HMS Renown (1916)
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May 22, 2013

In search for some information on my long lost uncle, my deceased parents always spoke of him how he served on the HMS Renown during the chase of the Bismarck across the Atlantic. I was named after him. His name was Bobby Arthurs. After the war he came to find his wife with another man, this I believe happened a lot He took off after this and no one has seen him since.

Bobby Arthurs

May 9, 2013

My dad served on the HMS Renown in the 1940's not sure exact dates as he was a very private man. He did talk a lot when we were small children, but when we got old enough to understand he died. Do you know where or how I could get any info regarding my father and his time spent on the ship would be great.

Thanking you in advance,

Jan. 21, 2013

I would like to know if you could help us about my great granddad Frederick W. Baines who was taken ill with some sort of fever on HMS Renown 3rd of December 1916. The letter below is from the fleet surgeon on the 6th of December who said to fear the worst. Wonder if you could help us with any information.

Thank you,
Alan Evason

Reply 1
Jan. 21, 2013

Baines, Fred W. Stoker 1st Class K24662 (Po) died of illness Dec. 11, 1916. It shows he was attached to HMS Victory II which is a shore installation, but could have been in Renown rather than Victory. Sadly I have no other info.

Michael W. Pocock


Jan. 7, 2013

I would like to know if anyone remembers my grandfather sadly not with us anymore, I believe he served on the Renown as a stoker his name was Robert Chick. Any information would be grateful.

Many thanks,
Jason French

Oct. 16, 2012

My Dad, John Totton, from Bangor, Northern Ireland joined HMS Renown in March/April 1941 aged 16.  He served until the ship went out to the far-east in early 1944.  I remember him telling me about an incident in port in Gibraltar when the secondary 6 inch guns were practicing and one fired into the back of another with serious casualties.  He joined the ship at Gibraltar strait from the training establishment, St. George, on the Isle of Man and was aboard when Force H were part of the hunting group after the Bismarck.  Sadly Dad passed away in 1971 aged 46 but always had fond memories of the battlecruiser.  The book "Hit Hard, Hit First" by Peter C. Smith is now called "HMS Renown"

Mike Totton

July 20, 2012

I am interested in finding out information about a letter my father just found amongst his mother's possessions, a handwritten letter by Edward, the Prince of Wales, (I can only guess it's a copy) to the school children of Australia dated 16th August, 1920. 

I am wondering if you could steer me on the right path to finding out information about the letter as well as if there is any value or worth associated with the letter.  My father was just wondering out of curiosity in relation to the letter as his mother never said anything to him about it before she passed. 

Kind Regards,
Brooke Green


July 10, 2012

My Dad John William Huff joined the Royal Navy when he was 16 in 1925. He went around the world on the Renown in 1927 with the Duke and Duchess of York. I have several photos, but I don't know who a lot of the people are. Some of the photos have writing on the back which helps. Here is a list of the ships etc my Dad was on;

Shotley Barracks 17/06/25 to 24/09/1926   
R N Barracks Portsmouth until 03/11/1926
HMS Renown (Battle Cruiser) 03/11/1926 to 04/05/1929
R N Barracks  (Portsmouth) 04/05/1929 to 03/06/1929
HMS Ross 03/06/1929 to 03/05/1930
HMS Medway 23/05/1930 to 03/06/1930
HMS Sandhurst 03/06/1930 to 30/06/1930
HMS Maine 03/11/1930 to25/11/1930
HMS Vanquisher 12/01/1931 to 31/01/1931
HMS Worcester 31/01/1931 to 05/03/1931
Rinella Wireless Station (Malta) 05/03/1931 to19/08/1932
HMS Antelope 19/08/1932 to 21/08/1932
R N Barracks Chatham 02/11/1932 to 25/02/1933
HMS Osprey 31/10/1933 to15/12/1933
HMS Titania 15/12/1933 to15/04/1935
HMS Arethusa 12/06/1935 to02/01/1937
RN W/T Stn. Admiralty  (London) (8 years)
RN W/T Stn. Burnham on Sea Somerset (4 years)
Would you be interested in having some photos

Yours sincerely.
Vivian Hanley (mrs)

Apr. 14, 2012

Just thought I would let you know that my late father Joseph Hughes RN (Number K6834) (Stoker 2nd Class at the time) served aboard Renown according to his service record 12 June 1910 until 30 July 1910.  I was wondering if anyone knew him?

Paul Hughes

Mar. 31, 2012

I attended my mother's 100th birthday celebration yesterday, we had a lot of memorabilia on display.  One item caught my eye.  My great uncle,  Frederick Lodwick, was a seaman and was on board the HMS Renown in 1920.  We have an original hand written draft of a speech to the Girls and Boys of Sydney dated 16 August 1920 written by Edward VIII on his own crested paper and under the crest he has written H.M.S. "RENOWN".  Not sure how my uncle ended up with this or what his role was on the ship.  My uncle lived in Sydney and I am not sure when he came here to live, I know he was an Englishman and a fine cabinet maker.  I would have thought this would have some historic value, but not sure who would be interested.

