking the transports Anselm and City of Canterbury to Capetown where they arrived on 23 January.

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Durban on 25 January 1941 escorted by HMS Shropshire.

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The convoy departed Durban for Suez on 29 January 1941. It was now made up of the transports, Adviser, Anselm, Arabistan, Atreus, Barrister, Benrinnes, Bhutan, City of Canterbury, City of Derby, City of London, Costa Rica, Delane, Elisabethville, Empire Ability, Menelaus, Neuralia, Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orbita, Rangitiki, Settler, Stentor, Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924) and Tamaroa.

They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire and the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

Around 0800B/30, HMS Shropshire was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN).

In the morning of 31 January the transport Delane parted company with the convoy to return to Durban due to engine defects.

At 1000CD(-3.5)/4, HMS Ceres parted company taking the transports Nieuw Holland and Orbita with her to Kilindini / Mombasa where they arrived on 5 February.

At 1440CD/5, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN) joined.

At 1500CD/5, the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) joined.

At 0430CD/6, HMS Capetown parted company with the convoy having been ordered to do so.

At 1730CD/10, HMS Enterprise parted company with the convoy to fuel at Aden. She rejoined the convoy around 2130C/11.

Around 0630C/11, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) and the sloops HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) and HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN). HMS Hector then parted company with the convoy.

At 2300C/11, HMIS Indus parted company with the convoy upon being relieved by the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

At 1830C/13, HMS Flamingo parted company with the convoy to return to Aden and HMS Grimsby parted company with the convoy taking the transport Neuralia with her to Port Sudan.

At 0400C/14, HMS Enterprise parted company with the convoy.

The convoy escorted by HMS Caledon arrived at Suez on 16 February 1941. (43)

22 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off Kismayu, Italian Somaliland. (41)

29 Dec 1940
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from patrol. (41)

2 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for Dar es Salaam where she arrived the following day. (44)

3 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Dar es Salaam for Lindi where she arrived the following day. (44)

5 Jan 1941
At Lindi, the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) fuelled and stored four M/S whalers of the 142nd Minesweeping Group. These were the Sarna, Soika, Sotra and Svana.

All ships then departed Lindi later the same day. (44)

6 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Lindi. (44)

8 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa to patrol off Kismayu, Italian Somaliland. (44)

12 Jan 1941

Convoy SW 4B.

This convoy departed Suez on 12 January 1941 for Durban where it arrived on 25 January 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Dunedin Star (British, 11168 GRT, built 1936), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN). However, HMAS Sydney had been delayed in her passage through the Suez Canal and had to overtake the convoy. As the convoy was to the East of her intended route it was not found on HMAS Sydney only joined the convoy in the morning of the 14th.

Three more escorts joined the convoy in the morning of the 14th; the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN).

Late on the 15th HMAS Sydney arrived at Aden with the Empress of Canada. They had been detached from the convoy late on the 14th. After fuelling of HMAS Sydney and the Empress of Canada embarking some passengers they left again to rejoin the convoy.

Early on the 16th HMS Kimberley was detached from the convoy and proceeded to Aden where she arrived early in the afternoon.

In the late afternoon of the 16th, HMS Carlisle and HMS Kandahar parted company with th convoy and proceeded to Aden arriving in the morning of the 17th.

Some ships from the convoy split off to proceed to India while the ones from South Africa continued on escorted by HMAS Sydney until this cruiser was relieved on the 20th by HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

The convoy arrived at Durban on 25 January 1941. (45)

16 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from patrol. (44)

19 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for escort duty with convoy SW 4B.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy SW 4B ' for 12 January 1941. (44)

25 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Durban with convoy SW 4B. (44)

29 Jan 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Durban for escort duty with convoy WS 5A.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 5A ' for 18 December 1940.] (44)

5 Feb 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa after convoy escort duty. (46)

11 Feb 1941

Operation Canvas

The object of this operation was the capture of Kismayu by land militery forces with the support of Naval and Air Force co-operation.

Regarding the naval side of the operations there were two objectives for which they were to assist the Army forces; 1) Bombarding the coast road and demonstrations off Brava (Barawe) and Merca (Marka). 2) Bombardment and bombing of Kismayu prior to the assault.

Purely naval objectives were; 1) The interception, capture or sinking of enemy merchant vessels escaping from Kismayu or Mogadishu. 2) Sweeping Kismayu clear after capture. 3) The arrangement and protection of seaborne military supplies in former Italian ports. 4) The taking over and establishment of a Naval Base at the port of Kismayu.

For the naval side of the operation ' Force T ' was formed. It was made up of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN, Senior Officer), HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN), light cruisers HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN).

A bombardment for coast road to the North of Kismayu was set for 13 and 14 February.

Bombardment and bombing of Kismayu was set for 15 and 16 February.

Air reconnaissance photographs taken on 30 January 1941 had shown 16 merchant ships off Kismayu, 10 of which were Italian and 4 German.

Air reconnaissance photographs taken on 5 and 6 February 1941 had shown that the German Tannenfels (7840 GRT, built 1938) had sailed.

Air reconnaissance, carried out on 11 February, showed a merchant vessel 26 miles south of Brava, and two self propelled lighters 10 miles south of Brava proceeding North, while three larger ships, one tug and one coaster were observed in the Northern anchorage at Kismayu and five merchant ships in the Southern anchorage.

11 February 1941.

On 11 February 1941, The Italian ships Adria (3809 GRT, built 1914) and Savoia (5490 GRT, built 1922) were captured by HMS Hawkins. Prize crews were put on board and the ships were taken to Kilindini / Mombasa. The captured Adria came across another Italian merchant ship, the Erminia Mazzella (5644 GRT, built 1917). This ship was then also captured. On this day HMS Ceres departed Kilindini / Mombasa to arrive in the operations area the following day.

Air reconnaissance, carried out on 12 February, showed that many of the merchant vessels had sailed. Four merchant vessels were seen in the Southern anchorage. In the Northern anchorage nine lighters were spotted.

12 February 1941.

On 12 February 1941, The Italian ships Manon (5652 GRT, built 1901) and Leonardo da Vinci (7432 GRT, built 1937) were captured by HMS Hawkins and HMS Hermes respectively. Later the German Uckermark (7021 GRT, built 1930) was intercepted by HMS Hawkins but before she could be closed and captured she was scuttled by her crew. She did not sink however but no ship could be spared to try to salvage her at this moment in the operation as HMS Kandahar had been detached to fuel at Kilindini / Mombasa where she arrived on this day and HMS Capetown only departed Kilindini / Mombasa on this day to arrive in the operations area the following day. The small German ship Askari, with 'white' troops on board, is attacked by aircraft from HMS Hermes and driven ashore by near Brava.

13 February 1941.

On 13 February 1941, the Senior Officer of ' Force T ' was ordered, given the speedy advance on land, to reconnoitre Kismayu. HMS Kandahar, which had returned from Kilindini / Mombasa , was ordered to do this. She fired three salvoes from 10000 yards. There was no answering fire and it appreared the town had been abandoned by the enemy. Aircraft reported that there was oil all over the harbour and that no AA fire was encountered. HMS Shropshire showed herself of Mogadishu and bombarded a merchant vessel in the anchorage. This was later found out to be the Italian Pensilvania (6268 GRT, built 1903). On retiring from the area HMS Shropshire was bombed by a single Caproni bomber. She sustained no damage. HMS Shropshire also carried out a successful bombardment of an encampment and military lorries near Brava.

14 February 1941.

On 24 February, HMS Shropshire bombarded the Kismayu Island Battery for 22 minutes and then the Mtanga Ya Papa Battery for 15 minutes. They were engaged from ranges between 20000 and 25000 yards. There was no reply from either battery and numerous fires were started. As a result ground forces were able to enter Kismayu at 1415Z/14, six days ahead of shedule. The remainer of ' Force T ' patrolled so as to try to intercept enemy shipping. HMS Ceres left the area to fuel at Kilindini / Mombasa. She briefly towed the scuttled, but still not sunken, Uckermark but in the end the German ship could not be saved and she finally sank in the afternoon.

15 February 1941.

On 15 February 1941, HMS Shropshire carried out a bombardment of targets off Brava. With Kismayu fallen and the Italians in full retreat, the plan developed into an advance on Mogadishu, where it was proposed that HMS Shropshire, HMS Hermes and HMS Hawkins should bombard and bomb defences and shipping. This proposal was, however, cancelled on receipt of an Admiralty message that no merchant vessel was to be sunk that could possibly be saved, and information tat the advance on Mogadishu could not start for four day in view of the opposition encountered at the Jubba River. A supply convoy and minesweepers (these were most likely the 109th M/S Group made up of the M/S whalers, Skudd 3 ( Lt. A.F. Harkness, RNR), Skudd 4 ( T/Lt. K. Tholfson, RNR), Skudd 5 (S.Lt. R.A.N. Cox, RNR) and Swona (T/Lt. A.C.C. Seligman, RNR)) had left Kilindini / Mombasa for Kismayu. HMS Ceres arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa.

