(Above) Lieut. Com. J. P. Scatchard on the bridge of HMS Garth.

(Right) "Mess Life" It shows the crowded conditions on board. 

Thank you to Gordon Campbell, for the following photographa, whose Grandfather Duncan Campbell, served on HMS Garth. 

The report reads that the Garth suffered six direct hits with 40 mm shells.

While escorting a convoy in the North Sea, was accidentally fired on by an accompanying destroyer as the result of mistaken identity when searching for suspected E boats. The ship received six direct hits on the port side from pom-pom shells.

One hit the forward magazine below the waterline and penetrated several 4 inch charges which were ignited and started a cordite fire. The magazine was flooded, partly as a result of the shell entry hole being below water, and partly by deliberate flooding to extinguish the fire.

A second hit on the port Oerlikon gun caused slight mechanical damage.

A third hit the forward boiler room below the waterline. The boiler room was flooded and all steam and electrical power failed due to the contamination of feed water to the after boiler room. A fourth burst in the engine room near the port turbo generator and fractured its exhaust steam pipe. High and low-power electric cables were also cut.

A fifth burst near the escape hatch to the engine and gearing room and severed telephone cables.

A sixth hit the steering compartment but did no appreciable damage.

Fighting Efficiency - Seriously impaired, GARTH was immobilised and had to be towed back to port.

BATESON, Edward, Able Seaman, D/SSX 15209, Died of Wounds.
CONDELL, William H, Ordinary Seaman, D/SSX 36505, Died of Wounds.

Aug 1942. Returned to 21st Destroyer Flotilla a Sheerness, after a short time at Harwich. She continued convoy escort duty until detached to take part in the Dieppe Raid.

18 Aug 1942. Escorted Landing Craft to Dieppe on the French coast.

19 Aug 1942. Provided covering gun fire for landing craft at Blue beach, Dieppe.

Damage Report

The crew of the Garth  unloading fish caught on one of the small tenders. You can see a fish, mid-throw, near the bottom of the picture. Duncan Campbell is in the middle-bottom of the crowd with the beard and cap, looking up at the camera.

HMS Garth was laid down on 8th June 1939 and launched on 14th February 1940. She was adopted by the civil community of Wokingham in Berkshire.

HMS Garth is named after the Garth Fox Hunt  which meets mostly in Berkshire and Hampshire, and locally at Barkham Square and Newlands. The Garth Hunt was in turn named after Thomas Colleton Garth of Haines Hill who was Master of his own hounds from 1852-1902. As well as regularly hunting foxes, the Garth Hunt organized their own point to point races. The first in 1904.

Newspaper report, 20 February 1943. Oerlikon gunner Duncan Campbell is third from the left.

Binkie, the ships cat with his own hammock (which includes Binkie's name and the Garth's number.)

Above, Duncan Campbell (without beard) standing to the right of the model maker in the middle's shoulder (the builder's right shoulder), he has his arm resting on the cases on the left of the photograph.

Left, transferring  mail between ships.

HMS GARTH (L 20) - Type I, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer
BATTLE HONOURS

NORTH SEA 1941-45 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1942-44 - DIEPPE 1942 - NORMANDY 1944

BADGE.

On a field red, a pendant from a cross-crosslet fitchy white, a bugle horn stringed Gold.

Officers and crew of HMS Garth which sank the E-boat. The dog was rescued from the E-boat. Third from the left is Duncan Campbell who was an Oerlikon gunner.

British destroyer smashes E-boat formation: Germans saved from blazing boat. 18 February 1943, Harwich, the British hunt class destroyer, HMS Garth smashed up a formation of E-boats which made an unsuccessful attack on a convoy in the North Sea. The enemy boats were sighted by the light of a star shell fired from HMS Montrose and tried to evade action, the Garth's pom-poms broke up the formation scoring hits on one of the e-boats. An E-boat burst into flames and came to a standstill with ammunition exploding on board. Seven of the German crew and a dog seen on the deck were rescued by the destroyer's whaler.

