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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 CARDIGAN BAY - Yard No 348 - Bay Class Frigate - Royal Navy - Built 1944
 
 

Leith Shipyards

 
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HMS CARDIGAN BAY - Yard No 348 - Bay Class Frigate - Royal Navy - Built 1944
 
HMS-Cardigan-Bay

uk-royal-navy-flag
 HMS CARDIGAN BAY full ahead
(photo credit unknown)
 
 
Owners   Royal Navy
           
Registered     Keel Laid    14/04/1944
Type of Ship    Bay Class Frigate Launched    28/12/1944
      Commissioned    15/06/1945
Ship Details          
Length Overall    307' 3" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    286' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     17' 6"      
Draught    12' 9"      
G.R.T.    1,900      
DWT          
Complement     157 Officers and Men      
Engines  
 
2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, 4-cylinder vertical triple expansion reciprocating engines, 5,500 ihp
  
     
Props    2      
Speed    19.5 knots      
Armament     4 × QF 4 inch Mark XVI guns on 2 twin mounting HA/LA Mk.XIX
4 × 40 mm Bofors A/A on 2 twin mounts Mk.V
4 × 20 mm Oerlikon A/A on 2 twin mounts Mk.V
1 × Hedgehog 24 barrel A/S projector
2 rails and 4 throwers for 50 depth charges
     
Other known names   N/A    
           
Current Status   Broken up in 1962    

Content on HMS CARDIGAN BAY will be added as and when available. 

 

HMS CARDIGAN BAY underway
(photo credit unknown) 
 
 
 
HMS CARDIGAN BAY
(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.
H.M.S. Cardigan Bay was the first of three Bay Class Frigates ordered from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
The “Bay Class” Frigates were the final evolution of what started out as the “River Class” Frigate which in itself were improvements based on lessons learned from the humble start of escort ships namely the “Flower Class” Corvette.
She was originaly ordered by the Admirilty as a “Loch Class” to be named HMS LOCH LAXFORD the order was changed due to the need for more Anti Aircraft ships during the last three years of World War II
HMS CARDIGAN BAY was the first ship to carry the name and she was a very competent vessel for the purpose built and they proved to be very good sea keeping ships.
Actually commissioned a couple of months after the War in Europe had ended, the battle in the Far East was still ongoing against Japan and it was to this theatre that she was intended for but with the end of conflict in the far East when Japan surrendered on 15th August 1945 she was transferred to serve in the Meditterainian where she was to take up duties. She was based at Malta for a number of years and was used as a guard ship against the growing unrest in the area, she also undertook many patrols to intercect ships carrying what was seen at the time as illegal immigrents to the new Jewish state of Palistine.
In 1949 she transferred to the Far East and served on patrols and bombardments during the Malayan Emergency, Yangste Estuary and Formosa Strait.

She completed five operational tours during the Korean War 1950-1953, where she gained a Battle Honour.
With the advent of the jet engine and the surface to air missiles developed to intercept them, the days of the conventional Anti Aircraft Frigate were numbered.
 
She entered the Reserve and in March 1962 then was towed to the West of Scotland (Troon) ship breaking where, by early September her destruction was completed. 
Cardigan Bay was an unassuming small warship, a workhorse of escort groups, designed and built for the Second War. She was one of a numerous class, none of whose names became famous or even well–known in history.
 
In her hounour an assocciation of former crew members was set up and called the Cardigan Bay Association who have a website where all former members can keep in touch. (See the links page)
 
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.
 
Robbs-HMS-Cardigan-Bay
 
 HMS CARDIGAN BAY seen here on her shipyard trials in the Firth of Forth
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jack Parle Stoker on HMS CARDIGAN BAY

From a story sent into the
website by his Daughter Christine

An amazing story of just how
things were in the days just after the end of World War II the world was still
very much a dangerous place with troubles to be dealt with all over as each
area of the globe had factions and causes trying to take over from what had
been before.

Stoker John Parle known as
Jack was just one of the many unsung servicemen who had to put up with things
for some time longer than those who were in for "hostilities only terms" he had
been granted compassionate leave to attend the birth of his child but as luck
would have it his daughter Christine was born two weeks late and by that time
Stoker Jack Parle was back with his ship the Bay Class Frigate HMS CARDIGAN BAY
built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb and launched in Dec 1944. She was
the first of three such ships built at Leith.

The ship was completed and
commissioned in June 1945 just as the war in Europe was finished but there was
still battles to be won in the east as the war with Japan continued, but it was
to the Mediterranean that HMS CARDIGAN BAY was bound where she was used as
guard and escort for shipping in the Med and also as a deterrent to immigrants
trying to get to the new state of Israel.

It was against this backdrop
that Stoker Parle was to be away from home for the next three and a half years
and did not see his child until she was three and a half years old, can you
imagine that in this day of pregnancy leave and paternity time off amazing
really and not that long ago.
 
 
 
 


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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Comments   

 
0 #3 mary thornton 2014-04-06 14:39
My brother sailed on the ship in the korean war his name was James Silcock from liverpool
Quote
 
 
-1 #2 christine ann brown, 2012-12-24 13:17
My father John Parle known as Jack served on the the Cardigan Bay K603- Commissomed - May 1945.Leith ,Scotland.
Stoker.KX.179432 Royal Navy.
Jack Parle d.o.b.21st Jan 1925 died 16.02.2011,Age 87.
Quote
 
 
0 #1 pete casterton 2012-04-18 06:13
my dad fredrick george casterton served on the cardigan bay in the korean war
he was a leading seaman
he told us a tale about the american shore battery that opened up on his patrol cutter and how the captain of the ship threatened to train his guns on the shore battery if they didnt stop
Quote
 

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