Allied Warships

HMS Teviotbank (M 04)

Minelayer of the Auxiliary minelayers class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAuxiliary minelayers 
PennantM 04 
Built byJohn Redhead & Sons Ltd. (South Shields, England, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched1 Dec 1937 
CommissionedDec 1939 
End service 

Completed as merchantile in February 1938.
Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 2 November 1939.
Displacement: 5087 tons.
Lenght: 424 feet
Machinery: 2 boilers, one shaft, reciprocating engine, IHP 2620 = 15 knots.
Complement: 105.
Armament: 1 4" gun, 12pdr AA gun, 4 .5" AA (2x2), 280 mines.

Returned on 29 March 1946. 

Commands listed for HMS Teviotbank (M 04)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. (retired) Robert Douglas King-Harman, DSC, RN28 Sep 193915 Jun 1942
2Capt. (Retd.) Edward Clifford Watson, RN15 Jun 1942Aug 1944

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Notable events involving Teviotbank include:

5 Apr 1940

Operation Wilfed.

Minelaying in Norwegian territorial waters and subsequent movements leading up to the First Battle of Narvik.

Three British forces were to lay mines in Norwegian territorial waters, these were;
' Force WB ': destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, RN). They were to simulate a minelay of Bud. This force departed Scapa Flow with HMS Renown at 1830/5 (see below).

' Force WS ': Auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSC and Bar, RN) and the 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 Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN). This force was to lay mines in the Stadlandet area between Aalesund and Bergen.

' Force WV ': Minelaying destroyers: HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, RN, with Capt. J.G. Bickford, DSC, RN, Capt. D.10 onboard), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) escorted by destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN), HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN), HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H. Layman, RN) and HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN). This force was to lay mines in the entrance to the Vestfiord.

To cover ' Force WS ' it had been intended to sent out the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN) and the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN) and the destroyers from ' Force WB '. As the Admiralty received information that all four Norwegian coast defence ships were at Narvik this was changed at the last moment and the Renown force was then ordered to cover ' Force WV ' instead. Renown and her escorting destroyers departed Scapa Flow around 1830/5.

' Force WS ' departed Scapa Flow around 1930/5. During the night the destroyers in company with HMS Renown had lost contact with her in the heavy weather. By dawn they were regaining contact when HMS Glowworm reported a man overboard at 0620/6. She was given permission shortly afterwards to search for her missing crewmember and doubled back.

' Force WV ' departed Sullom Voe around 0515/6. They were to rendezvous at sea with HMS Renown, her escorting destroyers and ' Force WB '. Rendezvous was effected at 0735/6.

HMS Hyperion and HMS Hero, were detached to refuel at Lerwick prior to their simulated minelay off Bud. They arrived at Sullom Voe around 1545/6.

When the Admiralty found out on the 7th that only HMS Greyhound was with HMS Renown the light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN) were ordered to make rendezvous with HMS Renown off the Vestfiord.

In the evening of the 7th, HMS Renown signalled her intention to be in position 67°15'N, 10°40'E at 0500/8 to HMS Birmingham and HMS Glowworm. Due to the bad weather conditions HMS Birmingham and her escort failed to make the rendezvous in time.

Between 0430 and 0530/8 the' Force WS ' laid their minefield in Vestfiord. HMS Hardy, HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur and HMS Hunter then proceeded to make rendezvous with HMS Renown while HMS Esk, HMS Icarus, HMS Impulsive and HMS Ivanhoe patrolled near the minefield.

At 0759/8 HMS Glowworm, who was then in position 65°04'N, 06°04'E, and steering towards the rendezvous with HMS Renown, sighted the German destroyers Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim and Z 18 / Hans Ludemann. Immediately HMS Glowworm sent an enemy report and at then engaged Z 18 / Hans Ludemann.

At 0855/8, HMS Glowworm reported an unknown ship bearing 0°, steering 180° in position 65°06'N, 06°20'E. The German destroyers had called for assistance and drew HMS Glowworm towards the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper which then egaged the British destroyer. Mortally wounded by the enemy's gunfire, HMS Glowworm managed to ram the German cruiser, tearing away 130 feet of the cruiser's armour belt and wrenching the emey's starboard torpedo tubes from their mountings.

