Halcyon Class Minesweepers

Halcyon Class Ships
1937 Construction Programme

Trials 1936
Cross Section
Line Drawing
Badges & Mottos
Warship Weeks
1937 Specs




The following are extracts from this substantial and very detailed document which is held at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. They have been chosen for general interest rather than any specific understanding of the construction:


Specification for building a minesweeper of the 1937 programme 

Bramble, Britomart, Speedy & Sphinx 

Economy of weight in this vessel is of the utmost importance. It is desired, in order to save weight, to utilise electric welding extensively as a substitute for riveting. 

Water tanks – the work of finally cleaning out the fresh water tank and preparing them for filling is to be carried out by healthy men of clean habits, wearing clean overalls and rubber shoes. 

Messing and sleeping accommodation is to be provided for the full complement + 7˝ per cent.

CPO’s, PO’s, ERA’s and Stewards – separate living spaces to be provided, enclosed with light, dwarf bulkheads. Each space is to be self contained and fitted out complete with mess tables with turned wooden legs, stools with cushions, pedestal kit lockers, mess racks, ditty box rack, bread locker, bookshelf and sleeping billets suitable for the number of occupants. The mess tables in the CPO’s and ERA’s mess spaces are to be made longer than required for actual messing so as to provide room for keeping engine room accounts and for general writing purposes.

ERA's Mess, HMS Sharpshooter
ERA's Mess on HMS Sharpshooter

Seamen and Stoker’s mess spaces – the messing accommodation is wherever possible to be based on an allowance of 24 inches per man. Hammock hooks and bars for berthing the crew and for 7˝ % supernumeries are to be fitted. Berths are to be not less than 10 feet long and spaced 24” where possible.


Two 4" QF, Mark V guns on 4" HA MkIII mountings and one 0.5" ‘M’ mounting will be supplied by the Admiralty. The 4" guns are to be mounted so as to give a depression of 5 degrees through as great an angle of training as possible. Four Lewis guns on two double mountings are to be fitted to the forecastle deck.

Depth Charges

When fitted as a minesweeper the depth charge armament will consist of four depth charges. Two chutes, one on each quarter, are to be supplied … to take one charge each. The alternative depth charge armament will consist of 15 charges, two throwers and three chutes. The additional chute is to be provided and fitted in a readily portable manner.

Boats to be carried

25 foot motor boat x 1; 27 foot whalers x 2; 14 foot dinghies x 1; Pattern 20 lifeboats x 2.



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