Convoy, escorted by HMS Garth, being shelled from the French Coast.

(Pathe News Commentary) “Their shells come screeching in from twenty miles away sending up great columns of water.”

HMS Garth L20 escorting a convoy off Sheppey. Note the ship born Barrage Balloon.

Displacement:   1,000 tons
Length:                 278 feet (85 metres)
Beam:                   28 feet (8.8 metres)
Draught:              10 feet 9 inches (3.27 metres)
Speed:                  27.5 knots (31 MPH, 50.9 km/h)
Range:                  3500 nautical miles (6,500 Kilometres) at 15 knots.
                                1000 nautical miles (1840 Kilometres) at 26 knots.
Power:                 3 x water-tube boilers.
Propulsion:         2 x shafts, 2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers.
Complement:    146 Officers and men
Torpedo tubes: None
Guns:                    4 × QF 4 in (102 mm) Mk XVI guns
                                4 × QF 2 pound (40mm) on Quad mounts.
                                2 x 20mm Oerlikon Anti-aircraft guns on single mounts.
                                40 depth charges, 2 throwers, 1 rack.

Additionally, Hunt Class Destroyers engaged on East Coast convoy work, the Type ones and the Type twos were fitted with a single QF 2 pounder "bow chaser" gun for anti-E-boat work.

Garth's single QF 2 pounder "bow chaser" gun for anti-E-boat work.

5 Aug 1940. HMS Garth with two other destroyers and the Cruisers HMS Calcutta and Barkley escorted the 1st Minelaying Squadron while it laid a minefield in the South West Approaches to the Irish Sea (Operation SN32).

8 August 1940. HMS Garth joined the 21st Destroyer Flotilla at Sheerness.

22nd August 1940. Almost at once the Garth came under fire from the enemy when escorting a convoy through the Straits of Dover she laid a smoke screen to hide the convoy from gun fire from the German occupied French coast.

Wounded prisoners being taken off HMS Garth after action with E-boats.

One Direct Hit 3.7-inch Shell (ii) One Direct Hit 2 pounder direct action fused Shell (iii) Near Miss Bombs.

Garth sustained two direct shell hits and several near misses.

The direct hit by the 3.7-inch shell pierced the transmitting station and charthouse but did not explode. Several electric leads in the T.S. were severed and the echo sounding receiver broken. Type 286P and type 86 sets were out of action due to splinter damage. The direct hit by the 2 pounder occurred on the 2 pounder multiple pom-pom but the damage was not serious and the gun was able to fire. Further superficial damage was caused by splinters from "shorts". Near miss bombs which fell fractured several inlet and discharge pipes and caused minor shock damage.

Fighting Efficiency – Slightly impaired.

The Damage Report also shows that;

HMS Bleasdale and HMS Albrighton both took minor damage from shells and bombs.

 HMS Calpe sustained minor damage from near misses by bombs and was out of action for nine days.

HMS Fernie was hit by a shell which put the director out of action.

HMS Brocklesby came under heavy fire and was repeatedly hit. Both engines were put out of action and the ship grounded by the stern.

HMS Berkeley sustained two direct hits on the starboard side of the upper deck just forward of the bridge. The ship's back was broken and the fore end was flooded. The vessel was abandoned with a heavy list to starboard and trim by the bow and was finally sunk by our own forces.

20 Aug 1942. Provided covering gun fire for remaining landing craft as they left Dieppe and returned to England.

History shows that the Canadians had it bad when they landed at Dieppe but the damage to the above ships shows that the Royal Navy had it bad also. 

As he helped the wounded troops on board HMS Garth, Les Jones’s overalls became so badly soaked in blood that he simply took them off and threw them into the sea.

17 Feb 1943. While escorting a Convoy which came under attack by German E-boats HMS Garth shelled and then rammed and sank the S71 a Type 1939/40 Schnellboot.

