Allied Warships

HMS Montclare (F 85)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 85 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched18 Dec 1921 
Commissioned15 Oct 1939 
End service2 Jun 1942 

On 28 August 1939 the passenger ship Montclare of the Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd, Montreal was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 15 October 1939.

Displacement: 16314 BRT
Armament: 7x 140mm, 3x 102mm
Speed: 17 knots

October 39: South Atlantic Station
November 39 - May 40: Northern Patrol
June 40: Western Approaches Command
July 40 - April 41: Bermuda and Halifax Escort Force
May 41 - December 41: North Atlantic Escort Force
March 42 - April 42: Western Patrol
May 42: Plymouth Command

On 2 June 1942 sold to the Admiralty and converted to a submarine depot ship for the 3rd Submarine flotilla. 1954 decommissioned and in January 1958 sold for scrap at Inverkeithing.


Commands listed for HMS Montclare (F 85)

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1Capt. (retired) Herbert Malcolm Spreckley, RN2 Sep 193925 Aug 1941
2Capt. (retired) Lawrence Hodson Bayley, RN25 Aug 194117 Apr 1942
3Cdr. (retired) William Richmond Fell, DSC, OBE, RN17 Apr 1942ca Jun 42

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Notable events involving Montclare include:

13 Jan 1941

Convoy BHX 103

This convoy departed Bermuda on 13 January 1941 and merged at sea with convoy HX 103 on 18 January 1941.

Convoy BHX 103 was made up of the following merchant vessels: Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Mamura (Dutch (tanker), 8245 GRT, built 1932) and Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931).

The convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) which was detached when the convoy merged with convoy HX 103.

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