Allied Warships

HMS Arethusa (26)

Light cruiser of the Arethusa class

HMS Arethusa in 1945

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.) : Parsons 
Ordered1 Sep 1932 
Laid down25 Jan 1933 
Launched6 Mar 1934 
Commissioned23 May 1935 
End service 

Sold to J. Cashmore in 1950, arrived at Newport on 9 May 1950 for scrapping.


Commands listed for HMS Arethusa (26)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Capt. Quintin Dick Graham, RN30 Jun 193914 May 1941
2Capt. Alex Colin Chapman, RN14 May 194117 Nov 1942
3A/Cdr. Mark Taylor Collier, RN17 Nov 194221 Nov 1942
4A/Rear-Admiral George Hector Creswell, DSO, DSC, RN21 Nov 1942Dec 1942
5A/Cdr. Mark Taylor Collier, RNDec 194230 Jun 1943
6Cdr. Hugh Forbes Robertson-Aikman, RN30 Jun 431 Dec 1943
7Capt. Hugh Dalrymple-Smith, RN1 Dec 1943Jun 1945
8Capt. Caspar Silas Balfour Swinley, DSO, DSC, RNJun 1945late 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Arethusa include:

4 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica reached their new home base Rosyth. In the afternoon they left the harbour with the British light cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Galatea and three British destroyers. These ships were ordered to conduct a patrol at North Sea and were later ordered to intercept German invasion groups heading for Norway. (1)

8 Apr 1941
In the early morning hours HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nestor (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN). The cruisers HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN) and HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, RN) also participated. (2)

17 Nov 1942
17 November 1942 / 20 November 1942;
Operation Stone Age;

On 17 November 1942 a convoy of 4 merchants (MW-13) left Alexandria for Malta. This convoy was escorted by the British light cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Euryalus, HMS Dido and 10 destroyers.

On the 18th HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN) was hit by a aerial torpedo. She was heavily damaged and towed back to Alexandria. 156 men lost their lives during this attack. She was patched up and later went to the Charleston Navy Yard in the USA for full repairs. These repairs were not completed until December 1943. Capt. Chapman was severely burnt in this attack.

The convoy arrived safe at Malta on the 20th. This meant the end of the Malta siege.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 53/114887

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

Return to the Allied Warships section