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

The Wartime Memories Project

- HMS Kingston during the Second World War -

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HMS Kingston


HMS Kingston

HMS Kingston was commissioned at Cowes Isle of White. Initially it was resplendent all white and we were ready for a trip with the fleet visiting the cities and towns the ships were named after.

Due to the imminent outbreak of war the vessels were painted battleship grey and we were transferred to Portland for working up. With 5 DF- The Home Fleet was sent to Scapa Flow on blockage duty between Shetlands and Iceland and together with sister ships Kashmir and Icarus we sank the submarine U35 east of the Shetlands. Lieutenant Commander Somerville received the DSO for this action.

The Kashmir and Kingston rescued the submarine crew and the Kingston had part of the crew on board for several weeks until we reached Gourock where the POWs where handed over.

We went to Falmouth for a boiler clean and small refit, which lasted about 6 weeks. From Falmouth we were sent to Harwich where it was thought we were getting ready for the evacuation from France, we were only there for a few days, then sent to Plymouth. We were issued with white uniforms and knew that we were going foreign.


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Those known to have sailed in

HMS Kingston

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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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John Edward Marchant HMS Kingston

My father, John Edward Marchant, was the buffer aboard HMS Kingston, autumn 1939 to early 1942. He was mentioned in dispatches to HM King George VI for his part in the towing of the SS Imperial Transport, which broke in two after being torpedoed in the North Sea. It was towed to Scotland at 4 knots where a new forward half was built. In 1949 it was sold to Norway and renamed RONA.

Father was injured ashore at Alexandria and HMS Kingston sailed to Malta without him where it was hit by a bomb on the range finder, his action station. He then assisted with the navigation of a merchant cruiser to negotiate the Tobruk run, but survived its sinking 5 miles out of Tobruk to swim ashore. Found fit after his swim, he was handed a rifle and joined the soldiers besieged at Tobruk until it was relieved.

Father survived the war having been mined twice during D Day operations while serving in a mine sweeper. He died in 1983 aged 81.

John Edwin Marchant

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