Allied Warships

HMS Grenade (H 86)

Destroyer of the G class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 86 
Built byA. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Ordered5 Mar 1934 
Laid down3 Oct 1934 
Launched12 Nov 1935 
Commissioned28 Mar 1936 
Lost29 May 1940 
Loss position51° 24'N, 2° 49'E

HMS Grenade (Cdr. Richard Courtenay Boyle, RN) was bombed at Dunkirk while embarking troops, hit again and finally towed out of the harbour where she sank. One bomb passed down one of the funnels.
The wreck lies in 24 meters of water in position 51º24'28"N, 02º49'10"E.  

Commands listed for HMS Grenade (H 86)

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1Cdr. Richard Courtenay Boyle, RN26 Jul 193829 May 1940

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Notable events involving Grenade include:

30 Sep 1939

Convoy Blue 3.

This convoy departed Port Said on 30 September 1939 for Gibraltar where it arrived on 10 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following merchants; Britannia (British, 8799 GRT, built 1926), British Captain (Tanker, British, 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Commodore (Tanker, British, 6865 GRT, built 1923), British Genius (Tanker, British, 8553 GRT, built 1939), British Grenadier (Tanker, British, 6857 GRT, built 1922), British Officer (Tanker British, 6990 GRT, built 1922), British Sergeant (Tanker, British, 5868 GRT, built 1922), City of Guildford (British, 5157 GRT, built 1919), City of Mandalay (British, 7028 GRT, built 1925), Clan Chisholm (British, 7256 GRT, built 1937), Clan Macbean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Halizones (British, 3298 GRT, built 1920), Hatasu (British, 3198 GRT, built 1921), Malancha (British, 8124 GRT, built 1937), Malvernian (British, 3133 GRT, built 1937), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Registan (British, 5886 GRT, built 1930), Sagaing (British, 7958 GRT, built 1925), Theseus (British, 6527 GRT, built 1908), Tunisia (British, 4337 GRT, built 1927), Ville de Tamatave (French, 6276 GRT, built 1931), Ville du Havre (French, 5083 GRT, built 1919), War Krishna (Tanker, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, British, 5760 GRT, built 1919), Yorkshire (British, 10183 GRT, built 1920),

British Sergeant parted company with the convoy off Malta.

A/S Escort was provided by the destroyers HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN) and the sloops HMS Fowey (Cdr. H.B. Ellison, RN) and HMS Grimsby (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN).

When off Malta on 5 October 1939, HMS Defender and HMS Duchess were relieved by HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN). They remained with the convoy until off Algiers on 8 October 1939 when the returned to Malta. The convoy was then escorted only by the two sloops and arrived at Gibraltar on the 10th. (1)

11 Dec 1939
Around 0830Z/11, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) departed Plymouth for trials. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Acasta (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN).

Due to suspected enemy submarine in the area HMS Valiant could not return to Plymouth as had been intended. She went to Portland instead arriving there around 0830Z/12. The destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) had meanwhile reinforced the screen. (2)

14 Dec 1939
Around 0830Z/14, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) departed Portland for Bermuda where she is to work-up as this is though not possible in the U.K. due to the submarine threat. On departure from Portland she is escorted by the destroyers HMS Acasta (Lt.Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN).

Around 1600Z/14, the destroyer HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) joined the escort and HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent parted company.

At 1730Z/15, the destroyer escort parted company and HMS Valiant continued her passage unescorted.


5 Apr 1940

Convoy ON 25.

This convoy was formed off Methil on 5 April 1940. It was recalled on 8 April 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ascania (Finnish, 838 GRT, built 1901), Begonia (Estonian, 1591 GRT, built 1890), Bertha (Danish, 966 GRT, built 1915), Bullaren (Swedish, 5722 GRT, built 1918), Caledonia (Swedish, 1268 GRT, built 1913), Cree (British, 4791 GRT, built 1920), Dalveen (British, 5193 GRT, built 1927), Delaware (Finnish, 2441 GRT, built 1902), Diana (Norwegian, 1154 GRT, built 1904), Einvik (Norwegian, 2000 GRT, built 1918), Eros (Norwegian, 974 GRT, built 1922), Forsvik (Norwegian, 1248 GRT, built 1919), Frey (Swedish, 1090 GRT, built 1911), Haga (Swedish, 1296 GRT, built 1918), Helder (Dutch, 3629 GRT, built 1920), Hjalmar Wessel (Norwegian, 1742 GRT, built 1935), Ibis (Norwegian, 1367 GRT, built 1918), Inger (Norwegian, 1409 GRT, built 1930), Lotte (Danish, 1420 GRT, built 1906), Magdalena (Swedish, 1265 GRT, built 1882), Magrix (British, 454 GRT, built 1938), Mette (Danish, 1909 GRT, built 1926), Nordost (Swedish, 1035 GRT, built 1918), Nyanza (British, 4974 GRT, built 1928), Orangemoor (British, 5775 GRT, built 1923), Roy (Norwegian, 1768 GRT, built 1921), Sjofna (Norwegian, 619 GRT, built 1918), Sophie (Danish, 945 GRT, built 1920), Swainby (British, 4935 GRT, built 1935), Vard (Norwegian, 681 GRT, built 1917), Veli Ragnar (Finnish, 2158 GRT, built 1914) and Vestland (Norwegian, 1934 GRT, built 1916).