At 0904/8, HMS Glowworm sent her last signal before sinking in position 64°13'N, 06°28'E. After the war Lt.Cdr. Roope, Glowworm's Commanding Officer was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Immediately after the receipt of HMS Glowworm's enemy report, HMS Renown and HMS Greyhound, then in position 67°34'N, 10°00'E turned south steering for the reported position believing that the enemy force was heading for Vestfiord and expecting to meet them around 1330/8.

At 0915/8, the C-in-C Home Fleet, detached the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) from his force to go to the aid of HMS Glowworm.

At 1045/8 the Admiralty ordered all destroyers of ' Force WV ' including those patrolling the minefield to join HMS Renown and HMS Greyhound.

At 1330/8 HMS Renown and HMS Greyhound, not having encountered the enemy, reversed course and steered to the north-east to make rendezvous with the destroyers of ' Force WV '.

At 1715/8 near the Skomvaer Lighthouse, about seventy miles west of Bodø, HMS Renown and HMS Greyhound made rendezvous with HMS Hardy, HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur, HMS Hunter, HMS Esk, HMS Icarus, HMS Impusive and HMS Ivanhoe. They then again turned to the south but sailing with gale force winds from the north-west the ships had great difficulty to keep formation and stay in company.

At 2100/8 the ' Renown ' force reversed course on to 280° to prevent the enemy from entering Narvik. This was on ordered from the Admiralty. They now had to proceed into a full north-west gale.

At 0100/ 9, the ' Renown ' force changed course to 180°.

At 0337/9, when in position 67°22'N, 09°36'E, and now steering 130°, HMS Renown, still with the destroyers in company, sighted two unknown ships, bearing 070°, distance 10 miles. They were sighted dispite a snow storm. The ships were thought to be a German battlecruiser and a heavy cruiser but were in fact the German battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst.

At 0359/9, HMS Renown, having now positively identified the ships as German, turned on 305°, parallel to the German ships.

At 0405/9, HMS Renown fire with her main armament at a range a little over 18000 yards. Target was the Gneisenau. Renown's secondary armament, (4.5" DP) opened fire on the Scharnhorst. The destroyers also joined in with their 4.7" guns.

At 0416/8, HMS Renown received a 28cm shell hit on her foremast. Only HMS Hardy and HMS Hunter were able to keep up with HMS Renown in the gale conditions, but the other destroyers fell behind. Also at about this time HMS Renown sustained weather damage to her starboard anti torpedo bulge.

At 0417/8, HMS Renown hit Gneisenau's fire control system out of action so the German ship turned away on course 30°. The Scharnhorst then moven between her sister ship and HMS Renown to lay a smoke screen.

At 0419/9 HMS Renown scored a it on Gneisenau's 'A' turret. A further hit was also abtained. HMS Renown then shifted her main armament to the Scharnhorst but she was then hit herself in the stern. Damage was minor. The Germans then broke off the action and turned away to the north-east at best speed.

Renown tried to follew the German ships but could only do around 20 - 23 knots so as not to swamp 'A' turret in the bad weather. The German ships gradually managed to pull away.

At 0515/9, HMS Renown briefly reopened fire on the Scharnhorst as she came into range when the Germans also had to reduce speed temporarily.

At 0615/9, HMS Renown lost contact with the German ships. By now also no of her escorting destroyers was in touch with her. During the action 230 rounds of 15" and 1065 rounds of 4.5" had been fired.

At 0626/19, Vice-Admiral Whitworth ordered HMS Hardy to take all destroyers under her command and to patrol the entrance to Vestfiord.

At 0800/9, HMS Renown turned west. One hour later the Admiralty ordered HMS Renown and other units of the Home Fleet to concentrate off the Vestfiord.

Around 1400/9, HMS Renown made rendezvous with HMS Renown, HMS Penelope, HMS Bedouin, HMS Eskimo, HMS Punjabi, HMS Kimberley and HMS Hostile. HMS Penelope was then detached to patrol in the entrance to the Vestfiord while the remainder of the force moved to patrol 30 miles to the west of HMS Penelope. HMS Hostile however was apparently ordered to join the other 'H'-class destroyers under Capt. D 2 in HMS Hardy.

