Allied Warships

HMS Primrose (K 91)

Corvette of the Flower class


Photo with thanks to R. J. Firmin who served on her in 1942-43

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 91 
Built byWilliam Simons & Co. Ltd. (Renfrew, Scotland) 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down22 Sep 1939 
Launched8 May 1940 
Commissioned15 Jul 1940 
End service 
History

HMS Primrose is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List.

Sold on 9 August 1946.
Sold to Globus & Polaris in June 1949.
Towed by Salvator from Londonderry on 26 June to Greåker.
Refitted as bouy-boat at Sarpsborg Mek.V.
Delivered in November 1949 and renamed Norfinn.
Refitted as whaler in the autumn of 1952.
. Last season 1961/1962.
. laid up in May 1962 at Rolighets Verft.
Sold in October 1965 to Jos Boel & Fils, Tamise and towed to Belgium.
Scrapped in June 1966.

 

Commands listed for HMS Primrose (K 91)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Charles Bettesworth Sanders, RNVR23 Apr 194012 Feb 1941
2Lt.Cdr. (retired) Albert Ayre, RNR12 Feb 194124 Sep 1942
3T/Lt. Philip Edward Kitto, RNR24 Sep 194223 Sep 1943
4T/Lt. Reginald Frederick Pembry, RNR23 Sep 1943mid 1945

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Notable events involving Primrose include:


23 Jul 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Godetia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Sanders, RNVR). (1)

24 Jul 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Godetia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Sanders, RNVR). (1)

26 Jul 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Godetia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Sanders, RNVR). (1)

29 Jul 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Godetia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Sanders, RNVR). (1)

1 Aug 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Godetia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR), HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Sanders, RNVR) and HMS Fandango (T/Lt. F.C. Hopkins, RNR). (1)

27 Aug 1940
HMS Primrose (K91), picked up survivors from the Merchant ship Dunvegan Castle and landed in Scotland. (2)

18 Feb 1941

Convoy SL 66.

This convoy departed Freetown on 18 February 1941 and arrived in U.K. waters on 14 March 1941.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Ardenvohr (British, 5025 GRT, built 1940), Benlomond (British, 6630 GRT, built 1922), Benvenue (British, 5920 GRT, built 1927), Berbery (British, 5248 GRT, built 1919), Berhala (Dutch, 6622 GRT, built 1927), Bothnia (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Bradglen (British, 4741 GRT, built 1930), British Colony (British (tanker), 6917 GRT, built 1927), British Desteny (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), British Power (British (tanker), 8451 GRT, built 1936), British Pride (British (tanker), 7106 GRT, built 1931), British Resolution (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), Cape Wrath (British, 4512 GRT, built 1914), Darlington Court (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Egba (British, 4989 GRT, built 1914), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Etrib (British, 1943GRT, built 1919), Glendene (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Glenpark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Gold Shell (British (tanker), 8208 GRT, built 1931), Harpasa (British, 5082 GRT, built 1934), Hjalmar Wessel (British, 1742 GRT, built 1935), Hoogkerk (British, 5132 GRT, built 1911), Kerma (British, 4333 GRT, built 1928), Kingbury (British, 4898 GRT, built 1937), Lord Cochrane (British, 4157 GRT, built 1934), Lynton Grange (British, 5029 GRT, built 1937), Marita (Norwegian, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Meropi (Greek, 4181 GRT, built 1911), Norman Monarch (British, 4718 GRT, built 1937), O.A. Kundsen (Norwegian (tanker), 11007 GRT, built 1938), Ornefjell (British, 1334 GRT, built 1937), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Petter (Norwegian (tanker), 9109 GRT, built 1935), River Afton (British, 5479 GRT, built 1935), Salamis (Norwegian (tanker), 8286 GRT, built 1939), Salvus (British, 4815 GRT, built 1928), Serbino (British, 4099 GRT, built 1919), Sir Ernest Cassel (British, 7739 GRT, built 1910), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), Somme (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919), South Wales (British, 5619 GRT, built 1929), Temple Yard (British, 5205 GRT, built 1937), Toward (British (rescue ship), 1571 GRT, built 1923), Trevorian (British, 4599 GRT, built 1920), Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930) and Warfield (British, 6070 GRT, built 1917).

[It is possible some of these ships did not sail from Freetown but joined the convoy at sea.]

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Comorin (Capt.(Retd.) J.I. Hallett, DSO, RN).

Around 1345N/3, the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 0700N/8, the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Cousins, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski) joined.

Around 1800N/9, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), escort destroyer HMS Vivien (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Beattie, RN) and the corvettes HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. J.F.C. Bartley, DSC, RNR), HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A. Ayre, RNR).

At 1915Z/9, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy but she rejoined it at 2000A/10 after having been ordered to do so. While absent from the convoy HMS Kenya sighted and engaged a German Focke Wulf aircraft but it was not damaged and disappeared to the east.