Kate Jarrett

Mar. 7, 2012

My Uncle recently sent me a list of ships that my maternal Grandad served on during his service in the Royal Navy and I have been trying to find pictures and information about each of them. I was delighted to find the site that has messages from people who had a relative that served on HMS Renown and that some of them served at the same time as my Grandfather and might have known him. 

My grandfather, Charles Jones, served on HMS Renown from July 1922 to May 1928.  I do not know what he did on board ship or what rank he achieved by the time he left the Navy in 1945. He served on quite a few ships and also at several depots. He retired in 1937 but was recalled the following and 'Dispersed' (not quite sure what that means).  I believe he was recalled again in 1939.  I'm glad that I have found this site. Please let me know if anyone recognises the name.

Gillian Wiles
Lancashire, UK

Dec. 17, 2011

My father, Bernard Puckering, was part of the crew on HMS Renown on round the world trip with Prince of Wales in 1920's. He was the telegraphist. Wondered if any one recognises his name.

Anne Kelly

Aug. 5, 2011

My grandfather on my mothers side served as Bosun on the HMS Renown during the Prince of Wales tours. His name was Samuel Adams who was born in Bath and lived in Chandlers Ford, Hants. If anyone has any info on crew lists or sites of interest please leave message on the message board.

Sag Harbor, USA

July 12, 2011

I have a black silk cloth with the Royal Crest on and the words "DIEU ET MON DROIT" embroidery done by H. Imamura of Nagasaki, Japan, which I was told that my Great Uncle was given when he served on HMS Renown in April 1922, Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) visit to Japan. How do I find out if this is correct? I believe he was the Purser on the Renown at the time, his Last name was Phillips first name I think was Albert and he came from the Bristol area. I would be grateful for any information you could let me have as to finding out a little bit more about the silk and my great uncle's service record.

Best regards,
Lynda Oldroyd

Mar. 30, 2011

My father Able Seaman Edward (Ted) Schulz served on the Renown from 13th June 43 till 21st Nov 45.
He spoke not much about his service only info I have is that he manned multiple Pom Poms (anti-aircraft guns).
He had a spell in hospital in Canada and spoke about losing a young rating about the time of the refit in Durban.
He died was I was quite young and i've now worked it out that I was conceived when Renown was back in Scotland after the refit, he was given leave so travelled down to my mum in London!, this was around April 45.
He then saw service again on Renown until he was demobbed in November '45. Does anyone have photos of the ship's company or any info whatsoever that may prove of interest. I would be most grateful if you would email me.

Very best regards,
Brian Schulz

May 18, 2010

My great uncle and godfather Alfred Bartholomew born 1894 served aboard HMS Renown, I think she must have been in Portsmouth when he got married at Emsworth in 1926, he was Leading Stoker at that time. I remember him telling us before the war about the trip to Australia with our future King and Queen. He also went to India, Aunt Lydia had a silver bangle like a snake that he bought out there. Uncle Alfie joined the navy in WW1 and stayed in till WW2 ended, during WW2 he served on HMS Winchelse, I believe she was nicknamed the "Winklepot" and was at Dunkirk and on the Atlantic Convoys. He was a lovely man.

Eve Mothershaw

Apr. 2, 2010

My dad, Jack Stephens, served on the Renown from August 139 to December 1943 as Yeoman/Chief Yeoman of Signals. I am currently researching his service record between 1928 and 1953 and found this site most helpful.

Pete Stephens

Sept. 8, 2009

It is with great interest that I have read Victor Humphries post on the Message Board. My Father died when I was young, but he too served on The Renown and I believe he too was involved in the radar. His name was Reginald Crabb and would be pleased to hear if anyone has any recollection of him.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Crabb
Hartburn, Stockton, UK

Aug. 28, 2009

My father served on the Renown (Stoker) during the war. Looking through some of his photographs she looked an impressive ship, specially the ones covered in ice.

Kind Regards,
Geoff Griffiths
Wrexham, North Wales

May 8, 2009

My father sailed on the Renown from Sept. 1926 to March 1928. He had the Duke and Duchess of Wales on ship when they went to Australia. I always remember seeing a picture of the Renown on the wall of our lounge when I was a little girl. I have my fathers navy records and at the end of the war he was on HMS Bridlington a

Marnet Torres

Reply 1
Jan. 10, 2010

My grandfather Harold Taylor was on the Renown during the Prince of Wales World Tour. I have the picture of the Renown you talk about hanging on my wall (see below).