16 February 1941.

On 16 February HMS Shropshire remained in the Jubba River / Brava area in support of the ground troops. HMS Hermes and HMS Hawkins left the area for Kilindini / Mombasa, sweeping well to seaward during their passage south to look for enemy shipping. HMS Capetown remained on patrol off Mogadishu. HMS Ceres and HMS Kandahar were employed in giving protection to the supply convoy and the minesweepers.

17 February 1941.

On 17 February, HMS Shropshire relieved HMS Capetown on the Mogadishu patrol, HMS Capetown then proceeded to Kilindini / Mombasa to fuel and clean boilers. The Military hospital ship Tairea (7934 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa. The Admiralty suggested the withdrawal of HMS Hermes from this operation, and she was therefore sent to Kilindini / Mombasato fuel and clean boilers. In the meantime discussions were ongoing about the future of the operation. If not required HMS Hermes was to operate in the Indian Ocean together with the light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) which was also proceeding to Kilindini / Mombasa. On land the Army was in contact with the enemy near the Jubba River.

18 February 1941.

On 18 February, HMS Shropshire left patrol off Magadishu and set course for Kilindini / Mombasa. HMS Ceres took over the Mogadishu patrol after arrival of the minesweepers and part of the supply convoy at Kismayu. HMS Capetown arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa. It was decided that ships involved in the operation would prepare for the next move, presumably to Mogadishu. It was confirmed that HMS Hermes was to clean boilers and then team up with HMS Enterprise for trade route protection. HMS Kandahar was to return to Aden to rejoin the Red Sea force. HMS Shropshire, HMS Ceres and HMS Capetown would remain on patrol off Mogadishu, one cruiser only at a time.

19 February 1941.

On 19 February, the remainder of the supply convoy arrived at Kismayu. HMS Shropshire, HMS Hermes, HMS Hawkins and HMS Kandahar arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa.

20 February 1941.

On 20 February, the Army crossed the Jubba River in force and captured Jumbo (Jamame). It was decided that the Army was to capture Mogadishu if possible but that they should also prepare to release a South African division for deployment in Eritrea at short notice if required.

21 February 1941.

On 21 February, an inter-service conference was held at Kismayu and, in brief, the following plans were made; 1) On 22 and on 23 February bombardments from seaward were to be carried out on the Brava area. HMS Shropshire was detailed for this duty. 2) On 24 February Brava was to be captured. 3) On 27 February Merca was to be captured. 4) On 1 March the attack on Magadishu was to commence. Also on 21 February HMS Shropshire left Kilindini / Mombasa for the Brava area and HMS Ceres left the Mogadishu patrol to return to Kilindini / Mombasa.

22 February 1941.

The ships in the operation were now designated as ' Force W '. HMS Shropshire bombarded Modun over Brava. Considarable damage was inflicted including direct hits on targets. Many casualties were reported. It was later learnt that the bombardment had been a decisive factor in the Italian rout. After the bombardment HMS Shropshire proceeded to join the hunt for the German pocket battleship sighted in the Indian Ocean and HMS Ceres was ordered to take over.

23 February 1941.

On 23 February 1941, HMS Ceres arrived at Kilindini / Mombasa. On land the rapid military advance continued and over 3000 prisoners were taken.

24 February 1941.

On 24 February 1941, the Army occupied Modaneun (?) and Brava.

25 February 1941.

On 25 February 1941, the Army occupied Merca and Vittorio (?). HMS Ceres departed Kilindini / Mombasa for Kismayu.

26 February 1941.

On 26 February 1941, HMS Ceres arrived at Kismayu. The army captured Mogadishu, three days before the assualt had been sheduled to start. (45)

28 Feb 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Kismayu for Merca. (46)

1 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Merca. She departed for Mombasa later the same day. (47)

2 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa with 268 former Allied prisoners freed in Italian Somaliland. (47)

5 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa with troops and supplies she is to land at Merca. (47)

6 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) landed troops and supplies at Merca, Somalia. She departed for Kismayu later the same day. (47)

7 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Kismayu. (47)

8 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Kismayu for Mombasa. (47)

9 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Kismayu. (47)

14 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for Mogadishu. (47)

16 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mogadishu from Mombasa. (47)

18 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mogadishu for Kismayo. (47)

19 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Kismayo from Mogadishu. She departed for Mombasa later the same day. (47)

20 Mar 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from Somalia. (47)

3 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for Mogadishu. She was escorting the troopship Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927). (48)

5 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the troopship Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) arrived at Mogadishu from Mombasa. (48)

6 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the troopship Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) departed Mogadishu for Berbera. (48)

10 Apr 1941
Around 0745D/10, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) parted company with the troopship Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) off Berbera. HMS Ceres then set course for Aden where she arrived later the same day. (48)

11 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (48)

16 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (48)

21 Apr 1941

Convoy CM 8.

This convoy departed Mombasa on 21 April 1941. The convoy was dispersed off Aden in the morning of 28 April 1941.

The convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; City of Athens (British, 6558 GRT, built 1923), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), LLandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926) and Nieuw Zeeland (Dutch, 11069 GRT, built 1928).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

At 0230D/27, the LLandaff Castle was detached to Berbera.

At 0640D/28, the convoy was dispersed and the remaining ships proceeded to Suez independently.

HMS Ceres then proceeded to Aden where she arrived later the same day. (45)

28 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (48)

30 Apr 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden for Assab.

At 1607C/30, she saw the auxiliary patrol vessel HMIS Parvati (Lt. H.M.S. Choudry, RIN) being mined and sinking in 1.5 minutes.

HMS Ceres then set course to clear the 100 fathom line and she lowered boats to pick up survivors. After doing so course was set to return to Aden. (48)

1 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived back at Aden. (49)

1 May 1941

Convoy SW 6.

This convoy departed Suez on 1 May 1941 for Durban where it arrived on 16 May 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built ), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

Three ships of the convoy carried about 3900 POW's to South Africa.

On departure from Suez the convoy was not escorted.

At 0925C/6, the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) joined coming from Aden.

Off Aden the Nova Scotia parted company and proceeded to that port.

Around 0830C/11, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN) joined and HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy to proceed to Mombasa where she arrived later the same day. She took the transport Cameronia with her.

Around 0735B/13, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) H.C. Legge, DSC, RN) took over the convoy from HMS Hector which then set course for Mombasa.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 16 May 1941. (45)

6 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Aden to join convoy SW 6 coming from Suez.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy SW 6 ' for 1 May 1941.] (49)

11 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa after convoy escort duty. (49)

13 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Mombasa for patrol. She was ordered to patrol off the east coast of Somalia. (49)

20 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) returned to Mombasa from patrol. (49)

24 May 1941

Convoy CM 9.

This convoy departed Mombasa on 24 May 1941 for Berbera where it arrived on 29 May 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following transports; Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937) and Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN). (45)

29 May 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (49)

2 Jun 1941

Convoy SW 7.

This convoy departed Aden on 2 June 1941 for Durban where it arrived on 12 June 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Duchess of Athol (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Empress of Australia (British, 21883 GRT, built 1914), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

Around 0900C/7, the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) joined. HMS Ceres then parted company taking the Mombasa section of the convoy, made up of the Orontes, Strathnaver, Strathmore and Viceroy of India with her. They arrived at Mombasa later on the 7th.

HMS Colombo then proceeded to Durban with the remaining two ships arriving there on 12 May 1941. (45)

9 Jun 1941

Convoy SW 7A.

This convoy departed Mombasa on 9 June 1941 for Durban where it arrived on 14 June 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925),Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN).

The convoy arrived at Durban on 14 June 1941.

18 Jun 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Durban for Port Victoria, Seychelles. (50)

24 Jun 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles to fuel. She departed for Colombo later the same day. (50)

2 Jul 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Colombo where she was to refit. (50)

4 Jul 1941
Upon completion of de-ammunitioning, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), is docked at Colombo and taken in hand for refit. (51)

27 Jul 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. During the procedure she damaged her port screw when it contacted the pier. She was later docked again [See 30th, July]. (51)

30 Jul 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is docked again at Colombo. (51)

4 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) is undocked. (51)

11 Aug 1941
W/ith her refit completed, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), departed Colombo for Trincomalee. (52)

12 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from Colombo. (52)

14 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Trincomalee. (52)

15 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 10X

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 14/15 August 1941 for Suez where the ships arrived between 1 to 4 October 1941.

The convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 15 August 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935), Strathmore (23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (22283 GRT, built 1931), And the transports Palma (5419 GRT, built 1941) and Port Jackson (9687 GRT, built 1937).

Escort was initially provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (joined at sea on 17 August 1941 until 28 August when the convoy arrived at Freetown), the AA (light) cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) (15 – 17 August) and the destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (17-19 August), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) (17-19 August), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (17-19 August) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) (17-19 August).

When approaching Freetown the convoy was joined on 26 August by a local escort made up of the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) (left the convoy before noon on 27 August), HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR). The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 August 1941.

The convoy departed Freetown for Capetown on 1 September 1941. Escort was now provided by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR).

