Allied Warships

HMS Grenville (i) (H 03)

Destroyer of the G class

HMS Grenville prewar, note the 5th gun between the funnels

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 03 
ModFlotilla leader 
Built byYarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland) 
Ordered5 Mar 1934 
Laid down29 Sep 1934 
Launched15 Aug 1935 
Commissioned1 Jul 1936 
Lost19 Jan 1940 
Loss position51° 39'N, 2° 17'E

On 19 January 1940 the 1st DF was operating out of Harwich with six other ships of the Flotilla were returning from an operation off the Dutch coast when in calm weather, she was mined at 1250 hrs in the Thames estuary, 23 nautical miles east of the Kentish Knock lightvessel in position 51º39'N, 02º17'E, on a field laid by the German destroyers of FK Berger: Erich Steinbrinck, Friedrich Ihn and Friedrich Eckoldt.
HMS Grenville (Capt. George Elvey Creazy, RN) quickly capsized. Her bow was the last part of the ship to disappear. Two ships from the Flotilla, dispite the danger lowered boats to pluck 118 men from the water. Seventy seven officers and crew lost their life in the sinking.  

Commands listed for HMS Grenville (i) (H 03)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Capt. George Elvey Creasy, RN11 Jun 193819 Jan 1940

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Notable events involving Grenville (i) include:

31 Aug 1939
Several ships from the Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria for exercises; these were the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral A.B. Cunningham, KCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN), light cruiser HMS Galatea (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Cossack (Capt. D. de Pass, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN).

At sea they were joined by the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and her attendant destroyer HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) which had already been exercising off Alexandria since 30 August.

The Fleet returned to Alexandria in the morning of 1 September 1939. (1)

18 Dec 1939
The British destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) and the Polish destroyer Blyskawica (Lt.Cdr. J. Umecki, ORP) formed the escort of two British minelayers which conducted a night operation off the German coast. Mines were laid between Sylt Island and the harbour of Emden. (2)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/111091 + ADM 53/111092
  2. Personal communication

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

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