Cruise of the Special Service Squadron

In 1923–24, HMS Hood and the Special Service Squadron sailed around the world on The Empire Cruise, making many ports of call in the countries which had fought together during the First World War. The squadron departed Devonport on 27 November 1923 and headed for Sierra Leone.[1] Returning from the Pacific, the battlecruisers passed through the Panama Canal, while the light cruisers rounded Cape Horn.[1]

Ships involved

Ports of call

Africa and the Indian Ocean

The fleet sailed from HMNB Devonport on 27 November 1923, and headed for Freetown, Sierra Leone. Whereupon the fleet was greeted by the Governor of Sierra Leone. Food and provisions were taken aboard after the journey of 2805 miles.[1] The ships then sailed to Cape Town and arrived 22 December, adding a further 3,252 miles to the cruise distance. Some of the sailors and marines performed in a ceremonial march, to great fanfare.[1]

The fleet sailed for a short visit to Mossell Bay, East London and Durban, where the fleet left South Africa on 6 January 1924 for Zanzibar.[1] Upon port arrival in Zanzibar on 17 January the fleet was greeted by Sultan Khalifa Bin Harub, which now encompassed the regular ceremonial March Past. The total distance covered was 11,734 miles.[1]

Far East

The fleet arrived for the far east tour in Port Swettenham, Malaysia, on the 4 February, where the ship fired a 17 gun salute for the Sultan. The fleet also incurred its first fatality when a seaman died of malaria, a local funeral was arranged. 10 February marked the arrival of the fleet at the important British Naval Base at Singapore.[1] In the same year of the cruise Singapore had been approved by the British Government to become the major British base in the far east with massive investment.

Australia and New Zealand


West coast of Canada and the USA

South America

East coast of Canada and Newfoundland

See also


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