Sir: In “Eyewitness at Jutland” (Autumn 2016) it is stated that HMS Caroline is “the only surviving warship from the First World War still afloat.”
I beg to differ. HMS President, ex- Saxifrage, is a Flower Class corvette/sloop from the same period. She, and her sister Chrysanthemum, were built as “Q” ships with strengthened bows and collapsible superstructure hiding the guns. They were designed to lure U-boats to the surface and then sink them either by gunfire or ramming. Both served for many years as the H ships for the London Division RNVR and later RNR before the Division moved ashore to St. Katharine Docks.
Sadly Chrysanthemum was broken-up and scrapped at Acorn Wharf, Rochester, many years ago, and President is currently in Chatham’s commercial docks. Her future is uncertain as it was announced last week that the hoped-for funding from the Lottery Heritage Fund will not now be forthcoming. — MICHAEL ELLIS, EX-CPO COX’N, LONDON DIVISION.