On departure from Methil the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) and the submarine HMS Thistle (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Haselfoot, RN). The light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.H. Bousfield, RN), HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, RN) provided close cover.

On 6 April the following ships departed Kirkwall to join convoy ON 25 at sea;
Bullaren (Swedish, 5722 GRT, built 1918), C.F. Liljevalch (Swedish, 5492 GRT, built 1920), Elna E. (British, 1174 GRT, built 1925), Imperial Valley (British, 4573 GRT, built 1924), North Devon (British, 3658 GRT, built 1924), Ringulv (Norwegian, 5153 GRT, built 1903), Sarpfoss (Norwegian, 1493 GRT, built 1919), Solhavn (Norwegian, 1630 GRT, built 1918), Stanja (Norwegian, 1845 GRT, built 1915), Star (Norwegian, 1531 GRT, built 1922), Topdalsfjord (Norwegian, 4271 GRT, built 1921) and Wappu (Finnish, 1513 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Kirkwall this part of the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) which had come from Scapa Flow.

On joining the main convoy, HMS Janus joined the escort but HMS Jupiter was detached to search for the drifter HMS Seabreeze which was in trouble due to heavy weather and had made an SOS. This was later cancelled when a trawler met the Seabreeze and HMS Jupiter proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving there on the 7th.

In the evening of the 7th the convoy was disbanded an the ships were ordered to return to the U.K. due to enemy activity in the North Sea. The escorts were detailed for other duty.

9 Apr 1940
HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow very early in the evening for refueling.

23 Apr 1940
Around 1330A/23, the aircraft carriers, HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for air operations of central Norway. On board HMS Ark Royal were 18 Skua's and 5 Rocs as well as 21 Swordfish. On board HMS Glorious were 18 Sea Gladiators and 11 Skua's. Also on board HMS Glorious were 18 RAF Gladiators which were to be flown off to Norway. The carriers were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), AA cruiser HMS Curlew (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. E.W.B. Sim, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN).

In the evening HMS Glorious flew off the 18 RAF Gladiators to Norway which were to be used in the air defense of the Aandalsnes and Molde area.

On the 24th air operations were carried out over Aandalsnes. All aircraft returned safely to the aircraft carriers. Two Skuas crashed landed near the carriers on their return due to lack of fuel. Their crews were rescued by destroyers.

The carrier force then proceeded to an area between Namsos and Trondheim and at 0300A/25 the carriers flew off aircraft to attack the Vaernes airfield and other enemy military targets in the Trondheim area. Both carriers lost four aircraft, some of the crews were picked up by destroyers.

At 0725A/26 the destroyer screen parted company to proceed to Sullom Voe to refuel. They arrived at Sullom Voe at 2130A/26 and departed again 0400A/27 to rejoin the force at which they did around 1800A/27. They had been relieved at 0700A/26 by a group of destroyers coming from the Narvik area, these were; HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN) and HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN).

During flying operations on the 26th two aircraft were lost.

During flying operations on the 27th also two aircraft were lost.

At 2100A/27, HMS Glorious parted company with the force and proceeded to Scapa Flow escorted by the destoyers HMS Hasty, HMS Grenade, HMS Fury, HMS Fortune, HMS Escort and HMS Encounter. They arrived at Scapa Flow at 1800A/28.

On the 28th, aircraft from HMS Ark Royal carried out another air raid on the Trondheim area. One aircraft was lost. During this raid the force was now made up of HMS Ark Royal, HMS Berwick, HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) (joined around 1200A/28), HMS Curlew (parted company around 1600A/28), HMS Fearless, HMS Hereward, HMS Hyperion and HMS Juno.

At 2100A/29, HMS Sheffield parted company.

At 0630A/30, HMS Glorious departed Scapa Flow to rejoin HMS Ark Royal at sea. Shortly after departure replacement aircraft were flown on. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Beagle, HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Acheron (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Volunteer. HMS Volunteer however developed defects and was soon detached to Sullom Voe arriving there at 2230A/30. Defects proved to be of such nature that she had to return to Scapa Flow for repairs. HMS Glorious and her remaining escorting destroyers joined the Ark Royal group around 1030/1.

At 0400A/30 HMS Juno was detached from the screen of HMS Ark Royal and proceeded to Sullum Voe with defects. At Sullom Voe ammunition was transferred to HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) which then proceeded to take her place in the destroyer screen of HMS Ark Royal. HMS Juno then proceeded to Scapa Flow for repairs arriving there at 1800A/1.

Around 1100A/30, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fury, HMS Fortune HMS Escort and HMS Encounter joined coming from Scapa Flow which they had departed at 2100A/29.

Around 1820A/1, the force came under heavy German air attack but no damage was done.

