HMS Cheshire (F 18)
Armed Merchant Cruiser
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Type||Armed Merchant Cruiser|
|Class||[No specific class]|
|Built by||Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland)|
|Launched||20 Apr 1927|
|Commissioned||30 Oct 1939|
|End service||9 Jun 1943|
On 29 August 1939 the passenger ship Cheshire of the Bibby Brothers & Co, Liverpool was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 30 October 1939.
Displacement: 10552 BRT
On 9 June 1943 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), later as repatriation ship. On 5 October 1948 returned to owner.
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Cheshire|
Commands listed for HMS Cheshire (F 18)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Capt. (retired) Mountague Robert Bernard, RN||30 Aug 1939||late 1940|
|2||Capt. (retired) James Millar Begg, RN||10 Mar 1941||Apr 1942|
|3||A/Cdr. John Martin Ashley, RN||Apr 1942||May 1942|
|4||A/Capt. Humfrey Greenwood Hopper, RN||May 1942||10 Nov 1942|
|5||A/Capt. (retired) Robert Douglas King-Harman, DSO, DSC, RN||10 Nov 1942||Jun 1943|
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Notable events involving Cheshire include:
13 Jan 1940
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN) departed Freetown for Portsmouth. She was part of the ocean escort of convoy SL 16F together with Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Cheshire (Capt. (Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN).
Besides the escort the convoy was made up of 12 British merchant ships; Adda (7816 GRT, built 1922), Anselm (5954 GRT, built 1935), Baronesa (8663 GRT, built 1918), City of Nagpur (10146 GRT, built 1922), Cordillera (6865 GRT, built 1920), Cumberland (10939 GRT, built 1919), Mahia (10014 GRT, built 1917), Mary Slessor (5027 GRT, built 1930), Orari (10350 GRT, built 1931), Port Sydney (9129 GRT, built 1914), Raranga (10043 GRT, built 1916) and Scientist (6198 GRT, built 1938).
The destroyers departed the convoy on the 20th and then proceeded to Gibraltar. On the 24th the destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) took over the escort from the HMS Cheshire and HMS Severn which then proceeded to Plymouth and Portsmouth respectively where they both arrived on the 26th. (1)
14 Oct 1940
At 21.28 hours on 14 October 1940 HMS Cheshire (Capt. M.R. Bernard (retired), RN) was struck by one torpedo from German U-boat U-137 northwest of Ireland. She reached Liverpool but had to be laid up for repairs for six months.
18 Aug 1942
At 18.52 hours on 18 August 1942 German U-boat U-214 fired four torpedoes at the convoy SL-118 from between the columns and claimed the sinking of four ships totalling 20,000 grt. In fact, one torpedo damaged HMS Cheshire (A/Capt. H.G. Hopper, RN) another sank the Hatarana and two torpedoes sank the Balingkar.
- ADM 199/2572
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.