Type of Vessel:
Pennant:                                            
Fishing Number:
Other Names                                    
Year Constructed:                           
Built by:
Built at:                               
Owner:                                                
Engine:
Speed:                                 
Gross Tons:                                        
Length:                                                
Beam:                                                  
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Armament:        
​Fate:    
 

HMT Larch when she was the Fishing Trawler the Westhill, H470 Hull.


June 1927.  Trawler built for £9,440. Engine built for £6,300. Total cost £15,740.

10 December1927. Launched as St. ALEXANDRA.

February 1939. Selected for procurement by the Admiralty.

28 February 1939. Purchased by the Royal Navy for £7,000.  Sailed to Liverpool following successful Admiralty trials and fitted out as a Tree Class minesweeping trawler (Batch 2).

April 1939. On completion of conversion renamed HMS LARCH, Pennant Number T 96.

August 1939. One 12 pounder Anti-aircraft and two machine guns fitted at Sheerness Dockyard.

June 1940.  ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command, Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
Minesweeping Group 2 - minesweeping trawlers LARCH (Sk J T White RNR), MYRTLE (Ch Sk W G Cleveland RD RNR), PYROPE (Ty Sk a J Folkard RNR), TAMARISK (Sk S C W Bavidge RNR), all at Sheerness

15th September 1940, Nore Command,  Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
M/S Trawlers Group 2
Force and (Larch, undergoing repairs. Date uncertain).

January 1941, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Nore Command. Sheerness, Wildfire III, Queenborough.
Minesweeping Group 2 - minesweeping trawlers FORCE (Ty Sk S S Young RNR) repairing, LARCH (Act. Sk A. H. V. Winfield RNR), both at Sheerness.

June 1941. Based Scapa Flow with M/S Group 18 (Act Sk. A. H. V. Winfield RNR).

January 1942, ROYAL NAVY SHIPS, Scapa Flow. Minesweeping Group 18 - minesweeping trawlers CAPE NYEMETSKI, LARCH, (Act Sk. A. H. V. Winfield RNR). OAK, all at Scapa Flow

10 October 1952: Delivered at Sunderland to be broken up.

MENTIONED IN DISPATCHES AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS. A DSC and two MID’s were awarded to Skipper R.N.R., James Thomson WHITE, WS2780, HMS Larch and HMS St Tudno (Base Ship for HMT Larch.)

First MID awarded for distinguished service.

DSC awarded in King's Birthday Honours 1942.

Second MID awarded for great gallantry and endurance in clearing the estuary of the Scheldt of mines during the period of October to November 1944.

To find out more of the Larch’s movements go to
DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST Dec, 39
On List but no Officers. From 1 September 1939 it was Skipper, R.N.R., James Thomson White.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST July 40
Skipper, R.N.R., James Thomson White, From 1 September 1939.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 41
Skipper, R.N.R., A. H. V. Winfield (Act) 1 Aug 40
Acting Skipper, R.N.R., G. Reaich, 8 May 41.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 42
Skipper, R.N.R., J. L. Borrett, 17 Feb 42.
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., S. J. Cutts, Sept 41.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 43
Skipper, R.N.R., J. L. Borrett, 17 Feb 42.
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., J. G. Mackay, May 43.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June, 44
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., F. E. Robinson, 25 Feb 44
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., J. G. Mackay, May 43.

OFFICER ON NAVY LIST June 45
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., F. E. Robinson, In Command. 25 Feb 44
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., J. G. Mackay, May 43.
Temp Skipper, R.N.R., W. O. B. Whaling (act), 19 Jan 45

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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LARCH
Tree Class Minesweeper
Wildfire III, Queenborough.
Minesweeping Group 2


Like her sister ship HMT Myrtle, the Larch was a Royal Navy Tree Class Minesweeper (Sometimes called Berberis Class Minesweepers so as not to confuse them with the more modern Tree Class Minesweepers) was in service long before the commencement of World War Two. Tree Class Minesweepers were purchased by the Admiralty in two groups to be used as Minesweepers. The first group as early as 1935 and the second in 1939. The second group included Alder, Beech, Berberis, Hornbeam, Larch, Maple, Myrtle, Oak, Redwood and Tamarisk. Of these the Alder, beech, Myrtle and Tamarisk were lost.

Her first Captain, Skipper R.N.R., James Thomson White received a Mentioned in Despatches while with the Larch and would go on to receive a second MID and a Distinguished Service Cross when attached to the Larch’s mothership, the St Tudno. Revealing that Ship, Captain and Crew demonstrated great gallantry while undertaking the demanding and dangerous task of sweeping the seas clear of enemy mines.

 

HMT Larch Tree Class Minesweeper T96

Tree Class Minesweeper
T 96
H373 Hull. M138 Milford. H470 Hull.
St Alexandra. Westhill, (M138).
Launched, 10 Dec 1927
Cook Welton & Gemmell.
Beverly.
1928 - 1939 Thomas Hamling & Co Ltd Hull. 1939 The Admiralty.
T.3-cyl and boiler by C. D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull.

359 tons’ gross. 156 tons’ net.
140.4 feet
24 feet
13.2 feet
1 x 12 pounder
Survived WW2 and broken up in 1952