The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1939 to 1945 HMS DELPHINIUM - Yard No 306 - Flower Class Corvette - Royal Navy - Built 1940

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HMS DELPHINIUM - Yard No 306 - Flower Class Corvette - Royal Navy - Built 1940



 HMS DELPHINIUM a "Flower Class" Corvette.  
Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    31/09/1939
Type of Ship    Flower Class Corvette Launched    06/06/1940
      Commissioned    15/11/1940
Ship Details          
Length Overall    205' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    190' 0" Weather    
Beam     33' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     17' 6"      
Draught     11' 5"      
G.R.T.    718      
Complement     85 officers and men      
Engines    1 X 4-cyl. triple expansion steam engine, 2750 hp      
Props    1      
Speed    16 knots      
Armament     1 X 4" Gun, 2 x 0.50 cal machine gun in twin mounts

2 Lewis .303 cal machine guns in twin mounts, 40 depth charges

Other known names        
Current Status   Survived world war II and broken up in 1949 at Pembroke Dock    
Content HMS DELPHINIUM on will be added as and when available. 


HMS DELPHINIUM note the short foc'sle


 Atlantic Escorts
Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

Delphinium operated in the Mediterranean theatre throughout World War II she was involved in escort work in this hotly contested part of the world's oceans, and took part in the invasion of Sicily.

For more on the Flower Class Corvette and why warships were named after "Flowers"

HMS DELPHINIUM was the first of the Flower Class Corvettes to be built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, based on the design of a Whale Catcher and modified to suit the Admirality requirments for a small escort vessel. The small fighting Corvettes were to change there armanments throughout the course of the six years of fighting and we only show her original armament here.

The ships were built using modular construction methods meaning that parts of the vessel could be built around the country in engineering workshops that were not used to building ships.

Henry Robb shipbuilders help pioneer this type of build and the Loftsmen at the Leith Shipyards were instrumental in this work being carried out to the highest standards.

Being one of the early "Flowers" she had a short forecastle, which stopted just short of the bridge, this ment a pretty wet ship with heavy seas sure to break over her and ensure a wet trip for the men serving in her.

H.M.S. " Delphinium," saw a good deal of active service in the fight against enemy submarines off the Portuguese coast in 1943. In July of that year she shared with another corvette a " kill " of a large U-boat.

H.M.S. " Delphinium," with several of her sister ships in the Levant group of corvettes, stood by the Eighth Army faithfully from Egypt to Sicily, and visited nearly every port along the North African coast. She formed part of the 47th Mediterranean Escort Group in March 1944.
In February 1945 she returned to Plymouth patrol. 

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.

Flower Class Corvettes

Flower Class Corvettes

The ‘ShipCraft’ series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warship types. Lavishly illustrated, each book takes the modeller through a brief history of the subject class, highlighting differences between sister-ships and changes in their appearance over their careers. This includes paint schemes and camouflage, featuring colour profiles and highly-detailed line drawings and scale plans. The modelling section reviews the strengths and weaknesses of available kits, lists commercial accessory sets for super-detailing of the ships, and provides hints on modifying and improving the basic kit. This is followed by an extensive photographic gallery of selected high-quality models in a variety of scales, and the book concludes with a section on research references - books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.This volume includes all the features of the regular series but the extent has been doubled to include far more detailed drawings of a class of ship that was built in huge numbers and in many variations. Mainstay of the Atlantic battle against the U-boats, Flower class corvettes were used by the British, Canadian, French and US Navies.

Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #4 roger elphick 2017-07-29 08:56
My father, Vernon Henry Elphick served on the ship from 1944- he was a Sparks- he passed away on 23rd July 2017- if anybody has any information, or if any of his shipmates are still alive- would be pleased to have any information
0 #3 Allan Davenport 2016-07-24 06:47
HMS Delphinium was Broken up Pembroke Dock in 1949.
-1 #2 Adrian Paul 2013-01-07 22:08
I believe my late Great Uncle Sid (Rule) served as Captain September 1944 to July 1945. That's about all I know!
+3 #1 Mel Seward 2012-07-03 21:33
Anyone recall leading telegraphist Ken Seward, my father who like most of you very brave and modest people didn't say much about his experiences?

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