Allied Warships

HMS Wakeful (i) (H 88)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantH 88 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered9 Dec 1916 
Laid down17 Jan 1917 
Launched6 Oct 1917 
Commissioned16 Nov 1917 
Lost29 May 1940 
Loss position51° 22'N, 2° 43'E

On 29 May 1940 HMS Wakeful (Cdr. Ralph Lindsay Fisher, RN) was torpedoed and sunk by German motor torpedo boat S-30 while participating in the evacuation of French, English, and Belgian troops off Dunkirk.
The wreck lies in position 51º22'44"N, 02º43'22"E.


Commands listed for HMS Wakeful (i) (H 88)

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1Cdr. Robert St. Vincent Sherbrooke, RN31 Jul 193918 Dec 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Ralph Lindsay Fisher, RN18 Dec 193929 May 1940

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Notable events involving Wakeful (i) include:

19 Feb 1940
HMS H 32 (Lt. M.D. Wanklyn, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Wakeful (Cdr.. R.L. Fisher, RN) and HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Younghusband, DSC, RN). (1)

4 Mar 1940
Shortly after 1900 hours, HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN), attacked a submarine contact in position off Trevose Head in 50°31'N, 05°24'W. This was later thought to be a wreck.

Later the same evening they were ordered to search for another uboat, together with HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN), that had been reported near the Scillies. (2)

5 Mar 1940
Shortly after noon this day, HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, RN) were ordered to search for a uboat that had been reported off St. Ives Head. Wakeful was sent ahead as both 'K'-class destroyers could only make 15 knots due to their damaged hulls. (2)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 173/16283
  2. ADM 199/371

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

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