HMS Amaranthus parted company with the convoy around 1445Z/2 to return to Freetown due to defects.

Around 2133Z/2, HMS Revenge was rammed by the transport Orion. Damage to HMS Revenge was only minor but damage to the bow of the Orion was more serious. She dropped out of the convoy for a while but was later able to catch up again and was able of a speed of 15 knots.

At 1237Z/3, HMS Armeria, HMS Mignonette and HMS Woodruff parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 11 September 1941.

The convoy departed Capetown for Suez on 14 September 1941. Escort was still provided by HMS Revenge until 22 September 1941 when the light cruiser, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) took over until the dispersal of the convoy on 27 September 1941 when it was near Aden. The ships of the convoy then continued independently towards Suez where they arrived between 1 and 4 October 1941.

16 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Trincomalee. (52)

18 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Trincomalee on completion of which she set course for Bombay where she arrived on the 24th. (52)

24 Aug 1941

Convoy BM 8.

This troop convoy departed Bombay on 24 August 1941 and arrived at Port Swettenham on 3 September 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following transports / troopships; Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Ekma (British, 5128 GRT, built 1911), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Ethiopia (British, 5574 GRT, built 1922) and Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) until this ship was relieved in the afternoon of August 28th by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

In the afternoon of August 31st, HMS Antenor was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (A/Capt. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN).

The convoy arrived at Port Swettenham on 3 September 1941. (53)

29 Aug 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Trincomalee from convoy escort duty. Before entering harbour she conducted gunnery exercises. (52)

31 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 11

This convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 31 August 1941 for the far east.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant ships; Abosso (11330 GRT, built 1935), Barrister (6348 GRT, built 1939), Bhutan (6104 GRT, built 1929), City of Edinburgh (8036 GRT, built 1938), City of Manchester (8917 GRT, built 1935), Duchess of York (20021 GRT, built 1929), Empress of Australia (21833 GRT, built 1914), Glaucus (7596 GRT, built 1921), Glenorchy (8982 GRT, built 1939), Kina II (9823 GRT, built 1939), Largs Bay (14182 GRT, built 1921), Manchester Progress (5620 GRT, built 1938), Mooltan (20952 GRT, built 1923), Northumberland (11558 GRT, built 1915), Orontes (20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (20026 GRT, built 1925), Scythia (19761 GRT, built 1920), Viceroy of India (19627 GRT, built 1929). The netlayer HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN) also sailed in this convoy.

Escort was initially provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, MVO, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) (31 August – 2 September), the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN) (31 August – 2 September), the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (Capt.(Retd.) E.A.B. Stanley, MVO, DSO, RN), the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (31 August – 2 September), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (31 August – 2 September), ORP Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) (31 August – 3 September), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski) (31 August – 3 September), the sloops HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN), HMS HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN).

HMS Cairo and HrMs Isaac Sweers parted company with the convoy on 2 September and proceeded to Northern Ireland. HMS Sheffield also left the convoy later this day.

ORP Piorun and ORP Garland parted company with the convoy shortly after noon on 3 September to assist a merchant vessel that was being bombed by German aircraft. By then HMS Winchelsea had also left the convoy.

HMS Furious was destined for Gibraltar and operated mainly a little away from the convoy. She left the convoy around 1100 hours on 4 September arrived at Gibraltar on 7 September escorted by HMS Cossack, HMS Zulu, HMS Legion and HMS Lively.

Shortly afterwards around 1300 hours on 4 September the convoy split into two sections, these were;
WS 11F (Fast); This convoy was made up of the merchants Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, Duchess of York, Empress of Australia, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Mooltan, Orontes, Otranto, Scythia, Viceroy of India. HMS Guardian was also part of this convoy.

Escort for this part of the convoy was provided by; HMS Repulse, HMIS Sutlej (Later went to the escort of convoy WS 11S), HMS Highlander (detached to fuel at the Azores), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (joined around noon on 4 September coming from Gibraltar) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) (joined around 0800 hours on 7 September coming from Gibraltar).

Most of these ships oiled at sea from the RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917) (Master Lt.Cdr. A.E. Curtain, OBE, RNR). Rapidol later joined convoy WS 11S. At least HMS Highlander oiled at Ponta Delgada, Azores, she rejoined the convoy around noon on 6 September.

In the morning of 11 September 1941 two destroyers coming from Freetown joined the escort, these were HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN). Later that day, around 1400 hours, the corvette HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR) also joined the escort. Shortly afterwards HMS Highlander parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Bathurst.

This part of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 13 September 1941.

The other section of the convoy was WS 11S (Slow); This convoy was made up of the merchants Abosso, Barrister, City of Manchester, Glaucus Manchester Progress and Northumberland.

Escort for this part of the convoy was provided by; HMS Derbyhire, HMS Sennen and HMS Totland.

This part of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 15 September 1941.

At Freetown the convoy (now called WS 11B) was re-grouped and departed from there on 18 September 1941 for the Cape.

The convoy was now made up of the merchants Barrister, Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Empress of Australia, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Orontes, Otranto, Scythia, Viceroy of India and the Dutch liner (troopship) Nieuw Zeeland (11069 GRT, built 1928) joined the convoy at Freetown.

Escort was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Renown and the armed merchant cruiser Derbyshire. A/S escort was provided until 1800 hours 20 September 1941 by the destroyers HMS Velox and HMS Wrestler after which these returned to Freetown.

On 30 September the following ships put into Capetown escorted by HMS Derbyshire; Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Viceroy of India and Nieuw Zeeland.

The other ships; Barrister, Empress of Australia, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Otranto and Scythia arrived at Durban on 3 October escorted by HMS Repulse.

On 3 October 1941, Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Viceroy of India and Nieuw Zeeland departed Capetown still escorted by HMS Derbyshire.

On 7 October 1941, Barrister, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Otranto as well as the transports City of Canterbury (8331 GRT, built 1922), Dilwara (11080 GRT, built 1936), Eastern Prince (10926 GRT, built 1929), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), Llandaff Castle (10799 GRT, built 1926), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) and Pulaski (Polish, 6516 GRT, built 1912). They were escorted by the battlecruiser Repulse until 13 October when she was relieved by HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN). On 8 October these ships joined up with the ships coming from Capetown. HMS Derbyshire then left the convoy and returned to Capetown.

In the afternoon of 17 October 1941, HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) made rendez-vous with the convoy and then parted company taking the following ships with her; Barrister, City of Edinburgh, Duchess of York, Glaucius, Glenorchy, Johan de Witt, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Otranto, Nieuw Zeeland, Viceroy of India.

The other ships continued with HMS Ceres towards Aden where they arrived on 19 October 1941.

The ships taken over by HMS Glasgow proceeded to Bombay where they arrived on 22 October 1941. Three ships taken over by HMS Glasgow however were destined for Basra. One of these, the Barrister was unable to keep up with the convoy and was detached on 18 October. This ship arrived at Basra on 25 October. The other two ships destined for Basra, City of Edinburgh and Glenorchy were detached on 19 October and both arrived at Basra on 23 October 1941.

On 27 October 1941 the convoy departed Bombay for Colombo escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN). The convoy was now made up of the transports; Glaucus, Johan de Witt, Kina II, Largs Bay, Nieuw Zeeland, Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935) and Ellenga (5196 GRT, built 1911).

They arrived at Colombo on 30 October 1941, minus the Kina II which was detached on 29 October and proceeded independently to Trincomalee.

On 31 October 1941 the convoy, now made up of Ellenga, Glaucus, Johan de Witt, Largs Bay, Nieuw Zeeland Orion and Rangitiki (16698 GRT, built 1929) departed Colombo for Singapore. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN). They arrived at Singapore on 6 November 1941. (54)

5 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Trincomalee for Port Victoria, Seychelles. (55)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles from Trincomalee. (55)

12 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) departed Port Victoria, Seychelles for Mombasa. (55)

15 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Port Victoria, Seychelles. (55)

21 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Mombasa for escort duty with convoy WS 10X. She joined that convoy the following day.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 10X ' for 15 August 1941.] (55)

26 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (55)

28 Sep 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (55)

3 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (56)

8 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Mombasa. (56)

13 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Mombasa for escort duty with convoy WS 11. She joined that convoy later the same day.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 11 ' for 31 August 1941.] (56)

19 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (56)

22 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (56)

27 Oct 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (57)

29 Oct 1941

Convoy CM 18X.

This convoy departed Durban on 29 October 1941.

It was made up of the (troop) transports; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937).

They were escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN).

Around 0700C/3, HMS Revenge was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN).

The convoy arrived at Aden on 8 November 1941. (58)

3 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Mombasa for escort duty with convoy convoy CM 18X. She joined the convoy the following day.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CM 18X ' for 29 October 1941.] (57)

8 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (57)

10 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. En-route she was to visit and Guardafui and Al Hufun in Somalia. (59)

11 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) made a short stop at Guardafui. After a few hours, she departed for Al Hufun where she arrived later the same day. She departed for Mombasa late in the evening. (57)

14 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (57)

16 Nov 1941

Convoy CM 22.

