Allied Warships

HMS Vivien (L 33)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantL 33 
ModFast escort 
Built byYarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid downJul 1916 
Launched16 Feb 1918 
Commissioned28 May 1918 
End service 

Reconstruction to Fast Escort at Chatham Dockyard completed on 25 October 1939.

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 18 February 1947.


Commands listed for HMS Vivien (L 33)

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.

1Lt.Cdr. William David Gordon Weir, RN19 Sep 19396 Jul 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Stephen Halden Beattie, RN6 Jul 19409 Jan 1942
3Lt.Cdr. Rowland Francis Leonard, RN9 Jan 194212 Mar 1943
4Lt. Lesley Edney Blackmore, RN12 Mar 19433 Feb 1945
5T/A/Lt.Cdr. Stanley Martin Booker, RNVR3 Feb 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Vivien include:

21 Nov 1939
Light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN) and HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) departed Rosyth around 0915A/21 for gunnery exercises off the Firth of Forth. The destroyer HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Cresswell, DSC, RN) was with them.

At 1059A/21, HMS Belfast detonated a magnetic mine in approximate position 56°05'N, 02°32'W. The mine had been laid on November 4th by the German submarine U-21.

HMS Belfast was badly damaged with her back broken. She was towed to the Rosyth Dockyard by the tugs Krooman, Bramham, Grangebourne and Oxcar. Tug Bulger was standing by as was the escort destroyer HMS Vivien (Lt.Cdr. W.D.G. Weir, RN). HMS Belfast was immediately docked in No.2 Dock. HMS Belfast, which had a broken back was out of action for about three years during which the ship was reconstruced.

15 Feb 1940
Late in the evening HMS Jackal (Cdr. T.M. Napier, RN) departed the Tyne to reinforce the escort of convoy FS 97 (Tyne-Southend) which was made up of the destroyer HMS Vivien (Lt.Cdr. W.D.G. Weir, RN) and the sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. L.A.K. Boswell, DSO, RN). The convoy had departed the Tyne also on the 15th.

The convoy arrived at Southend on the 17th.

HMS Jackal had bee detached earlier and arrived at Immingham very late on the 16th. (1)

16 Jun 1940
HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. H.A.V. Haggard, RN) departed from Rosyth for exercises in the Firth of Forth together with ORP Wilk. Truant also makes several dummy attacks on HMS Vivien. After the exercises Truant departed from for her 9th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Trondheim area. Later patrol is shifted to the Stavanger area.

For the daily positions of HMS Truant during this patrol see the map below.


18 Feb 1941

Convoy SL 66.

This convoy departed Freetown on 18 February 1941 and arrived in U.K. waters on 14 March 1941.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Ardenvohr (British, 5025 GRT, built 1940), Benlomond (British, 6630 GRT, built 1922), Benvenue (British, 5920 GRT, built 1927), Berbery (British, 5248 GRT, built 1919), Berhala (Dutch, 6622 GRT, built 1927), Bothnia (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), Bradglen (British, 4741 GRT, built 1930), British Colony (British (tanker), 6917 GRT, built 1927), British Desteny (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), British Power (British (tanker), 8451 GRT, built 1936), British Pride (British (tanker), 7106 GRT, built 1931), British Resolution (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), Cape Wrath (British, 4512 GRT, built 1940), Darlington Court (British, 4974 GRT, built 1936), Egba (British, 4989 GRT, built 1914), Esneh (British, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Etrib (British, 1943GRT, built 1919), Glendene (British, 4412 GRT, built 1929), Glenpark (British, 5136 GRT, built 1939), Gold Shell (British (tanker), 8208 GRT, built 1931), Harpasa (British, 5082 GRT, built 1934), Hjalmar Wessel (British, 1742 GRT, built 1935), Hoogkerk (British, 5132 GRT, built 1911), Kerma (British, 4333 GRT, built 1928), Kingbury (British, 4898 GRT, built 1937), Lord Cochrane (British, 4157 GRT, built 1934), Lynton Grange (British, 5029 GRT, built 1937), Marita (Norwegian, 1931 GRT, built 1919), Meropi (Greek, 4181 GRT, built 1911), Norman Monarch (British, 4718 GRT, built 1937), O.A. Kundsen (Norwegian (tanker), 11007 GRT, built 1938), Ornefjell (British, 1334 GRT, built 1937), Peterston (British, 4680 GRT, built 1925), Petter (Norwegian (tanker), 9109 GRT, built 1935), River Afton (British, 5479 GRT, built 1935), Salamis (Norwegian (tanker), 8286 GRT, built 1939), Salvus (British, 4815 GRT, built 1928), Serbino (British, 4099 GRT, built 1919), Sir Ernest Cassel (British, 7739 GRT, built 1910), Sobo (British, 5353 GRT, built 1937), Somme (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919), South Wales (British, 5619 GRT, built 1929), Temple Yard (British, 5205 GRT, built 1937), Toward (British (rescue ship), 1571 GRT, built 1923), Trevorian (British, 4599 GRT, built 1920), Ulla (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930) and Warfield (British, 6070 GRT, built 1917).

[It is possible some of these ships did not sail from Freetown but joined the convoy at sea.]

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Comorin (Capt.(Retd.) J.I. Hallett, DSO, RN).

Around 1345N/3, the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 0700N/8, the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Cousins, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski) joined.

Around 1800N/9, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), escort destroyer HMS Vivien (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Beattie, RN) and the corvettes HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. J.F.C. Bartley, DSC, RNR), HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR) and HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A. Ayre, RNR).

At 1915Z/9, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy but she rejoined it at 2000A/10 after having been ordered to do so. While absent from the convoy HMS Kenya sighted and engaged a German Focke Wulf aircraft but it was not damaged and disappeared to the east.

At 2000A/11, HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 14 March 1941.

17 Feb 1942
Around 1130A/17, Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN), departed North Shields for Rosyth where she arrived around 1930A/7. She was escorted by HMS Vivien (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN). (3)

1 Jun 1943
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) conducted A/S exercises in the Firth of Forth with HMS Leeds (Lt. B.H. Brown, RN), HMS Lady Beryl and HMS Stella Conopus (T/Skr. L. Ford, RNR). HMS Vivien (Lt. L.E. Blackmore, RN). (4)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/112488 + ADM 199/362
  2. ADM 199/1861
  3. ADM 53/115971
  4. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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