Allied Warships

HMS Venetia (D 53)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 53 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid down2 Feb 1917 
Launched29 Oct 1917 
Commissioned19 Dec 1917 
Lost19 Oct 1940 
Loss position51° 33'N, 1° 10'E

HMS Venetia (Lt.Cdr. Desmond Lisburn Curtis Craig, RN) was mined and sunk about 12 nautical miles north-east of Margate, Kent, England in position 51º33'N, 01º10'E.


Commands listed for HMS Venetia (D 53)

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. John Willson Musgrave Eaton, RN31 Jul 193913 Oct 1939
2Cdr. Guy Robert Pilcher, RN13 Oct 193920 Nov 1939
3Lt. John Henry Eaden, RN20 Nov 193927 Mar 1940
4Lt.Cdr. Bernulf Henry de Clegg Mellor, RN27 Mar 194025 May 1940
5Lt.Cdr. Desmond Lisburn Curtis Craig, RN25 May 194019 Oct 1940 (+)

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 Venetia include:

7 Oct 1939

Convoy SL 4.

This convoy departed Freetown on 7 October 1939 and arrived in U.K. waters on 26 October 1939 though some of the merchant vessels had been detached in the Bay of Biscay to proceed to French ports.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Burdwan (British, 6069 GRT, built 1928), Clan Farquhar (British, 7958 GRT, built 1918), Clan MacNeil (British, 6111 GRT, built 1922), Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Groix (French, 9975 GRT, built 1922), Hardwicke Grange (British, 9005 GRT, built 1921), Lafian (British, 4876 GRT, built 1937), Lagosian (British, 5412 GRT, built 1930), Marcella (British, 4592 GRT, built 1928), Myrmidon (British, 6278 GRT, built 1930), Myrtlebank (British, 5150 GRT, built 1925), Natia (British, 8715 GRT, built 1920), Oakdene (British, 4255 GRT, built 1935), Rodney Star (British, 11803 GRT, built 1927), Sangara (British, 4174 GRT, built 1939), Settler (British, 6202 GRT, built 1939), Shillong (British, 5529 GRT, built 1939), Takoradian (British, 5452 GRT, built 1937) and Welsh Trader (British, 4974 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Neptune (Capt. J.A.V. Morse, DSO, RN). She was detached from the convoy around 1920A/10 in approximate position 15°20'N, 19°54'E.

The destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN) and HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) were with the convoy briefly on 9 October 1939 between 0730A/9 and 1300A/9.

Around 0900A/23 the destroyers HMS Mackay (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) joined the convoy. The destroyers HMS Venetia (Cdr. G.R. Pilcher, RN) and HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) had joined the convoy about an hour earlier in approximate position 47°45'N, 13°30'W.

Around 0830A/24 the convoy split into an east coast section which proceeded towards the Irish Sea escorted by HMS Mackay and HMS Vimy. The west coast section proceeded towards the Channel escorted by HMS Venetia and HMS Vesper.

Around 0730A/25, HMS Venetia and HMS Vesper were relieved by the destroyer HMS Wivern (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN). (1)

14 Jan 1940

Convoy HX 16.

This convoy departed Halifax on 14 January 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 28 January 1940.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aldington Court (British, 4891 GRT, built 1929), Athelknight (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1930), Athellaird (British (tanker), 8999 GRT, built 1930), Athelmonarch (British (tanker), 8995 GRT, built 1928), Athelqueen (British (tanker), 8780 GRT, built 1928), Badjestan (British, 5573 GRT, built 1928), British Officer (British (tanker), 6990 GRT, built 1922), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Hopemount (British (tanker), 7434 GRT, built 1929), Imperial Transport (British (tanker), 8022 GRT, built 1931), Joseph Seep (Panamanian (tanker), 7088 GRT, built 1920), Laristan (British (tanker), 6401 GRT, built 1927), Manaqui (British, 2802 GRT, built 1921), Margarita Chandris (Greek, 5401 GRT, built 1920), Melmore Head (British, 5273 GRT, built 1918), Oilreliance (British (tanker), 5666 GRT, built 1929), Pacific Ranger (British, 6865 GRT, built 1929), Rhea (French (tanker), 7813 GRT, built 1928), Scottish Trader (British, 4016 GRT, built 1938), Venetia (British (tanker), 5728 GRT, built 1927), Virgilia (British (tanker), 5723 GRT, built 1927), Volontaire (French (fishing trawler), 916 GRT, built 1922), W.H. Libby (Panamanian (tanker), 7992 GRT, built 1921), Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930) and Zeus (Greek, 5961 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy around nightfal on the 15th after which they returned to Halifax.

HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy in the morning of 23 January 1940 after which she returned to Halifax arriving there on 27 January 1940.

The convoy was joined on 25 January 1940 by the destroyers HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) and HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, RN) which then escorted the convoy Liverpool.

27 Feb 1940

Convoy SL 22.

This convoy departed Freetown on 24 January 1940.