That leaves us with Forces ' WB ' and ' WS ', HMS Teviotbank with her destroyer escort of HMS Inglefield, HMS Ilex, HMS Imogen and HMS Isis was ordered, at 2251/7, to abort the minelay and proceed to Sullom Voe. The destroyers went ahead and arrived at 0830/9 followed by HMS Teviotbank at 1100/9. HMS Inglefield, HMS Ilex, HMS Imogen, HMS Isis, HMS Hyperion and HMS Hero departed Sullom Voe at 0300/10 to join Admiral Forbes force which they did around 1100/10.

3 Jul 1940
The auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Immingham to lay minefield BS 21. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. T.M. Napier, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN).

Minefield BS 21 was made up of 276 mines and was laid in direction 322° from position 54°03'N, 01°07'E.

At 0500A/4, an enemy aircraft delivered a high level attack on the force dropping a salvo of four bombs which fell six cables on the starboard quarter of HMS Teviotbank.

HMS Teviotbank returned to Immingham on the 4th. The destroyers remained on patrol and returned to the Humber on the 5th. (1)

21 Oct 1941
With her refit completed, HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), departed Simonstown. She was to join the China station. En-route she was to make rendezvous of Durban with the auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSC and Bar, RN) which had departed Durban at 1258Z/23 to make rendezvous with HMS Dragon in approximate position 30°00'S, 34°00'E.

Rendezvous was effected around 0730B/24 and course was then set for Mauritius.

On 30 October 1941, HMS Dragon fuelled at Mauritius catching up with HMS Teviotbank around 0100E/31. Course was then set towards Port T (Addu Atoll) where HMS Dragon was to fuel again.

HMS Dragon and HMS eviotbank arrived at Port T (Addu Atoll) on the 6th. They departed for Colombo later the same day.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank arrived at Colombo on 8 November 1941.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank departed Colombo for Singapore on 9 November 1941.

HMS Dragon and HMS Teviotbank arrived at Singapore on 15 November 1941.

[No logbooks of HMS Dragon are available for November and December 1941 and January and February 1942 so some details for these months might be missing.] (2)

23 Oct 1941
At 1258Z/23, HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Durban to make rendezvous with HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) in approximate position 30°00'S, 34°00'E.

Rendezvous was effected around 0730B/24 and course was then set for Mauritius. °

13 Dec 1941
Around 2000GH/13, the auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Singapore to lay mines in the South China Sea near Pulau Aur. She was escorted by the destroyer HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN).

Mine lines M1 (45 mines) and M2 (141 mines) were laid on 14 December 1941.

HMS Teviotbank and HMAS Vampire then returned to Singapore. (3)

9 Jan 1942
The auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Singapore for Trincomalee. She was escorted through the Sunda Strait by the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) which had joined her from Batavia. The destroyers parted company in the evening and then set course to join convoy DM 1.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy DM 1 ' for 30 December 1941.] (4)

1 Mar 1942

Operation P, minelaying near Preparis Island in the Andaman Sea.

For this operation the auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Trincomalee on 1 March 1942. She was being escorted by the corvette HMS Aster (Lt.Cdr. E. Hewitt, RD, RNR).

Around 2300F/1, the light cruiser HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee to overtake and join them which she did around 0730F/2.

Between 0201F/5 and 0422F/5, HMS Teviotbank laid 270 mines in the South Preparis Channel along a line extending for 20.3 nautical miles in a direction of 021° from position 14°21'2"N, 93°26'5"E.

They returned to Trincomalee around 0900F/8. (5)

18 Jul 1944

Convoy MKS 56.

