Allied Warships

HMS Keith (D 06)

Destroyer of the B class

HMS Keith before World War Two

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantD 06 
ModFlotilla leader 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered22 Mar 1929 
Laid down1 Oct 1929 
Launched10 Jul 1930 
Commissioned20 Mar 1931 
Lost1 Jun 1940 
Loss position51° 04'N, 2° 08'E

On 1 June 1940 HMS Keith (Capt. Edward Lyon Berthon, RN, also Commanding officer of the 19th Destroyer Flotilla) was sunk by German Stuka dive bombers off Dunkirk, France while she was participating in the evacuaton of the British Expeditionary Force from France.
The wreck lies in 23 meters of water in position 51º04'43"N, 02º08'46"E.


Commands listed for HMS Keith (D 06)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Capt. Alfred Jerome Lucian Phillips, RN31 Jul 19396 Sep 1939
2Cdr. (retired) Henry Thurston Wake Pawsey, OBE, RN6 Sep 193915 Feb 1940
3Capt. David James Robert Simson, RN15 Feb 194023 May 1940 (+)
4Capt. Edward Lyon Berthon, DSC, RN27 May 19401 Jun 1940

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Notable events involving Keith include:

9 Oct 1939
Around 2100 hours the British destroyers HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN with Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN aboard), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Keith (Cdr. H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Kingdon, RN) and the Polish destroyer Grom (Lt.Cdr. A. Hulewicz, ORP) were ordered to leave Harwich and establish a patrol in the North Sea. Shortly before that, a German He 59 seaplane dropped two magnetic mines nearby, but there was no time for searching. HMS Gipsy hit one of those mines which tore her into two pieces. Most of the survivors were picked up by HMS Griffin and HMS Keith. (1)

2 Nov 1939
A submarine was reported near Margate Buoy and the destroyers HMS Keith (Cdr.(Retd.) H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN), HMS Blanche (Lt.Cdr. R.N. Aubrey, RN) and HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN) were ordered to hunt this submarine. No contact was obtained though.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication

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