Allied Warships

HMS Holderness (L 48)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type I) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type I) 
PennantL 48 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered21 Mar 1939 
Laid down29 Jun 1939 
Launched8 Feb 1940 
Commissioned10 Aug 1940 
End service 

Scrapped at Preston on 20 November 1956.


Commands listed for HMS Holderness (L 48)

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.

George Pepys Huddart, RN30 Jan 1941
1Lt.Cdr. Douglas Eric Holland-Martin, DSC, RN15 May 194030 Jan 1941
2Cdr. Frederick John Crosby Halahan, DSC, RN30 Jan 194113 Jan 1942
3Lt. Archibald John Ramsay White, RN13 Jan 194224 Aug 1943
4Lt. Richard George Ralph Clay, RN24 Aug 1943early 1944

5Lt. Philip Frederick Cole, DSC, RN2 Apr 19448 Sep 1945
6Lt. Derek George Smeeton, RN8 Sep 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Holderness include:

4 Sep 1940
Around 1230A/4, HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN), HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and HMS Southampton (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth for immingham. They were escorted by the escort destroyer HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN).

The escort was reinforced around 2000A/4 by the destroyers HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) which had come from Immingham to rendez-vous with the cruisers and escort them in.

All ships, minus HMS Holderness which was detached shortly before arriving, arrived at Immingham, where they had been diverted to, shortly before midnight.

The cruisers were sent to Immingham for anti-invasion duty. (1)

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)

12 Dec 1940
After a delay of 24 hours due to a reported enemy submarine the British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN) departed Portsmouth for Rosyth where she was to complete her reconstruction.

She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Cattistock (Lt.Cdr R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) and HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN).

Around 1600A/13 the original escort was relieved by the destroyer HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Lampard, RN), HMS Pytchley (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC, RN) and HMS Southdown (Cdr. E.R. Condor, DSO, DSC, RN).

At 1630A/14 the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN) and the AA cruiser HMS Curacoa (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) joined the escort coming from Scapa Flow.

The battleship and her escort arrived at Rosyth around 1330A/15. HMS Nigeria had parted company around 1115A/15 and arrived back at Scapa Flow later the same day.

19 Oct 1941
Around 1145A/19, HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN), departed Southend for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Holderness (Cdr. F.J.C. Halahan, DSC, RN) and HMS Quorn (Lt. E.A.F. Drought, RN).

HMS Quorn parted company around 0225A/20 and HMS Holderness around 0600A/20.

HMS Cumberland arrived at Scapa Flow, to commence a post-refit work-up programme, around 1600A/20. (3)

13 Nov 1941
HMS Sunfish departed Sheerness for Portsmouth still in tow of HMS Stalwart. They were escorted by HMS Holderness (Cdr. F.J.C. Halahan, DSC, RN). (4)

14 Jul 1945
The light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Serapis (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. R.D. Franks, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zealous (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Zodiac (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth to make rendezvous with the US Heavy cruiser USS Augusta (T/Capt. J.H. Foskett, USN) and the light cruiser USS Philadelphia (T/Capt. R.L. Boller, USN). On board the USS Augusta was President Truman which was en-route to Antwerp, Belgium.

Rendezvous was made in the morning and the ships then proceeded in company westwards through the English Channel.

In the early evening the British ships parted company near the North Goodwin Buoy. Shortly aftewards the escort destroyers HMS Garth (Capt. W.G. Davis, DSC, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt. C.G.deL. Bush, RN) and HMS Holderness (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F. Cole, DSC, RN) joined the US ships to escort them to Antwerp where they arrived in the morning of the 15th. (5)


  1. ADM 53/111579 + ADM 53/112668 + ADM 53/113256 + ADM 199/385
  2. ADM 53/112284 + ADM 199/375 + ADM 199/379
  3. ADM 53/113998
  4. ADM 199/400
  5. ADM 53/121007 + ADM 199/1440 + Log of USS Augusta

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

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