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 SWORD DANCE - Yard No 313 - Dance Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1940

Leith Shipyards

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HMS SWORD DANCE - Yard No 313 - Dance Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1940


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 HMS SWORD DANCE a "Dance Class" Armed Trawler.  
Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    09/09/1939
Type of Ship    Armed Trawler Launched    02/03/1940
      Commissioned    20/01/1941
Ship Details          
Length Overall    161' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    150' 0" Weather    
Beam    27' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     14' 6"      
G.R.T.    463 tons      
Complement     35 Officers and Men      
Engines    Coal fired reciprocating engine (V.T.E.), 1 shaft producing 850 ihp      
Props    1      
Speed    11.5 knots      
Armament     1 4" guns
3 x 20mm AA
Other known names        
Current Status   Sank in 1942    

Content on HMS SWORD DANCE will be added as and when available.



The "Dance Class" armed trawler HMS SWORD DANCE (T-132)

(Photo credit unknown)


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 SWORD DANCE was another of the "Little fighting ships" who worked without break against the enemy all over the seas of the British Isles and further afield as well.

The armed trawlers were used in a wide variety of roles from escort duty to mine laying and sweeping as well as protecting the fishing fleets, who of course still had to go out in all weathers and also contend with enemy aircraft and submarines.

Lost in a collision in the Morey Firth on 5 July 1942.

During the early hours of the morning, whilst acting as escort to the east coast convoy WN.5, HMS Sword Dance was rammed in dense fog by one of merchants of the convoy, the Thyra-II (1088 GRT). The starboard coalbunker was holed and her engine room rapidly flooded in all it took around an hour for her to sink, and she nows lies in approx 80 metres of water, with her deadly cargoe of depth charges still around her.

 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.

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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+1 #1 marie smith 2012-03-04 13:42
I have some photos of my grandad on HMS Sword ? during the war- I could email them to you. He was a trawlerman from Fleetwood

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