A HARD FOUGHT SHIP
story of HMS Venomous
the Sea Cadet Corps unit at Loughborough
HMS Venomous was finally broken up for scrap at Charlestown on the Firth of Forth in 1948 but the name of Venomous was kept alive by the Sea Cadet Unit in Loughborough, TS Venomous, which received its commissioning pennant that year.
Loughborough's link with HMS Venomous dates
back to February 1942 when it was adopted by the town after
Loughborough raised £300,000 during Warship Week on the 5 - 14 February
In October 1987 the Unit was honoured to host a reunion of former officers and men of HMS Venomous during which their guests attended a reception given by the Mayor of Charnwood and a memorable Reunion Dinner.
On the 5 February 2012, exactly
70 years after Loughborough raised the money to adopt HMS Venomous during Warship Week, the buildings on the Grand Union Canal where
the cadets of TS Venomous trained were destroyed by fire.
The ship’s crest and the bronze plaque presented to Venomous to commemorate her adoption melted in the intense heat
TS Venomous has risen from the ashes like a Phoenix and is as active as ever
but these links to HMS Venomous are lost for ever
Bob Moore, the author of
the first edition of A Hard Fought Ship (1990) and co-author of the
second edition (2010) served as CO of TS Venomous from 1992 to 2003. He joined the Sea
Cadet Unit in Loughborough in 1985 and in 1990 became Officer in
Charge. After promotion to Lieutenant he was confirmed as Commanding
Officer in 1992. The normal period of service for a CO of a Sea Cadet
Unit is five years but by the time Lt Cdr (SCC) R.J. Moore stood down
in 2003 he had served for thirteen years. Bob became Assistant District
Officer for Northants and Leicestershire Sea Cadets and remained in
that post until his death at the tragically early age of 63 in 2007. He
went to immense lengths to track down the surviving officers and crew
of HMS Venomous and his interviews with them formed the basis of the first edition of this book which was self published in 1990.
When HMS Hecla was torpedoed on Armistice Day 1942 HMS Venomous rescued nearly five hundred survivors. In 1992 Bob Moore and twenty sea cadets from TS Venomous attended the fiftieth anniversary reunion and service at Stratford organised by The HMS Hecla, HMS Venomous and HMS Marne Association. The old sailors marched with the sea cadets to the war memorial. In 2004 the Association presented TS Venomous with the money to purchase a new standard.
Survivors and their families alive today were thinking of their
former shipmates on Armistice Day 2012, the seventieth anniversary of
For twenty years the annual Nelson Day Dinner hosted by the officers and cadets of TS Venomous
has brought together former cadets, many now serving in the Royal
Navy, with distinguished guests to keep alive the spirit of Nelson’s
navy. Guests include Captain John Rodgaard USN, co-author of the new
edition of this book, George Male, one of the survivors of HMS Hecla, and Captain John Kingwell RN, the CO of HMS Albion.
While reading history at Loughborough University in the 1980s John
Kingwell served as seamanship officer, midshipman and sub lieutenant at
TS Venomous, returning to his ship during the summer vacation. TS Venomous
is one of very few SCC units to have had a regular Royal Navy officer
on its books and it is particularly appropriate that Captain John
Kingwell RN should have written the introduction to the new edition of
Lt Kay Adey, Bob Moore’s successor as CO of TS Venomous (top right holding ship's crest),
launch of the new edition of his book in Loughborough's Town Hall and has the daunting task of raising the money to rebuild TS Venomous
while holding down a full time job and continuing to train the 46 boys and girls aged between ten and eighteen in the
Loughborough Sea Cadet Unit.
The launch of the new edition of A Hard Fought Ship in Loughborough Town Hall on the 11 April 2010
The Mayor and Mayoress of Charnwood, Bill Forster of Holywell House Publishing, Pat Moore
and the co-author of the new edition, Captain John Rodgaard USN (Loughborough Echo)
Sea Cadet Units named after a V & W Class destroyer
Click on the Training Ship
(TS) to link to the Sea Cadet Unit and click on the name of the V &
W after which it is named to find out more about the ship
These ships and the men who served on the 69 V&W Class destroyers helped save Britain in World War II
Find out about the V & W Destroyer Association
of men who served on the V&Ws
this is the first title to
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