Allied Warships

HMS Montclare (F 85)

Armed Merchant Cruiser


Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 85 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched18 Dec 1921 
Commissioned15 Oct 1939 
End service2 Jun 1942 
History

On 28 August 1939 the passenger ship Montclare of the Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd, Montreal was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 15 October 1939.

Displacement: 16314 BRT
Armament: 7x 140mm, 3x 102mm
Speed: 17 knots

Career:
October 39: South Atlantic Station
November 39 - May 40: Northern Patrol
June 40: Western Approaches Command
July 40 - April 41: Bermuda and Halifax Escort Force
May 41 - December 41: North Atlantic Escort Force
March 42 - April 42: Western Patrol
May 42: Plymouth Command

On 2 June 1942 sold to the Admiralty and converted to a submarine depot ship for the 3rd Submarine flotilla. 1954 decommissioned and in January 1958 sold for scrap at Inverkeithing.

 

Commands listed for HMS Montclare (F 85)

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.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) Herbert Malcolm Spreckley, RN2 Sep 193925 Aug 1941
2Capt. (retired) Lawrence Hodson Bayley, RN25 Aug 194117 Apr 1942
3Cdr. (retired) William Richmond Fell, DSC, OBE, RN17 Apr 1942ca Jun 42

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Notable events involving Montclare include:


13 Jan 1941

Convoy BHX 103

This convoy departed Bermuda on 13 January 1941 and merged at sea with convoy HX 103 on 18 January 1941.

Convoy BHX 103 was made up of the following merchant vessels: Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Mamura (Dutch (tanker), 8245 GRT, built 1932) and Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931).

The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) which was detached when the convoy merged with convoy HX 103.

6 Apr 1941

Convoy HX 119

This convoy departed Halifax on 6 April 1941 in two sections, convoy HX 119A and convoy HX 119B. They merged in the morning of April 13th.

Convoy HX 119A was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Argos Hill (British, 7178 GRT, built 1922), Bendoran (British, 5567 GRT, built 1910), Bra-Kar (Norwegian, 3778 GRT, built 1928), British Consul (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), British Tenacity (British (tanker), 8439 GRT, built 1939), Brittany (British, 4772 GRT, built 1928), Ceronia (British (tanker), 4955 GRT, built 1929), Clan MacIlwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Cliona (British (tanker), 8375 GRT, built 1931), Curacao (British, 8269 GRT, built 1930), Cymbula (British (tanker), 8082 GRT, built 1938), Davila (British (tanker), 8053 GRT, built 1938), Dolius (British, 5507 GRT, built 1924), Dromus (British (tanker), 8036 GRT, built 1938), Goolistan (British, 5851 GRT, built 1929), Induna (British, 5086 GRT, built 1925), Kentar (British, 5878 GRT, built 1920), Lista (British, 3671 GRT, built 1920), Lobos (British, 6479 GRT, built 1921), Mangkalihat (Dutch, 8457 GRT, built 1928), Mount Helmos (Greek, 6481 GRT, built 1923), Oscilla (Dutch (tanker), 6341 GRT, built 1939), Port Auckland (British, 8789 GRT, built 1922), Port Sydney (British, 9129 GRT, built 1914), Radmanso (Swedish, 4280 GRT, built 1914), Reaveley (British, 4998 GRT, built 1940), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), San Eliseo (British (tanker), 8042 GRT, built 1939), Schuylkill (British (tanker), 8965 GRT, built 1928), Spondilus (British (tanker), 7402 GRT, built 1927), Toorak (British (tanker), 8627 GRT, built 1927), Trevalgan (British, 5299 GRT, built 1937), Tucurinca (British, 5412 GRT, built 1926) and West Totant (British, 5628 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Halifax convoy HX 119A was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Aurania (A/Capt. I.W. Whitehorn, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Chambly (T/A/Cdr. J.D. Prentice, RCN) and HMCS Orillia (T/Lt.Cdr. W.E.S. Briggs, RCNR). The corvettes were detached to return to Halifax the next day.

The convoy was joined by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) around 0900Q/8.

Around 1400P/11, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax.

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Convoy HX 119B was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Alphacca (British, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Barberrys (British, 5170 GRT, built 1920), Braddock (British, 6619 GRT, built 1919), Edward Blyden (British, 5003 GRT, built 1930), Gard (Norwegian (tanker), 8259 GRT, built 1938), Glaiglas (British, 4312 GRT, built 1940), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Idefjord (British, 4287 GRT, built 1921), Kars (British (tanker), 8888 GRT, built 1939), Leerdam (Dutch, 8815 GRT, built 1921), Maasdam (Dutch, 8812 GRT, built 1921), Maihar (British, 7563 GRT, built 1917), Merchant Prince (British, 5229 GRT, built 1939), Mercier (Belgian, 7556 GRT, built 1915), Peder Bogen (British (tanker), 9741 GRT, built 1925), Rio Azul (British, 4088 GRT, built 1921), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Soekaboemi (Dutch, 7051 GRT, built 1923), Southgate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926) and Tureby (British, 4372 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax convoy HX 119B was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Cobalt (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.B. Campbell, RCNR) and HMCS Collingwood (T/Lt. W. Woods, RCNR). The corvettes were detached to return to Halifax the next day.

Around 0900P/13, Convoy HX 119B merged with convoy HX 119A.

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At 1215Z/14, the convoy was joined by the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN).

At 1210Z/15, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Aurania and HMS Montclare parted company with convoy HX 119 (now combined).

At 1815Z/15, the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN) joined the convoy. Followed during the night of 15/16 April by the destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN) and HMCS Saguenay (Lt. P.E. Haddon, RCN).

At 2130Z/16, HMS Norfolk parted company with the convoy to proceed to Hvalfjord.

On the 17th, destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), sloop HMS Scarborough (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Auricula (T/Lt. W.W. White, RNR), HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Hibiscus (Lt. H. Roach, RNR), HMS Pimpernel (Lt. F.H. Thornton, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.M. Faichney, DSO, RNR) joined the convoy.

On the 18th, destroyer HMS Rockingham (Lt. A.H.T. Johns, RN) and corvette HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN) joined the convoy.

On the 19th, corvette HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy

On the 20th, HMS Havelock, HMS Hurricane, HMS Restigouche and HMS Saguenay parted company with the convoy.

On the 21st, HMS Viscount and corvette HMS Freesia parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 22 April.

18 May 1941

Convoy BHX 128

This convoy departed Bermuda on 18 May 1941 and merged at sea with convoy HX 128 on 27 May 1941 (this was four days later then intended).

Convoy BHX 128 was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amsterdam (Dutch (tanker), 7329 GRT, built 1922), British Chivalry (British (tanker), 7118 GRT, built 1929), British Diligence (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), British Fusilier (British, 6943 GRT, built 1923), Cardita (British (tanker), 8237 GRT, built 1931), Charles Racine (Norwegian (tanker), 9957 GRT, built 1937), Clavella (British (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Designer (British, 5495 GRT, built 1928), Drammensfjord (Norwegian, 5339 GRT, built 1920), Eulima (British (tanker), 6207 GRT, built 1937), San Cirilo (British (tanker), 8012 GRT, built 1937) and Thistlegorm (British, 4898 GRT, built 1940).

On departure from Bermuda this convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN).

The convoy was to make rendezvous with convoy HX 128 on 23 May 1941. Due to thick for and convoy HX 128 being re-routed twice due to the battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen breaking out into the North Atlantic.

Rendezvous was only effected on 27 May 1941. HMS Montclare then parted company with the convoy.


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