This 'convoy' departed Durban for Suez on 16 November 1941.

It was made up of only one troop transport, the Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939, with 3959 troops on board).

On departure from Durban the escort was the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN).

Around 0830D/20, escort was taken over by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN). HMS Colombo then proceeded to Mombasa.

Around 2215D/23, HMS Ceres parted company with the Mauretania which then continued on to Suez unescorted. She arrived at Suez on 26 November 1941.

HMS Ceres arrived at Aden on 24 November 1941. (45)

24 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (57)

26 Nov 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (57)

30 Nov 1941

Convoy CM 23.

This convoy departed Durban on 30 November 1941. It arrived at Aden on 13 December 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Elisabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926) and Pulaski (Polish, 6345 GRT, built 1912).

On depature from Durban the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN).

Around 0600C/7, HMS Colombo was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN). HMS Colombo then proceeded to Mombasa.

The convoy arrived at Aden on 13 December 1941. (45)

1 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (60)

6 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Aden for escort duty with convoy CM 23. She joined that convoy the following day.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CM 23 ' for 30 November 1941'.] (60)

9 Dec 1941

Convoy WS 14.

This convoy was formed off Oversay on 9 December 1941.

On forming up the convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Abosso (British, 11330 GRT, built 1935), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), City of Pretoria (British, 8049 GRT, built 1937), Clan Cameron (British, 7243 GRT, built 1937), Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Condor (British, 7773 GRT, built 1940), Empire Curlew (British, 7101 GRT, built 1941), Empire Egret (British, 7169 GRT, built 1939), Empire Oriole (British, 6535 GRT, built 1941), Empire Peregrine (British, 6440 GRT, built 1941), Empire Pintail (British, 7773 GRT, built 1940), Empire Widgeon (British, 6737 GRT, built 1940), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Esperance Bay (British, 14204 GRT, built 1921), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928), Highland Princess (British, 14133 GRT, built 1930), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orestes (British, 7748 GRT, built 1926), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921) and Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930).

The aircraft transport HMS Engadine (Cdr. W.T. Fitzgerald, RD, RNR) was also part of the convoy.

On forming up the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Cilicia, AA ship HMS Ulster Queen (Capt.(Retd.) D.S. McGrath, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Westcott (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. J. Grant, RN), HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN), HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. R.H.W. Atkins, RN), HMS Sherwood (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, DSO, RN).

In the afternoon of the 11th, HMS Newark parted company with the convoy due to damaged fuel tanks.

Bad weather was experienced on the 11th, and late in the evening, the Empire Oriole had to heave to in order to secure tanks that were carried as deck cargo. She did not rejoin the convoy and proceeded independently to Freetown arriving there on 23 December.

At 0415N/12, HMS Ulster Queen parted company with the convoy in approximate position 49°08'N, 19°08'W.

Later that morning, HMS Lancaster parted company with the convoy in approximate position 47°50'N, 20°42'W.

Around midnight during the night of 12/13 December, Westcott, HMS Witherington, HMS Beverley, HMS Newark and HMS Sherwood parted company with the convoy in approximate position 41°46'N, 22°51'W.

Around 0940Z/13, the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) and HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 44°00'N, 22°16'W coming from Milford Haven (HMS Gurkha came from Plymouth).

At the time of joining HMAS Nestor, HMS Foxhound, HMS Badsworth, HMS Beaufort and HMS Croome were supposed to be with the convoy but they had lost touch with the convoy in the heavy weather conditions. All were in touch trough V/S except for HMS Croome. HMAS Nestor, HMS Foxhound and HMS Gurkha were then ordered to proceed to Gibraltar. Vanquisher, Volunteer, Witch, HMS Badsworth and HMS Beaufort remained with the convoy.

At 1800Z/13, in approximate position 42°38'N, 22°40'W HMS Badsworth and HMS Beaufort were detached to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Also on 13 December (around 0500 hours) the Scythia left the convoy due to ' not being under control '. She did not rejoin the convoy and arrived independently at Freetown on 23 December.

At 2200Z/14, in approximate position, 36°07'N, 23°24'W, HMS Vanquisher was detached to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores. She was detached earlier then intended due to condenser trouble.

At 0400Z/15, in approximate position 35°02'N, 23°23'W, HMS Volunteer and HMS Witch were detached to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

At 1030Z/15, HMS Badsworth and HMS Beaufort rejoined the convoy in approximate position 34°03'N, 23°24'W.

At 0930Z/18, the destroyer HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 18°50'N, 21°52'W.

At 0910Z/19, the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) and HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 14°30'N, 19°17'W.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 21 December 1941.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 25 December 1941 for South Africa.

The convoy sailed with the same ships as with it had arrived except for HMS Engadine

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies, destroyers HMS Brilliant, HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), escort destroyers HMS Beaufort, HMS Hurworth and the sloop HMS Bridgewater (A/Cdr.(Retd.) H.F.G. Leftwich, RN).

At 1100Z/26, HMS Vimy developed engine trouble and fell behind. She rejoined the convoy at 0600Z/27.

At 1800Z/26, in approximate position 03°02'N, 12°25'W, HMS Brilliant parted company with the convoy, taking the troopship Abosso with her. They were to proceed to Takoradi.

At 0400Z/27, the Orestes fell out of line with engine trouble. As by noon she was not in sight HMS Vimy was ordered to search for her. She reported at 1800Z/27 that she had found the Orestes which was now able to proceed at 14 knots. HMS Vimy was then ordered to return to Freetown. The Orestes then proceeded to Capetown unescorted.

At 1900Z/27, HMS Bridgewater was detached to proceed ahead to fuel from the RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917).

At 0600Z/29, HMS Beaufort was detached to fuel from the Rapidol.

At 1100Z/30, HMS Hurworth was detached to fuel from the Rapidol but she could not find the tanker and rejoined the convoy at 1930Z/29. Fortunately the tanker was then sighted on the convoy's beam and she was able to fuel after all. On completion of fuelling she started a search for an unidentified ship that had been sighted earlier by the Rapidol.

At 1320/30, HMS Beaufort rejoined the convoy.

At 1700/30, HMS Bridgewater rejoined the convoy.

At 1845A/31, HMS Hurworth rejoined the convoy. The ship reported by the Rapidol had not been sighted.

At 0100Z/3, the Andes was detached to proceed ahead of the convoy to Capetown where politicians were to be landed. She later joined the Durban section of the convoy.

In the morning of the 4th, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 31°45'S, 14°00'E.

At 1600Z/4, in approximate position, 33°12'S, 15°45'E, HMS Derbyshire parted company with the convoy taking the Durban section of the convoy with her. The Durban section was made up of the Andes, Athlone Castle, Cameronia, Duchess of Atholl, Durban Castle, Esperance Bay, Highland Princess, Oronsay, Reina del Pacifico, Scythia and Strathallan.

The Capetown section of the convoy, made up of the City of Pretoria, Clan Cameron, Empire Condor, Empire Curlew, Empire Egret, Empire Oriole, Empire Peregrine, Empire Pintail, Empire Widgeon, Empress of Australia, Highland Monarch, Orcades, Troilus and Warwick Castle arrived at Capetown early in the morning escorted by HMS Ramillies, HMS Beaufort and HMS Hurworth. The escort destroyers then proceeded to Simonstown. The Orestes arrived later in the morning.

The Durban section was joined in the morning of the 6th by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) in approximate position 35°18'S, 23°32'E.

In the morning of the 8th the convoy arrived at Durban in three sections in order to avoid congestion in the swept channel. Each of the escorts, HMS Ceres, HMS Bridgewater and HMS Derbyshire took one section under their orders.

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On 9 January 1942, the Capetown section, made up of the City of Pretoria, Clan Cameron, Empire Condor, Empire Curlew, Empire Egret, Empire Oriole, Empire Peregrine, Empire Pintail, Empire Widgeon, Empress of Australia, Highland Monarch, Orcades, Troilus and Warwick Castle. An additional transport, the Malancha (British, 8124 GRT, built 1937), joined the convoy.

The Orestes was also to have joined the convoy but she was delayed, probably due to repairs, and she sailed later with orders to overtake the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Ramillies and the corvettes HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR).

In the early morning of the 10th both corvettes parted company to return to Capetown.

On the 13th the convoy was joined by the Durban section made up of the transports City of Canterbury (British, 8331 GRT, built 1922), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Duchess of Atholl, Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Esperance Bay, Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926) and Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN).

Also the Orestes caught up with the convoy off Durban and joined.

The Orcades of the Capetown section parted company with the convoy and entered Durban.

The Duchess of Athol soon developed engine trouble and returned to Durban. Her troops were transferred to the Andes and this ship then departed Durban on 14 January 1942, escorted by HMS Ceres to overtake the convoy which Andes did early on the 16th. HMS Ceres then set course to return to Durban where she arrived on the 18th.

Early on the 19th, rendezvous was made with the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) which then took the ships of Singapore with her forming convoy DM 2. These were the City of Canterbury, City of Pretoria, Dunera, Empress of Australia, Malancha, Troilus and Warwick Castle. They then set course for Port T (Addu Atoll).