At 2000A/1, Capt. Holland assumed command of HMS Ark Royal from Capt. Power while the ship was at sea.

At 2100A/1, HMS Hyperion and HMS Beagle were detached to Sullom Voe. HMS Hereward had already been detached around 1900A/1. HMS Hereward arrived at Sullom Voe at 1240A/2 followed aby HMS Hyperion at 2215A/2. HMS Beagle proceeded to Scapa Flow arriving there at 0630A/3.

HMS Ark Royal, HMS Glorious, HMS Valiant, HMS Berwick, HMS Acheron, HMS Antelope, HMS Encounter, HMS Escort, HMS Fearless, HMS Fortune, HMS Fury and HMS Kimberley arrived at Scapa Flow around 1030A/3. (3)

29 Apr 1940

Operation Klaxon, the evacuation of troops from Namsos.

Timespan: 29 April to 5 May 1940.

At 2000/29 the French armed merchant cruisers El D’Jezair, El Kantara and El Mansour departed Scapa Flow for Namsos, Norway where they were to evacutate troops. They were escorted by the British destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. W. Kitcat, RN) and the French large destroyer Bison (Capt. J.A.R. Bouan).

A cover force departed Scapa Flow one hour later. It was made up of the British heavy cruisers HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), the French light cruiser Montcalm (Capt. J.L. de Corbiere, flying the flag of Commodore (Contre-Admiral) E.L.H. Derrien) and the British destroyers HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN).

These forces were later reinforced by the British destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. P.L. Vian, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and the French destroyer Foudroyant Foudroyant (Cdr. P.L.A. Fontaine)

The force lead by Vice-Admiral Cunningham arrived off the Norwegian coast near Namsos on May 1st.

HMS Maori had been sent on ahead and reported fog. HMS Kelly, HMS Grenade, HMS Griffin and Bison were ordered to join her.

When entering the Namsenfjord in fog on 2 May 1940, HMS Maori is bombed and damaged from near misses. She had to retire for temporary repairs but was able to participate in the evacuation during the next night. The evacuation attempt was then postponed to the night of 2/3 May.

On 2 May the force was reinforced by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN).

In the evening of 2 May the force entered the Fjord to embark troops except HMS Devonshire, Montcalm, HMS Grenade, HMS Griffin, HMS Hasty and HMS Imperial which remained at sea to cover the operation.

A total of 1850 British, 2345 French, some Norwegian troops and 30 German prisoners were evacuated. The evacuation was completed around 0445/3.

Heavy German air attacks developed when the Force was leaving the area. The attacks concentrated on the Devonshire and Montcalm but they were not hit.

The French destroyer Bison was hit at 1010 hours in position 65°42'N, 07°17'E and her forward magazine exploded blowing off the fore part of the ship.The survivors were rescued by HMS Grenade, HMS Imperial and HMS Afridi The wreck was then scuttled by HMS Afridi.

But the attacks continued and at 1400 hours HMS Afridi was hit in position 66°14'N, 05°45'E and sank around 1445 hours. Her survivors were picked up by HMS Griffin and HMS Imperial.

The destroyers with the survivors; HMS Grenade, HMS Griffin and HMS Imperial were detached to land these at Sullom Voe where they arrived around 1700/4. They departed again around 2130/4 for Scapa Flow where they arrived around 0730/5.

Reinforcements had meanwhile been sent out from Sullom Voe these were the light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). They had departed Sullom Voe late in the evening of May, 2nd with orders to give support to the forces operating in the Namsos area.

Shortly before midnight during the night of 3/4 May, four more destroyers were sent out, these were; HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, DSO, RN), HMS Acheron (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. E.W.B. Sim, RN).

All forces arrived at Scapa Flow in the evening of May 4th or the early hours of May 5th. (4)

5 May 1940
Around 1800A/5 the French armed merchant cruisers El D’Jezair, El Kantara, El Mansour, the French troopships Djenne, President Doumer, the British troopships Duchess of Atholl and Reina del Pacifico departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde. They made the passage together with the damaged British heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN). They were escorted by the British destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. W. Kitcat, RN), the French large destroyers Chevalier Paul (Cdr. M. L. Bonnot), Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel) and Milan (Cdr. L.M.E. Plumejeaud).

They arrived in the Clyde the next day.

27 May 1940
HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) departed Harwich shortly after midnight. They returned later the same day.

[No further details available.]

28 May 1940
HMS Codrington (Capt. G.F. Stevens-Guille, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) departed Harwich for patrol. Later they were ordered to proceed to Dunkirk to pick up troops.

En-route HMS Codrington, HMS Jaguar and HMS Javelin picked up thirty-three survivors from the British merchant vessel Abukir which had been sunk with troops on board she had taken off at Ostend, Belgium.

Apparently these three destroyers then proceeded to Dunkirk.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 199/389
  2. ADM 53/107297 + ADM 53/107489 + ADM 53/110898
  3. ADM 199/376 (+ ADM 53/111432 and ADM 53/111433)
  4. ADM 199/361

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

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