When the people of Thirsk and Sowerby adopted H.M.S. Arctic Ranger during Warship Week in November 1941, the Admiralty responded by presenting them with this commemorative cast-iron plaque. The inscription on the brass plate at the bottom reads:
Presented by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to Thirsk, Sowerby & District to commemorate the adoption of H.M.S. Arctic Ranger during Warship Week, November 1-8, 1941.
Built in 1937, H.M.S. Arctic Ranger was a commercial trawler with a displacement of 493 tons. She was taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939 and assigned to convoy escort duties in the English Channel before being sent to patrol off the Strait of Gibraltar.
In 1943, the ships crew sent a bunch of bananas for the children of Thirsk. There was much excitement in the town when the bananas were distributed, as none of the children had seen a banana before.
In February 1945, she came to the aid of the S.S. Regent Lion, which had been torpedoed off the coast of Gibraltar. With the help of another ship, she rescued the master of the stricken tanker, 40 crewmen and 4 gunners.*
(* Sources: www.seawaves.com, www.uboat.net)
52 x 84 cm
The crew of H.M.S. Arctic Ranger in Gibraltar, 1945.
Picture courtesy of Alan Collenette, whose father, Arthur Collenette, served aboard H.M.S. Arctic Ranger