At 2000A/11, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 14 March 1941.

11 Mar 1941

Convoy HX 114.

This convoy departed Halifax on 11 March 1941 and arrived in UK waters on 30 March 1941.

This convoy was made up of following merchant vessels; Cardita (British (tanker), 8237 GRT, built 1931), Cerinthus (British (tanker), 3878 GRT, built 1930), Chesapeake (British (tanker), 8955 GRT, built 1928), Clavella (Dutch (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Colonial (British, 5108 GRT, built 1926), Corrales (British, 5363 GRT, built 1930), Cristales (British, 5389 GRT, built 1926), Elmdene (British, 4853 GRT, built 1939), Emile Francqui (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), Empire Mermaid (British, 6381 GRT, built 1919), Harmatris (British, 5395 GRT, built 1932), Heranger (Norwegian, 4877 GRT, built 1930), Inger Lise (Norwegian, 1582 GRT, built 1939), Labette (British, 4989 GRT, built 1919), Lapland (British, 1330 GRT, built 1936), Lunula (British (tanker), 6363 GRT, built 1927), Malakand (British, 7649 GRT, built 1919), Nestos (Greek, 5764 GRT, built 1919), New Texas (British, 6568 GRT, built 1919), Pandias (Greek, 4981 GRT, built 1912), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Roxby (British, 4252 GRT, built 1923), Royal Emblem (British, 4900 GRT, built 1940), Skeldergate (British, 4251 GRT, built 1930), Tilapa (British, 5392 GRT, built 1928), Torr Head (British, 5021 GRT, built 1937), Toward (British (rescue ship), 1571 GRT, built 1923) and Zagloba (Polish, 2864 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (Capt.(Retd.) G. Hamilton, RN).

Shortly after departure the merchant vessel Labette was to return to Halifax with engine trouble.

On the 14th the convoy merged with convoy BHX 114 coming from Bermuda. The following merchant vessels then joined the convoy; Adellen (British (tanker), 7984 GRT, built 1930), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), Dephnella (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1938), Hidlefjord (British (tanker), 7639 GRT, built 1928), Inverlee (British (tanker), 9158 GRT, built 1938), Kaia Knudsen (Norwegian (tanker), 9063 GRT, built 1931), Lincoln Ellsworth (British (tanker), 5580 GRT, built 1927), Otina (British (tanker), 6217 GRT, built 1938), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), San Conrado (British (tanker), 7982 GRT, built 1936), Thalatta (Norwegian, 5671 GRT, built 1922), Thorshavet (Norwegian (tanker), 11015 GRT, built 1938) and Velox (Norwegian, 3831 GRT, built 1922 ).

The escort of convoy BHX 114, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt. J. Creswell, RN), then parted company.

Around 1200OP/15 the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) joined the convoy. She parted company at 1520P/16 when a warship was sighted which turned out to be HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) which was to join the convoy to take over from HMS Rodney.

At that moment the armed merchant cruiser HMS Laconia (Capt.(Retd.) G.G.P. Hewett, RN), which was in sight, reported heavy calibre gunfire on the horizon. HMS Rodney increased speed and set course towards this reported gunfire. HMS Royal Sovereign briefly followed but due to her slower speed opted to remain between the enemy and the convoy. HMS Royal Sovereign remained in position between the enemy and the convoy until late in the evening.

The source of the gunfire was the German battlecruiser Gneisenau which was in the process of sinking the merchant vessel Chilean Reefer (British, 1739 GRT, built 1936). She spotted the tops of the approaching British battleship and quickly got underway and made off at high speed. HMS Rodney was left with picking up the survivors of the Chilean Reefer unable to catch the German battlecruiser due to her inferior speed. HMS Rodney then continued to patrol the area where convoy HX 114 was passing through during the next few days.

At 1545N/24, the merchant vessels Inger Lise and Velox were detached with orders to join convoy SC 25.

HMS Chitral parted company with the convoy at 1930N/24 and set course for Halifax.

On the 25th, the merchant vessel (tanker) Lincoln Ellsworth with a cargo of fuel oil parted company with the convoy to proceed to Reykjavik was she was to discharge her cargo. She arrived at Reykjavik the next day.

HMS Chitral parted company with the convoy at 1930N/24 and set course for Halifax. The convoy was joined by destroyers late on the 24th or early on the 25th by the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Vanity ( Lt. I.W.T. Beloe, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.L. Puxley, RN), sloop HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), corvettes HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. J.F.C. Bartley, DSC, RNR), HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR), HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A. Ayre, RNR) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Arab (T/Lt. C.A. Shillan, RNVR), HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR) and HMS Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G. Ogden, RNVR). Destroyers HMS Montgomery, HMS Vanity, sloop HMS Weston and the auxiliary A/S trawlers were detached later to join other convoys. The remainder of the escort remained with the convoy until its arrival in UK waters on the 30th.

