The villages of Queensbury and Shelf adopted HMS Vervain during warship week in March 1942. The plaque awarded to commemorate the adoption was uncovered in Victoria Hall in 2019. From an initial search into her records it was discovered that she had been sank with the loss of 60 lives. As the adopted ship of the two villages, her crew are our adopted sons and this page has been created to remember their sacrifice.
Plaque awarded to Queensbury and Shelf Urban District Council.
HMS Vervain was a corvette of the flower class. Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, she was launched on 12th March 1941 with a commissioning date of 9th June 1941. The adoption of a corvette would have been a great achievement for Queensbury and Shelf.
She was largely used as an escort for convoys crossing the Atlantic. Along with the defence of these convoys, she was also active in rescuing the crews of stricken ships. One such incident, on 1st March 1943, saw her picking up 66 survivors from the American merchant ship Wade Hampton that was torpedoed and sank in the North Atlantic.
On 20th February 1945, at 11.45 hours, HMS Vervain was escorting a homeward-bound convoy, HX-337, when she was hit on the starboard side by a torpedo fired from a U-boat, U-1276, about 25 miles south-east off Dungarvan in Ireland, she sank after 20 minutes.
The Commander, three officers and 56 ratings were lost. Three officers and 30 ratings were rescued. In turn the U-boat was sunk with depth charges by HMS Amethyst, this action resulted in the loss of all 49 of the U-boat’s crew. We remember all those who lost their lives in this action.
Sources: Uboat.net, Wikipedia, CWGC. With thanks to Michael for his discovery of the plaque and his initial research.
The crew of HMS Vervain are commemorated on the PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL except for those who served with the RNPS, these men are commemorated on the LOWESTOFT NAVAL MEMORIAL.
Abbreviations used; RN: Royal Navy. RNVR: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. RNPS: Royal Naval Patrol Service. RNR: Royal Naval Reserve.
Roll of honour
Balderson, John Alfred, RN. 38, Sick Berth Attendant of Sunderland.
Baptie, John Laing, RN. 33, Ordnance Mechanic 4th Class of Crossgates, Fife.
Bissett, William Lapping, RN. Ordinary Signalman.
Blazier, Frank Eric, RN. 22, Able Seaman of North Cray, Kent.
Bloomer, Stewart Allan, RN. 18, Ordinary Seaman of Nottingham.
Blower, Clifford Thomas Arthur, RNVR. 32, Lieutenant of Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.
Browne, John Peter, RN. 23, Ordinary Seaman of Litherland, Lancashire.
Bulmer, James Henry, RN. 24, Able Seaman of Hendon, Co. Durham.
Cartwright, Harry Alastair, RN. 18, Ordinary Seaman of Rawson, Olivos, Argentina.
Corke, Ronald Edwin, RN. 18, Ordinary Seaman of Southport, Lancashire.
Cremins, Edward Peter, RN. 21, Able Seaman of Brixton, London.
Dawson, Stanley Maurice, RN. 23, Leading Signalman of Reading, Berkshire.
Doig, Frederick Harold, RN. Signalman.
Eden-Smith, Waller, RNVR. 38, Sub-Lieutenant of Grange-over-Sands, Lancashire.
Greenhalgh, Maurice, RN. 19, Stoker 1st Class.
Greenwood, Thomas Philip, RN. 18, Ordinary Coder of Halifax.
Hammer, Harry, RN. 27, Leading Steward of Kingsbury, Middlesex.
Hancocks, Eric Thomas, RN. 19, Able Seaman of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
Harrold, Dennis Vernon, RN. Stoker 1st Class.
Hart, Herbert, RN. Stoker 2nd Class.
Hawkesworth, Geoffrey Frank, RNVR. 33, Lieutenant of Wanstead, Essex.
Howell, Robert Alwyn, RNVR. 39, Lieutenant Commander of Warninglid, Sussex.
Hurst, Philip Finbar, RN. 31, Able Seaman of Winton, Lancashire.
Isted, Robert Climpson, RN. 24, Able Seaman of Lymington, Hampshire.
Jones, Thomas, RN. 30, Able Seaman of Liverpool.
Keatinge, Roland Laurence Frederick, RNR. 33, Leading Seaman of Aberdeen.
Lawson, George Albert, RNPS. 28, Stoker 1st Class of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Leicester, Alfred, RN. Steward.
Levi, Joseph Benjamin, RN. 20, Coder of Barnsley, Yorkshire.
Lindsay, Clifford, RN. 19, Stoker 2nd Class of Cleckheaton, Yorkshire.
Lisney, Ronald William George, RNPS. 21, Stoker of Lewisham, London.
Macloghlin, Frank Gordon, RN. Leading Stores Assistant.
Maher, Ernest, RN. 21, Able Seaman of Bury, Lancashire.
Marsh, Donald Arthur, RN. 18, Telegraphist of St. Leonards, Sussex.
Moon, Harry William George, RN. 28, Leading Stoker of Wealdstone, Middlesex.
O’Connell, Vincent, RN. Ordinary Seaman.
O’Connor, William, RN. 19, Able Seaman of Little Hulton, Lancashire.
Pleasance, Stuart Thomas James, RN. 20, Able Seaman of Chingford, Essex.
Price, Francis William, RN. 20, Able Seaman of Birmingham.
Prince, Robert Stephen Rennie, RN. Leading Seaman.
Procter, Arthur Ernest, RN. 19, Leading Seaman of Hull.
Proudley, Kenneth, RN. 23, Able Seaman of Hull.
Roberts, George Henry, RN. 19, Steward of West Derby, Liverpool.
Rodgers, Ben, RNPS. 27, Leading Stoker of Bardsley, Lancashire.
Roy, William Bruce, RN. 19, Stoker 1st Class of Aberdeen.
Scott, Thomas Henry, RN. 18, Able Seaman of Loftus, Yorkshire.
Shaw, Ernest Edward, RN. 19, Ordinary Seaman of West Bromwich, Staffordshire.
Shore, John Fenton, RN. 21, Leading Seaman of Poynton, Cheshire.
Simpson, Alexander Robb, RN. Stoker 1st Class of Ayr.
Smith, John Patrick, RNVR. Signalman of Bermondsey, London.
Swatton, Peter Cecil, RN. Able Seaman.
Thorp, Leslie, RN. 19, Ordinary Seaman of Lupset, Yorkshire.
Wakefield, Charles Thomas, RN. Able Seaman of Grays, Essex.
Wells, David, RN. 21, Able Seaman of Canning Town, Essex.
Whalen, Wallace, RN. 25, Leading Seaman of Flowers Cove, Newfoundland.
Wharton, Alan, RN. 19, Able Seaman of Kirkby Stephen, Westmorland.
Whitfield, Thomas Harold, RN. Ordinary Seaman.
Whittet, William, RN. 32, Able Seaman of Edinburgh.
Withers, William Arthur, RN. Able Seaman of New Cross, London.
Worton, James Kenneth, RN. 19, Telegraphist of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.