Allied Warships

HMS Bridgewater (L 01 / U 01)

Sloop of the Bridgewater class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassBridgewater 
PennantL 01 / U 01 
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered19 Sep 1927 
Laid down6 Feb 1928 
Launched14 Sep 1928 
Commissioned14 Mar 1929 
End service 
History

In March 1935 HMS Bridgewater was based on the Cape Station and was first docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa on the 18th of this month. She often used the facilities provided at Simonstown prior to the outbreak of war.

In September 1940, HMS Bridgewater in company with HMS Milford were summoned from the South Atlantic to proceed to Freetown and then on to the Mediterranean, to team up with the fleet involved in operation \"Menace\". This was the plan to prevent the Vichy French fleet from entering Dakar. British naval forces attacked Dakar to prepare a landing by the Free French troops. Bridgewater and Milford formed part of the British unit, with Vice Admiral Cunningham in overall charge.

On New Years Day 1942 convoy WS-14 arrived in South Africa from the U.K. with reinforcements. The convoy consisted of 18 ships. Bridgewater in company with the light cruiser HMS Ceres were responsible for the escorting of this convoy. On 19 March convoy WS-16 arrived in South Africa from the U.K. with reinforcements. The convoy consisted of 14 ships and HMS Bridgewater assisted with the escorting of this convoy.

In September 1943 HMS Bridgewater was serving in the Atlantic in company with Milford and formed a unit of the 40th escort group, involved in escorting convoys on the U.K. - Gibraltar route and was based at Freetown.

On 22 May 1947 Bridgewater was sold to Howells, Gelleswick Bay for breaking up.

 

Commands listed for HMS Bridgewater (L 01 / U 01)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Roy Carlton Harry, RN2 Jun 193915 Jul 1940
2A/Cdr. (retired) Henry Fawcus Gerrans Leftwich, RN15 Jul 19401 May 1942
3Cdr. (retired) Nelson Ward Hampton Weekes, OBE, RN1 May 1942Nov 1943
4Lt. Peter James Hill Hoare, RNNov 1943Feb 1944
5A/Lt.Cdr. Thomas Aitken Easton, RNVRFeb 1944Feb 1944
6Cdr. (retired) Richard Herbert Mack, RNFeb 1944Feb 1945

7Cdr. (retired) Michael Wentworth Ewart-Wentworth, RN4 Apr 194523 Jun 1945
8Lt.Cdr. David Drummond Bone, RN23 Jun 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Bridgewater include:


30 Mar 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) departed Freetown for her 11th war patrol. She was ordered to participate in a special operation (Operation Grab) in which four Italian submarines coming from the Red Sea and their German supply vessel/tanker were to be intercepted. The British had discovered where these ships were to make rendez-vous though 'Ultra' (code breaking) and decided to spoil 'the party'.

Besides HMS Severn the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (Capt. (Retd.) J.G.P. Ingham, DSO, RN) and the sloops HMS Milford (Cdr. (Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and HMS Bridgewater (A/Cdr. (Retd.) H.F.G. Leftwich, RN) were also involved in this operation. (1)

18 May 1941
The British merchant Piako is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-107 about 130 nautical miles south-west of Freetown in position 07°52'N, 14°57'W. HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. H.F.G. Leftwich, RN (retired)) later picks up 65 survivors.

3 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (Retd.) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR) and two ML's. (2)

7 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (Retd.) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR) and two ML's. (2)

9 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (Retd.) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) and HMS Turcoman (T/Lt. R.F. Pretty, RNVR). (2)

30 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J. Byron, DSC, RNR), HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN), HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN). (3)

1 Dec 1942
HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. N.W. Weeks, OBE, RN) picks up 19 survivors from the British tanker Cerinthus that was torpedoed and sunk on 10 November 1942 by German U-boat U-128 about 180 nautical miles south-west from the Cape Verde Islands in position 12°27'N, 27°45'W.

14 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (retired) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (4)

18 Jul 1943
At 07.56 hours on 18 July 1943, the unescorted British passenger ship Incomati was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-508 about 200 nautical miles south of Lagos. At 08.18 hours, the U-boat began shelling the ship, setting her on fire and left the wreck in sinking condition. The ship finally sank in position 03°09'N, 04°15'E. One crew member was lost. The master, 101 crew members, eight gunners and 112 passengers were picked up by the British destroyer HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and the British sloop HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN) and landed at Takoradi.

21 Feb 1944
HMS Trenchant (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) departed from Falmouth for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (5)

1 Mar 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Lunenburg (T/Lt. D.L. Miller, RCNVR), HMCS Edmundston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.D. Barrett, RCNR), HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN) and HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR). (6)

30 Apr 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Gibraltar. She is to proceed to the Far East. During the passage south through the Irish Sea she was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS Terrapin during this passage see the map below.


HMS Terrapin U.K. - Trincomaleeclick here for bigger map (7)

29 Jul 1944
HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (8)

30 Jul 1944
During the night of 29 / 30 July 1944, HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR), conducted night exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (8)

12 Aug 1944
HMS Trident (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, DSO, RN), HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR), HMS Varne (Lt. I.G. Raikes, DSC, RN) and HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area.

Upon completion of these exercises HMS Vitality, HMS Varne and HMS Bridgewater proceeded to Campbeltown while HMS Trident proceeded to Holy Loch.

