Allied Warships

HMS Leicester City (FY 223)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 223 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched24 Nov 1934 
CommissionedNov 1939 
End service 

Completed in December 1934.
Taken over by the Admiralty on 19 September 1939.
Displacement: 422 tons.

Returned to her owner in March 1946.
Wrecked off Breibuster Head, Hoy Sound on 22 March 1953.


Commands listed for HMS Leicester City (FY 223)

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

1Skr. William Alexander Cormack, RNR24 Nov 193918 Mar 1940
2T/Lt. Albert Richard Cornish, RNR18 Mar 1940Feb 1941
3Lt. (retired) Robert Fletcher Turnbull, RNRFeb 19411 May 1941
4Lt. Francis Arthur Everett, RNR1 May 194110 Mar 1942
5T/Lt. Charles Edgar Irving, RNVR10 Mar 194222 Mar 1943
6Lt. Trevor Walton Lewis, DSC, RANVR22 Mar 19431 Jun 1943
7T/Lt. Charles Edgar Irving, RNVR1 Jun 194329 Oct 1944
8T/Lt. John Wells, RNVR29 Oct 1944

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Notable events involving Leicester City include:

14 Dec 1939
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.A.S. Wise, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Leicester City (Skr. W.A. Cormack, RNR). (1)

4 May 1940
HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. A.R. Cornish, RNR) picks up 40 survivors from the British tanker San Tiburcio that was sunk 4 nautical miles south-east of Tarbett Ness, Moray Firth in position 57°46'N, 03°45'W after hitting a mine laid on 10 February 1940 by German U-boat U-9.

1 Jun 1940

Sinking of the transport Astronomer.

The transport Astronomer (8401 GRT, built 1917) was en-route from Rosyth to Scapa Flow with naval stores escorted by the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. A.R. Cornish, RNR) and HMS Stoke City (Lt.Cdr. N.C.H. Scallan, RNR).

Late in the evening of June, 1st, the Astronomer was hit by one torpedo from the German submarine U-58 but she did not sink.

Early the next day two more torpedoes single torpedoes were fired by the German submarine and one hour after the last hit. The trawlers then picked up the survivors.

A report of the damage to the transport was received at 0100/2 and in response the destroyer HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) was sent out from Scapa Flow.

At 0215/2 the destroyer HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN) departed Scapa Flow to assist HMS Kelvin in the A/S hunt.

The auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Paul Rykens (Skr. G.C. Lawrence, RNR) HMS Peter Hendricks (Skr. G. Bryan, RNR), which were on patrol, were ordered to proceed to the area to assist.

The rescue tug St. Mellons departed Scapa Flow but returned after it became apparent that the transport had sunk.

A/S trawler HMS Leicester City obtained an A/S contact in the vicinity at about the time the transport was hit for the last time but she was also busy picking up survivors with together with HMS Stoke City. A total of 104 were picked up by the trawlers which then took them to Aberdeen. HMS Stoke City made a depth charge on a contact she obtained but without result. Apparently this was indeed an attack on U-58

At 0640/2, an aircraft attacked a submarine in position 57°25'N, 00°56'W, twenty five miles south of of the attack position. Destroyers HMS Mashona and HMS Kelvin were ordered to search the area of the aircraft attack but no contact was obtained.

At 1100/2, the destroyer HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and escort destoyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) departed Rosyth. HMS Atherstone arrived at Scapa Flow at 2200/2. HMS Encounter was was to join the search for the submarine.

At 1800/2, HMS Atherstone. while en-route to Scapa Flow, reported a line of mines near the sinking position of the Astronomer.

The boom defense vessel HMS Barbican (T/Boom Skr. J.F. Rendall, RNR), escorted by M/S trawler HMS Elm (T/Lt. J. Hutchinson, RNR), was ordered to the area. Barbican recovered the mooring buoys, covered by HMS Encounter and HMS Mashona.

HMS Kelvin returned to Scapa Flow at 0315/3.

HMS Encounter and HMS Mashona arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130/3. (2)

28 Oct 1941
HMS P 35 (Lt. S.L.C. Maydon, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Dundee. She was escorted by HMS Leicester City (Lt. F.A. Everett, RNR). (3)

1 Dec 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) departed Scapa Flow for Dundee. She was escorted by the British ASW trawler HMS Leicester City (Lt. F.A. Everett, RNR). (4)

11 Aug 1942
HMS P 51 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Methill where she was to join convoy FS 80 for onward passage to Chatham.

During the passage from Scapa Flow to Methill P 51 was escorted by HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. C.E. Irving, RNVR). (5)

15 Sep 1942
At 0945 hours HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. C.E. Irving, RNVR) took over the escort of HMS P 217 (Lt. E.J.D. Turner, DSC, RN) towards Lerwick.

P 217 arrived at Lerwick at 2200 hours. (6)

6 Jan 1943
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) departed Dundee for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Loch Monteith (T/Lt. K.W. Richardson, RNR) until 1135/7 when HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. C.E. Irving, RNVR) took over the escort until 0921/8 when HMS Parrsboro (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.C.L. Gaussen, RNVR) took over. (7)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Methill with HMS Castleton (Lt. S.E. Jagger, RN), HMS Polka (T/Lt. I.A. Thorpe, MBE, RNVR), HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. C.E. Irving, RNVR), HMS Valse (T/Lt. E.J. Newell, RNVR) and HMS Spurs (A/Skr.Lt. E.J. Day, RNR). (8)

7 May 1945
HMS Valse (T/Lt. B.H.S. Arendt, RNVR) and HMS Leicester City together pick up 19 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Sneland I that was torpedoed and sunk near May Island in the Firth of Forth in position 56°10'N, 02°31'W by German U-boat U-2336.


  1. ADM 173/15805
  2. ADM 199/376
  3. ADM 199/400
  4. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. ADM 199/424
  6. ADM 173/17548
  7. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  8. ADM 173/19315

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

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