18 Feb 1943. HMS Garth picked up German voices on her Type 286 ASV (RDF) “headache” radio.

She made the following ciphered W/T (Morse) signals.

Intermediate Confidential Code, to Yarmouth W/T Station.

0051 Three E-boats bearing 010 one mile distance my position 3C buoy.

0059 E-boats driven off in general direction course 180. My position 130 3C Buoy one mile.

0125 One e-boat heavily damaged and on fire. Have lost touch with remainder. My position 170 4 Buoy eight miles.

To C-in-C Nore.

0205 Have seven prisoners on board. E-boat left on fire in position 158 4 Buoy seven miles. Intend to investigate at daylight. 

To Kittiwake.

0208 Am closing you. My position 3C.

Intermediate Secret Code, to C-in-C Nore.

0310 E-boats minelaying, each carrying six mines. No information yet as to whether mines had been laid before boats were flushed in Position 000 3C Buoy by one and a half miles.

To Harwich.

0905 Have seven survivors to land on arrival, one seriously wounded, remainder minor wounds, eleven killed and two critically wounded including two officers were left on board E-boat.

CREW OF HMS GARTH
(Photographs kindly supplied by Gail Fynes daughter of Frank Roden)
If you can identify any other crew members please contact us at Johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk

HMS Garth and HMS Fernie  laying smoke screen as cover for convoy.

(Pathe News Commentary) “Meanwhile the convoys escorting warships lay down a heavy smoke screen with which to blot out all sight of our vessels.”
 To see Pathe News, go here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-n23Ee7rAk

HMS Garth and HMS Fernie were escorting convoy CE9 through the English Channel. As it passed Hythe twelve explosions appeared amongst the ships of the convoy. The Fernie reported they were being bombed, but no aircraft were to be seen. Three, four-gun salvoes had been fired from the Gris Nez battery in France. Other than for testing and ranging the guns, this was the first time they had been fired in anger.

The guns were silent for an hour before they opened up again as the convoy approached Dover. Altogether 108 shells were fired at the convoy. Garth and Fernie sped along the flank of the convoy making smoke to hide the cargo vessels and fall of shot from spotters trying to range in on the convoy.

The convoy was also attacked by twelve dive bomber, but escort and convoy passed through the straights unscathed.

A 14-inch gun at St Margaret’s opened fire directly at the Graz Nez battery. Three rounds fell close to the battery and it ceased firing.

Between each flash of the German guns there was a terrifying 32 second wait for the shell to land and explode.

31 August 1940. The Nore Command (including the Sheerness and Harwich Destroyers) were placed on alert when sound information suggested that the German Fleet was emerging from the Zuider Zee in occupied Holland. The Harwich Destroyers went to reconnoitre and the Sheerness followed to support them.

The 20th Destroyer flotilla, based at Immingham during that phase of WW2, sailed out towards the Dutch coast through Gap D in the British Mine Barrier. Arriving off the Texel Islands they ran into an uncharted German minefield.

HMS Express, HMS Esk and HMS Ivanhoe all struck mines. The Express had her whole front section blown off with the loss of her Captain, J.G. Bickford and ninety of her crew. The Esk sunk immediately with the loss of her Captain and crew. There was only one survivor! The Ivanhoe was only slightly damaged but as she tried to take off the wounded from the Express she hit a second mine which broke her back with the loss of fifty-three of her crew.

HMS Garth arrived at this devastation to assist in the rescue of the crews and the recovery of what remained. The Garth also provided anti-submarine and anti-aircraft cover  for HMS Kelvin which was towing HMS Express. Closer to occupied Holland than to England and in easy range of the Luftwaffe it took over twenty-four hours to tow the Express to the Humber.

