HMS Cornflower (1916)

HMS Cornflower (Chinese: 禾花) was an Arabis-class sloop of the Royal Navy and from 1933 the Hong Kong Naval Volunteer Force (HKNVR).

History
United Kingdom
NameHMS Cornflower
BuilderBarclay Curle and Company, Whiteinch
Yard number537
Laid down1915[1]
Launched30 March 1916[1]
MottoFortiter et recte (Boldly and rightly)
FateSold in 1940
General characteristics [3]
Class and type Arabis-class sloop
Displacement1,250 long tons (1,270 t)
Length
  • 255 ft 3 in (77.80 m) p.p.
  • 267 ft 9 in (81.61 m) o/a
Beam33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)
Propulsion
Speed17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Range2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph) with max. 260 tons of coal
Armament
Armour0.25 in (6.4 mm) steel[2]

Design and constructionEdit

The Arabis class was a slightly enlarged and improved derivative of the previous Acacia-class and Azalea-class sloops.[5][a] They were designed at the start of the First World War as relatively fast minesweepers that could also carry out various miscellaneous duties in support of the fleet such as acting as dispatch vessels or carrying out towing operations, but as the war continued and the threat from German submarines grew, became increasingly involved in anti-submarine duties.[6][7]

Cornflower was 268 ft (81.69 m) long overall and 255 ft (77.72 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m) and a draught of 11 ft (3.35 m).[8] Displacement was 1,250 long tons (1,270 t) normal.[9] Two cylindrical boilers fed steam to a four-cylinder triple expansion steam engine rated at 2,000 ihp (1,500 kW), giving a speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph).[9][10] The Arabis class had a main armament of two 4.7-inch (120 mm) guns or two 4-inch (102 mm) guns, with two 3-pounder (47 mm) anti-aircraft guns also carried.[9]

Cornflower was one of a group of 21 Arabis-class sloops ordered on 15 July 1915.[11] The ship was built by the Scottish shipbuilder Barclay, Curle and Company at their Whiteinch, Glasgow shipyard as yard number 537,[12] was launched on 30 March 1916,[8] and completed on 4 May that year.[11]

ServiceEdit

On commissioning, Cornflower joined the 1st Sloop Flotilla, as part of the Coast of Ireland Station,[13] but by September 1916 was lasted as part of the East Indies and Egypt Station.[14] In September 1917, she transferred to the East Indies Station,[15] and in January 1918 had transferred to the Egyptian Division of the Mediterranean Fleet.[16] Cornflower was still part of the Egyptian Division at the end of the war, and was a member of the 13th Sloop Flotilla.[17]

Between 1919 and 1921, she was then transferred to the Dardanelles and the Black Sea, once again performing minesweeping duties. From 1921 to 1927, she was in the Red Sea,[4][2] with duties including operations against slave traders.[18]

In 1927, she relieved HMS Hollyhock in Hong Kong.[19][2] On 31 March 1934, the Royal Navy presented the ship to the HKNVR on permanent loan as a drill ship. Hong Kong Commodore-in-Charge Frank Elliot replaced the crest and motto of the ship to that of Clan Eliott (Elliot's ancestor Charles Elliot had also been the first Administrator of Hong Kong).[20] In April 1934, she was put under the command of Lieutenant-Commander H. S. Rouse. She remained stationery at Wan Chai where she served as the headquarters and training ship of the HKNVR.[2]

The upkeep of the aging vessel became a significant financial burden for the volunteer navy. Under Article XIX of the Washington Naval Treaty, no new naval bases should be established in the Pacific, and Cornflower should "not be allowed to degenerate to a hulk so that she can be considered part of the fixed defence of Hong Kong."[20] By 1940, the ship was decrepit. A river steamer, SS Tai Hing, began to receive refitting in March 1940 to replace Cornflower as the headquarters of the HKNVR. The refitting was completed and the ship was formally handed over to the HKNVR in September. Tai Hing was renamed Cornflower after her predecessor to strengthen the unit's identify and esprit de corps.[19][21] Cornflower was handed back to the Royal Navy to be broken up.[2][22]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Together with the following Aubrietia class and Anchusa class, these classes were collectively known as the Flower-class sloops.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b ""FLOWER" ARABIS type fleet sweeping sloops". www.navypedia.org. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e "New Naval Quarters; H.M.S. Cornflower Is Replaced". Hongkong Telegraph. Hong Kong. 2 September 1940. p. 5.
  3. ^ Oscar, Parkes, ed. (1933). Jane's Fighting Ships 1933. p. 76.
  4. ^ a b Rosemary (2019-05-28). "HMS CORNFLOWER – September 1922 to August 1924, East Indies Station, Mediterranean". Naval History. Archived from the original on 2020-02-23. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  5. ^ Gardiner & Gray 1985, pp. 94–96
  6. ^ Gardiner & Gray 1985, pp. 3, 94
  7. ^ Brown 2010, pp. 136–137
  8. ^ a b Dittmar & Colledge 1972, p. 94
  9. ^ a b c Gardiner & Gray 1985, p. 95
  10. ^ Brown 2010, p. 137
  11. ^ a b Dorling 1935, p. 366
  12. ^ "Cornflower". Scottish Built Ships. Caledonian Maritime Research Trust. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands, &c.: III.—Miscellaneous Ships in Home Waters or on Detached Service". The Navy List. May 1916. p. 14. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via National Library of Scotland.
  14. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands, &c.: XII.—Other Foreign Stations: East Indies & Egypt". The Navy List. September 1916. p. 21. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via National Library of Scotland.
  15. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands, &c.: XII.—Other Foreign Stations: East Indies". The Navy List. September 1917. p. 22. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via National Library of Scotland.
  16. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands, &c.: XI.—Mediterranean Fleet: Egyptian Division". The Navy List. January 1918. p. 22. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via National Library of Scotland.
  17. ^ "Supplement to the Monthly Naval List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands, &c.: XI.—Mediterranean Fleet: Egyptian Division: Thirteenth Sloop Flotilla". The Navy List. December 1918. p. 23. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via National Library of Scotland.
  18. ^ "Suppressing Slave Trade: Navy in the Red Sea". The Queensland Times. 18 October 1923. p. 5. Retrieved 26 January 2021 – via Trove.
  19. ^ a b "大興輪船改為海軍義勇隊練習艦" [Steamer Tai Hing Refitting as Naval Volunteer Force Training Ship]. The Kung Sheung Evening News (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 1940-09-02. p. 4.
  20. ^ a b Spence, David O. (2012). "Imperialism and identity in British colonial naval culture, 1930s to decolonialisation" (PDF). pp. 236–238. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  21. ^ Spence, David O. (2012). "Imperialism and identity in British colonial naval culture, 1930s to decolonialisation" (PDF). pp. 247–248. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  22. ^ "代督岳桐昨接收禾花艦" [Acting Governor Norton Receives Cornflower Ship Yesterday]. Chinese Mail (in Chinese). Hong Kong. 1940-09-26. p. 7.
  • Brown, D. K. (2010). The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906–1922. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-085-7.
  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • Dorling, Taprell (1935). Swept Channels: Being an Account of the Work of the Minesweepers in the Great War. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.