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 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.