At 1000C/20, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) which had the transports Mendoza (British (former French), 8233 GRT, built 1919) and Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937) with her. HMS Ramillies then parted company and proceeded to Mombasa arriving there on 21 January 1942.

The convoy then split into two more sections; convoy WS 14A was to proceed to the Gulf of Aden where it was to disperse. It was made up of the Empire Egret, Empire Oriole, Empire Pintail, Highland Morarch, Mendoza, Orestes and Salween. HMS Colombo was escorting these ships. The convoy was dispersed on 26 January 1942 in the Gulf of Aden. The Thysville proceeded independently to Aden as she had straddled from the convoy not long after it had departed Durban due to bad coal having been supplied.

HMS Corfu took the remainder of the ships with her towards Bombay. This convoy was then known as convoy WS 14B and was made up of the Andes, Clan Cameron, Dilwara, Empire Condor, Empire Curlew, Empire Peregrine, Empire Widgeon, Esperance Bay and Nova Scotia.

At 1930E/25, the Clan Cameron, Empire Curlew, Empire Peregrine, Empire Widgeon parted company with the convoy to proceed to Basra independently.

The remainder of Convoy WS 14B arrived at Bombay on 28 January 1942. (54)

13 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (60)

14 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (60)

19 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (60)

21 Dec 1941
In the morning, the US transport Orizaba (6937 GRT, built 1918) parted company with convoy WS 12X and set course for Mombasa. She was escorted by the British light cruiser HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) which had departed Mombasa on 20 December to make rendez-vous with convoy WS 12X and its escort, the British light cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN).

HMS Ceres and the Orizaba arrived at Mombasa on 22 December 1941. (61)

24 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Mombasa for Durban. (60)

29 Dec 1941
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Durban from Mombasa. (60)

4 Jan 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Durban to proceed westwards and make rendezvous with the Capetown Section of convoy WS 14 and then escort it to Durban.

[For more info this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 14 ' for 9 December 1941.] (62)

8 Jan 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Durban from convoy escort duty. (62)

12 Jan 1942

Convoy WS 15.

This convoy assembled off Oversay on 12 January 1942.

On assembly the convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; Aagtekerk (Dutch, 6811 GRT, built 1934), Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Autolycus (British, 7621 GRT, built 1922), Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Dorset (British, 10624 GRT, built 1934), Elisabeth Bakke (Norwegian, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913), Laconia (British, 19695 GRT, built 1922), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Melbourne Star (British, 11076 GRT, built 1936), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Pardo (British, 5400 GRT, built 1940), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938), Port Chalmers (British, 8535 GRT, built 1933), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929), Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Stratnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

The Dutch submarine tender HrMs Colombia (Capt. J.L.K. Hoeke, RNN) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Ascania (A/Capt. A.G. Davidson, RN), HMS Cheshire (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Begg, RN), destroyers HMS Vanoc ( A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Demirhisar (?). [This was an 'I-class' destroyer, one of four ordered by the Turkish government before the start of the war. Two of these destroyers were taken over by the Royal Navy and two were delivered to Turkey. On passage to Turkey they were commissioned as HMS ships with a Royal Navy crew so they also served on escort duty during their passage to Turkey (via the Cape of Good Hope).]

On 15 January, HMS Vanoc and HMS Walker parted company with the convoy.

On 16 January, the Llangibby Castle was torpedoed and damaged by the German submarine U-402. The damaged ship managed to reach the Azores steering on her engines as her rudder had been blown off.

Around 0900N/17, the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral W.E.C. Tait, CB, MVO, RN) and the destroyer Norman joined coming from Milford Haven. The destroyers Garland and Anthony had also been with the battleship but these had been detached to go to the assistance of the damaged Llangibby Castle. It had originally been intended that HMS Resolution would join the convoy on 15 January but this did not materialise due to the bad weather conditions.

Around 1400N/17, HMS Boreas and HMS Demirhisar were detached to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Around 1400N/18, HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck parted company with the convoy to fuel at Ponta Delgada.

Around 1830N/18, HMAS Norman parted company with the convoy to fuel at Ponta Delgada.

Around 1400O/19, HMS Boreas rejoined the convoy but the Demirhisar had sustained damage to her stern and had to make some repairs before she was able to proceed.

Around 1000O/20, HMAS Norman and later HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck rejoined the convoy.

Around 1500O/21, the destroyer HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) joined. She had however one engine out of action and could only proceed at 22 knots.

After nightfall on the 21st, HMS Resolution was ordered to proceed ahead for an ocean rendezvous with the RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917). Due to the bad weather conditions encountered, HMS Resolution had not enough fuel on board to reach Freetown without refuelling. She met the Rapidol and her escort, the corvette HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR), the following day but conditions were unfavourable to fuel and every attempt failed. Course was therefore set to the Cape Verde Islands.

The convoy meanwhile continued on to Freetown where it arrived on 25 January. On 22 January the convoy had been joined by the destroyer HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and on 23 January HMS Demirhisar rejoined after her delay at the Azores. Shortly before the convoy arrived at Freetown, HMS Vimy was detached to join HMS Resolution (see below).

At 0830N/23, in the lee of Sal Island, another attempt was made just outside Portugese territorial waters. However wind and swell were still too great for oizling at sea and the ships therefore anchored in Murdeira Bay with the Rapidol proceeding alongside while the Jasmire and the Vansittart, which meanwhile had also joined to fuel, conducted an A/S patrol off the Bay.

Oiling was ceased at 1230N/23 so then it was Vansittart's turn. HMS Resolution then left the Bay and proceeded ahead to Freetown. HMS Vansittart was to overtake her.

At 0830N/25, the destroyer HMS Vimy joined HMS Resolution. Two hours later HMS Vansittart finally caught up with HMS Resolution. They arrived at Freetown early in the afternoon.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 29 January 1942, in the same composition. The convoy was now escorted by the battleship HMS Resolution (now flying the flag of A/Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, DSO, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire destroyers HMS Vimy, HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), HMS Boreas, HMS Demirhisar and the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN).

At dusk on 31 January, HMS Vimy, HMS Wild Swan, HMS Boreas parted company to return to Freetown.

It had been arranged that the RFA tanker Rapidol would be in position 14°30'S, 05°10'W at 0830Z/3, to fuel HMS Demirhisar and HMS Milford and if needed HMS Resolution.

At 1800Z/3, HMS Resolution parted company with the convoy to make a short call at St. Helena.

At 0610Z/4, HMS Resolution anchored off St. Helena. She departed around 1130Z/4 to rejoin the convoy which she did in the afternoon of 6 February.

The convoy split into two section and the Capetown section made up of the Dorset, Elizabeth Bakke, Laconia, Orontes, Pasteur and HrMs Colombia. They arrived at Capetown on 9 February escorted by HMS Resolution, HMS Cheshire and HMS Demirhisar. HMS Demirhisar then proceeded to Simonstown for repairs for the damage she had sustained at Ponta Delgada.

The other ships continued on to Durban escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Dunnottar Castle (Capt.(Retd.) C.T.A. Bunbury, RN) and HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt.(Retd.) E.H. Hopkinson, RN) which had joined the convoy on 9 February coming from Capetown. HMS Milford also remained with the convoy until Durban the Durban section arrived there on 13 February 1942.

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The Capetown section departed from there (less the Elizabeth Bakke) on 14 February 1942 escorted by HMS Cheshire.

They made rendezvous off Durban with the Durban section (less the Arawa and Letitia) on 17 February 1942. The Durban section was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire and the destroyer HMAS Norman.

On 21 February, HMAS Norman fuelled from HMS Worcesterhire, while being alongside and proceeding at 10 knots !.

At 0800C/22, HMAS Norman was detached to the Seychelles.

At 1230C/22, the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN) joined and half an hour later the 'Batavia Section' of the convoy parted company in position 10°22'S, 42°00'E forming convoy DM 3 to proceed to Port T (Addu Atoll). The ships that parted company were the Aagtekerk, Autolycus, Christiaan Huygens, Empire Woodlark, Pardo, Port Chalmers, Staffordshire, Strathnaver and HrMs Colombia.

The remaining ships continued northwards escorted by HMS Ceres and HMS Worcestershire.

They were joined at 0700C/24, in position 02°44'S, 43°20'E, by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the transport Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923) coming from Mombasa. HMS Ceres then parted company to proceed to Mombasa.

At 0300C/26, the convoy split up into two sections. Convoy WS 15A set course for the Gulf of Aden escorted by HMS Colombo. It was made up of the Dorset, Laconia, Melbourne Star, Orontes, Otranto, Pasteur and Viceroy of India. It was dispersed off Aden on 1 March 1942 to proceed independently to Suez.

