Rediscovered cruiser HMS Calypso

The C-class cruiser HMSCalyso.

The C-class cruiser HMSCalyso.

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You may remember this photograph I published last month which came from Paul Dymond of Titchfield Common.

I received no replies so sent a copy to Bob Todd from Greenwich who assisted so much with the old photos of the 1937 fleet review.

Despite being a poor photo, he says she was a later C class cruiser (Caledon, Ceres and Carlisle groups) photographed in the 1930s.

This ship can be identified because of the structure between the funnels.

A few of these cruisers were fitted with wireless cabins between the funnels from about 1929 onwards, but the majority had flat topped cabins or cabins with side windows.

Only one of them had a windowless cabin with a rearward sloping roof and that was Calypso.

She also had two steam pipes behind the forward funnel, widely-spaced siren brackets with substantial platforms beneath them attached to the front of the forward funnel, and noticeably prominent caging to the funnels. This has to be HMS Calypso.

She was launched on January 24, 1917, and completed in June 1917.

Calypso had her wireless cabin added during a refit at Chatham, completed in October 1929.

She was commissioned on November 15, 1929, for Cruiser Squadron 3 (CS3) in the Mediterranean Fleet and paid off into reserve at Chatham on May 12, 1932.

There she stayed except for a short period when she was given a minimal crew to get her to the Silver Jubilee Review at Spithead for George V and back to Chatham in 1935.

She was given a further refit at Chatham from September 1938 until mid-1939 and then took part in the Reserve Fleet Review in Weymouth Bay in August 1939.

Her war service was with CS7 Home Fleet from September-December 1939 and then the Mediterranean, leaving Gibraltar for Malta on 28 December 1939. She was lost in June 1940.

The only period in which she would have had a substantial company as seen here, is 1929-1932 and I would guess the photograph is likely to have been taken at Chatham in either November 1929 or in spring 1932 prior to paying off.

The latter is more likely.

She was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Alpino Baglonini in the eastern Mediterranean to the south of Crete on June 12, 1940, with the loss of 39 men.

This photograph varies from the norm in that the Captain and senior officers are seated on the right and left of the picture instead of being in the more usual centre of the group.

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