1942 Sinking of HMS Thanet (off Singapore)

27 Jan 2017 - 23 Dec 2017

The sinking of HMS Thanet H29 (a class R & S Destroyer.)

Launched 5th November 1918; built by Hawthorne Leslie on the Tyne, and completed August 1919. Displacement of 1,0756 tons... top speed 36 knots with geared turbines.

She visited Thanet in December 1919. In a simple ceremony the civic heads of the three towns presented pieces of silverware to both officers and ratings messes, these pieces having been subscribed to by the people of Thanet.

With a compliment of officers and 90 men, she was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla but in 1921 she was reduced to the reserve fleet.

In 1939 she was dispatched  to the Singapore and Hong Kong Local Defence Force. On 27th January 1942 HMS Thanet and HMAS Vampire were involved in a fire fight with 4 Japanese ships, Shirayuki, Fibuki, Asagiri and Yuguri; one was sunk and another badly damaged.

After heavy bombardment the badly damaged HMS Thanet sank with only 57 men surviving; those who survived were taken to Singapore.

In March 1942 during 'Warship Week' the people of Thanet raised over £400,000 to replace her. A Plaque was made to commemorate this event which is held in the museum.

As a footnote, the new HMS Thanet was never built.