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HMS Ross

HMS Ross (J45) was built by Lobnitz in Renfrew (Glasgow) Scotland as a WWI Royal Navy Hunt Class Minesweeper and was launched 12 June 1919. Lobnitz usual line of business was the building of fishing trawlers but in this time of need their skills were utilised to produce Naval craft. HMS Ross was a modified Hunt Class Minesweeper normally known as Aberdare Class or Aberdare Group Minesweepers (to which HMS Aberdare (J49) gave its name).

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Originally she was named HMS Ramsey, but was renamed prior to launch; HMS Ross was not named after Ross-on-Wye but after the District of Ross in Scotland and being as it was a Hunt Class it was actually named after the Ross Hunt [as in Fox Hunt]. Also it has been the only "HMS Ross" in the Royal Navy but by comparison there have been two HMS Ledbury and seven HMS Monmouth.

In 1940, HMS Ross was serving with the 5th Minesweeping Flotilla and along with the rest of her flotilla, she took part in Operation Dynamo. Operation Dynamo was the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. This involved making a number of trips and ended up with more than 1,000 men being taken off.

During the operation her captain was wounded on the first trip so her first lieutenant, Kenneth Gadd, took over the command. This resulted in him being awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions and he was allowed to remain in command until February 1943. During his command, in 1941, HMS Ross had a narrow escape when it was attacked by a German bomber a few miles out of Aberdeen. The plane dropped a bomb which passed through her bow without exploding and it only left its tail fin behind1.

In 1941 Warship Week was organised and during which the Admiralty asked all the Towns and Counties in the country to adopt a Ship. As a result, on 6 December 1941, HMS Ross was formally adopted by Ross-on-Wye and the association remained until she was decommissioned in 1945. HMS Ross was sold for scrap on the 13 March 1947.

An original Ships Crest was presented to the town and it adorned the Mayors chair in the Town Council Chamber for many years. More recently it has been loaned to TS Ross, the local Sea Cadet Unit, for safe keeping and it can be seen on their maindeck for the public to see2.

1 HMS Ross (J45) - Wikipedia @ 21/2/2010
2 Ross, Ledbury and Monmouth - Royal Naval Warships - The Ross Gazette, Wednesday February 17th, 2010

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[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]

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