The Castle Class Corvette (Frigate) Association1 was formed in 1989 with the primary purpose of enabling those who had served in these ships to keep in touch with one another and to maintain the bonds of friendship established during their service.
Inevitably, members sent in photographs and anecdotal stories. These were shared through the Association’s newsletter Ship s Log.
Many of the photographs had faded and so to preserve the images from further loss they were stored on a computer.
Initially it had been intended that all the material would be catalogued and preserved with a view to eventually depositing the archives in a Naval or Maritime library. However, it soon became apparent that more than sufficient material was being received to form the basis of a book recording the service of the ships’ companies and of the ships.
To back up fading memories and to fill in many of the missing details recourse was had to the records of the Public Records Office (PRO), Kew, the libraries of the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth and of the Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Later, additional information about the Castle Class Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy was obtained from the records of the Directorate of History and Heritage, National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa.
As a result, the Reports Of Proceedings covering almost all the convoys escorted by the Royal Navy ships, and of the patrols carried out by the Castle Class Corvette Support Groups have been incorporated into this account. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to record the voyages of the Canadian Class Corvettes in as much detail or as comprehensively as those of the Royal Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy. The Canadian records are not as accessible as are those at the PRO, Kew.
However, by extracting data from the Pink List, the composition of convoys, escorts and position reports and Ship Movement Orders, it has been possible to record the location of every Castle Class Corvette at seven to ten day intervals from the day the first of the class, HMSHadleigh Castle, sailed after commissioning to slightly beyond the end of World War II in Europe.
None of this work would have been possible without the help of those who provided assistance in searching the records in the U.K namely:- Mr. R.C. Angel, Mr. D. Beckett and Mr. F. Shipp, and in Canada, Mr. R. J. Crothers and Mr. L. Webb. It was our good fortune that Mr. Robert Crothers, in Canadian terms, lived close to Ottowa. It is he who obtained most of the reports of Proceedings on the Canadian Groups that we have recorded here. We are much indebted to Mr. Leonard Webb who has acted throughout as our ‘Canadian Correspondent’. Through his contacts on the West Coast he was able to fill many of the gaps in the histories of the post war mercantile conversions of the Castle Class Corvettes that plied the Canadian and Alaska waterways. We are also indebted to Lt Cdr F.R. Pike RCNVR, one time Commanding Officer of HMCS Orangeville, who provided us with many details of the ship, her crew and service.
Without the constant interest and encouragement of members of the Association, none of this would have been possible. Their contribution of anecdotes and photographs was an essential contribution. These are acknowledged as they appear in the volume.
Section 1 - The Ship
Section 2 - Service at War and Peace
Section 3 - Ships’ Histories
HMS Allington Castle HMS Alnwick Castle HMS Amberley Castle HMS Bamborough Castle HMS Berkeley Castle HMS Caistor Castle HMS Carisbrooke Castle HMS Denbigh Castle HMS Dumbarton Castle HMS Famham Castle HMS Flint Castle HMS Hadleigh Castle HMS Hedingham Castle HMS Hurst Castle HMS Kenilworth Castle HMS Knaresborough Castle HMS Lancaster Castle
HMS Launceston Castle HMS Leeds Castle HMS Morpeth Castle HMS Oakham Castle HMS Oxford Castle HMS Pevensey Castle HMS Portchester Castle HMS Rushen Castle HMS Tintagel Castle HMCS Amprior HMCS Bowmanville HMCS Copper Cliff HMCS Hespeler HMCS Humberstone HMCS Huntsville HMCS Kincardine HMCS Leaside HMCS Orangeville HMCS Petrolia HMCS St Thomas HMCS Tillsonburg HNoMS Tunsberg Castle Section 4 - Escort Group Reports
Appendix 1 Castle Class Production
Appendix 2 Commanding Officers
Appendix 3 Roll of Honour
Appendix 4 Escort Groups Reported to Include Castle Class Corvettes
Appendix 5 An Example of Commanding Officer’s Standing Orders
Appendix 6 HMS Tintagel Castle Boarding Party Standing Orders
Appendix 7 Instructions for Forming an Observant Search
Appendix 8 Operation Banana
Appendix 9 Operation Scabbard
Appendix 10 Operation Artichoke
Appendix 11 Anti-Gnat Procedures
Appendix 12 Exercises at Sea
Appendix 13 Douglas Sea and Swell Scale
Appendix 14 Beaufort Scale
Appendix 15 Problems Arising when Escorting Large Convoys
Appendix 16 A Commodore’s Complaint
Appendix 17 Canteen Messing
Appendix 18 Carriage of Bullion
Appendix 19 Manoeuvring at Sea
Appendix 20 Oiling at Sea
Appendix 21 Ships’ News Services
Appendix 22 U-Boat Surrender Orders
Appendix 23 High Tea Barrier
Appendix 24 Brittany Barrier
Appendix 25 Publication Sponsors