Allied Warships

HMS Woolston (L 49)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

HMS Woolston as seen early in the war.
Photograph with thanks to Ian Dayment.

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantL 49 
ModFast escort 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered9 Dec 1916 
Laid down25 Apr 1917 
Launched27 Jan 1918 
Commissioned26 Jun 1918 
End service 

Reconstruction to Fast Escort at Chatham Dockyard was completed on 9 October 1939.

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


Commands listed for HMS Woolston (L 49)

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1Lt.Cdr. Walter John Phipps, RN5 Sep 193924 Apr 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Kenneth Walter Michell, RN24 Apr 1941Sep 1942
3Lt. Frederick William Hawkins, RNSep 1942Oct 1943
4Lt. Jack Broughton Cox, RNOct 1943May 1945
5Lt. John Valentine Brothers, RNMay 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Woolston include:

hi i have two more pics of H M S Woolston my dad served on her one pic is her at Bergen Norway at the end of the war showing the skipper and Mayor of Bergen (1)

Note the ineffective .5" machine guns later to be replaced by 20mm Oerlikons.

Twin 4" AA gun turret.

Photographs with thanks to Ian Dayment whose grandfather Albert Hodder (see last photo) served on board Woolston during the war. (1)

21 Oct 1939
HMS Woolston (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, RN) picks up 4 survivors from the British merchant Orsa that was sunk after hitting a mine about 15 miles 150° from Flamborough Head. The mine was laid on 5 September 1939 by German U-boat U-15.

19 Jul 1940
HMS Triton (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, DSC, RN) conducts exercises in the Firth of Forth with HMS Woolston (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN). (2)

24 Aug 1940
HMS Seawolf (Lt. P.L. Field, RN) conducted exercises off Rosyth. These included A/S exercises with HMS Woolston (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) and HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. R.W. Moir, RN). Also a practice attack was made on HMS Fleetwood. (3)

13 Jun 1943
HMS Sceptre (Lt. I.S. McIntosh, MBE, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Wallace (Lt. D. Carson, RN), and HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN) and HMS Woolston (Lt. F.W. Hawkins, RN). (4)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/16648
  3. ADM 173/16526
  4. ADM 173/18004

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

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