Allied Warships

HMS Gipsy (H 63)

Destroyer of the G class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 63 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered5 Mar 1934 
Laid down5 Sep 1934 
Launched7 Nov 1935 
Commissioned22 Feb 1936 
Lost21 Nov 1939 
Loss position51° 57'N, 1° 19'E

HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. Nigel John Crossley, RN) was mined and sunk in the channel to Harwich Harbour in position 51º57'N, 01º19'E.  

Commands listed for HMS Gipsy (H 63)

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

1Lt.Cdr. Nigel John Crossley, RN3 Jan 193921 Nov 1939

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Notable events involving Gipsy include:

7 Sep 1939

Convoy Green 1.

The convoy departed Gibraltar on 7 September 1939. Destination of the convoy was for most ships Suez but several ships were detached for Mediterranean ports en-route.

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alpera (British, 1777 GRT, built 1920), Andalusian (British, 3082 GRT, built 1918), Balmore (British, 1925 GRT, built 1920), Bandar Shahpour (British, 5236 GRT, built 1927), Blackhill (British, 2492 GRT, built 1919), Brighton (British, 5359 GRT, built 1928), British Faith (British (tanker), 6955 GRT, built 1928), City of Christchurch (British, 6009 GRT, built 1915), City of Oxford (British, 2759 GRT, built 1926), Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Draco (British, 2018 GRT, built 1922), Dromore (British, 4096 GRT, built 1920), Elizabeth Massey (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Frederick S. Fales (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Garesfield (British, 2168 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (British, 6491 GRT, built 1912), Kyle Glen (British, 3670 GRT, built 1917), Lassell (British, 7417 GRT, built 1922), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Loch Maddy (British, 4996 GRT, built 1934), Lylepark (British, 5186 GRT, built 1929), Mardinian (British, 2434 GRT, built 1919), Marklyn (British, 3090 GRT, built 1918), Mervyn (British, 3402 GRT, built 1924), Rosewood (British (tanker), 5989 GRT, built 1931), Star of Egypt (British, 4372 GRT, built 1921) and Uskmouth (British, 2482 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Douglas (Cdr. R.F.B. Swinley, RN), HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMS Vidette (Cdr.(Retd.) D.R. Brocklebank, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. W.J.B. Handley, RN).

Around 1600A/8, the French destroyers L'Alcyon (Lt.Cdr. V.A.M. Albertas) and Trombe (A.A.M. Lepotier) joined the convoy escort [No details available on when they left the convoy.]

Also on 8 September, the merchant vessel Marklyn arrived at Melilla after having parted company with the convoy.

On 9 September, the merchant vessel Balmore arrived at Oran.

Around 0630A/10, the destroyers 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) joined and HMS Douglas, HMS Velox, HMS Vidette and HMS Vortigern then parted company to return to Gibraltar.

Also on the 10th, the merchant vessel Uskmouth arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy.

Around 1100A/11, the merchant vessel Blackhill parted company to proceed to Bone.

Around 0400A/12, the merchant vessel Mervyn parted company to proceed to Bizerta.

Around 0845A/13, the destroyers HMS Garland (Cdr. C.A.N. Chatwin, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) joined coming from Malta.

Around 0945A/13, the Malta bound ships, Andalusian, City of Oxford, Destro, Draco, Mardinian, parted company with the convoy escorted by HMS Cossack, HMS Maori, HMS Nubian and HMS Zulu.

On the 14th, the sloop HMS Aberdeen (Cdr. H.P. Currey, RN) joined the convoy.

On 16 September 1939, the merchant vessels Dromore and Rosewood arrived at Piraeus after having been detached from the convoy.

Also on 16 September 1939, HMS Garland was damaged by a depth charge explosion. A depth charge was dropped at to slow a speed and damaged the stern. Another depth charge then broke loose and exploded under the ship. She was taken in tow by HMS Griffin. They arrived at Alexandria on 17 September 1939.

On 18 September 1939, the merchant vessel Frederick S Fales arrived at Istanbul after having been detached from the convoy.