During the day, while the rescue attempt of the stricken vessels was taking place, two German Dornier seaplanes circled out of anti-aircraft range. Surprisingly they did not attack. This lead Mountbatten to comment, “Perhaps their crews were not Nazis.” That night a Blohm and Voss HA 138 did attack, but fortunately its bombs missed the British ships. The Blohm and Voss HA 138 is a three engine sea plane which was armed with two 20 mm MG 151 cannon and carried 6 x 50kg bombs.

Altogether the loss of life was almost three hundred, with over four hundred casualties including the wounded and those taken prisoner.

In the event it had not been the German Fleet emerging from the Zuider Zee, it was a costal convoy.

September 1940. The Nore Command was on full alert as the German Invasion fleet built up across the channel. The number of invasion barges at Ostend had reached a peak of 205 barges, with over 1,600 barges and other vessels in total in the occupied channel ports. That night and the following, HMS Aurora and three destroyers from sheerness searched the French coast around Calais but found no evidence of a German invasion.

12 Sep 1940. The 21st flotilla, Campbell, Garth and Vesper operated off the Dutch coast attacking invasion vessels.

15 Oct 1940.  HMS Garth escorted HMS EREBUS to Dunkirk. Other British ships also bombarded the German occupied ports where invasion vessels were being assembled.

16th Oct 40. Erebus a 15in gun Monitor being escorted by Garth (Sheerness) and Walpole (Harwich) left their departure point the north Goodwin light and arrived off Calais on the French coast at 23.40 Garth and Walpole laid a white smoke screen and Erebus commenced firing at 01.00 firing fifty 15-inch shells.

1 Dec 1941. HMS Garth was damaged after detonating a mine in Thames Estuary.

Jan 1941. Under repair.

March 1941. Ran aground and suffered considerable structural underwater damage.

April 1941. Under Repair.

May, June, July 1941. At Rosyth for escort duties with East Coast convoys.

23 July 1941. GARTH was escorting a convoy when many bombs were dropped around her during an air attack and minor damage was caused by one near miss bomb. The keep plates to 4 in No. turbine sliding feet were fractured.

Fighting Efficiency - Slightly impaired. Speed was reduced due to damaged keep plate

Officers from HMS Garth with captured  ensign from German E-boat. Surgeon Lieutenant R G Moore, RNVR, of Exmouth, Devon; Lieutenant D G Bilsand, RNVR, of Sheerness; Sub Lieutenant J G L Jackson, RN, of Bilbury, Glos;
and Sub Lieutenant I. A Weatherseed, RNVR, of St Leonards.

Photographs  Ian Muir Doull. 

Above HMS Garth Escorting an East Coast Convoy.

Right top, Garth laying smoke when a Channel convoy is under attack from shore batteries. 

Left bottom, keeping a sharp lookout for enemy aircraft.


5 Feb 1944. HMS Garth towed the damaged Escort Carrier HMS SLINGER back to Sheerness after she was mined off Lowestoft on passage from Sheerness to Clyde. (Although it is probable she was towed by tugs and HMS Garth stood guard.)

​​6 June 1944.D-Day. Together with HMS Meynell and the Corvettes Camellia and Charlock escorted Convoy ETM1 to Normandy Landing Beaches. Convoy ETM1 included 12 Liberty Ships (Motor Transport Ships) 5 LST’s (Landing Craft Tank). Two Mulberry Harbour Control ships joined the convoy at Selsea Bill and 12 LCI’s (Landing Craft Infantry) joined off the Isle of Wight.

7 June 1944. HMS Garth with convoy ENM1 arrive off the D-day beaches.

8 June ongoing. Escorted Follow-up Convoys to the D-day landing beaches.

1 Oct 1944. Together with HMS Cottesmore gave covering fire for the Walcheren landings. This cleared the enemy from the banks of the Scheldt Estuary allowing the Wildfire 3 (Queenborough) minesweepers the clear the mines and open up Antwerp to shipping. This allowed the swift relief of Holland and the shortening of the war.

16 Oct 1944       Embarked HM King George VI for passage from Ostend to Dover.

Damage Report.

August 1941. Returned to Sheerness.

