Hugh St. Lawrence Nicolson DSO, RN

Born  11 Apr 1899

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15 Jan 1919 S.Lt.
15 Dec 1920 Lt.
15 Dec 1928 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1933 Cdr.
31 Dec 1940 Capt.

Retired: 7 Jan 1950


11 Jul 1940 DSO
26 Jul 1940 Bar to DSO
1 Jan 1946 CBE
11 Jun 1946 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for Hugh St. Lawrence Nicolson, RN

HMS Hyperion (H 97)Cdr.Destroyer30 Nov 193822 Dec 1940
HMS Ilex (D 61)Cdr.Destroyer30 Dec 1940mid 1941
HMS Griffin (H 31)Capt.Destroyer19 Nov 194124 May 1942
HMS Duncan (D 99)Capt.Destroyer25 May 194216 Dec 1942

Career information

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Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Hyperion (H 97)

19 Dec 1939 (position 40.17, -71.05)
The large German passenger ship Columbus (32581 GRT) is intercepted about 320 nautical miles east of Cape Hattaras, USA in position 40°17'N, 71°05'W by HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN). To prevent her capture the ship was scuttled by it's own crew.

10 Jun 1940
On 10 June 1940, the following destroyers; HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN), HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, DSO, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) departed Alexandria for an A/S sweep to the west of Alexandria as far as 25°40'E as it is feared Italian submarines were en-route to their war stations although was was not declared by the Italians until 0001/11 but it was clear war would be decared soon. Around 2230 hours, HMS Decoy, sighted a submarine on the surface. She made three attacks with depth charges and at dawn a two mile long oil slick was seen. The destroyers returned to Alexandria the following day.

The submarine attacked might have been the Italian Diamante as this was very close to the position she was to be in. As this submarine was later sunk with all hands we have no confirmation for this. The submarine however remained on patrol and did not mention damage in a signal sent before she was lost, it is probable that damaged - if any - were slight. (1)

18 Jul 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN) departed Alexandria for an A/S hunt towards the Kaso Strait, then along the north coast of Crete, then through the Anti-Kithera Strait and finally back towards Alexandria where they were to return around 0800/20. (1)

Destroyer HMS Ilex (D 61)

15 Jun 1941
HMS Ilex (Capt. H. St. L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) was damaged by near misses from Vichy-French aircraft while operation off Syria. She sustained major structural damage was was towed to Haifa by HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN).

29 Jun 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Ilex (Capt. H. St. L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) arrived at Port Said.


  1. ADM 199/386

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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