Allied Warships

HMS Vivacious (D 36)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 36 
ModShort range escort 
Built byYarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid downJul 1916 
Launched3 Nov 1917 
Commissioned29 Dec 1917 
End service 

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 March 1947.

HMS Vivacious is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy list


Commands listed for HMS Vivacious (D 36)

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1Cdr. Cecil Ramsden Langworthy Parry, RN31 Jul 193927 Sep 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Frank Reginald Woodbine Parish, RN27 Sep 193930 May 1940
3Cdr. Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineux, RAN30 May 194019 Jun 1940
4Lt.Cdr. Peter Alison Ross Withers, RN19 Jun 1940late 1940

5Lt.Cdr. Robert Alexander, RN11 Jul 1941Sep 1943
6Lt. Frederick Dennisson Cole, RNSep 194313 Oct 1944
7Lt. Barry John Anderson, RN13 Oct 1944Apr 1945 ?

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Notable events involving Vivacious include:

5 Sep 1939
A convoy of eleven passenger liners departed the U.K. for destinations in the Atlantic or Mediterranean (or Far East via the Mediterranean).

The convoy was assembled off the Clyde and was made up of the passenger liners / merchant vessels; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Clan Ferguson (British, 7347 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Montcalm (British, 16418 GRT, built 1921), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orford (British, 19941 GRT, built 1928), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Vivacious (Cdr. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Plumer, RN), HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. K.H. Fraser, RN), HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN) as well as HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. A.R.M. Black, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. H. Gartside-Tippinge, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Fryer, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN).

Arond 2300A/5, the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) departed Portland escorted by the destroyers HMS Exmouth (Cdr. R.S. Benson, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN). They were joined around 0530A/6 by the destroyers HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Woodhall, RN) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) which had come from Plymouth.

Around 1845A/6, HMS Ramillies and her four escorting destroyers joined the convoy after which HMS Vivacious, HMS Vanessa, HMS Witherington and HMS Wolverine parted company. After conducting an A/S sweep astern of the convoy they proceeded to Plymouth where they arrived around noon on the 7th.

Around 1100A/8, HMS Verity, HMS Volunteer, HMS Witherington and HMS Wolverine parted company with the convoy to proceed to Milford Haven where they arrived in the morning of September 10th.

Late in the morning of September 10th, the French destroyers Le Fortune (Cdr. C.M.L. D'Hespel), La Railleuse (Lt.Cdr. J.E.C. Hourcade) and Simoun (Lt.Cdr. F. Hainguerlot) which had departed Gibraltar around 0810A/9, joined the convoy.

Around 1850A/10, the French destroyer Simoun was sent to Gibraltar with despatches. She arrived there around 0710A/11.

Around noon on the 11th, off Gibraltar, the British light cruiser HMS Galatea (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN) and the French destroyers Tramontaine (Cdr. R.M.J.A. Renault), Tornade (Lt.Cdr. R.G.A. Labat) and Typhon (Lt.Cdr. Y.M.J. Le Hagre).

HMS Ramillies, and the French destroyers Le Fortune and La Railleuse then proceeded to Gibraltar as did the liner Scythia. Apparently the French destroyers, including Simoun, later proceeded again to rejoin the convoy.

HMS Exmouth, HMS Eclipse, HMS Encounter and HMS Escapade most likely detached from the convoy on 12 September as they arrived at Gibraltar on the 14th via Oran.

The French destroyers were relieved near Malta on 14 September 1939 by the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN) and HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN). Also a French convoy (L 2), made up of the merchant vessels Sphinx (French, 11375 GRT, built 1915) and Ville de Strasbourg (French, 7007 GRT, built 1920), which had departed Marseilles on 12 September, joined the convoy for onward passage to Beirut. This French convoy had probably been escorted by the destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin), Cassard (Cdr. R.A.A. Braxmeyer) and Kersaint (Cdr. G.R.J. Rebuffel) which apparently also joined the convoy. The Durban Castle also detached off Malta at 1000B/14 and entered Valetta.

Around 1600B/15 the Clan Ferguson parted company. She was carrying important stores for Istanbul, Turkey. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN).

At 0700B/16, the Britannic, Duchess of Bedford, Montcalm, Reina del Pacifico and Strathaird were detached to Port Said.

the Orcades, Orford and Orion arrived at Alexandria in the evening of the 16th. HMS Galatea did not enter but went to the west to make rendezvous with the destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Garland of which the former was towing the later after she had been damaged by her own depth charges.

27 May 1940
In the evening, the Polish destroyer Blyskawica received orders to meet with the British destroyers HMS Gallant and HMS Vivacious to enter the small port of La Panne (in the Dunkirk area) and evacuate part of RAF personnel. Unfortunately, she failed to find her partners and didn't complete the task. Instead of this, she was ordered to enter Dunkirk harbour together with the British destroyer HMS Vega and conduct a night reconnaissance mission. The Admiralty wanted to find out, if this harbour (partially blocked by wrecks) may be useful in Allied evacuation. Both destroyers were attacked by two German aircraft, but inspected the positions of wrecks. After that, Admiral Ramsey learned that navy vessels are able to conduct evacuation from Dunkirk and sent part of them there. (1)

27 May 1940
At 0345A/27, HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN) departed Sheerness to patrol. Around 0600A/27, she made rendezvous with the destroyers ORP Blyscawica (Cdr. S.M. Nahorski), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. F.R.W. Parish, RN).

HMS Galatea returned to Sheerness around 2030A/27. The destroyer must have been detached during the course of the day. (2)

23 Jun 1940
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN). (3)

22 Sep 1940
While escorting convoy FN 288 from Southend to Methil HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) was damaged when a mine detonates nearby. Repairs take till mid-1941. Repairs were delayed due to bombing damage to the shipyard.

29 Aug 1941
Around 1300 hours HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN), HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN).

Off Scapa Flow they were joined by HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) which also took passage to Greenock.

30 Aug 1941
Around 1000 hours, HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN), HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) arrived at Greenock.

9 Sep 1941
Around 0600/9, the new and uncompleted battleship Duke of York (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN) departed the Clyde for the Rosyth Dockyard for furthrer outfitting. She was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyers HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN).

HMS Penelope was detached around 1330/10 to proceed to Scapa Flow where she arrived around 2145/10.

Around 1600/10, when off the boom to the Firth of Forth, HMS Lightning and HMS Icarus were detached. HMS Lightning proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving there around 0530/11. She had been delayed as when she was on passage to Scapa Flow she collided with the fishing trawler Strathgeldie (192 GRT, built 1911) around 2230/10 in position 58°12'N, 02°21'W. She then escorted the badly damaged trawler to Wick. HMS Lightning had sustained some minor damage herself. HMS Icarus proceeded to Immingham to refit, arriving there at 1015/11.

Duke of York and HMS Vivacious arrived at Rosyth around 1700/10. (4)

11 Sep 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (5)

13 Sep 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN).

During these exerices Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

15 Sep 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (5)

19 Sep 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (5)

4 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN), HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. D.H.F. Hetherington, RN) and Adrias. (7)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 53/112281 + ADM 199/375 + ADM 199/379
  3. ADM 173/16287
  4. ADM 53/114850 + ADM 199/399
  5. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 53/114892
  7. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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