It was made up of the following transports; Alfred Jones (British, 5013 GRT, built 1930), Anglo Saxon (British, 5596 GRT, built 1929), Bruyère (British, 5335 GRT, built 1919), Dunstan (British, 5149 GRT, built 1925), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Harpalion (British, 5486 GRT, built 1932), Imperial Valley (British, 4573 GRT, built 1924), Lalande (British, 7453 GRT, built 1920), Liberian (British, 5129 GRT, built 1936), Mabriton (British, 6694 GRT, built 1920), Margalau (British, 4541 GRT, built 1926), Monkleigh (British, 5203 GRT, built 1927), Nurtureton (British, 6272 GRT, built 1929), Richard de Larrinaga (British, 5358 GRT, built 1929), Trelissick (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919) and West Wales (British, 4353 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN).

Around 1030Z/11, convoy SLF 22, made up of the transports Buteshire (British, 6590 GRT, built 1912), Canonesa (British, 8286 GRT, built 1920), Corrientes (British, 6863 GRT, built 1920), Devon (British, 9036 GRT, built 1915), Idomeneus (British, 7792 GRT, built 1926), Nagara (British, 8791 GRT, built 1919) and Royal Star (British, 7900 GRT, built 1919) merged with convoy SL 22. Also the escort of convoy SLF 22, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Mooltan (Capt.(Retd.) G.E. Sutcliff, RN) joined.

Around 1107Z/11, HMS Dunvegan Castle parted company with the convoy.

Around 0700N/12, HMS Mooltan turned over the convoy to the local escort made up of the sloop Rochester and the destroyer HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN) and the sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 15 March 1940.

9 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 26.

This convoy departed Halifax on 9 March 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 26 March 1940.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ahamo (British (tanker), 8621 GRT, built 1926), Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Antonio (British, 5225 GRT, built 1918), Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Argos Hill (British, 7178 GRT, built 1939), Argyll (British, 4897 GRT, built 1939), Arinia (British (tanker), 8024 GRT, built 1936), Athelviking (British (tanker), 8779 GRT, built 1926), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), Beaverdale (British, 9957 GRT, built 1928), British Courage (British (tanker), 6952 GRT, built 1928), City of Baghdad (British, 7506 GRT, built 1919), Delphinula (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939), Diplomat (British, 8240 GRT, built 1921), Fowberry Tower (British, 4484 GRT, built 1929), Hertford (British, 11785 GRT, built 1917), Kenbane Head (British, 5225 GRT, built 1919), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Llanishen (British, 5053 GRT, built 1929), Loreto (British, 6682 GRT, built 1913), Marstenen (Norwegian, 1832 GRT, built 1915), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Nailsea Manor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Persephone (Panamanian (tanker), 8426 GRT, built 1925), Port Fairy (British, 10243 GRT, built 1928), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), Rossington Court (British, 6922 GRT, built 1928), San Fabian (British (tanker), 13031 GRT, built 1922), San Tiburcio (British (tanker), 5995 GRT, built 1921), San Zotico (British (tanker), 5582 GRT, built 1919), Siris (British, 5242 GRT, built 1919), Solstad (Norwegian (tanker), 5952 GRT, built 1927), Statesman (British, 7939 GRT, built 1923), Stylianos Chandris (British, 6059 GRT, built 1919), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921), Victoria City (British, 4739 GRT, built 1929) and Voco (British (tanker), 5090 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

They parted company on 11 March 1939 and the convoy was from then on escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) which had departed Halifax on 10 March 1940.

HMS Malaya remained with the convoy until 22 March 1940 when she parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.

The convoy was joined on 24 March 1940 by the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN) which remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

8 Sep 1940
Around 2130A/8, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Campbell (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt.Cdr. D.L.C. Craig, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.E.F. Hussey, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN), HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) departed Sheerness to bombard enemy shipping concentrations at Calais and Boulogne.

HMS Galatea with HMS Campbell, HMS Vesper and HMS Garth were to bombard Calais while HMS Aurora, HMS Venetia, HMS Hambledon and HMS Holderness bombarded Boulogne.

Between 0225A/9 and 0245A/9, British aircraft dropped flares over both ports. No shipping was however found to be present in Calais Roads so HMS Galatea and her escorts did not conduct a bombardment. HMS Aurora and her escorts however did bombarded the Boulogne harbour area.

They returned to Sheerness around 0700A/9. HMS Galatea had detonated a mine around 0525A/9 and was again damaged [see 1 September] damage was again minor. As Galatea was due for refit it was decided not to undertake repairs. HMS Galatea was to commence refit and repairs at the Chatham Dockyard upon completion of the refit of HMS Arethusa. For the moment HMS Galatea remained at Sheerness.

During the same night the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN), HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed Portsmouth to conducted a sweep along the French coast just south of Boulogne up to Cape Antifer (near Le Havre). On completion of the sweep they returned to Portsmouth. (2)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/109642 + ADM 53/109910 + ADM 53/110944 + ADM 53/110977 + ADM 53/110992 + ADM 53/111234
  2. ADM 53/112284 + ADM 199/375 + ADM 199/379

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

Return to the Allied Warships section

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.