HMS Cornwall

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HMS Cornwall, Kent Class cruiser of the Royal Navy. HMS Cornwall built at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth and launched 11th March 1926.  HMS Cornwall was sunk on 5th April 1942.

HMS CORNWALL.  Built at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth  she was laid down on the 9th October 1924, launched on the 11th March 1926 and completed 23rd January 1928.  HMS Cornwall was reconstructed in 1935 and 1939 with a 4.5 inch cemented armour belt being increased for 6 feet below the waterline. a a 4-inch internal armour was added to the fan compartments to the boiler rooms. during reconstruction the ship also has its 2 pdr pompoms replaced by 2 octuples pompoms.  She served in the East Indies 1939. South Atlantic 1940 -1941 and East Indies 1941 - 1942 and eastern Fleet 1942.   She was sunk by Japanese air attack by nine hits from 250 and 550 lb bombs, she sank in 12 minutes. west of Ceylon


Displacement:  9,750 tons    Speed: 31.5kt    Complement: 679 increasing to 710 as Flagship.

Armament: Eight 8 inch guns in pairs. Eight 4 inch anti-aircraft guns in pairs and eight 2pdr anti-aircraft guns in pairs plus eight 0.5 machine guns in pairs.   Sixteen 21 inch torpedo tubes. 4 aircraft 


HMS Cornwall 11th March 1926 Sunk 5th April 1942.

HMS Cornwall, 1938.

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HMS Cornwall. c.1930s

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HMS Cornwall, July 1936.

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This picture has been sent in by Patrick Hill whose Grandfather Mne or Cpl W Hill RMA served on HMS Cornwall. He survived the torpedo attack and sinking on 28th October 1942 and was picked up by MV Tasmania. She was torpedoed three days later and Cpl Hill was lost at sea.

HMS Cornwall sinking, 5th April 1942.  Contributed by Nick Wood.

We wish to thank  Jason Adams for sending the pictures below, many of them feature his grandfather Percy Daguiar.

HMS Cornwall

Percy and some of the crew from HMS Cornwall

Percy and some of the crew from HMS Cornwall

Percy Daguiar

Percy Daguiar


Percy Daguiar and Joseph Sussmes.

Some of HMS Cornwall's ships company.

My name is Jason Adams, I was born here (and have returned) but grew up in South Africa where my Grandfather joined the S.A. Navy to serve on the Cornwall for a year or two before and up to its sinking. His name was Percy Daguiar and he survived the sinking, unfortunately he suffered from the inhalation of the fumes and whatever else he inhaled during the sinking and later on in life suffered from an illness which doctor's could not put their finger on, But it was something to do with his lungs. I personally believe it was damage done during the sinking. He died in Cape Town in 1969 at the age of 52. I do know that my aunt who lives in Simon's town close to the naval base in Cape Town does still have his ribbon and lifejacket which reeks heavily of oil. I thought I would send you some pictures which I discovered recently. I have been researching the HMS Cornwall and am desperately trying to find more pictures about life on board the Cornwall just before its sinking and also its course it took and what ports it used on its voyages. The only information I have is what I have gathered from the images and from the internet, which is very vague and basic. if you can supply any further information Contact Jason at 
The following information and photographs were sent in by John Andrews.  My Uncle Dennis G Andrews served on HMS Cornwall and was on board when she was torpedoed. He was in the sea for 36 hours before being rescued. He was posted to HMS Firedrake later that year and went down with the Firedrake in Dec 17th 1942.I have attached details of my Uncle, if you can make use of them please do. He was married in 1942.

Wedding photo of Dennis G Andrews, 1942.

A Telegram from a Commodore confirming Dennis Andrews survived the Cornwall.

Leonard George Keeble.

LEONARD GEORGE KEEBLEMy uncle was Leonard George Keeble, I always heard him referred to as Lenny.  Sadly he died on 5th April 1942 when the HMS Cornwall was sunk.  He was only 17 or 18 when he died.  His position on the ship was Boy Telegraphist, and apart from that I know no more. 

Crew of HMS Cornwall - sent in by P. Grange.

Message included with photo - My grandad Joseph Sussmes is in the middle of the photo.  It has on the back of the photo Japan, June 23rd 1940.  Joseph was on board HMS Cornwall from 15th March 1939 - 25th December 1941.  He was made up to Stoker Petty Officer 4 days before this picture was taken on 19th June 1940.