Convoy WS 15B set course for Bombay escorted by HMS Worcestershire. It was made up of the Britannic, Khandalla, Stirling Castle and Strathmore. The convoy arrived at Bombay on 4 March 1942. In the approaches to Bombay it was joined by the sloop Lawrence (T/Lt. C.F. Smith, RINR) and the auxiliary patrol vessel HMIS Dipavati (T/Lt. P. Munday, RINR). (63)

14 Jan 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Durban escorting the troopship Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939) which is to overtake and join convoy WS 14.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 14 ' for 9 December 1941.] (62)

18 Jan 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) returned to Durban from escort duty. (62)

27 Jan 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials and various exercises off Durban. These included gunnery and torpedo firing exercises. Also exercises with 'dive bombing' aircraft were carried out. (62)

17 Feb 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Durban for escort duty with convoy WS 15.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 15 ' for 12 January 1942.] (64)

25 Feb 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Mombasa after convoy escort duty. (64)

26 Feb 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Mombasa to escort the transport Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922) to Dante and then onwards to Aden. (65)

3 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) and the transport Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922) anchored off Dante. (66)

4 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) and the transport Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922) departed Dante for Aden. (66)

6 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) and the transport Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922) arrived at Aden. (66)

9 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Aden for Mombasa. (66)

15 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Mombasa from Aden. (66)

16 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) departed Mombasa for Durban. (66)

21 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Durban. After fuelling she departed for Capetown later the same day. (66)

24 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) arrived at Capetown where she was immediately docked. (66)

30 Mar 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) is undocked. (67)

2 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) conducted D/G trials at Capetown on completion of which she proceeded to Simonstown arriving later the same day. (67)

3 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials in False Bay. These were followed by gunnery exercises. (67)

4 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) conducted gunnery exercises in False Bay. (67)

5 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H.W.V. Stephenson, RN) conducted gunnery and torpedo firing exercises in False Bay. (67)

6 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) departed Simonstown for Durban. (67)

8 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN) arrived at Durban from Simonstown. (67)

14 Apr 1942

Convoy CM 27.

This ' convoy ' departed Durban for Aden, via Mombasa on 14 April 1942.

It as made up of only one ship, the troopship Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN).

The convoy arrived at Mombasa on 21 April 1942 and departed for Aden on 22 April. While at Mombasa Capt. W.P. Carne, RN was replaced by Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN

The convoy arrived at Aden on 28 April 1942. (68)

28 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Aden from convoy escort duty. (67)

29 Apr 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Aden for Bombay. She is escorting the troopship Talma ((British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

[No logs are available for HMS Ceres for the months of May, June and July 1942 so some datails might be missing for these months.] (68)

5 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the troopship Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Bombay from Aden. (69)

9 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Bombay for Bahrein for duty with the Persian Gulf Division.

[We have been unable to find out when she arrived at Bahrein.] (70)

18 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Bahrein for Abadan. (71)

19 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Abadan from Bahrein. (71)

20 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Basrah. (71)

22 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Basrah for Khor Kuwai. (71)

24 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Khor Kuwai from Basrah. (71)

30 May 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) landed a reconnaissance party on Qishm Island. (71)

8 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Khor Kuwai for Bahrein. (71)

9 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Bahrein from Khor Kuwai. (71)

10 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Bahrein for Khor Kuwai. (71)

11 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Khor Kuwai for Bombay. (71)

14 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Bombay from Khor Kuwai. (72)

15 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Bombay for Simonstown via the Seychelles, Mauritius and Durban. (72)

22 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Port Victoria, Seychelles. After fuelling she departed for Mauritius later the same day. (72)

25 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Mauritius. After fuelling she departed for Durban later the same day. (72)

29 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Durban from Mauritius. (72)

30 Jul 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Durban for Simonstown. (72)

1 Aug 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Simonstown where she is to be taken in hand for a full refit. (72)

21 Sep 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) is docked at the Simonstown Dockyard. (73)

16 Oct 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) is undocked. (74)

10 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted radar trials in False Bay. (75)

13 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted compass swing, full power and D/G trials in False Bay. (75)

14 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Simonstown for Durban. (75)

16 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Durban from Simonstown. (75)

19 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Durban for Mombasa / Kilindini. (75)

24 Nov 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Mombasa / Kilindini from Durban. (75)

29 Nov 1942
From 29 November to 1 December 1942, the battleship HMS Warspite (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet), heavy cruisers HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN), HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN), light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. (76)

3 Dec 1942
From 3 to 5 December 1942, the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) and HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. (77)

11 Dec 1942
During 11/12 December 1942, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. (78)

13 Dec 1942

Combined convoy WS 24A and CM 36.

This combined convoy departed Durban on 13 December 1942 for Mombasa / Aden.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Ekma (British, 5128 GRT, built 1911) and Felix Roussel (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930).

Escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (A/Capt.(Retd.) G.W. Hoare-Smith, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) and HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN).

At 0904C/14, HMS Inconstant parted company with the convoy.

At 0950C/19, HMS Rotherham and HMAS Nepal parted company with the convoy.

At 1200C/19, HMAS Norman parted company with the convoy.

Around 11020C/20, the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the minesweeper HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)) coming from Mombasa. They had brought out the transport Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937).

HMS Capetown then parted company for Mombasa with the convoy taking HMAS Cessnock and the transport Ekma with her.

At 2000C/25, HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy.

The remainder of the convoy continued on to Aden where it arrived on 27 December 1941.

14 Dec 1942
From 14 to 16 December 1942, the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini.

For the night of 14/15 December they were joined by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN). (79)

19 Dec 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the minesweeper HMAS Cessnock (A/Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)) departed Mombasa escorting the transport Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937).

They were to make rendezvous the following day with the combined convoy WS 24A / CM 36 coming from Durban. HMS Ceres and the Salween were to join the convoy while HMAS Cessnock was to return to Mombasa.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Combined convoy WS 24A / CM 36 ' for 19 December 1942.] (80)

26 Dec 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Aden after convoy escort duty. (80)

28 Dec 1942

Operation Pentagon.

The naval force for this operation sailed from Aden around 0800C/28. This consisted of the Commodore Aden, Commodore 2nd Cl. C.A.A. Larcom, DSO, RN, in the destroyer HMS Hero (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC, RN) with the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer RHS Panther and the minesweepers HMS Romney (Lt. W.E. Halbert, RNR) and HMS Poole (Lt. W.L.G. Dutton, RNR).

The force was to be in the vicinity of Djibouti but out of sight of land by P.M. on the 28th. At 1915 hours, General Dupont, the Governor of Djibouti, signed an agreement with the British and Fighting French authorities whereby French Somaliland joined the United Nations as part of Fighting France.

The naval force then entered Djibouti on the 29th. (81)

31 Dec 1942
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) proceeded from Djibouti to Aden. (80)

2 Jan 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Aden for Kilindini. (82)

7 Jan 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Aden. (82)

13 Jan 1943
During 13/14 January 1943, the battleship HMS Warspite (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet), heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Cdr. M. Everard, RN), light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN), HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyers HMAS Nizam (Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises.

Shortly before the exercises commenced Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN, had transferred his flag from HMS Birmingham to HMS Mauritius.

Early on the 14th HMS Birmingham and HMS Hawkins parted company and set course to proceed to Diego Suarez. HMS Ceres also parted company to proceed to Durban. (83)

18 Jan 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Durban from Kilindini. (82)

24 Jan 1943

Combined convoy WS 26 / KMF 8.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 24 January 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 26 and KMF 8 at sea on 29 January 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Chyebassa (British, 7043 GRT, built 1942), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Dempo (British, 17024 GRT, built 1931), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Dunnottar Castle (British, 15007 GRT, built 1936), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Empire Pride (British, 9248 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Highland Chieftain (British, 14135 GRT, built 1929), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Rembrandt (Dutch, 8126 GRT, built 1941), Ruys (British, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Sibajak (British, 12226 GRT, built 1927), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tiwali (British, 8178 GRT, built 1931) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.L.St.J. Fancourt, RN) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN), HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Scott, RN), destroyers HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), escort destroyers RHS Adrias, RHS Miaoulis, sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), Savorgnan de Brazza, cutters HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).

On 25 January 1943 the destroyer HMS Clare parted company to return to Londonderry. The escort destroyer RHS Miaoulis had lost touch with the convoy during the night of 24/25 January 1943. She was unable to regain touch and was also ordered to return to Londonderry. Her sister ship RHS Adrias had also lost touch but apparently was able to regain contact.

Around 1730A/26, the Antenor parted company with defects to return to the Clyde. It appears that she was escorted back to the Clyde by the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza.

Around 1630A/29, the convoy split into two parts.

Convoy KMF 8 continued on towards the Mediterranean and was made up of the transports Circassia, Duchess of York, Dunnottar Castle, Empire Pride, Letitia, Samaria, Strathnaver, Tawali and the aircraft carrier HMS Argus. They were escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Banff, HMS Fishguard and HMS Test.

Around 1630A/30, HMS Argus and the transport Letitia parted company with convoy KMF 8 to proceed to Gibraltar. They entered Gibraltar Bay around 0330A/31. Presumably they were escorted by the frigate HMS Test which also arrived at Gibraltar on this day.

