Robert William Stirling-Hamilton, RN

Born  5 Apr 1903


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Ranks

15 Sep 1923 A/S.Lt.
30 Mar 1924 S.Lt.
30 Jun 1925 Lt.
30 Jun 1933 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1938 Cdr.
31 Dec 1944 Capt.
7 Jan 1954 Rear-Admiral

Decorations

26 Jul 1940 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Robert William Stirling-Hamilton, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Thistle (N 24)Lt.Cdr.Submarine18 Oct 193820 Feb 1940
HMS La CordeliereCdr.Torpedo boat6 Jul 1940mid 1941

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Submarine HMS Thistle (N 24)


15 Aug 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) is docked at Portsmouth for modifications to her torpedo tubes following her trials and working-up period. (1)

9 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) is undocked. (2)

12 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Portland where she arrived later the same day. Out of Portland she is to undertake some final trials and working-up. (2)

13 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Portland. (2)

14 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) conducted exercises and torpedo discharge trials off Portland. (2)

15 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) conducted torpedo discharge trials off Portland. (2)

16 Sep 1939
Upon completion of her final trials and working-up, HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN), departed from Portland for Portsmouth. She is escorted by the destroyer HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN). (2)

19 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) conducted exercises off Portsmouth. (2)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Dover where she arrived later the same day. She is escorted by HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN). Later HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) took over from HMS Skate as escort. (2)

24 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Dover bound for Dundee. Escort is provided by HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN). Later Beagle is relieved by HMS Weston (Cdr. (retired) A.G. Davidson, RN). The next day Thistle is taken up in convoy FN 10 that is escorted by the above mentioned HMS Weston as well as HMS Pelican (Cdr. L.A.K Boswell, RN). (2)

26 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) arrived at Dundee. (2)

28 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Dundee for her 1st war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak and later of the South-West tip of Norway.

For the daily positions of HMS Thistle during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

30 Sep 1939 (position 57.27, 7.55)
In the evening on 30 September 1939, HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) encountered the Swedish steam merchant Gun which had been stopped by U-3 about 30 miles northwest of Hanstholm. While investigating the ship, the submarine was attacked and missed with one torpedo by the U-boat, although the attack was not noticed and she soon left the area.

2115 hours - Sighted lights bearing 030°. Closed. Soon sighted a stopped merchant ship in position 57°27'N, 07°55'E.

2225 hours - Sighted a small dark object which might have been a submarine about 3 nautical miles away. Closed to about 0.8 nautical mile of the merchant ship. The dark object was not seen again.

2300 hours - Altered course away from the merchant ship.

0000 hours - Sighted a light near the merchant vessel again. Dived and closed again but nothing else was seen.

0110 hours (1 October) - Surfaced and proceeded.

0113 hours - Sighted a small boat making an SOS signal. Closed. This was a boat from the Swedish merchant Gun. They were ordered to leave their ship by a German submarine. They were ordered to return to their ship that was still afloat. (3)

16 Oct 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

28 Oct 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 2nd war patrol escorted by the destroyer HMS Sturdy (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Cooper, RN) as far as Dunnet Head. She was ordered to patrol in the North Sea.

For the daily positions of HMS Thistle during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

6 Nov 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) ended her 2nd war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

18 Nov 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 3rd war patrol. After the sinking of the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi she was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak near Skagen.

For the daily positions of HMS Thistle during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

6 Dec 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) ended her 3rd war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

13 Dec 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) is docked at Rosyth. (4)

15 Dec 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) left dock. (4)

20 Dec 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak near Skagen to intercept the German pocket battleship Deutschland which is reported to be at sea.

For the daily positions of HMS Thistle during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

4 Jan 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) ended her 4th war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

19 Jan 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Rosyth for her 5th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Skagerrak. Heavy weather is encountered but no enemy ships.

For the daily positions of HMS Thistle during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

2 Feb 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) ended her 5th war patrol at Rosyth. (3)

13 Feb 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Rosyth for convoy escort duty. She is part of the escort of convoy ON-12 that arrived safely at Bergen, Norway on 16 February. Other ships of the escort were light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN). On the 15th the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and the destroyer HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) joined the escort. (5)

16 Feb 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Bergen, Norway as part of the escort of convoy HN-12. The convoy was to arrive at Methil on 19 February. Other ships of the escort were light cruisers HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN). Anti-Aircraft protection was provided by the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN).

The destroyer HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN) joined the convoy at sea on the 16th having departed Rosyth on the 15th.

HMS Edinburgh and HMS Aurora were detached on the 17th to Scapa Flow. They were escorted by HMS Inglefield and HMS Imogen.

On the 18th the convoy was joined by three merchant ships from the Orkneys and by destroyer HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN).

On the 18th HMS Daring was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-23. HMS Thistle sights the sinking destroyer and directs the other destroyers to the rescue. HMS Inglefield picked up one officer and three ratings from a Carley float and HMS Ilex another rating from wreckage, they are the only survivors. 156 of the crew are lost. HMS Ilex also hunted the U-boat without success. (5)

19 Feb 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) returns to Rosyth. (5)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16183
  2. ADM 173/16184
  3. ADM 199/1848
  4. ADM 173/16187
  5. ADM 199/373

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


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