Military Wiki
HMS Wakeful (H88)
HMS Wakeful (H88).JPG
Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Admiralty W class destroyer
Name: HMS Wakeful
Ordered: 9 December 1916
Builder: William Beardmore and Company, Govan, Scotland
Laid down: 17 January 1917
Launched: 6 October 1917
Commissioned: 16 December 1917
Identification: Pennant number: H88
Motto: Si dormiam capiar
“If I sleep I may be caught”
Fate: Sunk on 29 May 1940 by E-Boat S-30
Badge: On a Black field an eye proper with rays ensuing therefore, Gold.
Ship's badge
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,100 tons
Length: 300 ft (91.4 m) o/a, 312 ft (95.1 m)p/p
Beam: 26 ft 9 in (8.2 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m) standard, 11 ft 3 in (3.4 m) in deep
Propulsion: 3 Yarrow type Water-tube boilers
Brown-Curtis steam turbines
2 shafts
27,000 shp (20,000 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 320-370 tons oil, 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), 900 nmi (1,700 km) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
Complement: 110

HMS Wakeful was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built under the 1916-17 Programme in the 10th Destroyer order. The Wakeful was assigned to the Grand Fleet after completion, and served into the early years of the Second World War. Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk during Operation Dynamo by a German E-Boat on 29 May 1940.


First World War

The Wakeful joined the Grand Fleet and was present at the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918. She then went into reserve.

Second World War

Just prior to the start of the war in August 1939 the Wakeful was reactivated and recommissioned to attend the Royal Review of the Reserve Fleet in Weymouth Bay. At the outbreak of war the Wakeful was assigned to convoy escort duty with the 17th Destroyer Flotilla, which was part of the Western Approaches Command.

Operation Dynamo

The Wakeful was selected to support Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk, on 26 May 1940. On 27 May 1940 the Wakeful embarked 631 allied troops. While returning them to Dover the Wakeful came under air attack and received minor damage below the waterline. Despite the near miss the Wakeful returned to Dunkirk to continue the evacuation, embarking 640 allied troops on 28 May 1940. While carrying this out the Wakeful was torpedoed by the German E-Boat S-30. The Wakeful was struck by two torpedoes, one hitting the forward boiler room. Casualties were heavy, only one of the 640 allied troops and 25 of the Wakeful's crew surviving. A number of ships stopped to pick up the survivors, but one of these, HMS Grafton, was then in turn sunk by a German U-Boat.


  • Preston, Antony (1971). 'V & W' Class Destroyers 1917-1945. London: Macdonald. OCLC 464542895. 
  • Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1979). 'V' and 'W' Class Destroyers. Man o' War. 2. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 0-85368-233-X. 
  • Winser, John de D. (1999). B.E.F. Ships Before, At and After Dunkirk. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-91-6. 

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).