HMS Van Meerlant.

Class:                     Douwe Aukes class minelayer.
Built by:                 Gusto shipyard, Schiedam.
Launched:             November 23, 1920
Displacement:      687 tonnes
Length:                  54.8 metres
Width:                    9.0 metres
Draught:                3.2 metres.
Propulsion:           1170 hp
Speed:                   12.8 knots
Compliment:        60 Officers and men
Armament:           3 3" guns (3x1),
                               2 .5" Machine Gun, Anti-Aircraft.
                               1 .25" Machine Gun, Anti-Aircraft.
                               87 mines

Her Captain until the 14 March 1941 was Luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Baron Thomas Karel van Asbeck RNN, In March 1941 he was transferred to HNMS Jan van Brake. He survived the war rising to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1951.

28 August 1939, HNLMS Van Meerlant of the Dutch Navy was deployed to lay minefields off the coast of Holland at Ijmuided and the Hook of Holland.

18 May 1940, HNLMS Van Meerlant in company with the gunboat Flores escaped to Britain.

Late 1940. HNLMS Van Meerlant was posted to Sheerness as part of the Thames Local Defence Flotilla.

14 March 1940. HNLMS Van Meerlant  was transferred to the  British Royal Navy.

4 June 1941. HMS Van Meerlant detonated a mine in the Thames Estuary off the Isle of Sheppey, Kent with the loss of 42 crew.

HMS  Van Meerlant (ML 36)

Minelayer, Flotilla Leader.

Built shortly after World War One, the HNLMS (Her Netherlands Majesty’s Ship) Van Meerlant  in the general mobilisation of the Dutch military on 28 August 1939, was deployed to lay minefields off the coast of Holland at Ijmuided and the Hook of Holland.

Shortly after Germany invaded Holland on May 10th 1940, the Van Meerlant with the gunboat Flores not wishing to fall into the hands of the Enemy sailed for England arriving at Dover on 18 May 1940.

At first the Van Meerlant was stationed at Foulmouth with other Dutch ships, the Douwe Aukes and Medusa. Later that year the Van Meerlant was assigned to the Thames Local Defence Flotilla based at Sheerness.

The Van Meerlant was transferred to the Royal Navy on 14 March 1941.

On 4 June 1941 the Van Meerlant detonated a mine in the Thames Estuary and sunk with the loss of 42 of her crew.

Van Meerlant, ship loss 4 June 1941

Amongst the wounded was T/LT R.H. Church RNR.,

Commander Arnold Howard PIGGOTT, commanded HMS VAN MEERLANT from 1940 to 1941; He was wounded and lost a leg when HMS VAN MEERLANT was sunk by a mine in the Thames estuary, Jun 1941;

(MPK = Missing Presumed Killed)

ADAMS, Leslie, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 240290, MPK
ADAMSON, William, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 185757, MPK
ANDREWS, George, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 240148, MPK
BALL, Austin, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 240372, MPK
BERRY, Alexander, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX240169, MPK
BLAIR, Donald I, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/JX 210070, MPK
CASTLE, Ernest A, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 183115, MPK
DICKERSON, Robert W B, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 99065, MPK
DOLAN, James P, Ordinary Telegraphist, C/JX 221171, MPK
DORRELL, William R S, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 191697, MPK
FRASER, John I, Leading Steward, RNPS, LT/JX 173462, MPK
GILLAM, Harry G, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 211008, MPK
GREEN, Francis V, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 101043, MPK
HAMPSON, William, Engineman, RNPS, LT/KX 101097, MPK
HAWES, Charles F, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 111056, MPK
JOHNSON, Basil, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 130936, MPK
KEEPER, Cyril A A, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 228707, MPK
LENNON, Thomas, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 194324, killed
MACLEOD, Murdo J, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 173143, MPK
MARSH, Jack E, Signalman, C/JX 160638, MPK
MARSHALL, Samuel E, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 242460, MPK
MARSHALL, William, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 115352, MPK
MCNICHOLAS, James, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 103795, MPK
MILLER, Samuel, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 106729, MPK
MOORE, Nigel, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
MOORING, Harold, Stoker, RNPS, LT/JX 111981, MPK
NEWTON, Albert, Leading Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 197289, MPK
PALMER, Robert C, Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
PERRETT, Reginald R G, Ty/Lieutenant (E), RNR, MPK
QUICKFALL, Charles S B, 2nd Hand, RNPS, LT/JX 228137, killed
ROWLAND, Frank J, Leading Seaman, RNR (PS), LT/X 21432 A, MPK
SANGSTER, Alfred, Ordinary Seaman Steward, RNPS, LT/JX 226416, MPK
SHARMAN, William M, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 242495, MPK
SMITH, George E, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 130883, MPK
SMITH, John, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 107932, MPK
STILL, Thomas W, Stoker, RNPS, LT/KX 107940, MPK
STOKER, George T, Ordinary Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 242494, MPK
THOMSON, Robert A, Ordinary Seaman Steward, RNPS, LT/JX 214213, MPK
THURSTON, James D, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 242068, MPK
WATSON, Andrew, Seaman, RNPS, LT/JX 185350, MPK

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