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HMS Kenya

HMS Kenya

I have just acquired some maritime books and photos from a carboot sale and this photo was included, on the reverse all there is, is the name "HMS Kenya"

Any Information is welcome.


302 Posts
HMS Kenya was ordered in 1937, launched Aug '39, completed 28 Aug '40. One of 5 'Mauritius' class Cruisers(Jane's) -Conway states 'Fiji' class - broken up 1962. Tonnage is variously stated as 5000tns - 11,090tns

412 Posts
Another reference refers to them all as "Colony" class cruisers. There were two groups however, eight in the first and a modified final three with the first group being referred to as Fiji class and the second improved group as Ceylon class.

First group was Fiji, Kenya, Maritius, Nigeria, Trinidad, Jamaica, Gambia and Bermuda. In the second group there was Ceylon, Uganda and Newfoundland.

Newfoundland took part in the Anglo-French "Operation Musketeer" (Suez war 1956) and sank the Egyptian frigate Domiat after being attacked by it.

Fore runners of Lion, Tiger and Blake.

129 Posts
This is layup berth's in Fareham Creek funnel to port side one of I O W paddler's more than proberly Whippingham that's where she would lay for the winter month's ED

1 Posts
Fiji Class light cruiser - sometimer called the 'Crown Colony class' ( Bermuda, Gambia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Fiji).
They were based on the preceeding Southampton class but wewre some 35 feet shorter with lower powered machinery and less armour to allow the class to meet the new 1936 London Naval Treaty rules wich required a maximum displacement of 8,000 tons for a 6" gunned cruiser
, although similar in appearnce the Southamptons had raked masts and funnels whilst the Fiji class had upright masts and funnels.
Kenya was built by Alex. Stephen at their Govan yard on the Clyde, she was laid down on the 18th June 1938, launched on the 18th August 1939 and completed on the 27th September 1940.
L 555’06” B 62’00” Dr 16’06” Disp 8,525 tons standard and 10,450 tons full load
Machinery : Quadruple screws driven by Parsons steam turbines, supplied with steam from 4 admiralty three drum boilers and developing 72,500 shaft horse power giving 31.5 knots.
Fuel : 1,700 tons of oil giving a range of 10,200 miles at 12 knots.
Armament : twelve Mk50 60 inch C50 MK23 guns firing a 112lb shell to about 25,500 yards using a 32lb flashless charge - these guns can still be seen today as the same type was fitted to HMS Belfast.
four 4 inch C45 MK16 High Angle guns in single shielded mounts and 2 quad mount 2 pounder’s and 4 quad .5 inch machine guns. Towards ther end of the war the two pounders and machine guns had been replaced with eighteen 40mm Bofors guns in five twin and eight single mounts.
Two triple 21 inch torpedo launchers - one either beam.
Armour : belt 3.25" to 3.5" ; deck 2" ; turrets 2" ; bulkheads 1.5" to 2".

On completion she joined the Home fleet and performed convoy escort duties against the possibility of commerce raiders, in May 1941 she was, along with the 2nd cruiser squadron, involved in the hunt for the Bismarck and with the Aurora she caught the Belchen - one of the Bismarck's supply ships.
Aftere a brief spell in the Med for operation halberd she was operating off Northern Norway and Arctic waters until mid 1942 when she returned to the Med for operation Pedestal in August of 1942 where she was hit by a torpedo from the Italian Submarine Alagi on the 12th August 1942.
She remained under repair until December 1942 when she rejoined the Home Fleet, in early 1944 she joined the Eastern fleet serving with the 4th Cruiser Squadron. Here she covered the carrier raids on on Japanese held islands in the Indian Ocean and on oil installations in the East Indies. In early 1945 she covered the Arakan landings and raids on the Malayan coastline before returning home.
She was under refit in 1945/6 and then joined the 8th Cruiser Squadron on the American and West Indies Station from October 1946 to December 1947.
After time in reserve she joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the Far East and saw action in the Korean war, following this she was in the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies in 1952-3 and returned to Portsmouth going into reserve in February 1953. She refitted in 1955 and joined the 8th Cruiser Squadron on the America and West Indies Station again. In November 1956 she returned home to join home fleet before joining the 1st cruiser squadron in the Med in '57 & '58. on her return to Portmouth she paid off into reserve for the final time in September 1958 and remained there until 1962 when she was sold for scrapping, she arrived at Faslane yard of Shipbreaking Industries on the 29th October 1962.
I should add that the picture shows Kenya with only one triple 6" turret (Y) aft, X was landed in April of 1945 and replaced with two twin 40mm Bofors - reflecting the changing role of RN cruisers at that date, there were no surface threats left afloat and the main risk was now air attack.

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