Also on 18 September 1939, the merchant vessels Alpera, Bighton I, Garesfield, Laomedon, Kyle Glen, Llandaff Castle, Lylepark and Star of Egypt arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy.

The remainder of the convoy, Bandar Shahpour, British Faith, City of Christchurch, Elizabeth Massey and Loch Maddy arrived at Port Said on the 18th.


Cover for this convoy had been provided by ships from the Mediterranean Fleet, 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 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 Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.R. Moore, CB, DSO, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Cresswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. R.F. Jolly, RN) and HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN).

26 Sep 1939

Convoy HG 1.

This convoy departed Gibraltar on 26 September 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Engineer (British (tanker), 6993 GRT, built 1922), British Science (British (tanker), 7138 GRT, built 1931), Calchas (British, 10304 GRT, built 1921), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), City of Adelaide (British, 6589 GRT, built 1920), City of Dunkirk (British, 5861 GRT, built 1912), Clearpool (British, 5405 GRT, built 1935), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Estrellano (British, 1982 GRT, built 1920), Fabian (British, 3059 GRT, built 1919), Gabbiano (Italian, 6567 GRT, built 1923), Ilvington Court (British, 5187 GRT, built 1919), Jurko Topic (Yugoslavian, 5202 GRT, built 1919), Kioto (British, 3297 GRT, built 1918), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Macharda (British, 7998 GRT, built 1938), Mahratta (British, 6990 GRT, built 1917), Maja (British (tanker), 8181 GRT, built 1931), Makalla (British, 6677 GRT, built 1918), P.L.M. 22 (French, 5646 GRT, built 1921), P.L.M. 25 (French, 5461 GRT, built 1922), Palistinian Prince (British, 1960 GRT, built 1936), Stentor (British, 6148 GRT, built 1926) and Westbury (British, 4712 GRT, built 1928).

The RFA tankers Abbeydale (8299 GRT, built 1937), Aldersdale (8402 GRT, built 1937), Serbol (2668 GRT, built 1918) were also part of the convoy.

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser Colombo and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) and Blyskawica (Kmdr.por. (Cdr.) W.A. Kodrebski-Poraj).

Around 2200A/26, the British destroyers parted company to return to Gibraltar.

Around 2000A/28, ORP Blyskawica was detached to proceed to Plymouth.

On 29 September, the RFA tanker Aldersdale was detached to Trinidad where she arrived on 10 October 1939. Also one of the two French ships and the Gabbiano straggled from the convoy and did not rejoin.

Around 1400A/3, the destroyers HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), i>HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) joined the convoy.

On 4 October it was noticed that three more merchant vessels had straggled from the convoy during the night, these were the Clearpool, Ilvington Court and Westbury. The Ilvington Court however rejoined around 0900A/4.

At 1200A/4, the convoy split and the section which was to proceed up the Irish Sea towards Liverpool parted company escorted by HMS Imogen and HMS Ilex.

The remainder of the convoy set course for the English Channel.

On 5 October the Westbury rejoined the Channel section of the convoy.

Around 1400A/5, the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. J.W. Josselyn, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) joined the Channel section of the convoy. HMS Colombo, HMS Imperial, HMS Isis and the RFA tanker Abbeydale were then detached to Plymouth where they arrived around 1700A/5.

The Liverpool section with HMS Imogen and HMS Ilex arrived there around 1300A/6.

The Channel section proceeded to the Downs escorted by HMS Intrepid and HMS Echo. These two destroyers arrived at Dover on 6 October 1939. (1)

28 Sep 1939

Convoy Red 2.

This convoy departed Southampton on 29 September 1939.

It was made up of the liners (serving as troopships); Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914) and Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923).

The armed merchant cruiser (not outfitted yet) HMS Alcantara (Capt.(Retd.) J.G.P. Ingham, DSO, RN) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. A.G. Talbot, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. B. Jones, RN) which joined in Spithead early on the 29th.

The convoy arrived at Gibraltar on 3 October 1939.

The convoy, less the Athlone Castle departed Gibraltar later the same day. The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, RN) and HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN).

At 0815A/5, the destroyers HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN), which came from Malta, took over from HMS Greyhound and HMS Gipsy which then parted company.