On 31 January the destroyer HMS Verity, (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) joined convoy KMF 8 having departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

Later on 31 January the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Alberni (Lt. I.H. Bell, RCNVR), HMCS Baddeck (T/Lt. J. Brock, RCNVR), HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. W.E. Harrison, RCNVR), HMCS Port Arthur (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.T. Simmons, DSC, RCNVR) and HMCS Summerside (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.O. Gerity, RCNR) joined the escort of convoy KMF 8. They had departed Mers-el-Kebir earlier on 31 January. On the joining of HMS Laforey and HMS Lookout, HMS Verity was detached to join convoy GUF 4 as was the corvette HMCS Port Arthur.

The transport Strathnaver was detached to proceed to Oran escorted by HMCS Alberni, HMCS Baddeck, HMCS Luneburg and HMCS Summerside.

The remainder of convoy KMF 8 arrived at Algiers on 1 February escorted by HMS Laforey, HMS Lookout, HMS Egret, HMS Enchantress, HMS Banff and HMS Fishguard.

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When the convoys split up, WS 26 continued on to Freetown. It was made up of the transports . They were escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 31 January, the repair ship HMS Wayland (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.S. Carson, RN) and the transport Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929) escorted by the destroyers HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 29 January. Also on 31 January the destroyers HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) joined. They had departed Gibraltar on 30 January.

The destroyers HMS Quadrant, HMS Relentless and escort destroyer RHS Adrias parted company on 31 January to fuel at Casablanca from where they departed again on 1 February to rejoin the convoy.

On 4 February the transport Leopoldville parted company with the convoy escorted by the destroyer HMS Redoubt. They arrived at Bathurst on 5 February.

Convoy WS 26 arrived at Freetown on 6 February 1943 escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, destroyers HMS Quality, HMS Quadrant HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse, HMS Relentless and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

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Convoy WS 26 departed Freetown on 9 February for South Africa. It was made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Mooltan, Orduna, Rembrandt, Ruys, Sibajak, Stratheden, Volendam and the repair ship HMS Wayland.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton, HMS Cilicia, armed boarding vessel Corinthian, destroyers HMS Quality, HMS Quiberon, HMS Quickmatch, HMS Racehorse and the escort destroyer RHS Adrias.

On 12 February HMS Corinthian and RHS Adrias parted company with the convoy.

At 1145AB(-1.5)/13, the destroyer HMS Relentless joined the convoy coming from Lagos having departed there on 12 February immediately after being undocked.

Also on the 13th the corvette FFS Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves joined the convoy escort.

In the morning and early afternoon of the 14th, HMS Racehorse and HMAS Quickmatch fuelled from HMS Canton.

On the 15th the destroyers HMS Quality and HMAS Quiberon arrived at Porte Noire to fuel. After doing so they departed again to rejoin the convoy. Also on the 15th the Commandant d'Estienne d'Orves fuelled from HMS Canton.

Around 2215O/20, the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) joined the convoy coming from Saldanha Bay.

On 22 February the Capetown section of the convoy, made up of Arundel Castle, California, Cheyebassa, Duchess of Richmond, Highland Chieftain, Orduna, Ruys, Sibajak and HMS Wayland arrived there with part of the escort, some of which then went to Simonstown.

The light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) joined the Durban section as did the corvette HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR). This corvette was later detached and arrived at Port Elizabeth on 24 February.

The remaining ships proceeded to Durban arriving there on 25 February escorted by HMS Ceres, HMS Cicilia, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch and HMS Racehorse.

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On 26 February 1943 the Capetown section departed there to proceed towards Durban. It was now made up of the transports Arundel Castle, California, Cheybassa, Highland Chieftain, Orduna and HMS Wayland. The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Canton, destroyer HMS Relentless and the escort destroyers HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Blackmore.

At 0115C/1, HMS Relentless was detached to proceed ahead to Durban to fuel.

On completion of fuelling she returned from Durban together with the corvette HMS Freesia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), and the minesweepers HMIS Carnatic (Lt. H.J.D. Hamilton, RIN) and Commandant Duboc.

Meanwhile the corvette HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR) had also joined the convoy escort.

HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick also went to Durban to fuel. They returned later together with the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) and HMS Ceres.

HMS Canton parted company with the convoy and entered Durban.

Transports that joined coming from Durban were the City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Dempo, Dilwara, Dominion Monarch, Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Maloja, Mooltan, Rembrandt, Selandia (South African, 8482 GRT, built 1938) and Stratheden. The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN) also joined the convoy. The Dilwara however returned to Durban with defects shortly after sailing.

Around 1830C/3, HMS Jasmine and HMS Freesia parted company.

Around 0530C/4, HMS Relentless, HMS Blackmore and HMS Catterick parted company.

Around 1500D/6, the Lancashire was detached to Tamatave escorted by the Commandant Duboc.

Around 0300C/8, HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy to proceed to Diego Suarez.

Around 0800CD(-3.5)/9, HMS Resource was detached from the convoy to proceed to Kilindini escorted by HMS Birmingham. The heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) had joined just before.

Around 1200D/10, the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0700D/11, the convoy split up into the Aden section and the Bombay section.

The Aden section was made up of the Arundel Castle, City of Paris, Highland Chieftain, Maloja, Orduna, Rembrandt and Selandia. They were escorted by HMS Frobisher. They arrived off Aden on 15 March 1943 where the convoy was dispersed.

The Bombay section was made up of the California, Chyebassa, Dempo, Dominion Monarch, Mooltan and Stratheden. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins. They arrived at Bombay on 17 March 1943.

28 Jan 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Durban for the Simonstown Dockyard. (82)

30 Jan 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at the Simonstown Dockyard from Durban. (82)

1 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) is taken in hand for repairs at the Simonstown Dockyard. (84)

19 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (84)

20 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (84)

21 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown. (84)

22 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) conducted exercises off Simonstown on completion of which she proceeded to sea to join convoy WS 26.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 26 ' for 24 January 1943.] (84)

25 Feb 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Durban from convoy escort duty. (84)

1 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Durban from escort duty with convoy WS 26.

[For more information on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 26 ' for 24 January 1943.] (85)

8 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Diego Suarez from convoy escort duty. (85)

9 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Diego Suarez for Kilindini. She is escorting the transport Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917). (86)

11 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the transport Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917) arrive at Kilindini from Diego Suarez. (85)

15 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Kilindini for Aden. She is escorting the transport Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917). (86)

21 Mar 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the transport Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917) arrived at Aden from Kilindini. (85)

30 Mar 1943

Convoy MC 6.

This convoy departed Aden on 30 March 1943 for Durban via Kilindini.

On departure from Aden the convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN).

Around 1930C/4, the Arundel Castle and shortly afterwards the Maloja parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead to Kilindini.

Around 1100C/5, the Orduna parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dar es Salaam escorted by the minesweeping whaler HMS Solvra ( T/Lt. J.C. Elder, RNVR). They arrived at Dar-es-Salaam on the 6th.

HMS Ceres and the City of Paris arrived at Kilindini around 1540C/5.

The convoy departed for Durban on 6 April 1943. Now made up of the Arundel Castle, Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), City of Paris and Maloja. The convoy was now escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN).

The convoy arrived at Durban on 13 April 1943.

5 Apr 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Kilindini after convoy escort duty. (87)

10 Apr 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Kilindini for Aden. She is escorting the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924). (87)

16 Apr 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) and the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Aden from Kilindini. (87)

25 Apr 1943

Convoy AK 7.

This convoy departed Aden for Kilindini on 25 April 1943.

It was made up of, at least, the following transports; Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913) and Pulaski (Polish, 6345 GRT, built 1912).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN).

The convoy arrived at Kilindini on 3 May 1943. (87)

3 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Kilindini after convoy escort duty. (88)

4 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Kilindini for Bombay via Port Victoria and Colombo. (89)

7 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) made a short fuel stop at Port Victoria before continuing on to Colombo. (88)

12 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Colombo. (88)

16 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) departed Colombo for Bombay. (88)

18 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) arrived at Bombay from Colombo. (88)

19 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) is docked in the Hughes dry dock at Bombay. (88)

26 May 1943
HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) is undocked. (88)

12 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres ((A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Bombay to join the Persian Gulf sub Command. (90)

15 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Khasab Bay. (91)

15 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN, flying the broad pennant of Commodore(Retd.) C.F. Hammill, RN) departed Khasab Bay for the Rooke Anchorage (south of Abadan). (91)

16 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN, flying the broad pennant of Commodore(Retd.) C.F. Hammill, RN) arrived at the Rooke Anchorage. (91)

17 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN, flying the broad pennant of Commodore(Retd.) C.F. Hammill, RN) proceeded up river to Abadan. Here the Commodore departed the ship. (91)

19 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Abadan to Basra. (92)

22 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Basra for Khasab Bay. (91)

23 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Khasab Bay from Basra. (92)

26 Jun 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Khasab Bay to Henjam Island. (92)

1 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Henjam Island to Khor Kuwai. (93)

3 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Khor Kuwai to Henjam Island. (93)

5 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Henjam Island to Khasab Bay. (93)

6 Jul 1943

Convoy PB 47.