19 November 1941.  Sheerness destroyers Campbell, Garth, and Hambledon together with Rosyth destroyers Verdun, Vesper, and Wolsey and Harwich destroyer Quorm and Corvettes Kittiwake and Widgeon and trawler Kingston Olivine were escorting convoy FS50 of 58 ships listed amongst these were:

ANNA (Bel)                         764 tons
ARUBA (Br)                         1,159 tons
(Sunk)
BRITISH LADY (Br)             6,098 tons
DAYROSE (Br)                     4,113 tons
EMPIRE STRAIT (Br)         2,841 tons
LEKA (Nor)                          1,599 tons
SHEAF MOUNT (Br)         5,017 tons
VIGSNES (Nor)                   1,599 tons
WAR MEHTA (Br)              5,502 tons
(Sunk)
WALDINGE                        
(Sunk)     

While escorting Convoy FS50 (FS650) departing Methil on 18 Nov 1941, arriving at Southend on the 20 Nov 1941, consisting of upwards of fifty ships it came under attack by e-boats. Near 55a buoy north east of Yarmouth two colliers Aruba and Waldinge were sunk by Schnellboote's S41 and S105 respectively. Their third victim was the Tanker War Mehta, 5,502 tons, the HMS Badger (Harwich) oiler, the largest ship ever to fall victim to an e-boat, the S 104,  Captained by Lt Rebensburg.

Sheerness Destroyer HMS Campbell rammed and sank E-Boat S23, a Type 1939/40 Schnellboote. Nineteen of the crew were rescued and became prisoners of war. This was the first E-boat to be sunk by the Royal Navy.

Vesper and Garth were close to the War Mehtar when she was attacked near buoy 56 and went in pursuit of three e-boats. During the battle, in the darkness HMS Garth was damaged by gun fire from HMS Campbell.

Vesper and Garth had been near Aruba and chased three e-boats eastwards. Garth was damaged by cannon fire.