At 1746A/5, HMS Alcantara and the Franconia collided. Both ships were damaged.

The convoy arrived at Malta on 6 October 1939.

The convoy departed Malta on 7 October 1939 but was now only made up of the Empress of Australia. She was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN) and HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN).

The convoy arrived at Alexandria on 9 October 1939.

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. (2)

9 Oct 1939
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), the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

During the exercises HMS Malaya, HMS Glorious, HMS Daring and HMS Bulldog split off. They were to proceed to the Indian Ocean (Socotra area). They arrived at Port Said later the same day. (3)

25 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 6.

This convoy departed Halifax on 25 October 1939.

It was made up of the following transport / tankers; Agnita (British (tanker), 3552 GRT, built 1931), Alaska (French, 5399 GRT, built 1922), Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Athelking (British (tanker), 9557 GRT, built 1926), Athelknight (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1930), Athellaird (British (tanker), 8999 GRT, built 1930), Atalantian (British, 6549 GRT, built 1928), Atlantic (British, 5414 GRT, built 1939), Baron Belhaven (British, 6591 GRT, built 1925), Baron Ruthven (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Bengloe (British, 5318 GRT, built 1918), Boulderpool (British, 4805 GRT, built 1928), Bridgepool (British, 4845 GRT, built 1924), Cadillac (British (tanker), 12062 GRT, built 1917), Carbet (French, 3689 GRT, built 1920), Comedian (British, 5122 GRT, built 1929), Cornish City (British, 4952 GRT, built 1936), Coultarn (British, 3759 GRT, built 1938), D.L. Harper (British (tanker), 12223 GRT, built 1933), Dalhanna (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Dalryan (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Daronia (British (tanker), 8139 GRT, built 1939), Deerpool (British, 5167 GRT, built 1930), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939) Drakepool (British, 4838 GRT, built 1924), Dunelmia (British, 5207 GRT, built 1929), Eclipse (British (tanker), 9767 GRT, built 1931), F.J. Wolfe (Panamanian (tanker), 12190 GRT, built 1932), Franche Comte (British (tanker), 9314 GRT, built 1936), Geddington Court (British, 6903 GRT, built 1928), Geraldine Mary (British, 7244 GRT, built 1924), Holmpark (British, 5780 GRT, built 1927), Imperial Transport (British (tanker), 8022 GRT, built 1931), Inversuir (British (tanker), 9456 GRT, built 1938), Jersey (British, 4986 GRT, built 1936), Jersey City (British, 6322 GRT, built 1920), Kenbane Head (British, 5225 GRT, built 1919), Lochkatrine (British, 9419 GRT, built 1922), Loreto (British, 6882 GRT, built 1913), Lustrous (British (tanker), 6156 GRT, built 1927), Manchester Regiment (British, 5989 GRT, built 1922), Modavia (British, 4858 GRT, built 1927), Nailsea Court (British, 4946 GRT, built 1936), Narragansett (British (tanker), 10389 GRT, built 1936), Northleigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Pacific Enterprise (British, 6736 GRT, built 1927), Pecten (British (tanker), 7468 GRT, built 1927), Peder Bogen (British (tanker), 9741 GRT, built 1925), Penelope (British (tanker), 6559 GRT, built 1925), Robert F. Hand (British (tanker), 12197 GRT, built 1933), San Calisto (British (tanker), 8010 GRT, built 1937), Scottish Heather (British (tanker), 7087 GRT, built 1928), Trecarrell (British, 5271 GRT, built 1919), Voco (British (tanker), 5090 GRT, built 1925), Warkworth (British, 4941 GRT, built 1924) and Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. C.H. Knox-Little, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

On 27 October 1939, the destroyers parted company to return to Halifax.

On 6 November 1939, the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Warwick (Lt.Cdr. M.A.G. Child, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) joined the convoy.

At 1700A/6, HMS Resolution escorted by HMS Grenville and HMS Grenade detached from the convoy and arrived at Plymouth on the 7th.

At 1800A/6 the convoy split into two sections.

The bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 9 November 1939.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 199/61
  2. Personal communication
  3. ADM 199/389

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

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