Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: April 17, 2021
Webpage updated: April 17, 2021

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A familiar sight for many years in the 1960s, moored in the shadow of the Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash Passage, was HMS "Roberts", notable from her twin 15-inch guns, ironically pointed towards the Bridge.

Built by Messrs John Brown and Company, at Clydebank, she was laid down on April 30th 1940.  When launched on April 1st 1941 she was the second monitor to be named after Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts.  Her twin 15-inch guns came from a Great War monitor, HMS "Marshal Soult".  373 feet 3 inches in length, 89 feet 9 inches in beam, she displaced 7,970 long tons.  In addition to the two big guns she also was equipped with eight 4-inch anti-aircraft guns, sixteen 3-pounder "pom-pom" anti-aircraft guns and twenty 20-millimetere anti-aircraft cannons.  She was capable of 12 knots.

HMS "Roberts" saw service during the Second World War in north Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the Allied landings at Salerno, and during the D-Day landings at Sword Beach.  In July 1945 she left the UK for the Indian Ocean but was recalled after the Japanese surrendered on August 15th 1945.  She returned to the Royal Dockyard at Devonport on November 22nd 1945.  The above photograph was probably taken shortly after that date.

The ship was sold for scrap once the War had ended but was hired back by the Royal Navy for use as a a accommodation ship at Devonport.  She was eventually sold again in July 1965 and sailed in the August to Inverkeithing, Fife, Scotland, for breaking up.