Rob Jerrard's Royal Navy Website & Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews

Ships that Deserve to be Remembered

H.M.S. Maidstone


"The Fortune of the Town is that of the Ship"

(Depot Ship for Submarines.)

Built at Clydebank.Displacment 5,900 tons. Complement: 502 (including 64 repair staff and 43 as spare submarine crew). Dimensions 497 (pp.), 531 (w.l.), 574 feet (o.a.) x 75 x 20 feet (mean). Guns: 4.5 inch, 2 multiple pompoms, 4-3 pdr., 4 smaller. Machinery : Brown-Curtis geared turbines. S.H.P. 7.000 17 kts. Maidstone ordered Aug 17,1936 under 1935 estimates and completed May 5,1938. Armament is notable, being the heaviest - mounted in a British depot ship. Guns are in pairs, two forward, two aft and two sponsoned on either beam.

Why do I have an interest in HMS Maidstone? The reasons are twofold, one I served in Her for a short Period in 1965, about 2 weeks and, I have recently purchased a 1937 RN seamanship manual for 20p and inside I found a photo of "Mother Maidstone" as the owner noted. It says "14th June 1946 till 8th September 1946". Inside the cover of the manual it is noted, "L.S.A. Dolloway E. D/MX 642882, the manual is a 1942 reprint.

Can anyone explain why in the (1946 Photo) there are no Guns when the 1948 & 1952 photos clearly show them? It certainly looks like the Maidstone, but is it? SEE below for when Fred Rowe said it was removed.

1946 1948 1952

Below is another photograph taken in 1958 and supplied by (Fred Rowe). "Rob, saw your web site and just making contact as an ex St.Vincent junior!!!!! Hawke 930 1956-1957 [June] The AC and electrical were in the 930 others were in 931 and 932 classes. My first seagoing ship was Maidstone till 1958 .I was on her again in 1966 as a PO OEMech at Faslane.I left the RN in 1985 as a CCWEA Submarines. Loved every minute of it!!!!!! I was in the St. Vincent swimming Team and went to Ganges and Fisguard to compete. I swam for hawke division on sports days,so we may have crossed each others paths at some time!!!!! Like your site,keep up the good work." 1958

Another photograph taken in 1958 and supplied by (Fred Rowe) He said, "I have one of MAIDSTONE taken when I was in her,somewhere in the Atlantic. [We did a home fleet cruise to the West Indies in 1958] Those were the days !!!!!!! In 1966 we used to go for trips so as to qualify for the Duty Free[ U.K areas only !!!!!]"

Rob,"the Maidstone photo was taken in 1958 at sea on route to the West Indies.She was at that time she was C in C Home fleet and mother to the 2nd S/M comprising Seneschal,Springer,Scorcher and Turpin. She was relieved by the depot ship Tyne in May? 1958 and paid off to long refit in Portsmouth for conversion to Nuclear S/M support ship. That's when they removed the 4.5" guns etc. On the Foc'sle she had a vent mast fitted fwd of the bridge. In 1966 she was in the Gareloch [Faslane] with the third S/M. Paid off 1968 in Rosyth and became a Prison Ship in Belfast for the IRA !!!!!!

"To conclude the story In 1978 she was sold to T.Ward and finally ended her days in Inverkiething scrapped [arrived Inverkiething, Fife 24-5-1978]. I didn't know at the time or I would have tried to get a memento [my first ship and fond aquaintance--Four years of my life!!!]. At that time I was either driving submarines or teaching submarine systems at Faslane."

John George Parham, taken in Maidstone in June 1941 Supplied by Andrew Ovenden Portland, Oregon who says "My grand-uncle, John Parham, is seated second from the left". Photograph possible taken in Gibraltar? Do you know who the group are or any other names?

HMS Maidstone; Excerpts From Official Ships Log:

September 1945




Sat 1.9.45


At Kowloon Jetty, Hong Kong

Sat 8.9.45


Slip & proceed to oiler



Secure alongside oiler



Slip & proceed



Secure Kowloon Jetty

Wed 12.9.45


Slip & proceed



Anchor off Stonecutters Island

Mon 17.9.45


Slip & Proceed with convoy to



Subic Bay.

Wed 19.9.45


Anchor Subic Harbour - oiling.



Slip & proceed to Fremantle.

Mon 24.9.45


Anchor Macassar Roads.



HMS Barcool alongside with ex­



prisoners of war.



HMS Inverell* alongside with ex­



prisoners of war.



Weigh & proceed to Fremantle.

Sun 30.9.45


Secure No 5 berth, North Wharf,






Ex-prisoners of war left ship.

* HMS Inverell was an Algerine-class minesweeper

* HMS Barcoo  A River Class: Australian built River Class?