This convoy departed Port Said on 18 July 1944.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was made up of the transports / tankers; Avristan (British, 7266 GRT, built 1942), Canara (British, 7024 GRT, built 1942), Durenda (British, 7241 GRT, built 1922), Empire Baxter (British, 7024 GRT, built 1941), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Fort Orleans (British, 7166 GRT, built 1943), Jersey Hart (British, 7275 GRT, built 1943), Manchester Division (British, 6048 GRT, built 1918), Meline (Norwegian (tanker), 6983 GRT, built 1918), Raymond T. Baker (American, 7207 GRT, built 1944), Samana (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sambur (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samcleve (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Thistledale (British, 7241 GRT, built 1942), Troubadour (Panamanian, 6428 GRT, built 1920), Van der Capelle (Dutch, 7037 GRT, built 1942) and Wanderer (British, 5079 GRT, built 1925).

The rescue tug HMRT Hesperia was also part of the convoy

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the frigates HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR) and HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR).

On 19 July 1944 the convoy was joined by the transports; Caduceus (British, 4364 GRT, built 1927), Empire Tide (British, 6978 GRT, built 1941), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Indiana (Panamanian, 5751 GRT, built 1917), Vasco (British, 2878 GRT, built 1939) which came from Alexandria. They were escorted by the minesweeper HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Gloxinia (Lt. D. Perry, DSC, RNR) and HMS Primula (T/Lt. E.N. Wilding, RNVR).

Around 1750B/23, the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy which they did around 0525B/24; Carrillo (American, 5013 GRT, built 1911), Cotton Valley (British, 1155 GRT, built 1943), Empire Copperfield (British, 6013 GRT, built 1943), Empire Fay (British (tanker), 814 GRT, built 1943), Empire Lass (British (tanker), 813 GRT, built 1941), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Fort Dauphin (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Pan-Maryland (American (tanker), 7701 GRT, built 1938), Piere Soule (British, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Stephen A. Douglas (British, 7219 GRT, built 1942) and Vito (Norwegian, 5181 GRT, built 1937). They were escorted by Italian torpedoboat Ardimentoso and the corvettes Driade and Baionetta.]

Around 1600B/24, the following transports / tankers arrived at Augusta after having parted company with the convoy; Canara, Empire Tide, Fort Meductic, Jersey Hart, Meline, Raymond T. Baker, Thistledale, Van der Capelle and Vasco. [They were most likely escorting in by the same ships that had escorted the vessels leaving Augusta.]

On 24 July 1944, the transports / tankers Antonia (Dutch (tanker), 3357 GRT, built 1938) and (British, 6044 GRT, built 1940) departed Malta to join the convoy. Also joining from Malta were the auxiliary minelayer HMS Teviotbank (Cdr.(Retd.) R.D. King-Harman, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and the submarine HMS Tactician (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Collett, DSC and Bar, RN).

On 25 July 1944, the Antonia, Empire Fay and HMRT Hesperia arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy as did the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN).

On 26 July 1944, the Vito arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy while the transport Empire Trent (British, 5006 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy.

On 27 July 1944, the Cotton Valley, Empire Baxter, Empire Copperfield, Empire Lass, Fort Dauphin, Indiana, Pan-Maryland, Pierre Soule and Stephen A. Douglas all arrived at Bone after having been detached from the convoy while the transports Balfe (British, 5369 GRT, built 1920), Baron Douglas (British, 3899 GRT, built 1932), Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), Cromarty (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936) and Lieutenant de la Tour (French, 5844 GRT, built 1917) joined the convoy.

On 28 July 1944, the Carrillo, Esneh and Lieutenant de la Tour arrived at Oran Bay after having parted company with the convoy while the the transports Cydonia (British, 3517 GRT, built 1927) and Jobshaven (Dutch, 3528 GRT, built 1916) joined the convoy.

On 29 July 1944, the following transports arrived at Gibraltar; Balfe, Baron Douglas, Baron Herries, Caduceus, Cape Brenton, Cydonia, Durenda and Fort Orleans. With them HMS Caledon, HMS Tactician, HMS Dart, HMS Shiel, HMS Sharpshooter, HMS Gloxinia and HMS Primula also arrived at Gibraltar.

The remaining transports joined convoy MKS 56G for further passage to the U.K.


  1. ADM 199/375 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  2. ADM 53/114150 + ADM 199/408
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Vampire for December 1941
  4. ADM 199/1185
  5. ADM 53/115474 + ADM 199/426 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561

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

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