Allied Warships

HMS Derby (J 90)

Minesweeper of the Hunt class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantJ 90 
Built byClyde Shipbuilding Co. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched9 Aug 1918 
Commissioned21 Oct 1918 
End service 

HMS Derby was laid up in reserve at Singapore when the Second World War started

HMS Denby is not listed as active unit in the January 1945 Navy List

Scrapped 4 July 1945.


Commands listed for HMS Derby (J 90)

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.Cdr. William Napier Petch, RN29 Aug 19396 Dec 1939
2Lt. Francis Charles Victor Brightman, RN6 Dec 1939Jun 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Archibald Frederick MacFie, OBE, RNRJun 1941mid 1942
4Lt. Charles David Sampson, RNVRmid 1942Oct 1942
5Lt.Cdr. Sidney Lord Bannister Maybury, RNOct 194210 May 1944
6T/A/Lt.Cdr. Daniel Walter Scholes, RNVR10 May 1944late 1944

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Notable events involving Derby include:

20 Mar 1940
Around 1223Z/20, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the 2nd Minesweeper Flotilla coming from Singapore. HMAS Hobart was to escort them to Colombo. The 2nd Minesweeper Flottila was made up of the following ships; HMS Abingdon (Capt. (Retd.) A.R. Farquhar, DSC, RN), HMS Bagshot (Lt.Cdr. J.F.B. Gage, RNVR), HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN), HMS Fareham (Lt. W.J.P. Church, RN) and HMS Stoke (Cdr.(Retd.) C.J.P. Hill, RN).

Rendezvous was effected around 0721Z/22.

They arrived at Colombo around 1330Z/23. (1)

16 Aug 1940
From 16 to 19 August 1940, Allied troops from Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

The troops were evacatuated by the transports Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (6491 GRT, built 1912), the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) as well as the armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN).

Cover for the evacuation was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), AA -cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN), HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN), HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN), HMS Indus (Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN), HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and the netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN).

On 17 August, HMS Ceres bombarded Italian Army targets which temporarily halted the Italian advance.

On 18 August, HMS Caledon and HMS Kandahar bombarded enemy units on the Bulhar-Berbera road.

The evacuation was completed on the 18th. Over 7000 men had been evacuated.

The last men were taken off by HMAS Hobart at Berbera early on the 19th. She left around 0845C/19 for Aden with the last of the Army personnel and the demolition parties which had demolished the harbour facilities. HMS Indus proceeded along the coast to pick up stragglers. (2)

9 May 1941

Convoy AS 30.

This convoy departed Suda Bay on 9 May 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Belray (British, 2888 GRT, built 1926), Crista (British, 2590 GRT, built 1938), Kephallinia (Greek, 1055 GRT, built 1893), Kirkland (British, 1361 GRT, built 1934), Lesbos (Greek, 1106 GRT, built 1893), Pass of Balmaha (British (tanker), 758 GRT, built 1933), Popi (Greek, 1594 GRT, built 1896), Rodi (British, 3220 GRT, built 1928, former Italian), Rokos (Greek, 6426 GRT, built 1918), Runa (British, 1575 GRT, built 1930), Samos (Greek, 921 GRT, built 1889), Scottish Prince (British, 4917 GRT, built 1938) and Zealand (British, 2726 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Suda Bay the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN), HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. E.G. Hewitt, RN), HMS Flamingo (Cdr. R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, RN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN), ASW trawler HMS Moonstone (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Britten, RNR). The Greek torpedo boat RHS Sfendoni was also with the convoy.

The passage was undisturbed. The convoy split into two sections (Port Said and Alexandria) around 2100C/11.

Both sections arrived at their destination on the 12th. The Port Said section was escorted by HMS Flamingo while the other escorts remained with the Alexandria section.

23 Jun 1941
Around 1245C/23, HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) departed Mersa Matruh loaded with troops and stores for Tobruk.

They arrived at Tobruk around 2330C/23 and disembarking the troops and stores was commenced. They departed again around 0045C/23 with wounded and other personnel.

En-route to Alexandria they were ordered to go to the assistance of the minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) which had been attacked but missed by an enemy submarine. The submarine in question was the Italian Axum which had fired a torpedo at a darkened vessel at 2325C/23 in position 32°18'N, 25°10'E. The torpedo however missed.

HMAS Stuart and HMAS Voyager arrived at Alexandria around 1600C/24. (3)


  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 1 October 1939 to 31 March 1940
  2. ADM 199/383
  3. Report of proceedings of HMAS Voyager for June 1941 + Report of proceedings of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla

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

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