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HMS Acasta in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMS Acasta during the Second World War -

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HMS Acasta

   HMS Acasta was a Destroyer, she was launched on 8th August 1929, having been built by John Brown at Clydebank. Her war service began with the 18th Destroyer Flotilla undertaking convoy defence in the English Channel being based at Plymouth. In April 1940 she joined the Home Fleet, 1st Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow and supported military operations in Norway. She was lost on the 8th of June 1940 sunk by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, whilst on escort duty from Norway. 160 lives were lost and there was only one survivor.


8th June 1940 Norway evacuation destroyed at sea

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Acasta

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Bennett Alfred. Ldg.Sea.
  • Carter Cyril G.. Ldg Seaman.
  • Grey Terence Edward William. Able Seaman (d.8th Jun 1940)
  • Jones William . Stoker (d.8th June 1940)
  • Lightwood Thomas. Stoker 1st Class (d.8th June 1940)
  • Stewart George Duncan. Sea. (d.8th Jun 1940)
  • Young Charles Herbert. Able Sea. (d.8th June 1940)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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There are 1 pages in our library tagged HMS Acasta  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

Access our library

Ldg Seaman. Cyril G. "Nicki" Carter HMS Acasta

Cyril Carter was the only survivor of the lost of the Acasta in 1940. His experiences are told in the book: The Man Who Hit the "Scharnhorst" the Ordeal of Leading Seaman Carter, by John Austin.

Stoker William Jones (d.8th June 1940)

I don't really know a lot about my uncle Willam Jones, he was from a little town called Neyland in Pembrokeshire, He was 19 when he got killed on the the ship known as the Acasta. My mum who was only young herself said that he worked down in the engine room as a stoker.

Angela Parry

Stoker 1st Class Thomas Lightwood HMS Acasta (d.8th June 1940)

Tommy Lightwood was my Grandfathers brother, he went down with 1500 others when the HMS Glorious, Ardent and Acasta were attacked on 8th June 1940. He was 19 years old. My uncle was named after him and that is as much as I know, any other info would be gladly received.

Able Seaman Terence Edward William Grey HMS Acasta (d.8th Jun 1940)

Terence Grey was only 20 years old when he died in Battle, along with his shipmates who were also only doing their duty for King and Country. Such a waste of lives, when will we learn that War is not the answer? A tribute then, to all of those who have served in all Battles for Freedom. And to my Uncle Terence, Thank you.

Ann Krolzig

Sea. George Duncan Stewart HMS Acasta (d.8th Jun 1940)

I have only just recently found out that my Uncle George died on the Acasta in 1940. I have the information that he had a wife Maggie L.M. Don't know much else, just wondering if I have any cousins etc. from this marriage.

Helen Stewart-Watt

Ldg.Sea. Alfred "Wiggy" Bennett HMS Acasta

My father, Alfred Bennett, was in the Royal Navy during WW II having served aboard a number of ships. He was just 19 years old. His job was "higher submarine detector" and his first ship was the "Acasta" then the "Coventry" and many more. He was aboard the "Coventry" when it was bombed on New Year's Day, 1940. The Germans dropped bombs alongside the ship and it sprung a leak. From there they went to the south of England for repairs.

He told me of being on board the HMS Havock when it was shelled by a battleship two miles off the coast of Gibraltar. He said he swam to shore and was taken by the Vichy French to a POW camp. They were taken to Tunis across the Atlas mountans to Algeria. He said that they were taken by train over very steep mountains. "You could look right over the edge of the tracks straight down". His Royal Navy papers record him as "missing presumed interred - H.M.S. Havock." Then there's a little note that reads "now safe in the U.K." He also told me of a game that they played during free time called "Tom Bowler". I wish that I had paid more attention or had asked more questions so that I could pass this part of our family history on to future generations.

If your veteran is still alive, I hope that you can take the opportunity to talk to them about their experience in the war(s).

Jackie Bennett Short

Able Sea. Charles Herbert Young HMS Acasta (d.8th June 1940)

Charles Young was in the Navy during WW1 and he went on to become a Minesweeper. He was recalled for WW2. Charles was a tramcar driver in Leeds for 22 years.

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.

Man Who Hit the "Scharnhorst" : Ordeal of Leading Seaman Nick Carter

John Austin

In June 1940, Leading Seaman Cyril Nick Carter was serving in the British destroyer H.M.S. Acasta when she and her sister-ship H.M.S. Ardent were ordered to escort the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Glorious from Norway back to Britain. En route, German warships attacked and sank all three ships with the loss of more than 1500 lives. From Acasta's ships company of 161 men, there was only one survivor: Nick Carter. a vivid, moving and thought-provoking account of a deeply tragic and very controversial episode in the history of the Royal Navy, which places very intense personal recollections from a survivor of the battle in the context of a review of the events surrounding the Norwegian campaign.


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