March 1942 - October 1944
The photographs are courtesy of Chris Drage and are from John
Beardmore, former navigating officer of HMS Poppy.
Aberdeen: Built by Alexander Hall.
Commissioning Lieut. N. K. Boyd R.N.R. in command..
Tobermoray: (H.M.S. Western Isles) workinq up exercises with
Exercises In the Hebrides (Landing party at Fingal's Cave)
Londonderry: Chanqe of camouflage. Load maximum ammunition. Sail
with Palomares, Pozarica, Lotus, La Malouine
and Dianella for Seydhisfjordur.
Convoy PQ17: July 4th attacks. Ordered to scatter - on to
Novaya Zemlya and into the White Sea.
Molotovsk - Ekonomia: out again to collect more ships.
Ran aground and lost asdic dome. "Out sweeps" at 2am and sailed up Davina
Archangel - Kola Inlet: for new dome taking survivors with us.
Football, fighters and burial at sea.
Convoy QP14. Adm. Burnett and 20 fleet destroyers, Avenger,
Scylla, AA ship Alynbank. Lost minesweeper Leda ,
Somali and Commodore's ship to U-boats
Londonderry: stop for mail
Cardiff : refit at Mnt. Stewart Dry Dock Company - after gun
sponsons fitted (rush job at the end) and sailed for Londonderry then
immediately in company with Lotus for Greenock.
KMS 1 Operation Torch - oiled from Glairdale on the
Gibralta: Convoy formed Lotus as S.O. - sank U-boat off
Cape Caxine with Lotus on Nov 13th.
Algiers: topped up with depth charges - smoke screen and air
raid warnings. Convoy to . . .
Gibraltar: Convoy MKS 3 to UK
: Complete refit (four weeks leave to each watch). Minesweeping
reel, acoustic hammer etc removed.
[NOTE: The photo at right shows Poppy after her December refit. The
minesweeping gear is gone and she is now in an Admiralty Disruptive
scheme. Compare this photo to the heading image which shows her as built
in a Western Approaches pattern - RNP]
Convoy JW53: Loch Ewe, Seydhisfjordur - heavy icing, bad weather
all the way to Kola Inlet, Vaenga Bay.
OS?? Atlantic Convoy as part of the 24th Escort group - 18
day convoy - icebergs diversion and excursions but no attacks - fog
2 knots - arrived Easter Sunday 27th at Newfoundland.
St Johns: shopping expedition - ice cream!!
SC?? Atlantic Convoy : SS Wanstead disabled by U-boat
and abandoned by crew. We detach from escort to pick up a number of
survivors and sink her by gunfire and depth charges.
Londonderry: Lt. Com. Boyd succeeded by Lieut. D. Onslow R.N.R.
during boiler clean stop
Admiralty Floating Dock escorted to latitude of Gibralta -
fog and gale upset Poppy's station keeping - Lotus, Starwort
and Chanticleer do it better. Return to Londonderry playing
Larne (Ireland) in company with Lotus, Dianella and
Starwort for exercises with former yacht - Philante’ in
preparation Sicily landings.
June 24th sailed with Group D with supply convoy for Operation
Husky. Lotus and Poppy leave Gibraltar to unload gold
then rejoin convoy - hand over to fast escort.
[NOTE: in this photo, taken in June 1943, can be seen the extra 20mm
Oerlikons fitted for Torch in October 1942. Three of which were on sponsons
and the fourth one was one located on the deckhouse between the funnel
and the pompom platform on the port side. An interesting asymetrical
arrangement. She looks lopsided in the onboard pix. - RNP]
Bone (Nth Africa): refuel
Small convoy of five ships for Algiers (Lotus S.O.) -
attacked on day of departure - two ships sunk - contacts on asdic obtained
- Poppy detailed to take remaining ships to Algiers.
Convoy to Tripoli return via Malta to Gibralta - 31st Escort
Convoy to Alexandria collecting and delivering ships all the
way. Four days in Alex.