9 Apr 1941

Convoy SC 28.

This convoy departed Halifax on 9 April for Liverpool where it arrived on 28 April 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Aeas (Greek, 4729 GRT, built 1915), Akabahra (Norwegian, 1524 GRT, built 1929), Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922), Anna Bulgaris (Greek, 4603 GRT, built 1912), Armathia (British, 4683 GRT, built 1919), Baron Inchcape (British, 7005 GRT, built 1917), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Bernhard (Norwegian, 3563 GRT, built 1924), Bosworth (British, 6672 GRT, built 1919), Bristol City (British, 2864 GRT, built 1920), Buccinum (British (tanker), 5237 GRT, built 1910), Cressdene (British, 4270 GRT, built 1936), Despina (Greek, 3016 GRT, built 1907), Embassage (British, 4954 GRT, built 1935), Euthalia (Greek, 3553 GRT, built 1918), Georgios P. (Greek, 4052 GRT, built 1903), Gezina (Norwegian, 1828 GRT, built 1917), Gullpool (British, 4868 GRT, built 1928), Katvaldis (British, 3163 GRT, built 1907), King Stephen (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Kisnop (British, 5874 GRT, built 1919), Manatee (British, 5948 GRT, built 1920), Matronna (Greek, 2846 GRT, built 1902), Navarino (British, 4841 GRT, built 1937), Niceto de Larrinaga (British, 5591 GRT, built 1916), Prins Willem van Oranje (Dutch, 1303 GRT, built 1918), Rossum (Dutch, 2118 GRT, built 1928), Runswick (British, 3970 GRT, built 1930), Sildra (Norwegian (tanker), 7313 GRT, built 1927), Trojan Star (British, 9037 GRT, built 1936), Wellfield (British (tanker), 6054 GRT, built 1924) and West Amargosa (British, 5462 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (Capt.(Retd.) G. Hamilton, RN). Submarine HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) joined the escort on the 11th. Battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) joined the convoy on the 13th and was detached on the 20th as was HMS Talisman. HMS Chitral was detached on the 21st.

On 24 April 1941 the destroyer HMS Scimitar (Lt. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN), corvettes HMS Dianthus (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, RNR), HMS Mallow (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Piggott, RNR), HMS Marigold (T/Lt. J. Renwick, RNR), HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. J.F.C. Bartley, DSC, RNR), HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR), HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A. Ayre, RNR) and the minesweepers HMS Bramble (Capt. M.H. Evelegh, RN), HMS Hazard (Lt.Cdr. J.R.A. Seymour, RN) and HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, RN) joined the convoy. The minesweepers departed later the same day. On the 26th, corvette HMS Mallow was detached. The destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) joined on the 27th.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 28th.

24 May 1941
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN) is joined by HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR). Both ships proceeds together towards the U.K. (3)

28 Mar 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN) and HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR). (4)

8 Aug 1942
HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR (retired)) picks up 54 survivors from the Greek merchant Mount Kassion that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-176 and 7 survivors from the British merchant Anneberg that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-379 in convoy SC-94 southeast of Cape Farwell in position 56°30'N, 32°14'W.

6 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR), HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR) and Morden (T/Lt. J.J. Hodgkinson, RCNR). (5)

24 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Meadowsweet (T/Lt. W.E. Saunders, RNVR), HMS Monkshood (Lt. G.W. McGuiness, RNR), HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR) and HMS Borage (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR), HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR). (6)

30 Jun 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (7)

1 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Hotspur (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN), HMCS Brandon (T/Lt. H.E. McArthur, RCNVR), HMS Borage (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR), HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR), HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (8)

8 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR), HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (9)

19 Nov 1943
HMS Unswerving (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Londonderry with HMS Primrose (T/Lt. R.F. Pembry, RNR) and HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR). (10)

20 Nov 1943
HMS Unswerving (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Londonderry with HMS Primrose (T/Lt. R.F. Pembry, RNR), USS Mackenzie (Cdr. B.N. Rittenhouse, Jr., USN) and HMS Verity (Lt. C.G. Cowley, RN). (10)

21 Nov 1943
HMS Unswerving (T/Lt. M.D. Tattersall, RNVR) was to conducted A/S exercises off Londonderry with HMS Primrose (T/Lt. R.F. Pembry, RNR) and HMS Verity (Lt. C.G. Cowley, RN). However the other ships collided with each other and the exercises were cancelled. (10)

19 Feb 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with aircraft and later with HMS Primrose (T/Lt. R.F. Pembry, RNR). (11)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6365 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. Personal communication
  3. ADM 199/1847
  4. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. ADM 173/17814
  6. ADM 173/17782
  7. ADM 173/17771
  8. ADM 173/17926
  9. ADM 173/17927
  10. ADM 173/18430
  11. File 2.12.03.6372 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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