Allied Warships

HMS Cockchafer (T 72)

River gunboat of the Insect class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeRiver gunboat
PennantT 72 
Built byBarclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland)  
Ordered9 Feb 1915 
Laid downFeb 1915 
Launched17 Dec 1915 
CommissionedApr 1916 
End service 

Sold for scrap in 1949.


Commands listed for HMS Cockchafer (T 72)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. John Andrew Agnew, RN25 Dec 193816 Apr 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Hugh Forbes Robertson-Aikman, RN16 Apr 194019 Jun 1941
3Lt. Robert Stewart Blacker, RN19 Jun 1941mid 1943
4T/Lt. Arthur William Dow, RNVRmid 1943Oct 1944
5Lt.Cdr. Edward Bernard Tancock, DSC, RNOct 1944Jan 1945
6T/Lt. Basil Guy Pritchard de Mattos, RNVRJan 194528 Jul 1945
7Lt. Edward Austin Tyrer, DSC, RN28 Jul 1945

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Notable events involving Cockchafer include:

4 Mar 1940
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) made rendezvous with the river gunboats Cockchafter (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Agnew, RN) and HMS Gnat (Lt.Cdr. S.R.H. Davenport, RN) to escort them to Singapore. (1)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), Cockchafter (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Agnew, RN) and HMS Gnat (Lt.Cdr. S.R.H. Davenport, RN) arrived at Singapore. (1)

22 Apr 1940
The river gunboats Cockchafter (Lt.Cdr. J.A. Agnew, RN), HMS Gnat (Lt.Cdr. S.R.H. Davenport, RN) departed Nancowry for Colombo. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN).

HMS Kent was relieved around midnight during the night of 22/23 April 1940 by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (Capt.(Retd.) B.W.L. Nicholson, DSO, RN).

HMS Kent proceeded to Colombo with despatch.



  1. ADM 53/111934
  2. ADM 53/112524 + ADM 199/382

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

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