HMNZS Royalist and HMNZS Stewell

12th August 2007, 04:46
Both ships had been stripped of gear and were being made ready for towing to Japan in November 1967.

HMNZS Royalist (penant No 89) started out as HMS Royalist. She was a Bellona class cruiser, which was a modifified Dido design with only 4 turrets and improved AA armament. She was built by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co, Greenock with the keel being laid in March 1942 and commissioned in Sept 1943.
After commissioning Roayalist saw the folowing war time actions:

Sept 1943 - Stationed in British home fleet.
1943 served in Artic Convoys
1944 Served in carrier raids against the "Tirpitz" in Norway.
1944 Order to the Med and served in support of the invasion of southern France (Operation Dragoon) as part of escort carrier squ TF 88.1
Sunk transports KT4 and KT26 of Cape Spatha accompanied by HMS Teaser.
During 1944 she was stationed in Aegean Sea. In late 1944 sea was orderd to the East Indies.
1945 became 21st escort carrier squadron flagship.
In the same year she served in support of the Rangoon landings of operation Dracula. Part of the force that unsuccessfully attempted to intercept the Japanese cruiser and destroyer evacuating troops from the Andaman Islands. Served in support of carrier raids in the East Indies and Surmatra.

Royalist was withdrawn from the East Indies and returned home at the end of hostilities to Naval Reserve duties. In 1954 she underwent a major refit an dwas transfered to the RNZN in late 1956. After 10 years with the RNZN she was returned to the RN and was sold to Nissho Co of Japan and left Auckland for Japan in Dec 1967. At the time I was a sea somewhere and did not see her departure from Auckland. Although she saw war serve with the RNZN she did not fire a shot.
Her Armour was:
Belt: 3 inch thick
Deck: 1 inch thick
Mags: 2 inch thick
Bulkheads: 1 inch thick
Propulsion: Parsons geared turbines, 4 shafts, 4 Admiralty 3 drum boilers, 62,000 shp (46MW) giving 32.25 knots max speed.
Crew: 530

HMNZS Stewel, Not to sure of her details, such a long time ago but she looks like one of the minesweepers used for training.


Don Meehan
12th August 2007, 09:54
Hi Blair, the Stawell was a Bathurst-class minesweeper, which, together with her sisters Inverell, Kiama and Echuca was gifted to NZ by the Australians in 1952. I recall the Inverell and Kiama lasted until the ealy 1970's, being used for training as well as fisheries patrol work.

13th August 2007, 03:46
Hi Don.
Ok thanks for that. I remember both the Kiama and Inverell but not the Echuca. I served on the Inverell before going onto the Lauchlan.

The Scottish author Alistair Mclean served on the HMS Royalist during WW11 and used his expeiences as background for his acclaimed first novel HMS Ulysses as well as some of his other novels.


Robert Fulthorpe
1st November 2007, 09:32
I was one of a draft to Sydney to prepare Inverell for sea and delivery to the R.N.Z.N. Flown by flying boat to Rose bay. After delivery to Auckland ,the same procedure to prepare Kiama.Crossing the Tasman with Inverell,the only time I was ever sea-sick,the B......d. Geordie.

28th November 2010, 01:08
It is H.M.N.Z.S. Stawell and not Stewell

28th November 2010, 08:34
My father in law was a telegraphist on the Royalist. He insists that she was involved in the last naval action of the war against a Japanese cruiser, but I can find no reference. He also says the Royalist was a 'secret' ship. Not sure what that means, although I believe she was fitted with some sophisticated (for the time) radar and comms equipment.

Brian Twyman
5th February 2012, 03:01
Stawell was completed on 23 August 1943 as HMAS Stawell. Based at Darwin she was deployed mainly on escort duties off East Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies. She bombarded enemy troops in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, sank an enemy barge and escaped unharmed by Japanese air attacks.

In February 1952 she was nominated by Australia to be gifted to NZ and was formally taken over and commissioned on 5 May 1952 as HMNZS Stawell. She sailed to Auckland for a refit by Mason Bros. and on completion 22 July 1973 she was placed nto reserve. In 1954 she was reclassified as an ocean minesweeper

Stawell recommissioned on 12 July 1955 for reservist and CNR training duties and spent the next four years around the NZ coast assisting the four RNZNVR divisions..

In June 1957 Stawell sailed at short notice when distress signals were picked up from the disabled immigrant ship, Captain Hobson, some 570 miles out in the Pacific. She was subsequently taken in tow by the Port Line’s Port Macquarie, and at the same time, HMNZS Stawell stood by until the two merchant ships made Auckland seven days later.

The ship paid off on 4 July 1959 and was placed in reserve. She was scrapped in Auckland in 1968.


24th February 2013, 08:04
Just before she paid off STAWELL was the first warship under the Harbour Bridge 30th May 1959

24th February 2013, 08:26
My father in law John McIntyre was a senior telegraphist in Royalist.

25th February 2013, 03:03
hy brian twyman.s.m.just as a matter of interest i was reading re;hmnzs royallist and hmnzs stewell,interesting thread,i noticed your avita is the returned sevice badge,n.z.i was going though my papers and found my old menbership badge attached to my menbership book,spoting your avita bought back some good memories from the club.just thought i would share that with a menber,a blast from the past.many of my mates have past over,bless them.have a good day.ben27