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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 SIDMOUTH - Yard No 310 - Bangor Class Minesweeper - Royal Navy - Built 1941
 
 

Leith Shipyards

 
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HMS SIDMOUTH - Yard No 310 - Bangor Class Minesweeper - Royal Navy - Built 1941

Bangor-class-outline

Bangor Class outline drawing 


uk-royal-navy-flag

 HMS SIDMOUTH a "Bangor Class" Minesweeper.

One of three such minesweepers built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb during the conflict that was World War 2.

 
Owners   Royal Navy
           
Registered     Keel Laid    11/06/1940
Type of Ship    Bangor Class Minesweeper Launched    15/03/1941
      Commissioned    04/08/1941
Ship Details          
Length Overall   174' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.   171' 6"  Weather    
Beam    28' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld    15' 6"      
Draught    8' 3"      
G.R.T.    697 tons      
DWT          
Complement     60 Officers and Men      
Engines   Two Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers
two shafts coupled to steam turbines
2,000 shp (1,500 kW)
     
Props    2      
Speed    16 knots      
Armament    One x QF 12-pdr 3 in (76.2 mm) gun.
 

One x quadruple 0.5 in (12.7 mm) Vickers machine gun / single QF 2 pdr Mark VIII

     
Other known names        
           
Current Status   Broken up in 1950    
Content on will be added as and when available. 

 HMS_Cromer_Bangor_Class

 

This is a picture of a "Bangor Class" (HMS CROMAR) minesweeper, similar to HMS SIDMOUTH

 

 
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.

HMS Sidmouth was a Bangor Class minesweeper, doing great work during World War II dispite the fact that these small ships were very overcroweded, and had pretty poor sea keeping qualities, rolling and pitching worse even than the "Flower Class Corvettes".

Their shallow draft made them unstable and their short hulls tended to bury the bow when operating in a head sea. They were named after coastal towns of the British Isles, with SIDMOUTH being a small port in Devon, England.

"A sister ship of H.M.S. "Stornoway" She saw a great deal of service as leader of a minesweeper flotilla. In August 1942 she was one of the minesweepers which swept the channel ahead of the raiding force which attacked Dieppe. On one occasion she made a record by sweeping a distance of 600 miles in seventy two hours.

            Another of her more exiting exploits was the invasion exercises in 1943 when she led her flotilla to within three miles of the French coast without being observed."

HMS SIDMOUTH was sold by the navy 1950. She was sold to the Norwegian Navy although scrapped not long after which was a sad end for such a gallant little ship.

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.

 

 
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.

The crew of HMS SIDMOUTH from a photograph sent into the website by Keith Graham whose father served on HMS SIDMOUTH as Petty Officer (PO Arthur Graham)

 

Petty Officer Arthur Graham in this photograph sent into the website by his son Keith and shown by permission

The photograph is from 1940 And such is the interest from former crew members and relations of former crew members that we are now receiving a lot more information about the very important role that HMS SIDMOUTH and other ships of the small Navy carried out with such distinction during the Second World War. So please continue to send in your information and photographs.

Another photo of P.O. Graham and Chalky? (We think he was called Chalky)

One of her roles included sweeping the English Channel as lead ship to keep the channel clear of mines during the largest amphibious operation ever carried out and which we now know as D-Day.

The beginning of the invasion of Europe to defeat the Nazi's could not have been possible without the many ships which carried out such work.

 

This photograph was sent in by Beverley Meekings whose father Harry Etchells who was an AB served on HMS SIDMOUTH throughout the war from 1941 to 1945 and for a further year before she was transferred to the Royal Norwegian Navy along with four other "Bangor Class" ships.

 

AB Harry Etchells is shown here on the left with an unknown mate from HMS SIDMOUTH

The following comment was sent into the website on 8th May 2014 from Keith Graham

I can echo the comments of Beverly,
All I know when speaking to ex service men, I have realised that the ones that saw the true horrors of war very rarely talk about it . It was only in the latter days of dad's life, normally at Christmas when he and my father-in-law (also ex naval) plus a 'few tots' of Navy Rum, they related some of there memories. Some very hard and emotional to recap.
In my book the people of today owe a huge amount of gratitude to ALL the men and women who fought, died and, at home lived through the 1939-1945 war, God bless them all.
We should never forget them and respect all they did for us.

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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Comments   

 
0 #11 Keith Graham 2015-11-02 15:08
Hi All,
Just managed to get the full photo of Dad and Chalky (I think that was his nickname).
Will post it ASAP.
Quote
 
 
0 #10 Keith Graham 2015-01-01 14:50
An update on my research re: Dads military career during WW11.
Just received Dads Naval Records, it cleared up a few doubts.
Thought there was another ship before HMS Sidmouth, but no Dad joined HMS Sidmouth 1st Jan1942(73 years to the day) and remained until 21st Aug 1945. Joiner 3rd Class (trade probably reason he was P.O )
Any info regarding crew possibly photos would be VERY welcomed. Happy New Year have a healthy and prosperous 2015.
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0 #9 Bill Dearnley 2014-07-08 10:18
I used to discharge all the coal boats at East Yelland Power Station between 1964 and 1984. Great days and met some great guys especially in the club house.
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0 #8 Keith Graham 2014-06-06 19:57
I can only echo Beverley's comments for tomorrow 6th June. If only my Dad had 'opened up' and told me more about his time during the war.
As was said today on TV by one who served during the war " the ones that saw the true Horrors of war rarely spoke about it afterwards".
They were ALL truly courageous people, maybe some more than others, but in my book the Civilians, Army, Navy and Royal Airforce, no matter what role they played were "The Best".
I for one, will always be in there debt for giving so much, God bless them all.
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0 #7 Beverley Meekings 2014-06-06 18:37
To all who have contributed....

My father has been in my thoughts today, 6 June 2014, as we remember the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. He never spoke about it and I feel sad that many years after his death I never had the opportunity to really thank him for his courage as a young man doing his duty for his country and for protecting our freedom.
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0 #6 Beverley Meekings 2014-01-19 18:45
Thank you all for your comments....I have responded individually to Keith and George. I think we're building up a small list of names. I was particularly pleased about the D Day connection, which confirmed a feeling I had. I'm not sure if we can post photos etc on this site.
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0 #5 Keith Graham 2014-01-15 16:52
Dad was PO during WW11 I have photos crew,Dad & Dad with a mate 'nickname ' Chalky'
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0 #4 Keith Graham 2014-01-15 16:40
Hi my father served on HMS Sidmouth as PO ? Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have photos of Dad & ships crew also a photo of dad & another shipmate (think his nickname was ' Calky''
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+1 #3 George Cowie 2014-01-07 10:26
Hi my father George Cowie served on HMS Sidmouth as an Able Seaman from 27th March 1943 to 18th November 1944. HMS Sidmouth led the sweep of Channel 9 the night before D Day 6th June. Please contact me if you have any further info
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0 #2 Stephen Greenaway 2013-02-24 08:33
My father Ronald Greenaway served on HMS Sidmouth as an Able Seaman, any information on crew ships log etc would be of interest.
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