HMS Kirkliston (M1157)

HMS Kirkliston (M1157) was a Ton-class minesweeper of the Royal Navy, built by Harland and Wolff and launched on 18 February 1954. In a brief episode from 1956 to 1960 she was temporarily renamed HMS Kilmorey and was assigned to the Ulster division Royal Naval Reserve (RNR).

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Kirkliston (M1157)
Builder: Harland and Wolff[1]
Yard number: 1518[1]
Launched: 18 February 1954
Completed: 21 August 1954[1]
Decommissioned: 2 December 1985
Fate: Sold for scrap, 20 October 1991
General characteristics
Class and type: Ton-class minesweeper
Displacement: 440 tons
Length: 152 ft (46 m)
Beam: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Draught: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Propulsion: Originally Mirrlees diesel, later Napier Deltic, producing 3,000 shp (2,200 kW) on each of two shafts
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 33

Construction and design

Kirkliston was ordered on 22 March 1952,[2] was launched at Harland and Wolff's Belfast shipyard on 18 February 1954[3] and completed on 21 August 1954.[4]

She was 152 feet (46.33 m) long overall and 140 feet (42.67 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 28 feet 9 inches (8.76 m) and a draught of 8 feet 3 inches (2.51 m). Displacement was 360 long tons (370 t) normal and 425 long tons (432 t) deep load.[5] Kirliston was initially powered by a pair of 12-cylinder Mirrlees diesel engine, driving two shafts and giving a total of 2,500 shaft horsepower (1,900 kW), giving the ship a speed of 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h).[5][lower-alpha 1] 45 tons of fuel were carried, giving a range of 3,000 nautical miles (3,500 mi; 5,600 km) at 8 knots (9.2 mph; 15 km/h).[5][7]

Armament consisted of a single Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun forward and two Oerlikon 20 mm cannon aft.[5][7] Minesweeping equipment included wire sweeps for sweeping moored contact mines and acoustic or magnetic sweeps for dealing with influence mines.[8] The ship had a crew of 27 in peacetime and 39 in wartime.[7]


On 14 August 1956, Kirkliston served with the Ulster Division of the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR), and as such, was temporarily renamed Kilmorey,[9] until replaced by sister-ship Alfriston in July 1960, when Kirkliston resumed her original name.[10][11] From November 1962 to June 1964 she was converted to a minehunter at Portsmouth Dockyard.[12][3] Her magnetic sweep gear was removed and Type 193 Sonar was fitted to allow mines to be detected so that divers could destroy the mine.[11] She then joined the 4th Mine Countermeasures Squadron at Port Edgar.[12] From 1966[lower-alpha 2] she saw service in the Far East as part of the 6th Mine Countermeasures Squadron based at Hong Kong.[3][12] On 16 August 1971, Typhoon Rose struck Hong Kong. Kirkliston and the other two minesweepers of the 6th Mine Countermeasures Squadron, Bossington and Hubberston took part in rescue operations following the Typhoon. Kirleston rescued 40 survivors from stranded ships, including the only four survivors from the Hong Kong–Macau ferry Fat Shan, which had foundered off Lantau Island, killing 88 passengers and crew.[13][14] In 1972 she returned to British waters, joining the First Mine Countermeasures Squadron, again at Port Edgar.[9][12]

In 1973 Kirkliston was refitted at Gibraltar, and following the refit served for six months with the Forth Division of the RNR, being the first minehunter operated by the RNR, before joining the 2nd Mine Countermeasures Squadron based at Portsmouth.[12] From August to December 1975 she was part of STANAVFORCHAN (Standing Naval Force Channel).[9] In 1977 she was used to evaluate equipment planned for the Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels.[12] HMS Kirkliston was decommissioned on 2 December 1985 and was sold for scrap on 20 October 1991.


  1. Later Tons, beginning with Highburton, completed in June 1955, were powered by two Napier Deltic engines, giving a total of 3,000 shaft horsepower (2,200 kW).[6][7]
  2. From 1969 according to Worth.[9]
  1. McCluskie, Tom (2013). The Rise and Fall of Harland and Wolff. Stroud: The History Press. p. 164. ISBN 9780752488615.
  2. Gardiner & Chumbley 1995, p. 541
  3. "Kirkliston joins the '30' club". Navy News. March 1984. p. 2. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  4. Worth 1986, p. 77
  5. Gardiner & Chumbley 1995, p. 539
  6. Worth 1986, pp. 77, 97
  7. Blackman 1962, p. 282
  8. Brown & Moore 2012, p. 130–131
  9. Worth 1986, p. 101
  10. Worth 1986, p. 79
  11. Gardiner & Chumbley 1995, p. 542
  12. "Ships of the Royal Navy: No. 261: Kirkliston Ahead of the 'Hunt'". Navy News. August 1977. p. 5. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  13. "Navy ships save 250: 'Snatched' from the Typhoon". Navy News. October 1971. p. 17. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  14. Chi-pang, Lau. "Major marine incidents since 1841: Chapter 2.3: Major marine incidents since 1951". History of the Port of Hong Kong and Marine Department. Marine Department (Hong Kong). Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  • Blackman, Raymond V. B. (1962). Jane's Fighting Ships 1962–63. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.
  • Brown, D. K.; Moore, George (2012). Rebuilding the Royal Navy: Warship Design Since 1945. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-150-2.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen, eds. (1995). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Worth, Jack (1986). British Warships Since 1945: Part 4: Minesweepers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. ISBN 0-907771-12-2.

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