Allied Warships

HMS Wren (i) (D 88)

Destroyer of the Admiralty Modified W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty Modified W 
PennantD 88 
Built byYarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland) 
OrderedJan 1918 
Laid downJun 1918 
Launched11 Nov 1919 
Commissioned27 Jan 1923 
Lost27 Jul 1940 
Loss position52° 10'N, 2° 06'E

HMS Wren was completed by Pembroke Dockyard.

HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. Frederick William George Harker, RN) was bombed and sunk on 27 July 1940 by German aircraft about 20 nautical miles east of Aldeburgh in position 52º10'N, 02º06'E. HMS Montrose was damaged in the same attack.


Commands listed for HMS Wren (i) (D 88)

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.

1Cdr. William Halford Selby, RN31 Jul 193913 Jan 1940
2Cdr. Harold Thomas Armstrong, RN13 Jan 194030 May 1940
3Lt.Cdr. Frederick William George Harker, RN30 May 194027 Jul 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Wren (i) include:

7 Jan 1940
With her refit completed, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CVO, DSO, RN), departed Plymouth around 0400 hours for Portsmouth. She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Wivern (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN). (1)

8 Jan 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Wivern (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) arrived at Portsmouth from Plymouth having been delayed en-route due to thick fog. (1)

6 Feb 1940
HMS Exeter (Capt. F.S. Bell, CB, RN), and her escorts, HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN), HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Freetown for Plymouth.

HMS Ark Royal and the destroyers parted company around 1800/9. Ark Royal was to proceed direct to the U.K. while the destroyers were to arrive at Dakar at 0900 (GMT) on the 11th.

Around dawn at 13 February 1940, HMS Renown and HMS Exeter were joined by HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. C.F. Tower, MVO, RN).

In the morning of the 14th the destroyers HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) and HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) joined. This was before the other destroyers (see below) joined.

Around 1030/14 four more destroyers joined, HMS Hearty (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN).

Around 1645/14, HMS Whitshed, HMS Vesper and HMS Acasta parted company when the merchant vessel Sultan Star was torpedoed and sunk on the horizon.

HMS Hero was detached, most likely on the 15th to Portsmouth where she was to refit.

HMS Renown, HMS Exeter, HMS Hasty, HMS Ardent, HMS Hearty, HMS Wren and HMS Wolverine arrived at Plymouth on the 15th. (2)

22 Feb 1940

Convoy HX 22.

This convoy departed Halifax on 22 February 1940 and arrived at Liverpool 9 March 1940.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938), Anthea (British, 5186 GRT, built 1924), Aspasia Nomikos (Greek, 4855 GRT, built 1938), Athelprincess (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), Athelsultan (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), Bradford City (British, 4953 GRT, built 1936), Carras (Greek, 5234 GRT, built 1918), Chama (British (tanker), 8077 GRT, built 1938), Chesapeake (British (tanker), 8955 GRT, built 1928), Counsellor (British, 5068 GRT, built 1926), Darcoila (British, 4084 GRT, built 1926), Director (British, 5107 GRT, built 1926), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Erodona (British (tanker), 6207 GRT, built 1937), Gracefield (British, 4631 GRT, built 1928), Hanseat (Panamanian (tanker), 7932 GRT, built 1929), Hoperidge (British, 5222 GRT, built 1939), Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936), Humber Arm (British, 5758 GRT, built 1925), James McGee (Panamanian (tanker), 9859 GRT, built 1917), King Neptune (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Laguna (British, 6466 GRT, built 1923), Lindenhall (British, 5248 GRT, built 1937), Nailsea Moor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Newton Moore (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937), Norman Monarch (British, 4718 GRT, built 1937), Nyanza (British, 4974 GRT, built 1928), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Reginolite (British (tanker), 9069 GRT, built 1926), San Ambrosio (British (tanker), 7410 GRT, built 1935), San Fernando (British (tanker), 13056 GRT, built 1919), Scherazade (French (tanker), 13467 GRT, built 1935), Strategist (British, 6255 GRT, built 1937) and Yang-Tse (French, 8150 GRT, built 1915).

The convoy had been escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN).

The Canadian destroyers parted company with the convoy on 23 February.

HMS Royal Sovereign parted company with the convoy on 2 March. She then set course to return to Halifax while the convoy continued eastwards without escort.

On 6 March the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Walpole (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN).

Before the convoy arrived the Counsellor hit a mine and sank.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 9 March 1940.

13 May 1940
French troops were landed at Bjervik, Norway today. This is just to the north of Narvik. The town was captured successfully.

Naval ships involved in landing the troops and to provide cover were; battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) which both landed French troops, repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN), netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN).

Air cover for this operation was provided, from a distance, by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN).

Later this day these ships also bombarded Narvik with the assistance of aircraft from the Ark Royal.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/113145
  2. ADM 53/112194

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

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