War­ships Afloat

This England - - London Pride -

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.

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