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

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- HMS Achates during the Second World War -

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HMS Achates

   HMS Achates, a A-Class Fleet Destroyer, was launched on the 4th October 1927 built by John Brown at Clydebank. From the outbreak of war she undertook convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol duties in English Channel with the 18th Destroyer Flotilla based at Portsmouth. In January 1940 she transferred to Western Approaches Command for Atlantic convoy duties, transferring to the 16th Destroyer Flotilla at Harwich for the month of July escorting convoys in the North Sea returning to the Atlantic convoys in August. She served with the Home Fleet between May and July of 1941, escorting the Battlecruisers through Scapa Flow on their way to intercept the Bismark and was damaged in July when she struck a British mine off Iceland whilst suffering engine faileur. 63 lives were lost and a further 25 suffered injuries. She was towed to Iceland for repairs and was towed to Skagekstjor in the Faeroes for further repair before sailing to the Tyne where she was repaired fully and converted for use as an Escort Destroyer.

She was recommissioned in April 1942 and took up convoy duty based at Greenock, the detached to the Home Fleet and escorted convoys to Russia. She returned to Greenock and Altantic duties in October and then transferred to the Central Task Force and took part in Operation Torch.

The ship was lost in the 31st of December 1942 during Operation Regenbogen, whilst providing a smoke screen she was hit by 11-inch shellfire from the Lutzow and Hipper, causing major damage and many casualties. She was taken under tow by HM Trawler Northern Gem, but the Achates rolled over and sank. Only 91 of the ships crew were rescued.


31st Dec 1942 Ship Attacked

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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Achates

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Bowe James. Ord.Sea. (d.25th Jul 1941)
  • Coster John William. Ldg. Sea. (d.31st Dec 1942)
  • James Arthur George. AbleSea. (d.25th July 1941)
  • Kendall Arthur. (d.31st Dec 1942)
  • Neve Albert Edward. Stkr/1st Cl. (d.25th July 1941)
  • Robinson Harry Bean. Sea. (d.31st Dec 1942)
  • Stratton George Charles. Sto1 (d.25th July 1941)

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 Achates  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Second World War.

Access our library

Ldg. Sea. John William " " Coster (d.31st Dec 1942)

Beryl Coster

Ord.Sea. James Bowe HMS Achates (d.25th Jul 1941)

am currently trying to resurch infomation on my greatgrandfather he served on the achates and was killed 25th july 1941

Kerry Dean

AbleSea. Arthur George James Stoker HMS Achates (d.25th July 1941)

Arthur James was my father. I did not know him and I am looking for a photo of him or anything about him.

Violet Tasker

Sea. Harry Bean Robinson HMS Achates (d.31st Dec 1942)

My grandfather once had a cousin, Harry Bean Robinson. He used to visit regularly with his mother weekly and they got on like best friends. When war broke out they both joined the Royal Navy and both allocated to different ships, my grandfather to the Warspite and Harry to the Achates. The war carried on for a further 2 years and my grandfather would often hear how Harry was getting on via his mother my great grandmother. Until 31st December 1942 when the Achates, Harry,and the rest of the crew onboard, encountered the German ships the Lutzow and Hipper whose objective was to sink the convoy to Russia they were escorting along with other destroyers.Whilst laying down a smoke screen for the convoy the Achates came under fire. As far as I know Harry was on the guncrew and was killed instantly and the Achates was so badly damaged that she had to be abandoned with 81 survivors being rescued. Harry along with other brave and honourable crew went down with the ship. My grandfather still can remember the day he found out about Harry's death and told me he was onboard the Warspite when he was called to speak to an Officer from which the news was broken to him. I asked him what his reaction was and his words were; 'I didn't have time to grieve it was war and I was expected to carry on with my duties.'

A while later my grandfather received a letter from his mother. To my grandfather's shock he found out that Harry in fact was not his cousin at all, but his half brother. My grandfather, who is still with us, has a photo of Harry on his wall and speaks about him all the time. I am so proud of my Grandfather and Great Uncle Harry Bean Robinson and not to forget all those that fought in the Great War. Every 31st December I raise a glass to Harry and will always remember him through my grandfather's stories and will pass them on to both my sons so as they remember the sacrifices that all those that took part in the war will not be forgotten.

Ryan Lynam

Sto1 George Charles Stratton HMS Achates (d.25th July 1941)

Stoker 1st Class Stratton is buried in the Seydisfjordur Cemetery in Iceland, Front Row, Grave 3.

S Flynn

Arthur Kendall HMS Achates (d.31st Dec 1942)

On the 31st of December 1942 HMS Achates was laying smoke to protect a convoy and was hit by the Admiral Hipper. 41 men were killed. That is probably when my Dad's twin brother Arthur Kendall was killed. My Granny said that at that moment the grandfather clock made a noise, like a crack, something brushed across the strings of the piano. The dog jumped up and ran across the room and jumped on her lap. Granny Kendall didn't make things up.

In memory of my Uncle Arthur who I never knew.

Christopher Kendall

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