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

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- HMS Anthony during the Second World War -

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HMS Anthony

   HMS Anthony was built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Greenock, Scotland. She was launched on the 24th April 1929

  • May 1940 HMS Anthony participated in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in May 1940.
  • Sept 1940 HMS Anthony rescued 8 survivors from the City of Benares, two adults and six children had been adrift in a lifeboat for 7 days.
  • May 1941 She took part in the search of the German battleship Bismarck
  • July 1941 HMS Anthony was serving in the Arctic, escorting the minelaying cruiser HMS Adventure to Murmansk, together they formed a unit of a much larger force which was involved in a British carrier raid on Kirkenes and Petsanio.
  • August 1941, Anthony joined Force K under Rear Admiral Vian, she escorted the troop transport Empress Of Canada to Spitsbergen in company with the cruisers HMS Aurora and HMS Nigeria, to evacuate the Norwegian and Soviet colonies there and destroy all the installations.
  • February 1942 HMS Anthony was in the Mediterranean, with Force H under Vice Admiral Syfret based at Gibraltar.
  • March 1942, HMs Anthony was one of a number of escort vessels for convoy WS-16 to South Africa from the UK with reinforcements.
  • April-May 1942, the destroyer served in the Indian Ocean area.
  • 5th May 1942, British marine commandos from HMS Anthony landed at Diago Surez, Madagascar.
  • 24 to 31 August 1942 HMS Anthony was docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa.
  • January & February 1944. HMS Anthony was based at Gibraltar.
  • May 1944. HMS Anthony was re-armed as an anti-submarine escort, with 4.7"guns only at A and X positions.
  • 24 December 1944, Anthony was performing escort duties in the North Atlantic and English Channel with four other escorts. U-486 succeeded in penetrating their screen and sank the troop transport Leopoldville
  • 1948 HMS Anthony was broken up at Troon.


    30th May 1940 Troops Evacuated

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

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Anthony

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Brooke Ronald. Capt.
  • Goffe Eric Clarence. P.O.
  • Hodges J. M.. Lt. Cmdr.
  • Nash Albert Sidney. Able Sea.
  • Port Thomas John. Able Sea.
  • Smith William Henry.

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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P.O. Eric Clarence Goffe DSC. HMS Anthony

My Grandfather, Eric Goffe, served on HMS Anthony for a time during WWII. He was awarded his DSC whilst serving on this ship. The story goes something like this:

HMS Anthony and HMS Wishart were patrolling just off Gibralter, some spotter planes were helping them detect U-boats using a new device called MAD. On the 24th of February 1944 they came across U-761 commanded by OB Horst Geider.

U-761 was at a depth of about 50 meters, proceeding submerged at "Dead Slow", when four explosions were heard. Prisoners later stated that they assumed these explosions to have been caused by aircraft bombs or depth charges as they sounded milder than regular depth charges dropped by surface craft. No appreciable damage was done by these explosions which however served notice on officers and men that their boat had been discovered. Some prisoners spoke of two, some of three depth charge attacks which followed the aircraft bomb explosions. In the confusion no count of the charges dropped on them could be obtained, but the consensus of opinion seemed to be that the last series of depth charges was the most damaging.

After the first depth charge attack, several of the crew stated that U-761 must have broken surface. Shortly before, the boat, for unexplained reasons, was heavy by the bow. The order to trim by blowing was given, but apparently U-761 was closer to the surface than indicated and she surfaced. The mistake was promptly realized and she dived again. According to prisoners either one or two more series were dropped on U-761. To the slighter damage of the first attacks were added the following which were the compelling reasons for giving up the boat: All electrical installations, including the batteries and the electric motors, were damaged and non-operative; the main switchboard was broken to pieces and thrown on the floor plates; the hydrophones and all radio apparatus were smashed, the former by one of the early depth charge attacks; compressors were wrenched loose from the straps; water entered the boat temporarily through a loose valve in the main drain pump; the clutch between the Diesels and the electric motors were jammed; high pressure air lines were ruptured. Photographs of the sinking show a large air bubble rising near the stern of the U-boat.

Quite apart from these damages, alone sufficient to make evasive action impossible, the air inside the boat had become quite foul, the lights except for the emergency lights were out and one prisoner even said that there was a slight smell of chlorine in the boat. Clearly, the situation was hopeless and after a quick consultation between Geider and Lendle, his engineer officer, the order to surface and to prepare for abandoning ship was given.

About 15 minutes after the first attack, U-761 broke surface and her crew began abandoning ship. None of her deck guns were fired. The engineer officer attached a scuttling charge to a torpedo in the stern compartment. He and the commanding officer were the last to leave the U-boat through the conning tower. Apparently confused, the engineer officer swam towards the submerged stern of U-761 although his commander shouted warnings. When the torpedo exploded, Lendle was injured by the underwater blast and dies in the arms of Geider who had come to his assistance. While the crew was abandoning ship, destroyers nearly opened fire and several planes dropped additional depth charges. Some men were killed and others suffered injuries. U-761 sank about 5 minutes after the crew had started to abandon her.

All I have is a dispatch sent to my grandfather saying "Good show Guns!!" I think that being mentioned in a dispatch is one of the requirements for being awarded a DSC. In all my trawling through online documents I have never been able to find a mention of my Grandfather during this action or the exact details of his involvement. This seems a bit odd as he was awarded such a high honour.

Steve Goffe

Able Sea. Albert Sidney Nash HMS Anthony

My great uncle, Albert Sidney Nash, served on HMS Anthony during WWII. He had also served during WWI.

Christopher Allen

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