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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 LOTUS - Yard No 317 - Flower Class Corvette - Royal Navy - Built - 1942
 
 

Leith Shipyards

 
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HMS LOTUS - Yard No 317 - Flower Class Corvette - Royal Navy - Built - 1942

HMS-LOTUS 


uk-royal-navy-flag
 HMS LOTUS (K-130) a "Flower Class" Corvette  
Owners   Royal Navy
           
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Flower Class Corvette (K-130) Launched    16/01/1942
      Commisioned    01/05/1942
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.    849 tons      
DWT          
Complement     85 Officers and Men      
Engines   1 x 4-cycle triple-expansion steam engine, 2750 hp      
Props    1      
Speed    16 knots      
Armament     1 x BL 4 INCH Mk IX Gun two .50 inch (12.7 mm) twin machine guns,two .303 inch (7.7-mm) Lewis machine guns.
 

Two stern depth charge racks with 40 depth charges

     
Other known names   1942-HMS PHLOX, 1947-Southern Lotus    
           
Current Status   Wrecked on the way to be broken up in 1966    
Content on will be added as and when available. 

HMS_Lotus-ice--forming 

HMS LOTUS with a build up of ice, to add to the ship rolling around. 

 (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.

 The Flower Class Corvette HMS LOTUS was one of the many gallant little fighting ships that were some what over shadowed by there larger more illustrious sister ships during the battle of the Atlantic, these little fighting ships were to help keep the United Kingdom in the war against the Nazi tyranny that was attempting to control the world at the time.

The small Corvette based on a design that came from a Whale Catching ship not only had to contend with some of the fiercest weather and seas in the world but the ever present danger from U-Boats and from attack by long range German Luftwaffe planes sent out to find the convoys that the Corvettes were tasked with protecting.

HMS LOTUS was a "later type design" than the original Flowers a somewhat improved ship with her forecastle deck running aft to almost midships, this had the effect of more protection for the crew against the elements.

Originally named HMS Phlox, she was renamed in April 1942 after the previous HMS Lotus was transferred to the Free French Navy. She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb and She was commissioned in May 1942.

Made famous in the book "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Montserrat and the highly-recommended film starring Jack Hawkins, their role in the Battle of the Atlantic was legendary.  "They rolled on wet grass", "Can see down your funnel. Your boiler was alight ......" They sank U-boats and were sunk themselves in innumerable convoy battles.

For more on her story at this great site for Navel History

Two months after being commissioned she was part of one of the saddest tales of the Royal Navy during World War II, and that was the lose of the convoy PQ-17 on the journey north to Russia.

During this disaster she managed to save 38 survivors from the torpedoed cargo ship "River Afton" she moved on to serve in the Mediterranean, here she took part along with HMS Starwort in the sinking of the German submarine U-660 (Later corrected to U-77 which in fact managed to get away this time)

 U-660-sunk-by-Lotus

 

U-660 before being sunk by HMS LOTUS and HMS STARWORT

 HMS LOTUS survived the war, and being surplus to requirments, she was sold by the navy to another Leith company as it turned out.

She was purchased by the firm of Christian Salveson for use as a whale chaser, and re-named Southern Lotus.

To be continued.

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.

 
HMS_Lotus_underway
HMS LOTUS (K-130)
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.

In June 1942 she sailed with the ill-fated Convoy PQ-17. After the convoy scattered, Lotus accompanied Pozarica and several other ships to Novaya Zemlya, before setting out on her captain's initiative to search for survivors. She was able to rescue 38 survivors from the SS River Afton, including Jack Dowding, the convoy commodore, and 29 from Pankrist. Returning to Matochkin Lotus and her companions escorted the eight ships there to Archangel, arriving on 11 July, though two were sunk by aircraft before reaching port. From Archangel, and with two other ships under the leadership of Comm. Dowling, Lotus helped to find and escort six more ships in the White Sea, and brought them to Archangel. Lotus returned to Britain in September 1942 with convoy QP 14.

On her return Lotus was assigned, with the Arctic corvettes Dianella, Poppy and Starwort, to escort duties in the Mediterranean, in support of Operation Torch. These four corvettes served together for the remainder of the war at sea. In late 1942 Lotus was operating in the Mediterranean, where on 12 November, in company with Starwort, she attacked and destroyed U 660 off Oran. The following day Lotus and Poppy attacked an underwater contact off Algiers and were rewarded with the sounds of a U-boat breaking up, which Lotus's captain, Lt.Cdr HJ Hall, reported in an erudite signal to the Admiralty. Their lordships were so taken with this that the signal was circulated throughout the fleet. Post war analysis credited Lotus and Poppy with the destruction of U-605, though a later reassessment in 1987 decided their attack had been against U-77 which escaped with damage.

Lotus and her companions returned to the northern route in December 1942, serving with several Arctic convoys until the spring of 1943. In summer 1943 Lotus and her consorts were in the Mediterranean once more, on the Mediterranean leg of the KMS/MKS and GU/UG routes.

In winter 1943 Lotus and the corvettes were again in the Arctic, escorting JW/RA convoys, until spring 1944, when they transferred to the North Atlantic. They remained on this assignment, escorting HX, SC and ON convoys until the end of the war.

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.

 We would also like to direct you to the site for the Flower Class Association and you will find it by clicking on the high lighted words above.

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