Keith N. Taylor-Foster

Oct. 27, 2008

I noticed a picture of a chapel for St. Nicholas onboard of HMS Renown. St. Nicholas is the protector of sailors, but.....the Dutch and Belgiums based Sint-Nicolaas (or Sinterklaas) on this saint, in the Anglo Saxon world Santa Claus is based on this saint. Did you know that?

I cannot tell you the complete story, for I do not know all details. I know Saint Nicholas was a bishop in Myra (situated now in Turkey) in the 3rd of 4th century. I do not know what made him a saint, but I do know sailors regard St Nicholas as their "Guardian Angel". As far as I know his remains were moved to a church cathedral in Bari, Italian harbor at the Adriatic sea.

Again I do not know what made Saint Nicholas (or Sinterklaas) a friend for the children, but since the second half of the 19th century Saint Nicholas makes the journey from Spain to The Netherlands and Belgium every year to reward sweet children and to punish the "bad" children.

It's highly plausible some immigrants brought the habit of celebrating Sinterklaas to the USA, were Sinterklaas was turned into Santa Claus etc etc.

I guess there will be plenty of information around on the internet the forthcoming months about this subject (and no doubt Wikipedia will have some articles about Sinterklaas)

However what surprised me more on this picture is the fact that there was a chapel for a saint on board of a battleship; I always believed this was a catholic habit and I did not know the same thing was/is done in the Anglican church. I will look for some sites about Dutch shipping (enough old sailors who publish their pictures on the internet), will get back to you about this

Great site, beautiful pictures, only very few pictures of Dutch ships :)

June 7, 2007

My friends Grandfather was Master at Arms on HMS Renown in 1922 during the tour with the then Prince of W ales.  He was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal for services to the Prince.  We are researching his service at present and have found that a relative served on Renown in 1899 and was mentioned on the Roll of Honour.


May 8, 2008

My grandfather William Duke Leech was a crew member on the Renown when the then Prince of Wales traveled out to Australia. Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of knowing my grandfather as his ship the HMS Blue Sky floundered off Kent in 1922 but he did leave a legacy -  a silver anchor brooch commemorating that trip.

I wonder if there is anyone else who still treasures this memento I am assuming that this brooch was given to crew members as a keep sake. I have passed this onto my grand-daughter with the promise it will stay in the family and be passed on through the years. Great website, full of wonderful information. 

Geraldine Todd
West Sussex

Apr. 21, 2007

I really like your website. HMS Renown has always been my favourite warship. I have a number of very nice Renown photos, some of which I have colourized in Adobe Photoshop. If you would like to have them to post on your website just give me a buzz. It's also very nice to see that message by Mr. Victor Humphries. We were in e-mail contact a few years ago and it was a very enjoyable experience. Actually though, Renown's motto was "Guardian Of Ancient Renown"

Warmest regards,
Monty Mills,
Newfoundland, Canada

Apr. 9, 2007

Hi Mike , I am a 82 year old WW2 veteran of the Royal Navy serving only on one ship HMS Renown, which was a great and happy ship. I volunteered for the RN at the age of 18 and never having seen a ship I was awe struck when I arrived in Rosyth dockyard at 10:30pm in total darkness (Blackout) and I asked the old sailor standing next to me after we got out of the RN truck where is the Renown, he replied its in front of you about 10 feet away, as my eyes got accustomed to the darkness I could see the huge size of this ship. I was beginning to think that volunteering was not such a good idea, but I realized that I must press on, and the time I spent on the Renown was OK except for the food which was not very good. My first trip was across the north Atlantic in a hurricane sept 1943, no escorts, arrived Halifax NS, to pick up Winston Churchill and his wife and daughter Mary. As radar operator my cruising station was operating a surface warning type 273 radar set which was situated in a small steel box atop the fore mast, above the box was a perspex lantern type construction which contained the trans and receive dish's which we had to continually rotate by hand. It was a hard job climbing the mast every watch especially in rough weather, we did not have safety harnesses like they have today, I nearly fell twice. If any one is interested in the Renown try to find the book "Hit First Hit Hard" which was the Motto of the Renown. Keep up the good work a remarkable web site.

Kind regards,
Victor Humphries,
Fremantle, West Australia

Reply 1
Jan. 9, 2010

I am doing some volunteer work for The Pines, a long-term care home in Gravenhurst. My client, Les Hayward, was instrumental in teaching others how to use radar in WW II. I was wondering if Victor might have known my client. The activity coordinators at the institution have a monthly club where veterans and the families and friends meet and talk about these subjects. My grand volunteer project is to help with a memory PowerPoint. I am going to meet with Mr. Hayward Thursdays. I am trying to record these stories for his family, and for posterity.

Thank you very much,
Jennifer Jilks

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Page published June 15, 2007