A Short History of HMS St Christopher

Many of the officers who began their ‘small boat’ training at HMS ST CHRISTOPHER were later to serve with great distinction, perhaps non more so then the legendary Lieutenant Commander R.P. Hichens RNVR. Known affectionately to his officers and men as ‘Hich’ he began his training at the base in MGB 64, in January 1941. Like so many of his compatriots in coastal forces he had a rare blend of leadership coupled with flare, tenacity, courage and great determination to hit the enemy as hard and as often as possible.  As a flotilla commander he always led from the front and whilst in action on the night of 12 April 1943 a stray shell hit MGB 64 and he was killed instantly.  He had taken part in 148 operations, which included 14 main actions.  His services in coastal forces were recognised by the award of the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the Distinguished Service Cross and two Bars and he was three times Mentioned in Despatches. The training staff at HMS ST CHRISTOPHER must have been proud of the fact that a high percentage of the officers and men who had received their initial training at the base went on to achieve great things during the war and were to be awarded numerous gallantry decorations and medals for bravery in action.

A thought for the future

While many of the buildings built by the navy are still being used, their future must inevitably be uncertain in the light of current developments taking place at Annat and while they are of no great architectural merit, they are of local significance. Surely, it would be a shame if they were all to disappear without trace?

ADM171 lists people with the RN  Long Service and Good Conduct medal.  Several are listed under HMS St Christopher

A.B. A. A. Ashley

A.B. R. M. Balmain

A.P.O. (Ty) A. McG. Gallon

A.L.S. (Ty) G. H. Jarrett

Act.O.O. (Ty) E. W. Lloyd

Tel. W. H. Martin

P.O. H. R. Pybus

P.O. W. H. Taylor

Sy. (?). O. A. L. Willcocks

The same file has Commander H. T. Nathaniel Rowe of the HMS St Christopher in Guadeloupe Jan/Feb 1810.

History of HMS St Christopher