Damage Report HMS Garth

OFFICERS from Navy List August 1940
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)
Lieut. Com. E. H. Dyke. 7 May 40.
Lieut., R.N.V.R. T.A. Easton. 22 Apr 40.
Lieutenant (E). A. L. Hobden. 1 Dec 39.
Surg. Lieut RNVR. Walker, MB, Sch. 27 June 40
Sub. Lieut. R. L. V. Little. 8 June 40.
Gunne. R. D. Bennets. 9 Apr 40.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1941
Lieut. Com. E. H. Dyke. 7 May 40.
Lieut., R.N.V.R. J. H.Noble. 31 Jan 41
Temp. Lieut. G. L. Conran. (Act) 21 April 41
Lieutenant (E). A. L. Hobden. 1 Dec 39.
Surg. Lieut RNVR. Walker, MB, Sch. 27 June 40
Sub. Lieut. R. L. V. Little. 8 June 40.
Gunne. R. D. Bennets. 9 Apr 40.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1942
Lieut. Com. J. P. Scatchard. 9 Sept 41.
Lieutenant. H. D. Howse. 17 Apr 42.
 Lieutenant. G. K. Sivewright. 10 Sept 41.
Temp Lieut. RNVR. R. W. V. Board.  Sept 41.
Temp Surg. Lieut. RNVR. J. N. W. McCagie, LRCP. 8 Aug 41.
Sub Lieut. RNR. J. A. Mason. 1 July 41.
Temp Sub Lieut. RNVR. I. M. Thomas. 18 Feb 42.
Temp Wt Engineer. H.Varley (Act.) 5 June 41.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1943
Lieut. Com. J. P. Scatchard. 9 Sept 41.
Lieutenant. A. E. Anderson. 9 June 42.
Lieutenant. G. K. Sivewright. 10 Sept 41.
Temp Lieut. RNVR. H. R. Wittenburg. 27 Oct 42.
Temp Lieut. RNVR. D. G. Bisland (act) 8 July 42.
Temp Surg. Lieut. RNVR. D. A. Tolhurst. MRCS. LRCP. 16 Sep 42.
Sub Lieut. A. E. P. Deane. 14 Mar 43.
Temp. Sub Lieut. RNVR. H. Brierley. 12 Dec 42.
Temp Wt Engineer. H.Varley (Act.) 5 June 41.
Temp Mid. RNVR. I. A. Weatherseed. 12 Dec 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1944
Captain C. R. L. Parry, DSO.  Nov  43. (In Command.)
Secretary Paym. Lieut. O. M. Lewin, RNR. Feb 44.
Lieut. Com. (A/S) A. W. Goldsmith. Jan 44.
Lieut. Com. RNVR. T. G. Clarke DSC (act) 8 Jan 44.
Lieutenant (N) J. Blake. 2 Nov 43.
Lieutenant (S) W. B. Willett. 12 Dec 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR. A. Courtauld. 12 July 43
Temp. Lieut. RNVR. (G) J. Dunse. 12 Nov 43.
Temp. Lieut. RNVR. D. G. Bisland. 8 July 42.
Temp. Surg. Lieut. RNVR. R.G.Moore, MB, BS. 7 Oct 43.
Sub Lieut. RNVR. J. G. L. Jackson. 20 May 44.
Temp. Sub Lieut. RNVR.  I.A. Weatherseed. 12 Dec 42.
Temp. Sub Lieut. RNVR.  G. G. R. Chambers. 28 April 44.
Temp. Paym. Sub Lieut. RNVR A. K. Rees. Feb 44.
Temp. Sub Lieut. RNVR.  (Sp. Br.) K. A. W. Pilgrim. Jan 44.
Temp. Sub Lieut. RNVR.  (Sp. Br.) M. Brandon. Jan 44.
Gunner. (T) J. R. Smvth 6 Feb 44.
Gunner. A. V. Elliott (act) Feb 44.
Temp Gunner. G. E. Richards (act) 1 Feb 44.
Engineer. H. Varley. 5 June 41.

If you, your father or your grandfather have any additional information about this ship, crew lists, stories, photographs, please send copies of them to be added to our records and this website.

Thank you.

Contact:
Johntenthousand@yahoo.co.uk



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3 July 1945, the entry of the hunt class destroyers Cattistock, Cottesmore and Garth the first British destroyers to enter Hamburg.

Blindfolded German prisoners are being led from the HMS GARTH to waiting lorries at Harwich.

Naval veterans who looked after the king.  Off Sheerness, officers and men of the famous E-boat hunting Hunt Class Destroyer HMS Garth which brought the king home from a visit to France.

21 Feb 1945. Defending convoy FS1734 from attack by E-boats. The Blacktoft and the Goodwood were sunk and the Skjold was damaged. Two of the Blacktoft’s eighteen crew plus four gunners were lost.

​The Garth with the Mendip and Motor Gun boats were in action with German E-boats. The E-boats were laying mines and two days later the La Combattante detonated a mine, broke in two and sunk off Croma Norfolk. Sixty-eight of her crew were lost. One hundred and seventeen survivors were rescued by Motor Torpedo Boats HMS MTB 763 and HMS MTB 770. It was later claimed that La Combattante was sunk by a torpedo from a “Seehound” midget submarine.

In May 1945 HMS Garth took the British Ambassador back to the Netherlands. The Newspapers told the story of how one of the crew had thrown himself bodily on a live shell and threw it over the side of the ship and the “hero” saved the ship.

​The real story is some what different. Dad told the story of when a Germen shell smashed through the side of the ship but luckily for him, it didn’t explode. One of the guys picked it up and said “look, I’ve got a German shell!” Dad said, “You bloody idiot! It might explode, throw it over the side.” Which he did.

Although Dad never said what ship or where, the damage report shows it was HMS Garth and it was at Dieppe.



"Mess Life" improvised band with ships mascot .