This convoy departed Khasab Bay on 6 July 1943.

On departure from Khasab Bay the convoy was made up of the following ships; Barjora (British, 3164 GRT, built 1912), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Chemist (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1925), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Sincerity (British (tanker), 8538 GRT, built 1939), British Zeal (British (tanker), 8532 GRT, built 1937), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), George Wythe (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Horace Gray (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), John A. Sutter (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Lykes (American, 6829 GRT, built 1941), Masimpur (British (tanker), 5586 GRT, built 1927), Nigerstroom (Dutch, 4639 GRT, built 1939), Norfjell (Norwegian (tanker), 8129 GRT, built 1942), Olynthus (British (tanker), 6888 GRT, built 1918), Polarsol (Norwegian (tanker), 10022 GRT, built 1939), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), Santhia (British, 7754 GRT, built 1925), Steaua Romana (British (tanker), 4969 GRT, built 1916), Straat Malakka (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939), Thorshavn (Norwegian (tanker), 6869 GRT, built 1930), Valentijn (Dutch, 2071 GRT, built 1928), Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) and the minesweepers HMAS Bathurst (T/Lt. C. Macdonald, RANR(S), HMAS Burnie (T/Lt. T. Christie, RANR(S)) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. J.U. Webb, RINVR).

At 0735Z/7 the transport Barala (British, 3148 GRT, built 1912) joined the convoy.

At 0100Z/8, the Nordfjell was detached from the convoy.

At 1250Z/8, six ships were detached. These were the British Zeal, George Wythe, Horace Gray, John Sutter, Olynthus and Steaua Romana.

At 1130Z/9, ten ships were detached to Karachi were they arrived on 10 July 1943. These were the Barala, Barjora, British Sincerity, El Madina, El Segundo, John Lykes, Nigerstroom, Santhia, Straat Malakka and Varsova. They were escorted by HMS Ceres and HMAS Burnie for a while but these later rejoined the ' Bombay section '.

The remaining ships, British Architect, British Chemist, British Hope, Carelia, Masimpur, Polarsol, San Alvaro, Thorshavn, Valentijn and Varela proceeded to Bombay where they arrived on 12 July 1943 as did the escorts.

12 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN), HMAS Bathurst (T/Lt. C. Macdonald, RANR(S), HMAS Burnie (T/Lt. T. Christie, RANR(S)) and HMIS Carnatic (T/Lt. J.U. Webb, RINVR) arrived at Bombay from convoy escort duty. (94)

14 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Bombay for Kilindini via Port Victoria, Seychelles. She is escorting the (troop transport Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924). (93)

21 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) made a fuel stop at Port Victoria, Seychelles, She departed for Kilindini later the same day, still escorting the (troop) transport Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924). (93)

24 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) and the (troop) transport Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924) arrived at Kilindini from Bombay. (93)

30 Jul 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Kilindini for Diego Suarez. She is escorting the transport Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913). (93)

3 Aug 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) and the transport Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913) arrived at Diego Suarez from Kilindini.

HMS Ceres then departed for Durban later the same day. (95)

8 Aug 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Durban from Diego Suarez. At Durban she is to undergo some minor repairs at the Royal Dockyard. (95)

10 Aug 1943
During 10/11 August 1943, HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN), is fumigated at Durban. (95)

31 Aug 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials off Durban on completion of which she set course for Kilindini. (96)

5 Sep 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Kilindini from Durban. (97)

9 Sep 1943
During 9 / 10 September 1943, HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) and HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. (98)

21 Sep 1943
The light cruiser HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) and the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) departed Kilindini for Aden.

The destroyers parted company with HMS Ceres at 0900C/23. They were to join convoy CM 45. (99)

25 Sep 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Aden from Kilindini. (97)

26 Sep 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Aden for Port Said.

HMS Ceres is to proceed to the U.K. to be decomissioned. (99)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) transited the Suez Canal northbound and arrived at Port Said. (97)

30 Sep 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) proceeded from Port Said to Alexandria. (97)

1 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Alexandria for Malta. (100)

3 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Malta from Alexandria. (100)

4 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar. (100)

6 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Gibraltar from Malta. (100)

7 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) departed Gibraltar for Plymouth. (100)

11 Oct 1943
HMS Ceres (A/Capt. R.C. Harry, RN) arrived at Plymouth from Gibraltar.

After de-ammunitioning and de-storing she was taken in use as accommodition ship at the Devonport Dockyard.

She later served as depot ship at the Gooseberry 1 breakwater off Normandy. After her release from Operation Neptune she resumed her role as accommodition ship until 1946 at which time she was at Portsmouth. (100)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/107990
  2. ADM 53/107951 + ADM 53/107790
  3. ADM 53/109434
  4. ADM 53/107991 + ADM 199/2550
  5. ADM 53/107991
  6. ADM 53/107992
  7. ADM 53/107993
  8. ADM 53/107993 + ADM 199/2550
  9. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  10. ADM 53/111766
  11. ADM 53/111766 + ADM 199/2550
  12. ADM 53/11176
  13. ADM 53/111767
  14. ADM 53/111768
  15. ADM 53/111733 + ADM 53/111768
  16. ADM 53/111768 + ADM 53/111830
  17. ADM 53/111769 + ADM 199/374
  18. ADM 53/111769 + ADM 53/111923
  19. ADM 53/111769
  20. ADM 53/111769 + ADM 53/111831
  21. ADM 53/111770 + ADM 53/111832
  22. ADM 53/111770
  23. ADM 53/111770 + ADM 53/111832 + ADM 199/374
  24. ADM 53/111770 + ADM 53/111832 + ADM 53/111924 + ADM 53/112105 + ADM 199/374
  25. ADM 53/111770 + ADM 53/111832 + ADM 53/111924
  26. ADM 53/111771 + ADM 53/111833
  27. ADM 53/111771
  28. ADM 199/383
  29. ADM 53/111772
  30. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for July 1940
  31. ADM 53/111772 + ADM 173/16466
  32. ADM 53/111773
  33. ADM 199/1136 (+ ADM 199/381)
  34. ADM 53/111773 + ADM 199/383
  35. ADM 53/111774
  36. ADM 53/111774 + ADM 199/383
  37. ADM 53/111775 + ADM 199/383
  38. ADM 53/111775
  39. ADM 53/111776
  40. ADM 53/111776 + ADM 199/383
  41. ADM 53/111777 + ADM 199/383
  42. ADM 53/111777
  43. ADM 199/1136
  44. ADM 53/113882
  45. ADM 199/408
  46. ADM 53/113883
  47. ADM 53/113884
  48. ADM 53/113885
  49. ADM 53/113886
  50. ADM 53/113887
  51. ADM 53/113888
  52. ADM 53/113889
  53. ADM 53/113592 + ADM 53/113889 + ADM 53/114039
  54. ADM 199/1138
  55. ADM 53/113890
  56. ADM 53/113891
  57. ADM 53/113892
  58. ADM 53/113891 + ADM 53/113892 + ADM 53/115017 + ADM 53/115018
  59. ADM 53/113892 + ADM 199/408
  60. ADM 53/113893
  61. ADM 53/113893 + ADM 53/114140
  62. ADM 53/115559
  63. ADM 199/1211
  64. ADM 53/115560
  65. ADM 53/115560 + ADM 199/426
  66. ADM 53/115561
  67. ADM 53/115562
  68. ADM 53/115562 + ADM 199/426
  69. ADM 199/426 + ADM 199/2550
  70. ADM 199/426
  71. ADM 199/428
  72. ADM 199/2550
  73. ADM 53/115564
  74. ADM 53/115565
  75. ADM 53/115566
  76. ADM 53/115566 + ADM 53/115956 + ADM 53/116045 + ADM 53/116768 + ADM 53/115566 + ADM 53/115957 + ADM 53/116046 + ADM 53/116769
  77. ADM 53/115567 + ADM 53/116564
  78. ADM 53/115440 + ADM 53/115567 + ADM 53/116732
  79. ADM 53/115567 + ADM 53/116732
  80. ADM 53/115567
  81. Personal communication
  82. ADM 53/117173
  83. ADM 53/117047 + ADM 53/117173 + ADM 53/117617 + ADM 53/117894 + ADM 53/118709
  84. ADM 53/117174
  85. ADM 53/117175
  86. ADM 53/117175 + ADM 199/643
  87. ADM 53/117176
  88. ADM 53/117177
  89. ADM 53/117177 + ADM 199/643
  90. ADM 53/117178 + ADM 199/643
  91. ADM 53/117178 + ADM 199/636
  92. ADM 53/117178
  93. ADM 53/117179
  94. ADM 53/117179 + ADM 199/643
  95. ADM 53/117180
  96. ADM 53/117180 + ADM 199/643
  97. ADM 53/117181
  98. ADM 53/117181 + ADM 53/117625 + ADM 53/117709
  99. ADM 53/117181 + ADM 199/643
  100. ADM 53/117182

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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