Convoy to Gibralta
Convoy to Port Said: (torpedoed ship sinks vertically) Boiler
Ismailia: lake Timsah rest camp.
Port Said: paint ship - arab labourers paint everything!
Escorted troopships headed by Leopoldville to Alexandria. Convoy zigzagged
- escorts going flat out - Starwort retired "hurt"
Convoy to Gibraltar then take a single ship to Tobruk.
Dry dock in Gibraltar to fix one rivet hole in bow. Missed
one convoy. U-boat pack attempts to run through the Straits - all Gibraltar
force out to patrol off Tangier next night off Ceuta.
Return to UK with landing ships escorted to Falmouth - Lotus,
Dianella and Starwort in company.
Londonderry: seven days leave.
Convoy JW54B with Rhododendron and Dianella
Anchored at Kola Inlet. Into White Sea with the Archangel
Polyarhoe alongside: Ships concert party "Poppycock" - Rear Admiral
on board for dinner. "Corvette Capers" combined concert party with Dianella
performed ashore. Duke of York arrives with CinC Bruce Frazer
- reception and concert at Red navy Club. Sail on 23rd of Dec.
Convoy RA 55A Christmas day gales. Scharnhorst sunk on
Convoy JW56A: gale scatters convoy on way to Iceland. Sweeps
back and fore with Dianella to gather up ships in to Seydhisfjordur
Akureyi in Iceland: convoy sails on 21st. Attacks in darkness
26th-27th. U-boats sink three ships and hit destroyer HMS Obdurate
ahead of us in the screen.
Kola Inlet: sailed on Feb 3rd with escort of RA56. Uneventful
voyage back to UK
Londonderry: exercises and more exercises then refit at Belfast.
Belfast: Harland and Wolf - football gear stolen - No.1 clears
lower deck and addresses Dockyard Mateys about pilfering. Dockyard at
a standstill due to strike.
Training at Campbeltown on new asdic set for the whole a/s team.
Liverpool: continue refit in dry dock. Bow further extended.
Birkenhead: painting and gun fitting (further oerlikon fitted
to bring the total up to six).
Londonderry: then to Larne again for battle training with
Philante - combined action - towed targets air and surface, dummy
attacks by aircraft and M.T.B.s - disasterous night action exercise.
Londonderry : Commodore's inspection.
Preparations for operation Neptune - convoy of pre-loaded
coasters to Portsmouth - narrowly avoided collision with merchant ship
June 6th : D-Day - Neptune
Sheerness to Southend for convoy conference - sailed pm. Keyed
up for action - uneventful trip as far as Dungeness - ordered
to return to reinforce escort of later convoy. Sailed from Southend
Sword beach: D+3 - returned with empty LSTs - regular routine
to Sword, Juno and Gold beaches with coasters, LSTs and old ships for
Air raids and E-boat attacks while at anchor off beaches and German
heavy gun bombardment in Straits of Dover. V-rockets cross the channel.
Last convoy home with No.1 as C.O. Attacked by E-boats - several ships
torpedoed but afloat - Poppy takes one in tow (later got salvage
Londonderry: Lt. Com. Vernon takes temporary command for operation.
Operation Goodwood: the Fleet Air Arm attack on Tirpitz
- Poppy escorts oilers pounding a good stretch of ocean.
Londonderry: Leave. C.O. rejoins - new Atlantic Escort Group
O.S. convoy - took 15 days to cross Atlantic - ship torpedoed
two days before St. Johns - good social atmosphere.
S.C. convoy return to UK - uneventful - calm weather.
Londonderry: Lt. Com. Onslow left ship sick. Lt. Brooke left
Winter of 44
Convoys to Canada throughout winter.
Christmas at St. Johns
Atlantic convoys - last convoy May 45
V.E. Day in Londonderry
Into reserve fleet
Sold to RIN
Operated in the far east as the RIN Rami.