Britain's Flower Class Corvettes

Charlie Warmington
28th January 2008, 10:53
Hello. I am currently researching Britain’s 2nd World War Flower Class Corvettes. I hope I'm not taking too much of your time by quickly explaining why!.
I work for a maritime heritage organisation in Belfast called Lagan Legacy. See our website ay ( )
We are putting an exhibition together for Belfast's annual "Titanic Festival" at the end of this coming March. The exhibition follows a theme that Lagan Legacy has been promoting since the organisation's inception – “The Greatest Story Never Told”.
It is a sad fact here in Northern Ireland that everyone, indeed everyone in
the world, knows about the Titanic, but knows little else about Belfast's absolutely amazing maritime past. So Lagan Legacy attempts to promote the rest of the River Lagan's nautical history - the other 3,000 ships, tens of millions of tons of them - and all the other related industries.
So in March we're telling the story of Belfast's Flower Class Corvettes. About thirty of them were ordered by Churchill himself. They were: HMS:
Abelia Alisma Anchusa Armeria Arabis Bergamot Broom (became Vervain) Bryony Buttercup Calendula Camellia Chrysanthemum Clarkia Cowslip Eglantine Fritillary
Freesia Genista Gentian Gloxinia Heartease Heather Hibiscus Kingcup Mallow Orchis Peony Periwinkle Picotee Pimpernell Rhododendron.
Lagan Legacy is a charity, and we don't have much cash to spend (don't worry, I'm not begging for money on this note!) so we'll depend on any help we can get from others: providing us with stories, information, maybe images, copies of artifacts and documents etc etc.
I'm wondering, hoping and praying that you in Shipsnostalgia, or your organization(s) might be able to help us along, even a few telephone numbers or e-mail addresses of people who served on any of the Belfast built vessels; during or after the War. I apologise for troubling you with this matter, but I think it could even be a useful piece of co-ordination between the both of our organizations; Lagan Legacy and Shipsnostalgia members. We may have information that you could make use of.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Regards and a belated happy new year to everyone,
Charlie Warmington,
Lagan Legacy.
(028) 9031 9528
(m)07761 192706

28th January 2008, 11:19
A very warm welcome to the site Charlie, we do have several Grey Funnel members onboard so let's hope you will be able to accquire some info and photographs.
As the Chaplain of the Castle Class Corvette Association I am very interested in your aims. Last year the Castle Class published the definitive history of the Class. It tooks years to produce and the book itself contains not simply the details of each ship but crew photos and the memories of those who served in them.
I can't recall an actual Flower Class Association but an enquiry to the 'Navy News' may be very useful as I am sure they would be more than willing to publish details of what you are hoping to achieve.
Kind regards

28th January 2008, 18:47
Hi Charlie!

Didn't serve an any of them but do remember several of them were converted to ocean weather ships after the war. Some were based at Greenock and were painted a disgusting buff colour. I remember some of the lads at James Watt College used to join them for a trip or two to get sea time in for their 2nd mates cert. or if they failed on the first atempt and were rewarded with sea time! I was told they had the reputation of being able to 'roll on wet grass'.

Jim C.

28th January 2008, 18:47
Perhaps the Met Office can help.

Jim C.

28th January 2008, 19:25
The Flower Class Corvette Association

28th January 2008, 19:35
Masses of info on the net 18400 hits on Flower Class Corvettes no shortage of info there.

28th January 2008, 21:50
The 1950's film the Cruel Sea starring Jack Hawkins featured the Flower class corvette HMS "Coreopsis" starring as "Compass Rose".
The RNZN also had three flower class (re classed as Bird class) corvettes fitted out as mine sweepers Tui, Moa and Kiwi.
They were built in 1939 by Henry Robb at a contract sum of 58,000 pounds each.
The Moa was sunk by Japanese bombs but the other two sunk Japanese submarines and served well into the 1950's

24th July 2008, 16:20
I`m posting some photos to the gallery today(I hope) of 4 Castle class and 4 Flower class ex Royal Navy ships that were passed over to the Met. Office to be used as Ocean Weather Survey Ships after they had passed the "sell by date" as warships in the RN.


Flower Class: (No pictures of these to hand)

24th July 2008, 22:28
have you read the book CORVETTE NAVY by james b lamb isbn0708815960

Ted Else
25th July 2008, 08:45
Well known author's John Lambert and Les Brown are about to release a definitive book on the Flower Class (orders - with a good discount - are currently being taken by Amazon). I have not read this work yet but if the "Allied Coastal Forces of WW2" are anything to go by- then we're in for a treat!

John Campbell
25th July 2008, 14:01
Charlie, you should get a copy of But No Brass Funnel by Capt J.D. Stewart - it is his record of serving on "HMS ERICA" and is his
Record of a varied career at sea over several decades - from Merchant Navy cadet to tanker captain.
If you require I can put you in touch with him - he is alive and well but sadly without a pc. I am sure he will be able to give you an excellent account of his time on the ERICA.
Best of luck.
John Campbell