HMS MONTCLARE F85
Armed Merchant Cruiser
This page is not meant to be a comprehensive history of HMS MONTCLARE, but a record of sailors of the ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY who served in her, photos they took and stories they may have shared with their families.
On 18 August 1922 MONTCLARE left Liverpool, on her maiden voyage, bound for Quebec and Montreal, R. G. Latta commanding. She served in the European and North Atlantic passenger trade. While heading for Greenock on 22 March 1931, she ran aground on Little Cumbrae with a number of passengers aboard. She was later refloated and was repaired in Liverpool.
On 28 August 1939 the MONTCLARE was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser being commissioned as such in October 1939. On 2 June 1942 she was sold to the Admiralty. Now HMS MONTCLARE, she was converted to a Destroyer Depot Ship, completing in 1944. She sailed from the Clyde on 1 March 1945 in convoy via the Suez Canal, arriving in Sydney on 20 April 1945. She then sailed to Manus in the Admiralty Islands to support the destroyers of Task Force 57 on Operation Iceberg – the conquest of Okinawa and Sakishma Gunto islands. Rear Admiral D. B. Fisher CB CBE then took her as his flagship for the Pacific Fleet Train (Task Force 112) with the British Pacific Fleet until the war finished. She remained mainly in Manus until 4 September 1945, when she sailed to Hong Kong arriving on 9 September for the re-occupation of Hong Kong. She finally left Hong Kong on 3 January 1946, her crew having played a vital part in getting the Colony back on its feet again. She arrived back in Portsmouth on 21 February 1946, and was reduced to Reserve status prior to conversion to Submarine Depot Ship, in which role she spent a lot of time at Rothesay. In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
In October 1954 HMS MONTCLARE was paid off, being replaced as the 3rd Submarine Flotilla depot ship by HMS Adamant and laid up on the Gare Loch and then at Portsmouth. In January 1958 she was sold for scrap to Thos. W. Ward at Inverkeithing. Arriving there on 2 February, the scrapping commenced the next day.
In memory of those who have crossed the bar
They shall not be forgotten