During the night of 12 / 13 August 1944, HMS Varne, HMS Vitality and HMS Bridgewater conducted night exercises off Campbeltown. Upon completion of these exercises all ships proceeded to Holy Loch. (9)

30 Sep 1944
HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN) and HMS Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.D. O'Driscoll, RNR). Following the exercises with these surface ships HMS Vitality conducted gunnery and night exercises. (10)

5 Oct 1944
HMS Taciturn (Lt. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from her builders yard at Barrow for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (11)

8 Oct 1944
HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. W.J. de Vries, RNN) departed Holy Loch for Barrow-in-Furness for a short refit and some repairs. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (12)

21 Nov 1944
HMS Sidon (Lt. H.C. Gowan, RN) departed her builders yard at Liverpool for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (retired) R.H. Mack, RN). (13)

15 Dec 1944
HMS Unrivalled (Lt. D.S. Brown, RNVR) shifted from Douglas, Isle of Man to Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (14)

30 Dec 1944
HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. P.J.S. de Jong, RNN), HMS Venturer (Lt. J.S. Launders, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Sidon (Lt. H.C. Gowan, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. The submarines were escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (12)

28 Jan 1945
HMS Sibyl (Lt. H.R. Murray, RN) departed the Clyde area for Lerwick. She made the passage together with HMS Spearhead (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.E. Youngman, RNR) that was to proceed to Scapa Flow. They were escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (15)

2 Feb 1945
HMS Taciturn (Lt.Cdr. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Lerwick for Holy Loch.

The next day, off Scapa Flow, Taciturn is joined by with HMS Trusty (Lt. J.P. Fyfe, DSC, RN). They are escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (16)

8 Feb 1945
HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow. She made the passage together with HMS Tapir (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxbourgh, DSO, DSC, RN). The French submarine Morse (Lt. O. Chauveau) also took passage but went on towards Lerwick. The submarines were escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (17)

10 Feb 1945
HMS Sibyl (Lt. H.R. Murray, RN) ended her 18th war patrol at Lerwick. She departed for Holy Loch later the same day escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). Off Scapa Flow HMS Spearhead (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.E. Youngman, RNR) and HMS Sceptre (Lt. H.J. Bartlett, DSC, RN) joined. (18)

9 Mar 1945
During exercises in the Inchmarnock area, HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN), performs dummy attacks on HMS Bridgewater. At the end of the day she returns to Holy Loch. (19)

16 Mar 1945
During exercises in the Inchmarnock area, HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) performs dummy attacks on HMS Bridgewater. At the end of the day she returns to Holy Loch. (19)

17 Mar 1945
During exercises in the Inchmarnock area, HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) performs dummy attacks on HMS Bridgewater and HMS Shikari. (19)

18 Mar 1945
HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Inchmarnock area with HMS Bridgewater. Trespasser arrived at Campbeltown around noon. (19)

1 Apr 1945
HMS Tapir (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxbourgh, DSO, DSC, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Lerwick. Passage to Lerwick was made together with HMS Totem (Lt.Cdr. M.B. St. John, RN) and HMS Varne (Lt. I.G. Raikes, DSC, RN). For part of the way HMS Scotsman (Lt. A.H.B. Anderson, DSC, RNR) was also present. They were escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). (20)

3 Apr 1945
HMS Spearhead (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.E. Youngman, RNR) departed Lerwick for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Mack, RN). En-route HMS Taurus (Lt. P.E. Newstead, DSC, RN) joined. (21)

11 Apr 1945
HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) departed from Holy Loch for exercises with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Ewart-Wentworth, RN) and HMS Trusty (Lt. W.St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR). (22)

12 Apr 1945
HMS Trusty (Lt. W. St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) departed Ardrossan for Scapa Flow. She makes (part of) the passage with HMS Trespasser (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) and HMS Tactician (Lt.Cdr. L.N.A. Jewell, DSC, MBE, RN). They are escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). (23)

5 May 1945
HMS Surf (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Holy Loch. She made the passage together with HMS Trusty (Lt. W. St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Varne (Lt. I.G. Raikes, DSC, RN). They are escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). (24)

5 May 1945
HMS Trusty (Lt. W. St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) departed from Scapa Flow for Rothesay. She makes the passage with HMS Surf (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) and HMS Varne (Lt. I.G. Raikes, DSC, RN). They are escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). (25)

11 May 1945
HMS Sanguine (T/Lt. P.C.S. Pritchard, RNR) departed her builders yard for Holy Loch. She was escorted by HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) M.W. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). (26)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16980 + ADM 199/1886
  2. ADM 173/16988
  3. ADM 173/17253
  4. ADM 173/17529
  5. ADM 173/19056
  6. ADM 173/18514
  7. ADM 173/18997
  8. ADM 173/19419
  9. ADM 173/19420
  10. ADM 173/19421
  11. ADM 173/18916
  12. File 2.12.03.6444 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  13. ADM 173/18750
  14. ADM 173/19230
  15. ADM 173/19648
  16. ADM 199/1444
  17. ADM 173/19754
  18. ADM 173/19649
  19. ADM 173/19974
  20. ADM 173/19854
  21. ADM 173/19691
  22. ADM 173/19975
  23. ADM 173/20040
  24. ADM 173/19787
  25. ADM 173/20041
  26. ADM 173/19542

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


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