Allied Warships

HMS Polyanthus (K 47)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 47 
Built byHenry Robb Ltd. (Leith, U.K.) 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down19 Mar 1940 
Launched30 Nov 1940 
Commissioned24 Apr 1941 
Lost21 Sep 1943 
Loss position57° 00'N, 31° 10'W

At 0022 hours on 21 Sepember 1943 the German U-952 fired a Gnat at an escort of the convoy ON-202 and heard after three minutes a detonation, followed by sinking noises. HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. John Gordon Aitken, RNR) was hit and sank immediately at position 57º00'N, 31º10'W. The British frigate HMS Itchen picked up one survivor, but he died when the frigate was torpedoed and sunk two days later by U-666.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 21 Sep 1943 by U-952 (Curio).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Polyanthus

Commands listed for HMS Polyanthus (K 47)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt. Arthur Hague, RNRearly 194125 Jun 1942
2Lt.Cdr. Raymond Spurr Holland, RNR25 Jun 19428 Jan 1943
3T/Lt. John Gordon Aitken, RNR8 Jan 194321 Sep 1943 (+)

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Notable events involving Polyanthus include:

HMS POLYANTHUS K47, was sunk during the convoy ON.202, on the 20th of September, 1943. 30% of K47's company were rescued by the River Class Frigate HMS ITCHEN K227-told to me by one of two of K227's survivors; Peter Flood A/B S.T.(Able Seaman Torpedoman). The other survivor of K227 was P.O.E.R.A.(Petty Officer Engine Room Artificer)Bill Clarke; told to me by Peter Flood; i have a photo of these two sailors. The lone survivor of H.M.C.S. ST. CROIX I81, was William Fisher-Stoker First Class. When K227 was sunk by U-666, Flood, Clarke and Fisher were rescued by the Polish Merchant Ship, S.S. WISLA. Brian 'Canuck' Murza, W.W.II Naval Researcher/Author. (1)

18 Feb 1942
HMS L 27 (Lt.Cdr. R.M.E. Pain, RN) departed St.John's, Newfoundland for Philadelphia, U.S.A. She was escorted by HMS Polyanthus (Lt. A. Hague, RNR). She however lost contat with her escort he following day. (2)

2 May 1942
HMS Polyanthus (Lt. A. Hague, RNR) picks up 12 survivors from a lifeboat of the British merchant Derryheen that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-201 on 22 April about 300 nautical miles west of Bermuda in position 31°20'N, 70°35'W.

8 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR), HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (3)

16 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RNR) and HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR). (4)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/17305
  3. ADM 173/17927
  4. ADM 173/17786

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

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