HMS Aberdare (J49)  

HMS Aberdare

HMS Aberdare was a Hunt class minesweeper of the Royal Navy from World War I under the emergency war programmed, and was launched on the 29th April 1918 at Ailsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd at Troon Scotland; she was commissioned on the 3rd October 1918. HMS Aberdare of 710 tons displacement built under the HMS Aberdare was powered by Yarrow coal-fired boilers providing a top speed of 16 knots and a range of about 2400 km at top speed. She carried a complement of 73 and was armed with a 4-inch anti-aircraft gun and one smaller gun. Aberdare gave its name to the Admiralty’s modified design of Hunt minesweeper, which are known variously as the ‘Aberdare Class’ or ‘Aberdare group’. The Aberdare was a distinct type of the 'Hunt' class of minesweepers. The Aberdare groups were larger than the earlier Hunt vessels. Naming conventions in the Royal Navy at the time were a little confused, but the first group of the Hunt class was named after notable British fox hunts, presumably because of the action of the vessels in hunting down mines. The Aberdare group's names were a little different, but the Aberdare itself seems to have been named after a hunt too. HMS Aberdare was laid up in reserve at Singapore when the Second World War started; in 1943 she was part of the 2nd M/S Flotilla based at Alexandria. During that year the flotilla swept minefields outside Mersa Matruh and other harbors in Libya and off Malta and the south coast of Sicily. From January to September 1944 the flotilla was engaged in sweeping an inshore channel from Taranto around the heel of Italy and thence up the Adriatic coast as far north as Ancona. In January 1945 she was not listed on active duty on the Navy List, in sold 13th March 1947.

Below are some of the Commander Listed for HMS Aberdare:
Commander Alfred William Scott 
Frank Measham RN                         
George Nelson
Lt.Cdr. Lionel Esworthy RNR          
William Harold RNR                        
Cdr. Ralph Mewman RNZNVR  
   

24th September 1939 to October 1939
1939 to 13th March 1940
March 1940 to 22nd Aug 1941
22nd August 3rd Dec 1941
3rd Dec 1941 to 4th Oct 1942
4th Oct 1942 to October 1944

 
HMS Aberdare

Note: The Aberdare was a distinct type of the 'Hunt' class of minesweepers. The Aberdare group were larger than the earlier Hunt vessels. Naming conventions in the Royal Navy at the time were a little confused, but the first group of the Hunt class was named after notable British fox hunts, presumably because of the action of the vessels in hunting down mines. The Aberdare group's names were a little different, but the Aberdare itself seems to have been named after a hunt too, although I expect that whether there was a hunt there is something you could check reasonably easily. After the first few ships of this group, the Navy changed its convention and starting naming them after coastal resorts. However, they rapidly had to rename them all as there was confusion about whether it was the vessel's name or location being reported in communications. After this, the names are all inland towns, presumably following the fact that Aberdare is not costal, but the selection seems to have no real basis. Some were towns near large naval bases, i.e. Havant and Petersfield are both near Portsmouth, but others don't seem to follow this pattern.