Allied Warships

HMS Polyanthus (K 47)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 47 
Built byHenry Robb Ltd. (Leith, U.K.) 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down19 Mar 1940 
Launched30 Nov 1940 
Commissioned24 Apr 1941 
Lost21 Sep 1943 
Loss position57° 00'N, 31° 10'W

At 0022 hours on 21 Sepember 1943 the German U-952 fired a Gnat at an escort of the convoy ON-202 and heard after three minutes a detonation, followed by sinking noises. HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. John Gordon Aitken, RNR) was hit and sank immediately at position 57º00'N, 31º10'W. The British frigate HMS Itchen picked up one survivor, but he died when the frigate was torpedoed and sunk two days later by U-666.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 21 Sep 1943 by U-952 (Curio).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Polyanthus

Commands listed for HMS Polyanthus (K 47)

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.

1Lt. Arthur Hague, RNRearly 194125 Jun 1942
2Lt.Cdr. Raymond Spurr Holland, RNR25 Jun 19428 Jan 1943
3T/Lt. John Gordon Aitken, RNR8 Jan 194321 Sep 1943 (+)

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Notable events involving Polyanthus include:

HMS POLYANTHUS K47, was sunk during the convoy ON.202, on the 20th of September, 1943. 30% of K47's company were rescued by the River Class Frigate HMS ITCHEN K227-told to me by one of two of K227's survivors; Peter Flood A/B S.T.(Able Seaman Torpedoman). The other survivor of K227 was P.O.E.R.A.(Petty Officer Engine Room Artificer)Bill Clarke; told to me by Peter Flood; i have a photo of these two sailors. The lone survivor of H.M.C.S. ST. CROIX I81, was William Fisher-Stoker First Class. When K227 was sunk by U-666, Flood, Clarke and Fisher were rescued by the Polish Merchant Ship, S.S. WISLA. Brian 'Canuck' Murza, W.W.II Naval Researcher/Author. (1)

11 Jun 1941

Convoy OB 334.

This convoy departed the U.K. on 11 June 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alexia (British (tanker), 8016 GRT, built 1935), Armadale (British, 5066 GRT, built 1929), Athelprincess (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), Barberrys (British, 5170 GRT, built 1920), Baron Carnegie (British, 3178 GRT, built 1925), Barrington Court (British, 4910 GRT, built 1924), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Bic Island (British, 4000 GRT, built 1917), British Colony (British (tanker), 6917 GRT, built 1927), British Commodore (British (tanker), 6865 GRT, built 1923), British Destiny (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), British Faith (British, 6955 GRT, built 1928), Bulysses (British, 7519 GRT, built 1927), Bur (Norwegian, 4343 GRT, built 1917), Cairnesk (British, 5007 GRT, built 1926), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), Chr. Th. Boe (Norwegian (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1930), Clan Macilwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Clan Macwhirter (British, 5941 GRT, built 1918), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), El Aleto (British (tanker), 7203 GRT, built 1927), Empire Crossbill (British, 5463 GRT, built 1919), Empire Waterhen (British, 6004 GRT, built 1920), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Jade (British, 930 GRT, built 1938), Lodestone (British, 4877 GRT, built 1938), Luxor (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1930), Mandalay (British, 5529 GRT, built 1911), Mendoza (British, 8233 GRT, built 1919), Modavia (British, 4858 GRT, built 1927), Morgenen (Norwegian (tanker), 7093 GRT, built 1930), Nova (Norwegian, 1382 GRT, built 1925), Petter (Norwegian (tanker), 9109 GRT, built 1935), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), Ramsay (British, 4855 GRT, built 1930), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Saganaga (British, 5454 GRT, built 1935), Sepia (British (tanker), 6214 GRT, built 1936), South Wales (British, 5619 GRT, built 1929), Stigstad (British, 5964 GRT, built 1927), Taron (British (tanker), 8054 GRT, built 1936), Temple Inn (British, 5218 GRT, built 1940), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Tower Field (British, 4241 GRT, built 1935), Trident (British, 4317 GRT, built 1917), Ulysses (British, 14647 GRT, built 1913), Vancouver (British (tanker), 5729 GRT, built 1928) and Vardefjell (Norwegian (tanker), GRT, built 1940).

The merchant vessel Baron Carnegie which had departed Avonmouth, was sunk on 11 June 1941 by German torpedo aircraft off St. David's Head in position 51°55'N, 05°34'W.

On leaving UK waters the convoy was escorted by escorted by the destroyer HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), corvettes HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. T.W. Coyne, RNR), HMS Orchis (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR), HMS Polyanthus (Lt. A. Hague, RNR), minesweepers HMS Seagull ( Cdr.(Retd.) R.H.V. Sivewright, RN), HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. D. Lampen, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR), HMS Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G. Ogden, RNVR) and HMS St. Loman (T/Lt. R.C. Warwick, RNR). Catapult ship HMS Maplin (A/Cdr. J.O. Davies, RNR) was also with the convoy. HMS Beagle, HMS Gladiolus, HMS Orchis, HMS Nigella, HMS Polyanthus, HMS Seagull, HMS Sharpshooter, HMS Ayrshire, HMS Lady Madeleine, HMS St. Loman and HMS Maplin were detached on the 17th after having been relieved by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Aurania (A/Capt. I.W. Whitehorn, RN), destroyers HMS Burnham (Cdr. J. Bostock, DSC, RN), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Cousins, RN) and the corvettes HMS Dianthus (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, RNR) and HMCS Spikenard (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Shadforth, RCNR). Destroyer HMS Chesterfield (Lt.Cdr. E. Gleave, RNR) was briefly (between 1720N/19 and 2120N/19) with the convoy on the 19th, she rejoined the convoy at 0755O/20, after having reported the position of the convoy by W/T.

Battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruisers HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN) and HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) joined the convoy in the late afternoon / early evening of the 20th.

Around 1500P/24, HMS Revenge, HMS Bulolo and HMS California parted company with the convoy in position 45°29'N, 55°24'W to proceed directly to Halifax.

Around 1700P/24, HMS Burnham, HMS Chesterfield and HMS Churchill parted company with the convoy in position 45°29'N, 56°21'W to proceed to St. Johns.

Around 0400P/25, the convoy was dispersed although several ships had already been detached while en-route. HMS Aurania, HMS Dianthus and HMCS Spikenard continued on the Halifax with only three ships destined for there.

18 Feb 1942
HMS L 27 (Lt.Cdr. R.M.E. Pain, RN) departed St.John's, Newfoundland for Philadelphia, U.S.A. She was escorted by HMS Polyanthus (Lt. A. Hague, RNR). She however lost contat with her escort he following day. (2)

2 May 1942
HMS Polyanthus (Lt. A. Hague, RNR) picks up 12 survivors from a lifeboat of the British merchant Derryheen that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-201 on 22 April about 300 nautical miles west of Bermuda in position 31°20'N, 70°35'W.

8 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR), HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. L.P. Denny, RCNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMCS Kamloops (T/Lt. D.M. Stewart, RCNR), HMCS Gatineau (Cdr. P.W. Burnett, RN), HMCS Chambly (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.F. Pickard, RCNR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (3)

16 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RNR) and HMS Polyanthus (T/Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR). (4)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/17305
  3. ADM 173/17927
  4. ADM 173/17786

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

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